Stand up for Gila National Forest Travel Mgt Plan – Tuesday, February 14th

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Stand Up for Gila National Forest Travel Management Plan

Grant County Commission Meeting

Tuesday, February 14, 8:45 am

Grant County Commission Chambers

1400 Highway 180 East, Silver City

At its February meeting tomorrow, the Grant County Commission will vote on whether to join the extremist Coalition of Counties in its lawsuit against the Gila National Forest regarding the July 2016 Travel Management Plan. Joining the lawsuit will cost Grant County $6,250 to retain the Budd-Falen Law Offices.

Please attend tomorrow’s Grant County Commission meeting and stand up for the Gila National Forest Travel Management Plan. You need to sign up by 8:45 am to make public comment.  

Why should Grant County Commissioners say NO to joining this lawsuit?

  • The final Gila National Forest Travel Management Plan protects natural resources while also providing for ample access for all recreational needs:
  • The Gila National Forest Travel Management Plan limits motorized use to 3,334 miles of designated roads, trails and areas to protect natural resources, while also providing for motorized recreational opportunities. The more than 3000 miles of roads that remain open are enough to drive from Silver City to Alaska.
  • Under the plan, the “908 miles of roads to be closed to motor vehicle use are less than one-mile in length, some had signs of little to no use; some had cultural or natural resource concerns; and some were duplicates of others or parallel to each other and ended near the same locations,” according to the Gila National Forest.
  • The plan allows for dispersed camping, including big game retrieval.
  • There is a $1 billion backlog of road maintenance in New Mexico’s national forests. The Forest Service can’t afford to maintain roads that pose a threat to our streams and wildlife habitat.
  • The Gila National Forest Travel Management Plan is an important tool for protecting our watersheds and wildlife habitat critical to Grant County’s outdoor recreation economy.  According to a NM Department of Game and Fish study, hunting, fishing and trapping in Grant County generates $15.5 million in spending, supports 112 jobs creating $2.8 million in labor income, and brings in $743 thousand in state and local tax revenue.