The continued analysis of the GNF TMP, Record of Decision


October 25, 2012

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest
Scott Armentrout
2250 Highway 50
Delta, Colorado 81416
RE: Situation surrounding implementation of GMUG Travel Plan

Dear Mr. Armentrout;
We would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you on the 26th day of September at the Region 2 offices to candidly discuss our on-going concerns with the Travel Management Plan (“TMP”) for the Gunnison Basin. Your time and courtesy are appreciated and it was good to hear your thoughts on OHV recreation and your experience with clubs from your last Forest Service assignments.

As we discussed, the TPA and COHVCO feel there were many errors made in the GMUG travel plan, which are now directly contributing to the high levels of frustrations and conflict between the Forest managers and members of the public during the implementation of the TMP. You had requested that we outline the specifics of these errors in a letter to you. We are providing this correspondence in the hope of assisting in resolution of the rapidly escalating public opposition to the TMP. Our Organizations remain ready and willing to partner, with any combination of volunteers, grant applications or direct funding to assist in resolution of any site specific issues that maybe identified. Clearly this heightened level of frustration is not beneficial to the agency or any user group.

Our Organizations have had on-going concerns regarding the lack of balance of multiple uses and accurate adoption of wildlife management standards in the TMP. These concerns were the basis of our comments and the basis of our appeal of the TMP. While this appeal was declined, it appears that many of these concerns were also not resolved in the manner anticipated under the TMP. Our Organizations believe an in depth analysis of the current status of research on specific species may assist in resolving some conflicts surrounding the TMP as management guidelines have loosened significantly for several species management decisions since the TMP was finalized. Newly released research has clarified the lack of basis in theoretical concerns often relied on for development of plans at the time the TMP was developed. Travel Management is a fluid and on-going process that must be revised to adapt to newly released information and on the ground conditions.

The Organizations are also aware the GMUG has a draft Resource Management Plan being developed. While this correspondence most directly relates to the previously released Travel Management Plan, many of these issues are also involved in the draft Resource Management Plan. The Organizations believe a review of the draft RMP must also occur to insure that the most accurate and up to date science is relied on for management of the GMUG lands over the life of the RMP. Accurate information will insure that further conflict is not created with future planning initiatives as a result of the use of out of date information for standards in the RMP.


To read the letter in full please download the PDF.