Forest Service Announces Proposed Management Action
The United States Forest Service has announced a Proposed Action for Pole Mountain Travel Management. The agency will host two open houses during November to provide information and start a discussion about the project.
The open house in Laramie will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, in the ballroom of the Laramie Plains Civic Center at 710 E. Garfield St. There will also be an open house in Cheyenne on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 6-8 p.m. in the Cottonwood Meeting Room of the Laramie County Library at 2200 Pioneer Ave.
The Laramie Ranger District is proposing that most Pole Mountain roads be left the way they are. Other actions involve rerouting, shortening, decommissioning, and closing roads. The Forest Service also proposes the addition of some unauthorized routes to the system.
“There are some unauthorized routes that currently aren’t in the system that are actually better than the routes we currently have, so those are being added,” said Aaron Voos of the US Forest Service.
Today marks the beginning of a formal 30-day public comment period; it is the first of two such periods during the project. The public will also have a chance to comment on the Environmental Analysis, which is expected to be released in the spring of 2016.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the proposal, but I know it can be improved upon. I think that we have tried to use some different approaches toward management of the area that can be effective and still meet recreation and management needs,” said Laramie District Ranger Frank Romero.
The purpose of the project is to devise a system of travel that will provide various recreation opportunities for both motorized and non-motorized vehicles. Minimizing environmental impact and user conflicts is also part of the plan.
The Proposed Action was created through collaboration between the Laramie Ranger District and the public. A thorough road assessment was combined with input from the public and the staff of the Laramie Ranger District. Public comments were submitted through multiple government agencies, public meetings, and the US Forest Service website.
Over the summer, the Laramie Ranger District worked with the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources gather information from the public before the project officially began. The Ruckelshaus Institute assisted the Forest Service by developing a public-information website, setting up public meetings, and compiling public comment.
Questions can be directed to Environmental Coordinator Monique Nelson at 745-2310. Anyone interested can also visit the Laramie Ranger District Office at 2468 Jackson St. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri.