Advocacy 101 is a new series to highlight the important foundations of environmental advocacy.
Input Needed for GMUG Forest Plan Revision
If you’re a fan of the Gunnison National Forest and care about its future, then you can’t afford to sit out during Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest (GMUG) Forest Plan revision. In June 2017, the Forest Service launched a once-in-decades opportunity to update the GMUG Forest Plan. Our forest plan is the oldest in the nation, and we have the opportunity to bring forest management into the 21st century.
What Does the GMUG Forest Plan Do?
The GMUG is a combination of three national forests covering 3,161,900 acres. The GMUG Forest Plan guides stewardship by creating a “big picture” view of how the forest will be managed. Because our current forest plan was developed in 1983, it struggles to address the remarkable challenges and opportunities confronting the GMUG today.
What is Forest Plan Revision?
The National Forest Management Act of 1976 requires that forest plans be periodically revised. The GMUG revision process is expected to last three to four years, and will establish management direction for wilderness, recreation, wildlife habitat, water and extractive uses. Revision emphasizes public involvement, giving YOU an important opportunity to help shape the future of the GMUG.
What Can We Accomplish Together?
HCCA is leading efforts to bring forest management into the 21st century through public education and outreach, research and technical comments, and on-the-ground advocacy. Our goal is to see a revised GMUG Forest Plan that protects, restores and increases wilderness and wildlands; prioritizes the conservation of land, water and wildlife; supports sustainable recreation; and is based on the best available science. For more information, please contact HCCA’s Public Lands Director Matt Reed at email@example.com. And to stay up-to-speed with the planning process and opportunities for engagement, bookmark our www.gmugrevision.com webpage.
NEPA – Your Gateway to Advocacy
Acronyms are a dime a dozen in the conservation arena: ESA, USFS, BLM, EPA, CWA, CAA, SBEADMR, RCRA, and so forth. But one acronym stands above the others as worthy of remembering and worthy of understanding: NEPA. NEPA stands for National Environmental Policy Act, and it’s your gateway to public lands advocacy.
NEPA is a bedrock United States environmental law enacted in 1970 to promote the enhancement of the environment and to ensure that environmental issues are weighted equally when compared to other factors in the decision-making process undertaken by federal agencies. Most importantly, the environmental review process under NEPA provides an opportunity for YOU to be involved in decision-making. Citizens often have valuable information about places and resources and the potential environmental effects that proposed federal actions may have on them.
NEPA does not require the government to select the environmentally preferable alternative, nor does it prohibit adverse environmental effects (case in point, the North Fork coal loophole). But NEPA does require that decision makers be informed of the environmental consequences of their actions. And that’s where you come in. Participating in the NEPA comment process, combined with advocacy targeting elected officials, politicians, and important stakeholders, sends a powerful message to the Forest Service, BLM and other land management agencies.
HCCA is eager to work with our members and the public to build a movement of activists in Gunnison County to achieve a sustainable future for all of us. Understanding the basics of the NEPA process, and the opportunities it affords you as a citizen, are key to more effective advocacy. To learn more about having your voice heard, click here to download a copy of A Citizen’s Guide to NEPA.