Outdoor Alliance praises new Travel Management Plan for Colorado's White River National Forest
2011-07-12 / Tom Flynn
The human-powered recreation community recently enjoyed a refreshing bit of good news from the heart of the Colorado Rockies, where a new Forest Service decision preserves high quality, four-season recreation access.
Outdoor Alliance lead a coalition of groups, including the Colorado Mountain Club, the American Alpine Club, the American Mountain Guides Association and the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, in submitting a letter of support for the new Travel Management Plan for the White River National Forest.
The letter applauds the Forest Service for producing a balanced Travel Management Plan that emphasizes the quality of recreation. Unlike other plans, which often ignore conflict between recreation users, this Plan acknowledges that separating users in some locations can improve everyone’s experience. Also unlike other plans, this Plan takes a four-season approach to travel management, and protects non-motorized winter recreation.
The plan will pay dividends not only for recreation users, but also for the Forest Service and regional economies. The system of roads and trails designated by the Plan will make maintenance and enforcement easier for the Forest Service. And the recreation access that the Plan supports will bolster state and local economies, considering that active outdoor recreation supports 107,000 jobs and contributes $7.6 billion annually in retail sales and service in the state of Colorado alone.
A management shift that prioritizes sustainable, high quality recreation over resource extraction requires a period of adjustment. However, this is a thoughtful, well-balanced plan. Outdoor Alliance hopes the focus on quality recreation is a precedent setting step forward for the management of all our national forests.
Please read the complete letter here.
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