Our local Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison Forest Service (GMUG) is looking for public comment on its plan to manage the forest for at least the next twenty years. Major decisions will be made on how much protection we give to big game habitat through the creation of new Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). I recognize the important role that big game hunting plays in both our Western Slope culture and economy, and how its proper management promotes the health of the species involved. While I support the creation of WMAs, currently as envisioned by the Forest Service, WMAs lack enough standards and prescriptions to protect the wildlife within them. For example, they do not designate large areas which are set aside to be free from human contact or intrusion.
If you care about the future of hunting or the protection of big game species, as well as other species of conservation concern, ask the Forest Service to strengthen their standards for WMAs in their final plan revision. The deadline for comments is November 12 and you can do so online at the GMUG Forest Service Planning Home page or www.bit.ly/GMUG-feedback.