You don't have to pick only one alternative in Carson land management plan

Posted 11/7/19

There is some confusion surrounding the Carson National Forest's Land Management Plan comment process and we want to clarify a critical point: you do not have to pick only Alternative 3 if you support recreation, or go "all in" on Alternative 4 if you value wetlands. This is a false choice. You can have both. Be specific about what parts of each alternative you prefer.

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You don't have to pick only one alternative in Carson land management plan

Posted

There is some confusion surrounding the Carson National Forest's Land Management Plan comment process and we want to clarify a critical point: you do not have to pick only Alternative 3 if you support recreation, or go "all in" on Alternative 4 if you value wetlands. This is a false choice. You can have both. Be specific about what parts of each alternative you prefer.

For example, Taos Mountain Bike Association (TMBA) supports maintaining 200-400 miles of trails, constructing new trails and creating an OHV Management Area, as proposed in Alternative 3. These can occur at the same time as establishing Wetland Jewels Management areas (Alternative 4).

Similarly, TMBA supports Wilderness Management designations (Alternatives 4 and 5) where those areas do not remove access to current mountain biking - such as along the 95-mile Continental Divide Trail - a unique and destination-worthy recreation trail.

The proposed Olguin and Canjilon Meadows Wilderness Management Areas cross the CDT, and their establishment would represent a significant blow to an already limited recreation infrastructure. Other management approaches can meet conservation goals without banning a large user group.

In short, be specific about exactly what you want to see happen on your public lands. Do not just submit blanket support for one alternative. Encourage the planners to take a holistic approach, and both help develop our growing recreation economy while also addressing conservation goals.

Visit taosmtb.org/news/forest-plan for sample comment letters and information about supporting recreational trail development and maintenance on your public lands. Comment by today - Thursday (Nov. 7).

Loren Bell is a Taos resident and member of the Taos Mountain Bike Association.

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