Forest revising district land management plans

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For the first time in almost three decades, the Cibola National Forest is revising the main operating plans for its Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena and Mt. Taylor ranger districts.

The U.S. Forest Service, which operates Cibola, is inviting public input in the revisions.

Cibola is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. It is one of eight national forests revising land management plans to include public input. The hope is to provide stronger protection for forests, water and wildlife while supporting rural economies.

Officials said the public will be involved in all stages of the process. Native American tribal consultation and coordination is also a priority, as is that of other local governments.

“These forests will demonstrate straight out of the gate what we’ve been talking about in terms of collaboration, said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

The other national forests revising plans include the Nez Perce-Clearwater in Idaho, the Chugach in Alaska, El Yunque in Puerto Rico and the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra in California.

The eight forests were chosen because of “urgent” needs for revision and the importance of the benefits they provide, Forest Service officials said. “They will emphasize strong science, collaboration, strengthened protections for land, wildlife and water, and opportunities for sustainable recreation and other multiple uses that support jobs and economic vitality.”

That goal supports the Forest Service’s mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

This month, Cibola will host a series of public open houses to learn exactly what changes forest users would like to see:

•  Nov. 13, Corona Village Hall, 461 Main St., Corona.

•  Nov. 13, UNM Continuing Education, Room C, 1634 University Blvd., Albuquerque.

•  Nov. 14, Torreon Community Center, 18 Torreon Heights Rd. E., Torreon.

•  Nov. 15, Mountainair Senior Center, 107 N. Summit Ave., Mountainair.

•  Nov. 15, Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Hwy. 66, Tijeras.

All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and are scheduled to last two hours. One additional open house will be held on Nov. 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Magdalena High School Fine Arts Center, 200 Duggins Dr., Magdalena.