By Staff 5-7,2015
Regional Forester Dan Jirón signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Shoshone National Forest’s Land Management Plan this morning in a ceremony at Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s office in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The signing honors 10 years of collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service, the State of Wyoming, local governments, American Indian tribes, interest groups and the public.
“I am pleased to be joined by Governor Mead as I sign the final record of decision for the Shoshone National Forest Land Management Plan,” said Jirón. “Without his leadership and commitment to collaboration, the agreement on and advancement of mutually beneficial goals and objectives contained in this plan would not be possible.”
During the 10-year process to develop and finalize the new land management plan, nearly 100 public and cooperator meetings have occurred, and more than 23,000 comments were received. Significant input from cooperators and the public resulted in a balanced plan representing the diverse interests of many individuals and groups.
Highlights of the Plan include:
- While no additional wilderness area is proposed, the existing backcountry character of the Forest will be maintained.
- Crucial big game winter range habitat is maintained as well, and the Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy is incorporated into the plan.
- The number of acres available for vegetation treatments increased by 35 percent including increased opportunity to manage beetle killed trees, while the number of wildlife management indicator species was reduced from 13 to 5.
- Current livestock grazing numbers will be maintained. The Plan directs the Forest to conduct a travel management analysis, which will begin this summer.
- The Plan also maintains the availability of surface operations in moderate and high potential oil and gas areas, while eliminating surface operations related to such development in key wildlife areas.
As the nation’s first national forest, the Shoshone National Forest has 2.4 million acres of diverse terrain and a mission to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the forest to meet the needs of present and future generations.