FOREST SERVICE SEEKING COMMENTS ON RECREATION SITES ANAYLSIS

Campsite at the Finger Lakes National Forest
02/06/2020

Staff of the Hector Ranger District, Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests, have been working to develop a strategy that will prioritize investments and recommend changes in the operations or maintenance of developed recreation sites and facilities to contribute to the sustainability of the Forest’s recreation program into the future.

The Recreation Facility Strategy (RFS), which includes the Recreation Site Analysis (RSA), is intended to reduce operations and maintenance costs, and maximize public benefits, while balancing social, economic, and environmental factors.

“The Forests have been working since 2016 to develop a proposal for a sustainable recreation program,” said John Sinclair, Forest Supervisor of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. “We finally have a proposal and are looking forward to engaging with our stakeholders on next steps.”

The Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests are requesting stakeholders to comment on the RSA from Tuesday, February 11, 2020, through Wednesday, March 11, 2020, by sending us an e-mail to this address: comments-eastern-green-mt-finger-lakes@usda.gov. A link to the District Maps for review and comment are located at the bottom of the GMFL home page found here: www.fs.usda.gov/gmfl. When submitting comments online, please enter in the electronic mail subject line the following:  “Recreation Site Analysis – Hector Ranger District”.

The Forest Service is looking for information, comments, and other assistance from Federal, State, and local agencies, and other individuals or organizations that have an interest in or could be affected by the proposed RSA management actions. Specific comments are the most useful for the identification of issues to the proposed RSA management actions. The comments collected during this period as well as contact information will become part of the RSA Public Meeting record. The comments received will be taken into consideration as the Forest looks to finalize the 5-year Recreation Facility Strategy in spring of 2020.

“The Forest will consider all comments and feedback received during the public engagement period,” said Sinclair. “The feedback received will be evaluated and may be incorporated into changes to the 5-year Recreation Facility Strategy. We value your feedback and look forward to your participation in this effort.” The Hector Ranger District expects to begin implementing the 5-year Recreation Facility Strategy during the 2020 recreation season.

The Recreation Facility Strategy is not a decision document. Therefore, some proposed management actions may require a level of environmental analysis through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If NEPA is required, the comments collected during this comment period as well as contact information will become part of the record for that specific project. Thus, there will be an opportunity for continued public engagement through the NEPA process.

For more information about the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests please visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/gmfl or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/gmfl_nfs or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainFingerLakesNF/