An extra two months make all the difference when it comes to protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, which is why Guardians and allies have filed a petition challenging seasonal dates for motorized use on a section of the San Juan National Forest in Colorado.
The Rico-West Dolores Travel Plan designates 199 miles of roads and 103 miles of trails for public motorized use and also sets seasonal dates for that use. While the Forest Service originally proposed and endorsed authorizing motorized use from July 1 to September 8, in its final decision it expanded the dates to allow motorized use from June 1 to October 30. The expanded dates cut into elk calving season in the spring and affect the elk rut and mating season, as well as big-game hunting season, in the fall. Studies show that motorized travel can displace elk more than half a mile.
As the Trump administration ramps up its attack on public lands and bedrock environmental laws, protecting forests’ wildest places and the quiet-use opportunities they provide is all the more important.
Read the press release.