2nd comment period announced on grazing allotments

The Columbine Ranger District is offering a second opportunity to comment on Weminuche grazing allotments because of public interest.

The analysis area covers approximately 166,700 acres with 13 grazing allotments on the northern edge of Missionary Ridge across the Weminuche Wilderness to the Pine River.

The proposed action would continue grazing on six allotments, five for sheep and one converted to cattle, with intent to eventually phase out sheep grazing without causing hardship to the permit holders. Seven vacant allotments would be closed to grazing.

The original comment period ended June 16 on the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Weminuche Landscape Grazing Analysis. There were requests to extend the comment period, but regulations do not allow for that. However, because of the level of public interest, complexity of the project, and in an effort to be responsive to interested members of the public, the Forest Service is able to offer a second, full 30 day comment period, according to a news release from the San Juan Public Lands Center.

The new deadline is July 21. Anyone who has already commented should not re-submit the same comments. They are on record and are being considered.

The EA, including maps, is on-line at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/projects.

Submit written comments by July 21 to the Columbine District Ranger, P.O. Box 439, 367 Pearl St., Bayfield CO 81122, or by e-mail to comments-rocky-mountain-san-juan-columbine@fs.fed.us.

For more information, a hard copy of the EA, or help submitting comments, contact Jared Whitmer at 884-1416 or at the above web site.

Comments, including names and addresses of commenters, will be part of the public record. Timely specific written comments are necessary to be eligible to object to a later proposed decision.