Forest Service Extends Comment Period for Habitat Proposal
Laramie District Ranger Frank Romero is giving the public two more weeks to share their opinions of a proposal aimed at improving big game habitat along the Snowy Range’s southeast boundary.
Romero announced Tuesday that the comment period – originally set to end Tuesday – will be extended two more weeks until Tuesday, March 29.
“I have heard from multiple people who are interested in this project that they were unaware of the comment period and caught off-guard by the deadline,” said Romero. “Bottom line, I want to hear from the public about our proposed projects so that I can make well-informed decisions.”
“We distribute information about our projects in a broad and timely fashion, but can’t always control the various outlets through which people receive their news," said Romero. "That said, we have received some good comments about the project thus far and hope that by extending the deadline we can accommodate those who feel like they need more time."
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed extending existing seasonal road closures on the Medicine Bow National Forest as well as the installation of five new gates to enforce the closures and new seasonal closures for sections of area roads.
The Forest Service says in a press release that existing closures – in place from Nov. 15 to April 31 – would be extended under the plan to remain in effect from Oct. 1 to June 15 annually. Currently, seasonal closures are in effect for 37 miles of roads on a Forest section running south from near Lake Owen along the foothills to the Colorado state line.
The Forest Service says about 8.6 miles of roads would be affected by new seasonal closures covering ten different sections of road on the edge of vital big game habitat.
The Forest Service says the area affected by the closures is crucial to local deer and elk herds, as it contains winter range, transition habitat, and fawning and calving areas.
The Forest Service says animals must forage as much as possible during their transition from summer to winter range beginning in October in order to build up fat reserves for the long winter ahead.
The agency says reducing human disturbance in late spring gives newborn animals time to grow and get moving.
The Forest Service has produced a map and additional information on this project for public reference. The agency says the project was developed in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and a decision is expected in April.
The public can comment over the phone by calling 745-2300, in person at the Laramie Ranger District Office during normal business hours, or through email. In addition, comments can be mailed to Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, Laramie Ranger District, Attn: Frank Romero, 2468 Jackson St., Laramie, WY 82070 or by fax at 745-2398.