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Forest Service Planning

The Gila National Forest is currently revising its forest management plan for the first time since 1986 and is accepting public input through April 16, 2020. The final version of this plan will determine how Wilderness, wildlife, water, and other natural resources are managed within the Forest for the next 20-30 years.thumb IMG 0877 1024

New Mexico Wild spent several years conducting on-the-ground surveys and GIS analyses of the roadless areas within the Forest. Through this process we identified 1.8 million acres of roadless areas with Wilderness characteristics, including 600,000 priority acres, that we believe should be recommended by the Gila National Forest as Wilderness.

The Forest’s draft plans would fall well short of our recommendations. Alternative 2, the Forest’s preferred alternative, only recommends 110,402 acres of Wilderness in 13 areas adjacent to existing Wilderness areas. Simply put, this does not go far enough.

A robust Wilderness expansion is the best way to protect the natural, cultural, historical, and ecological resources found within the Gila National Forest.

While it is encouraging to see that the Forest’s “preferred alternative” finds some segments of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers eligible for protection under the Wild and Scenic Act, numerous river segments that were recommended for inclusion by New Mexico Wild are not included.*

We have made it easy for you to weigh in on the Gila National Forest's planning process.

Click here to submit a comment and protect Wilderness, wildlife, and water in the Gila National Forest!

*Examples of river segments not listed as “eligible” include: San Francisco River/Devil’s Creek, East Fork Gila River, East Fork Mimbres River/McKnight Canyon, Gilita Creek, Indian Creek, Turkey Cree, Little Creek, West Fork of Mogollon Creek, Mogollon Creek, Black Canyon, Apache Creek, and Taylor Creek.

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