By Julie Johansen
Kyle Beagley, regional forest ranger, presented the Manti-La Sal Recreational Opportunities Spectrum (ROS) to the Emery County Public Lands Council on Tuesday to inform them about the forest plan. This is the leading forest planning effort.
Emery County has been extremely engaged and Beagley expressed his appreciation for this. The plan deals with range, climate, recreation, etc., and the draft is located on the forest website, where it can be viewed by anyone.
This has been a lengthy process and step one, assessment, began in 2018. Step two requires changes while step three was a draft plan that had a 60-day scoping period. Analysis is next and open to the public for 90 days, then comes the final objection and decision.
The POS is like planning and zoning for a municipality, not wilderness designation or untouchable, and aims to provide habitat for a variety of recreational types. The POS considers four areas of landscape: primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized, semi-primitive motorized and urban natural.
The POS links people to the landscape where they can go for the experience they want. It also helps the Forest Service plan for the future. There are 11 steps; steps 1-6 are mapping, 7-9 include distributing information and the last two steps are major changes. They are in the pre-scoping stage now and need to hear from the public to develop the plan.
“When giving comments, specifics instead of generalities really help,” Beagley said.