i_wrrc_2016a_2016-07-12t14:18:04z5 Hearing Summary
Forest Plan Revision, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Wilderness Areas, Federal Res
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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03:25 PM -- Forest Plan Revision, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Wilderness Areas, Federal Res
Erin Minks, Forest Planner, Rio Grande National Forest, introduced herself to the committee and discussed the forest plan of the Rio Grande National Forest and the revision of that plan. She also discussed specific areas of the plan that are being addressed, including a federal instream flow water right within the forest. Ms. Minks stated that the forest plan revision process is directed by federal law. She also discussed the health of forests in the area, and specifically talked about the unprecedented level of dead spruce trees in the area. Ms. Minks responded to questions from the committee regarding management of forest health and how that differs between active management areas and designated wilderness areas. Specifically, Ms. Minks addressed the management of the dead tress caused by spruce beetle kill. Ms. Minks also responded to questions from the committee concerning the effect of wildfires on the watershed health in the area and the ways in which fires in wilderness and roadless areas are fought.
Dan Dallas, Forest Supervisor, Rio Grande National Forest, responded to questions from the committee regarding methods of fighting wildfires within the Rio Grande National Forest. Senator Jones discussed the lack of funding for the United States Forest Service.
Zeke Ward, Executive Director, Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team (RWEACT), introduced himself and discussed RWEACT and how the organization has been operating and changes that are being made to the organization. Mr. Ward stated that RWEACT is currently applying for 501 (3) (c) status.