A new plan released by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week changes the way U.S. Forests are currently managed. This impacts forest lands adjacent to Colorado ranches, as well as ranchland in Wyoming, Utah, and in 44 other states.
According to the Denver Post, here’s how National Forests will be impacted by the new federal management plan in Colorado:
They want to see fewer forests dominated by same-species, same-age trees. These are more vulnerable to the beetles that in recent years have ravaged more than 4 million acres in the Rocky Mountain region. The officials say they are now aiming for greater diversity.
The article explains that the new guidelines “replace rules developed 30 years ago that became cumbersome as forest managers tried to balance extractive industry interests with recreation and protection of water resources.”
Conservation organizations are encouraged by the effort and are aiming to set definitive standards in the plan.
Photo: Dolores River Ranch, one of our Colorado ranches, is almost totally surrounded by the San Juan National Forest.