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Wednesday, 17 January 2007 01:15

Eldorado National Forest To Begin Evaluation of Recreational Facilities

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slide10Many of the Eldorado National Forest’s developed recreation sites were built 30-50 years ago. Since then, visitor preferences and demographics have changed and some sites no longer serve their projected recreation demands. Some facilities are in poor shape and are not meeting visitors’ expectations. Now, in an effort to respond to these conditions, as well as considering the national direction, the forest is implementing the Recreation Site Facility Master Planning (RSFMP) process for developed recreation sites.  The process will take approximately one year and will involve public input. The RSFMP is an analysis tool that was developed for use nationally to help forests align their developed recreation sites with the unique characteristics of the particular forest, projected recreational demands, visitor expectations, and anticipated revenue.

slide14 National forests across the country are undertaking this process. The RSFMP is driven by three strategic goals: First to provide recreation opportunities best suited for the national forest. Secondly, to operate and maintain recreation sites to meet national quality standards; and thirdly to eliminate and reduce recreation site deferred maintenance. The process involves 7 steps that begin with an inventory of the recreation sites in the Forest, along with estimates of the costs for operation and maintenance as well as the deferred maintenance for each recreation site. This was performed by staff and completed in December 2006. The second step examines and determines the focus of the forest’s recreation program- who comes to the forest and why? Meetings are scheduled for January 31 and February 1, 2007 among staff to discuss this issue.

slide16 The staff will accept Public input regarding the public’s recreation experiences in the forest prior to this meeting. Operational efficiency will then be examines-in other words can the recreation sites be managed more cost effectively?  In March the staff of the National Forest will begin to rank the recreational sites based on fiscal feasibility and popularity with the public. There will be a public workshop held on this matter to hear the preferences of the public. The plan will be finalized for implementation in December of 2007. If you would like to comment or get more information on the process you can visit the Eldorado national forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/ or call 530-622-5061

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