Trail Gulch Vegetation Management Project #60258

Commenting on This Project




Trail Gulch Vegetation Management Project


The USDA Forest Service has prepared an environmental assessment (EA)  and draft decision notice (DN) with the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for The Trail Gulch Vegetation Management Project. The proposed project is located on the Conejos Peak Ranger district of the Rio Grande National Forest. Specifically, the project is in the southeastern part of the Ranger District bordered by Highway 17 to the north and west, and the Carson National Forest to the east and south.  The project would improve the overall ecosystem health, wildlife habitat and watershed resilience by reducing species that are outside of their natural range, reducing the impacts of Western spruce budworm and other insects and disease, promoting aspen regeneration by diversifying age classes, reducing overall tree stand density, and reducing fuel loading in in the wildland urban interface and in the overall project area to allow fire to play a beneficial role in the project area. District Ranger Andrea Jones is the responsible official for the project.

The responsible official is planning to implement the proposed action, with a modification. The proposed action includes up to 9,580 acres of commercial timber harvest and up to 8,421 acres of mechanical treatment and prescribed burning. In total, up to 13,200 acres of the 51,460-acre project area (26%) could be treated. Implementation could include up to nine miles of temporary road construction which would be closed and decommissioned following completion of treatments. The modification excludes from commercial timber harvest an estimated 410 acres of spruce-fir that adjoins the Carson National Forest and private lands in New Mexico. This area has been identified as high value for big game cover and habitat connectivity.

The Draft DN with the EA and FONSI are available electronically on the Trail Gulch project webpage at

The Trail Gulch Vegetation management project implements portions of the Rio Grande National Forest Land Management Plan. This activity is subject to pre-decisional objections under subparts A and B of 36 CFR Part 218.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed with the appropriate reviewing officer within 45 calendar days following publication of this notice in the newspaper of record, the Valley Courier. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Objectors should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure timely filing of a written objection with the reviewing officer pursuant to 36 CFR 218.9.

Objections will only be accepted from those who previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunities for public comment in accordance with 36 CFR 218.5(a). Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless the issue is based on new information arising after the designated comment opportunities.

The objection must contain the minimum content requirements specified in 36 CFR 218.8(d) and incorporation of documents by reference is permitted only as provided in 36 CFR 218.8(b). Objections that do not adhere to these requirements make review of an objection difficult and are conditions under which the reviewing officer may set aside an objection pursuant to 36 CFR 218.10. All objections are available for public inspection during and after the objection process.

Electronic objections are preferred and must be submitted to the Objection Reviewing Officer online at US Forest Service NEPA Projects Home (, with “Trail Gulch Vegetation Management Project Objection” in the subject line. Electronic submissions must be submitted in a format that is readable with optical character recognition software (e.g., Word, PDF, Rich Text) and be searchable. An automated response should confirm your electronic objection has been received.

Objections can be faxed to the Objection Reviewing Officer at 713-852-6250. The fax coversheet must include a subject line with “OBJECTION: Trail Gulch Vegetation Management Project” and should specify the number of pages being submitted.

Written objections may be submitted via regular mail to: Rio Grande National Forest, 1803 W. Highway 160, Monte Vista, CO 81144.

Objections sent by private carrier or hand delivery must be addressed to: Objection Reviewing Officer, Rio Grande National Forest, Attn: Reviewing Officer, 1803 W. Highway 160, Monte Vista, CO 81144.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


If you have a question about this project, please send it to:

Judith Perez

Rio Grande National Forest All Units
1803 W. Highway 160 , Monte Vista, CO, 81144