Gifford Pinchot National Forest seeks input on rec sites

The South Gifford Pinchot Collaborative (SGPC) is hosting a public workshop June 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the Hegewald Center, 710 S.W. Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, to gather public input on the future management of developed recreation sites on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (GPNF). This will be a chance for members of the public to hear from the Forest Service about the ongoing Sustainable Recreation Strategy and their recently completed Recreation Site Analysis, and an opportunity to provide feedback on the future management of developed recreation sites on the forest.

With a $10 million backlog in deferred maintenance costs and an annual operating budget shortfall of over $700,000, the Forest Service faces significant challenges in the operation of its 210 developed recreation sites that include campgrounds, picnic sites, visitor information sites, trailheads, and cabin/lookout rentals.

“We want our recreation sites to address public demand, provide a positive environment for public use and enjoyment, and meet our health and safety standards,” said GPNF Supervisor Gina Owens. “To do that, we must explore creative options and develop community-based solutions. Not changing our approach will lead to further decline of recreation sites and changes in service levels.”

The Forest Service needs help finding ways to manage developed recreation sites on the GPNF differently and wants to better understand the public’s uses and values around these sites. The South Gifford Pinchot Collaborative has worked with the Forest Service to design a workshop where you can learn more about the challenges around maintaining developed recreation sites and provide feedback on possible changes to how sites are managed. This workshop is focused on developed recreation sites, but in the next year, the Forest Service will look at the sustainability of the existing trail system, dispersed recreation and other uses, and other related recreation opportunities.

If you are unable to attend the workshop in person and would still like to provide feedback, the Forest Service has developed a Sustainable Recreation Strategy website with a link to an online questionnaire at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gprecreation.

The SGPC is a community-based partnership that participates in the development, facilitation, and implementation of projects that enhance forest ecosystem health, economic vitality, recreation, and public safety on the south end of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and in surrounding communities.

For more information, contact SGPC Coordinator, Lisa Naas Cook at lnaascook@southgpc.org or visit southgpc.org.



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