As you may already know, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are revising land use management plans and travel management plans throughout Arizona. Updated guidelines and rules on how public lands are to be managed (including what activities are permitted), and how and where motorized travel should occur are under consideration. Federal agencies like BLM have been systematically closing vast acreages of your public land to shooting sports, so it is important that you know what is happening in your state.
The plans could potentially include proposed alternatives that change the way you currently enjoy public lands, particularly with regard to recreational shooting, hunting, vehicular access and transportation, designation of open and closed roads, dispersed camping and/or recreation, and motorized retrieval of lawfully taken big game by hunters.
Each initiative includes a public process for providing comments so that every aspect of the issue is considered. The different Forest Service districts and BLM field offices are in various phases of the planning efforts.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will host a series of meetings across the state to provide an overview of the Forest Service and BLM planning processes and how you can become engaged to protect our right to the nations public lands.
* Monday, April 23, 6-9 p.m., Pinetop, Arizona Game and Fish Department Pinetop regional office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd.
* Monday, May 7, 6-9 p.m., Yuma, Arizona Game and Fish Department Yuma regional office, 9140 E. 28th St.
* Friday, May 11, 6-9 p.m., Sierra Vista (location to be determined; will be posted at azgfd.gov <http://www.azgfd.gov/outdoor_recreation/federal_land_management.shtml> when available).
* Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m. to noon, Tucson, Arizona Game and Fish Department Tucson regional office, 555 N. Greasewood Road.
The meetings will include information on the Forest Service and BLM planning processes; facts about the new policies and direction, from both a statewide and local standpoint; how you can become involved in the process, including the Forest Service and BLM public meeting schedules and comment periods; and resources where you can learn more information. Regional Game and Fish Department staff will be on hand with maps and information on local areas.