Cibola National Forest needs your help with new management plan

Cibola National Forest.

Credit: littlemoresunshine, flickr.

The Cibola National Forest is an icon of the southwest, a series of sky islands that totals 1.6 million acres, spanning northern and central New Mexico. Unfortunately, it has been operating under a dated land management plan—and that’s where you can help.

Comparable to a city’s master plan, a forest plan guides where energy extraction and logging will be allowed, where recreation areas will be enhanced and where habitat will be conserved in the future. The Cibola National Forest’s current management plan, which was established in 1985, does not take into account modern research on environmental threats like climate change. It is woefully out-of-step with the best available science.

Fortunately, there is an opportunity to rectify this. Under the U.S. Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule, new land management plans can be created that respond to today’s pressures. The Cibola National Forest is among the first forests nationwide that will develop a new plan under the auspices of this rule.  It will serve as a benchmark, as other dated forest plans are updated to restore wildlife habitats, enhance outdoor recreation opportunities, and protect our last remaining undeveloped, unroaded places.

Learn more about the forest plan revision for Cibola National Forest

Now, the people will get an opportunity to have their voices heard. Over the next 10 days, the Forest Service will hold public meetings to find out how New Mexicans want the Cibola National Forest to be managed. Please plan to attend one of these meetings and speak up so that current and future generations can enjoy these publicly owned lands for their natural beauty, cultural heritage and for camping, hiking and other recreation.

It’s important that the Forest Service hear from New Mexicans about how much you value the Cibola:

  • Wild, roadless lands on the Cibola National Forest are essential to wildlife conservation, recreation and New Mexico’s heritage.
  • Roadless areas in the San Mateo, Magdalena, Bear, Datil and Mount Taylor mountains must be managed to protect their wilderness qualities.
  • Only 2% of New Mexico is protected as federally designated wilderness, the smallest amount of any western state. We need more permanent protections for New Mexico’s wildlands.
  • The Cibola’s wildest lands must be preserved for future generations.

May 2014 meetings for the Cibola National Forest Plan Revision

Monday, May 12 - Albuquerque
6:00-9:00 p.m.        
UNM Conference Center, Rooms B & C
1634 University Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM

Tuesday, May 13 - Santa Fe
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.      
Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch
Community Meeting Room
6577 Jaguar Dr., Santa Fe, NM

Tuesday, May 13 - Torreon
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Torreon Community Center
18 Torreon Heights Rd. E, Torreon, NM

Wednesday, May 14 – Grants
1:00 –  4:30 p.m.

Cibola Count Administration Bldg., Convention Room
515 W. High St., Grants, NM

Wednesday, May 14 – Grants
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Cibola Count Administration Bldg., Convention Room
515 W. High St., Grants, NM

Thursday, May 15 – Albuquerque
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Chaco III Room
2401 12th St NW, Albuquerque, NM

Thursday, May 15 - Mountainair
6:00-9:00 p.m.

Mountainair Senior Center
107 N. Summit Ave., Mountainair, NM

Monday, May 19 - Socorro
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Socorro Co. Annex Building
198 Neel Ave., Socorro, NM

Tuesday, May 20 - Magdalena
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Magdalena RD Conference Room
203 First St., Magdalena, NM

Wednesday, May 21 - Tijeras
6:15 – 9:00 p.m.

Los Vecinos Community Center
478-½ Old Hwy. 66, Tijeras, NM

As a part of the revision process, The Wilderness Society has inventoried where the wildest places are located across the forest in order to see what needs to be saved. Currently, only 2 percent of New Mexico is protected as federally designated wilderness, the smallest amount of any western state. Much more land could be protected with incredible opportunities residing on the Cibola forest

Protecting wild areas like those within the Cibola is crucial. Our wildlands provide a conduit through which people can experience nature as a self-sustaining, intact landscape protected from human development.  Please  help us help Cibola National Forest and ensure that New Mexico’s land and traditional way of life is protected.