Forest Service seeks comment on Ajax Adventure Camp proposal | AspenTimes.com

Forest Service seeks comment on Ajax Adventure Camp proposal

Staff report

The Aspen and Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest is seeking public comment on its proposal to issue the Ajax Adventure Camp a 10-year priority use outfitter and guide permit.

Ajax Adventure Camp, a children’s summer camp based out of Aspen, currently operates under a temporary special-use permit. The proposed action would replace Ajax’s temporary permit with a 10-year priority-use permit.

The White River National Forest seeks public comments under the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 under the National Historical Preservation Act to help determine if there will be social and environmental impacts or impacts to historic properties or landscapes.

“Public comments are an integral part of the NEPA process and will be considered in the preparation of the (environmental assessment) and my decision,” wrote District Ranger Karen Schroyer in an update Thursday. “Potential effects of the proposed action on the human and biological environment will be analyzed and disclosed in the EA. If the EA supports a finding of no significant impact for the selected alternative, the EA and a draft decision notice will be published for a 45-day objection period. If the EA concludes there is potential for significant impacts, then an (environmental impact statement) will be prepared.”

According to the update, the purpose of the proposed action is to provide drop-in summer recreation experiences to children in the White River National Forest with trained and experienced guides in an educational and safe setting.

The needs for the action are to:

• Provide children recreational and outdoor environmental education opportunities on National Forest Service lands who might otherwise lack the skills, equipment or opportunity to recreate on public lands.

• Provide children visiting the area recreational and outdoor and environmental education opportunities on a drop-in basis for a shorter duration than a traditional summer camp.

• To address the purpose and need, the district proposes to issue a 10-year priority-use permit to Ajax Adventure Camp to conduct specific activities at specified locations on National Forest Service land in accordance with Forest Service policies and regulations.

Under the proposed priority-use permit, Ajax would be authorized to conduct activities on White River National Forest land for 1,500 user days per year.

The White River National Forest is combining scoping with the 30-day comment period. The notice of proposed action detailing the proposal is available on the project webpage: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47757. The public is encouraged to provide specific written comments on the proposal, including supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider. Specific written comments should be within the scope of and have a direct relationship to the proposed action. Specific written comments on the proposed permit issuance will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of this scoping notice in the Aspen Times Weekly (published April 7).

Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to:

Karen Schroyer, District Ranger

c/o Erin Carey, Project Leader

620 Main Street

Carbondale, CO 81623

Fax:970-963-1012

Email: ebcarey@fs.fed.us

Persons commenting should include their name, address, telephone number and organization represented, if any; reference to the “Ajax Adventure Camp Permit Issuance”; and specific facts, concerns or issues and supporting reasons why they should be considered. Comments may be submitted electronically at: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/ Public//CommentInput? Project=47757


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