Glenwood council shrugs off McInnis plan
You can’t approve a draft plan that you haven’t even had time to read.
That was the consensus reached by the Glenwood City Council Thursday night when it declined to endorse or even make significant comments on an alternative management plan for the White River National Forest being proposed by Rep. Scott McInnis.
“We can’t endorse a draft plan,” said Councilwoman Jean Martensen, who added the council hadn’t even had a chance to read the plan McInnis is proposing, which he calls a “blended plan.”
Council members Bob Zanella and Don Gillespie agreed that they would like to see the entire, complete plan before going on record as a council as either being for or against it.
Josh Penry, McInnis’ press secretary, told the council that the plan was still in draft form and wouldn’t be complete until May 9, the deadline for comments on the forest plan.
Since the council didn’t have the completed McInnis plan to study and consider, any comment by the council on either McInnis’ plan or any other alternative being considered would be “a political statement,” said Councilman Rick Davis, “and I don’t believe we should be making a political statement” concerning the management of the forest.
“Our main concern is water,” Davis noted.
And the council did vow to fight any forest-plan alternative that threatened the city’s water rights on Grizzly and No Name creeks. Currently, all alternatives being considered ask that the Forest Service be granted bypass, in-stream flows on creeks and rivers in the forest.
That might threaten the city’s water supplies, said Councilman Don Vanderhoof.
City Manager Mike Copp said that the city has already filed comments through its water attorney with the Forest Service concerning the city’s water rights and the city’s opposition to any change in forest management that would adversely impact those water rights.
The council heard a shortened version of the lengthy debate surrounding the Forest Service’s preferred plan, Alternative D, and McInnis’ plan.
Penry said Alternative D “moves away from the traditional multiple-use concept” which had governed national forests. He said McInnis got into the forest fray after hearing so many negative comments from constituents about Alternative D.
Former White River National Forest Supervisor Dick “Woody” Woodrow said Alternative D represented a “180 degree switch away from recreation” on the forest. Woodrow is helping craft the McInnis plan, and approved the current forest plan in 1984.
Woodrow said the McInnis plan continued the recreation-oriented management philosophy of the current forest plan, provided for “modest” expansion of existing ski areas in addition to providing for biodiversity and wildlife habitat.
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Highway 82 is closed in both directions Wednesday morning after a multiple vehicle crash, according to a Pitkin County alert.