Tonto National Forest Seeking Public Comment As It Revises Forest Plan

Published: Monday, November 6, 2017 - 5:05am
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The Tonto National Forest east and north of Phoenix is revising its forest plan. The current management plan for the forest is from 1985.

Kenna Belsky, forest planner for Tonto National Forest, said there are only a few “urban forests” like Tonto that have large populations on their borders. She said balancing the large numbers of visitors with forest resources is one of the biggest challenges Tonto faces.

Details on any new forest management plan or policies, however, are still in the works. On Monday, an outline is coming out that will incorporate various public comments and concerns gathered from previous public comment periods. Belsky said the Forest wants to make sure it’s getting an accurate picture of what people are suggesting.

“What we really want to do, our goal, is to really find out what resonates with our communities, and what doesn’t,” she said. “What do we really need to do differently and what did we hit the mark on?”

There will be more public meetings this month, and then a first draft of a forest plan will be out in the spring.

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