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Arizona Game and Fish Department to hold informational meetings on how to become involved in the process

The USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are revising land use management plans and travel management plans statewide. These plans include 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.

The plans could potentially include proposed alternatives that change the way you currently enjoy public lands, particularly with regard to:
Vehicular access and transportation
Designation of open and closed roads
Dispersed camping and/or recreation
Motorized retrieval of lawfully taken big game by hunters

Public input process

Each planning effort includes a public process for providing comments so that your issues are considered. The different Forest Service districts and BLM field offices are in various phases of the planning efforts. More information can be found on the USDA Forest Service (Southwestern Region) and Bureau of Land Management (Arizona) Web sites.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been working, and will continue to work, to ensure that wildlife habitats, wildlife management, and wildlife-based recreation are considered in each planning effort. However, the public must also be engaged throughout the entire process to ensure that issues important to you are considered.

Informational meetings on how to become engaged in the process

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.

How do you know if you should be engaged? Review the Forest Service and/or BLM proposed alternatives and ask yourself the following questions:

Access and roads
Where do I go to enjoy the outdoors, and how do I access those areas?
Which roads should remain open and which should be closed?
Will these areas be available to me in the new plan?
What areas are important to access for hunting, wildlife viewing, etc.?
What modes of transport do I enjoy to access those areas?

Camping and recreation
Where and how do I camp now?
Where and how will I be able to camp once these plans are final?
Will I be able to choose my own campsite, or will I be limited to identified sites only?
Will I be able to collect firewood, or will I have to bring it in?

Hunting and game retrieval
How am I able to retrieve downed big game currently? (Motorized, non-motorized, etc.)
Will I be able to camp near where I hunt?
How will the revised plans change or modify those allowances?

Note: Certain designations on BLM or Forest Service lands may dictate the approach to these issues, such as congressionally designated wilderness, national monuments, etc.

Meeting schedule

Informational meetings are scheduled for the following dates:
Monday, April 16, 6-9 p.m., Mesa, Arizona Game and Fish Department Mesa regional office, 7200 E. University Drive.
Tuesday, April 17, 6-9 p.m., Flagstaff, Arizona Game and Fish Department Flagstaff regional office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road.
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 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.

If you want to learn more about the management and travel planning process and how it could affect the way you recreate on public lands, you will want to attend one of these meetings.

The schedule for additional meetings will be posted at as those dates become available.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFDs programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 2221 W. Greenway Rd Phoenix, AZ 85023, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.