East Verde River

The Tonto National Forest's draft plan abandons an earlier proposal to bar dispersed camping along hundreds of miles of streams, including portions of the East Verde River shown here. The new rule would allow the Forest Service to regulate any use - hiking, camping, cattle grazing and others - if measurements show the stream is "impaired." Bacteria in the water, destruction of streamside vegetation, silt and other problems could trigger the restrictions.

Tonto National Forest staff will continue to host open house public meetings through early February to discuss the draft forest plan and accompanying draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).

Public meetings will take place on:

• Jan. 22 at Julia Randall Elementary School in Payson, Arizona

• Jan. 23 at the Superior Junior/Senior High School in Superior, Arizona

• Feb. 5 at Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek, Arizona

• Feb. 6 at High Desert Middle School in Globe, Arizona

Note that the time for these meetings has changed; meetings will now be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

Open house public meetings will have maps and other educational materials and resource specialists will be available to answer questions and talk about different sections of the draft forest plan and DEIS.

Public working days will occur on:

• Jan. 22 at Tonto Basin Ranger District

• Jan. 23 at Mesa Ranger District

• Jan. 30 at Payson Ranger District

Contact information for the ranger districts is available on the Tonto website’s home page at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto/.

Public working days will all take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. These meetings are informal and offer visitors an opportunity to meet with members of the planning team to discuss the draft forest plan and management of the forest and ask specific questions during the day at various locations in and around the forest.

An all-day technical partner meeting is scheduled on:

• Jan. 29 at the 24th Street Conference Center in Phoenix.

The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and build on previous technical partner meetings held during the plan revision process. Partners interested in attending can submit an email to SM.fs.tontoplan@usda.gov for more information.

More information about the draft Forest Plan and DEIS is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tonto/landmanagement/planning.

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