NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis always takes place before any project proposal can move forward to build new re-routes along the 14ers. Having public opinions within these analyses are very important for the NEPA process, and anyone can call their local Forest Service offices or go to the Forest Service website to SOPA (the Schedule of Proposed Actions) and give their input about any concerned areas. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to head out with a Botanist, Wildlife Biologist, Fuels Biologist and a Hydrologist. We looked at the proposal for new alignments along all three Mount Elbert Trails to see if our trail would impact any sensitive areas. Overall it was determined that the proposed routes are solid and will have no drastic impacts to sensitive or rare areas.
*Editor’s note: For more information on how to provide comments on a proposed area for a project, call the regional Forest Service ranger district or click on the link here and find the SOPA report for the region you are interested in providing comment for.