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Environmental Groups File Objection To Tonto National Forest Travel Management Plan

Tonto National Forest 1
(Photo by Jimmy Jenkins - KJZZ)
Tonto National Forest encompasses terrain at high elevations ideal for pine trees.

A coalition of conservation advocates have filed an official objection against the Tonto National Forest’s motorized travel plan.

The travel management plan is still in draft form, so there’s still time for the groups to negotiate a change without filing a lawsuit. As it’s written now, it would authorize public motorized use of more than 3,600 miles of roads and trails on the Tonto National Forest. It also allows hunters to use a motor vehicle to retrieve their game.

Katie Davis is a public lands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that filed the objection. She said she hopes the Forest Service will adapt the plan to include more protections for endangered species and watersheds.

"It’s not about restricting anyone’s ability to enjoy those things," she said. "It’s really about preserving those things for everyone so that we all have the opportunity."

The objection period closed earlier this week. It’s now up to the forest service to determine if they’ll make any changes to the plan.

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.