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Forest Service Asks For Public Comment On Tensleep Climbing Management Plan

Catherine Wheeler

The U.S. Forest Service in the Bighorn Mountains is asking for the public's feedback on a new climbing management plan for the Tensleep area.

The Tensleep Canyon area has exploded in popularity in recent years for its rock climbing. This has caused stress on the area's natural resources as well as controversy on how the sport should be managed in the Bighorns.

Officials are in the environmental planning stage of creating a management plan, said U.S. Forest Service Powder River District Ranger Traci Weaver.

Weaver said the Forest Service and other stakeholders, like local government officials, have been working together for months to identify a range of needs and proposed actions from parking to waste management.

"The feedback we're looking for is if we're missing something, if there's a proposed action that concerns folks, we want them to let us know," she said. "We want them to ask questions. And certainly if there's a hole, if we're missing something, we'd like for them to bring it up."

One example is all of the trails in the canyon are user-created.

"We don't have any means to maintain them. They aren't on a system map. There's a lot of erosion and a lot of issues caused when there's a lot spidering out of user-created trails," she said.

The public meeting will take place virtually on Thursday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. Those interested in the plan can also submit comments via email.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.

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