State and Federal News for Leadville
It’s a hodgepodge of news from state and federal people and projects that you should know about if you live in Leadville Today.
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet invites residents from Lake County to meet with a member of his Colorado staff this month. Do you need help dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs, IRS, Social Security Administration, or another federal agency? Do you have a suggestion for Congress that will help your family or community?
If so, then Senator Michael Bennet invites you to meet one-on-one with a representative from his office at the upcoming listening session. On Wednesday, July 24 from 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Lake County Public Library Matt Kireker, Bennet’s Central Mountains Regional Representative, will meet one-on-one with Coloradans in Leadville.
To schedule an appointment, send an email to Matthew_Kireker@bennet.senate.gov. Please include a brief description of the issue you want to address, as this will help Matt assist you. If you are already working with someone in Bennet’s office, please include that information in your email, as well. Those without email access can call 303-883-3119. Constituents do not need to wait for listening session dates to ask for help or share opinions. Please call any Bennet office at any time for assistance.
Forests “Moto” Planning Update
According to a press release distributed by (Acting) Public Affairs Officer for the US Forest Service Lucero Hernández, the Pike and San Isabel National Forests (PSI) published motor vehicle use maps (MVUMs) in 2009. MVUMs display routes on National Forest System lands that are open to motorized travel. Following MVUM publication, the Wilderness Society, Quiet Use Coalition, Wildearth Guardians, Rocky Mountain Wild, and the Great Old Broads for Wilderness filed a law suit against the PSI.
The suit alleged the PSI added motorized routes that were not analyzed under NEPA and that the forest authorized motorized access in Management Areas identified in the Forest Plan Management as non-motorized. The parties eventually reached a settlement agreement on November 14, 2015.
Ultimately, the agreement described the analysis requirements and methods the PSI agreed to follow and set a decision date of November 14, 2020, 5 years following settlement. Over the last several months, the PSI reviewed internal and external scoping comments. The result of this review is a better refined proposed action that balances environmental protection, motorized access, and natural resource management.
Current Status: Forest Service employees and contractors are working on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) updates resulting from the internal input described above.
Next Steps: The DEIS will be released for a 45-day public comment period via the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register in August 2019. During this comment period, all interested or affected parties will be notified of the availability of the DEIS.
Public Comment Period and Public Meeting Schedule: The public comment period for the DEIS is scheduled for August 2019. A series of public meetings will be held to gather public feedback. The closest to Lake County will be in Salida on Tuesday, August 27. Visit the Motorized Travel Management page for the latest information. Questions regarding this planning effort should be directed to John Dow, Forest Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org, (719) 250-5311
Solvista CEO On State Task Force
Earlier this month Solvista announced that their CEO Brian Turner was selected to be a part of Governor Polis’ new Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force. Last April CEO, Brian Turner was a guest speaker at the National Association Mental Illness (NAMI) High Country’s Leadville Education Night discussing how major shifts in policy, funding, and technology are impacting the delivery of mental health and substance use treatment services in Colorado.
That same month, Gov. Jared Polis directed the Colorado Department of Human Services to spearhead Colorado’s Behavioral Health Task Force. The mission of the task force is to evaluate and set the roadmap to improve the current behavioral health system in the state. This includes developing Colorado’s “Behavioral Health Blueprint” by June 2020, with anticipated implementation of recommendations starting in July 2020. The task force is comprised of 25 members.
In Leadville, Solvista Health provides integrated mental health, substance use and primary care across seven locations for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Prior to this role, Turner served as Deputy Director for the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, the statewide Support for Mental Illness Caregivers in Leadville. Solvista is located at 714 Front Street in Leadville, it can be seen from Highway 24 south. 719-486-0985.