11.3 Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan

As the largest landowner in the Magnolia area and in western Boulder County, the Forest Service's policies and management decisions greatly affect the Magnolia community. In recognition of this, PUMA got its start through its involvement with the Forest Management Plan revision beginning in 1993.

The Forest Service is required by statute to engage in a planning process for the lands under its jurisdiction. The Forests and Rangelands Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA) of 1974 and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 required the agency to set and project policy designed to manage the national forests in a sustainable multiple-use fashion for the citizens of the United States for a 50-year period. As a result, the Forest Service initiated a planning process, incorporating public input, resulting in a management plan for each of the national forests. The first Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) was completed in 1984 and was revised in 1998. This revision is under appeal, but until the appeal is settled, the revised plan will be the management implementation guide. The Forest Plan is required to be updated at 10-15 year intervals. The revised Forest Plan is constructed on three levels of planning: 1) forestwide management, 2) geographic areas, and 3) management areas.

11.3.1 Forestwide Direction

Forestwide direction may be divided into two categories: planning goals and objectives, and operational goals, standards, and guidelines. Planning goals and objectives represent the priorities for forestwide management emphasis and define the Forest's long-term desired condition. Management emphasis includes the following topics:

The successful implementation of the Forest Plan is based upon the balancing of these three categories. Operational goals, standards, and guidelines are grouped into the following categories:

Operational standards and guidelines are management requirements that apply forestwide. Additional standards and guidelines have been developed for each geographic area and each management area (discussed below). If forestwide standards and guidelines conflict with geographic area or management area standards and guidelines, those that are more site-specific or more stringent apply. Many of the most relevant forestwide goals, objectives, standards and guidelines have been referenced throughout MEPP under the specific resource topic in each section of the report, and will not be repeated in this section.

The Forest Plan includes resource categories, keyed to maps, with management directives. The management directives for the Magnolia area are as follows:

Timber Suitability: most of the Planning Area is considered "Suitable and Available" for timber harvest. Much of the Forest Land in the Twin Sisters area and in Calhoun, Keystone, and Hawkin Gulches is considered "Tentatively Suitable" but unavailable for various reasons, or as "Not Physically Suitable". No sections within the Planning Area are targeted for commercial timber harvest; however, some timber harvests will be scheduled for wildfire mitigation and ecosystem health.

Summer Travel Strategy: the entire planning area is included in two overlying categories, "4WD System Exists with Potential for a Decrease <5 mi." and "No motorized Trail Opportunities Exist; No Increase Expected".

Winter Travel Strategy: the Planning Area is in the "Motorized Use Not Emphasized-Nonmotorized Use Not Emphasized" category.

Fire Strategy: the Planning Area is in the "Direct Control" category.

Habitat Effectiveness: the Planning Area is in the "Least Disturbed Wildlife Habitat" category. For the definition of effective habitat see Appendix 5.6 in the Recreation Section.

Motorized Recreation: most of the Planning Area is categorized as "Motorized Opportunities Available: Wheeled Vehicles Only" (no oversnow). Exceptions are a very small area around the Magnolia Townsite and the Peak-to-Peak Highway which is designated as "Motorized Opportunities Available: Wheeled Vehicle and Oversnow".

Oil and Gas Leasing: "Not Analyzed".

Old Growth Forest: most of the Planning Area is categorized as "Not Old Growth". Much of the Forest Land in the Twin Sisters area, in Calhoun, Keystone, and Hawkin Gulches, and south of Winiger Gulch is categorized as "Low Elevation Old Growth Development Areas".

Range Suitability: "Close Vacant Allotments by Forest Plan Decision".

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum: eastern half of the Planning Area is categorized as "Semi-Primitive Motorized" and the western half is "Roaded Natural".

Road Development: "Additional Roads Allowed".

11.3.2 Geographic Area Direction

The revised Forest Plan includes management by distinct geographic areas. Geographic area direction is the most detailed level of Forest Plan direction, and applies in addition to forestwide and management area direction. Geographic area direction identifies what forestwide and management area direction will generally receive most emphasis within the geographic area, focuses implementation of potential projects on the most important items and helps to specify priorities among competing uses, activities, and resources. The Magnolia Area falls within three geographic areas:

Geographic Area

Portion of Planning Area in Geographic Area

Lump Gulch

Boy Scout Trails Area, Turtle Rock, northwest slope of Winiger Ridge, parcels adjacent to Reynolds Ranch


Twin Sisters, north side of Gross Reservoir, Forest Land north of Stilson's Meadow, Calhoun, Keystone, and Hawkin Gulches


west and south side of Gross Reservoir, most of Winiger Ridge, Winiger Gulch, and South Boulder Creek

The emphasis of goals and desired conditions in all three of the geographic areas are similar and are summarized as:

  1. protecting native flora and fauna
  2. enhancing forest health and reducing forest fuels and fire hazard through active vegetation management in cooperation with private landowners and state and county agencies
  3. adjusting land ownership in intermix areas in cooperation with private landowners and local jurisdictions

11.3.3 Management Area Direction

Management areas define where differing kinds of resource and use opportunities are available to the public and where different management practices may be carried out. They closely resemble zoning districts and zoning ordinances in County land use plans. The Planning Area falls under the Forested Flora and Fauna Habitats (3.5) prescription, with a small area around the Magnolia townsite designated as Residential-Forest Intermix (7.1).

The Forested Flora and Fauna Habitats management emphasis is on providing adequate amounts of quality forage, cover, escape terrain, solitude, breeding habitat, and protection for a wide variety of wildlife species and associated plant communities. Ecological values are in balance with human occupancy and consideration is given to both. Resource management activities may occur, but natural ecological processes and resulting patterns normally predominate. Key management area standards are:

The Residential-Forest Intermix management area is characterized by an interface between residential private lands and Forest Lands. Management direction is to protect natural resources, provide compatible multiple uses, and maintain cooperative relationships between landowners and other levels of governmental jurisdiction. Opportunities to consolidate land ownership patterns are pursued. This management area category is typically utilized when Forest Service ownership is extremely fragmented, such as locations with an abundance of patented mining claims, and management opportunities are accordingly limited. Resource use is not planned on a sustainable basis, but may occur in concert with surrounding private land values.