The March 12 deadline is fast approaching for the public to comment on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposal to revise the 1974 master plan governing operations at John Martin Reservoir State Park in Bent County.
The master plan will guide the way natural and cultural resources are managed for the next 25 years at the reservoir, built as a flood control and irrigation dam on the Arkansas River and opened in 1948.
The master plan also will direct recreation activities at the federally owned reservoir, which is a popular destination on the Lower Arkansas River Valley in Southeast Colorado for fishing, boating, camping, birdwatching and more.
Since the current master plan was completed in 1974, much has changed in terms of regional land use, population, outdoor recreation trends and federal management policies. A big change occurred in October 2001 when Colorado Parks and Wildlife took over management of water surface, the north shore, Lake Hasty area below the dam and 213 campsites in the park.
Key topics to be addressed in the revised master plan include revised land classifications, new natural and recreational resource management objectives, recreation facility needs and special topics such as invasive species management and threatened and endangered species habitat.
Public participation is critical to the successful revision of the master plan and the Corps is seeking public input.
To offer comments, ideas or concerns about the future land and recreational management for John Martin Reservoir, you can fill out a comment form and submit it on the Corps' website at www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Recreation/John-Martin-Reservoir/Master-Plan/
Comments can be sent via email to JohnMartin@usace.army.mil or by letter to Andrew Wastell, Natural Resource Specialist CESPA-OD-S US Army Engineer District, Albuquerque 4101 Jefferson Plaza, NE Albuquerque, N.M., 87109-3435.
The complete John Martin Reservoir Master Plan Revision is available for viewing or download at: www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Recreation/John-Martin-Reservoir/Master-Plan/