SHERIDAN — On a frigid February evening folks from around the community gathered to share their love for outdoor access as Black Tooth Brewing hosted a Community Pint Night and Comment Party for Sheridan Community Land Trust’s Red Grade Trails proposal currently under consideration by the U.S. Forest Service.
Attendees were encouraged to submit written comments about a draft environmental assessment of the Red Grade Trails proposal USFS issued in February. Those comments, which were due March 11, are considered by USFS personnel to prepare a final environmental assessment.
“The proposal is about new opportunities,” SCLT Executive Director Brad Bauer said in a press release. “If approved, it’ll mean new opportunities for hikers, new opportunities for bikers and new opportunities for horseback riders and many other non-motorized users to explore and enjoy the beauty of the Bighorns.”
To have those opportunities, Bauer said, SCLT’s proposal would need to be approved, which is why comments from the public were so important. To help people share their comments, SCLT staff provided “comment packets” to interested attendees. Those packets included information on what USFS required for a valid comment, benefits of the proposal, pen, paper and an envelope addressed to USFS complete with a stamp.
“Our goal was to make it as easy as possible for people to share their comments about our proposal with the forest service,” Bauer explained, adding that it was a chance to help people engage in the decision-making process about public land use.
“We’re thankful the USFS provided this opportunity for people to weigh-in on our proposal,” Bauer relayed. “We believe Red Grade Trails will be an asset to the community for years to come.”
The next day, SCLT staff delivered a bundle of envelopes to the post office, though Bauer believed a good number more will make their way to the USFS office.
“We had many more empty spots on our label sheets,” Bauer said. “Plenty of people said they’d use the packet to write their comments at home because they wanted to raise a glass to Red Grade Trails.”
It wasn’t just glasses that were raised at Community Pint Night. A private donor contributed $10 for every pint sold during the two-hour event and matched attendee contributions. On top of that, Black Tooth Brewing donated $1 for every pint sold.
“Black Tooth Brewing loves to serve this awesome community, and events like Community Night Pint help us do exactly that — serve the community,” said Jesse Woods, brewery manager, in a press release. “We’re excited to help great groups like Sheridan Community Land Trust continue to make Sheridan a great place to call home. We love getting to spend time on Red Grade Trails.”
All told, $12,323 was raised during the Community Pint Night and Red Grade Trails Comment Party.
“A big thank you goes out to everyone who came to Community Pint Night, and an extra thanks to Black Tooth Brewing for hosting us,” SCLT President Mike Evers said in a press release. “We were thrilled to see so many people come out to share with us what they love about Red Grade Trails — and they raised $12,323, too. What a fun night!”