21 Forest Service Plans Now Being Revised

Three more forest plan revision efforts now have funding and can be restarted, bringing the total to 21 plans being revised under the existing 1982 Forest Service land management planning rule procedures.  These efforts had previously been stopped when the 2008 planning rule was enjoined.  The announcement came at a Forest Service planners meeting last week.   The additional forest planning efforts that can now be restarted include the Shoshone Forest Plan (Wyoming, Region 2); Tonto Forest Plan (Arizona, Region 3); and Sequoia Forest Plan (California, Region 5).  The exact timing of restarting the processes will vary, since forest planning teams will need to be reassembled and the specifics of the planning processes will need to be planned.

Here is the current list of Forest Plan Revisions that may proceed under the 1982 rule.

Region 1:  Kootenai (Montana) and Idaho-Panhandle NFs (Idaho) (one revision efforts for both forests) 

 Region 2:  San Juan NF (Colorado), Shoshone NF (Wyoming)

 Region 3:  Coronado, Apache-Sitgreaves, Kaibab, Prescott, Coconino and Tonto NFs (Arizona); Cibola National Grassland (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)

 Region 5:  Lake Tahoe Basin Mgmt Unit (California/Nevada), Sequoia NF (California)

 Region 6:  Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman (Oregon – one revision effort for the three forests), Colville and Okanogan/Wenatchee NFs (Washington – one revision effort for the two plans)

 Region 8:  NFs in Mississippi, Uwharrie NF (North Carolina) and George Washington NFs (Virginia – 2nd round of LMP Revision)

There are 15 other forest plan revision efforts that have not been restarted, and some were shut down last year because of a lack of funding, partially due to the costs of preparing a new planning rule.  (Region 1: Lolo, Bitteroot, Flathead, Clearwater, Nez Perce; Region 2: Cimarron-Comanche, Pike-San Isabel, GMUG; Region 4: Dixie and Fishlake, Manti-La Sal, Ashley, Humboldt-Toiyabe, Bridger-Teton; Region 5: Modoc; and Region 6: Fremont-Winema.)

There are also 33 Forest Plan revision efforts that are overdue and have never been started.  11 of these are in California, 11 more are in the Pacific Northwest, 5 are in New Mexico, and 4 are in Montana. 

A new planning rule is anticipated in 2011, and many of these planning efforts may follow the new procedures.

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