As Steve reminded us in his post on the Santa Fe forest plan revision, forest planning was the original focus of this blog, and it’s something I have a particular interest in. As it happens, a number of national forests are currently engaging the public in their forest plan revision processes. Links are provided here to the plan revision webpage for each forest, as well as to related articles. The Forest Service home page for forest planning includes links to the national revision schedule, the status of each forest plan, and a story map of revisions occurring nationally.
- Santa Fe (New Mexico)
The final revised Land Management Plan, FEIS and Draft Record of Decision for the Santa Fe National Forest are available and the 60-day objection period began on September 2 for those who have previously submitted comments. Steve posted about this here.
- Lincoln (New Mexico)
Comments may be submitted until November 5 on the Draft revised forest plan and EIS for the Lincoln National Forest. (You can attend public meetings on Zoom!)
- Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison (Colorado)
On August 31, the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests released their draft revised forest plan and EIS for public comments until November 12. There has been a lot of press coverage. Highlights to me are the interests of the local governments in LESS timber harvest, the extent to which climate change is now an issue, and … drones. No surprises that recreation and wilderness are also key issues.
NOTICE OF INTENT
- Manti-La Sal (Utah)
On August 25, the Mant-LaSal National Forest published its Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for its revised forest plan, initiating the 60-day scoping period. Its draft forest plan and assessment report are available for review. This article based on the Forest Service news release discusses some of the issues.
- Coconino (Arizona)
For those more interested in travel planning (which must be consistent with the forest plan), the Coconino National Forest is working on an OHV plan: “Currently, the agency is performing something of a “stern parent/nice parent” routine with local off-highway vehicle companies in order to enlist their help, floating the possibility of road closures or a permit system for OHV routes if progress isn’t made.”
- Monongahela (West Virginia) and Wayne (Ohio)
Here’s an example of how including adequate protective measures in a forest plan can facilitate removing species from the threatened and endangered species list. The running buffalo clover is being proposed for delisting based on its recovery, due in large part to national forest plans. This article provides a link to the Federal Register Notice, which says:
“Delisting criterion 3 states that the land on which each of the 34 populations described in delisting criterion 1 occurs is owned by a government agency or private conservation organization that identifies maintenance of the species as one of the primary conservation objectives for the site, or the population is protected by a conservation agreement that commits the private landowner to habitat management for the species…
The forest management plans for both the Monongahela and Wayne national forests include direction and guidelines to avoid and minimize impacts of forestry practices on running buffalo clover. These forestry management practices, as conditioned through running buffalo clover measures included in their respective forest plans, are compatible with running buffalo clover conservation. The forest plans include forest-wide standards and guidelines; compliance with standards is mandatory.”