For the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo National Forests it is time to comment on Forest Plan revision!

usfssignBackground

The Land Management Plan or Forest Plan is the principal document that guides the decision making of Forest Service managers.  Forest Plans provide long–range management direction.  The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) is the primary statute governing the administration of national forests.  The planning rule interprets the NFMA and guides the amendment and revision of all land management plans.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region has released the final assessments for the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo National Forests, the Bio-regional assessment, and a preliminary Need to Change. The public is invited to provide feedback on the Need to Change.

Forest Plan Revision

The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo are three of eight national forests that have been selected as “early adopters” meaning they will be the first to revise their land management plans using the new National Forest System Planning Rule, completed in 2012. The planning rule provides the framework for U.S. Forest Service land management plans across the nation.

On December 24, the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region released the final forest assessments for these forests along with the Bio-regional assessment, and the preliminary Need to Change document. The “Need to Change” document will drive how the Forest Service revises its management plans.

The Forest Service is hosting public workshops to offer information about the forest plan revision process, explain the key themes of each forest plan to be revised, and gather public feedback on the preliminary Need to Change. The public is welcome at any of the upcoming workshops:

  • Sierra NF:  Monday, January 27, 2014, Fresno

Holiday Inn Fresno Airport, 5090 E. Clinton Way, Fresno, CA 937

  • Sequoia NF: Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Bakersfield

Double Tree Hotel, 3100 Camino del Rio Ct., Bakersfield, CA 93308

  • Inyo NF: Thursday, January 30, 2014, Bishop

Inyo NF Supervisor’s Office, 351 Pacu Lane Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514

Each workshop will be held from 5 – 9 p.m. with presentations by Forest Service staff. There will be time for small group sessions to learn about specific topics addressed in the preliminary Need to Change, and time to offer feedback.

The public is invited to provide feedback on the Need to Change document

Public feedback received by January 24, 2014 will be incorporated into the public workshop discussions. Feedback on the Need to Change document is most useful if received by January 31, 2014, and may be submitted via e-mail or by hard copy. Written feedback should be addressed to:

Land Management Plan Revision
US Forest Service
Ecosystem Planning Staff
1323 Club Drive
Vallejo, CA 94592

E-mail feedback may be submitted to: FS-R5planrevision@fs.fed.us.

All correspondence received, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the project record and are available for public inspection and copying at any time.

For forest-specific information, please contact that forest directly:

Sierra NF: Rebecca Garcia at 559-297-0706 or rebeccagarcia@fs.fed.us
Sequoia NF: Cody Norris at 760-376-3781 or cnorris@fs.fed.us
Inyo NF: Deb Schweizer at 760-873-2427 or debraaschweizer@fs.fed.us

Preliminary Need for Change

The first task of plan revision is to develop a preliminary “need for change” that identifies the areas that need to change in management direction outlined in the current plans.  The preliminary need for change is based on what is important to people, threats to resources, undesirable trends in social, economic, or ecological sustainability, and a need to correct current direction in plans that are not meeting needs to provide benefits sustainably. In addition, it is important to focus on areas where changes to the forest plan can do something substantial to correct concerns identified in the near term. The need for change will be responsive to new information learned through monitoring and assessment.

Final National Forest Assessments

The forest assessments were completed with lengthy public involvement and gathered existing relevant information on current forest conditions to evaluate their sustainability while identifying aspects of the current land management plans that need revising.

Sierra National Forest Assessment

Sequoia National Forest Assessment

Inyo National Forest Assessment

Bio-regional Assessment

What is the U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule?

The Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment has signed the 2012 planning rule for land management planning for the National Forest System. The planning rule provides the framework for Forest Service land management plans across the nation.

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