Where we all take part in forest planning
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 document. The public is invited to provide feedback on the Need to Change document, which will drive how the Forest Service revises its management plans.
The 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.
“These assessments were fundamental to narrowing our forest plan revisions to those few items that are most in need for updating,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore. “Now we invite the public to provide feedback on the Need to Change so we can move forward with forest plan revisions.”
The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo’s plan revisions will be completed through developing one environmental impact statement (EIS). This single EIS will be an efficient and cost-effective way to pool staff expertise. The final EIS will result in three separate Records of Decision and three separate forest plans. Forest Supervisors will remain the responsible officials for making decisions on their specific forest plan.
The forest assessments, Bio-regional assessment, and the preliminary Need to Change can be viewed on-line at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning.
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
o Holiday Inn Fresno Airport, 5090 E. Clinton Way, Fresno, CA 93727
• Sequoia NF : Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Bakersfield
o Double Tree Hotel, 3100 Camino del Rio Ct., Bakersfield, CA 93308
• Inyo NF: Thursday, January 30, 2014, Bishop
o 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.
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, U.S. 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 more information regarding forest plan revisions visit the Pacific Southwest Region’s planning website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning. For forest-specific information, please contact each forest directly:
• Sierra NF: Rebecca Garcia at 559-297-0706 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Sequoia NF: Cody Norris at 760-376-3781 or email@example.com
• Inyo NF: Deb Schweizer at 760-873-2427 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo are three of eight national forests that were 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 Forest Service land management plans across the nation.