Notes on the Forest Plan Revision

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The United States Forest Service has opened the 90 day public comment period on the 2016 Forest Plan Revision. The current forest plans were written under the 1982 Planning Rule. The current plan will be written under the 2012 Planning Rule which will guide the development of forest plans that are strategic and provide a framework for integrated resource management and for guiding project and activity decision-making. The 2012 Planning Rule urges us to write all of our documents in plain language so the public can better understand the documents. It also requires us to develop a plan monitoring program that regularly assesses resource conditions and helps identify necessary plan amendments and revisions in the future.

Photo by Joel Rathje
Photo by Joel Rathje

The existing forest plans are over 20 years old. Economic, social, and ecological conditions changed during that time; new laws, regulations and policies are in place; and new information based on monitoring and scientific research is available. Through engagement with the public, tribes, and local, State and Federal agencies, the forest service identified six areas as a focus for the need to change in revising the forest plans.Each emphasis area was considered as a potential revision topic.Revision topics are used in the environmental impact statement to organize the features of the alternatives and to compare and contrast the differences between alternatives.

Three of the six emphasis areas dealing with acquired lands on the Inyo National Forest, tribal relations and uses, and benefits to people and communities were not considered as revision topics because plan direction did not change to respond to them across alternatives. The forest service addresses the following revision topics because plan direction could change to respond to them across the alternatives.

  • Revision Topic 1: Fire Management and Smoke
  • Revision Topic 2: Ecological Integrity
  • Revision Topic 3: Sustainable Recreation and Designated Areas

Please review the draft plans here, and engage in the process.

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