Forest Plan Revision


Welcome to the Cibola National Forest Plan Revision page, where you can help us plan the Forest’s future. This web page serves as a one-stop resource for information associated with the plan revision process.

A forest plan provides a general framework to guide a forest in managing its resources, goods, and services. Forest plans are consistent with and do not override law, regulation, or established policy.

The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 requires that forest plans be periodically revised -- usually every 15 years. The Cibola is revising its 1985 Land and Resource Management Plan (1985 Forest Plan) for the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena, and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts.

Revisions to the Cibola’s 1985 Forest Plan are overdue, and a lot has changed on the Forest and surrounding areas. Scientific understanding and technology have changed, social and cultural influences and demands have changed, and stressors and threats to sustainability have increased. Some species have become rare and their persistence and viability are threatened. In addition, the guidance in the Forest Service's 2012 Planning Rule directs forest plans to be science-based and developed with extensive public involvement and collaboration throughout the revision process.  Specific guidance can be found in the 2012 Final Planning Rule Directives.

What is a Forest Plan (click here)

Anatomy of a Forest Plan diagram (click here)

Species of Conservation Concern (SCC)

We need your help today!

The Cibola National Forest is committed to involving the public in a meaningful way to help develop a forest plan that will result in sustainable management. The Cibola is currently in Phase II of the Plan Revision process. At this time, we are seeking your comments on forest-wide desired conditions and inventory and evaluation of lands that may be suitable for wilderness. Comments during this stage of plan revision are most valuable to the Cibola if received by Friday, September 25, 2015. Comments will be used to develop a draft proposed plan and a range of alternative plans which may have differing approaches to addressing risks to resource sustainability and offer different management strategies for the more primitive areas of the forest. Continue to scroll down to find more information about all phases of the Plan Revision process.

NEW !! 10/7/2015 !!

Comment and Response Application CARA Public Reading Room is now open (click here to open the application)Comments recieved by the Cibola National Forest from September 9, 2014 - September 25, 2015 are now viewable.  Some image files were too large or not compatiable to open on CARA.  However, comments contained in the image files are still being considered by the Forest Service and Cooperating Agency Landscape Teams. 

Comment Tools

How to comment on draft forest-wide desired conditions and evaluation of lands that may be suitable for wilderness (click here)

Comment form for forest-wide desired conditions (click here)

Interactive comment tool (internet map based) (click here)

Story Map (maps that show the process of inventory and evaluation of lands that may be suitable for wilderness) (click here)

Comment online through Comment Analysis and Response Application (CARA) 

Maps of Phase 2 inventory of lands that may be suitable for wilderness (use these maps to help make your comment more specific) 

Mount Taylor Ranger District

Mount Taylor 

Zuni Mountains

Magdalena Ranger District

Bear and Magdalena Mountains

San Mateo Mountains

Datil Mountains

Mountainair Ranger District

Sandia Ranger District


Public Involvement Page

Visit our Public Involvement Page to find more ways to participate in forest plan revision. (click here)


Phases of Forest Plan Revision

The 2012 Planning Rule identifies a framework for revising forest plans consisting of three phases:

Phase I – Assessment

This phase involves an evaluation of relevant information including existing ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends across the broader landscape that will help inform the need to change the 1985 Forest Plan. 

Phase II – Revision 

In this phase, the 1985 Forest Plan is revised. The process for revising a plan includes:  preliminary identification of the need to change the plan based on the Phase I assessment, development of a proposed plan, consideration of the environmental effects of the proposal, providing an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan, providing an opportunity to object before the proposal is approved, and, finally, approval of the plan, and preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS). 

Phase III – Monitoring

Monitoring is continuous and provides feedback for the planning cycle by testing relevant assumptions, tracking relevant conditions over time, and measuring management effectiveness.  The monitoring program includes plan-level and broader-scale monitoring.  The plan-level monitoring program is informed by the assessment phase; developed during plan development, plan amendment, or plan revision; and implemented after plan decision.  The regional forester develops broader-scale monitoring strategies.  Biennial monitoring evaluation reports document whether a change to the plan or change to the monitoring program is warranted based on new information, whether a new assessment may be needed, or whether there is no need for change at that time. 


Tentative Plan Revision Schedule

Phase I – Assessment

  • Fall 2012 - Informal Notice of the Beginning the Assessment Phase
  • Spring 2014 - Availability of the Assessment Report for Public Review

Phase II – Revision

  • Winter 2015 – Notice of Intent to Begin Plan Revision and to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • Fall 2016–Winter 2017 – Notice of Availability of Proposed Plan and Draft EIS
  • Fall 2017–Winter 2018 – Notice of Objection Period Prior to Approval of the Preferred Alternative and Final EIS
  • Spring–Summer 2018 – Notice of Plan Approval and Final EIS

Phase III – Monitoring

  • On-going

Timeline to Completion (click here)

Planning Team

A Core Team has been dedicated to the timely completion of the plan revision process.  Many other Forest Service resource specialists lend their expertise to the effort as well.  Visit the Planning Team Page to meet the core planning team.