Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests Plan
Administrative Change #1: On June 21, 2016, Forest Supervisor Steve Best signed a letter approving an administrative change to bring the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests' Land Management Plan into compliance with the monitoring requirements of the 2012 Planning Rule. We made these changes after considering public comments received during the 30-day comment period. Here are links to the approval letter, Administrative Change #1, the final White Paper, and our Response to Comments. We also produced a set of Change Pages for updating paper copies of the Land Management Plan. We will soon post an updated electronic copy of the Land Management Plan with all changes incorporated.
Monitoring Transition: Public Comment Requested. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests have begun implementing their newly revised Land Management Plan, which was written under the terms of the 1982 Planning Rule. Because of a requirement in the Forest Service's new 2012 Planning Rule, we are now proposing changes to the monitoring chapter of our plan that will bring it into compliance with the new Rule. To present and explain the proposed changes, please see the following documents: Monitoring Transition Proposed Changes, and Monitoring Transition White Paper. We are requesting public comment on these changes until May 19, 2016. After that, we will consider all comments received and make appropriate adjustments before we finalize the changes. You can comment by phone, email, letter, or in person as follows:
Tom Greene, Forest Planner
30 S. Chiricahua Drive
Springerville, AZ 85938
Forest Plan Revision
Revision Status: On July 30, 2015, Regional Forester Calvin Joyner signed the Record of Decision for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests' Final EIS and Revised Land Management Plan. A Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register on September 25, 2015, and the revised Land Management Plan for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests was implemented on October 25, 2015. This plan replaces the former Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Plan.
Final Plan, Final EIS, and Record of Decision: Final Plan, Final EIS, Record of Decision, and Supporting Documents were published in August, 2015.
Proposed Plan and DEIS: The Proposed Plan, DEIS, and Supporting Documents were made available for public review on February 15, 2013. The 90-day comment period ended on May 17, 2013.
What Does Plan Revision Mean?
The former Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Plan was completed in 1987. In the years since then, many social and resource conditions changed, scientific information improved, and land management policies evolved. Though the plan was amended many times, some changes could not be addressed quickly or effectively. However, the former plan as amended still provided a solid foundation for forest management. So, instead of starting over from scratch, planners identified and kept parts of the old plan that continued to be effective, while incorporating new information and direction where needed. The revised Land Management Plan for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests was implemented on October 25, 2015, replacing the former Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Plan.
The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 required every national forest to develop a plan. These plans provide broad direction for managing national forests for the American people. The plans are programmatic in nature, meaning they cover a large geographic area and the direction is broad in scope. The plan must be consistent with environmental laws and regulations such as the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act.
Our online document archive contains important documents related to the plan revision process.
Follow the forest plan revision process from start to finish with our timeline of events.
View our timeline of events.»
PLANNING RULE STATUS
On March 23 2012 . . .
The Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment has signed the final planning rule for land management planning for the National Forest System. The Forest Service will begin implementing the final planning rule 30 days following the publication of the rule in the Federal Register. Read More »
August 14, 2009—
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack discussed his vision for management of the nation’s forests. As part of his speech the Secretary requested that the Forest Service prepare a new planning rule.
June 30, 2009—
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision in Citizens for a Better Forestry v. United States Department of Agriculture ordering the Forest Service to cease the implementation and use of the 2008 planning rule. The Forest Service is complying with the Court’s decision.
April 21, 2008—
The Forest Service announced its final 2008 Planning Rule. The Record of Decision and the final 2008 Planning Rule were published in the Federal Register April 21, 2008. There was no additional comment period on either the final environmental impact statement or the new planning rule.
February 7, 2008—
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the 2008 Planning Rule has been released. The Rule identifies the Forest Service’s preferred alternative and is a procedural move towards the implementation of a new planning rule. A decision on the final rule has not been made—that decision will be made by the Department of Agriculture after the FEIS has been available for 30 days. News Release >>
July 6, 2007—On March 30, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an injunction that ordered the Forest Service to discontinue use of the 2005 planning rule to amend or revise land management plans. The Forest Service is complying with the court order enjoining use of the 2005 planning rule. Any further planning actions will be in full compliance with existing laws and rulings.
The former Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Plan was completed in 1987. In the years since then, many social and resource conditions changed, scientific information improved, and land management policies evolved. Though the plan was amended many times, some changes could not be addressed quickly or effectively. The revised Land Management Plan for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests was implemented on October 25, 2015, replacing the former (1987) Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Plan.