The National Forests in NC held six public meetings in October and November 2014 to share information about the proposed Forest Plan, including potential management areas and desired conditions. The Forest Service planning team also shared some proposed desired condition statements and information about watersheds and recreation settings during an open poster session. Public meeting were held at the following locations:
Pisgah Ranger District: October 21 in Mills River, NC
Nantahala Ranger District: October 28 in Franklin, NC
Tusquitee Ranger District: October 30 in Murphy, NC
Appalachian Ranger District: November 3 in Mars Hill, NC
Cheoah Ranger District: November 6 in Robbinsville, NC
Grandfather Ranger District: Marion, NC
The Forest is asking the public to provide comments on the draft desired conditions and draft management areas that were shared at the Oct./Nov. public meetings, by January 5, 2015.
Comments specific to the wildernss inventory process and special designated areas are requested by May 15, 2014.
Initial Inventory MAPS. These maps are the initial inventory for potential additions to wilderness based on the plan revision team's interpretation of the planning directives for wilderness inventory (1909.12 Ch.70). Area boundaries are rough and there will be further opportunities to refine boundaries as we move through the inventory and the evaluation of areas. The process paper for how areas were identified explains the steps and the assumptions that were made to arrive at these maps.
The potential additions to the Wilderness Inventory Maps are being updated and should be posted online by mid-November.
At the six open houses, the Forest Service asked the public for their ideas on needs for change in the revised forest plan. Sample need for change ideas were shared before the open houses, and can be viewed here. Over 1,000 need for change ideas were submitted at the public meetings and by mail. The plan revision interdisciplinary team is working to synthesize the ideas into a need for change statement that will be published in the Notice of Intent to revise the Forest Plan in the Federal Register, later this winter. The public will be notified of the publication in the Federal Register and will have an additional opportunity to comment on the proposal at that time.
Click on locations to link to maps. Click here to view the flyer. Click here to view the open-house posters.
The U.S. Forest Service is revising the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan (the Plan).
When revision of the Plan is completed, it will guide management of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests for approximately 15 years. The Forest Service published the original Plan in 1987. A significant amendment to the Plan was published in 1994, and smaller amendments occurred in subsequent years.
Assessment – During this phase, the Forest Service will collect and compile data and other existing information on the current state of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The assessment phase will focus on what changes are needed to the management plan for the two national forests. Numerous public meetings will take place to receive input from stakeholders during this period.
Planning Period – During this phase, the Forest Service will analyze the data collected; determine the management practices needed to accomplish the desired goals and the effects those management practices may have on the land; draft the revised Plan; seek and respond to public comment; and release the final Plan.
Monitoring – The monitoring phase begins after the final Plan is released and continues throughout the Plan period. During this phase, the Forest Service monitors the progress of Plan implementation to make sure goals are achieved.
Planning Period (Phase 2) – March 2014 - August 2016
Monitoring Phase (Phase 3) – 2016 and Beyond
New Planning Rule
A new Planning Rule, finalized by the Forest Service in May 2012, will guide the process for revising the Plan. This means that the Plan will be among the first forest plans nationwide to be revised under the new rule.
The following documents provide more information about the 2012 Planning Rule.
The 1987 Plan underwent a significant amendment in the mid-1990s. The 1994 Plan Amendment documents and maps are available online, click here. Annual monitoring and evaluation reports are available through 2011 and can be found here.
Collaboration is the keystone for revising the Plan. Public input and collaboration throughout the revision process will help ensure that the Plan meets the needs of the wide variety of stakeholders who enjoy the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests each year. The public will have numerous opportunities to collaborate with the Forest Service and provide input to the Plan.
If you are already on a mailing or email list for the Nantahala or Pisgah National Forest, you will automatically receive updates regarding Plan revision.
During this phase, the Forest Service will collect and compile data and other existing information on the current state of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The assessment phase will focus on evaluating existing information about ecological, economic, and social conditions, trends, and sustainability and their relationship to the land management plan. A number of public sessions will take place to receive input from stakeholders during this period. This phase begins in November 2012 and will be completed in late 2013 with an assessment report that will be made available to the public.
The following elements will be considered in the Assessment Phase:
Terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems and watersheds.
Air, soil and water resources and quality.
System drivers, including dominant ecological processes, disturbance regimes, and stressors, such as natural succession, wildland fire, invasive species, and climate change, and the ability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the plan area to adapt to change.
Baseline assessment of carbon stocks.
Threatened, endangered, proposed and candidate species, and potential species of conservation concern present in the plan area.
Social, cultural and economic conditions.
Benefits people obtain from the National Forest System planning area.
Multiple uses and their contributions to local, regional and national economies.
Recreation settings, opportunities and access, and scenic character.
Renewable and nonrenewable energy and mineral resources.
Infrastructure, such as recreational facilities and transportation and utility corridors.
Areas of tribal importance.
Cultural and historic resources and uses.
Land status and ownership, use and access patterns.
Existing designated areas located in the plan area including wilderness and wild and scenic rivers and potential need and opportunity for additional designated areas.