Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Plan Revision



Species of Conservation Concern

Wilderness inventory and evaluation process

April 20, 2015 Collaborative Summit (Summary)

April 20, 2015 Collaborative Summit (Meeting Notes)



Fall 2014 Public Meetings: Development of the Revised Land and Resource Management Plan

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.

**Information and Presentation shared at these meetings.


**Updated Plan Revision Timeline (March 23, 2015)

An updated timeline for the Nantahala/Pisgah Plan Revision process.

Public Sessions Summary (April 17, 2014 and July 10, 2014)

July 10, 2014 Public Meeting on Wildlife Habitat; Ecosystem Integrity and Diversity; and Wild and Scenic Rivers


The following information and presentations were shared at the meeting:

Updated Need to Change the Existing Land Management Plan - June 16, 2014

Scoping Period Initiated; Planning Phase Begins

April 17, 2014 Initial Wilderness Inventory Process and Designated Areas workshop

Public comments received on the wilderness inventory process (right-click and open to view attachments within individual comments. If you are having trouble viewing the attachments within the individual comments, you can find them here.)

Workshop AGENDA
The following presentations were shared at the workshop:

Potential Additions to Wilderness
Special Designated Areas

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.

Appalachian Ranger District
Cheoah Ranger District
Grandfather Ranger District
Nantahala Ranger District
Pisgah Ranger District
Tusquitee Ranger District

GIS shapefile for Version 1 Inventory (April 2014) – This shapefile is coarse and area boundaries will be refined later in the process

Scenery Management (Initial Scenery Inventory)


The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest Assessment Report

*NEW* Potential Species of Conservation Concern Please provide comments on the potential list by May 23, 2014 to (note SCC in the subject line)

View the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Assessment Report.

View the Assessment Report Executive Summary

View the supplemental reports.

Notice of Initiation for Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

Fall 2013 Meetings 

November 2013 Plan Revision Update and Frequently Asked Questions

To make up for the cancelled October 5th Workshop, a series of Drop-in Open Houses were scheduled at six locations:

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.

Forest Plan Revision Public Involvement

Revision of the Plan will occur in three phases:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Timeline for Plan Revision:

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.

1987 Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest Plan

Nantahala Pisgah Forest Plan

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.

Comments or questions about the Plan revision or process can be sent by email to:

Hard copies of comments can be mailed to:
National Forests in North Carolina, Nantahala-Pisgah Plan Revision, 160 Zillicoa St. Suite A, Asheville, NC 28801.

For More Information

The following documents provide additional information:

Phase 1: 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 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:

  1. Terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems and watersheds.
  2. Air, soil and water resources and quality.
  3. 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.
  4. Baseline assessment of carbon stocks.
  5. Threatened, endangered, proposed and candidate species, and potential species of conservation concern present in the plan area.
  6. Social, cultural and economic conditions.
  7. Benefits people obtain from the National Forest System planning area.
  8. Multiple uses and their contributions to local, regional and national economies.
  9. Recreation settings, opportunities and access, and scenic character.
  10. Renewable and nonrenewable energy and mineral resources.
  11. Infrastructure, such as recreational facilities and transportation and utility corridors.
  12. Areas of tribal importance.
  13. Cultural and historic resources and uses.
  14. Land status and ownership, use and access patterns.
  15. Existing designated areas located in the plan area including wilderness and wild and scenic rivers and potential need and opportunity for additional designated areas.

Nantahala Pisgah Plan Revision