Francis Marion Plan Revision 2012 - 2016

Outline of South Carolina with two boys, longleaf pine and a fire inside and Forest Service Shield

Welcome to the Francis Marion Plan Revision web page. You can help us plan the forest future! Submit your comments and suggestions by email at To receive email alerts, click here.


Here you will find information as it becomes available – dates and locations for Community Conversations (public meetings and workshops), inter-disciplinary (ID) team meetings, documents, press releases, frequently asked questions, public comments, the results of public meetings and workshops, maps…basically, any information associated with the plan revision process. 

Save the Dates: At-Risks Species Public Meetings April 15-17, 2014!

You are invited to attend an at-risk species public meeting from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., each day on Tuesday, April 15 – Thursday, April 17, 2014, at the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests Supervisor’s Office, 4931 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC. This meeting is part of a series of Community Conversations encouraging public involvement in the Francis Marion plan revision process.

• April 15 (Terrestrial Plants)
• April 16 (Terrestrial Animals)
• April 17 (Aquatic Species)

Who Should Attend: Open to the public, but target audience is resource professionals who have a working knowledge of ecosystems and species on the Francis Marion

What to Expect: Technical working sessions that will include a review of a list of potential species of conservation concern. Ecological and biological sustainability will be evaluated using the Ecological Sustainability Evaluation (ESE) Tool with input from some of the most knowledgeable conservation scientists in the region. This tool uses powerful computer algorithms to track and prioritize large sets of data leading to clear, concise information to aid the forest’s planning process. To see the agenda and an example and to learn more about the Ecological Sustainability Evaluation Tool, click here!

Supplemental Material:

Planning data summary sheets (queries):

Species and Species Groups

See you at the meeting!

Draft Preliminary Need to Change Ready for Your Review

The Draft Preliminary Need to Change is the transition from the assessment to the forest plan development phase. You may send your comments, suggestions or questions to

The preliminary need to change is a process for determining what plan direction should be changed or added to the existing Francis Marion National Forest Plan that has been in effect since 1996. Moreover, it identifies forest plan direction that “needs to change” and sets the framework for the development of plan components and other plan content, including the monitoring program. In this way, the framework builds on information gathered and developed during each phase of the planning process and supports adaptive management for informed and efficient planning. From this information, the Francis Marion National Forest has compiled preliminary revision items that will need to be addressed. These revision items will be used to guide the plan revision process.



The Forest Service completed the previous Francis Marion Land and Resource Management Plan, more commonly known as the forest plan, in 1995. It focused on managing the Francis Marion in the wake of Hurricane Hugo, which devastated the forest in 1989.

During the last 16 years, the communities surrounding the Francis Marion National Forest have grown and changed significantly. Now we face different opportunities and challenges, and we need your help.

The new forest plan will be developed under the 2012 forest planning rule, which places greater emphasis on public involvement than ever before. We have excellent relationships with many private landowners, local communities, agencies and other organizations on the coast; however, we need more information and input as we move forward with this new, important planning effort.

You may find more answers by viewing the Frequently Asked Questions webpage of our national planning office.

Past Public Meetings and Materials

Gathering Existing Information

The draft assessment of resource trends and conditions is ready for your review and input! You may send your comments, suggestions or questions to Please note that the assessment is not a decision making document. Because of the length of the document, the draft assessment is posted in sections. Including the bibliography and list of tables and figures, the draft assessment is still being revised, and sections are still under construction.


Collaboration is an ongoing process where two or more people or organizations work together toward an intersection of common goals. During the plan revision, the Francis Marion National Forest will rely on collaboration throughout the process (more).

Forest Plan Revision Strategy

One of the questions that the Forest Service is most often asked is, “How are you going to get this done?” The Forest Planning staff has put together a tentative strategy and timeline (more).