Forest Plan Revision

 

 

Sequoia National Forest Plan Revision

Springville ClarkiaThe Sequoia National Forest is one of three national forests in the Pacific Southwest Region (Region) of the Forest Service to revise its land and resource management plan (Forest Plan) this year, implementing the new National Forest System Planning Rule.

The forest plan revision process is grounded in science and public input, and seeks to deliver stronger protections for forests, water, and wildlife while supporting the economic vitality of our rural communities. It will provide opportunities for public involvement and collaboration throughout all stages of the planning process, as well as opportunities for Tribal consultation and coordination with state and local governments and other federal agencies.

The revision process involves three phases: assessment of forest resource condition and trend, development of a revised plan, and monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of plan direction. Each phase will include opportunities for public participation and collaboration.

Revising the Forest Plan

The Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service is initiating land management plan revisions for the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests. In January, the public provided feedback on the Forest Service's preliminary need to change, draft Roles and Contributions, and example desired conditions. This feedback has been used to update these documents.The formal NEPA process has begun with the publishing of the Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. A scoping letter and detailed Proposed Action have been sent to interested parties and are available on the Forest Plan Revision webpage.

The forest plan revision team plans to hold the following public meetings:

  • 6:00-8:00pm - Monday, November 17, Sierra National Forest, Holiday Inn, 5090 East Clinton Way, Fresno, CA
  • 6:00-8:00pm - Tuesday, November 18, Sequoia National Forest, Supervisor’s Office, 1839 South Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA
  • 6:00-8:00pm - Thursday, November 20, Inyo National Forest, Tri-County Fairgrounds, Tallman Pavilion, Sierra Street & Fair Drive, Bishop, CA

These “open house” styled meetings are primarily informational to share the issues and concerns the agency heard during the recently completed scoping phase.  The meetings are an opportunity for the public to hear discussion how those issues and concerns are being used to frame a preliminary range of alternatives.  There is no formal comment period associated with these meetings.  As always, the Forest Service welcomes opportunities for thoughtful dialogue.

In September, the Forest Service announced its intent to develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) that, when completed, will revise forest plans for the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests. 

The final EIS will result in three separate plans with three Records of Decision following the revised forest plans.  Forest Supervisors will remain the “responsible official” for making decisions on their specific forest plans. Please see the Forest Plan Revision webpage for the documents and how to comment.

Assessments

The bio-regional assessment for the Sierrra Nevada and the final assessment for the Sequoia National Forest have been released and can be viewed here and on the Pacific Southwest Region's planning webpage.

The purposes of the assessments are to:

  • rapidly evaluate the sustainability of existing ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends within the context of the broader landscape.
  • gain understanding of these existing ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends in relationship to current land management plans.
  • consider and evaluate the sustainability of possible future social, economic, and ecological conditions and trends both within the plan area and in the context of the broader landscape.

The assessments have been used to help identify the needs for changing the existing 1988 Sequoia Forest Plan, and will inform the development of plan components and content.   

Collaboration 

The Sequoia National Forest welcomes and invites you to be involved in its collaborative forest plan revision process. The current milestones from the Collaboration, Tribal and Public Involvement Plan for Forest Plan Revision are available here...

Forest Plan Revision Milestones

The Communication and Collaboration Plan for the Sequoia National Forest was developed in conjunction with stakeholders for the assessment phase...

Assessment Phase Communication and Collaboration Plan

The Sierra Cascades Dialog focuses on the future of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades, specifically the national forests, providing an opportunity for learning, shared meaning, aligned actions, and understanding different perspectives. The intent is to hold regular conversations among engaged stakeholders on a range of issues across the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades. The term "stakeholder" refers to any individual or organization that has a direct interest in public lands. This would include the Forest Service as the convener. The goal is to create shared understanding among participants with diverse opinions.

Sierra Cascades Dialog

These public meetings are designed to encourage conversation about topics selected by the Sierra Cascade Dialog Steering Committee. You can read more about these dialogs here.

Public Meetings

The first public meetings were held in February 2013 for anyone interested in learning more about the Forest Plan Revision process. Each workshop consisted of presentations and opportunities for questions regarding the Forest Plan revision process.

Two public workshops and a webinar were held in July 2013. These meetings built on conversations from earlier meetings and allowed participants to discuss the forest assessment topics in greater detail with members of the Sequoia forest plan revision team.

Two public workshops and a webinar were scheduled for the last week of September and the first week in October of 2013. Due to a government shutdown, only the webinar on Friday, September 27th was held.

Three public workshops were held in January 2014 to explain the forest plan revision process, explain the key themes of the forest plans to be revised, and gather public feedback on the preliminary need to change.

Three additional public workshops to share and gather additional feedback on the draft need to change and draft desired conditions were held in June 2014.