Tongass National Forest - Land and Resource Management Plan Amendment

Since May 27, 2014, the Tongass National Forest (Tongass) has been working on a proposed amendment to the 2008 Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan (Tongass Forest Plan Amendment). Changes to the Forest Plan have been developed under the 2012 Planning Rule (36 CFR 219). While working with the Forest Service, the Federal Advisory Committee on Implementation of the 2012 Planning Rule recognized that the new planning rule represents a big change in how the Forest Service conducts land management planning. In June 2016, the committee prepared two guides to help citizens and State, local, and tribal governments effectively navigate and get involved in the Forest Service planning process. Click here to see these guides: A Citizens’ Guide to National Forest Planning (40 MB) and A Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Governments (9 MB) 

The Tongass is the first national forest to amend a plan completed under the 1982 Planning Rule using the 2012 Planning Rule. Since initiation of the proposed Tongass Forest Plan Amendment in May 2014, the Forest Service has been engaging the public throughout each phase of the planning effort. On November 20, 2015, the Tongass published the Proposed Amended Forest Plan and the notice of availability of the Draft EIS (80 FR 72719). In addition to inviting public comment on the proposed Tongass Forest Plan Amendment and associated Draft EIS, the responsible official has encouraged participation by:

  • Engaging interested individuals and entities at the local, regional, and national levels;
  • Inviting Federal, State and local governments to seek cooperating agency status in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process;
  • Engaging local youth at the Ketchikan High School to have their voice heard;
  • Inviting consultation with Alaska Native tribes and Alaska Native Corporations;
  • Requesting advice and recommendations from the Tongass Advisory Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee established by the U. S. Department of Agriculture;
  • Posting news, information, updates, notices, and documents on the Tongass Plan Amendment webpage:; and
  • Conducting Draft EIS public open house meetings and subsistence hearings in nine communities in Southeast Alaska.

During the 90-day Draft EIS comment period, the Tongass received over 165,000 comments from Federal and State agencies, State and Federal Congressional representatives, local governments, Alaska Native tribes, Alaska Native corporations, stakeholders, organizations, and the public. The plan amendment interdisciplinary team assessed and considered these comments in developing the Final EIS and amended Tongass Forest Plan.

The planning process for the Tongass Forest Plan Amendment is now entering a pre-decisional administrative review (hereinafter referred to as objection) process for the plan amendment. Formal notices for the objection process, as well as the notice of availability of the Final EIS for this amendment will be posted here, on the Plan Amendment webpage after publication.

A written notice of objection, including any attachments, must be submitted (regular mail, express delivery, messenger service, fax, e-mail, or hand delivery) within 60 days of the publication date of the notice in the Ketchikan Daily News. The notice published in the Ketchikan Daily News is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection (36 CFR 219.56(b)(3)).

To read the comments received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Forest Plan Amendment, visit the Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan Amendment Reading Room

Draft Record of Decision (ROD), Final EIS, and Amended Forest Plan Documents

Draft ROD, Final EIS, and Amended Forest Plan Maps

Formal Notices

Proposed Land & Resource Management Plan and DEIS Documents

Proposed Land & Resource Management Plan and DEIS LUD & Suitable Areas Alternative Maps

Questions pertaining to information about the Forest Plan Amendment can be directed to:
Susan Howle, Forest Plan Amendment Project Manager (907) 228-6340