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NEPA Comment Periods:
The first will be a Scoping comment period. Scoping is the first step in the EIS process. The purpose of scoping is to narrow the focus of the EIS to significant environmental issues, to eliminate insignificant impacts from detailed study, and to identify alternatives to be analyzed in the EIS. Scoping also provides notice to the public and other agencies that an EIS is being prepared, and initiates their involvement in the process. Anticipated scoping time period is early 2019.

The second will be an official comment period on the draft EIS (DEIS).  A DEIS documents the lead agency's analysis of a proposal, and provides an opportunity for agencies, affected tribes, and the public to review the document and provide suggestions for improving the adequacy of the environmental analysis. Comments on the draft EIS stimulate discussion and thoughts about how to change or modify the proposal to further protect the environment.

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will then prepare the Final EIS and a draft Record of Decision, which is subject to objection. This objection process is available to any and all who have submitted a substantive comment during the DEIS Comment period.

Once all objections are reviewed, resolved and/or responded to a final Record of Decision will be signed and published.