Forest Plan Revision

 

Plan Revision Process

The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (Cibola) is revising its 1985 Land and Resource Management Plan for the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena, and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts. The Cibola is one of five National Forests (NFs) in New Mexico.  It is comprised of four mountain ranger districts in central New Mexico and four grassland units in northern New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Cibola’s current plan revision effort encompasses the four mountain ranger districts, covering more than 1.6 million acres. The Kiowa/Rita Blanca, Black Kettle, and McClellan Creek National Grasslands are addressed separately in the Kiowa, Rita Blanca, Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan which was completed in 2012.

The Land and Resource Management Plan (forest plan) provides a general framework to guide the management of forest resources, goods, and services. Forest plans are consistent with and do not override law, regulation, or established policy. The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 requires that Forest Plans be periodically revised, usually every 15 years.

Revisions to the Cibola’s 1985 Forest Plan are overdue, and a lot has changed on the Forest and in surrounding areas since then. Scientific understanding and technology have progressed, social and cultural influences and demands have changed, and stressors and threats to sustainability have increased. Some species have become rare and their persistence and viability are threatened.

The guidance in the Forest Service's 2012 Planning Rule directs forest plans to be science-based and developed with extensive public involvement and collaboration throughout the revision process.  Specific guidance can be found in the 2012 Final Planning Rule Directives.

Where are we now in the Process?

In winter 2019, the draft plan and associated draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) will be released for public comment with a 90-day formal comment period. Prior to the formal draft release, the Cibola’s draft plan and DEIS will be made available for public preview. Please note that we will not be accepting formal comments at this time; this will be a time to preview the plan and prepare for the formal comment period anticipated in early 2019. We anticipate making this draft plan available for preview in September 2018. See our timeline and phases for the steps involved before we reach a formal comment period.

How to Get Involved

The Cibola Collaborative groups provide an opportunity to get involved with the forest plan revision. Check back here for details on upcoming meetings and open houses to preview the plan. Find out more about our Collaborative Groups including links to their websites and contact information.