Forest Plan Revision
Welcome to the Cibola National Forest Plan Revision page, where you can help us plan the Forest’s future. This web page serves as a one-stop resource for information associated with the plan revision process.
A forest plan provides a general framework to guide a forest in managing its 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. The Cibola is revising its 1985 Land and Resource Management Plan (1985 Forest Plan) for the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena, and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts.
Revisions to the Cibola’s 1985 Forest Plan are overdue, and a lot has changed on the Forest and surrounding areas. Scientific understanding and technology have changed, 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. In addition, 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.
Available as of July 18, 2016:
Overview of Forest Plan Revision
Public Workshop Schedule
Public Workshop Agenda
Public Workshop Presentation
What is a Forest Plan?
Anatomy of a Forest Plan diagram
Forest Plan Revision FAQs
Species of Conservation Concern (SCC)
Under the 2012 Planning Rule, a species of conservation concern (SCC) is defined as “a species, other than Federally recognized threatened, endangered, proposed, or candidate species, that is known to occur in the plan area and for which the regional forester has determined that the best available scientific information indicates substantial concern about the species’ capability to persist over the long-term in the plan area.” These species are used to test plan components to ensure that revised management direction does not violate the National Forest Management Act’s requirements for maintaining species diversity. The Cibola has proposed an initial list of SCC to the regional forester and received concurrence. The SCC list does not become final until the Record of Decision for the Cibola’s revised Forest Plan is signed.
Proposed SCC list
Letter to Regional Forester with Proposed SCC List
Regional Forester's Concurrence to Cibola SCC list
Draft At-Risk Species Determination Process and Rationale
Comments are most helpful if received by August 31, 2016.
How to comment
Comment Form for use with Preliminary Draft Plan, Wilderness Process Paper, and all maps
Submit a comment online through Comment Analysis and Response Application (CARA)
Public Reading Room is now open (click here to open the application). Scoping comments recieved by the Cibola National Forest to date are now viewable. Some image files were too large or not compatible to open on CARA. However, comments contained in the image files are still being considered by the Forest Service and Cooperating Agency Landscape Teams.
Public Involvement Page
Visit our Public Involvement Page to find more ways to participate in forest plan revision. (click here)
Phases of Forest Plan Revision
The 2012 Planning Rule identifies a framework for revising forest plans consisting of three phases:
This phase involves an evaluation of relevant information including existing ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends across the broader landscape that will help inform the need to change the 1985 Forest Plan.
In this phase, the 1985 Forest Plan is revised. The process for revising a plan includes: preliminary identification of the need to change the plan based on the Phase I assessment, development of a proposed plan, consideration of the environmental effects of the proposal, providing an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan, providing an opportunity to object before the proposal is approved, and, finally, approval of the plan, and preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS).
Phase III – Monitoring
Monitoring is continuous and provides feedback for the planning cycle by testing relevant assumptions, tracking relevant conditions over time, and measuring management effectiveness. The monitoring program includes plan-level and broader-scale monitoring. The plan-level monitoring program is informed by the assessment phase; developed during plan development, plan amendment, or plan revision; and implemented after plan decision. The regional forester develops broader-scale monitoring strategies. Biennial monitoring evaluation reports document whether a change to the plan or change to the monitoring program is warranted based on new information, whether a new assessment may be needed, or whether there is no need for change at that time.
Tentative Plan Revision Schedule
Phase I – Assessment
- Fall 2012 - Informal Notice of the Beginning the Assessment Phase
- Spring 2014 - Availability of the Assessment Report for Public Review
Phase II – Revision
- Winter 2015 – Notice of Intent to Begin Plan Revision and to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Fall 2016–Winter 2017 – Notice of Availability of Proposed Plan and Draft EIS
- Fall 2017–Winter 2018 – Notice of Objection Period Prior to Approval of the Preferred Alternative and Final EIS
- Spring–Summer 2018 – Notice of Plan Approval and Final EIS
Phase III – Monitoring
Timeline to Completion
A Core Team has been dedicated to the timely completion of the plan revision process. Many other Forest Service resource specialists lend their expertise to the effort as well. Visit the Planning Team Page to meet the core planning team.