Timeline and Phases

Where are we now in the process?

In summer 2019, the updated draft plan and associated draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) were released for public comment with a 90-day formal comment period. These comments have helped us improve the final plan and final environmental impact statement (FEIS) which we anticipate will be released in early 2021 and followed by a 60-day objection period. See our timeline below for the steps leading to plan implementation.

Phases of Forest Plan Revision

The 2012 Planning Rule identifies a three-phase framework for revising forest plans:

Phase I Assessment

This phase involves an evaluation of relevant information including existing ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends across the broader landscape. The information helps inform the need to change the 1985 Forest Plan.

Phase II – Revision

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.

Timeline (updated October 1, 2020)



July 26, 2019

Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement are posted on the Cibola website

August 9, 2019

Federal Register Publishes Notice of Availability (NOA)

August 9, 2019

ABQ Journal (Newspaper of Record) Publishes NOA. Start of 90-day Comment Period/Public Review

August 20, 2019

Joint Cibola NF, Carson NF, Santa Fe NF public meeting, 2–8pm, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe NM

August 27, 2019

Mountainair public meeting, 5–7pm, Dr. Saul Community Center, Mountainair NM

September 5, 2019

Mount Taylor public meeting, 5–7pm, Cibola County Building, Grants NM

September 17, 2019

Magdalena public meeting, 5–7pm, Magdalena School/Fine Arts Center, Magdalena NM

September 18, 2019

Joint Tribal meeting with Cibola NF, Santa Fe NF, Carson NF, 10am–12pm, Santa Fe NF Supervisor’s Office, Santa Fe NM

September 26, 2019

Sandia public meeting, 5–7pm, Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center-West Social Hall

November 7, 2019

End of 90-day comment period

November 2019 – January 2020    

Conducted Content Analysis of comments

January 2020 – October 2020

Reviewed and responded to comments

February 2020 – October 2020

Updated Alternatives and the Land Management Plan (LMP) in response to comments

September 24, 2020 (145 days)

Submitted Biological Assessment to USFWS- initiated formal consultation pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for the Land Management Plan

October 2020

Incorporated DEIS Comments into Draft FEIS, prepared Response to Comments Appendix to FEIS

November 2020

Region 3 Regional Office (RO) review of Draft FEIS and Final LMP

December 2020 – February 2021

Revise Draft FEIS and Final LMP based on RO Review

February 2021

Final Biological Opinion expected from USFWS


Washington Office (WO) briefing on Final Plan/FEIS


Post FEIS and Draft Record of Decision to Webpage


Federal Register Publishes NOA, Start 60-day Objection Period


End of 60-day Objection Period


Objection Review/Resolution Period (90 days)

Fall 2021

Forest Plan Implementation

**Milestone dates may change based on capacity of external reviewing parties and election year national political agenda.