Timeline and Phases

Where are we now in the process?

In August 2019, the updated 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 updated 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 August 2019. See our timeline below for the steps involved before we reach a formal comment period.

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.

Remaining Project Schedule as of July 1, 2019

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

Albuquerque Journal (Newspaper of Record) Publishes NOA

August 9, 2019

Start of 90-day Comment Period/Public Review of Draft Plan and DEIS

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, Location TBD, 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, Location TBD

November 7, 2019

End of 90-day comment period

October 31, 2019 (145 days)

Submit Biological Assessment to USFWS- initiate formal consultation

November 11–November 22, 2019  

Conduct Content Analysis of comments

December 2–January 31, 2020

Review and respond to comments

February–March 2020

Develop New Alternatives/Design Features/Minimization Measures/Monitoring/Adaptive Management Measures to Respond to Comments

March–April 2020

Conduct Revised Effects Analysis based on New Alternative Descriptions and/or New Mitigations/ Design Features, etc.

April–May 2020

Incorporate DEIS Comments into Draft FEIS, prepare Response to Comments Appendix to FEIS

May 2020

Final Biological Opinion

June 2020

RO review of Draft FEIS

July 2020

Revise Draft FEIS based on RO Review

August 2020

WO briefing on Final Plan/FEIS

September 2020

Post FEIS and Draft Record of Decision to Webpage

September 2020

Federal Register Publishes NOA, Start of 60-day Objection Period

November 2020

End of 60-day Objection Period

December 2020–February 2021

Objection Review/Resolution Period

Spring 2021

Forest Plan Implementation