2018 Forest Plan

View of the PeaksThe Coconino National Forest has completed the revision of its Forest Plan! A forest land and resource management plan, or forest plan, provides integrated, forest-wide guidance for all forest uses and activities on National Forest lands.

 

May 2018 Plan Revision Update (edited May 30)

After years of work and collaboration, the Coconino National Forest is elated in the release of its revised Final Land and Resource Management Plan (revised management plan) and Environmental Impact Statement, along with the Record of Decision signed by the Southwest Regional Forester Cal Joyner. The revised management plan is the culmination of over a decade of collaboration between the Coconino NF, partners, stakeholders, and the public. Key provisions in the revised management plan provide guidance to restore and, or maintain the broadest range of ecosystems of any national forest in the Southwest. We want to thank everyone for their participation in this important effort which provides direction to sustainably manage the Coconino NF’s unique natural resources for the next 15 years.

While much of the management direction from the 1987 Plan has been retained, in one manner or another, the revised management plan provides greater flexibility on the management of wildland fires and seeks to return the forest to its nature-based fire dependent ecosystem. It also provides more inclusive recreation management and addresses watershed, riparian, and wildlife habitat maintenance and restoration. The revised management plan recommends three wilderness areas totaling approximately 8,700 acres. If designated by Congress, these recommended wilderness areas would expand three designated wilderness areas (Kachina Peaks, Strawberry Crater, and Fossil Creek).

The documents are available for download on the Coconino NF’s website: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/landmanagement/planning. Paper and mediums with the electronic copies of the plan and EIS are available at the Coconino NF’s Supervisor’s Office, 1824 South Thompson Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, or by calling 928-527-3600 during regular business hours.

A Notice of Availability (NOA) was published May 25, 2018 in the Federal Register. The plan will go into effect 30 days after this publication of the NOA. A 90-day appeal period will begin after the publication of the legal notice in the Forest’s newspaper of record, the Arizona Daily Sun. A legal notice was published concurrently with the NOA in the Arizona Daily Sun on May 25, 2018. The legal notice starts the 90-day appeal filing period and it will close on Aug. 23, 2018.

Information on Appeal Process

This decision is subject to administrative review. A written notice of appeal must be filed in duplicate and postmarked or received within 90 days after the date the legal notice of this decision is published in the newspaper of record for the Coconino NF (The Arizona Daily Sun). As noted above, the legal notice was published concurrently with the NOA on May 25, 2018 and the appeal filing period will close on Aug. 23, 2018.

An appeal of the decision must clearly state that it is a Notice of Appeal being filed pursuant to the Optional Appeal Procedures. Appeals must meet the content requirements of Section 9 of the Optional Appeal Procedures, which are available for review at: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/applit/includes/PlanAppealProceduresDuringTransition.pdf

Appeals must be filed with the Chief of the Forest Service at:

Physical address (for UPS and FedEx deliveries):

USDA Forest Service

Attn: Appeal Reviewing Officer

201 14th Street, SW

Yates Building, EMC, 2CE

Washington, DC 20024

(Note: If a phone number is needed for carrier delivery, use: 202-205-1449)

Regular mail:

USDA Forest Service

Attn: Appeal Reviewing Officer

1400 Independence Ave., SW

EMC, Mailstop 1104

Washington, DC 20250

Appeals may also be faxed (Fax number is 202-649-1172) or appeals may be mailed electronically in a common digital format to:

Requests to stay the approval of this Land and Resource Management Plan shall not be granted (Optional Appeal Procedures, section 217.10 (b)).

Final decisions on proposed projects will be made on a site-specific basis using appropriate analysis and documentation in compliance with NEPA. Project decisions may be subject to the appropriate administrative review procedures, at the time the project decision is made.

  • A statement that the document is a Notice of Appeal filed pursuant to the Optional Appeal procedures;

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the appellant;

  • Identification of the decision to which the appeal is being made;

  • Identification of the document in which the decision is contained, by title and subject, date of the decision, and name and title of the Deciding Officer;

  • Identification of the specific portion of the decision to which the appeal is made;

  • The reasons for appeal, including issues of fact, law, or regulation, or policy and, if applicable, specifically how the decision violates law, regulation, or policy;

  • Identification of the specific change(s) in the decision that the appellant seeks.

  • Recommendations for designations such as additions to the National Wilderness System are preliminary administrative recommendations that will receive further review and possible modification by the Chief of the Forest Service, the Secretary of Agriculture, and/or the President of the United States. The Congress has reserved the authority to make final decisions on wilderness on federal lands; therefore, wilderness recommendations in the revised plan are not appealable under the agency’s administrative appeal procedures (Section 4 of the Optional Appeal Procedures).

Forest Plan Revision Background

Much has changed since 1987 when the previous forest plan was approved. Including changes in public values and expectations from public lands, recreation demand and types of recreation uses, demographics and development patterns, and natural resource policy. Other changes have occurred on the landscape itself; and there have been advances in our knowledge about landscape processes, science, and technology. Even though amendments have been made to the plan, the forest plan does not fully reflect the current needs of the forest and neighboring communities.

For this reason, the forest has undertaken a multi-year effort to review and revise the guidance in our current forest plan. The goal is to provide an improved forest plan that better reflects the current and future needs of the forest, wildlife and plant species, as well as the needs of people who live near and enjoy the beauty of the Coconino National Forest.

 

The Appeal Process

The 90-day appeal filing period on the revised plan began on May 25, 2018 when the legal notice of the decision was published in the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper.

This decision is subject to administrative review. A written notice of appeal must be filed in duplicate and postmarked or received within 90 days after the date the legal notice of this decision is published in the newspaper of record for the Coconino NF (The Arizona Daily Sun). Accordingly, appeals must be filed by Aug. 23, 2018.

An appeal of the decision must clearly state that it is a Notice of Appeal being filed pursuant to the Optional Appeal Procedures. Appeals must meet the content requirements of Section 9 of the Optional Appeal Procedures, which are available for review at: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/applit/includes/PlanAppealProceduresDuringTransition.pdf

Appeals must be filed with the Chief of the Forest Service at:

Physical address (for UPS and FedEx deliveries):

USDA Forest Service

Attn: Appeal Reviewing Officer

201 14th Street, SW

Yates Building, EMC, 2CE

Washington, DC 20024

(Note: If a phone number is needed for carrier delivery, use: 202-205-1449)

Regular mail:

USDA Forest Service

Attn: Appeal Reviewing Officer

1400 Independence Ave., SW

EMC, Mailstop 1104

Washington, DC 20250

Appeals may also be faxed (Fax number is 202-649-1172) or appeals may be mailed electronically in a common digital format to:

Requests to stay the approval of this Land and Resource Management Plan shall not be granted (Optional Appeal Procedures, section 217.10 (b)).

Final decisions on proposed projects will be made on a site-specific basis using appropriate analysis and documentation in compliance with NEPA. Project decisions may be subject to the appropriate administrative review procedures, at the time the project decision is made.

  • A statement that the document is a Notice of Appeal filed pursuant to the Optional Appeal procedures;

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the appellant;

  • Identification of the decision to which the appeal is being made;

  • Identification of the document in which the decision is contained, by title and subject, date of the decision, and name and title of the Deciding Officer;

  • Identification of the specific portion of the decision to which the appeal is made;

  • The reasons for appeal, including issues of fact, law, or regulation, or policy and, if applicable, specifically how the decision violates law, regulation, or policy;

  • Identification of the specific change(s) in the decision that the appellant seeks.

  • Recommendations for designations such as additions to the National Wilderness System are preliminary administrative recommendations that will receive further review and possible modification by the Chief of the Forest Service, the Secretary of Agriculture, and/or the President of the United States. The Congress has reserved the authority to make final decisions on wilderness on federal lands; therefore, wilderness recommendations in the revised plan are not appealable under the agency’s administrative appeal procedures (Section 4 of the Optional Appeal Procedures).

contact the revision team.

Please regularly visit this Web site and our plan revision links for more information and updates. To see ways in which the public has already participated in the plan revision process view the Public Participation page.

 

Image of Twitter birdYou can also follow us on Twitter (@CoconinoNF) for regular event updates and notifications. Use the hashtag #CoconinoFPR in any of your tweets regarding the FPR!