Coronado National Forest - Forest Plan Revision

Forest Service Announces the Release of the Revised Land and Resource Management Plan, Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision

On April 27, 2018, Regional Forester Calvin Joyner signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Coronado National Forest Final Environmental Impact Statement, (EIS), Appendix Vol. 2, Appendix Vol. 3, and Revised Land Management Plan (Plan). A Notice of Availability (NOA) will be published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2018, and the revised Plan will be implemented on July 22, 2018. This plan replaces the former (1986) Coronado National Forest Plan.

The publication of the final NOA and legal notice announces the availability of the Final EIS, Revised Forest Plan and ROD. The ROD documents the decision of the Forest Service to adopt the Revised Forest Plan and Final EIS. It includes a summary of the alternatives considered, a discussion of public involvement in the decision making process, and the basis for making this decision. The ROD is based on an administrative record that includes the Coronado National Forest Revised Forest Plan, the Final EIS, and the record of the NEPA process for the development of the Revised Plan.

Four alternatives are presented in the final EIS. Alternatives considered include: the no action, the preferred action that includes four wilderness recommendations (Ku Chish, Mount Graham, Chiricahua Addition North and Whetstone), alternative one that includes sixteen wilderness recommendations and alternative two that has more opportunities for motorized recreation (45,117 acres).

There is a 30 day “cooling off period” before implementation of the plan begins, following the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.  The opportunity to appeal the plan is limited to 90 days from the date of publication of the legal notice in the Arizona Daily Star.  The Coronado National Forest anticipates publishing the legal notice on June 22, 2018 which would have the appeal filing period closing September 20, 2018.

If you are interested in obtaining either a printed set of the documents (which is a 5 volume set totaling 2,000+ pages in length), please respond to the plan revision address provided at the end of this Update with your name and/or name of your organization (if applicable), and include a current mailing address.

 

Monitoring Plan Transition

This fall/winter we will begin to transition the monitoring plan within the revised Plan to meet the requirements of the 2012 Planning Rule, which requires all forest plans prepared under the previous 1982 Planning Rule to include the monitoring requirements of the new Rule. Most of the 2012 Planning Rule requirements have been included in the revised Plan; however, the remaining requirement is for the inclusion of focal species. Focal species are used in lieu of management indicator species, which are required by the 1982 Planning Rule, to assess progress towards meeting diversity and ecological sustainability requirements. The revised Plan will not initially include focal species, and instead include the three previously identified management indicator species: Mexican spotted owl, acorn woodpecker, and Sonoran mud turtle.

As we wrap-up the completion of the revised Plan, we intend to begin the process for the selection of focal species, which will involve working with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Department of Game and Fish. As we do so, we will keep the public informed of our progress at appropriate times. Once focal species have been selected and appropriate notice has been provided to the public, we will adjust the monitoring plan in the revised Plan to include those focal species. At the same time, we intend to remove the management indicator species that were required by the 1982 Planning Rule. At this point, the Forest will have completed the monitoring plan transition as required by the 2012 Planning Rule. 

Contact Us

As we move through this final phase of the forest plan revision process, we will continue to keep you informed of our progress. If you have questions, please contact Rose Robinson, Forest Planner, at (520) 388-8300 or comments-southwestern-coronado@fs.fed.us. Thank you again for your continued interest in the future of the Coronado National Forest!

Plan Set of Documents:

Wild and Scenic River Evaluations:

Plan Revision Updates

Background Documents



Highlights