Phases, Tentative Timeline & Schedule

Updated Feb. 28, 2019
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Timeline - Overall Four Year Process - 1 Page document/hand-out


Phases of Forest Plan Revision

The 2012 Planning Rule identifies a framework for revising forest plans consisting of three phases:

Phase I – Completed - Assessment - Finalizing late Fall 2016

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 1986 (Custer) and 1987 (Gallatin) Forest Plans. 

  • Completed - Winter/Spring 2016 - Informal Notice of the Beginning the Assessment Phase
    • Completed - Initial Kickoff Public Meetings (Feb/March 2016)
    • Completed - Assessment Public Meetings (June 2016)
    • Completed - Finalizing the Assessment of Existing Conditions - Fall/Winter 2016
  • Completed - Late Fall 2016 - Availability of the Assessment Report and Preliminary Need to Change for Public Review

Phase II – Revision (development in 2017 & 2018) - In Progress

In this phase, the 1986 and 1987 Forest Plans are revised. The process for revising a plan includes:  preliminary identification of the need to change the plan based on the Phase I Assessment of Existing Conditions, development of a proposed plan, preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS), 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. 

  • Developing the Plan
    • Completed - Winter/Spring 2017 - Feb - April 2017 - Initial Developing the Plan
    • Completed - Internal building the plan - in progress
    • Completed - Follow-up public meetings - September 2017
    • Internal building the plan - in progress
  • Beginning 2018 – Notice of Availability of Proposed Plan and Draft EIS
    • Proposed Plan Community Meetings, (Winter/Spring 2018)
  • Spring/Summer 2018 - Developing Conceptual Alternatives
  • WE ARE HERE - ** Summer thru Fall/Winter 2018 - Analysis and Writing of Draft Environmental Impact Statement
  • Winter 2018/2019 - Review and Availablity of Draft Plan / Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
    • Community Meetings & 90 day Comment period.
  • Spring 2019 – Notice of Objection Period Prior to Approval of the Preferred Alternative and Final EIS
  • Summer 2019 - Objections Process
  • Winter 2019/2020 – Decision:  Notice of Plan Approval and Final EIS

Phase III – Implementation & 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.

  • On-going after the Decision

Key Contacts

10 E Babcock (P.O. Box 130)
Bozeman, MT 59715
Public Affairs:  Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan