Jellico Integrated Resource Management Strategy
The Daniel Boone National Forest, Stearns Ranger District, assessed the Jellico area and sought input for potential projects to move the area towards the desired future condition as described in the Forest Plan. This page documents the efforts of that original IRMS process, but any land management decisions for the Jellico area will be documented on the official Jellico Vegetation Management Project page.
As the USDA Forest Service, we are charged by the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) with providing sustainable multiple benefits to the public through proper management and use of natural resources. When the Daniel Boone National Forest is managed for sustainable multiple uses, we ensure clean water, healthy ecosystems, sustainable supplies of wood and paper products, supplies of energy and minerals, and superior places for the public to recreate for generations to come.
To achieve this, the Daniel Boone National Forest developed the IRMS (Integrated Resource Management Strategy), a systematic process for looking at the Daniel Boone National Forest, determining resource conditions, and developing projects based on the goals and objectives from the Forest Plan. The overall result of the IRMS process will be a list of possible management practices and project proposals for the landscape area that will be tied directly to the existing conditions, desired future conditions, Prescription Areas, and Forest Plan direction.
The components of the IRMS process are: data acquisition, an assessment of conditions based on available data, public interaction, and project development. The progression of the assessment consists of:
- Characterization of the area
- Identification of key resources and Prescription Areas
- Description of existing conditions
- Description of desired future conditions
- Comparison of existing and desired future conditions
- Recommendations to help move the existing conditions toward the desired future conditions.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies, like the USDA Forest Service, to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions and consider public comments and reasonable alternatives to the proposed actions prior to acting on these recommendations.
The IRMS process for the Jellico area encourages public collaboration prior to public interaction under NEPA. Collaboration involves Forest Service employees, partners, tribes, the public, and any other stakeholders interested in participating. You can engage in the process through virtual meetings and by collaborating on the recommendations and proposed actions. Once recommendations have been made and proposed actions are developed, a project proposal(s) will be put forward to the public. The NEPA process will then commence and further collaboration will occur as specified by the NEPA process.
The Jellico area is the furthest southeastern portion of the Stearns Ranger District, bordering Tennessee. This area is split between McCreary and Whitley counties in Kentucky, encompassing the well-known areas of Stephens Knob, Ryan’s Mountain, and Wolf Knob. This area includes Stearns’ only designated old growth which is nearly all contained between Jellico Creek and the Tennessee.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
The Daniel Boone National Forest, Stearns Ranger District, has prepared a virtual, self-paced field trip to share findings from the field and next steps for the Jellico Integrated Management Strategy (IRMS) analysis. Take the tour to learn more about the area and provide your own feedback on our findings.
Review Public Input from the IRMS Process
The public was invited to provide observations, recommendations and questions to the Jellico IRMS team during Winter 2022. This feedback was used by land managers to inform the Jellico Vegetation Management Project.