Forest Plan Revision

Welcome! The Forest Plan is an important document that guides all of our management actions.

We are revising our existing plan from 1986. We invite you to work with us to develop a vision for a new plan that promotes a healthy, diverse, and productive Gila National Forest. Our goal is to remain inclusive as we move through the collaborative planning process.

The Gila National Forest is in the middle stage of plan revision under the 2012 Forest Planning Rule (36 CFR 219) that will describe the strategic direction for management of forest resources for at least the next 15 years.

Plan Revision Phase activities

  • The Gila National Forest published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to revise the 1986 Forest Plan and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This begins the second phase of Forest Plan Revision and initiates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures for this project.  With this notice, the Gila National Forest is initiating formal plan revision and invites other governments, non-governmental parties, and the public to contribute.

  • Preliminary Draft Plan

    • We are pleased to announce that the Preliminary Draft Plan (link) is now available for review and comment.  This preliminary draft plan reflects input gathered earlier and describes the strategic direction for management of forest resources.  The Gila National Forest highly encourages feedback on the preliminary draft plan and participation moving forward.  Your feedback will help us improve the draft plan and  consider alternatives to the proposed plan direction.  Comments are most useful if received by April 23, 2018. Please send comments preferably in digital form to gilaplan@fs.fed.us, or mail to Gila National Forest, Attn.: Plan Revision, 3005 E. Camino del Bosque, Silver City, NM 88061.  Changes, sometimes significant ones, will occur throughout the document prior to being released as the official Draft Plan later in the year.

  • Community Meetings

    • Thanks to everyone that was able to attend the community open houses in March 2018.  The poster meeting materials and preliminary draft plan feedback summary are available.

    • (NEW!!) The Gila National Forest invites you to a Forest Plan Community Meeting in September 2018!  The purpose of these meetings is to create understanding of the preliminary range of Forest Plan alternatives, discuss how significant issues (or issues that are important to the community) are reflected in the draft alternatives with the opportunity to provide feedback and additional suggestions, and keep stakeholders informed and involved in the forest plan revision effort.  Please see the flyer (link) for additional details including locations and times. 

  • Gila Natural History Symposium

    • The Gila Forest Plan Revision presentations at the 7th Natural History of the Gila Symposium in February 2018 are available (link).

  • Technical Meetings

    • Technical meetings are typically scheduled for an extended period during the day to encourage participation by interested local governments, state/federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and members of the public with more time for discussion on topics and get into the details more.

    • We held several technical meetings to address the topics that were raised at the first technical meeting in June.  We may have additional technical meetings as topics are suggested by stakeholders.  Please send any potential future topic suggestions preferably in digital form to gilaplan@fs.fed.us, or mail to Gila National Forest, Attn.: Plan Revision, 3005 E. Camino del Bosque, Silver City, NM 88061.

    • For more information on the Inventory and Evalution Process for Potential Wilderness Characteristics, please visit this webpage.

  • Thanks to everyone that was able to attend the Gila Forest Plan Revision technical and community meetings the week of June 12th, 2017.  We appreciate your time in helping us revise the Gila’s forest plan.  Meeting materials and summaries are posted below.  There will be more opportunities to share knowledge and ideas during future community meetings, technical meetings, field trips, workshops, and open houses.

  • Thanks to everyone that attended the Frequent-Fire Forest Desired Conditions Workshops.  The materials from the Frequent-Fire Forest Desired Conditions Workshop including presentation slides and field trip site information are now available for both the workshop in Reserve (link) and Silver City (link).  People who weren’t able to attend the workshops can do the field trip itinerary on their own if so inclined.  These workshops helped create shared understanding of desired conditions for frequent-fire forest ecosystems with a focus on ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer, and provided an opportunity learn about and discuss the science supporting desired conditions, management activities, opportunities and challenges. Thanks also to our partners in organizing the workshops: the New Mexico  Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute at New Mexico Highlands University, Forest Service Southwestern Regional Office, Rocky Mountain Research Station, the Earth Systems Ecology Lab at University of New Mexico, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Members of the public may be involved throughout the planning process in a number of ways, including:

  • Participating in community meetings or collaborative work sessions. These sessions will be announced through press releases and will be posted on this web site.
  • Inviting one of the Gila’s Core Planning Team members to make a presentation and answer questions at your organization’s meeting.
  • Public input, feedback, and collaboration
  • Sharing your suggestions, comments and information by:

·         Sending an email to gilaplan@fs.fed.us

·         Sending mail to Gila National Forest Plan Revision, 3005 E. Camino del Bosque, Silver City, NM 88061-7863.

In March 2015 the Gila held six Community Conversations to learn how people value the forest and to get your ideas about how to organize public outreach and involvement efforts.  After we received public input, we developed a Public Participation Strategy. This is a living document that is anticipated to evolve based on input and feedback from all parties throughout the process.

More detailed information will go out to the public and be posted on this website for future public meetings.

The Federal Advisory Committee on Implementation of the 2012 Land Management Planning Rule has prepared the following guides to National Forest planning:

Plan Revision Process

Under the 2012 rule, plan revision is a multi-year effort and involves three distinct phases.

1) Assessment of the current conditions and trends of forest resources and multiple uses,

2) Development of a revised plan

Development of a revised forest plan should begin shortly after the assessment phase is completed. This phase will include the collaborative development of a draft proposed plan, followed by the beginning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. During the NEPA process we will ask for public input on the draft proposed plan, develop draft alternatives to the draft proposed plan, and develop a draft environmental impact statement (EIS). After a public comment period, development of a final plan and EIS will occur. This is then followed by an objection period. The last step is approval of the final forest plan and EIS.

3) Implementation and monitoring of the final approved plan

The final phase is implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the revised plan. Monitoring is designed to provide feedback on whether the forest plan is meeting its objectives. Using this adaptive management approach we will continually improve the forest plan.

Important Note:  Names and physical and e-mail addresses submitted on this website, or in response to any request for comments, will be included in the record for forest plan revision and may be released to the public if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.