Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Forest Plan and why does it matter?

  • It is a comprehensive document that guides forest management, use, and protection for a period of at least 15 years
  • It aims to balance multiple uses and the restoration and maintenance of forest and water ecosystems
  • It identifies areas that may be suitable for special designations such as wild and scenic rivers and wilderness
  • Once approved, all subsequent projects must comply with the Forest Plan


 Why are we revising our Forest Plan?

  • The forest and surrounding areas have experienced significant environmental, social, and economic changes since the current plan was published in 1983
  • The 2012 Planning Rule includes new policy and analytical requirements
  • This is an opportunity to incorporate new science, knowledge, and contemporary public input


What is the 2012 Rule?

The 2012 Planning Rule is the current Forest Service direction for revising forest plans.  Features include:

  • A three phase process: assessment, revision, monitoring
  • Enhanced commitment to public engagement including youth and other populations historically less involved in forest planning
  • "All lands” perspective that requires consideration of the forest within the broader landscape
  • The application of best available science


What broad topics will the assessment evaluate?

  1. Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  2. Air, soil, and water resources and quality. 
  3. System drivers (including natural changes in vegetation communities and precipitation patterns), system stressors (including invasive species and climate change), and the ability of the Forest to adapt to change. 
  4. Carbon stocks (the amount of carbon the Forest can store or release)
  5. Wildlife species that are at risk, including threatened and endangered species
  6. Social, cultural, and economic conditions
  7. Benefits that people obtain from the Forest, referrred to as "Ecosystem Services"
  8. Multiple uses such as recreation, range, timber, watershed, fish, and wildlife
  9. Recreation settings and opportunities, access, and scenic character
  10. Renewable and nonrenewable energy, and mineral resources
  11. Infrastructure such as roads, recreational facilities, and utility corridors  
  12. Areas of importance to Native American tribes
  13. Cultural and historic resources
  14. Land status and ownership, land use, and access patterns, existing specially designated areas such as Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers, as well as consideration of additional designated areas  

Key Contacts

 Please contact us:

Submit your comments:

Online Feedback Tool 

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
Attn: Plan Revision Team
2250 South Main Street
Delta, CO  81416