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 forest plan address?
- Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
- Air, soil, and water resources and quality.
- Resilience to climate change
- General wildlife ahd habitat
- Wildlife species that are at risk, including threatened and endangered species and the Regional Forester's species of conservation concern
- Social, cultural, and economic conditions
- Benefits that people obtain from the Forest, referred to as "Ecosystem Services", such as air quality, soil health, watershed health and water quality, scenery, fish and wildlife, recreation, and range
- Additional multiple uses such as timber, minerals
- Recreation settings and opportunities, access, and scenic character
- Infrastructure such as roads, recreational facilities, and utility corridors
- Cultural and historic resources
- Land status and ownership, land use, and access patterns,
- Designated Wilderness
- Consideration of additional recommended wilderness and other special areas
- Wild and Scenic River eligibility