Plan Revision: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2012 Planning Rule

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 10-15 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 research natural areas, wild and scenic rivers, and wilderness

  • Once approved, all subsequent proposals and projects must comply with the Forest Plan

Why are we revising our Forest Plan?

  • The forest and surrounding areas have witnessed significant environmental, social, and economic changes since the current plan was published in 1987.
  • We will follow the “2012 Planning Rule” which includes new policy and analytical requirements, enhances public participation, and incorporates the best available science.
  • This is an opportunity to incorporate new science, knowledge, and public input.

What broad topics will the assessment evaluate?

  • Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, as well as watersheds
  • Air, soil, and water resources and quality
  • System drivers (including natural changes in vegetation communities and precipitation patterns), system stressors (including wildland fire, invasive species, and climate change), and the ability of the Forest to adapt to change.
  • Carbon stocks (the amount of carbon the Forest can store or release)
  • Wildlife species that are at risk, including threatened and endangered species
  • Social, cultural, and economic conditions
  • Benefits that people obtain from the Forest
  • Multiple uses such as recreation, range, timber, watershed, fish, and wildlife
  • Recreation settings and opportunities, access, and scenic character
  • Renewable and nonrenewable energy, as well as mineral resources
  • Infrastructure such as roads, recreational facilities, and utility corridors
  • Areas of importance to Native American tribes
  • Cultural and historic resources
  • Land status and ownership, land use, and access patterns
  • Existing specially designated areas such as Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers, as well as opportunities for additional designted areas