Forest Plan Under Construction

Under Construction




As the forest works to develop the revised Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan we will share preliminary drafts with the public in order to allow for productive input. The complete Draft Revised Forest Plan and plan alternatives will be available for public comment in Summer 2018.

Check back often! Please visit this web site regularly and our plan revision links for more information and updates.

What will be in the Draft Revised Forest Plan?

The Draft Plan is not yet complete; however, we want to share pieces of the plan as a work in progress, to provide a glimpse into plan development as it is unfolding. The preliminary plan is developed from several different sources including public input and input from many organizations and governmental sources internal resource specialists, and the current Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan, as well as the Assessment Report.

Forest Wide Direction: Describes Management for Entire Forest. Made up of Desired Conditions, Goals, Objectives, Standards and Guidelines, and Management Approaches. Think of the Forest Plan as a Road to the Forest... DESIRED CONDITIONS describes your destination. These are the big picture goals. You may not get there overnight, but you know where you want to go. OBJECTIVES describe the road you are driving on. These are time specific, measurable, and are the actions you take to get to the destination. STANDARDS and GUIDELINES describe the guardrails that keep you on the road. These are the rules you must follow. MANAGEMENT APPROACHES describe the toolbox you have to make sure you get to your destination in one piece. They are optional to use, but can help along the way.



Check out the Reader’s Guide to see how all these pieces fit together.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction


Chapter 2 – Forestwide Management


This chapter contains plan direction applied across the Nantahala and Pisgah
National Forests.

Forestwide objectives – all topics (June 30, 2016)

These describe the actions the Forest intends to take during the Plan.

Objectives Video Screenshot


Click the video to view it on our Facebook Page.

For each topic, see below for Desired Conditions, Standards, and Guidelines

Geological Resources (Updated Mar. 21, 2016)                 

Soils (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Water (Updated May 9, 2016)

Air (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Climate (Updated Feb. 29, 2016)

Aquatic Systems (Updated Feb. 9, 2016)

Streamside Zones (Updated May 9, 2016)

Terrestrial Ecozones (Updated Feb. 9, 2016)

Rare Habitats (Updated Mar. 22, 2016)

Wildlife (incorporating information from several resource sections)

Threatened and Endangered Species and Species of Conservation
Concern (including wildlife)
 (Updated May 26, 2016)

Vegetation Management (Updated Feb. 9, 2016)

Fire (Updated Mar. 25, 2016)

Forest Health and Invasive Species (Updated June 8, 2016)

Lands and Special Uses (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Facilities (Updated Feb. 28, 2016)

Transportation and Forest Access (Updated Feb. 28, 2016)

Recreation (Updated Feb. 24, 2016)


Cultural Resources (Updated Mar. 15, 2016)

Tribal Resources (Updated Apr. 21, 2016)

Minerals and Energy Resources (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Forest Products (Non-timber) (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Community Connections (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Conservation Education (Updated Feb. 26, 2016)

Chapter 3 – Management Areas


This chapter includes direction for the general forest areas of Interface, Matrix, Backcountry, Concentrated Use Areas, and Administrative Areas, as well as for special area designations including the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway Heritage Corridors (Trail of Tears and Overmountain Victory Trail), Wild and Scenic Rivers, Special Interest Areas and Research Natural Areas, Wilderness, Wilderness Study Areas, Experimental Forests, Roan Mountain, and the Cradle of Forestry in America Historic Site.

Current Plan Large and Medium Patches of Potential Old Growth
Pre-Draft Sept. 2017 Map

Management Area Plan Direction (Pre-draft ideas) 

Identifying possible Special Interest Areas (Pre-draft ideas)

Wild and Scenic Rivers

Refining Management Area Lines with WHAMAs and NAPs

Explanation of areas that may be analyzed as Recommended Wilderness

Nantahala and Pisgah Pre-Draft Forest Plan GIS (zipped file containing Management Areas, Geographic Areas, and Special Interest Areas GIS shapefiles) - See explanatory text file for details


Chapter 4 – Geographic Areas


Places matter. Geographic Areas recognize the unique social, ecological, and economic characteristics on each part of the forest, describing uses and places that are special.


Geographic Areas Introduction


Geographic Areas Map             

  Eastern Escarpment:

Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map  


   Bald Mountains:    

         Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map  


   Black Mountains: 

 Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map  


   Pisgah Ledge:      

 Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map    


   North Slope:   

 Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map 


            Highland Domes:  

 Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map


    Great Balsam:             

 Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map 


    Nantahala Mountains:  

 Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map 


    Nantahala Gorge:      

  Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map 



  Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map 


    Fontana Lake:   

  Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map  


    Unicoi Mountains:

  Description and Goals    Context Map     Management Area Map 


Chapter 5 – Suitable Uses:

This chapter describes where activities can occur across the forest.

                  Timber Suitability Process Paper

Chapter 6 -- Monitoring and Adaptive Management

This chapter will explain the program for ensuring we’re meeting our plan goals and adapting to changing conditions.

How can I provide feedback?

Send comments to with the subject line: “Geographic and Management Area building blocks,”or by mail at the following address:

Attn: Plan Revision Team Leader,
National Forests in North Carolina
160 Zillicoa St., Suite A
Asheville, NC 28801