Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Plan Revision

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The U.S. Forest Service has revised the land management plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The forest plan provides a strategic framework for managing the Forests over the next 20 years. The plan includes desired conditions for the future of the Forests and objectives that describe actions the Forest Service will take to move toward those conditions.

The plan addresses the impacts of development pressure on adjacent private lands; unprecedented increase in recreation; the growth of wildland urban interface; the spread of insects, disease, and invasive species; and the escalating impacts from climate change. In this time of accelerated change, ensuring our forest ecosystems are healthy and resilient is critical to long-term sustainability of the diverse habitats these forests provide for wildlife and plants, and for supplying the clean water and other ecosystem benefits that we all depend on.

We have worked with diverse members of the public to build a broadly supported and implementable forest plan that will connect people to the land; restore forest resiliency, forest health, and wildlife habitat; provide clean and abundant water; support recreation and local jobs; and provide a platform for working together toward shared goals.

For a brief overview of the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan Revision with Forest Supervisor James Melonas and Planning Team Leader Michelle Aldridge view the video below.



4 Unifying Themes

Revised Forest Plan

Reader's Guide

This guide provides an overview of key documents now available for your review.

Revised Forest Plan

The forest plan establishes a vision for how the  Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests will be managed for the next 20 years, and establishes the strategic framework for achieving that vision. Changes between the draft and revised forest plans are highlighted in grey.

All future projects, everything from trail building to tree harvesting and stream restoration, will be consistent with the forest plan.

Draft Record of Decision

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

The FEIS is the environmental analysis of how the forest plan would affect natural and cultural resources on the Nantahala and Pisgah NFs. This document also provides information on the issues that have been raised through public involvement and how different alternatives were developed in response to issues. Changes between the draft and final EIS are highlighted in grey.

Appendix A. Response to Comments

Appendix B. Description of the Analysis Process

Appendix C. Ecological Sustainability Analysis

Appendix D. Vegetation Modeling Methods

Appendix E. Wilderness Evaluation Process

Appendix F. Wild and Scenic River Evaluation Process

Appendix G. Coordination with other Public Planning Efforts

Appendix H. Public and Government Involvement


PDF format maps (FEIS Appendix I)

Geospatial datasets used in FEIS analysis

Species of Conservation Concern

Species of Conservation Concern list from the Regional Forester: July 2015 letter

Species of Conservation Concern list from the Regional Forester: December 2021 letter

SCC list

Additional Information and Background

Forest Setting and Culture Why Revise the Forest Plan Public Involvement in the Process

Tribal Engagement and Collaboration

Diversity and Inclusion in the Planning Process Sharing the Stewardship of the Land Objection Process Past Planning Documents






Federal Register Notice of Objection (NOO) January 21, 2022
Legal Notice January 21, 2022