Forest Planning Landing Page

Each National Forest has a Land and Resource Management Plan. This document, usually referred to as the Forest Plan, describes how the forest will be managed for the 15-20 year period after it is adopted.

The National Forests in North Carolina has four national forests which are managed under three separate Forest Plans. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in western North Carolina are managed under a single management plan, which was revised with a significant forest plan amendment in 1994. The 1994 Admendment is in place as the active forest plan until the Nantahala and Pisgah Revised Plan is signed, by mid 2022. The Croatan National Forest has its own Forest Plan, which was revised in 2002. The Uwharrie National Forest Plan was revised in 2012.

Forest Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Reports

Forest Plan monitoring and evaluation are continuous learning tools that form the backbone of adaptive management. Periodic evaluations of conditions and trends of the monitoring questions form the basis for continuous plan improvement and provide information for responses to change. For this reason, the Forest Service produces an evaluation report every two years.

Monitoring programs evaluate whether plan direction and management are effective in achieving progress toward the desired conditions and objectives for the forest.  In the context of forest planning, there are three main monitoring goals:

  • Are we implementing the Forest Plan direction properly? Are we meeting our management targets and project guidelines?
  • Are we achieving our Forest Plan management goals and desired outcomes?
  • Is there a need to change to the Forest Plan direction?

The Croatan and Uwharrie plan monitoring programs were updated in April 2016 for consistency with the 2012 planning regulations [36 CFR 219.12 (c)(1)]. 

The Nantahala and Pisgah monitoring program is currently being updated as part of the forest plan revision.

The Historical Context for Monitoring