Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Revised Plan Finalized
February 17, 2023 -- The USDA Forest Service released the final revised Nantahala Pisgah Forest plan that will guide future management of the national forests in western North Carolina.
“The forest plan is a framework to address incredibly complex challenges like climate change and invasive species, impacts from development on adjacent private lands, and high levels of visitor use,” said James Melonas, forest supervisor of the National Forests in North Carolina. “Ensuring our forest ecosystems are healthy and resilient is critical to long-term sustainability of all the habitats and ecosystem benefits on which we all depend.”
(Click on the video to learn more about the revised plan framework and how it sets us up to meet 21st century challenges.)
The planning team developed a balanced plan that supports the multiple uses and benefits of national forests, including recreation, water, wilderness and wildlife habitat, healthy and resilient forests, and sustainable management. The new plan specifically emphasizes the ways people use the forest and the places that are important to them.
In developing the plan, the Forest worked with representatives of other agencies, local government, tribes, partner and collaborative groups and individuals to consider the best available science and various approaches to managing the forests.
“The revised plan has been developed with extensive input over many years,” said Melonas. “We appreciate the passion, creativity, and patience of all our partners and communities working with us to build a plan that reflects multiple values while ensuring our national forests are sustained for generations to come.”
Read the full press release here.
Building on more than 100 years of sustainable forest management
The Nantahala and Pisgah are the first National Forests in the east, and are home to the birthplace of scientific forestry in America. These forests that we all love and enjoy are the result of sustainable forest management by the Forest Service for more than 100 years.
We look forward to the work we can do together as we move into the next generation of managing these incredible places.
(Click the video to learn more with Forest Service Historian Lincoln Bramwell.)
Record of Decision (including the rationale for the decision)
- Readers Guide overview of the plan documents (Jan 2023 update)
- Federal Register EIS Notice of Availability February 17, 2023
- Federal Register Notice of Plan Approval February 17, 2023
- Legal Notice of Plan Approval, Asheville Citizen Times, February 17, 2023
- Objection Response Letter, Attachment A: Final Response to Objection Issues and Instructions (Jan 2023)
- US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion, Cover Letter, January 2023 Letter
- Species of Conservation Concern list from the Regional Forester: July 2015 letter; December 2021 letter; SCC list
- Assessment (2014)
Past Planning Documents
Pieces of the plan where shared with the public at every stage of development. See past milestones and previous versions here.