River on OlympicLand and Resource Management plans are required by the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) for each individual National Forest. Over time, individual forest plans have been amended by other regional plans such as the Northwest Forest Plan or the Eastside Screens.

Both national and regional policy guide management of individual national forests. Forest plans establish land allocations, goals and objectives, and standards and guidelines used by land managers, other government agencies, private organizations and individuals. Planning documents provide direction at a broad scale: regional, forest-wide, or landscape (watershed) level.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA  requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions, or specific projects, related to forest management under the plan. Depending on whether or not a proposed action could significantly affect the natural environment, either an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is prepared. View additional Planning and Environmental Policy information.

Northwest Forest Plan

Forest Plan Revision 

Flat Country Regional Review

Eastside Screens


The Monitoring Group of the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region Resource Planning and Monitoring Staff, evaluates the effects of resource management activities on ecosystems in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Public and private sectors are invited to provide feedback to land managers in Implementation Monitoring. The effectiveness of specific Land and Resource Management Plans on National Forests in the Pacific Northwest Region are assessed. 

Related monitoring efforts:

Appeals & Litigation

Find available laws, regulations, and appeals decision information related to proposed federal actions for forest management.

Travel Management

As part of a national travel management process, the Forest Service is working to achieve a financially and ecologically sustainable road system that meets access needs, minimizes adverse environmental impacts, and reflects long-term funding expectations. Learn more about Travel Management

Spirit Lake Outflow Safety Improvement Project 

The Spirit Lake Tunnel was built in the wake of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens to address the imminent public safety threat posed by rising water levels in Spirt Lake. The lake’s outlet to the Toutle River system was suddenly completely blocked by debris from the eruption. The lake began to fill, putting pressure on the unstable debris blockage and threatening to release another catastrophic flow of water, mud, and ash downstream o vulnerable communities still recovering from the eruption. The solution was to create an artificial outlet for the lake – the Spirit Lake Tunnel.

The tunnel was built in an emergency capacity to address the immediate danger of Spirit Lake overflowing after the Mount St. Helens eruption. During the tunnel's lifespan, it has maintained the level of Spirit Lake at a safe elevation. The lake only approaches its maximum safe operating level when the tunnel is closed for repair. Therefore, a reliable outlet is needed that would not require repeated and expensive interventions and extended tunnel closures. Check back soon for project updates.

Northwest Forest Plan Amendment