Revised Blue Mountains Forest Plans: Objection and Resolution Process

Update November 2018

Resolution meetings between objectors, interested persons, and Forest Service Reviewing Officers have been scheduled between November 27 and December 1, in five different cities in Eastern Oregon.

On June 29, 2018, the Forest Service published the revised Land Management Plans (Forest Plans) for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests (Blue Mountains). The revised Forest Plans are supported by a Final Environmental Impact Statement, a draft Record of Decision, and other supporting documents that are available on this website.

Before final decisions are made on the three revised Forest Plans, the Forest Service follows the requirements of 36 CFR 219.5 for a pre-decisional administrative review, which provides an opportunity for the resolution of objections.  Please see below for the current status of this process.

Overview: The purpose of the revised Forest Plans is to provide an updated framework to guide the management of approximately 5.5 million acres of National Forest System lands in eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. The revised Forest Plans replace the existing 1990 Plans, addressing changes in local economic, social, and environmental conditions over the past 28 years. The revised Forest Plans:

  • Honor the many years that diverse interests have invested in this process since 2004 – reflecting vital input from the public, local governments, states, tribes, federal agencies, and other stakeholders.
  • Represent a Forest Service commitment to promote rural prosperity and well-being, treat fire-prone areas, provide forest access, and promote healthier watersheds. 
  • Support the Forest Service mission "to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations."

Resolution Meetings for Objectors and Interested Persons

Resolution meetings between objectors, interested persons, and Forest Service Reviewing Officers have been scheduled between November 27 and December 1, in five different cities in Eastern Oregon. Meeting locations were identified based on where the majority of Objectors and Interested Persons reside. Invitation letters and meeting agendas were sent to all eligible objectors and interested persons (Review Resolution Meetings Invitation to Objectors and Interested Persons.) Although the meetings are open for public observation, only Objectors and Interested Persons will be invited to actively participate in the resolution meetings. 

There is potential for a large number of objectors and interested persons to attend the resolution meetings. To help facilitate productive dialogue between objectors, interested persons, and Reviewing Officials on the main objections issues, there will be multiple, two-hour discussion sessions during each meeting. (See agenda for each meeting, attached to Resolutions Meeting Invitation.) Up to 20 Objectors or Interested Persons will participate with the Reviewing Officers in each discussion session.

To ensure each objector and interested person has an opportunity to discuss objections, objectors and interested persons may pre-register for a maximum 2 topic areas during the week to actively engage as one of 20 participants in a formal two-hour discussion session. Objectors and Interested Persons may also register on-site for additional discussions on any additional day, as long as seats are available. The pre-registration process will be open from November 19-21, between the hours of 9am and 5pm Pacific. We will accept reservations on a first come/first serve basis. Visit https://sugeni.us/3MEe using a computer or smart phone, and follow the instructions on the website. If you cannot pre-register online, you may call 541-241-6870 during the same days and times, above, to leave a message with your registration request for your two sessions. 

Objections filed and interested person requests

Objection Reading Room: Click here to read eligible objection letters. These letters were received or postmarked by the deadline (August 28, 2018) and met the majority of the objection filing requirements.  The Reviewing Officer sent a notification letter to each eligible objector to confirm acceptance of their objection for further review.  Eligible objectors have an opportunity to participate in objection-resolution meetings, and they will also receive a final written response from the Reviewing Officer after the review is complete.

Legal Notice of Objections Filed and Opportunity to Submit a Request for Interested Person Status (September 7, 2018) (PDF): This initial opportunity to request interested person status closed on September 17, 2018.  

Legal Notice of Additional Opportunity to Submit a Request for Interested Person Status (October 26, 2018) (PDF): Due to the large volume of objections that the Forest Service had to process, as well as delays that occurred in mail services, there were objections that were not made available for review during the full initial 10-day filing period.  (View the list of newly-posted objections.)  Therefore, the Forest Service made these objections available for review and announced an additional 10-day interested person filing period. The additional opportunity to become an interested person closed on November 5, 2018.  

The Reviewing Officer sent a notification letter to each eligible interested person to confirm acceptance of their request. During the objection-resolution meeting(s), interested persons who have been granted recognition by the Reviewing Officer will be able to participate in discussions with objectors and the Reviewing Officer related to issues on the meeting agenda that interested persons have listed in their requests.

Public notices regarding the objection-filing period (which ended August 28, 2018 in accordance with 36 CFR 219.56)

Forest Supervisors' Open Letter (PDF)

Objection Process Brochure (PDF):  Frequently asked questions and answers about the objection process -- Who can object? Who am I filing my objection with? When and how do I file an objection? What must my objection contain? Is there a chance my objection will be rejected? What happens to my objection once I send it in?

Federal Register Notice of ObjectionClick here for detailed instructions on how to file an objection, including Washington, D.C. mail and email addresses. It is the responsibility of objectors or interested persons to demonstrate their standing on specific issues based on previously submitted substantive formal comments provided during the 2010 formal scoping period (March 29 - May 25, 2010) and/or the 2014 formal comment period (March 14 - August 15, 2014).  The 2014 comment letters are available here.

Updated list of libraries and other public locations where paper copies of the planning documents are available for on-site reference. Learn why we're providing online documents and public-reference copies instead of individual paper copies.

News Release (PDF)

Newsletter (PDF): Overview of the objection process.

Legal Notice in the newspaper of record (PDF) 

Documents

To read the following documents, please click on the titles below.

Draft Record of Decision

Letter from the Regional Forester - June 26, 2018 (PDF)  
Draft Record of Decision for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests Revised Land Management Plans (PDF) ROD Cover Image

 

Revised Forest Plans / Revised Land Management Plans

Malheur National Forest -  Land Management Plan (PDF) Malheur LMP Cover Art
Umatilla National Forest -  Land Management Plan (PDF) Umatilla LMP Cover Art
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest -  Land Management Plan (PDF) Wallowa-Whitman LMP Cover Art
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest - Land Management Plan - Appendix E - Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Comprehensive Management Plan (PDF)  

 

Final Environmental Impact Statement

Summary (PDF)
Volume 1: Chapters 1, 2, and 3-part 1 (PDF)
Volume 2: Chapter 3-part 2 (PDF)
Volume 3: Chapter 4-Glossary & References (PDF)
Volume 4: Appendix A-F (PDF)
Volume 4: Appendix G-Maps Malheur National Forest (PDF)
Volume 4: Appendix G-Maps Umatilla National Forest (PDF)
Volume 4: Appendix G-Maps Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (PDF)

 

Additional supporting documents and information

Biological Opinion - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (PDF)
Biological Opinion - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (PDF)
Biological Assessment for Endangered Species Act Consultation (ZIP)
Current Management Situation (2004) (PDF)

 

Interactive Web Maps (ArcGIS Online) 

Interactive Storymap

 

To view previous planning documents and information on archived web pages, click here





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd584707%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD