Rio Grande National Forest Plan Revision

The Rio Grande National Forest is revising their 1996 forest plan. The forest plan is the overarching document that guides all management decisions and activities on the entire Rio Grande National Forest, including activities such as wildfire management, grazing, timber production, recreation, wildlife management, and firewood cutting. This Revision process is governed by the recently finalized 2012 Planning Rule for all national forests.  The Rio Grande is the first forest in the Rocky Mountain Region to undertake this effort.

There are three main phases to the forest plan revision process under the 2012 Planning Rule: assessment, plan revision and monitoring.

The assessment stage is an evaluation of existing and possible future conditions and trends of the social, economic, and ecological systems within the plan area. This evaluation helps determine what needs to be changed  in the 1996 forest plan.

Alternatives to the existing plan are developed and analyzed in the plan revision stage. Public participation helps both with the development and analysis of the alternatives. This stage culminates with a final revised forest plan.

The monitoring phase is a continuous assessment that provides feedback on management effectiveness. It informs if there is a need to change or adapt the forest plan.

Recent Postings

April 18, 2017 

Assessment 5 - At Risk Species, Region 2 Species of Conservation Concern List

March 9, 2017

Assessment 5 - At Risk Species,  Species of Conservation Concern 

January 11, 2017

Assessment 12 - Areas of Tribal Importance update

                                                                    

Public Participation

Public participation during the process is extremely important to ensure that the best forest plan will be developed for your national forest. There are several ways to participate in the planning process:

  •          Public meetings click here
  •          Email: Comments may be emailed to  rgnf_forest_plan@fs.fed.us
  •          Postal Service mail to:

Rio Grande National Forest
Forest Plan Revision
1803 US Hwy 150

Monte Vista, CO 81132

Forest Plan Revision Schedule

Process/Product

Activity

Proposed Completion

Date

Assessment

  • Evaluate existing and relevant data and information.
  • Assess sustainability of social, economic and ecological resources within the plan area and a broader landscape.
  • Begin collaboration and communication processes.

July 2016

Need to Change

  • Highlights those areas of the 1996 Plan to be updated in the revised Plan.

August 2016

Proposed Action

  • Utilizes information gathered from the assessment, review of key findings and identifies proposed actions to be used to develop the Forest Plan.

August 2016

Notice of Intent

  • Notification to revise the land management plan in the Federal Register which initiates a public comment on the Proposed Action.

August 2016

Draft Plan
 

  • Address potential desired conditions, management objectives, and other plan components based on identified need for change.
  • Develop alternatives for issues with differing options.

Summer 2017

Draft EIS
 

  • Develop a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that analyzes the effects upon the environment of each of the Plan alternatives.

Summer 2017

Final EIS and Draft Plan Decision

  • Obtain public feedback on proposed plan and draft EIS.
  • Prepare final EIS and draft plan decision.

 Winter 2017

Objection Process

  • Prior to approving the preferred alternative, the public may raise issues related to the Plan revision and suggest ways to improve the plan decision.

May 2018

Final Decision

  • Made by Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor

May 2018

Implementation and Monitoring

  • Forest Service implements the Plan and begins on-going monitoring

Ongoing