Forest Planning

Fall Colors

The Wayne National Forest is pleased to announce that it started the revision of our Forest Plan in the spring of 2018.


In March and April of 2018, the Wayne National Forest held eight public meetings to announce the Forest would soon begin revising its Forest Plan and to ask for input on how best to involve the public in that process. We made a commitment to review that input and use it to develop a comprehensive Public Participation Strategy that would guide our efforts at public engagement throughout the revision of the Forest Plan. The document has been added here to our webpage in the right hand column, under Quick Links.

As part of the Public Participation Strategy, we are in the process of scheduling August workshops. Stay tuned for dates, times, topics, and locations.

Through our interactions with the public during the initial round of meetings, we determined that one key element of an effective Public Participation Strategy would be a website that can serve as a central location for all public engagement related to Forest Plan Revision. To ensure that the website would be a valuable and user-friendly tool, we have taken the time to communicate with multiple web developers regarding the design of this website. As a result, the website will not be live until the beginning of July.

One of the key functions of the website will be the ability for members of the public to share data, documents, and other information with the Wayne National Forest plan revision team. Users will be able to read all the comments that have been submitted and provide comments of their own. Until the website is active, we strongly encourage you to continue sharing your knowledge of conditions on the Wayne National Forest through email to, or by mail to 13700 US Hwy 33, Nelsonville, OH 45764.

Thanks, as always, for your continued interest in the Wayne National Forest, and please stay tuned for more information as we continue to develop the website that will help us to work with all of you on developing the Wayne’s next Forest Plan.



A Forest Plan is the principal document that guides the decisions of Forest Service managers. It directs where and under what conditions an activity or project on a national forest can proceed. Each time a project or activity is proposed, Forest Service managers must ensure that it is consistent with their Forest Plan.

Forest Plans provide for a range of ecologic, economic, and social benefits for the present and future. They set forth a vision for land management, describe the desired conditions within the Forest, and lay out specific objectives, standards, and guidelines for how to achieve those desired conditions. They also define the suitability of lands for multiple uses such as recreation, timber, wilderness, fish and wildlife habitat, vegetation management, water and soils, mineral exploration and development, and cultural and historic resources.





For years, the USDA Forest Service, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have been innovating ways to collaborate in the restoration of southeast Ohio’s oak and hickory forest ecosystems. The next step to realizing that objective is having compatible long-term management plans that allow the organizations to work together more efficiently. With ODNR’s intention of revising their Forest Action Plan by 2020, the Wayne National Forest decided the time is right to revise its Forest Plan, to facilitate collaborative work efforts with our state partners (ODNR Division of Forestry Action Plan ODNR Division of Wildlife Action Plan; Ohio Statewide Comprehensive Action Plan)



Preview image of Forest Plan Flow Chart pdf.

View a diagram (pdf) of how the Forest Plan Revision Process Works

The Forest Plan Revision process will be accomplished in three general phases: assessment of current conditions and trends, plan development, and implementation/monitoring. The 2012 Planning Rule will guide the revision process, and the Forest Supervisor will be responsible for making the final plan decision. Because the Wayne’s current Forest Plan is relatively new compared with others across the nation, managers aim to complete the revision process in an expeditious manner on pace with the State. In the meantime, the Forest will continue to implement its current Plan, which includes the administration of oil and gas activities, until a new decision is made.



The most important priority in the revision process is transparency and the opportunity for all interested citizens to participate and contribute to the Plan’s development. The Wayne National Forest will engage the public—including individuals, public and private organizations, state and local governments, and other federal agencies—early and throughout the process. A combination of outreach methods will be used, including social media, webpages, newspaper, email, and open meetings. The Forest will provide opportunities for the public to participate in the Assessment Phase and development of the Draft Forest Plan, to comment on the Draft Plan and the disclosure of its Environmental Impact Statements, and to review Monitoring Results.

See a Citizen's Guide to Forest Planning (40MB PDF) for more information. 



Trail with Wildflowers

Photo Credit - Becky Stewart, Trail with wildflowers

The Wayne National Forest will be hosting six in-person engagements and two webinars in late March and early April of 2018 in order to provide the public with information about Forest Plan Revision. This first round of meetings is primarily intended to inform the public about the 2012 Planning Rule and the Plan Revision process, and to provide information about the various opportunities that will exist to collaborate in the development of the new plan. It will also be an opportunity for members of the Plan Revision team to meet some of the citizens who want to participate. Additional opportunities to collaborate in the development of the new plan will occur at various locations throughout the spring and summer of 2018.


Upcoming Meetings

Thank you for your interest in our first round of public meetings! We hope you were able to participate. Please check back soon for information about our next public engagements. Be sure to sign up below for notifications under "Get Involved."



The National Forest Management Act of 1976 requires that each forest create a Forest Plan. The process for the development and revision of plans is outlined in planning regulations, often referred to as the ‘Planning Rule’ (the 2012 Planning Rule is the current rule). Click the links below to learn more about the laws and policies that regulate Forest Plans.

  • The 2012 Planning Rule sets forth process and content requirements to guide the development, amendment, and revision of forest plans to maintain and restore National Forest System land and water ecosystems, while providing for ecosystem services and multiple uses.
  • The National Forest Management Act is an amendment to the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. It establishes standards for how the Forest Service manages National Forest Lands, requires the development of land management plans for national forests and grasslands, and directs the Forest Service to develop regular reports on the status and trends of the nation’s renewable resources on all forests and rangelands.
  • The Forest Service Land Management Planning Handbook (FSH 1909.12) provides planning and revision guidance to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations. It was updated in 2015 to ensure compliance with the 2012 Planning Rule. 



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Your Feedback Matters!

Help us focus our communication and collaboration efforts by filling out our Forest Plan Communication Questionnaire.

To fill out the questionairre: 

  1. Download the questionnaire to your computer or electronic device.
  2. Fill it out. It’s a fillable form, so you can type on it directly.
  3. Save the form (with your responses) to your computer or electronic device.
  4. Email the form back to us at

Key Contacts

Forest Plan Revision

Lori Swiderski