A Vision for the Future: First Revised Forest Plan Released in California

  • By Denise Adamic, Public Affairs Specialist, Pacific Southwest Region, Regional Office
Mount Whitney, Inyo National Forest. Photo by Joel Sladky. Wildflowers along the McGee Pass Trail, Inyo National Forest. Photo by Leeann Murphy. Sunrise over Hot Creek, Inyo National Forest. Photo by Leeann Murphy.
Ancient Bristlecone pine tree, Inyo National Forest. Photo by Leeann Murphy.

Ancient Bristlecone pine tree, Inyo National Forest. Photo by Leeann Murphy.

The first forest plan in the Pacific Southwest Region revised under the 2012 Planning Rule is available on-line! When approved, the Inyo National Forest plan will guide how the forest’s 2 million acres are managed for the next 10-15 years.

The Inyo National Forest supports about 3,400 jobs, and generates an annual labor income of nearly $120 million. Recreation, tourism and generating electricity and clean water are the main economic drivers for the forest.

“In 1907 the Inyo National Forest was established to protect lands that provide clean water to Los Angeles,” said Forest Supervisor Tammy Randall-Parker. “Since then the forest has become an international destination for people seeking exceptional landscapes and recreation opportunities. More than four million people visit us each year. The revised plan will help balance use with maintaining a healthy forest.”

Another important principal of the revised plan is recognizing the important role fire plays in a forest’s well-being.

“Fire is integral to forest ecosystems,” said Randall-Parker. “The revised plan realizes this while still promoting proactive measures to protect communities and mitigate smoke impacts, which affect residents, visitors, and tourism.”

Yet another focus in the revised plan is recreation.

"We've heard from the public that increased visitation and new recreational activities affect everyone's experience in the forest as well as the health of the landscape," said Randall-Parker. "The revised plan creates a recreation framework involving zones to better manage heavily used areas differently from back-country remote areas that receive fewer users."

The Inyo National Forest's draft forest plan was developed as part of a 3-forest process, including the Sequoia and Sierra national forests. More than 30,000 public comments were received during the 90-day public comment period for the forests' draft plans. Since then, the Inyo National Forest has moved forward with finalizing its plan while the Sequoia and Sierra continue revising their plans.

The Inyo National Forest worked with the public, area tribes, and local, state and federal agencies since 2012 to revise its plan. In addition to recreation, public input shaped direction for aquatic resources, eligible wild and scenic rivers, and species of conservation concern.

The decision to approve the revised plan is subject to a 60-day objection filing period. People who have provided comments previously in the planning process may file an objection.

More about the plan and its associated documents can be found on-line: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/landmanagement/planning