Planning

Forest Plan Revision

The Ashley National Forest is currently in the process of revising its land management plan, commonly referred to as a forest plan. Forest plans are integral to all national forests. Each forest plan balances social, environmental, and economic concerns in order to help the Forest Service sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Because ecological and socioeconomic conditions—as well as our understanding of the science regarding land management techniques—change over time, these forest plans must be regularly revised and updated every 10 to 15 years. These revisions consider topics which were not previously addressed, new scientific research that was published since the last forest plan and explore whether conditions in the national forest and surrounding areas have changed.

To learn more about the forest plan revision process, including how you can get involved, explore the links featured below and in the right-hand sidebar. 

The current plan was completed in 1986 and has been amended multiple times. Throughout the course of the forest plan revision process, the Ashley National Forest will continue to implement its current forest plan until a new decision is made. 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

* 90-Day Comment Period Closed *

The Ashley National Forest released the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the draft revised Land Management Plan (draft forest plan) on November 19, 2021. These documents reflect extensive public participation over the past 5 years through collaborative working group meetings and other public input. We greatly appreciate the commitment of interested participants who have provided important contributions toward the development of the DEIS and draft forest plan. The documents also reflect an interdisciplinary team approach in the consideration of the input received.

DEIS and Draft Forest Plan Documents

The full text of the DEIS, Appendix E. Draft Forest Plan, Appendix A. Figures (maps), and other appendices are linked  below:

DEIS for the revised forest plan for the Ashley National Forest

90-Day Comment Period - closed on February 17, 2022

A Notice of Availability for the DEIS was published on November 19, 2021, in the Federal Register. Electronic, written, or hand-delivered comments concerning these documents were accepted for 90 days from the publication date of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, which is the exclusive means for calculating the official comment period for the draft plan and DEIS.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously were be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments do not provide the respondent the standing to participate in the 2012 Planning Rule Objection Process.

The decision to approve the final land management plan for the Ashley NF will be subject to the objection process identified in the 2012 Planning Rule Objection Process at 36 CFR 219 subpart b (219.50 to 219.62). Only those individuals and entities who have submitted substantive comments related to the Ashley NF plan revision during the opportunities provided for public comment will be eligible to file an objection (36 CFR 219.52(a)).

Electronic comments received can be viewed in the reading room: https://cara.fs2c.usda.gov/Public/ReadingRoom?project=49606  

 

Notices of DEIS

Public Webinars

Recent webinars (click on links below to download and watch the recording).

Forest Plan Revision Schedule

 Key Deliverable or Milestone

Date

 Assessment

10/2017

 Draft DEIS and draft plan

11/2021

 Final EIS, final plan, and draft ROD released

 projected 10/2022  

     Objection Period (filing  60 days, response 90 days, resolution)  

6 months

 Final EIS, final plan, and final ROD released

4/2023

 Implementation

5/2023

 

How to Stay Informed

As public participation opportunities are scheduled, announcements will be made via newspaper, radio, updates to this web site, Facebook, and email will be sent to those who are on our mailing list.  To be added to the mailing list, please click the "Subscribe for Updates" or the "Forest Plan Revision Email List" tab above (above-right), or drop by any Ashley National Forest office.  Offices are located in Duchesne, Vernal and Manila, Utah.

The Ashley National Forest is committed to making this an open and transparent process.  We invite you to participate in the entire Forest Plan Revision process so that you can help guide future management activities on the Ashley National Forest.

Contacting Ashley Forest Plan Revision or for More Information

You may contact the Ashley Forest Plan Revision Team in any of the following ways:

The preferred method to comment is online at our comment system here.

By standard mail: Ashley National Forest, Attention: Forest Plan Revision, 355 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal, UT 84078-1703

By email:  AshleyForestPlan@usda.gov

By phone: (435) 781-5118

Links to Additional Webpages, Documents, and Information

Species of Conservation Concern (SCC)

During the forest plan revision process, the Forest Service is directed to identify “species of conservation concern.” This is a type of special designation given to organisms for which there is substantial concern about their capability to persist over the long-term in a national forest.

The Regional Forester identifies SCC for forest plans developed under the 2012 planning rule. To be identified as a SCC, the species must be native and known to occur in the national forest, cannot already be a federally endangered, threatened, or candidate species, and must have sufficient scientific information available about it to conclude that there is a substantial concern for its capability to persist in the national forest over the long term. If there is insufficient scientific information available to conclude that, or if the species is secure in the national forest, then that species will not be identified as a potential species of conservation concern.

Wilderness Inventory and Evaluation

Under the Wilderness Protection Act and the Forest Service 2012 Planning Rule, any National Forest undergoing a plan revision must review lands that may be suitable for a Wilderness designation and analyze the impacts from the recommendation of such lands.

Eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 establishes a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System for the protection of selected national rivers and their immediate environments.  The rivers must possess outstandingly remarkable values – to include scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values - which are to be preserved in free-flowing condition. The Forest Service 2012 Planning Rule requires a comprehensive inventory of rivers, and their evaluation for eligibility, during a plan revision.

 


The Ashley National Forest wants you to be involved in its Forest Plan Revision.  Why should you be involved? 

Please click the videos below and find out.

 

 

 

 

Key Contacts

Anastasia (Stacy) Allen, Forest Plan Revision Team Leader
Lars Christensen, Collaboration Specialist

435-781-5118

AshleyForestPlan@usda.gov