Planning

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Help Plan El Yunque's Future

 


The El Yunque National Forest is revising its Land and Resource management plan (referred to as the “revised forest plan” using the 2012 forest planning rule for the National Forest System . This section provides information on the Forest planning process and how you can learn more and become involved.  

The plan updates the 1997 Forest Land and Management Plan for El Yunque and will provide strategic direction to guide management of forest resources and be a framework for decision making for site specific projects and activities.

Where are we now in the process?

The public comment period for the draft Forest Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) ended in December 2016. The draft plan addresses potential desired conditions, management objectives, and other plan components based on identified need-for-change.  The Plan develops various alternatives to be considered and the draft EIS will analyzes the effects upon the environment of each of the alternatives.  

Draft Forest Plan and DEIS Documents 

Letter from Forest Supervisor 
Draft Forest Plan 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
Federal Register Notice of Availability
Press Release 
Legal Notices
Key Reference Documents

Public Participation is Welcome!

Comments received during the 90 day public comment period on the Draft Plan and Draft EIS are being reviewed. The comments will help develop more effective guidance for managing El Yunque into the future and are being used in preparing the final Plan and DEIS documents.  

Comments received will be part of the public record.   Only those individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the draft plan revision during the opportunities for public comment will be eligible to file an objection  as per the objection process in 36 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR Part 219.53 (a).  The decision to approve the revised forest plan for the El Yunque National Forest will be subject to the objection process as per 36 CFR Part 219 Subpart B  (219.50 to 219.62) 

A series of public meetings and other events were conducted in Las Piedras, Luquillo nad Rio Grande during October 2016 where the public could participate in the planning process, provide comments and learn more about collaborative implementation of the plan.

To view comments received during the comment period, and at community and focus group meetings please visit the Comments Analysis and Response Application (CARA) reading room

The Forest Plan Revision Collaboration, Communication and Conversations section includes information on the collaborative planning process and activities.

Forest Plan Revision Schedule

The El Yunque National Forest began revising its Forest Plan in 2012 using a collaborative approach and the use of the best available science under the new planning guidelines.  The following table outlines the planning phases, process and activities and provides links to key documents or information for each phase of the planning process and provides links to key documents or information for each phase of the planning process.

Process/Product

Activity

Proposed 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

January 2014

Proposed Action

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

September 2014

Notice of Intent

  • Notification to Revise the land management Plan in Federal Register with a 45 scoping period for public comment on the Proposed Action

September 2014

Need for Change

  • Highlights those areas of the 1997 Plan to be updated in the revised Plan

September 2014

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

 September 2016

Draft EIS
 

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

September 2016

Public comment on Draft Plan and EIS

  • Obtain public feedback on proposed plan and draft EIS during a 90 day public comment period
  • Comments are used to prepare a final EIS

September 2016 - December  2016

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 as per 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 219.53(a)

August 2017

Final Decision

  • Made by El Yunque National Forest Supervisor

October 2017

Implementation and Monitoring

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

November  2017