The Land Management Plan, also known as a Forest or Grassland Plan, is the principal document that guides the decision making of Forest Service managers. These plans provide long–range management direction for the resources and uses within a national forest or grassland under an adaptive management framework. This includes assessing landscape conditions, developing and implementing a land management plan, and ongoing monitoring.

Graphic with a stream and forest, reading Monitor, Assess, Plan around the pictureForest Plans set desired conditions, standards, and guidelines for management, protection, and use of the forest or grassland.  Monitoring conditions on the unit ensures projects are done in accordance with plan direction and determines effects that might require a change in the plan.

The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) is the primary statute governing the administration of national forests and grasslands

The 2012 Planning Rule interprets the NFMA and guides the amendment and revision of all land management plans.

Plan Implementation, Revision, and Amendment

A number of forests in the Northern Region are in the process of revising their land management plans.  Learn more about these revision efforts and other local planning activities by viewing the "Planning" section on the website for each Northern Region National Forest. Whether revising or implementing their forest plans, forests need your input – get involved!

Forest Plan Revision Websites

National Forest (NF) or Grassland Land Management Plan Status

Flathead NF 

2018 Plan

​Nez Perce-Clearwater NF

Revision Underway

​Helena-Lewis & Clark NF

Revision Underway

​Custer-Gallatin NF

Revision Underway

Lolo NF

1986 Plan

Bitterroot NF

1987 Plan

Dakota Prairie Grasslands

2001 Plan

Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF

2009 Plan

Kootenai NF

2015 Plan

Idaho Panhandle NFs

2015 Plan

Broad-scale Monitoring 

The Northern Region has started the development of a regional broad-scale monitoring strategy. More information coming soon.

Public Participation – Get involved!

National forests and grasslands provide resources that we all use, including timber, fish, forage, wildlife, minerals, recreation, water and many specialty products. The forests in revision are looking for your suggestions to help manage these important resources. The four units in revision are at different stages of the process so visit each forest's individual webpage (links in table above) for more information.

In addition to the public engagement information provided on each forest's webpage, additional resources can be found at the following locations:

  • The National Collaboration Cadre (Cadre) is a network of people from around the US who provide coaching and training assistance to National Forests and their communities who are interested in understanding and developing collaborative processes.


Species of Conservation Concern

Photograph of a flammulated owl chick

The 2012 planning rule requires the Regional Forester to develop a list of species of conservation concern (also known as SCC) as part of the land management planning process. Terrestrial wildlife, aquatic and plant species may meet this criteria if the species is native to, and known to occur in, the plan area, and the best available scientific information indicates substantial concern about a particular species’ capability to persist over the long-term in the plan area.  Management direction in land management plans will address habitat conditions to provide ecological conditions to support persistence of the SCCs on the forest.

Northern Region Aquatic and Riparian Conservation Strategy

Photo of a wood turtle.

The Northern Region is in the process of developing an aquatic and riparian conservation strategy (also known as the ARCS) as a broad-scale strategy to maintain and restore the ecological health of watersheds and aquatic and riparian ecosystems on National Forest lands throughout the montane portions of the Northern Region (Idaho and Montana).