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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southeast  |  Topic: Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests « previous next »
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Author Topic: Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests  (Read 707 times)
Peter Vahry
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« on: October 03, 2013, 04:15:21 am »

Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah
National Forests

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Initiating the development of a land management plan
revision for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, located in North
Carolina, are initiating the development of a land management plan
revision (forest plan) for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
(NFs). A Draft Assessment has been posted to our Web site. We are
inviting the public to help us develop a preliminary ``need for
change'' and a proposed action for the land management plan revision.

DATES: A draft of the Assessment report for the revision of the
Nantahala and Pisgah NFs land management plan was posted on the
following Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision on
September 20, 2013.
    Public meetings associated with the development of the preliminary
``need for change'' and a proposed action will be announced on the Web
site cited above.
    It is anticipated that the Notice of Intent to prepare an
environmental impact statement (which will accompany the land
management plan revision for the Nantahala and Pisgah NFs), will be
published in the Federal Register around December 2013 to January 2014.

ADDRESSES: Written comments or questions concerning this notice should
be addressed to National Forests in North Carolina, Nantahala and
Pisgah Plan Revision, 160 Zillicoa St., Suite A, Asheville, North
Carolina 28801. Comments or questions may also be sent via email to
NCplanrevision@fs.fed.us. All correspondence, including names and
addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for
public inspection and copying.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Berner, Forest Planner, 828-257-
4200. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD)
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339
between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.
    More information on the planning process can also be found on the
Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the 2012 Forest Planning Rule
(36 CFR Part 219), the planning process encompases three-stages:
Assessment, plan revision, and monitoring. The first stage of the
planning process involves assessing social, economic, and ecological
conditions of the planning area, which is documented in an assessment
report. A draft of the assessment report for the Nantahala and Pisgah
NFs was posted on the Forest Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision on September 20, 2013.
    This notice announces the start of the second stage of the planning
process, which is the development of the land management plan revision.
The first task of plan revision is to develop a preliminary ``need for
change'', which identifies the need to change management direction in
current plans due to changing conditions or other monitoring
information. The next task is to develop a proposed action, which is a
proposal on how to respond to needs for changes. We are inviting the
public to help us develop our preliminary ``need for change'' and a
proposed action.
    A proposed action will initiate our compliance with the National
Environmental Policy Act. A Notice of Intent to prepare an
environmental impact statement for the land mangement plan revision,
which will include a description of the preliminary need for change and
a description of the proposed action, will be published around December
2013 to January 2014 in the Federal Register.
    Forest plans developed under the National Forest Management Act
(NFMA) of 1976 describe the strategic direction for management of
forest resources for ten to fifteen years, and are adaptive and
amendable as conditions changes over time. The Forest Plan for the
Nantahala and Pisgah NFs was approved in 1987, with a Significant
Amendment to the Forest Plan approved in 1994. On November 20, 2012, a
public announcement was made that the Nantahala and Pisgah NFs were
beginning to work on the Assessment for revising their Forest Plan.
This notice announces the start of the second stage of the planning
process, the development of the land management plan revision. Once the
plan revision is completed, it will be subject to the objection
procedures of 36 CFR Part 219, Subpart B, before it can be approved.
The third stage of the planning process is the monitoring and
evaluation of the revised plan, which is ongoing over the life of the
revised plan.
    As public meetings, other opportunities for public engagement, and
public review and comment opportunties are identified to assist with
the development of the forest plan revision, public announcements will
be made, notifications will be posted on the Forest's Web site at
www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision and information will be sent out
to the Forest's mailing list. If anyone is interested in being on the
Forest's mailing list to receive these notifications, please contact
Ruth Berner, the Forest Planner, at the address identified below, or by
sending an email to NCplanrevision@fs.fed.us.

Responsible Official

    The responsible official for the revision of the land management
plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests is Kristin Bail,
Forest Supervisor, National Forests in North Carolina, 160 Zillicoa
St., Suite A, Asheville, North Carolina 28801.

    Dated: September 25, 2013.
Kristin Bail,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2013-24218 Filed 10-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P

Source... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-03/html/2013-24218.htm
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Peter Vahry
UFWDA International Vice-President
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Posts: 1,310



« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2014, 02:51:42 am »

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Revise the Land and Resource Management
Plan and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: As directed by the National Forest Management Act, the USDA
Forest Service is preparing the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests'
revised land management plan (forest plan) and will also prepare an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this revised forest plan. This
notice briefly describes the nature of the decision to be made, a
general proposed action based on the preliminary identified need to
change the existing plan, and information concerning public
participation. It also provides estimated dates for filing the EIS and
the name and address of the responsible agency official and the
individuals who can provide additional information. Finally, this
notice identifies the applicable planning rule that will be used for
completing this plan revision. The revised forest plan will supersede
the existing forest plan that was approved by the Regional Forester in
1987, and significantly amended in 1994. The existing forest plan will
remain in effect until the revised forest plan takes effect.

DATES: Comments concerning the preliminary need for change and proposed
action provided in this notice will be most useful in the development
of the draft revised forest plan and EIS if received by April 28, 2014.
The agency expects to release a draft revised forest plan and draft EIS
for formal comment by April 1, 2015 and a final revised forest plan and
final EIS by June 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be sent via email to: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=43545 or via facsimile to
828-257-4263. Send or deliver written comments to: National Forests in
North Carolina, Attention: Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision Team,
160A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Berner, Forest Planner, National
Forests in North Carolina, 160A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC, (828)
257-4862, or at NCplanrevision@fs.fed.us. Information regarding this
revision is also available at the National Forests in North Carolina
Web site: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision. Individuals who use
telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8
p.m., Eastern Time Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The USDA Forest Service is the lead agency on revision of the
forest plan and the Bureau of Land Management is designated as a
cooperating agency in the plan revision.

B. Name and Address of the Responsible Official

    The responsible official who will approve the Record of Decision is
Kristin Bail, Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in North
Carolina, 160A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801.

C. Nature of the Decision To Be Made

    The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests (NFs) are preparing an
EIS to revise the existing forest plan. The EIS process is meant to
inform the Forest Supervisor so that she can decide which alternative
best meets the diverse needs of people while conserving the forests'
resources, as required by the National Forest Management Act and the
Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act. The revised forest plan will describe
the strategic intent of managing the Nantahala and Pisgah NFs into the
next 10 to 15 years and will address the identified need to change the
existing land management plan. A description of the preliminary need
for change is provided below. The revised forest plan will provide
management direction in the form of desired conditions, objectives,
suitability determinations, standards, guidelines, and a monitoring
program. It may make changes to the structure and delineation of the
Management Areas described in the existing plan, along with possible
changes to administratively designated areas and recommendations for
changes to other designations. The revised forest plan will also
provide a description of the plan area's distinctive roles and
contributions within the broader landscape. It is also important to
identify the types of decisions that will not be made within the
revised forest plan. The authorization of project-level activities on
the forests is not a decision made in the forest plan but occurs
through subsequent project specific decision-making. Though some
strategic guidance may be provided, the designation of routes and
trails for motorized vehicle travel, equestrian and mountain bike use
are not considered during plan revision, but will be addressed through
subsequent planning processes
. Some issues (e.g., hunting regulations),
although important, are beyond the authority or control of the National
Forest System and will not be considered. No decision regarding oil and
gas leasing availability will be made, though standards will be brought
forward or developed that would serve as mitigations should an
availability decision be necessary in the future. No decision will
likely be made regarding the management of individual roads, such as
might be associated with a Travel Management plan under 36 CFR Part
212.

D. Need for Change and Proposed Action

    According to the National Forest Management Act, forest plans are
to be revised on a 10 to 15 year cycle. The purpose and need for
revising the current forest plan is (1) the forest plan is over 25
years old, (2) since the forest plan was approved in 1987, there have
been changes in economic, social, and ecological conditions, new
policies and priorities, and new information based on monitoring and
scientific research, and (3) to address the preliminary identified
needs to change the existing

[[Page 13985]]

plan, which are summarized below. Extensive public and employee
involvement, along with science-based evaluations, have helped to
identify theses preliminary needs to change the existing forest plan.
    The Proposed Action is to revise the forest plan to address these
identified needs to change the existing forest plan. Alternatives to
the Proposed Action will be developed to address the significant issues
that will be identified through scoping.
    What follows is a summary of the preliminary identified needs for
change. A more fully developed description of the preliminary need for
change, which has been organized into several resource and management
topic sections, is available for review on the plan revision Web site
at: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision.

Throughout the Plan

    There is a need for the revised plan to address how forest
management in all resource areas should be prioritized given varying
levels of money and personnel likely to be available over the course of
the planning cycle.
    There is a need to reconsider the number, arrangement, boundaries
of, and plan direction for the management areas.
    There is a need to recognize the role of the Nantahala and Pisgah
NFs in supporting local economies.
    There is a need to include plan direction regarding potential
climate change impacts.
    There is a need to incorporate opportunities for working across
boundaries to manage landscapes with adjacent land managers such as
state and federal partners and other land management entities.

Lands and Boundaries of the National Forest

    There is a need to ensure the revised plan contains sufficient
direction for dealing with land adjustment opportunities.

Minerals and Energy

    There is a need to update and clarify plan direction regarding
recreational metal detecting, mineral collection, and gold panning;
direction for potential energy and mineral developments; and direction
for managing geologic hazards.

Timber Production and Non-Timber Forest Products

    There is a need to reconsider which areas of the national forests
are suitable for timber production, and there is a need to update plan
direction for non-timber forest products.

Restoring Ecosystems and Rare Habitats

    There is a need to provide direction to proactively manage,
maintain, or restore ecosystems, watersheds and rare habitats, to
better control non-native invasive species, and to reconsider riparian
area management.
    There is a need for management direction regarding municipal
watersheds and groundwater.
    There is a need to include direction for improving aquatic passage
in streams.

Wildlife Habitat

    There is a need to reconsider direction for wildlife habitat
diversity provided in the 1987 Plan. Young forest is in short supply
and other habitat components are in need of adjustment.
    There is a need to provide direction for managing elk habitat in
anticipation of their expanding range.

Scenery

    There is a need to update the scenery management system.

Designated Areas

    There is a need to clarify and update plan direction regarding
designated areas.
    There is a need to conduct an inventory and evaluation of potential
additions to Wilderness and identify the eligibility of rivers for
inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. There is a
need to reconsider previous recommendations for Wilderness and update
plan direction regarding management of Wilderness and Wilderness Study
Areas, and other designated areas.

Roads

    There is a need to update plan direction for managing roads.

Cultural Resources

    There is a need to update plan direction for managing cultural
resource sites.

Conservation Education

    There is a need for the plan to promote opportunities for
conservation.

Recreation

    There is a need to be responsive to changing trends in regard to
services, activities and types of facilities desired by the public, but
balance those with fiscal reality. The trends in demographics such as
the expectation for an older and more ethnically diverse population,
the need to promote outdoor physical activities, especially among
youth, and the desire to support local cultures and economies should
all be considered in establishing a path forward for recreation
management on Nantahala and Pisgah NFs.

Trails

    There is a need for the plan to better address the sustainability
of the trail systems considering changing trends in use, conditions,
and maintenance capacity.

For the full notice .....  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-03-12/html/2014-05374.htm
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 02:54:19 am by Peter Vahry » Logged

Auckland Four Wheel Drive Club Inc, 4x4 Challenges NZ Inc, NZFWDA life member
Peter Vahry
UFWDA International Vice-President
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Posts: 1,310



« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 03:50:16 am »

 The forest plan revision team plans to hold a public session on April 17th regarding wilderness and other designated areas. The meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Resort, 1 Resort Drive, Asheville, NC 28806. We are asking for those who are interested to RSVP for this session, as space is limited. This is currently expected to be a focused day-long discussion in Asheville on the following topics:

    Identification and inventory of areas that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System
    The process for identifying special designated areas
    The Scenery Management System

The discussion on wilderness and special designated areas will be from 9:00 to 3:00, with a drop-in session on the Scenery Managment System following. If you are interested in participating in the wilderness and/or designated areas discussion, please RSVP to NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us by April 10th. An agenda will be posted here by April 1st.

In addition, the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest Assessment Report and the supplemental specialist reports have been updated:

Notice of Initiation for Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests  https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5438919.pdf

View the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Assessment Report.  http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3793034.pdf

View the Assessment Report Executive Summary  http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3793934.pdf

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