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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southwest  |  Topic: Land Management Plans for the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests « previous next »
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Author Topic: Land Management Plans for the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests  (Read 290 times)
Peter Vahry
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« on: December 25, 2013, 03:01:41 am »

Revision of the Land Management Plans for the Inyo, Sierra and
Sequoia National Forests

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice to initiate the development of land management plan
revisions for the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests.

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

SUMMARY: The Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) has initiated land
management plan revisions for the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National
Forests. The Final Assessments and other related information for these
forests have been posted to the Region 5 Web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning. The Forest Service
invites the public to help develop a ``need for change'' and desired
conditions that will lead to a proposed action for the land management
plan revisions.

DATES: Public workshops to share information about the plan revision
process will occur the week of January 27t, 2014, and will
be announced through press release and on the above Web site shown
. The
Web site will also provide recommended reading for the public in
preparation for these workshops. The recommended reading consists of
preliminary staff work by the Forest Service on the need for change to
help guide and focus the workshops. The workshops will concentrate on
(1) gathering feedback from the public regarding the preliminary need
for change topic areas, which will focus the revision process, (2)
identifying missing need for change topics, and (3)

[[Page 78327]]

developing desired future conditions for the topics identified.
    The Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS is scheduled to be published
in the Federal Register in April 2014. In order to conduct an efficient
analysis process, one Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be
prepared for the plan revision process of the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo
National Forests. In addition, a separate Record of Decision (ROD) and
Land Management Plan will be developed for each of these forests.

ADDRESSES: Written comments or questions concerning this notice should
be addressed to Land Management Plan Revision, U.S. Forest Service,
Ecosystem Planning Staff, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592.
    Comments or questions may also be sent via email to FS-R5planrevisions@fs.fed.us. All correspondence received, including names
and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available
for public inspection and copying.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Debra Whitall, Regional Social
Scientist, 707-562-8823. 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. (Pacific
Time), Monday through Friday. More information on the planning process
can also be found on the Pacific Southwest Region Plan Revision Web
site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the 2012 Forest Planning Rule
(36 CFR Part 219), the planning process encompasses 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. Final assessment reports for the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia
national forests are posted on the Region 5 Web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning. This Web site also has
information on a preliminary need for change that the Forest Service
developed based on these assessments. These will be vetted and
discussed at public workshops in January 2014. This notice announces
the start of the second stage of the planning process, which is
revising the land management plans. The first task of plan revision is
to develop a preliminary ``need for change'' that identifies the areas
that need for change in management direction outlined in the current
plans. The preliminary need for change is based on what is important to
people, threats to resources, undesirable trends in social, economic,
or ecological sustainability, and a need to correct current direction
in plans that are not meeting needs to provide benefits sustainably. In
addition, it is important to focus on areas where changes to the forest
plan can do something substantial to correct concerns identified in the
near term. The need for change will be responsive to new information
learned through monitoring and assessment.
    Based on the public feedback from the public meetings held in
January, a proposed action will be developed that responds to needs for
change. A Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement
for the land management plan revisions for the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo
National Forests, which will include a description of the preliminary
need for change and a description of the proposed action, will be
published in April 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 change over time. The Forest Plan for the Inyo
National Forest was approved in 1988, Sierra NF in 1991, and the
original Sequoia NF Plan was approved in 1988. A Significant Amendment
to these Forest Plans was approved in 2004 as part of the Sierra Nevada
Forest Plan Amendment (aka, the Sierra Nevada Framework). The Sequoia
NF has a Mediated Settlement Agreement from 1990 that is still in
effect on the lands outside the Sequoia National Monument. The portion
of the Sequoia NF in the Giant Sequoia National Monument has a Plan,
EIS and ROD that amended the Forest Plan that was completed in 2013.
Because the Giant Sequoia National Monument Plan was just completed, it
will not be addressed in this revision process. On January 31, 2013, a
public announcement was made that the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo NFs were
beginning to work on the Assessment for revising their Forest Plan.
    This current notice announces the start of the second stage of the
planning process, the development of the land management plan
revisions. Once the plan revisions are completed, they will be subject
to the objection procedures of 36 CFR Part 219, Subpart B, before they
can be approved. The third stage of the planning process is monitoring
and evaluation that will occur over the life of the revised plans.
    Opportunities for public engagement such as public meetings,
workshops, and comment periods will be posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning. This information will
be updated as the process continues. Information will also be sent to
the Forest's stakeholder mailing list. If anyone is interested in being
added to this mailing list to receive these notifications, please
contact Debra Whitall, Regional Social Scientist at the email or
mailing address identified in the For Further Information Contact
section above.

Responsible Official

    The responsible official for each revision of the land management
plan is the Forest Supervisor for each forest:

Ed Armenta, Forest Supervisor, Inyo National Forest Service, 351 Pacu
Lane, Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514.
Dean Gould, Forest Supervisor, Sierra National Forest Service, 1600
Tollhouse Road, Clovis, CA 93611.
Kevin Elliott, Forest Supervisor, Sequoia National Forest, 1839 South
Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA 93257.

    In order to simplify the process, one Notice of Initiation was sent
out for all three of these forests and signed by Deputy Regional
Forester Barnie Gyant, Pacific Southwest Regional Office, 1323 Club
Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592. The responsible officials for these plan
revisions are the Forest Supervisors as listed above.

    Dated: December 17, 2013.
Barnie Gyant,
Deputy Regional Forester, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-30815 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P

Source.....  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-26/html/2013-30815.htm
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