Assessment Report of Ecological, Social and Economic Conditions,
Trends and Sustainability for the Ashley National Forest
AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of initiating the assessment phase of the forest plan
revision for the Ashley National Forest.
SUMMARY: The Ashley National Forest (Forest), located in northeastern
Utah and southwestern Wyoming, is initiating the first phase of the
forest planning process pursuant to the National Forest System Land
Management Planning rule (36 CFR part 219). This process will result in
a revised forest land management plan (forest plan) which provides
strategic direction for management of resources on the Ashley National
Forest for the next ten to fifteen years. The first phase of the
planning process involves assessing ecological, social and economic
conditions and trends in the planning area and documenting the findings
in an assessment report.
The assessment phase is just beginning on the Ashley National
Forest and interested parties are invited to contribute to the
development of the assessment. The Forest will be hosting public
meetings to explain the revision process and invite the public to share
information relevant to the assessment, including sources of existing
information and local knowledge of current conditions and trends in the
natural resources, social values, and goods and services produced by
lands within the Ashley National Forest.
DATES: Public meetings to discuss development of the assessment will be
held in July and August 2016. Dates, locations and agendas will be
posted on the Forest Web site (www.fs.usda.gov/goto/AshleyForestPlan
and mailed to individuals and organizations on our mailing list.
Another round of meetings is planned for November-December 2016, when a
draft assessment is ready for public review. We expect to complete the
assessment in the spring of 2017. Following completion of the
assessment, the Forest will initiate procedures pursuant to the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to prepare and evaluate a
revised forest plan.
ADDRESSES: Written correspondence can be sent to: Ashley National
Forest, Attn: Forest Plan, 355 N. Vernal Avenue, Vernal, UT 84078; or
emailed to AshleyForestPlan@fs.fed.us
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathy Paulin, Forest Plan Revision
Team Leader at the mailing address above; or call 435-781-5118.
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. More
information on our plan revision process is available on the Forest's
planning Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/AshleyForestPlan
. You may
also contact us by email at: AshleyForestPlan@fs.fed.us
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of
1976 requires that every National Forest System (NFS) unit develop and
periodically revise a forest plan. The procedures for doing this are in
federal regulation (``Planning Rule,'' 36 CFR 219) and in Forest
Service directives. Forest plans provide strategic direction for
managing forest resources for ten to fifteen years, and are adaptive
and amendable as conditions change over time.
Under the Planning Rule, an assessment of ecological, social, and
economic conditions and trends in the planning area is the first phase
of a 3-phase planning process (36 CFR 219.6). The second phase is
guided, in part, by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It
includes preparation of a draft revised forest plan, one or more
alternatives to the draft plan, and a draft environmental impact
statement (DEIS) for public review and comment. This is followed by a
final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and draft decision. The
draft decision is subject to the objection procedures of 36 CFR part
219, subpart B, before it can be finalized. The third stage of the
process is monitoring and feedback, which is ongoing over the life of
the revised forest plan.
This notice announces the start of the Ashley National Forest's
assessment process. The assessment will rapidly evaluate existing
information about relevant ecological, economic, cultural and social
conditions, trends and sustainability and their relationship to the
current forest plan within the context of the broader landscape. The
assessment does not include any decisions or require any actions on the
ground. Its purpose is to provide a solid base of information that will
be used to identify preliminary needs for change in the current forest
plan, and to inform development of a revised plan. With this notice, the Ashley National Forest invites other
governments, non-governmental parties, and the public to contribute to
The intent of public participation during this
phase is to identify as much relevant information as possible to inform
the plan revision process. We also encourage contributors to share
their concerns and perceptions of risk to social, economic, and
ecological systems in or connected to the planning area.
As public engagement opportunities are scheduled, public
announcements will be made and information will be posted on the
Forest's Web site: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/AshleyForestPlan
. To contribute
information or ask to be added to our mailing list, please call 435-
781-5118 or email AshleyForestPlan@fs.fed.us
Responsible Official: The responsible official for the revision of
the land management plan for the Ashley National Forest is the Forest
Supervisor, John R. Erickson, Ashley National Forest, 355 N. Vernal
Avenue, Vernal, UT 84078.
Dated: July 15, 2016.
John R. Erickson,
[FR Doc. 2016-17350 Filed 7-21-16; 8:45 am]
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