Author Topic: Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service - Management Indicator Species  (Read 615 times)

Offline Todd Ockert

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The Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service proposes to adopt a common list of Management Indicator Species (MIS) and associated monitoring strategies by amending Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs) for the following ten forests: Eldorado, Inyo, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sequoia, Sierra, Stanislaus, and Tahoe National Forests and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The area affected by the proposal includes lands managed by the US Forest Service along the Sierra Nevada mountain range south to Lake Isabella. Also included in the affected area are lands in western Nevada and northeastern California.

This action is needed because current MIS lists and associated monitoring have failed to live up to their initial expectations. In addition, unexpected MIS monitoring and analysis obligations stated in recent judicial decisions have led to the conclusion that the LRMP provisions related to MIS and MIS monitoring need to be amended.

The ten national forests in the Sierra Nevada currently retain MIS lists developed between 1988 and 1992. These MIS were used as tools for analysis during forest plan development. However, information gathered since 1988 indicates that these MIS lists are not effectively serving their role as part of monitoring the outcome of plan implementation on the national forests in the Sierra Nevada.

These issues led the agency to develop alternatives to the proposed action as described below.

Members of the public wanted the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment Appendix E monitoring strategy to be fully implemented. The Responsible Official decided to develop an action alternative showing the environmental consequences of implementing the MIS portion of Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment (SNFPA) Appendix E (USDA Forest Service 2001). The alternative is titled Alternative 3 - SNFPA Appendix E.
Many in the scientific community wanted an alternative showing the effects of implementing the most current scientific concepts around monitoring for diversity. The alternative is titled Alternative 4 - Ecosystem Sustainability.
Unlike other Forest Service plans and projects, the proposed action and alternatives have no ecological effects. This is because the alternatives solely involve a procedure whereby particular species are monitored, and data are gleaned and analyzed based on the monitoring results. While the data derived from MIS monitoring may be used in the future as part of the environmental analysis associated with ground-disturbing activities, the alternatives proposed and discussed in this EIS do nothing to directly or indirectly impact wildlife species or their habitat. Based upon the response to the purpose and need, and the effects of the alternatives, the responsible official will decide:

to amend each of the ten Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs) by adopting a common list of MIS and associated monitoring strategies as proposed, or
to retain the existing MIS lists and associated monitoring strategies, or
to amend each of the ten LRMPS with an alternative MIS list and associated monitoring strategies.
The Responsible Official will also decide whether this is a significant or non-significant plan amendment as defined in the 1982 NFMA implementing regulations (36 CFR 219).

Link to the whole document:
Attached is the whole pdf file.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 10:00:07 am by Todd Ockert »
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