Author Topic: Gila National Forest Plan Revision  (Read 1157 times)

Offline Peter Vahry

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Gila National Forest Plan Revision
« on: May 17, 2015, 04:44:42 am »
Assessment of Ecological/Social/Cultural/Economic Sustainability,
Conditions, and Trends for the Gila National Forest

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of initiating the assessment phase of the Gila National
Forest land management plan revision.


SUMMARY: The Gila National Forest, located in southwestern New Mexico,
is initiating the forest planning process pursuant to the 2012 Forest
Planning Rule. This process results in a Forest Land Management Plan
which describes the strategic direction for management of forest
resources for the next fifteen years on the Gila National Forest. The
first phase of the process, the assessment phase, is beginning and
interested parties are invited to contribute in the development of the
assessment (36 CFR 219.6). The trends and conditions identified in the
assessment will help in identifying the current plan's need for change,
and aid in the development of plan components. The Forest hosted a
series of community conversations with key stakeholders in March 2015.
Additional public participation opportunities are forthcoming in the
near future to discuss the assessment process--information on these
opportunities and all future public participation opportunities will be
made available on

[[Page 28223]]

the Gila Plan Revision Web site (see below for the link).

DATES: A draft of the assessment report for the Gila National Forest is
expected to be completed by late spring 2016 and will be posted on the
following Web site at
    The Gila National Forest is currently inviting the public to engage
in a collaborative process to identify relevant information and local
knowledge to be considered for the assessment. Once the assessment is
completed, the Forest will initiate procedures pursuant to the 2012
Planning Rule and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to
prepare a forest plan revision.

ADDRESSES: Written comments or questions concerning this notice should
be addressed to Gila National Forest, Attn.: Matt Schultz, 3005 E.
Camino del Bosque, Silver City, NM 88061.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Schultz, Forest Planner, 575-388-
8280. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD)
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339
between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. More
information on the planning process can also be found on the Gila
National Forest Web site at

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of
1976 requires that every National Forest System (NFS) unit develop a
land management plan. On April 9, 2012, the Forest Service finalized
its land management planning rule (2012 Planning Rule), which provides
broad programmatic direction to National Forests and National
Grasslands for developing and implementing their land management plans.
Forest plans describe the strategic direction for management of forest
resources for fifteen years, and are adaptive and amendable as
conditions change over time.
    Under the 2012 Planning Rule, the assessment of ecological, social,
cultural, and economic trends and conditions is the first stage of the
planning process. The second stage is a plan development and decision
process guided, in part, by the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA)
and includes the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement
and revised Forest Plan for public review and comment, and the
preparation of the final environmental impact statement and revised
Forest Plan, subject to the objection process 36 CFR 219 Subpart B
prior to final plan approval. The third stage of the process is
monitoring and feedback, which is ongoing over the life of the revised
forest plans.
    With this notice, the agency invites other governments, non-
governmental parties, and the public to contribute to the development
of the assessment report. The assessment will rapidly evaluate existing
information about relevant ecological, economic, cultural and social
conditions, trends, and sustainability within the context of the
broader landscape. It will help inform the planning process through the
use of Best Available Scientific Information, while also taking into
account other forms of knowledge, such as local information, national
perspectives, and native knowledge. Lastly, the assessment provides
information that will help to identify the need to change the existing
1986 plan. Public engagement as part of the assessment phase supports
the development of relationships of key stakeholders throughout the
plan revision process, and is an essential step to understanding
current conditions, available data, and feedback needed to support a
strategic, efficient planning process.
    As public meetings, public review and comment periods and other
opportunities for public engagement 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 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 Matt Schultz, Forest Planner
, at the mailing address
identified above, or by sending an email to In
compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), please be
advised that all information provided with your comments will become
part of the public record and will be available for public inspection.
This includes your name and all contact information provided.

Responsible Official

    The responsible official for the revision of the land management
plan for the Gila National Forest is David Warnack, acting Forest
Supervisor, Gila National Forest, 3005 E. Camino del Bosque, Silver
City, NM 88061.

    Dated: April 24, 2015.
David Warnack
Acting Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2015-11911 Filed 5-15-15; 8:45 am]

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