Springerville — It seems the process required to revise an existing forest plan keeps changing.
Earlier this year a U.S. District Court in northern California enjoined the use of the 2008 Planning Rule by the Forest Service, a process being used by all national forests, including the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests to revise its 1987 long-range management plan.
This means that the forest plan revision must be done in accordance with the 2000 planning rule, as amended each year from 2001 to 2004.
“We’ve had a number of changes in this revision process over the past several years, but the good news is that we can still use the public comments and information that we have already received in developing the elements of the new forest plan,” said Michelle Davalos, forest planner for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.
One of the changes includes the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will be approved by the regional forester, Corbin Newman. Previously the forest supervisor, Chris Knopp, would have approved the new plan.
“We will also conduct an additional analysis of management indicator species and species viability,” Davalos said.
“We are asking for comments from the public by Feb. 1, 2010, about new issues or concerns that have not already been brought forth,” said Davalos.
The public is invited to review existing information gathered in the past four years about the plan revision at: http://www.
fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/. Comments may be sent electronically to the plan revision team at: firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 1, 2010.