U.S. Forest Service Region 5 has released the scoping comments for the Early Adopter Forest Plan Revisions for the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo National Forests. Additional public meetings are scheduled in November.
REGION 5 FOREST PLAN REVISIONS UPDATE: SCOPING COMMENTS RELEASED -- TALKING POINTS (10/30/14):
- On August 29, 2014, the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) of the Forest Service published a Notice of Intent and Proposed Action to revise land management plans (forest plans) for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests in the Federal Register.
- These three Region 5 forests are revising their forest plans under the 2012 Forest Service Planning Rule.
- The 2012 Planning Rule requires public and cooperating agency collaboration throughout the forest planning process.
- Public involvement, interagency collaboration, and transparency are key components of the 2012 planning rule.
- Publishing the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register initiated a 30-day scoping comment period to provide the public an opportunity to review the Proposed Action and to provide comments on the proposal.
- Region 5 received approximately 7,200 public comments in response to the forest plan revision Notice of Intent and Proposed Action.
- In addition to the 7,200 scoping comments that Region 5 received, public involvement was enhanced by public and tribal forums and workshops, formal tribal consultation meetings, and Forest Service employee feedback.
- As published in the August 29, 2014, Federal Register, and described in the “Notice of Intent,” scoping comments received by the Forest Service, including names and addresses of those who comment, becomes part of the public record for the proposed action of the forest plan revisions.
- Individual comments can be reviewed online at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//ReadingRoom?Project=3375
- The Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra national forests have scheduled three “open house” styled meetings during the week of November 17-20, 2014.
- During these informational public meetings, the Forest Service will share issues and concerns it received during the recently completed scoping period and how they were used to frame a preliminary range of alternatives.
- There is no formal comment period associated with the November public meetings, but an opportunity for a thoughtful dialog with agency regional and forest planning specialists.
- Region 5 is considering feedback it received from these efforts as draft environmental impact statement (EIS) alternatives for the forest plan revisions are developed.
- There will be another formal comment period when the draft EIS is released and posted to the Region’s forest plan revision website found at http://tinyurl.com/r5earlyadopters