The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region will host a series of public meetings as it begins the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process of forest plan revisions for the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo National Forests. A Notice of Intent, which marks the beginning of the formal public scoping period, will be published in early April.
These public meetings will focus on the revision of the three Early Adopter Forests Land Management Plans. The meetings are designed to share information on the Notice of Intent, which includes the purpose and need and proposed action. These meetings also notify the public and tribal communities that the Notice of Intent begins the formal NEPA process, including a 30 day scoping period. Scoping comments help refine the proposed action, identifying preliminary issues, and identifying interested and affected persons.
The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo forest plan revisions will be completed through the development of one environmental impact statement. The final EIS will result in three separate Records of Decision and three separate forest plans. Forest Supervisors will remain the responsible officials for making decisions on their specific forest plans.
“This next round of public meetings gives the Forest Service another opportunity to share information about the forest plan revision process, explain the key themes of each forest plan to be revised, and gather public comment,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore.
The public is welcome at any of the three upcoming meetings:
Sierra NF: 5-8 p.m., Monday, April 7 - Holiday Inn Fresno Airport, 5090 E. Clinton Way, Fresno. Sequoia NF: 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, - Kernville Elementary School, 13350 Sierra Way, Kernville. Inyo NF: 5-8 p.m., Thursday, April 10 - Bishop - Eastern Sierra College Center, Cerro Coso Community College, 4090 W. Line Street, Bishop.
For more information regarding forest plan revisions, visit the Pacific Southwest Region's planning website at: fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning. Pertinent information for the April meetings will be posted there the week before the public meetings. For forest-specific information, please contact that forest directly: Sierra NF, Dirk Charley, (559) 297-0706, ext 4805 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sequoia NF, Maria Ulloa, (559)784-1500, email@example.com. Inyo NF, Deb Schweize, (559) 760-873-2427, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo are three of eight national forests that were selected as “early adopters, meaning they will be the first to revise their land management plans using the new National Forest System Planning Rule, completed in 2012. The planning rule provides the framework for Forest Service land management plans across the nation.
—U.S. Forest Service