Forest Service shares draft evaluations of potential areas for wilderness recommendation in forest plan revisions
submitted by the U.S. Forest Service
VALLEJO, California, December 18, 2015 – In an effort to keep the public engaged throughout the forest plan revision process for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests, the U.S. Forest Service is sharing our draft evaluations of lands that may be suitable for recommendation and inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
No new wilderness areas are being designated at this time. Only the Congress can designate wilderness.
We are revising the three forest plans using the 2012 Planning Rule, which requires us to conduct this wilderness evaluation. As part of this endeavor we are sharing several documents for public review including a draft wilderness evaluation report, maps, and tables that provide overviews of designated wilderness, recommended wilderness and potential recommended wilderness.
The public is invited to provide feedback on the areas currently being considered for analysis. We are also interested in public input regarding suitable uses and management of recommended wilderness. More information regarding the management of recommended wilderness can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions document on the wilderness evaluation webpage: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/landmanagement/planning/?cid=STELPRD3803608
Feedback may be submitted via web form at http://tinyurl.com/earlyadoptersfpr and is most useful if received by February 1, 2016. If you have questions or concerns please contact Christina Boston at 707-562-8837.
In the past year, we’ve opened public discussions on plan revisions as information was available, including:
June 2014: Preliminary wilderness inventory, step one of the wilderness evaluation process
August 2014: Began National Environmental Policy Act process for forest plan revisions; shared our final wilderness inventory
November 2014: Shared issues and concerns heard during public scoping
January 2015: Sierra Cascade Dialog session about monitoring programs
May 2015: Update on our wilderness evaluation progress
June 2015: Inyo National Forest hosted a wilderness evaluation public workshop
July 2015: Released draft proposed species of conservation concern lists
September 2015: Shared our process for wilderness evaluation and identifying areas for potential wilderness recommendation; Invited public feedback on our proposed draft monitoring programs
October 2015: Sierra Cascade Dialog session about wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, species of conservation concern, and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
December 2015: Shared our Wild and Scenic Rivers inventory and eligibility findings and additional information on draft proposed Species of Conservation Concern lists; invited public feedback
For more information about plan revision efforts, visit our website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r5/FPR