Washington—The U.S. Forest Service this week announced eight national forests that will be the first to revise their land management plans using a new National Forest System Planning Rule, after it is finalized in the months ahead. The list includes California’s Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests.
“There are 14 million acres of national forest at risk of fire in California, so this new approach to forest planning is vital,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “I am encouraged that a new planning rule will build on existing efforts like the one in the Sierra National Forest that bring together scientists, timber harvesters and environmental groups to reduce hazardous fuels. We need more of that type of cooperation to reduce fire risks and prevent harm to people and property.”
The eight national forests were selected because of their urgent need for plan revisions, the importance of the benefits they provide and the strong collaborative networks already in place. They will emphasize strong science, collaboration, strengthened protections for land, wildlife and water and opportunities for sustainable recreation and other multiple uses that support jobs and economic vitality as they begin the process to revise their plans.
“These forests will demonstrate straight out of the gate what we’ve been talking about in terms of collaboration,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “People will see that under a new rule, public engagement increases and process decreases, all while provide stronger protections for our lands and water.”
The other forests that will begin revising their plans after a final rule is selected are the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico and El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.