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Forest Plan Revision Update - Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestProposed Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Update Expected to be Published For Public Review in January

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A large portion of the Mexican wolf recovery area lies within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, which encompasses over two million acres of magnificent mountain country in east-central Arizona. The Forest plan will have important effects on Mexican gray wolves and their territory. It is imperative that the Plan includes optimal protections for wildlife habitat and wolves.

When the draft Forest Plan comes out in January, we will post information to help people submit comments.

“Forest Plan Revision Update-December 2012”
Jim Zornes
Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Supervisor

Just wanted to update you and let you know that we are close to reaching a major milestone in our plan revision process - publication of the Proposed Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). I anticipate these documents being published for your review in January. These documents are currently receiving their final formatting edits and should be on their way to the printer soon.

My planning staff and I just returned from Washington D.C. where we discussed the Proposed Plan with the Chief of the Forest Service and the Under Secretary of Agriculture. Both were pleased that our plan addresses public, tribal, federal, state, and local government concerns by focusing on the three main revision topics: (1) Maintenance and Improvement of Ecosystem Health, (2) Managed Recreation, and (3) Community-Forest Interaction. They were also satisfied that the Proposed Plan meets the intent of the latest national planning regulations (2012 Planning Rule) since it was collaboratively developed and addresses forest, woodland, grassland, and riparian restoration, water, climate change, and contributions to vibrant communities.

I will send out another letter when we’re closer to the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register that kicks off the 90-day comment period. Until then, as the documents are finalized we will post them to our website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf/ (scroll down to the right, under the Related Links section, you’ll find the link to Forest Plan Revision). In addition to the Proposed Plan and DEIS, we will post the specialist reports and other key supporting documents like the potential wilderness evaluations. We will also host open houses after the first of the year to answer any questions so that you can provide meaningful comments. In addition, our planning team members are available to meet with you or work with you over the phone, just give them a call at 928-333-4301.

I appreciate your patience through this process with its many hurdles. I wish you and your family a very happy and safe Christmas season. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 928-333-6338.

Jim Zornes
Forest Supervisor

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Learn more about the Plan Revision process and status here.


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