The Sequoia National Forest held a virtual public meeting Tuesday, July 11, to provide more information on the status of the revised land management plans.
During the meeting, members of the Forest Service reviewed the objection process for community members that were interested in participating in the plan revision efforts to have their unresolved concerns reviewed prior to the Forest Supervisors issuing their final decisions.
As the Forest Service is required at the federal level to have a plan that is periodically revised with the input obtained from public involvement and the previous plan is now 30 years old, the work done this year will outline the plans for the future of the Sequoia and Sierra National Forest.
Bobbie Miller, Plan Revision Team Leader, said the intent of the revision is to accommodate the “clear need” of how recreation has become a dominant economic driver, wildfire has become more difficult to manage and forest resources have been sustainably impacted by weather, climate and drought.
“These changes even further support the clear need to revise our plans so they can be responsive to our current issues and conditions.” Miller said.
Some revisions made to address sustainable recreation and designated areas include a framework to handle changes in visitor use management needs.
To handle those needs, the proposed solution is to provide three new types of recreation management areas such as destination recreation, general recreation area and a “back road” management area.
“The revised plans are responsive to changes in economic, social, and ecological conditions, as well as changes in resource demands that have occurred since the previous forest plans were developed,” said Dean Gould, Sierra National Forest Supervisor, in a news release from the Forest Service on July 7.
A majority of the meeting was dedicated to educating the public on the objection process and how those who commented during the previous plan revision process will be eligible to object.
In the Sierra and Sequoia Forest Plan Revision Update published by the Forest Service, the update said a portion of the plan aims to provide ecological integrity and to support persistence of native species in the plan area.
“The intent is to keep common species common, prevent species of conservation concern from needing to be listed as threatened or endangered, and provide ecological conditions to support the recovery of the endangered species act-listed species,” according to the update.
In the July 7 news release Teresa Benson, Supervisor for the Sequoia National Forest, said “The revised forest plans provide a framework for us to work with partners into the future to successfully address significant challenges like ensuring forest resilience, providing for sustainable recreation, and improving the economic vitality of local communities.”
The Sierra National Forest plans on hosting a virtual meeting July 13, from 6-8 pm for those interested in viewing.