OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT: Sierra and Sequoia National Forests release draft Revised Land Management Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement for public comment

From the USFS Pacific Southwest Region:

The Sequoia and Sierra National Forests have released drafts of their land management plans that provide long-term forest management direction for drought-devastated central and southern Sierra Nevada. These drafts are accompanied by a combined draft environmental impact statement. The forests are asking for comments on all three documents.

The draft plan would reduce catastrophic wildland fire risk by increasing managed fire on the landscape. The plans will continue the removal of millions of dead trees that threaten life and property while investing in the restoration work needed to keep forests healthy in the future.

Both plans have the potential to add as many as 350 new jobs and $16 million in additional labor income in the recreation, grazing and timber industries across both forests. These plans also emphasize close cooperation with state partners, Tribes and local communities.

The USDA Forest Service analyzed a range of alternatives for the Sequoia and Sierra National Forests using extensive public input and the best available science. Forest assessments and public feedback revealed both plans needed updates to address changed conditions due to tree mortality, increased fire risk, economic development, habitat conservation and recreation management.

Through partnerships with organizations like CAL FIRE, the plans provide guidance for strategically using fire to maintain healthy forests while protecting lives, property and resources from uncharacteristically large or severe wildfires. The draft plans also provide guidance for managing habitat for the fisher and California spotted owl and identify areas for recommended wilderness and river segments eligible for Wild and Scenic River designation.

The Sequoia and Sierra National Forests provide five percent of drought-prone California’s total annual water supply. Much of this water is used in San Joaquin Valley agriculture and is valued at more than $17 billion. Water from the Sierra National Forest alone also provides enough hydroelectricity to power more than 2 million homes.

The Forest Service is hosting public meetings on both forests to discuss the draft plans, answer questions and accept comments. The Sequoia National Forest is hosting their meeting on July 10, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Sequoia National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1839 S. Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA 93257. The Sierra National Forest is hosting their meeting on July 10, 12:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m., Sierra National Forest Supervisors Office, 1600 Tollhouse Rd., Clovis, CA 93611. The draft plans are available online at: https://tinyurl.com/USFS-r5planrevision.

Comments must be received within 90-days of the publishing date and may be submitted via email, by standard mail, and delivered in person. Comments may be emailed to r5planrevision@fs.fed.us, mailed to Planning Team Leader, Forest Plan Revision, Pacific Southwest Regional Office, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592, or delivered in person to Planning Team Leader, Forest Plan Revision, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592.

For more information contact Fariba Hamedani, Plan Revision Team Leader at 707-562-9121 or fhamedani@fs.fed.us



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