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3/4/2014 11:02:00 AM
Kaibab Forest releases new Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement
Williams-Grand Canyon News


WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Kaibab National Forest has released its new land and resources management plan along with a final environmental impact statement (FEIS), which are available on the forest's website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/plan_revision.

The FEIS documents the analysis of the alternatives developed for the management of about 1.6 million acres of the Kaibab National Forest.

The selected alternative replaces the original 1988 forest plan. It provides the framework to guide site-specific actions that will help to achieve desired conditions on the forest.

"After nearly eight years of collaboration, outreach and strong effort by our employees and many partners and active stakeholders, I believe we have an exceptional forest plan that will stand the test of time as it is implemented, monitored and adapted on the Kaibab National Forest over the next two decades," said Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Mike Williams.

Southwestern Regional Forester Calvin Joyner approved the record of decision (ROD) for the plan and FEIS in February, and the notice of availability is expected to appear in the Federal Register March 7.

According to a Forest Service press release, the new plan is built on a foundation of the best available science, and developed collaboratively with the public, partners and conservation organizations, as well as federal, state, local and tribal governments. It provides guidance for the management of healthy, resilient ecosystems that meet the diverse needs of the American people.

The new Kaibab National Forest Plan provides direction to do the following:

· Restore ponderosa pine, frequent fire mixed conifer forests and grasslands by increasing the amount and rate of mechanical thinning and managed fire treatments to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic fire and improve ecological resilience in the face of climate change. This would also support landscape scale restoration projects such as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative.

· Promote aspen regeneration and protect natural waters, which are important centers of biological diversity.

· Provide for sustainable uses that honor the forest's human history while meeting current demands.

· Establish a monitoring framework that enables adaptive management.

· Recommend about 6,400 acres for wilderness designation, adjacent to existing wilderness.

The plan, FEIS and ROD are available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/plan_revision. People may request paper copies by sending an email message to mailroom_r3_kaibab@fs.fed.us. Copies are also available at the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor's Office, 800 S. Sixth St. in Williams. Additional information is available from Ariel Leonard, forest planner, at aleonard@fs.fed.us or (928) 635-8200.


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