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AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of intent to revise the forest plan.
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SUMMARY: As directed by the National Forest Management Act, the USDA Forest Service is preparing the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests' revised land management plan (forest plan) and will also prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this revised forest plan. This notice briefly describes the nature of the decision to be made, the need for change and proposed action, and information concerning public participation. It also provides estimated dates for filing the EIS and the names and addresses of the responsible agency official and the individuals who can provide additional information. Finally, this notice briefly describes the applicable planning rule and how plan revision work completed under the 2008 planning rule will be used or modified for completing this plan revision.

The revised forest plan will supersede the current forest plan that was approved by the Regional Forester in August 1987. The current forest plan has been amended 14 times since its approval, including 6 significant amendments that clarified riparian, fire, timber, and recreation issues, adjusted the monitoring program, and added direction for the Mexican spotted owl, the northern goshawk, and old growth. This current forest plan will remain in effect until the revised forest plan takes effect.

DATES: Comments concerning the need for change provided in this notice will be most useful in the development of the draft revised forest plan and EIS if received by February 1, 2010. The agency expects to release a draft revised forest plan and draft EIS for formal comment by fall, 2010 and a final revised forest plan and final EIS by summer, 2011. Public meetings to gather input on potential alternatives to the proposed action are scheduled for spring, 2010. The dates, times, and locations of these meetings will be posted on the forests' Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/.

Click here to view the complete Federal Register Notice

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