Springerville, AZ – September 16, 2015. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) have released the final revised Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Land Management Plan and final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The documents are available for download on the ASNFs’ website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf/.
“The Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests have a new management plan that will provide direction for sustainably managing the Forests’ unique resources for the benefit of the American people,” said Forest Supervisor Tom Osen. “This plan represents nearly a decade of close collaboration with the public, our stakeholders, and our partners.”
The plan includes desired conditions, objectives, standards, and guidelines to:
• Restore and/or maintain all 14 vegetation types that occur on the ASNFs, resulting in reduction of excess tree densities, return of natural fire regimes, and a sustainable supply of wood products, including contributions to the landscape scale Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4-FRI).
• Restore priority watersheds and move riparian areas to proper functioning condition along more than 1,000 miles of rivers and streams that form the headwaters of several major Arizona rivers.
• Sustain and/or restore habitat for fish and wildlife, including the 18 species that are listed, proposed, or candidates for listing under the ESA (e.g., Mexican spotted owl, Apache trout).
• Recommend 7,100 acres of additions to Escudilla and Bear Wallow Wilderness.
Manage the Nation’s last primitive area, the Blue Range Primitive Area (199,000 acres), to maintain its primitive character.
To obtain a paper or CD copy of the documents, members of the public can stop by the ASNFs Supervisor’s Office, 30 South Chiricahua Drive, Springerville, AZ 85938, or call 928-333- 6280 during regular business hours.
The ASNFs expect that a Notice of Availability (NOA) will be published in the Federal Register on September 25, 2015. The plan will go into effect 30 days after the publication of the NOA. A legal notice will be published concurrently in the Forests’ newspaper of record, the White Mountain Independent. A 90-day appeal period will begin after the publication of the legal notice. Appeals must be consistent with the Optional Appeals Procedures available during the Planning Rule Transition Period, which can be reviewed at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/applit/includes/201307PlanAppealProceduresDuringTransition.pdf. Further information regarding appeals can be found on the ASNFs website.
For additional information, please contact Tom Greene, Forest Planner, at 928-333-6268 or email: email@example.com.