Chugach National Forest officials announced today the beginning of the first phase of a three year planning process to revise the 2002 forest plan under a new National Forest System Planning Rule. The forest plan provides direction for managing resources and activities such as recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, historic and sacred sites, vegetation, mineral exploration and development, and timber.
During phase one, also known as the “assessment,” the Forest Service will identify and evaluate existing information about ecological, economic and social conditions and trends related to the Forest and Southcentral Alaska. The resulting assessment report will provide a solid base of current information for phases two, drafting the revised plan and developing an environmental impact statement (EIS), and three, developing a monitoring strategy.
“Many trends and emerging issues like demographic shifts and climate change will require looking beyond our forest boundaries,” Marceron noted. “In the coming weeks and months we’ll be reaching out to other agencies, state and local governments, Alaska Native Tribes and Corporations and the public to make sure our plan takes into consideration the larger landscape around us.”
The public is invited to learn more about the process and provide feedback at nine Forest Planning Forums across the region.
During the forums, the Forest Service will ask:
- How the public uses the forest now, how might use and users change over the next fifteen years
- What the public sees as emerging issues and trends
- How the public can best be involved in the revision process
“Over the past decade, we’ve seen projects like the Spencer Whistle Stop and Chugach Children’s Forest emerge out of our previous collaborative planning efforts, and I’m looking forward to building on that tradition. These planning forums are just the beginning, and over the next three years we’ll be meeting with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, and working to get new voices, like youth, involved in the process,” Marceron explained.
Thursday, February 7
- Alaska Forum on the Environment, Dena’ina Center (Anchorage), 9-10:30am
Wednesday, February 20
- Girdwood Community Center, 6:30-9pm
Thursday, February 21
- Seward Public Library, 6:30-9pm
- Soldotna Sports Center, 6:30-9pm
Saturday, February 23
- Chugach National Forest Supervisor’s Office (Anchorage), 10am-12:30pm
Monday, February 25
- Cooper Landing Community Center, 6:30-9pm
- Moose Pass Community Hall, 6:30-9pm
Wednesday, February 27
- Cordova Masonic Hall, 6:30-9pm
- Thursday, February 28
- Prince William Sound Community College (Valdez), 6:30-9pm
For more information, please visit:
- Chugach Forest Plan Revision “Spotlight” at www.fs.usda.gov/chugach
- New Planning Rule background at www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule
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