NOTICE OF INTENT FOR REVISING THE MANTI-LA SAL NATIONAL FOREST LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Manti-La Sal National Forest is revising its Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan). The notice of intent in the Federal Register, expected publication on 8/25/21, will begin the 60 days of the official scoping period. All documents created with public input through the earlier Assessment phase, including the preliminary draft proposed action, wilderness evaluation, timber suitability and other required documents, have been posted online since October of 2020. Comments submitted from that pre-scoping period through this 60-day scoping period will be considered to have legal standing.

There is a need to change the current Forest Plan to bring it into compliance with law, regulation, and policy. Plans are due for revision every 15 years (NFMA 16 USC 1604(i)); lands not suitable for production (NFMA 16 USC 1604(k)) should be identified; and the best available scientific information (2012 Planning Rule at 219.3) needs to be considered. Trends identified through monitoring and public input will be addressed with new or revised management direction. Changed social and environmental conditions will provide updated context for that direction. 

Proposed Action

The proposed action is to revise the current Forest Plan to address the above-identified needs for change to the existing Forest Plan. Alternatives to the proposed action will be developed to address significant issues identified through scoping. The full description of the proposed action and associated documents are available for review at: www.fs.usda.gov/main/mantilasal/landmanagement/planning.

The notice of intent initiates the official scoping process, which guides the development of the EIS. Written comments received in response to this notice will be analyzed to further develop the proposed action (draft Forest Plan), and identify potential significant issues for developing alternatives to the proposed action. 

Comments received in response to this notice, including the names and addresses of persons and organizations who comment, will be part of the public record. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however, they will not provide legal standing for administrative review. Comments are easily submitted online here: US Forest Service NEPA Projects Home (ecosystem-management.org)

For information on further virtual meetings to explore the proposed action and identify possible alternatives, refer to the website: www.fs.usda.gov/main/mantilasal/landmanagement/planning.

The Forest Supervisor’s decision to approve the revised Forest Plan for the Manti-La Sal National Forest will be subject to the objection process identified in 36 CFR 219 Subpart B (219.50 to 219.62). According to 36 CFR 219.53(a), parties eligible to file an objection are individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to plan revision during the opportunities provided for public comment during the planning process. The burden is on the objector to demonstrate compliance with requirements for objections (36 CFR 219.53).

Applicable Planning Rule 

Preparation of the revised Forest Plan for the Manti-La Sal National Forest began with the publication of a notice of assessment initiation in the Federal Register on July 29, 2016 (81 FR 49925) and was initiated under the planning procedures contained in the 2012 Planning Rule (36 CFR 219 (2012)). Direct questions or requests to mlnfplanrevision@usda.gov. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Published in the ETV Newspaper September 1, 2021.

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