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Coconino National Forest Revised Management Plan

Sedona AZ (May 22, 2018) – After years of work and collaboration, the Coconino National Forest (NF) is pleased to release its revised Final Land and Resource Management Plan (revised management plan) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), along with the Record of Decision signed by Regional Forester Cal Joyner. The revised management plan is the culmination of over a decade of collaboration between the Coconino NF, partners, stakeholders, and the public. Key provisions in the revised management plan provide guidance to restore and/or maintain the broadest range of ecosystems of any national forest in the Southwest. We want to thank everyone who everyone for their participation in this important effort that will provide direction to sustainably manage the Coconino NF’s unique natural resources for the next 15 years.

While much of the management direction from the 1987 Plan has been retained in one manner or another, the revised management plan provides greater flexibility on the management of wildland fires and seeks to return the forest to its historic fire regimes. It also provides more comprehensive recreation management and addresses watershed, riparian, and wildlife habitat maintenance and restoration.

The revised management plan recommends three wilderness areas totaling approximately 8,700 acres. If designated by Congress, these recommended wilderness areas would expand three designated wilderness areas (Kachina Peaks, Strawberry Crater, and Fossil Creek).

The documents are available for download on the Coconino NF’s website:

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/landmanagement/planning. Paper and electronic copies of the plan and EIS are available at the Coconino NF’s Supervisor’’s Office, 1824 South Thompson Street, Flagstaff AZ 86001, or by calling 928-527-3600 during regular business hours.

The Coconino NF expects that a Notice of Availability (NOA) will be published in the Federal Register 0n May 18, 2018. The plan will go into effect 30 days after the publication of the NOA.

A 90-day appeal period will begin after the publication of the legal notice in the Forest’s’ newspaper of record, the Arizona Daily Sun. The legal notice is expected to be published concurrently with the NOA.

Information on Appeal Process:  This decision is subject to administrative review. A written notice of appeal must be filed in duplicate and postmarked or received within 90 days after the date the legal notice of this decision is published in the newspaper of record for the Coconino NF (The Arizona Daily Sun). As noted above, the legal notice is expected to be published concurrently with the NOA. Exact dates for the appeal period will be posted on the Coconino NF’s website when they are known.

An appeal of the decision must clearly state that it is a Notice of Appeal being filed pursuant to the Optional Appeal Procedures. Appeals must meet the content requirements of Section 9 of the Optional Appeal Procedures, which are available for review at:

Appeals must be filed with the Chief of the Forest Service at:

Physical address (for UPS and FedEx deliveries):
USDA Forest Service
Attn: Appeal Reviewing Officer
201 14th Street, SW
Yates Building, EMC, 2CE
Washington, DC 20024
(Note: If a phone number is needed for carrier delivery, use: 202-205-1449)

Regular mail:
USDA Forest Service
Attn: Appeal Reviewing Officer
1400 Independence Ave., SW
EMC, Mailstop 1104
Washington, DC 20250

Appeals may also be faxed (Fax number is 202-649-1172) or appeals may be mailed electronically in a common digital format to:

The notice of appeal must be fully consistent with the Optional Appeal Procedures and include at a minimum:

· A statement that the document is a Notice of Appeal filed pursuant to the Optional Appeal procedures;
· The name, address, and telephone number of the appellant;
· Identification of the decision to which the appeal is being made;
· Identification of the document in which the decision is contained, by title and subject, date of the decision, and name and title of the Deciding Officer;
· Identification of the specific portion of the decision to which the appeal is made;
· The reasons for appeal, including issues of fact, law, or regulation, or policy and, if applicable, specifically how the decision violates law, regulation, or policy;
· Identification of the specific change(s) in the decision that the appellant seeks.

Requests to stay the approval of this Land and Resource Management Plan shall not be granted (Optional Appeal Procedures, section 217.10 (b)).

Final decisions on proposed projects will be made on a site-specific basis using appropriate analysis and documentation in compliance with NEPA. Project decisions may be subject to the appropriate administrative review procedures, at the time the project decision is made.

Recommendations for designations such as additions to the National Wilderness System are preliminary administrative recommendations that will receive further review and possible modification by the Chief of the Forest Service, the Secretary of Agriculture, and/or the President of the United States.

The Congress has reserved the authority to make final decisions on wilderness on federal lands; therefore, wilderness recommendations in the revised plan are not appealable under the agency’s administrative appeal procedures (Section 4 of the Optional Appeal Procedures).

If you have questions, please contact Vernon Keller, Forest Planner, at (928) 527-3415 or vkeller@fs.fed.us. Thank you again for your continued interest in the future of the Coconino National Forest!

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