The Forest Service announced the release of the Proposed Plan for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and accompanying Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a 90-day public comment period. The documents have been posted on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests' website.
"The Forest has had the two largest fires in Arizona’s history, which has changed the landscape since the completion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ 1987 plan. Now, the use of smaller diameter material replaces logging of large timber; recreation demand has greatly increased, and community protection from wildfire has come to the forefront. The proposed plan recognizes these changes and will help guide the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in fulfilling their stewardship responsibilities to best meet the needs of the American people, now, and for future generations," Forest Supervisor Jim Zornes said in the news release.
The plan addresses public, tribal, federal, state, and local government concerns by focusing on the three main revision topics: 1) Maintenance and Improvement of Ecosystem Health, (2) Managed Recreation, and 3) Community-Forest Interaction.
The public is invited to review the documents and to provide comments during the 90-day comment period, which will begin the day the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register. The exact deadline will be posted on the Apache-Sitgreaves website once it has been determined. After the comment period ends, the Forest Service will review the comments and revise the plan based on the comments received.
Open houses are scheduled as listed below:
[*] Show Low - Tuesday, Feb. 26, 4-7 p.m., Show Low City Hall, Deuce of Clubs Room, 180 N. 9th St.
[*] Springerville – Wednesday, Feb. 27, 4-7 p.m., Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Supervisor’s Office, 30 S. Chiricahua Drive (behind Subway).
[*] Duncan – Thursday, Feb. 28, 4-7 p.m., Clifton Ranger District, Conference Room, 397240 AZ 75 (near the Three Way Store).