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Forest Service Proceeds with Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Plan Revision

SPRINGERVILLE, AZ (July 10, 2007) - The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will move forward with revising the forest plan while complying with a recent court order.

"We need to continue revising the plan to address critical management issues, such as our integrated strategy to restore forest health and the functionality of fire adapted ecosystems." said Forest Supervisor Elaine Zieroth, of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. "We have already gathered valuable input from the public, from Native American tribes, and from local and state governments and agencies and other federal agencies, and we will continue moving forward in the forest plan revision effort while complying with the court order," added Zieroth.

In April 2007, the U.S. District Court in Northern California ordered the USDA Forest Service to refrain from using the 2005 Planning Rule in ongoing forest planning efforts. This means that the Forest Service has stopped using the 2005 Rule and is not conducting any activities specific to that rule. A new national planning rule is being developed and is expected to be finalized in the spring of 2008. For more information on the new planning rule visit http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/nfma/2007_planning_rule.html

Resource specialists from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests have been reviewing comments from the public and evaluating the current forest plan to determine which parts of it are still valid and which parts need to be changed.  Items identified as needing to be changed have been grouped into three broad topics:  Ecosystem Restoration, Managed Recreation, and Community-Forest Interaction.  The draft summary of the need for change items is posted on the website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/documents.shtml

The public is encouraged to review this document and provide comments on the current conditions and trends and the need for change items identified.  Send comments electronically from the website address, or mail comments to Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Supervisor's Office, Forest Plan Revision Team, P.O. Box 640, Springerville, AZ 85938. If you are not on the forest plan revision mailing list and would like to be notified of forest plan revision activities, such as public meetings, contact the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests electronically at asnf.planning@fs.fed.us, through the mail, or call 928-333-4301 and ask to speak to a planning team member.

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