Press Release from: USDA Forest Service Chugach National Forest
Chugach National Forest officials announced today (Jan 31) 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.“The Chugach National Forest is the backyard for nearly half of Alaska’s population and provides opportunities for residents and visitors to live, work, and play across its 5.4 million acres. It’s an important place, and forest plan revision is the process in guiding management over the next fifteenyears,” said Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron.
During phase one, also known as the “assessment,” the Forest Service will identify and evaluate existinginformation 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 lookingbeyond 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 ForestPlanning 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.
Last February the Chugach announced that it was selected as one of eight national forests across the country to revise its forest plan under the new planning rule. The Forest was selected because of its robust engagement with the public during development and implementation of the 2002 forest plan.“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 theprocess,” 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, 6:30-9pmSaturday, February 23
Chugach National Forest Supervisor’s Office (Anchorage), 10am-12:30pmMonday, February 25
Cooper Landing Community Center, 6:30-9pm
Moose Pass Community Hall, 6:30-9pmWednesday, February 27
Cordova Masonic Hall, 6:30-9pmThursday, February 28Prince William Sound Community College (Valdez), 6:30-9pm
For more information, please visit:Chugach Forest Plan Revision “Spotlight” at www.fs.usda.gov/chugachNew Planning Rule background at www.fs.usda.gov/planningruleTo request information or sign up for the mailing list, email email@example.com••
Contact: Sara Boario, 907-743-9444 or Don Rees, 907-743-9513