The Proposed Action is being developed around this Draft Purpose and Need for Action.
The purpose and need for this Amendment is to respond to the Ninth Circuit Court's decision in Natural Resources Defense Council vs. U.S. Forest Service (421 F.3d 797, August, 5, 2005). In that decision, the Court held that the EIS and ROD for the Forest Plan adopted in 1997 had errors relating to the use of projected market demand for timber, the range of alternatives considered relative to the market demand calculations, and the cumulative effects of activities on non-National Forest System lands. In addition, there is a need to amend the plan based on information generated during the recent 5 Year Plan Review. Therefore, the purpose and need primarily relates to the August 2005 Court decision, the 5 Year Plan Review, and other minor clarifications and updates.
The basic premise for this Proposed Action is that the 1997 Revised Forest Plan is a pretty solid document that needs some updating. We propose to update the 1997 plan in the areas identified in the 5 year review. The 5 year review of the Forest Plan found a number of items that might need updating (see the work items on the welcome page).
We have started to post some of our potential edits to the Forest Plan (see Forest Plan Amendment Proposal on the welcome page). There is a lot more to do but we wanted you to see what we are thinking. For example we have updated Forest Plan direction in the areas of karst, scenery, and OHVs.
In our Draft EIS we will be looking at a wide range of alternatives. One of those alternatives will be the Proposed Action. The Proposed Action represents our initial thinking as we begin this analysis. It certainly may not be where we end up when we make a final decision. It may not even be the preferred alternative in the Draft EIS! It is a starting point.