Manti-La Sal National Forest Plan Revision

Background
Forest Plan Revision Website : https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mantilasal/landmanagement/planning

As part of the Forest Plan Revision process, the Manti-La Sal National Forest is required to review lands that may be suitable for recommendation as designated Wilderness (36 CFR 219.7(c)(2)). 

 

Wilderness Evaluation Process
The Wilderness Evaluation Process consists of 4 Steps: Inventory, Evaluation, Analysis and Recommendation.

1.      Inventory
Step 1 of the Wilderness Evaluation Process was completed in June of 2017 which included applying minimum size, road and other improvement criteria (vegetation treatments, recreation sites, etc) to the Forest administrative boundary, resulting in a set of polygons (areas) that met these minimum requirements.  The polygons (areas), which we refer to as Inventory Units, were carried forward in to the Evaluation, Step 2.  Public comments were sought during the Inventory phase and substantial feedback from that comment period was incorporated in to the Inventory Unit maps.

2.      Evaluation
Step 2 of the Wilderness Evaluation Process involves identifying and documenting the presence of wilderness characteristics within each Inventory Unit.  The Manti-La Sal National Forest is currently in Step 2.

3.      Analysis
During Step 3, the Analysis phase, the Forest may select which areas to bring forward into a range of alternatives as part of the Forest Plan Revision Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  Public comment will be sought during Analysis.

4.      Recommendation
In Step 4, the final phase of the Wilderness Evaluation, the Forest Supervisor will issue a decision on whether to recommend specific areas for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System based on the analysis in the Final EIS for the proposed Forest Plan.  Only Congress can officially designate areas recommended for Wilderness designation as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
 
Current Step
The Manti-La Sal National Forest is seeking feedback and comment on the Wilderness Evaluation Step (Step 2 of 4) in the Wilderness Evaluation Process. 

This review period serves as an intermediate check-point in the Evaluation step to allow opportunity for review and comment on the Draft Wilderness Evaluation Spreadsheets which document the presence of wilderness characteristics in each Inventory Unit.

 There will be a second review and comment period for the Evaluation Phase (Step 2) once public comments have been incorporated in the Evaluation Spreadsheets and Wilderness Evaluation Process Guide.  Additional review and comment periods will be held for the Analysis (Step 3) and Recommendation Phases (Step 4).


Comment Submission

Comments at this stage of the process would be most helpful by ensuring the accuracy of information contained within the Draft Wilderness Evaluation Spreadsheets.

 
To view information about the Wilderness Evaluation Process view the Region 4 Wilderness Evaluation Process Guide.   

 
Please note that the presence of wilderness characteristics does not guarantee that an area will be recommended for Analysis or Recommendation.   Documenting the presence of wilderness characteristics is only one step in the Wilderness Evaluation Process.

Prior to Submitting Comments please review the  Draft Wilderness Evaluation Process Guide and Wilderness Evaluation Spreadsheets.

* 1. Contact Information (Optional)

* 2. After reviewing the Wilderness Evaluation Spreadsheets, is the information describing the presence of wilderness characteristics accurate and complete?   Is there additional information that should be included?

* 3. The Inventory phase, Step 1 of the Wilderness Evaluation Process, created a series of Inventory Units which are quite large.  During the evaluation we received feedback that these units are potentially too large to provide a single description of the wilderness characteristics.  For example, an Inventory Unit may contain a High presence of outstanding opportunities for solitude in the northern portion of the unit, but a Low presence in the southern portion. 

 

Has the variation in wilderness characteristics across Inventory Units been adequately addressed in the evaluation spreadsheets?  What additional information should be included?

* 4. Do you feel the rankings issued for each criteria are an accurate reflection of on-the-ground conditions based on the narratives provided?  Why or why not?

* 5. Any additional comments may be provided here.

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