The U.S. Forest Service has announced that its long-awaited forest management plan will be released in February 2020.
The Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan has been in development for over five years. The plan is a strategic framework for how the over 1 million acres of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests will be managed for at least the next 10 years.
Previous drafts of the plan received an unprecedented number of public comments - over 20,000. When this draft of the plan comes out in February, it will trigger a 90-day public comment period. Then the plan will be finalized.
The current management strategy was written in 1994. The forest plan doesn’t just matter to conservationists. Fisherman, outdoorsmen, kayakers and local business owners will all be impacted by the new strategies outlined in the plan.
The plan outlines conditions and standards for all aspects of forests from geological resources and conservation to timber and outdoor recreation. The plan has been based off of numerous stakeholder meetings and over 40 public meetings.