Forest Planning Process
STEP SIX: Implementation and Monitoring
WHAT IT IS: Once the plan is formally adopted, there will be opportunities for citizen involvement in and oversight of how the plan is implemented. The Forest Service publishes a quarterly schedule of management activities (Schedule of Proposed Actions - SOPA) being planned for each national forest and ranger district. The level of public involvement and NEPA analysis will vary depending on the type of activity being proposed.
The USFS will need to evaluate proposed actions for conformance with the forest plan. The agency will also need to monitor for effects of the planning decisions and evaluate whether there is a need for changes in management of the area. In addition, each national forest must institute an Environmental Management System (EMS) to ensure that monitoring, evaluation, and other forms of adaptive management to improve environmental performance are carried out. This data is used to build the "administrative record" that is used to guide future management actions.
The USFS will assess whether it is necessary to perform any further environmental analysis and impose restrictions on proposed actions. The agency may also have to adopt or change site-specific management to reflect new information that has been collected. Additionally, the USFS will need to assess the need to amend or revise the forest plan..
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Make sure you're on the forest's mailing list for the quarterly schedule of activities. Ask for, and comment on, scoping notices and other documents relating to projects of interest to you. File administrative appeals of project decisions you think are contrary to the law, agency policy, scientific evidence, or just common sense.
Below are recommendations to help you make sure that the plan is doing what it was intended to do and that the USFS is following the management decisions of the plan.
You should submit informal or formal comments and data on the implementation actions as shown in previous steps. It is also appropriate to propose, request information on, and comment on the USFS monitoring programs for the area. Additionally, you should submit any data showing the effects of management on the resources or adverse impacts to recreation opportunities.
If necessary, this is the right time to propose changes to the management plan to address concerns.
Lastly, if the need arises, you should identify the need for an amendment or revision to the forest plan.