PORTERVILLE, Calif.—Today, Forest Supervisor, Kevin B. Elliott, released a new Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan (Monument Plan) for one of this Nation’s national treasures. The Monument Plan guides restoration efforts for giant sequoia ecosystems, watersheds, habitat for old-forest dependent wildlife, and the protection of mountain communities.
Regional Forester, Randy Moore, selected Alternative B and one element of Alternative E (Moses Wilderness recommendation) as the basis for the Monument Plan.
Two years of public collaboration provided the sidebars for a strategic vision for the Giant Sequoia National Monument (Monument). “The public’s tirele
ss efforts have resulted in a framework to restore and manage 33 giant sequoia groves, provide healthy watersheds, homes for unique wildlife, as well as provide spectacular recreation adventures to the American people”, stated Elliott, Forest Supervisor. “Throughout this Monument Plan there is a theme of ecological restoration based on a foundation of science and a set of strong protocols.”
Today’s action culminates years of collaborative efforts with multiple agencies, the scientific community, and an engaged public to develop management direction based on public collaboration and current science.
Alternative B is identified as the environmentally preferred alternative based upon the comprehensive balance that this alternative provides for: 1) reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire to communities and valuable resources such as giant sequoia groves, wildlife habitat, and other objects of interest; and 2) restoring important ecological processes and forest structures such as a more natural fire regime, a mosaic of tree species, ages, and sizes for wildlife habitat, and giant sequoia regeneration.
The southern Sierra Nevada is a special place with an international icon: the world-renowned giant sequoia, nature’s masterpiece.
On April 15, 2000, President Clinton signed the presidential proclamation (Proclamation) that established the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The Monument Plan implements the Proclamation, and will protect the objects of interest while also encouraging continued public recreational access and use, consistent with the purposes of the Monument.
The Forest Service heard from more than 79,000 respondents on the draft environmental impact statement and draft management plan, published for comment on August 6, 2010. Concerns raised by the public were used to improve and make corrections to the Management Plan and the analysis in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
The final documents include: the Record of Decision, Monument Plan, and FEIS (Volumes I and II). The key highlights include:
The notice of availability for the FEIS will be published in the Federal Register on September 7, 2012. The final documents can be downloaded from the Sequoia National Forest’s website at:www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/gsnm_planning.html.
To request a copy of the ROD, Monument Plan, FEIS, or map packets, please contact Annette Fredette at the Sequoia National Forest Supervisor’s Office: (559) 784-1500, extension 1138. The file sizes of some of the documents and maps are quite large so, if high-speed internet is not available, please contact our office to request a CD.
A written Notice of Appeal must be filed within 90 days of the date the legal notice is published in the newspapers of record, the Porterville Recorder and Sacramento Bee. Written appeals need to beaddressed to the Chief of the Forest Service in Washington, DC. The appeal must contain sufficient narrative evidence and argument to show why this decision should be changed or reversed. For more information on appeals, please see the Appeal Rights section of the ROD.