The US Forest Service update was given by Mesia Nyman, Ferron District Ranger at the March public lands council meeting. She encouraged everyone to buy an America the Beautiful pass from the Ferron Office. They are $80 or $10 if over age 62. This pass allows entrance into all the National Parks and BLM fee sites. On the forest it waives the $3 fee in some areas.
Nyman said the forest plan revision has been delayed but a draft plan should be ready by fall of 2007 and available for public review and a 90 day public comment period.
In December 2006 the forest service announced the completion of an environmental review of the new forest planning process. That process concluded that writing land management plans has no effect on the environment, qualifying plans for the categorical exclusion from individual study in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
This was a crucial step in revising the overall planning process. It is important to note that this action did not eliminate environmental studies.
Under the 2005 planning rule, full environmental analysis will continue at the project level where public involvement and the best available science can inform on the ground decision making.
The roadless area conservation rule has been reinstated by Judge Elizabeth D. LaPorte, US Magistrate Judge, US District court for the Northern District of California. This means the forest service cannot take any action contrary to the 2000 Roadless Rule without completing a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis.
Nyman said this ruling will not affect the Lake Project. The South Manti timber sale has been stalled in court again. With the new OHV rule, the forest can have full-sized trails. The early spring has caused the closure of a number of forest roads, they are gated and will remain so until the roads have dried out sufficiently to avoid damage.
In June or July road work will be done to repair the slump along the South Skyline.
Nyman reported there will be a lot of projects going on this summer. In the Black Dragon area 300-400 acres will have wildlife habitat improvements completed this summer with bobcats and chainsaws.
In the near future, Nyman said she will bring a powerpoint presentation for the lands council regarding the motor vehicle use map which will be due out in November this year. This new travel map for motorized travel on the Manti will roll the old travel plan into the new map with some changes.
Sherrel Ward questioned Nyman on the flow of water to be released on the Huntington Creek. She said the flow will increase to 12 cfs for a couple of weeks and then back to the 6 cfs.