Forest Service shares Wild and Scenic Rivers inventory and eligibility findings

USFS press release

VALLEJO, California, December 14, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region is sharing our Wild and Scenic Rivers inventory, eligibility and classification findings for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests.

Inyo National Forest

We completed this process as part of our efforts to revise the land and resource management plans (forest plans) for these national forests.

There are four steps in the WSR process; three are required during plan revisions (inventory, eligibility, and classification) and one step (suitability) may happen during or after plan revision. We have completed a comprehensive inventory of rivers and have determined which rivers meet the eligibility requirements for WSR designation on the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests.

All eligible rivers have also been assigned a preliminary classification as “wild,”  “scenic,” or “recreational” based on the type of use, existing access, and development.
No new wild and scenic rivers designations are made as part of forest plan revisions, however, recommendations for designation may result from suitability studies. Wild and scenic river designations are made legislatively by Congress, or though Section 2(a)ii of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Federal designation of state-designated wild and scenic rivers may occur via a state petition to the Secretary of the Interior. Designations may be for a river segment or an entire river and may include tributaries.

Congressionally designated rivers are managed as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

For more information on the wild and scenic rivers inventory, eligibility and classification findings, visit
our webpage: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/landmanagement/planning/?cid=STELPRD3833668

If you have questions, concerns or feedback about our Wild and Scenic River Evaluation process or initial findings please contact Christina Boston at 707-562-8837 or submit your input via Web-form at:
http://tinyurl.com/earlyadoptersfpr.Feedback is most useful if received by February 1, 2016, and includes specific information that would assist in refining the WSR Evaluation.

In the past year, we have convened public discussion on numerous forest plan revision topics, including: • June 2014: Preliminary wilderness inventory, step one of the wilderness evaluation process • August 2014: Began National Environmental Policy Act process for forest plan revisions; shared our final wilderness inventory

• November 2014: Shared issues and concerns heard during public scoping
• January 2015: Sierra Cascade Dialog session about monitoring programs
• May 2015: Update on our wilderness evaluation progress
• June 2015: Inyo National Forest hosted a wilderness evaluation public workshop
• July 2015: Released draft proposed species of conservation concern lists
• September 2015: Shared our process for wilderness evaluation and identifying areas
for potential wilderness recommendation; Invited public feedback on our proposed
draft monitoring programs
• October 2015: Sierra Cascade Dialog session about wilderness, wild and scenic
rivers, species of conservation concern, and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone.

Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

 

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