Comment now on draft plans, EIS for Chugach National Forest

Draft plans for the future of the 5.4 million-acre Chugach National Forest are now out for review, with a Nov. 1 deadline for public comment.

Draft copies of the land management plan and environmental impact statement were released on Aug. 3.

The draft land management plan describes the 15-year strategic vision for managing these forest lands in southcentral Alaska. It capitalizes on the strengths of the current 2002 plan, providing for changes in the local and regional economy, physical condition of the forest, and increasing demand for recreation.

“The Chugach National Forest is the backyard to over half of Alaska’s population, supporting businesses and rural communities with world-class tourism opportunities and destinations,” said Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron. “The draft land management plan for the Chugach National Forest continues our commitment to connect and deliver forest resources and benefits to people.”

Forest officials said their draft plan responds to issues raised by local stakeholders, the public, the state of Alaska, and Alaska Native tribes and corporations, and to make the forest more sustainable and productive for the long term. It incorporates changes to ensure public access and opportunities for diverse recreation use while protecting the natural, cultural and scenic environment. It also supports terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem functions and promotes ecosystem resilience; clarifies special designations on the forest; and separates site-specific travel management direction from the plan.

Nine public open house meetings, including one in Cordova, will be scheduled starting in mid-September to provide information about the draft land management plan and draft EIS. Dates and meeting locations will be posted at www.fs.usda.gov/chugach.

Send comments before the Nov. 1 deadline electronically to www.fs.usda.gov/goto/chugach/plancomments, or by fax to 1-907-743-9476.

Comments may also be submitted in writing at any of the forthcoming public meetings, or delivered to the Chugach National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Attn: Draft Land Management Plan, 161 East 1st Street, Door 8, Anchorage, AK 99501.

For more information or to sign up for the mailing list, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/chugach.

To request information email chugachplanrevision@fs.fed.us.

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