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Black Hills National Forest Seeks Comments on Forest Plan Revision Draft Assessments by Aug 1, 2022

August 1, 2022

Custer, SD, June 17, 2022 –

The Black Hills National Forest is seeking public comment on the Forest Plan Revision Draft Assessments.
Black Hills National Forest officials initiated the process to revise the current Land and Resource Management plan in October 2021, otherwise referred to as the Forest Plan. Forest Plans guide all resource management actions on the Forest.
        The assessment phase is the first step in the process and helps to identify trends and conditions on the landscape and helps describe the need for change. It also helps inform decisions on the next steps in the process.
Draft Assessments have been compiled and are posted on the Forest’s website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/blackhills/forestplanrevision/assessments

     Comments on the Forest Plan Revision Draft Assessments can be submitted for 45 days through the comment form online at https://cara.fs2c.usda.gov/Public/CommentInput?project=NP-3204  (Monday August 1st) This is the preferred method for submittal of comments as this is the main database where they are organized and stored.

      However, if you need special accommodation, comments can also be submitted via email to SM.FS.BlackhillFPR@usda.gov or written comments may be mailed to: Black Hills National Forest Supervisor’s Office, c/o Forest Plan Revision Team, 1019 N. 5th Street, Custer, SD 57730. Please submit any comments by August 1, 2022.
The current Forest Plan was first released in 1983, revised in 1997, and amended in 2006. The 2006 version serves as the current Forest Plan for the Black Hills National Forest.
For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills/

The deadline date is August 1st, however this is a kind of flexible date. We asked for an extension due to the size (733 page and 21 topics). This was denied, but here is the explanation:

        “The assessment phase of Forest Plan revision is not the formal environmental analysis (NEPA)

          phase that you may be accustomed to with past projects on the Black Hills National Forest. Any
          information or comments that you provide during the assessment phase will be accepted and
           considered at any time during the revision process. Therefore, I have decided to leave the current
            opportunity to comment at 45 days, June 17 – August 1, 2022.”
As far as we know the assessment phase will be completed sometime in Sept, Oct or November. Based on discussion w/ FS, October is the more likely endpoint, thus if you send late comments in in August your comments might be safe.
      Please carbon copy us with the comments you send in – we want to know what members/friends are concerned about. – phas.wsd@rapidnet.com, .Prairie Hills Audubon Society plans to form a committee to work on the Forest Plan Revision, including the assessments. Contact Nancy Hilding, 605-787-6466, phas.wsd@rapidnet.com,  if you are interested in committee.

Our July 28th, evening Zoom meeting is on this topic, w/ Lou Conroy of the BHNF speaking

Revision Assessment Topics
Aquatic, Riparian, and Groundwater;
Insects, Disease, and Invasive;
Soils and Watersheds;
At Risk Species;
 Recreation Settings, Opportunities, and Scenic Character ;
 Land Status, Ownership, Use, and Access Patterns ;
Existing Special and Potential Designated Areas;
Potential Wilderness Inventory Process Summary;
 Infrastructure ;
Ecological Integrity of Forested Ecosystems: S & Trends;
Ecological Integrity of Non-Forested Ecosystems: Status & T;
Air Quality;
 Fire and Fuels ;
Cultural Resources;
Rangeland Management;
Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy and Mineral Resources;
Areas of Tribal Importance;
Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Evaluation;


August 1, 2022