United States Forestry Service Comment Period Now Open

today, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) opened up their comment period for the greater sage-grouse management land plans. The plans, which would amend the current 2015 plans, would affect landscapes in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, and Idaho. The USFS has proposed 3 plans of action which include:

• A No Action Alternative, the Forest Service would not amend current land management plans. This alternative retains sagebrush focal areas and all other aspects of the plans.

• Alternative 2, the Preferred Alternative, is the proposed action and makes modifications to the No Action Alternative. Specifically, the Preferred Alternative makes modifications to land management plans within the issue areas of: Habitat management area designation, including designating sagebrush focal areas as Priority Habitat Management Areas compensatory mitigation and net conservation gain; minerals plan components and waivers; exceptions and modifications; desired conditions; livestock grazing guidelines; adaptive management; treatment of invasive species; and changes to clarify text and eliminate errors and redundancies.

• Alternative 3, the State of Utah Alternative, incorporates all aspects of Alternative 2, with the addition of two more modifications to plans within the state of Utah. Specifically, the Forest Service would remove the General Habitat Management Areas (GHMA) designation from Forest Service lands in Utah and would also remove the Anthro Mountain management area from habitat management area designation on the Ashley National Forest.

The comment period will last 90 days and folks are welcomed to submit their comments.