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Mark Twain National Forest Issues Draft Plan

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:26 am    Post subject: Mark Twain National Forest Issues Draft Plan Reply with quote

ROLLA, MO – Mark Twain National Forest, which manages 1.5 million acres of public land in southern and central Missouri, has issued a draft revision to its Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan). The proposed Forest Plan will guide the management of the Mark Twain National Forest for the next 10-15 years, and states the goals and objectives for managing the national forest to meet federal law, regulations and policy. Forest Plans are reviewed and adjusted every ten to fifteen years to address changed conditions and information.

Over the past few years, a team of specialists have reviewed the current Forest Plan, issued in 1986, to evaluate which areas needed change. The review included internal reviews and input from a variety of forest users and public interest groups.

Along with the Draft Revised Forest Plan, the Forest issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which documents the analysis conducted by the Forest Service and describes the anticipated effects of implementing the proposed Forest Plan. The DEIS examined five alternatives. Alternatives 1-4 share goals, objectives and forest-wide direction but differ in the relative emphasis to particular issues and concerns. These differences are reflected in the acreages allocated to each management prescription. Alternative 5 is to continue using the 1986 Forest Plan, as amended. The preferred alternative in the DEIS is Alternative three.

“Alternative three is preferred because it is the best blend of goods, services, and values for the public.” Ronnie Raum, forest supervisor for Mark Twain National Forest said. “It allows National Forest managers to work with nature to conserve important plant and animal species, create and maintain healthy ecosystems, and provide a variety of products that local communities and the nation as a whole consider important. Among these products are recreation opportunities, timber products and clean water and air.”

The Draft Revised Forest Plan, DEIS and a summary of the DEIS are available at all Mark Twain National Forest offices and local libraries. The documents are also available on CD or on the internet at: CDs or printed copies can be ordered from Mark Twain National Forest at: 401 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, Missouri 6540, (573) 364-4621.

The public has a 90 day comment period, which will begin the day following publication of the Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register. That date is expected to be February 4, 2005. All comments must be postmarked or received by May 5, 2005. Please send your written comments to: Content Analysis Team, Mark Twain Forest Plan Revision, P.O. Box 22810, Salt Lake City, UT 84122.

Mark Twain National Forest is hosting five open houses to allow the public to meet with Forest Service specialist on Forest Plan revision. The open houses will be held from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the following dates and locations: February 8, Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, 11715 Cragwood Road, Kirkwood, MO, February 15, Old City Hall Building, 202 N. Washington, Salem, MO, February 22, West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis, West Plains, MO, March 15, Black River Coliseum, 301 South 5th Street, Poplar Bluff, MO, March 22, The Library Center, 4653 South Campbell, Springfield, MO.

For more information on the meeting or for special accommodations such as signing for the deaf, contact Charles Gill at: (573) 341-7406 or
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