One more preview:
Updating the Inyo National Forest’s Species of Conservation Concern List
Today we’re sharing proposed updates to the Inyo National Forests’ species of conservation concern (SCC) list. This “preview” comes as the Inyo completes a final environmental impact statement and forest plan. Previously we shared information about sustainable recreation, aquatic and riparian resources, and wild and scenic rivers. All this information is available on-line at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/
When you see the final forest plan later this year, you’ll notice we made changes based on many of the suggestions, ideas and comments you provided us on the draft forest plan (published May 2016).
As for SCCs we heard from the public questions about our rationale for identifying the SCCs we’d listed. Some people provided specific scientific data that we did not have in our draft analysis, and asked for a more careful review of several species. Other commenters listed species that appeared to meet our criteria for a SCC but were not on the May 2016 SCC list.
In response to your comments, we’ve re-evaluated our SCC list, as well as the additional information we received. We’ve expanded a number of supporting species rationales to better explain why species were or were not identified as an SCC. As a result of reviewing new information and reevaluating some species, we’re proposing to add six species, and remove nine species from our SCC list for the Inyo National Forest. We’re also adding and expanding plan direction to better manage SCC habitats. These important changes will help ensure species do not become listed as threated or endangered.
Ready to see what we’ve developed? Please visit our website for more information including an overview, frequently asked questions, our proposed updated SCC list, and the expanded species rationales. This preview provides near-final supporting information, including rationale statements, that will accompany the final SCC list for the Inyo National Forest. We are continuing refinement of the supporting information that will be available in the final plan products. We are sharing these documents to demonstrate how we are updating supporting information and addressing other public feedback on the SCC list released in 2016. The formatting and organization you see here will be improved in the final documents to be released later this fall.
We hope this glimpse into plan development is useful. These and other previews are for information sharing. We are not receiving formal comments at this time. The completed, final EIS and Inyo plan will be available for a 60-day objection period this fall. If you have questions please contact Deb Schweizer, Public Affairs Officer for the Inyo National Forest, at 760-873-2427.
Don’t forget that we’re continuing to address public comments in a revised draft EIS for the Sequoia and Sierra National Forests. We’ll share updates on that progress in the coming months as well.