Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Latest News: August 29, 2012
Comments will be accepted by the Forest Service at the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit until close of business tomorrow, August 30, 2012.
Today we submitted exhaustive comments on behalf of our coalition covering a broad range of topics including monitoring and management indicator species, old-growth associated species, fire ecology and fuels management, adaptive management, recreation and wilderness, climate change, cumulative impacts, and many other issues relative to management of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. At the same time we also submitted SFL's coalition science-based conservation strategies for the Sierra Nevada covering the forests, rare carnivores, and aquatic habitats.
Read SFL coalition comments:
June 1, 2012
USDA Forest Service today released the three volume Draft Revised Land Management Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit: Voume 1, the draft environmental impact statement; Vol. 2, a description of the agency's "preferred alternative" of four alternatives that the agency evaluated; and Vol. 3 which are the appendices and monitoring plan. The 90-day public comment period will end on August 29, 2012. Download the draft plan and background documents here. The LTBMU management plan is being prepared under the 1982 planning rule regulations but has adopted some aspects of the latest planning rule process, including the "objection" option instead of the "appeal" option for resolution of issues of contention.
The objection process will commence for 60 days following the release of the final forest plan, which is likely to occur in late 2012. The rules for filing objections are much more restrictive today under the new planning rule. Those who wish to file an objection must include full copies of all the scientific literature which they may have referenced in their objections or comment letters. Objections must also be limited to those issues previously brought up by the party filing the objection during other periods of open public comment. See 36 CFR 219.50 - 59 for more details.
The U.S. Forest Service has begun the process of revising the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Plan. This process will result in a guiding document for management of all of the resources within the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) for the next two decades.
The first document created and released by the Forest Service during this plan revision process was the Comprehensive Evaluation Report (CER) which is an attempt to evaluate ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends of the basin. One specific piece of this document that we believe shows great potential for the Forest Service to actually advance a responsible and scientifically valid approach to addressing the ecologically unhealthy fuel loads within the basin is from page 31 of the CER. It states "Tree density is currently 184% of historic conditions, most of which is comprised of trees less than 16" in diameter."
If the Forest Service were to follow the science as it relates to the fuel load problem they will find a receptive ear in the conservation community. Removal of large trees does not reduce the fuel load problem, it exacerbates it. Addressing the real problem when it comes to the ecological health of our forests and the wildfire threat will go a long way toward showing the public that the Forest Service is serious about solving this problem.
Sierra Forest Legacy will continue to fight for long-term protection of all the important and significant resources within the basin and encourage you to do what you can to help save the basin from a potentially disastrous forest plan that will shape management within the basin for decades to come. If we fail to secure a responsible, scientifically based management plan the impacts to water quality, forest health, wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities could be so deleterious that the basin could feel the effects for centuries.
December 5, 2008 Comments submitted by Sierra Forest Legacy, Tahoe Area Sierra Club, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe on the Desired Conditions for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit planning area
March 19, 2010 Notice of Intent to revise forest plan for LTBMU published in Federal Register
April 29, 2010 Scoping Comments submitted by Sierra Forest Legacy for plan revision -- download them under Resources (upper right hand side of this page).
June 1, 2012 Draft Revised Management Plan released today; 90-day public comment period ends August 29, 2012.