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Forest Planning

The forests of the Sierra Nevada are currently undergoing the first steps in revising forest management plans, first created in the 1980s, and revised in 2001 and 2004. Go directly to Forest Plan Revisions now, for the latest updates.

Sierra Forest Legacy works to protect, enhance and preserve the forests, wildlife, wildlands, and rivers and streams of the Sierra by monitoring all proposed plans, projects, laws, and actions that could negatively impact the long-term ecological health of Sierra Nevada Forests and wildlife; working with our partners to develop alternative proposals that would ensure the protection and restoration of the threatened areas and species; and advancing sound science to secure responsible and effective management of our National Forests. We implement our conservation mission through two integrated and dependent elements: Forest Planning and Forest Restoration.  

Our Forest Planning work focuses on ensuring that decision makers adopt policies and revised national forest plans in the Sierra Nevada that achieve conservation of sensitive resources, support science-based restoration of ecosystems, and are based on ecologically sustainable resource management. The document National Forests in the Sierra Nevada:  A Conservation Strategy (August 2012) serves as our guiding document for promoting sound forest management.

Conservation Strategy


As the 11 national forests in the Sierra Nevada began development of new forest management plans as required by law, Sierra Forest Legacy organized a coalition-wide effort to create a conservation strategy for the Sierra Nevada. We seek to promote forest plans that will address landscape-level conservation strategies for ecosystems and specific terrestrial and aquatic species that incorporate the best interpretations of changing climate adaptation scenarios and wildlife habitat needs.

Projects and Plans


Read about our engagement with individual national forest management plans and proposed projects at these links. The National Forests of the Sierra Nevada are managed through the creation, approval and implementation of forest plans and the projects designed to fulfill the objectives of those plans. We maintain an active forest monitoring program which follows all new forest plans, regional planning proposals, and key local projects from start to finish, to ensure that the proposed activity does not violate environmental law, ignore the latest scientific research, or threaten the ecological integrity and biological health of these ecosystems.

Laws, Policy and Regulations


The laws written in Washington D.C. lead directly to the regulations that govern our public lands and the policies and plans which are formulated to implement these laws. The details of how these laws and regulations are interpreted, and implemented, has frequently resulted in conflicts among opposing stakeholders. Our policy and legal experts monitor the formation of new laws and regulations that affect our Sierran forests, and work diligently to expose and resist attempts to circumvent or revise existing laws that could result in policies that threaten the long-term protection and restoration of Sierra Nevada forests.

Sierra Nevada Wildlife at Risk


Wildlife species throughout the Sierra Nevada are at risk due to the degradation and alteration of habitat. Some of the habitats most imperiled in the Sierra Nevada are utilized by endangered, threatened, and sensitive species wildlife species -- close to seventy-five species. In order to protect and restore these species, a rigorous defense of their habitat and biological needs is necessary and is advanced daily by our conservation team. Read more about some of the most imperiled species by clicking on the heading, or go directly to individual species accounts in the drop-down menu on the upper left side of this page.

Fire and Forest Ecology


Forest plants and animals in the Range of Light have co-evolved with fire for millions of years, and many species of plants require fire for continued viability. We believe that science provides the best determination of what role fire will continue to play in the management of our forests. The future of our forests and communities depend on decisions to protect and restore resources, and which ensure that our forests continue to provide the clean water, clear air and wildlife habitat that we all value. We have a huge amount of fire science and ecology research available on our website. Begin your journey by clicking on the heading above the picture to your left.