Forest planning is picking up across the country, and many are closely following the “early adopter” forests who are in the midst of revising the documents which will guide their management for the coming 15-25 years.
North Carolina's Nantahala & Pisgah National Forests are in the midst of plan revision, and represent a beloved landscape in the heart of the Southern Appalachians. In recognition of the history of conflict amidst different interests and users on the forests, the NFF is helping to convene and facilitate the Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala & Pisgah Plan Revision.
After nine months of working together and building understanding about each other’s diverse perspectives, the Stakeholders Forum has completed the first phase of its work. At its May meeting, the Stakeholders Forum documented their accomplishments to date. To help continue positive communications in the coming months, members committed to a Statement of Good Intentions. Here is a short excerpt:
We are committed to continuing to engage constructively in the plan revision process. We have built relationships that we will rely upon as we continue to discuss tough issues of conflict. We will assume good intent from others and will depend upon each other for information and feedback.
These are important principles of operation as the Stakeholders Forum members continue to talk about tough issues. Members of the group will stay engaged in forest planning through the summer in public meetings the Forest Service is hosting at the district level. The Stakeholders Forum will meet again in the fall.
More information about the Nantahala & Pisgah National Forest Plan Revision is available on the forest plan webpage, which is a model for transparency and information-sharing with the public.