Forest Service officials on November 3, 2014 announced the signing of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Cleveland National Forest Land Management Plan (LMP) Amendment.
The Amendment to the LMP is part of the Settlement Agreement approved January 3, 2011, in the case of California Resources Agency, et al vs. United States Department of Agriculture, and Center for Biological Diversity, et al vs. United States Department of Agriculture, which challenged the Cleveland’s 2006 LMP.
“We had a monumental moment last week that will have major implications on how we manage certain areas of the Cleveland National Forest,” said Cleveland Forest Supervisor Will Metz. “The Forest now has new areas managed as wilderness, which is the highest level of protection that the Forest Service can provide and especially important in this highly developed Region.”
Roughly 43,000 more acres of the Cleveland National Forest are zoned as Recommended Wilderness and will therefore be managed to retain and improve their wilderness character until Congress makes a final decision about their wilderness designation. These lands are located primarily on the Palomar Ranger District but also include northern portions of the Descanso Ranger District. This decision also amends the LMP monitoring and evaluation requirements to make them more efficient and effective.
The areas now zoned as recommended wilderness offer outstanding opportunities for solitude, primitive recreation, species refuge, and watershed protection. The zoning provides for manageable boundaries that avoid conflicts with existing roads and adjacent uses. The majority of the Forest will continue to have the flexibility to accommodate a range of uses such as mountain biking, hang-gliding, or utility corridors that are not permitted in designated wilderness areas. For additional information, contact Forest Planner Jeff Heys at 858- 674-2959.