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  Regular Agenda Item     3. N.    
Regular BOS Meeting
Meeting Date: 03/10/2020  
Submitted By: Jacque Sanders, Deputy County Manager/Librarian
Department: Deputy County Mgr/Library District  

Information
Request/Subject
Proposed comments on the Tonto National Forest Draft Land Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Background Information
The Tonto National Forest has opened a 90-day comment period regarding the Draft Land Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which will close on March 12, 2020. The draft forest plan reflects changes in social, economic and ecological conditions since the current plan was approved in 1985. It is intended to outline the strategic management for 2.9 million acres of the national forest for the next 10 to 15 years and reflects input from local agencies, tribes, community members and many others.

The Tonto Forest began revising the Forest Plan in 2014, using the 2012 Planning Rule for the National Forest System.
Evaluation
The Tonto National Forest comprises approximately 56% of the land area within Gila County.

Every decision on the forest land affects the residents of Gila County in some way. Staying engaged in the forest planning process helps to ensure that the issues and concerns that are important to Gila County and the residents are included in the discussion and final plan.
Conclusion
Since the Tonto Forest Plan will affect the local residents, visitors, and government agencies that provide services, it is important to remain actively engaged in the process by providing comments throughout the process. The comments provided at this phase of the plan revision process will be considered part of the public record on this matter and will ensure that Gila County continues to be kept informed as the process continues.
Recommendation
Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors issue official comments to the Tonto National Forest on the Tonto Draft Land Management Plan, and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
Suggested Motion
Information/Discussion/Action to consider issuing official comments from the Board of Supervisors to the Tonto National Forest on the Tonto National Forest Draft Land Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement. (Jacque Sanders)

Attachments
Draft Gila County Comments
2nd Version of Draft Gila County Comments

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