Sacramento, CA. The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest and Intermountain Regions are adjusting the schedule for the environmental impact statement about new management direction in Sierra Nevada national forests. According to Project Manager Dr. Kent Connaughton, the change will lead to a more meaningful and useful draft environmental impact statement for public review and comment. The adjustments allow the Forest Service more time to integrate relevant natural resource science findings and to better integrate public concerns into alternatives to be displayed in the draft environmental impact statement. The estimated publication of the draft environmental impact statement will be late spring or early summer of 1999, rather than the previously planned release of late February 1999.

The Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will amend national forest plans for the Humboldt-Toiyabe, Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Tahoe, Eldorado, Stanislaus, Sierra, Sequoia, and Inyo National Forests, and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The EIS will address five problem areas: old forest ecosystems; aquatic, riparian, and meadow ecosystems; fire and fuels management; noxious weeds; and, lower westside hardwood forest ecosystems.

More information is available on the USDA Forest Service Region 5 World Wide Web site or from USDA Forest Service, Sierra Nevada Framework Project, Room 419, 801 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; phone number 916-492-7554; TTY access via PacBell relay 800-735-2929.

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