A Land Management Plan (LMP) is required by the 1976 National Forest Management Act. This document describes the goals, objectives, and management direction for each part of the National Forest System. The four national forests in southern California adopted revised Land Management Plans in April of 2006. Here are the parts of the Land Management Plan:

Record of Decision for SBNF

SBNF-2This document presents the decision regarding the selection of a Revised Land Management Plan for the San Bernardino National Forest. It summarizes the reasons for choosing the Selected Alternative as the basis for the revised Forest Plan, which will be followed for the next 10 to 15 years.

The Chief Forester chose Alternative 4a for the Land Management Plan. This alternative is focused on active management for the maintenance of healthy forests; community protection from wildland fire; managed, sustainable recreation settings and uses; and the management of threatened and endangered species.

This introductory document gives a good background on the forest and pertinent issues. It talks about threats: “The phenomenal increase in the use of the national forests for
recreational activities raises the need to manage most forms of recreation”. Land use zones are explained (different parts of the forest allow different uses, from motorized to wilderness areas). The possible alternatives for the plan are explained, which range from an emphasis on natural resource protection to increased motorized access permitted in the forest.

Vision for all 4 Forests

SBNF-3This document talks about the shared vision for the four forests in Southern California. Here are some excerpts that relate to trails and recreation:

Recreation opportunities are provided that represent a variety of skill levels, needs and desires in partnership with permit holders, private entities, nonprofit/volunteer groups, diverse community groups, state, federal and tribal partners. The transportation system of roads and trails is safe, affordable, and environmentally sound; responds to public needs; and is efficient to manage.

An environmentally sustainable, integrated system of remote, urban and rural non-motorized trails is established and maintained. The system can accommodate a range of experience in high quality settings, and is managed to minimize conflicts while providing opportunities for partnerships, learning, stewardship and mental and physical renewal for a diverse, urban visitor population. The availability of day-use ‘loop trails’ is improved.

Management challenges related to urbanization include: access to national forest land. Access is a complex problem that has many forms. For example, traditional points of access to the national forests are lost as private land is developed. New landowners are often reluctant to accommodate access across their land. At the same time, the people living adjacent to the national forests want convenient access, often resulting in the development of unplanned roads and trails.

Supportive Information; this is one way to describe what we’re looking for in these USFS documents. If we want a more logical and interconnected trail system that meets the needs of different users, it’s important to find supportive and relevant information like that above (even if it means digging through 65 pages of a vision statement).

Strategy for SBNF

This part of the plan is specific to the San Bernardino National Forest and can be thought of as the tools that will be used to achieve the Vision described above.

The LMP Strategy for the San Bernardino National Forest is important enough that it has it’s own page right here.

Design Criteria for all 4 Forests

SBNF-4The design criteria consist of relevant environmental and public land management laws, standards for activities on USFS lands, and other reference materials.

This is largely a reference document, citing laws and other documents that permit the USFS to manage the land and instruct it how to do so.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Much of the above has been directly copied from referenced sources publicly available on the internet. Subjective opinion and interpretation can be found in color-hilited text boxes.