Comment on the Kaibab Forest Management Plan

wolf-stalkingPlease take a moment to help future conservation of the Kaibab National Forest.

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Remember, the Deadline for Comments is July 18th, 2012.

The Kaibab National Forest is revising its Forest Land Use Plan. While the draft plan contains many improvements over the previous plan, Alternative C provides the best conservation management for this special place.

We urge you to support Alternative C; specifically:

  • Protect and Restore Old Growth Ponderosa Pine Forest. Ecologists consider this forest type as an endangered ecosystem, and the North Kaibab Ranger District contains the Southwest’s largest remaining old growth ponderosa pine forest outside of Grand Canyon National Park and other wilderness areas. Because this area would not be managed for timber or biomass production, it would be removed from the suitable timber base.
  • Restore the Natural Role of Fire. The primary anthropogenic stress to ponderosa pine and mixed conifer vegetation communities has been a century of fire suppression in conjunction with unsustainable grazing practices. Fire has long played a role in shaping the vegetation of the Kaibab NF. The resiliency of much of the forest is dependent upon fire as a frequent disturbance process. Healthy, resilient landscapes have a greater capacity to survive natural disturbances and large- scale threats to ecological sustainability Restoration of frequent, low intensity fire provides the best resiliency and adaptation in ponderosa pine and frequent fire mixed conifer, especially in the face of a changing climate.
  • Restore Grasslands. Grasslands are much less abundant than they were historically, which reduces the amount of available habitat for grassland associated species. Primary threats to this vegetation community are conifer encroachment, lack of characteristic fire disturbance, and inappropriate levels of grazing.
  • Designate the “North Kaibab Wildlife Habitat Complex” and manage the area for a natural diversity of native species. This area is approximately 260,000 acres and includes most of the Kaibab Squirrel National Natural Landmark, and 8 linked ephemeral riparian valleys and canyons.
  • Protect Potential Wilderness. Alternative C proposes 5 new Wilderness areas in addition to those areas included in the proposed action: Burro Canyon, Coconino Rim, Seegmiller, South Canyon Point, and Willis Canyon. This alternative also contains an area (~1000 acres) contiguous to a potential wilderness addition to the Sycamore Wilderness. Under this alternative, these areas would be recommended as wilderness and managed to protect their wilderness character until Congress acts on the recommendation.
  • Protect Seeps, Springs, and Ephemeral Wetlands from the adverse impacts of high-impact recreational activities and inappropriate levels of grazing by livestock and other non-native species such as bison-hybrids.
  • Protect and Restore Aspen. Aspen is rapidly declining due to increased conifer encroachment and dominance, drought, fire exclusion, and livestock and elk grazing.
  • Control, Treat, and, when possible Eradicate non-native plant and animal invasive species (e.g, cheatgrass).
  • Protect Heritage Resources. Lands within the Kaibab National Forest hold great cultural significance for the Kaibab Paiute, Shivwits Paiute, Hopi, Zuni, Hualapai, and Navajo Nations. More than three thousand ancient Native American archaeological sites have been documented in the region, representing just a fraction of the human history of the area. Ranging from settlements or habitations, to temporary camps, granaries and caches, and rock art, some of the sites date from as far back as the Paleo-Indian period - 11,000 BC.
  • Allow for Voluntary Retirement of Grazing Leases. The National Land Management plan should expressly authorize the voluntary, permanent retirement of grazing allotments by permittees for conservation purposes, including endangered species recovery.
  • Require Use of Non-Lead Ammo for Hunting. Lead poisoning through ingestion by eagles and hawks, and other scavengers comprises a heath threat, including mortality, for many of these species. Lead poisoning is the primary threat to recovery of the California condor, a magnificent but endangered wildlife species. Since other less-toxic ammunition is available, hunting would be relatively unaffected. The Forest Service has the authority to prohibit use of toxic ammunition to protect endangered species.

The Draft Kaibab National Forest EIS can be found at:

Email comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Written comments should be sent to:

Kaibab National Forest Planner
800 South 6th East
Williams, AZ 86046

Remember, the Deadline for Comments is July 18th, 2012.