Conservation Update, 2013 Mar | Cleveland NF Land Mgmt Plan


The US Forest Service (FS) has issued a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the proposed Southern California National Forests Land Management Plan Amendment. The Amendment is for the Land Use Management Plans (LMPs) of the four southern California National Forests: Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino–a.k.a. the Four Forests.

The DSEIS describes three alternative land use zonings for what are now designated as Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRAs). Two of the zonings would be more restrictive of public use,

Alternative 1– No Action (existing status continued).

  • No changes to current land use zones or to current management direction.
  • No change in allowable vegetation management activities; allows vegetation removal for roads, trails and fuelbreaks, and hazardous fuels modifications and fire suppression activities that would modify stand structure and species composition.

Alternative 2– Proposed Action (the FS’ Preferred Alternative).

  • More/bigger non-motorized and Recommended Wilderness  zones.
  • Fewer/smaller zones for motorized uses, especially motorized hence more protective of natural value recreational use.
  • Fuels modifications and fire suppression activities and their   effects would be the same as those in Alternative 1.
  • No change in Existing Wilderness zones.
  • No construction of new roads.

Alternative 3 – Recommended Wilderness Emphasis (developed in response to comments from groups wanting more wilderness zoning).

  • More/bigger Recommended Wilderness zones.
  • Significant decrease in human disturbance by prohibiting:
    • Public motorized access of any kind.
    • The use of mechanized tools/equipment for fuels reductions and fuel break construction.
  • No change in Existing Wilderness zones.
  • No construction of new roads.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE TRABUCO DISTRICTof the Cleveland NF, which manages our backyard Santa Ana Mountain

See the extensive background and maps at

•    Under Appendix 1 Maps:  Cleveland National Forest – North Maps.

•    Under Scoping:  CNF – Coldwater, Ladd & Trabuco IRAs Map.

•    Under Supporting:  Cleveland National Forest – North Final Land Management Plan Land-Use Zones Map (2005).

The District’s three IRAs, Coldwater, Ladd, and Trabuco, are now zoned mostly as Back Country Non-Motorized, edged with some Back Country (motorized uses allowed) and Developed Area Interface (minimum 300-foot fuel treatment zones around structures and facilities).

•    Under Alternative 1,the three IRAs’ current zoning and management, hence public uses, would remain as is.

•    Under Alternative 2,the IRAs’ Back Country and Developed Area Interface zones would be rezoned to Back Country Non-Motorized. This zoning allows a low level of public use, and is managed to retain undeveloped character and natural appearance. Fuel breaks that contrast with the natural character may be present.

•    Under Alternative 3, the Trabuco area and most of the Coldwater area would be zoned as Recommended Wilderness. The Ladd IRA, because it is bisected by the existing Valley-Serrano 500 kV electric transmission line and its 160 foot maintenance right-of-way, is not suitable for Recommended Wilderness.

Analysis of what the new LMP means for our backyard Santa Anas will continue next time, in time for the May 16 comment deadline. Stay tuned!

—Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair

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