Forest Action Plan 2016 Five-Year Update
This Forest Action Plan (FAP) five-year update was required of all states that had significant changes to their priority areas. Although the update was due on November 20, 2015, it is intended to provide guidance through 2016 and beyond. The FAP was revised to include updating some of the GIS layers with newer information, adding a few more watersheds, and adding Sage Grouse Management Areas. The general approach used in 2010 was not changed. The Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service State Technical Advisory Committee, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources were kept apprised throughout this update. We expect a similar update later in 2016 when Utah’s Wildlife Action Plan is updated, and the new fire risk assessment is completed within Governor Herbert’s Catastrophic Wildfire Reduction Strategy process.
Several of the original GIS data layers were replaced or updated with newer versions. These include:
- West-wide Fire Risk Assessment replaced the fuel model, fire return interval, fire regime condition class, and communities at risk layers used in the previous Wildland Fire section.
- National Land Cover Database replaced the regional gap analysis project in the forests layer.
- Sage Grouse Management Areas were added to the Wildlife section.
- Forests to Faucets data replaced the water to people layer.
- National Insect & Disease Risk Map was updated with newer data.
- Several local priority watersheds were added to distance to managed land.
- Population and Population Growth Rate were updated with new census data.
- Impervious Surfaces and Canopy Cover were updated with newer data.
The newly-added watersheds represent local priority areas, where previous experience has shown high resource value and substantial opportunities with private landowners. For example, the West Tavaputs Plateau has multiple Forest Stewardship Plans, Legacy easements, and many private landowners that represent future opportunities. It probably was not identified by the initial modeling since there are no UCF opportunities, and distance to managed lands was high due to the prevalence of private lands (2 of the 8 data layers the model used).
Only the Grouse Habitat Management Areas (GHMA) and local priority watersheds had a significant effect on the original priority areas. For example, the NW corner of Utah is now included due to GHMA. What is more useful is an interactive map that allows zooming into areas for more detail. Clicking the “layers” button in the upper left allows options such as a more transparent layer to see what is underneath, show SGMA’s only, etc.
Forest Action Plan: National Priorities
The five-year update process required states to include a new section addressing National Priorities. Since these priorities are addressed throughout the entire Forest Action Plan (FAP), icons representing each of the priorities were placed by each of the FAP objectives. This avoided duplication of the FAP objectives into a separate section. These priorities include:
- Conserve and Manage Working Forest Landscapes for Multiple Values and Uses
- Protect Forests from Threats
- Enhance Public Benefits from Trees and Forests
Please follow the links below to see the updated Forest Action Plan and interactive map.
Utah’s Forest Action Plan
In 2010, the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands developed the Utah Statewide Forest Resource Assessment. The assessment:
- provides an analysis of the forest conditions and trends in the state;
- addresses current state and national resource management priorities;
- spatially delineates priority rural and urban forest landscape areas;
- ensures that state and federal resources are being focused on important landscape areas with the greatest opportunity for shared management priorities and achieve meaningful outcomes; and
- enables the efficient, strategic and focused use of limited program resources.