Sierra & Sequoia National Forest Management Plans (CA)
The U.S. Forest Service recently released the revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Forest Plans (DFP) for the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests. As part of this process, National Forests are required to identify the eligibility of rivers for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Once a river is found eligible it is managed to protect the values that support their inclusion. To that end, American Whitewater has identified recreation as an outstandingly remarkable value on many iconic whitewater rivers within the Sierra and Sequoia National Forest and is advocating for their inclusion into the inventory of eligible Wild & Scenic Rivers.
Upon cursory review of American Whitewater recommendations made in 2016 and the current inventory of eligible Wild and Scenic rivers identified in the DEIS, we have encountered a mixed bag of results. For instance, within the Sequoia National Forest, there is good news for Brush Creek, a tributary of the Kern River. It is found eligible with whitewater kayaking contributing to the outstandingly remarkable recreational value. Yet on the "Teacups" of Dry Meadow Creek, another Kern tributary, that segment of river is completely overlooked and left out. Of concern within the Sierra National Forest is Dinkey Creek. Here the eligibility inventory departs from Forest Service guidelines by selecting two non-connected segments of Dinkey Creek for inclusion. Whereas, directives from the Forest Service Handbook cite that the agency should consider the entire river system. Of the whitewater resources available on this watershed, only 4 miles of the Cherry Bomb Falls run is included in the inventory and whitewater paddling is not identified as an outstandingly remarkable value for the reach.
Overall, much more analysis is yet to come and American Whitewater is collaborating with our partners within the California Outdoor Alliance and CalWild to ensure our interests are fully vetted and communicated during the public comment period that ends September 26, 2019. Stay tuned as we finish our review of the plans and provide opportunity for you to comment on the whitewater resources that matter to you.
If you would like to learn more about draft forest plans for the Sierra and Sequoia National Forest, you can go to an interactive map provided by Outdoor Alliance. You can download the entire revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Forest Plans (DFP) here. Additionally, USFS is hosting two workshops to provide more opportunity for in person contact and comments.
Sequoia National Forest
August 20, 5:30-8:30pm (Pacific)
The Station by Kern County Fire Fighters
7900 Downing Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Sierra National Forest
August 21, 5:30-8:30pm (Pacific)
Clovis Veteran's Memorial District
808 4th St, Clovis, CA 93612
- Inyo, Sequoia, Sierra National Forest Plan Revisions, Wild and Scenic Eligibility Comments
American Whitewater's comments on the Draft Wild and Scenic River Evaluation for the Inyo, Sequoia, Sierra National Forests in California.