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National Forest Review Completed

A year-long, intensive review of the 900,000-acre Stanislaus National forest is now complete.

The team from regional National Forest headquarters in Vallejo met with local forest managers again yesterday to complete their performance review. They told local forest managers to focus on five areas.

Deputy Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Glenn Gottschall explained areas of attention the review team identified include improving communications for the forest, building and maintaining better relationships with the forest´s community “stakeholders,” and improving the overall credibility of the local forest.

Whether problems with the Stanislaus National Forest´s credibility was perceived or real, “The problem existed,” Gottschall said.

Review of the Stanislaus began last May under then forest supervisor Ben del Villar. New Stanislaus forest chief Tom Quinn says visits by the review team during the past year are part of a periodical review that comes around once every ten years.

“The region does periodic reviews of each national forest. It´s on a cyclical situation,” Quinn explained. “This was not a result of any specific findings on the Stanislaus that resulted in them coming here.”

An action plan is now in place to address those focus areas. “This is a process we need to continue on irregardless of a review,” Gottschall said.

Quinn, 48 who comes to Sonora from Washington, D.C., said the Stanislaus will be checking in the regional headquarters, but not in any formal way.

“We may see periodic program reviews of specific programs on the forest, but as far as broad, over-all regional forester´s reviews, this has been our turn.”

The Stanislaus National Forest maintains an annual operating budget of $25 million – not including funds for fire suppression – and employes 250 permanent and 300 temporary employees.