The Forest Service is collaboratively developing a new planning rule for the National Forest System that will be rooted in science. The collaborative dialog really opened up March 29-30 in Washington DC at the National Science Forum. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Forum in demonstration of his support of a new planning rule that embraces participation and is science-based.
The Science Forum was just the first of many opportunities for the public to participate in the development of a new planning rule. In fact, on April 1st and 2nd a National Roundtable discussion is taking place. To view the schedule and watch live selections of National Roundtables. We are also inviting people to join the Virtual Roundtable at our planning rule blog.
The Forum was designed to provide scientific information to serve as the foundation for future collaborative meetings and aid in integrating science into the development of the next planning rule. During the Forum, scientists shared in discussion on the latest science on topics such as restoration, climate change, watershed health, diversity, and the national forest’s contribution to vibrant local economies. The entire forum was made available on a streaming live web cast and online participants were able to participate and ask questions of the scientists via the planning ruleblog. We heard diverse viewpoints and we’re excited to keep the conversation going.
An interim summary of some of the major themes discussed at the Forum is available now on online. This product shares some highlights of the science and viewpoints offered by Science Forum presenters, attendees and online participants. A more complete summary of the Science Forum will be available in coming weeks. Panelist’s presentations are also available on the planning rule Web site, and it is our intent to post video segments from the Science Forum on the planning rule web site in the coming weeks.
Our collaborative process to develop the planning rule is in the early stages. We are continually adding new and broader opportunities to get involved. If you’ve got ideas, let us know what they are by commenting on our blog. Check our Web site for the latest, or follow the Forest Service on Twitter.
The current schedule of future National and Regional Roundtables can be found here.
Secretary Vilsack addresses attendees of the Science Forum expressing support for a new planning rule.
Panelists, from left to right: Dr. Kevin McKelvey, Marilyn Stoll, Dr. Gary Morishima, Dr. Bill Zielinski