Cross posted from the Council on Environmental Quality blog:
Last week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and I announced our intent for finalizing a new planning rule to govern management of the National Forest System. The 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands are critical to President Obama’s vision of an economy built to last, providing clean air, clean water, habitat for wildlife, opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation, jobs and growth in rural communities, and a range of other benefits for all Americans.
When finalized, a new rule will replace outdated procedures that have been in place since 1982 that no longer reflect the best science, public values, or agency expertise. Land management plan revisions under the preferred alternative would cost less money and take less time, while protecting and restoring our forests, water and wildlife and supporting vibrant rural communities. Read more »
Members of the Central California Consortium stand in front of a massive tree, part of the natural resources they help sustain. (Photo by Central California Consortium)
Although the U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule is still a draft document, it has helped to produce environmental change for one special group of involved students. Over the past year this special group of young adults attended planning rule public sessions, followed developing issues, and then provided some input of their own. Through their diligence and proactive engagement, some of their concerns have made it into the draft planning rule. Read more »
The wait is over! The U.S. Forest Service unveiled its proposed Forest Planning Rule today. This proposed rule is the outcome of the most participatory planning rule development process in Forest Service history. Based on your feedback gathered online and during more than 40 public meetings hosted across the nation, we think we’ve crafted a proposed rule that reflects the public and Tribal input received so far, our expertise, current science, and regulatory requirements. The proposed rule would establish a new national framework to develop land management plans that protect water and wildlife and promote vibrant communities. Now, we are seeking your comments on the proposed rule to help us develop a final rule that will have broad support and endure over time. Read more »