Holiday Wishes for a New Planning Rule

Twelve environmental groups have started an ad campaign calling for a new Forest Service planning rule “to protect all creatures great and small.”  A press release from the Pew Environment Group and 11 other organizations mentions that 10,000 post cards and a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture will advocate that the planning rule considers strong standards for water quality and wildlife protection, and a commitment to scientific review.

The draft or proposed planning rule is in the administrative clearance process in the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Management and Budget.  The Forest Service’s planning rule blog explains that the clearance draft’s proposed treatment of species diversity has been changed from the concepts presented at the last public meeting on the rule in July.

7 Comments

  1. Thanks John for mentioning that content had changed from the concept papers. That tidbit was in the more recent Comments, which I had not read. However, my take is that those changes don’t apply to just the species diversity issue, but potentially all concepts presented during the roundtables. I think the planning rule team was pretty upfront about those papers being for discussion purposes and changes would likely be made based upon feedback they received from the roundtables, written comments, blog, etc.

  2. Marek – thanks for mentioning that the planning rule might change from what was presented to the public last summer. It’s unfortunate that we’re in a bit of a black hole as the rule makes it way through the review process,(but that was also explained at last summer’s meeting.) While we don’t know the specific changes that are being made, the planning rule team’s blog does explain that most of the concept papers on the website (except the species diversity paper which was more detailed) are still fairly reflective of the direction that the rule is going. I think the species diversity or viability topic is likely to be the most closely scrutinized portion of the rule, as evidenced by the ad campaign’s “all creatures great and small” theme, and we’ll have lots to discuss when the rule comes out next year.

  3. Does anyone understand what the intention is of this letter in terms of specific rule language?

    “At the same time, the new regulations must use sound and current science to safeguard healthy fish and wildlife populations and their habitats, and secure safe, clean water by creating management standards to protect and restore streams, rivers and watersheds.”

    Is this asking for different kinds of standards than the 1982 regs?

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