Collaborative Forest Management: What the FACA?

Recently, one of the main the topic of conversation here at NCFP has been about collaborative forest management. We have wandered though several posts and many comments into the controversy surrounding, in particular the Montana Forest Restoration Committee in Montana and the Tongass Futures Roundtable in Alaska. In these discussions, there have been those sitting just beyond the perimeter of a collaboration who feel that something is amiss. Concerns often expressed by local environmental groups include, “Who is at the table, collaborating, and who is absent?” That is, Is the committee biased? If so, what type bias? On the other side of this divide are those who champion collaboration, particularly some National environmental groups who seem tired of litigation battles and stalemate, and to prefer more direct forms of engagement. These would-be collaborators don’t seem too uncomfortable with the make-up of collaboration committees. Because they are well-represented?. Sometimes they look askance at those who challenge the validity of specific collaborations, even accusing local environmental groups of being obstructionists. Local environmental groups counter, and accuse the Nationals of “selling out,” becoming part of the problem that is often labeled “Washington D.C.”

As I’ve watched and participated in surrounding discussion, I’ve wondered: Whither FACA? The Federal Advisory Committee Act FACA) was passed in 1972 in an effort to reign in federal agency ‘capture’ by special interest groups, particularly corporate interests. By the late 1990s there was substantial interest in collaboration in natural resource policy, but FACA was seen by many as a barrier to effective collaboration: Too bureaucratic, too heavily-laden with process requirements. But collaborators seem to have forgotten, else never understood a little facet of the law: an advisory committee doesn’t need to be declared to be a FACA Committee to be held accountable to at least some aspects of FACA law.

A good overview of this FACA problem/opportunity can be found in “The Federal Advisory Committee Act and Public Participation”, 1999 (pdf) publication by Resources for the Future. The act itself can be found here. Another useful reference is “The Federal Advisory Committee Act and Its Failure to Work Effectively in the Environmental Context”, (pdf) 1995, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. After reading the latter, I was about to give up on FACA, in part because the courts had failed pretty much to allow people to challenge federal agencies under FACA. And the prevalence of closed-to-the-public advisory committees was still substantial in 1993:

FACA has … failed to fulfill Congress’s goal of opening all advisory committee meetings to the public. Closed-door advisory committee meetings still prevail, despite FACA’s mandates that meetings be open to public participation.218 The GSA, which monitors advisory committee activity throughout the government, reported that, in fiscal year 1993, there were more closed and partially closed advisory committee meetings (2,225) than open meetings (2,162).219 It is clear from these statistics that a substantial amount of advisory committee work is still done in private, away from the public scrutiny and participation that would help limit the influence private interest groups have on the agencies they are advising.

In short it looked like those finding themselves on the outside of collaboratives couldn’t find much recourse via the courts. Then I found an interesting little decision (pdf) rendered after the Idaho Wool Growers Association successfully challenged the Forest Service in Idaho, 2009. In Judge Winmill’s decision I saw a ray of hope that indeed FACA challenges might still reign-in committees that bias agency decision-making. In particular I found this interesting:

Memorandum Decision and Order – Page 18
FACA defines an “advisory committee” as “any committee, board, commission, council, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group, or any subcommittee or other subgroup thereof . . . which is . . . established or utilized by one or more agencies in the interest of obtaining advice or recommendations for the President or one or more agencies or officers of the Federal Government . . . .”

Memorandum Decision and Order – Page 19-20
“When a committee is established to provide expert summaries or interpretation of technical data, their reports can be ‘in the interest of obtaining advice or recommendations for . . . one or more agencies.’” . . .
“Even though [the committee] provided the USFS with only narrative summaries of scientific information, and made no policy recommendations, the [committee] drafts and the final assessment provide the framework, context and information that the USFS will rely on in making policy decisions.”

Memorandum Decision and Order – Page 20
FACA imposes a number of requirements on advisory committees. See, e.g., 5 U.S.C. App. II, §§ 2, 5, 9-14 (records must be made available for public inspection; charter must be filed; upcoming meetings must be announced; meetings must be held in a public place; minutes must be kept; attendance must “be fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented” and may “not be inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority or by any special interest”). Typically, a close examination of each requirement, contrasted against the circumstances in a particular case, is warranted when determining whether a FACA violation occurred.

So FACA may indeed be ‘in play’ in broader contexts than have heretofore been considered by many. That is, it matters not so much that FACA committees be chartered by agencies. What matters is what the players do, how they deal with the public interest and how they vet various interests/positions. Post Judge Winmill’s decision, it looks like the courts may finally be listening. Or not! If the courts are listening, we may be in for more FACA lawsuits to test these waters.

What does it all mean? How does and agency, say the US Forest Service, go about getting workable committees (defacto FACA committees) that can come to any agreement or give advice that is not all over the map?

I think that the answer lies in an area that the Forest Service is so far loathe to go. That area is the area of multi-scale adaptive governance that includes policy development as well as program and project management. The Forest Service seems to want to hold policy development to itself, yet to collaborate on site-specific watershed projects. That type arrangement gives no space to deliberate upon and enact the type preservation sought by John Muir naturalists, who want intact ecosystems for say, wildlife—big home ranges for large carnivores, protected corridors for migration, etc. So the whole idea of local-only collaboration is a nonstarter to many environmentalists.They want to deal with matters of broader scale and scope. But there is no such forum available in the 2012 NFMA rule. At least that’s the way I see it. No wonder environmentalists cry fowl. When will the Forest Service warm up to adaptive governance, with its emphasis on collaboration and adaptive management? Not likely anytime soon. So, for this and other reasons, we’ll just see what shakes out in FACA court room battles. When dealing with extant collaboratives, we are left to wonder: What the FACA? Or maybe just WTF?

Perhaps the answer, or part of it, has already been offered up in a NCFP comment from Terry Seyden, if only ALL would/could operate in good faith and keep the public interest in mind:

In my view, there is just no substitute for ongoing substantive dialogue to help the agency truly understand what the real underlying interests of various constituents are. Having a rich two way dialogue also assists the agency in creatively exploring all available options for meeting agency goals while trying to meet sometimes competing interests. … [T]o be legitimate and effective, any collaborative effort has to be well grounded within a larger public involvement strategy that gives the larger community of interests substantive opportunity to comment on and influence collaborative recommendations BEFORE decisions are reached.
Of course for any of this to work, the process has to be seen as credible and fair, both in terms of who directly participates in a collaborative group and how those “not at the table” have meaningful opportunities to contribute before decisions are made. While good faith among all interests is not a requirement for this approach to be successful, good faith on the part of the Forest Service or other third party convening any collaborative effort is absolutely essential.

This is echoed by An Optimist:

A good process… will seek to represent the ideas or interests of even non-participating groups. The challenge, however, is that a collaborative process is a learning process ….

In a Michigan Law Review article, Daniel Walters (pdf) seems to agree with both. He advocates for a “deliberative approach” to FACA. It all sounds right to me.

The challenge, for all of us is to be ever-vigilant to ensure that ‘collaboratives’ are indeed operating in good faith, and in the public interest. But if the many of the comments in the posts linked just below are an indicator, many such collaboratives in the past may not have been acting in good faith and in the public interest. Also the Forest Service needs to make sure that collaborative fora are available at appropriate scale to deal with relevant issues—not just at the local level. So let’s keep talking, keep challenging emergent collaboratives and broader policy both in terms of resource-related policy, programs and projects and in terms of collaboration design and operation. And let’s talk here about what I missed, what I messed up, and so on re: FACA, collaboration, and US Forest Service policy and planning.

Some related NCFP collaboration posts of interest:
Odd bedfellows try collaborating to resolve conflicts- from E&E News, March 15, 2012
“Collaboration on natural resource management is divide and conquer” The Wildlife News, March 11, 2012
New Research: Who Litigates, Who Collaborates and Why?, March 7, 2012
Two Views of the Tester Bill, December 22, 2011
Collaboration Can’t Fix What Ails Public Forest Management, October 6, 2011
Colt Summit- Garrity EditorialOctober 6, 2011

16 Comments

  1. My experience with FACA committees arises from their inclusion in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, supposedly as a mechanism for assuring public participation in recreation fee decisions. In the case of these Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (RecRACs), the agencies (FS and BLM) and their hand-picked RecRAC membership have forged cozy relationships that result in meetings that are little more than mutual lovefests. Real scrutiny of agency fee proposals has been almost non-existent, and the occasional (rare) RecRAC member who asks hard questions or refuses to vote the agency party line is quickly purged in the next round of appointments. There has never been a RecRAC meeting held, anywhere in the country, that was not on a weekday and during the work day. There have been RecRAC meetings held by teleconference without any public participation option at all. Meeting locations are often distant from the places where the fees proposed would go into effect. These are sometimes two-day meetings held in pricey resort hotels that many people can’t afford to stay in, with the RecRAC members’ lodging paid at federal expense.

    As a result, authentic public participation has been next to non-existent. Our organization did a white paper analysis on this topic in 2008 called The Fix Is In.
    http://www.westernslopenofee.org/pdfuploads/RRAC_White_Paper.pdf

    Little has changed since then except that all of the Forest Service-chartered RecRACs went defunct for a couple of years because all the members’ terms expired and new appointments were stalled in Washington. That logjam seems to be breaking up, with new RecRACs coming on-line in Regions 8 and 2. The BLM-chartered RecRACs have continued without pause.

    Our “Box Score” of fee proposals sent to RecRACs shows that there have been over 1,300 new and increased fees approved, and less than 50 denied, since 2007.
    http://www.westernslopenofee.org/pdfuploads/RRAC_Box_Score_March_2012.pdf

    This despite strong and documented public opposition to many proposals and “public outreach” by the agencies that doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    So my experience with FACA committees is that they are a waste of time and money as long as their membership is hand-picked from among the “usual suspects.”

    • I agree, Kitty. The track record w/r/t FACA committees, whether or not official, is pretty much abysmal, as you point out in “The Fix is In.” The history is a far cry from the hopeful future expressed by Terry Seyden and “An Optimist” in my post. The future is yet to unfold, and my main point (hidden in a too-wordy post) is that maybe there is now legal traction to be gained via FACA challenges–something not really available in the pre-Winmill era. Or maybe I’m just being too-optimistic myself.

  2. Dave, It has been awhile since we have talked. You are very articulate and driven as you were 20 years ago. I trust your perspective in isolating the Tongass from the real world of the lower 48. With that said, you may be interested my comments to: TRCP and TU Weigh in Positively on Planning Rule.

    • Nice to see you weighing-in here lately as well “JR”. It has been a while since we last had a chance to commune. And as you and I recall only too well, we both carry battle scars from the internal FS policy wars (over TSPIRS as I recall) that cost you your FS job, and damn near mine as well back in the bad old TIMBER WARS days. I have been following your comments, and will continue to do so.. cheers!
      PS.. I’m not sure if I keep screwing up or what, but I can’t seem to get these “replies” to ‘nest’ as they are supposed to here at NCFP.. Any ideas Sharon?

      • Thank you Dave. I had forgotten about TSPIRS and will soon do so again. My departure from the agency was to lobby for the Tongass Timber Reform Act, which passed in 1990. It was my choice but I’m sure there were no flood of tears at the agency. I will weigh in on yours, Andy’s and CDC take on viability — assuming I can find time to write a succinct response.

        • I’ll be damned. All this time, I thought they had actually forced you out. So much for “rumor mills.” I do know that they were very unhappy with me in those days for daring to challenge their little “reign of terror.” So much so, that I set up preemptive measures in case they decided to play really nasty. And I suspect that they weren’t any happier with you. I bet you can even remember who I’m referring to with “they,” “their.” Hint: There were two of them. But since this blog’s supposed to be “soft on people,” we will let their names go unmentioned.

  3. Excellent post Dave and a good discussion all around. Here’s some info regarding the Southwestern Crown Collaborative (SWCC), which is a CFLRP collaborative group on portions of the Lolo, Flathead and Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana. I’d like to get people’s thoughts and perspective on this.

    The following link is to the meeting notes of the executive committee of the Southwest Crown of Collaborative from January. http://ncfp.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/2012-1-10-swcc-excomm-notes.pdf

    Up until a few months ago, the co-chair of the SWCC was the Lolo NF Supervisor. As you’ll see in the meeting notes, the January meeting included an interesting discussion about FACA. As portrayed in the notes, the Forest Service asks themselves some questions about FACA and then provides some answers; however, I’m not entirely sure the FS’s answers to their own questions are accurate.

    As, for context, keep in mind that currently Forest Service employees are still allowed to be voting members of the Southwestern Crown Collaborative. In fact, Forest Service employees currently make up 7 of 28 members, meaning the Forest Service controls 25% of the voting block of the Southwestern Crown Collaborative. As an aside, The Wilderness Society currently has 5 voting members, meaning the USFS and TWS comprise 43% of the voting block.

    The portion of the January SWCC meeting notes that deal directly with FACA are posted below for easy in viewing.

    SWCC Executive Committee
    Meeting Notes
    January 10, 2012

    Present: Megan Birzell, Scott Brennan*, Amber Kamps*, Anne Dahl*, Anne Carlson, Bev Yelczyn, Cory Davis, Sandy Mack, Gary Burnett*, Debbie Austin*
    *Indicates voting member.

    III. Review proposed, updated Charter revisions from December

    a. In response to questions concerning the relationship of the SWCC to FACA, Sandy reviewed the final FACA Rule from 2001 and concluded that it only applies to an organization “established and utilized by a federal agency.” The Rule defines “utilized” as meaning “managed or controlled.” There is no precise definition of “manage” and “control” in this context. The Rule identifies three questions to be used as a litmus test to determine whether a group falls under the purview of FACA: 1) Does the agency manage or control the membership or composition of the group? 2) Does the agency manage or control the group’s agenda? 3) Does the agency fund the group’s activities?

    i. The group agreed that we can answer “no” to all three questions, and thus, the SWCC does not fall under the purview of FACA.

    ii. There was discussion about whether FS employees should be removed from voting membership in the SWCC in order to make it clear that the FS does not manage or control the SWCC. The OGC recommended this course of action, but the group was concerned that removing FS employees from voting membership would violate FLRA. Therefore, the group recommended that FS employees not serve as co-chairs of the SWCC or any of its subcommittees.

    iii. RECOMMENDATION to the SWCC: The SWCC Charter should be amended such that a FS employee is not a co-chair. The Charter should further be amended to address and clarify all three FACA questions: membership/composition, funding, and agenda. Language directly from the FACA regulations should be used where appropriate to ensure maximum consistency and clarity.

    1. This change should be applied to all subcommittee charters and structures.

    b. ACTION ITEM: Megan and Sandy will revise the Charter according to the recommendations of the ExComm and will send out to the ExComm for consensus by the end of this week.

    i. The ExComm-agreed-upon Charter revisions will be sent to the full SWCC at least one week prior to the February 14th SWCC meeting and will be voted on at that meeting.

  4. Thanks for this post Dave. And thank you Kitty Benzar, for the careful documentation of the techniques for excluding the public.

    Such techniques have been practiced religiously by The Nature Conservancy in their direction and oversight of the Tongass Futures Roundtable.These techniques worked very well at excluding the affected public.

    I am also not surprised to see Mark Rey at the center of the issues raised by the Western Slope No Fee Coalition. Mark Rey was also a primary architect of the Tongass Futures Roundtable, taking time from his busy schedule to fly to the West Coast to “collaborate” as they say, with the corporate foundation funders of the TFR.

  5. The Forest Service RecRacs as described by Kitty Benzar are in fact a big scam. Honest oversight is not part of the agenda. Send in an application to one of their regional offices and you’ll be told that nothing is known further about the appointment process, that your application has been sent to Washington, that DC Forest Service people will be choosing who is on their committees. Anyone who has publicly questioned Forest Service fee policies (or even worse been identified as a cohort of Ms. Benzar) will be rejected. Kind of like the People’s Republic of China model of effective government oversight: Forest Service officials -in secret- choose the committee members to oversee their actions.
    Kangaroo Court.

  6. Good post Dave, thanks. Recognition of FACA and avoidance of violations has been a concern for a while. Definitely a lot of grey area and room for error. I know this is something being scrutinized by several (non-participating) groups.

    My question is how do we deal with conflicting legislation? For example, the CFLRA http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLR/documents/titleIV.pdf requires that projects are developed “collaboratively”. It is my undestanding that the ten original projects selected in 2010 were evaluated and selected in large part on the strength of the collaborative involvement. Something that was immediately challeged (citing FACA violations) by non-participating groups.

    The classic answer to avoidance of FACA violations seems to boil down to who makes decisions, who schedules the meetings, where the meetings are held, etc, etc. but I would acknowledge there is a bigger concern than that.

    I think part of the problem is that “collaboration” has taken on a different and more structured meaning these days, to the dismay of other (non-particpating) groups. Does the influence of a group of people sitting around in a circle in a meeting, on a weekday when others can’t reasonably attend cary more weight with the agency? I would venture not…..well….maybe, yes, to some extent, bu then at the end of the day the agency still has to craft their project proposals to satisfy (defend from) the potential litigants. I’m still of the mindset that non-participants have FAR MORE influence over projects than collaborative groups ever will. Which will always leave me asking “to what end”….

    I spent my whole day yesterday listening to the concerns, coments, criticisms of a “non-participator”. We talked in the office, we went to the field and looked at projects. Great conversation, great input, a lot of critical thinking and dialogue to be carried forward. Is this not collaboration? This person represents an organization that exerts considerable influence….in their own special way.

    I’m all for breaking down the barriers….listening, evaluating, responding. THAT should be what “collaboration” is about….regardless of structure. I would just hope that FACA isn’t the tool that non-particpators use to try to bring down broader discussions aimed at involving more folks, regardless of whether or not they sit in a circle, in a meeting on a weekday……

    • JZ:

      I’m all for breaking down the barriers….. I would just hope that FACA isn’t the tool that non-participators use to try to bring down broader discussions aimed at involving more folks……

      Exactly. That is why I believe that the Forest Service, would-be collaborators, and those outside collaboratives need to talk more about both collaboration and FACA. I continue to be a strong supporter of collaboration and public engagement when done in a way they spurs inquiry into deeper meanings, appropriate identification of issues and contexts, etc. But when done — as has been done too often — to exclude some views, and to push agendas of powerful ‘special interests’ then FACA and other means need to be brought to bear to stop bad public practice, and hopefully later to bring about better ‘government in the sunshine.’

      And I share your concerns re: ‘conflicting legislation.’ Maybe that should be a useful topic for a follow-up post. But I’m supposed to be retired. Oh well! I remember Ron Brunner (U. Colorado Public Policy Prof.) and lead author of Adaptive Governance: Integrating Science, Policy, and Decision Making telling me about a year ago that he’d pretty much failed retirement. I told him that I too had that problem.

      • Didn’t I predict that some groups would boycott collaboration? What are we to do when an extreme minority wants to impose their beliefs on the majority consensus? Like JZ said in his last paragraph, some would desire to bring down the whole of the all collaborative process, just because most folks don’t want to do nothing in the face of overwhelming impacts and dangers to their communities. I fully support the right of all to present their ideas and beliefs but, when some “take their ball and go home” to file lawsuits against projects which reflect sound science, public safety, follow the law and provide jobs, everyone loses, except the lawyers. I also fully support a fair way of using collaboration, which truly reflects public opinions, scientific consensus and economic realities. I do acknowledge that some examples of collaboration are “gamed”, by both sides, of course.

        • LHF, your comment is predicated on fantasy and unjustifiable assumptions, namely: that there is a “majority consensus;” that processes and decisions necessarily “reflect sound science, public safety, [and] follow the law;” and that “some ‘take their ball and go home, to file lawsuits’.” You also allude to “a fair way of using collaboration.” Taking those one by one:

          1. WHETHER THERE IS A MAJORITY CONSESNSUS. The only such consensus would be of those sitting around the table. Your term is meaningless in the context of what is being discussed here. Moreover, our government is supposed to protect us from the tyranny of the majority (to the extent there may be a majority, and that it is misguided), not revel in promoting the tyranny. A majority is not what makes a thing right, what makes a thing right is … (you can insert Leopold’s quote here).

          2. “AGAINST SOUND SCIENCE, [ETC.]“: Just because the self-selected group around a table comes to an agreement doesn’t mean that the science is sound or that the outcome is the best or even rational. It may just mean that everyone drank the Kool-Aid and succumbed to group-think.

          3. “TAKING THE BALL AND GOING HOME”: I think accusing groups that weren’t allowed at the table (or otherwise chose not to be there) of taking the ball is really quite insulting. I think it is fairer to say that the intended success of collaborative groups is predecated on grabbing the ball from the public and playing their own private game, in hopes of making that appear to be the only way to play ball.

          4. “A FAIR WAY OF USING COLLABORATION, WHICH TRULY REFLECTS PUBLIC OPINIONS”: I think you are deluding yourself that this can be achieved, except perhaps in rare circumstances. I believe that, in fact, the best way to collaborate is for each entity to fulfill its unfettered role and responsibility in America’s traditional — the good, old-fashioned public hearing and the public comment process.

          The pitfall with that has been that the Forest Service has failed to be an impartial arbiter of the information and views that are presented in those ways. That is because the agency has the conflicted mission of both providing and protecting resources. That is root problem, and “collaboratives” make it worse, not better.

          • You are framing your answer against the collaborators. I am framing my statements from the general public’s view. As I am a member of the general public, and not affiliated with any part of of the timber industry, Forest Service or such. I’m a selfish rural photographer who wants nice landscapes, safe communities and healthy, resilient forests. If you choose to be against all that, then you WILL go to court. As it is, where I live in California, there will be no thinning projects, and minimal restoration, due to “needing more analysis”.

            You choose a blanket opinion that unfairly labels ALL collaboration as bad. You are not a part of the solution so, you become part of the problem. Why not try fixing collaboration instead of sabotaging it, with slander and prejudice. You cannot say, with good conscience, that ALL collaboration is necessarily evil and “fixed”. I’m just saying that I have realized that care has to be taken to welcome stakeholders but, you shun stakeholders, claiming they are ALL corrupt. I wasn’t accusing excluded stakeholders. I was accusing groups who fail to collaborate in good faith and CHOOSE to NOT PARTICIPATE, then turn around and sue.

            Obviously, MANY major respected eco-groups enjoy the chance to collaborate and shape projects. If you CHOOSE to not participate, that seems to severely limit your input, doesn’t it?!? Where I live, clearcutting and highgrading have been eliminated for almost TWENTY YEARS!!! Apparently, that wasn’t enough for the serial litigators. Science triumphed in the form of VOLUNTARY policies that eliminated those practices that eco-groups didn’t like. Then, the groups moved the goalposts, mills closed and now there will be no new thinning projects, as no one will buy tiny logs. Science says that 20″ dbh trees, here in California, are NOT old growth, and do not need full protection from thinning projects

            Meanwhile, fires will rage, roads will degrade, soils will slide and endangered birds will become homeless. Meanwhile, rural child poverty will rise, hospitals will close, tourism will suffer, water quality and quantity will diminish, historic sites will burn, botanical areas will be toasted, smoke will make people sick, climate will be impacted, jobs will be lost, rural crime will rise, etc, etc, etc, etc.

            “Drinking the Kool-Aid” of doing nothing, in the face of climate change, overstocking, barkbeetles and human wildfire ignitions (including arson), along with more than 33,000 square miles of dead and dying forests, is simply not what America wants.

          • “The pitfall with that has been that the Forest Service has failed to be an impartial arbiter of the information and views that are presented in those ways. That is because the agency has the conflicted mission of both providing and protecting resources. That is root problem, and “collaboratives” make it worse, not better.”

            Larry, well put. Thank you.

    • As to “how do we deal with conflicting legislation?”

      We find this from the law JZ hyperlinked, the “Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 ” in a section titled: “SEC. 4003. COLLABORATIVE FOREST LANDSCAPE RESTORATION PROGRAM.” http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLR/documents/titleIV.pdf

      To be eligible for nomination under subsection (c),
      a collaborative forest landscape restoration proposal shall–
      (1) be based on a landscape restoration strategy that– …
      (2) be developed and implemented through a collaborative
      process that–
      (A) includes multiple interested persons representing
      diverse interests; and
      (B)(i) is transparent and nonexclusive; or
      (ii) meets the requirements for a resource advisory
      committee under subsections (c) through (f) of section
      205 of Public Law 106-393 (16 U.S.C. 500 note);

      [Update, my feeble memory had "subsections (c) trough (f) coming from FACA. They come from The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000
      http://www.blm.gov/or/files/PL106-393.pdf
      So, I'm going to cross out some of what I wrote a bit ago, not that it is wrong, just that it might not apply. Does either law preclude FACA compliance? I don't think so.]

      I believe that when a law references another law it is to emphasize certain things. Such “referencing” does not suggest in any way that the referencing law overrides the law referenced. FACA still applies, I believe. But I’m not a judge, neither a lawyer. Just a curious bystander.

      Still, as always, I struggle with the notion that the Forest Service is ever-eager to collaborate to develop “projects,’ but standoffish when it comes to collaboration for policy and practice writ larger than “on the ground” projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>