The three forest supervisors for the national forests in the Blue Mountains published a guest column with an invitation to meet with any and all interested parties as part of a “re-engagement strategy for the communities in the Blue Mountains.” Unfortunately they also chose to make an off-script policy statement:
We want Forest Plans that provide resiliency for our communities in Eastern Oregon and Washington; Plans that support the local economy and the social values of the people who use and depend on them. We also want resiliency in ecosystems that can withstand: drought, floods, wildfire, invasive species, human impacts and have the strength to return to healthy ecosystems in the long run.
These plans are being developed under the 1982 planning regulations, but that does not excuse them from the agency policy on “resilience” (which I’m fairly sure is not found in the 1982 regulations). In the 2012 Planning Rule, the term resilient/resilience is used only in the definitions of “restoration” and “viable population,” and the concept of “resilient ecosystems” (or “healthy ecosystems”) was replaced by “ecological integrity.”
Most importantly, the Planning Rule never uses the term “resiliency” in connection with social or economic factors. It recognizes that forest plans can NOT “provide resiliency” for communities, and that this should not be used as a justification to support any particular local business or values. Under the 2012 Rule, forest plans must “guide the plan area’s contribution to social and economic sustainability.” And this is not limited to local interests, but instead explicitly extends to “the area influenced by the plan” and regional and national economies.
When you start by over-promising, there is a good chance you’re going to under-deliver (again).