How to do Assessments Under the Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule – Part 4: Beginning with the End

This is the last in a series of posts about assessments for Forest/Grassland plan revisions under the proposed Forest Service planning rule.  The posts are a summary of this working draft of the asssessment process.  In previous posts, Part 1 described some suggestions about how the assessment process would focus on a series of questions derived from …

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How to do Assessments Under the Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule – Part 3: Scenario Planning

  What is the future of our National Forests?  How do we fulfill NFMA’s challenge to plan for sustained yield of products and services into the future?    In the messy world of forest planning, there are demands for certainty and assurances about the future, so subsequent project work can be done.  Planners have responded with …

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How to do Assessments Under the Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule – Part 2: The Process

In an earlier post I offered some ideas for doing an assessment under the proposed Forest Service planning rule.  The essential purpose of the assessment would be to review assessment questions derived from the rule to determine what in the Forest Plan needs to change for the Revision. In order to assess the relevant conditions of …

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How to do Assessments Under the Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule – Part 1

An assessment is the gathering and integrating of information relevant to the planning area from many sources and the analysis of that information to identify a need to change a plan or to inform how a new plan should be proposed. – section 219.5(a)(1) of the proposed Forest Service planning rule It is a synthesis of information …

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In Search of Our Desired Forest

“What we leave on the land is more important than what we take away.” – Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth, 2002 “Narrowly defined desired future ecosystem conditions, particularly if they are historical conditions poorly aligned with the unprecedented future, will seldom provide useful targets for management intervention.” – Stephenson, Millar, and Cole In Beyond Naturalness, …

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CEQ Issues Final Guidance on Monitoring of Mitigation, Use of CEs

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued two final guidance documents today, one which requires monitoring of any mitigation included in an environmental document, and the other governing the use of categorical exclusions. It will take a few weeks to fully digest what the guidance will mean for Forest Service planning and implementation of projects.  …

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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 …

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Rethinking the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum in Forest Service Plans

“Primitive.”  “Semi-primitive non-motorized.”  “Roaded-natural.”  The fine print of most Forest Service Plans contains terms from a recreation zoning scheme that is essentially the same as when it was developed in the 1980s.  The Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) is a means to subdivide a forest by desired physical, social, and managerial features to provide a setting for compatible recreational activities.  Although …

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Forests Can Protect Humans from Disease

Here’s one more benefit of National Forests which needs to be considered in forest planning: protection from infectious human diseases. A group of scientists published a study earlier this month in the Nature journal, citing mounting evidence that biodiversity loss frequently increases infectious disease transmission. One of the primary authors, Felicia Keesing from Bard College, explained the general pattern …

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House Members Weigh In On Treatment of Recreation in Planning Rule

Is Forest Service planning becoming so complex that analysis paralysis is causing delays in decisions affecting outdoor recreation?  The importance of recreation and public access in National Forests continues to draw attention as the Forest Service attempts to move a proposed forest planning rule through the government clearance process.  Earlier this week, the planning team …

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