Timber numbers in revised forest plans

If there is one thing the Forest Service should have learned from the last round of forest planning, it is that they should put realistic projections of timber volume in their forest plans.  These numbers are going to create expectations for the timber industry and Congress that will translate into pressure to produce that amount. …

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Fire planning in the southern Sierras

This article describes the draft revised plans for the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia national forests (from an ag industry perspective).  The way it characterizes the plans’ approach to fire, maybe this approach would make Robin Stanley happy: The preferred alternative, known as Alternative B, would replace wildland-urban defense and threat zones with a “risk-based wildfire …

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Join the forest plan revision party

The Francis Marion National Forest was the first out of the gate last fall.  It is now joined by the southern Sierra national forests (Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra) and Flathead.  The draft plan and EIS for the Sierra forests were released on May 27th for a 90-day public comment period.  The Flathead will be officially …

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It’s just an administrative rule

The courts are finished with addressing the Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Rule’s application to Alaska.  The Supreme Court won’t review the Ninth Circuit’s reversal of the attempt to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the rule.  Whew – glad that’s finally over.  But wait, there’s an election coming, and roadless rule opponents are thinking …

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Forest planning contributes to listing species under ESA

A recent federal court decision has invalidated the listing of the lesser prairie chicken.  A key reason for the court’s decision was that the Fish and Wildlife Service made an assumption that if it didn’t list the species, it would reduce the incentive for participation in a conservation plan.  The judge didn’t think that was …

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Creating the Next Generation of National Forest Plans

I was going to call it “A New Century of Forest Planning,” but it looked like that was taken.  For those of you who were attracted to this blog by its original title, you may find this article useful. Thanks to the Bolle Center for publishing it.  It seems appropriate that one of the students whom …

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Court takes an interest in habitat connectivity – so should the Forest Service

Connectivity is a new buzzword in the 2012 Planning Rule. It is part of the requirement for ecological integrity, but the Forest Service seems reluctant to fully embrace it in its early revision efforts under the new rule. On June 25th, the Arizona District Court invalidated a Forest Service grazing permit on the Coconino National …

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Blue Mountains revision restart – FS stumbles out of the gate

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 …

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Sage grouse plans are out

Here are national and state perspectives.   The proposals to amend federal BLM and Forest Service plans to protect sage grouse have been released. I haven’t read the new plan components but I have followed the process since I was peripherally involved before I retired from the FS, and I was also more heavily involved …

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Northwest Forest Plan successes (Geos)

Under the 2012 Planning Rule, the best available scientific information must be used to inform the assessment, which is then to be used to determine the need to change a forest plan.  The Geos Institute has gotten out ahead of the pack with its ‘assessment.’  I’m most interested in this: “Scientists involved in the Northwest …

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