Forest planning could promote efficiency by “standard work”

The Colorado Department of Transportation and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service have developed a new process for protecting federally listed species. “When fully implemented, the improvements made through SWIFT will also save CDOT hundreds of hours of report writing and tens of thousands of dollars of consulting fees every year.” “SWIFT is a programmatic …

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Do we need national ‘forests?’

Things seem a little quiet out there, so here is my response to Sharon’s asking what I  think about “disappearing districts” on June 12.  The problem I see with the approach of consolidating districts (and national forests) is that is an ad hoc and opportunistic response, and I haven’t seen much of an effort at long-term …

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End of an Era?

It’s not a surprise that the Forest Service is hiding their response to the sequestration. Simply put, modern projects treat more acres and cut numerous small trees. They cannot accomplish this work without temporary employees. My last year’s Ranger District currently has TWO permanent timber employees, and two others shared with another (larger) Ranger District. …

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When Policy Trends Toward Bullshit

Much government policy and some law resides in a realm philosopher Henry Frankfurt labels “bullshit”—in earlier times called humbug or balderdash. Much US Forest Service policy falls here too: regulation, manual and handbook directives. At least that’s the way I’ve seen it for a very long time. Early in my Forest Service career, a colleague …

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When a Tree Falls in a Forest, Does it Make a Decision Memo?

This is reprinted with permission from the Forestry Source, one of my favorite publications. Editor’s Notebook When a Tree Falls in a Forest, Does it Make a Decision Memo? By Steve Wilent The Forestry Source, February 2012 This is the story of a tree that fell in the forest. Actually, two huge trees that were …

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Possible Agency Reorganization and Efficiencies

The idea of moving NOAA to Interior has a certain appeal, especially with regard to their regulatory responsibilities for fish, and so that their scientific research could be better coordinated with others, most notably USGS. Here are two stories in the Washington Post A couple of weeks ago, the Chief visited our office and talked …

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