Missoulian Story on Planning Rule Public Meeting

Somehow I missed this one earlier. Here’s the introduction: It’s a little like changing the shape of the strike zone in baseball, or the allowable deductions on your income tax form. A proposed planning rule for all U.S. Forest Service activity is both deeply wonky and game-changing. The draft rule spreads fine print from page …

Continue reading ‘Missoulian Story on Planning Rule Public Meeting’ »

Public Meetings on Planning Rule: What Did You Hear?

I didn’t see too much in the press about the meetings so far. There is this one from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Forest Service Updating Framework For Long-Term Planning Rob Manning | March 25, 2011 | Portland, OR Top federal forest officials visited Portland Friday. And a new constitution for the country’s national forests was on …

Continue reading ‘Public Meetings on Planning Rule: What Did You Hear?’ »

From Forest Planning to Adaptive Governance

“If planning is everything, maybe it’s nothing.” Aaron Wildavsky [Author’s note: This is a lengthy (for a blog), partisan, historical view rant on the road from NFMA “forest planning” to “adaptive governance.”] Let’s face it, the “forest land and resource management plan” is an anachronism—an artifact of a bygone era. That era was in its …

Continue reading ‘From Forest Planning to Adaptive Governance’ »

Standards in Planning

The question of standards in forest planning has emerged as a central issue in the proposed NFMA regulations.  It seems that a common narrative by the press in covering the story thus far is the amount of discretion afforded in the proposed rule versus its lack of “musts and shalls.” Here is the definition of …

Continue reading ‘Standards in Planning’ »

Time for a Bold Statement?

It’s starting to look like “A New Century of Forest Planning” may ultimately come to refer to the hundred years or so it takes to get a new planning rule implemented. Will the “Hundred Years War” come to signify the length of the timber wars? Way back in the 1900’s, Chief Dale Robertson was convinced …

Continue reading ‘Time for a Bold Statement?’ »

Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees

If I were a visitor from another planet, who having read some of the recent posts to this blog, wanted to understand what all the fuss about things like “viability” is about, I might look to the Forest Service homepage for guidance.  There I would learn that “The mission of the USDA Forest Service is …

Continue reading ‘Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees’ »

Planning Rules, Manuals and Handbooks – a flashback

Here is a post from a short-lived blog I ran in 2005, Forest Planning Directives, about Forest Service planning Manual/Handbook rewriting. I think it may shed light on our planning rule critique as well. And it can serve as a guidepost, for the inevitable Manual/Handbook rewriting that will ensue just after the Draft Planning Rule …

Continue reading ‘Planning Rules, Manuals and Handbooks – a flashback’ »

The Musts & Shalls

One of my hopes for the new planning rule was that it would require the writing of meaningful forest plans.  Here is what I wrote as part of last year’s science panel (Nie NFS planning rule science panel statement): There is little value in writing expensive, time-consuming plans if such plans make no decisions and …

Continue reading ‘The Musts & Shalls’ »

Why Three Planning Levels?

Anyone who has followed this blog knows that I am fond of talking about adaptive management (here) and railing against planning. (here, here, here). Sometimes both at once. Today I puzzle, once again, over why the Forest Service insists on three levels of planning: national, forest, and project or activity. Note: it used to be …

Continue reading ‘Why Three Planning Levels?’ »