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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Defenders’ Planning Checklist

Here’s a new report from Defenders of Wildlife providing a checklist for evaluating the impending 2011 forest planning rule: Defenders’ Planning Checklist in PDF.  This is sure to be the first of several upcoming evaluations and critiques, and we’ll post those here as well.  I don’t see any big surprises here.  The group is obviously focused …

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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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Place-Based Legislation- Red Rocks National Scenic Area

Here’s a link to an article on a Red Rocks Scenic Area near Sedona, Arizona. Here’s a link to the bill. Here are some quotes from Senate candidate Glassman’s website: National Forests are far more development-friendly than other types of federal land and are vulnerable to land swaps that could ruin the scenery. The community …

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Rethinking Forest Planning – Guest Post from Mark Squillace

Mark Squillace is a law professor and the Director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado Law School. Some of his views on the process-related issues surrounding the current round of forest planning are set out in a post titled Engaging the Public in the Latest Round of Rulemaking on Forest …

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The Hartwell Paper and A New Forest Planning Rule

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this paper, it was a recent effort to figure out if another approach to climate policy could be more successful. Here is quote from Mike Hulme in this essay on the Hartwell paper . To move forward, we believe a startling proposition must be understood and accepted. …

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Wanted: New Planning Paradigm

A guest post by Lynn Jungwirth Clearly modern forest plans must have a restoration plan embedded in them. We’ve been struggling here lately with trying to figure out “how much is enough”. Currently “cumulative effect” means that you figure out where the threshold is for negative impact….how many roaded acre equivalents can happen before you …

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K.I.S.S. in Rule Form, Part 8

The proposed K.I.S.S. rules are based on the premise that the Forest Service is revising forest plans, not promulgating new plans from scratch. This premise implies a rebuttable presumption that the existing plan’s provisions are satisfactory. NFMA supports this approach to plan revision. For example, NFMA requires the Forest Service review timberland suitability decisions “at …

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K.I.S.S. in Rule Form, Part 7

K.I.S.S. in Rule Form, Part 7 Keeping-it-simple-sweet means omitting matters from the NFMA rules that are satisfactorily covered by statute. For example, a section of NFMA (paragraph i) separate from the planning rule sections (paragraphs g and h) requires that permits (e.g., special-use permits) and contracts (e.g., stewardship, sale of timber) “for the use and …

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K.I.S.S. in Rule Form, Part 6

No NFMA provision has transformed (and bedeviled) national forest management more than the law’s mandate to “provide for diversity of plant and animal communities based on the suitability and capability of the specific land area.” 16 U.S.C. § 1604(g)(3)(B). The consensus view of the federal courts (citations upon request) is that NFMA’s diversity language is …

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