Desired Future: Whose Desire? What Future? Why?

The idea of a “desired future” is found frequently in Forest Service NFMA and NEPA discussions/writing. I decided to see if I could find out where the idea of “desired future” and “desired future condition” come from. It sort of shows up in the 1979 NFMA Rule, mainly w/r/t wildlife populations, but gains a major …

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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 …

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What is forest planning?

I’m trying to work up yet-another forest planning post tracing the evolution of Forest Service decision-making from the rational planning era to the adaptive governance era. So I decided to solicit opinion in advance. What do you think forest-level planning is? Here are some possibilities. Feel free to add more, and I’ll update this post. …

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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 …

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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 …

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Is A New Rule Worth It?

I went back and looked at the 2009 Notice of Intent today to refresh my memory regarding why implementing a new rule is so important to the Forest Service. From the NOI: Developing a new rule will allow the Agency to integrate forest restoration, watershed protection, climate resilience, wildlife conservation, the need to support vibrant …

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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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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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