News (?) Article on Planning Rule Forum

This is from the “Public News Service” whose mission is:

The Public News Service (PNS) provides reporting on a wide range of social, community, and environmental issues for mainstream and alternative media that amplifies progressive voices, is easy to use and has a proven track record of success. Supported by over 400 nonprofit organizations and other contributors, PNS provides high-quality news on public issues and current affairs.

Last year the Public News Service produced over 4,000 stories featuring public interest content that were redistributed several hundred thousand times on 6,114 radio stations, 928 print outlets, 133 TV stations and 100s of websites. Nationally, an average of 60 outlets used each story. This includes our bilingual content, which is growing rapidly as we strengthen relationships with Spanish media outlets.

In addition, about one-third of our stories are picked up by national networks and redistributed across the country.

Of course if we were looking for a plain old news story, they might have interviewed people with more than one point of view.

Forest Service Planning Rule Gets Lukewarm Reception

March 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Conservation groups are giving a lukewarm reception to the proposed planning rule that guides U.S. Forest Service policy and will affect much of Oregon when it becomes final.

The agency held a forum on Thursday in the nation’s capital to discuss a draft of the rule, which some say lacks enough “teeth” to protect water quality and wildlife. Concerns were also voiced about whether the focus on monitoring and adaptive management of public land can work for an agency that has been chronically underfunded. Chris Frissell, director of science and conservation for the Pacific Rivers Council, attended the forum.

“The Pacific Northwest, under the Northwest Forest Plan, is somewhat of an exception. But prior to that, and then pretty much everywhere else, the Forest Service has had great difficulty getting any sustained monitoring program off the ground and has not been able to keep it funded. Congress just hasn’t put money into those things.”

Watershed management is another concern, Frissell says, because the rule does not include buffer zones to limit some activities along streams and lakes. The current rule has been in place since 1982, and has been controversial over the years. If there’s one word for the new proposal, Frissell says, it’s “cautious” – and people interested in the various issues affected are taking note.

“It’s pretty much the full slate of issues – everything from restoration to forest fuels treatment and fire management, to timber. And in fact, a lot of the interest groups around that whole table had the same concerns, about uncertainty and vagueness in the rule and what the rule delivers for their interests.”

The draft planning rule is open for public comment until mid-May, and comments can be made online. Two forums will also be held March 25 in Portland to discuss the rule, both at the Sheraton Airport Hotel.

The draft rule, including comment instructions and a related Forest Service blog, are online at

3 thoughts on “News (?) Article on Planning Rule Forum”

  1. Thanks for sharing the article featuring the views of Dr. Frissell, as he brought up some important issues. I’m at a loss as to why you’d make a big deal about the PNS, as they are pretty up-front that they “provide reporting on a wide range of social, community, and environmental issues for mainstream and alternative media that amplifies progressive voices.” Big deal…Or will you now begin to criticize all of the timber industry trade publications and news services out there?

  2. Matthew- I don’t think that there is a “timber industry news service” that reaches that many public outlets and reaches national distribution. yes, there are newsletters but those aren’t trying to reach the public.

    Anyway, I think you have a good point. There is one worldview that is widely promulgated to “amplify progressive voices”. There is an equivalent, no doubt, somewhere, to “amplify regressive voices” but somehow either those voices do not choose to be interested in public lands issues, or they are unsuccessful at reaching national media outlets..

    So as a person who wants the public to hear both sides, the status quo may not be working.

  3. Ummm, will the new Planning Rule remove BMP’s, gut the Clean Water Act and even cause Forest Service timber sale contracts to be altered to remove all stream buffers and other protections for our environment?!?

    Yeah, I didn’t think so!

    Does anyone REALLY think that the new Rule will turn back the clocks to the 70’s, when timber was king?!? THAT is exactly what preservationists want you to think.

    However, when stream buffer boundaries extend to beyond the watershed boundaries, something isn’t right in “Hydro-land”.


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