IRR Program a Success, Says USFS

Received this press release this morning. I’m not familiar with the “Integrated Resource Restoration Program.” Has the agency “exceeded or met its goals in almost every performance category”?

Forest Service pilot restoration program improved 800,000 acres of forest in 2012
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2013 — A major U.S. Forest Service pilot program treated some 800,000 acres of federal forestland to help protect them from catastrophic wildfire in 2012, and improved the condition of three major watersheds in the interior West.
The Integrated Resource Restoration program exceeded or met its goals in almost every performance category, decommissioning 738 miles of roads, enhancing 933 miles of stream habitat and resulting in the sale of more than 850,000 cubic board feet of timber.
“Integrated Resource Restoration allows us to be more efficient and strategic in how we manage our forests and grasslands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.  “We see this program as a model for good management.”
Under the program, landscape-level projects that would otherwise be piecemealed together over many years were funded in a single year with a single budget, providing program managers the flexibility to prioritize restoration projects.
This prioritization simplified budget planning and eased the identification of goals and priorities. Program managers, instead of competing for individual program funds to pay for specific projects, are now looking for opportunities to integrate multiple restoration projects and priorities. The Integrated Resource Restoration program fits into the larger nation-wide restoration work of the U.S. Forest Service, which led the restoration of more than 4 million acres of forestland in 2012.
The improvement of watersheds will continue to be a priority for the agency. In a report issued in January, Forest Service researchers predicted that water resources will grow scarcer in coming decades – especially in the western states – as pressures such as climate change, encroachment and increased demand continue to impact the nation’s forests.
The Integrated Resource Restoration program improved the condition of the Pass Creek watershed on the Gallatin National Forest in Montana, the Waw’ aalamnime Creek watershed on the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, and the Bull Creek watershed on the Boise National Forest, also in Idaho.

14 thoughts on “IRR Program a Success, Says USFS”

  1. I’m sorry, but this press release is just too silly: “850,000 cubic board feet (sic) of timber?”

    Would the last forester leaving the FS please turn out the lights?

    • Andy, So true. The sad part is that the folks in the W.O. who are leading the Integrated Resource Restoration Program (what an evocative title) probably have no idea as to why the use of the words “cubic board feet” betrays their incompetence. I’m afraid the lights are already dimming.

        • It was an unfortunate typo. But, nothing more? Would NASA publish a press release explaining that the Earth is “930,000 light miles” from the sun?

          No, NASA wouldn’t issue such a press release. NASA consistently rated as one of the best places to work; a place that attracts the best-and-the-brightest who care about doing quality work. Even about avoiding typos.

          Just to summarize. The FS press release is off by a factor of hundred using a unit of measure that doesn’t exist. Yeah, that’s an unfortunate typo.

  2. Doing the arithmetic . . . let’s say 4 bf/cf, which means that 850,000 cf = 3.4 million board feet.

    So the FS missed its IRR timber expectation by 514 million board feet?

    Of course, that makes no sense when compared to the other numbers. Compare the goals at Steve’s helpful link (IRR guidance) with the press release’s claimed accomplishments:

    Watersheds “improved” — IRR Goal: 3 Press release: 3
    Roads decommissioned — IRR Goal: 650 miles Press release: 738 miles
    Stream habitat “enhanced” — IRR Goal: 650 miles Press release: 933 miles

    So every goal is met or exceeded except for timber — by about 100-fold?

    The more parsimonious explanation is that the WO media folks have still got it wrong. Anyone for 850 million board feet? That would look nice on the accomplishment reports.

    Or how about 85 million cubic feet? If you use a robust 5 6 bf/cf (unlikely in reality, but who’s ever going to check?), that at least puts the FS in the ballpark at on target at 510 425 million board feet.

    This is simply embarrassing.

  3. Who knows? Maybe they meant ccf, the unit of measure normally used in timber sales contracts and in sale accomplishment reporting. As you say Andy, simply embarrassing.

    • Yep, I agree with Mac and putting my money on 850,000 hundred cubic feet (“ccf”), which, for the math challenged, e.g., FS WO Office of Communications (sic), is the same as 85 million cubic feet.

  4. Steve- whom did you get the press release from? I didn’t find it on the FS website…if I click on news releases 2013 the last I see is the objections rule…

  5. Upcoming National Forest Foundation webinar on IRR, for those interested.

    U.S. Forest Service Integrated Resource Restoration: Regional Updates
    Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 | 2:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

    We invite you to join us for an “Integrated Resource Restoration Update.” In this session, Forest Service leadership and staff from the pilot regions will share information about:
    • The Integrated Resource Restoration (IRR) pilot program in Forest Service Regions 1, 3, and 4
    • Fiscal year 2012 pilot program implementation –achievement of restoration goals, administrative efficiency, and program integration
    • How community interests and partners can engage in the IRR process
    • Next steps for IRR implementation
    Click below to RSVP for the upcoming peer learning session on Integrated Resource Restoration!


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