Lessons Learned in Public Participation and Forest Planning under the 2012 Rule

Thanks to Matthew McKinney of the University of Montana Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy for sending this paper. Below is the summary and here is a link to the document.

Lesson Learned in Public Parting Rule - Final Report 2.19.15 12

(Technical Question for readers: I haven’t tried to extract text from a pdf in a while..couldn’t do it it- came out as each word on a separate line- had to lift this as a jpg. Anyone have ideas what I forgot/am doing wrong? Please email at Terraveritas at gmail. Thanks!)

1 thought on “Lessons Learned in Public Participation and Forest Planning under the 2012 Rule”

  1. This is a very impressive and detailed report and it is good to see the Agency is attempting to develop meaningful plans to involve the public. The public are the owners and must participate in the defining of the long range goals and objectives for the management of our remaining public lands. It is also important that the employees of the Agency understand they are public servants and should be capable of providing professional management prescriptions regardless of the established goals and objectives. After reviewing the report I still find it inadequate and lacking in some very important steps. The very first step in preparing a public participation plan, is to conduct a detailed interview with the responsible line officer, to identify the potentially affected interests. Many interests intentionally avoid involvement in order to come in later and throw grenades into the process. Invitation to participate is not enough. Next, the public must help identify the long range goals and objectives. At this point we are wanting to define the vision for the future, common goals. Without informed consent in this step, the future steps will be a battle-ground for disagreements. I am okay with trained facilitators, but it is vital that the line officer must be present at all public participation events. I am concerned about the use of the term ” educate the public”. This often is interpreted as, ” if only the silent majority would step forward”. The public is educated in terms of what they want but, need to be informed of the participation process. The other thing that is important is to keep tools and techniques out of the early discussion. The variety of management tools available, such as commercial timber harvesting, are simply tools. The focus should stay on the health and diversity of the forest communities and the products from the forest become the by-products of sound professional management.


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