biological diversity press release on new rule

Forest Service Embarks on Fourth Drafting of
National Planning Rules That Could Have Major Impact on Wildlife
More Than 100 Groups Urge Independent Scientific Input
The U.S. Forest Service today announced its intent to develop new
regulations to implement the National Forest Management Act of 1976, a
rule that will govern all regional forest plans and site-specific
projects – such as timber sales, livestock grazing, and road
construction – throughout the entire 193-million-acre national forest
system. Federal courts ruled against the agency’s attempts in 2000, 2005, and 2008 to revise its original 1982 rule. (more)

Contributors Welcome!

All are welcome to contribute entries, as well as comments, to this blog.
Entries and comments can include links to the web, documents, photos, etc.

Please contact Martin Nie or Sharon Friedman for more information.

The Journey Begins- NOI December 18 for new rule

Here’s the press release and the website..
also the FS website for the new rule is in the blogroll in the right column
Release No. 0620.09
Forest Service Press Office (202) 205-1134


WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2009-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today
announced that the USDA Forest Service is beginning an open,
collaborative process to create and implement a modern planning rule to
address current and future needs of the National Forest System,
including restoring forests, protecting watersheds, addressing climate
change, sustaining local economies, improving collaboration, and
working across landscapes. The Forest Service will publish a notice of
intent (NOI) in the Federal Register tomorrow, December 18, to prepare
an environmental impact statement (EIS) to develop a new planning rule
that will provide a framework for management of national forests and
“Our National Forests and Grasslands are great natural treasures
that we must conserve and restore for the benefit of future
generations,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Developing a new planning rule
provides the opportunity to manage national forests and grasslands for
the benefit of water resources, the climate and local communities.”
The Forest Service is seeking public involvement in developing a
new direction for local land managers. A 60-day comment period on the
NOI will begin upon publication in the Federal Register on Friday,
December 18, 2009. Comments will be used to shape the focus of the
collaborative dialogue and creation of a proposed rule.
To begin the conversation, the Forest Service has included in the
NOI a set of potential principles that could guide development of a new
planning rule. The potential principles include an emphasis on
restoration, conservation, and the improved resilience of ecosystems;
watershed health; climate change response; species diversity and
wildlife habitat; sustainable National Forest System lands; proactive
collaboration; and working across landscapes.
The Forest Service will use state-of-the-art new media tools in
conjunction with face-to-face interaction to facilitate wide public
participation throughout the nation. Please visit to participate in our web-based planning
rule blog, and to learn more.
The 2000 planning rule, which allows the Forest Service to use
provisions of the 1982 planning rule, is currently the rule that is
legally in effect. As an interim measure, the Department will republish
in the Federal Register the 2000 planning rule as amended in order to
make it available to the public in the Code of Federal Regulations.
This action will facilitate its use by forests and grasslands in the
National Forest System to revise and amend plans while a new rule is
being developed.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health,
diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to
meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages
the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides
stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains
the largest forestry research organization in the world.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a
complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil
Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call
(800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1RD?printable=true&contentidonly=true&contentid=2009/12/0620.xml


The University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation and the Forest Service are initiating a blog focused on the new forest planning rule. Our goal is to solicit broad participation from a cross-section of interests in a respectful atmosphere of mutual learning.  We seek to hear from academics of all stripes, scientists, practitioners of planning and other past, current and future agency employees , lawyers, members of interest groups, and members of the public who will be working with local forest plans.

We believe that ideas will be stronger and choices clearer if developed through such a multidisciplinary, multi-perspective dialogue. 

The blog is administered by Sharon Friedman (USFS) and Martin Nie (University of Montana).