PUBLIC LANDS -- The U.S. Forest Service unveiled its proposed Forest Planning Rule today which would establish a new national framework to develop land management plans that protect water and wildlife.
The details are still being analyized, but the proposal comes after 40 public meetings and roundtables across the country that drew more than 3,000 participants. More than 26,000 comments were filed on the notice of intent to issue a new planning rule.
Read on for highlights of the proposal from the Forest Service press release. More public meetings are planned starting in March.
Highlights of the proposed planning rule include:
- A more effective and efficient framework that would allow adaptive land management planning in the face of climate change and other stressors.
- Increased requirements for public involvement and collaboration throughout all stages of land management planning.
- Improved ability to respond to climate change and other stressors through provisions to restore and maintain healthy and resilient ecosystems.
- Increased protections for water resources and watersheds.
- More effective and proactive requirements to provide for diverse native plant and animal species.
- Provisions to guide the contributions of a National Forest or National Grassland to social and economic sustainability.
- Updated provisions for sustainable land, water and air-based recreation.
- Requirements to provide for integrated resource management of a range of multiple uses and values including outdoor recreation, range, timber, water, wildlife, wilderness, energy, mining, and ecosystem services.
- New requirements for a local and landscape-scale monitoring program that are based on the latest science.