Blog Welcome and Explanation of Posts
The Obama Administration initiated an Open Government Initiative in January of 2009. We are honored that the 2011 planning rule was chosen as one of the Department of Agriculture’s two Open Government Initiatives. As President Obama stated “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government… Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”
Since announcing our intent to develop a new planning rule, we’ve offered many opportunities to get involved. On top of accepting formal comments on our Notice of Intent (NOI), we’ve invited participation through a national science forum, three national roundtable discussions (all broadcast live on the web), virtual and in-person Tribal meetings, over 30 regional meetings held throughout the country, and of course, through this blog. We’ve gathered an incredible amount of input and have been working hard to craft that input into the concepts that will go into the proposed rule. We are now ready to start getting feedback on what we’ve come up with so far. This is a very new approach to rule writing, and we are excited about the energy and ideas this collaborative approach is generating.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting our initial ideas on how to address a variety of topics in the proposed rule. These posts are not rule language. They are a work in progress and may look different in the proposed and final rules. We are sharing these with you at this time so you can let us know:
- Whether the concepts are clear.
- What you like about them.
- If there are any major gaps or flaws in the approach.
Your feedback will help us revise and refine our thinking, which is why we emphasize that the ideas in the posts are dynamic and will likely evolve as we move towards publishing the draft rule at the end of the year.
Our first post will lay out the overall framework that we are considering for the structure of the rule as well as for land management planning. Subsequent posts will share our ideas for addressing specific topics through the framework, such as the all-lands approach, public involvement, diversity, water resources and watershed health, ecological restoration and other critical issues discussed at the roundtables.
The rule writing team will be monitoring the blog postings as we refine the rule language, so your input is important. The feedback from the blog postings will also be used to shape the discussions at the Fourth National Roundtable to be held July 29-30, 2010, where we will go into more depth on these issues.
Please check back often and tell us what you think!