Blog Welcome and Explanation of Posts

Welcome to the improved planning rule blog! We hope this new format will allow for even more dynamic conversation and discussion surrounding the 2011 planning rule. Our desire to create a new planning rule in an open, transparent and participatory way remains as strong as ever.

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!

Comments
9 Responses to “Blog Welcome and Explanation of Posts”
  1. Drug Rehabilitation Houston says:

    I agree with Bruce. Colorado’s just one a national award frm NARRP and NPS.

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  2. Pilates dvd says:

    I like the opportunity to participate in the process through a blog. I’ve been commenting on policy and planning rules – plans and projects – for years. I’m surprised that there are so few comments and will begin to add my opinions to these pages..

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  3. K.Engstrom says:

    I wish to know why there are several private companies handling the planning and how do they coordinate with the agency?
    I’d also like to know the budget for this collaborative planning process.

    I like the opportunity to participate in the process through a blog. I’ve been commenting on policy and planning rules – plans and projects – for years. I’m surprised that there are so few comments and will begin to add my opinions to these pages..

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  4. Nick Dennis says:

    For the Forest Service to have any hope of making progress toward Secretary Vilsack’s forest restoration goal, the planning rule needs to greatly simplify the demonstration of consistency with forest plans in project-level NEPA compliance. The McCloud District (now part of the Shasta-McCloud Management Unit) of the Shasta Trinity NF proves this point. Until recently, this district supplied more than one-third of the Region 5 timber harvest, and active forest management there was effective at maintaining forest resilience. Being upstream from dams that define the upper limits of anadromous salmonid issues and having an abundance of flat, high-site land, the district is perfectly positioned to produce wood and biomass. This year the district will sell exactly zero wood. Every project has been stopped or stalled by appeals or litigation over consistency with the forest plan. Project opponents know well how easy it is to raise devilishly complex issues that require person-years of analysis to work through, and take every oppportunity to do so. Consequently, forest health has deteriorated drastically on the McCloud Flats, to the point where dead roadside trees make it highly hazardous to drive down the main public road whenever the wind blows. Appellants even used the plan-consistency issue to repeatedly stop removals of snags from one of the district’s few campgrounds, thus keeping the campground closed for the second year running.

    Forest plans need to assign management areas to emphasis zones, set output targets, and provide broad policy direction. That’s it. They shouldn’t hamstring project planning. Unless this rule simplifies forest plans and the demonstration of project-level consistency, the Forest Service will never re-enter the forest management business and will continue to be custodians of degraded ecosystems doomed to cycles off catastrophy.

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  5. Larry says:

    That was “Where are …”

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  6. Larry says:

    Were on the on-line materials for today that Tony Took is talking about?

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  7. Bruce Ward says:

    Please consider the invaluable work that goes into developing statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plans. Colorado’s just one a national award frm NARRP and NPS.

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  8. Pump Suppliers says:

    Ecological restoration is the process of renewing and maintaining ecosystem health, which is much more efficient point of global warming. I think the practice of re-establishing the historic plant and animal communities of a given area or region make proudly renewal of the ecosystem.

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