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Grumpy 03-17-2010 09:34 AM

Forest Service Planning Rule
Dear Stakeholder,

Thank you for your comments on the Forest Service Planning Rule Notice of Intent (NOI). Your comments provide valuable insight for us as we move forward on preparing the draft environmental impact statement and the Proposed Rule. We hope that you will continue to engage with us throughout the process.

We would like to invite your continued participation in the collaborative process for the development of the new National Forest planning rule. The collaborative process provides numerous avenues for contributing meaningful input for the agency’s decision-making process and allows diverse interests to come together to explore critical issues. The input will be used by the USDA Forest Service rule writing team in the development of the draft environmental impact statement and proposed rule.

The process includes a Science Forum, national and regional roundtables, Tribal collaboration and consultation, and an electronic discussion forum at Planning Rule Blog to engage, educate, encourage meaningful dialogue, and gain as much input as possible from interested stakeholders. The Science Forum and all roundtables will be open, public forums. Notes from the various roundtables will be synthesized and posted for further feedback opportunities. The national roundtables will include a webcast component for participation by those unable to attend the events in person; webcasting may also be available for some of the regional roundtables. The NOI and additional information about all the different ways to participate is available at the Forest Service Planning Rule Website. Pre-registration for the in-person events is strongly requested as far in advance as possible – preferably one week prior to any meeting(s) you plan to attend.

SCIENCE FORUM: March 29 – 30, 2010, in Washington DC, is being convened by the USDA Forest Service with support from Booz Allen Hamilton. Panels of scientists will present the latest science on topics relevant to the development of the planning rule. The key themes from the Science Forum will help frame the collaborative discussions at the regional and national roundtables that will follow. Please pre-register here: If you have questions concerning special needs or to request sign language interpretation, contact Kathryn Hite at 703-412-7494 or by email at by March 22, 2010.

Three NATIONAL ROUNDTABLES are being convened by the Forest Service with support from the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR) and the Meridian Institute. Your attendance at all three meetings is encouraged! Please pre-register here: If you have questions concerning special needs or to request sign language interpretation, contact Danielle Youngblood at (202) 354-6451 or at least a week before the scheduled roundtable.
First National Roundtable - April 1-2, 2010, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC. This meeting will engage attendees in dialogue about the planning rule and will solicit focused input on how the planning rule should address restoration, climate change, watershed health and biodiversity (NOI substance principles 1-4).

Second National Roundtable - April 20-21, 2010, in Washington DC (specific location TBD). This meeting will engage attendees in dialogue about the planning rule and to solicit focused input on how the planning rule should address the social, economic and cultural contribution of NFS lands to surrounding communities; provide for effective collaboration; consider the relationship between national forests and surrounding lands; and use the latest in planning science (NOI substance principle 5 and process principles 1-3).

Third National Roundtable - May 11-12, 2010 in Washington DC (specific location TBD). This meeting will allow stakeholders to discuss and build upon the synthesized results from the Science Forum and the preceding national and regional roundtables.

To encourage broad participation, the Forest Service, through the National Forest Foundation, is offering the opportunity to apply for travel support (flight and/or ground transportation and/or hotel) to attend the science forum and national roundtables. These are limited funds targeted toward individuals who would not be able to attend without such assistance. This assistance will help ensure that multiple stakeholder perspectives are represented in the planning rule dialogue. Additional information and an application are available at

REGIONAL ROUNDTABLES are being conducted throughout April in locations around the country. The roundtables will engage stakeholders in dialogue about the planning rule, and provide opportunities for stakeholders to explore issues of particular relevance in each Forest Service region. Dates, locations, and registration links are available at the Forest Planning Rule Website.

Secretary Vilsack’s charge to the Forest Service gives all stakeholders a unique opportunity to play a vital role in the development of a new national forest planning rule that draws on the best elements of previous rulemaking efforts, while considering new scientific knowledge and the evolving values and priorities for forest and ecosystem management.

Please join in this exciting endeavor. Thank you!

************************************************** ******************
Barbara Timberlake
USDA Forest Service
on detail to Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff

Phone: 202-205-0917 Fax: 202-205-1012
************************************************** *******************

Art Waugh 03-17-2010 11:11 AM

Blue Mtn plan revision is working on the old, old rule from way back. (like 1982 as ammended in 2000) We heard they were working on a new one that might stand up in court.

We are kind of watching this, since our RAC is chartered to work with four Forests in our area. We will probably be discussing it at our next meeting in late April

high desert 4x4 03-19-2010 01:35 PM

Forest Service Planning Rule (Portland Oregon)
Thank you Grumpy for the thread.

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a new Planning Rule and is seeking public input to help create a new rule that is effective and endures over time. The upcoming Roundtable Meeting in Portland on April 6, hosted by the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service, is part of this collaborative effort. We look forward to seeing you there.

The meeting will include three interactive sessions, beginning at 9 am, 1 pm and 6 pm. You are welcome to participate in any or all of these sessions. Each session will open with a plenary presentation, followed by facilitated roundtable discussions highlighting specific issues relevant to the proposed Planning Rule. Discussions will focus on areas of agreement and disagreement, as well as possible alternatives. Interested participants may engage in more than one roundtable. Sessions will conclude with report-outs from each roundtable to all attendees. Summaries of these sessions will become part of the public record and will be utilized in the rule-writing process.

Roundtable discussion topics will be drawn from the "Process (3) and Substantive (5) Principles for a New Rule" published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2009 ( We will provide you with an agenda and discussion guide prior to April 6.

You may also be interested in reviewing or contributing to ongoing online discussions on the Forest Service Planning Rule blog at

If you have not already done so, please reply by email to with your name, address and organizational affiliation to let us know if you plan to attend. Your response is not required to participate, but is extremely helpful for planning purposes and very much appreciated.

The event will be held in the Multnomah Room at the Doubletree-Lloyd Center in Portland. Participants are eligible for a $94 room rate (April 5th and/or April 6th), which includes overnight parking. To receive this rate, guests should make reservations before March 22 either online at using the group/convention code SVC or by calling the Doubletree at 800.996.0510 or 503.281.6111. The government per diem rate is $120 and includes parking, breakfast and in-room wireless service.

Open house hours are from noon to 1pm and from 5pm to 6pm. Come-and-go participants may pick up handouts and contribute comments individually, if they so choose.

We look forward to seeing you -- and hearing from you -- in Portland.

NOTICE: The Forest Service is committed to providing equal access to this meeting for all participants. For questions about accessibility or to request alternative formats or other reasonable accommodation, please email or call 206.408.7129. Advance notice of two weeks (by March 22) will allow us to provide seamless access.

Grumpy 03-27-2010 10:54 PM

BRC Nationwide Land Use Advisory - National Forest Planning Rule Collaborative Meetings AnnouncedMarch 26th, 2010


Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

Executive Summary:
Below is an update on the U.S. Forest Service revision of its rules and regulations for amending Forest Plans. The agency has said it is committed to a open collaborative approach, and has announced several national and regional meetings.

After reviewing the agendas for the meetings, BRC believes there is good reason for the recreating public to be concerned about the direction the agency is proceeding. We discuss these concerns below, as well as provide information and links to the meetings.

This issue is of sufficient importance that we hope you will take some time to review the information, but if you want to skip it, or leave it for later, and go straight to the action item click here.

As always, please call or email if you have any concerns or questions.
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director, BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102



We're collaboratin' now!

The U.S. Forest Service (FS) is beginning the process of revising their regulations that govern how the agency prepares Forest Plans. Known as the "Planning Rule." These regulations will be the driving force behind how the agency develops, amends and revises their Land Use Plans. The FS has recently closed a formal comment period on a proposed action that includes several so-called "Principles" that will guide the new regulations.

The FS partnered with the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, and they have been working to develop a collaboration strategy for the ongoing development of the new planning rule. As part of that effort, Chief Tom Tidwell recently announced a series of events to provide additional opportunities for “public discussion.” Events include a series of meetings, including a national science forum, three national roundtables and nine regional roundtables.

In a news release, the agency stated:

"The Forest Service is committed to developing a new planning rule that endures over time. We believe a transparent and participatory method is the best way to accomplish this. We’ll be working hard to gather input collaboratively throughout the development of a new planning rule."

Now, I think that is an excellent statement, and I would wholeheartedly support a true collaborative approach. But the science forum and the current agendas for the regional roundtables evoke concern.


The Little Principles that WILL

During the recently closed formal comment period, the UFSF stated:

The Department [of Agriculture] has not made any decisions as to the content of a new rule. We intend this process to be collaborative, transparent, and participatory. Issuing an NOI [Notice of Intent] ensures that the public is involved at the ground level.

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. We are seeking public input on the potential principles and on specific associated questions. We are also asking for input on possible principles or issues not mentioned in the NOI.

Many interested parties, including BRC, believe the “set of potential principles that could” were significantly flawed and didn't solve any of problems with the current Planning Rule. Some of the “principles that could,” such as this “all lands” concept, where the USFS would attempt to influence activities on privately owned land, were vehemently opposed by many key stakeholders.

Many concerned stakeholders believe the agency needs to re-evaluate its process. BRC believes the existing “principles” threaten to create new, undefined goals and criteria which will exacerbate, not resolve, the planning gridlock accelerating through the agency. It is sadly ironic that the Planning Rule is supposedly designed to reduce such gridlock.

BRC was among many urging the FS to steer this effort back to its necessary focus: (1) to fill the current regulatory void; and (2) to redouble proper focus on the primary goals of efficiency and expediency in the Forest planning process.

Those comments have been received by the agency and are supposedly being analyzed, but upon review of the science forum and roundtable agendas, it doesn't look like our message has gotten through.

I would love to give these folks the benefit of the doubt, but it looks like the “principles that could” are trying to be the principles that WILL.


If you put me in another breakout group my head will explode!

Here is a quick low-down on the agency's meetings and agendas.
The Science Forum is scheduled for March 29 and 30, 2010, in Washington, DC. According to the FS website, the Science Forum is:

Panels of scientists will present the latest science on topics relevant to the development of the planning rule. The key themes from the science forum will help frame the collaborative discussions at the regional and national roundtables that will follow.

If you've read the agenda, you might agree with me that a much more colorful description could be used!!

Don't get me wrong. This stuff is important and could meaningfully impact FS planning. But it is reasonable to assume that most of this will result in further movement away from the agency's multiple use/sustained yield mission, and probably a whole lot more 'analysis paralysis.' BRC's “Concern-O-Meter” is at a fairly high level at this point, so at least one BRC staff member and/or contractor will be at the forums. Ditto for the national and many of the regional roundtables as well. (Your membership makes that possible, by the way... thanks!)

There are three National Roundtables scheduled, April 1 - 2, April 20 - 21, and May 11 - 12, 2010, in Washington, DC. The stated purpose for the first is to “solicit focused input on how the planning rule should address restoration, climate change, watershed health and biodiversity,” which are the agency's priorities identified in the NOI. The second meeting purportedly will discuss “social, economic and cultural contribution of National Forest System lands to surrounding communities; provide for effective collaboration; consider the relationship between national forests and surrounding lands; and use the latest in planning science.”

I'm going to assume the second meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the need to re-evaluate this process, the trend away from multiple use and how the agency intends to address this key issue in the rulemaking process, not to mention the need for a focus on recreation. The third meeting will “allow stakeholders to discuss and build upon the synthesized results from the Science Forum and the preceding national and regional roundtables.”

Based on conversations with the outfit running the national roundtable, I think my assumption about the second meeting above is safe. Not all collaborative planning facilitators are bad, and to the FS's credit, they have contracted with a group that is on the National Roster of ECR Practitioners.

Some will then say that I'm being overly paranoid by express concern. Before you pronounce me guilty, let’s look at the agendas for the regional roundtables.

The agenda for Region 5's roundtables (California) is of particular concern. As of this writing, the agenda is one sentence long: “Discuss Planning Rule Principles and Concerns to Submit to the National Planning Rule Revision Team.”

The agenda for Region 10 (Alaska) is even worse. They have a detailed agenda, but, like Region 5, the focus is exclusively on the agency's principles. Things might change, but it doesn't look like there will be any opportunity to discuss other issues. That's collaboratin', Forest Service style!

The roundtable for Region 1 (N. Idaho and Montana) will allow some discussion on “what is working well and what isn't [with the current Rule],” and they will touch on a topic called “Plan Content” that, while wasn't a principle the agency identified, was discussed in background information and alluded to in the NOI. (Plan Content is defined by the agency as “the kind of information that should be included in plans and whether or not to include standards and guidelines.”)

The agendas for Region 2 (Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and both Dakota's) and Region 4 (S Idaho and Utah) looks a bit more interesting, and these meetings look a lot more open to recieving actual public input. Also, Regions 2 and 4 will have a “Brief panel by a diversity of participants on what they hope to see and not see in the new draft rule for planning.”

Region 8's (Southern US, from Texas eastward) meetings looks positively trendy. According to their agenda, they will break everyone into groups and begin with a “small group dialog allowing each participant to state the 1 most important thing they'd like to see in the new rule.” Then, after lunch, they will... well, I'll just quote the agenda here:

Using “world café” discussion format, participants rotate in small groups among 4 stations every 25 minutes; each station elicits input on subset of NOI planning principles; additional, unstaffed station accepts written suggestions all day on anything else related to planning principles. Groups will continue to rotate through stations every 20-25 minutes until all participants have had a chance to provide comments at each station. Current plan is that principles will be allocated across stations as follows: (1) Ecosystem Restoration; Climate Change; Watersheds Station; (2) Species Diversity; (3) Vibrant Rural Economies; (4) Process Principles. Focal question is, “How, if at all, should new planning rule reflect this / these principles?”

Now, I should admit that I'm a fan of true collaborative planning, and I will also admit that is somewhat of a character flaw (I'm working on it), but even I know a sham collaboration when I see it.

I bet Region 8 provides the best lunch though!

As of this writing, no agendas have been made available for Region 3 (Arizona and New Mexico), Region 6 (Washington State and Oregon) and Region 9 (Eastern US). (The full meeting schedule is available here.)


What you need to do

The regional roundtables will provide the best opportunity for recreationists to influence the process. We encourage our members to register and attend, and I'll raise that to a “strongly encourage” for any land use officers or others that are active in FS planning and management.

I need to give the disclaimer that much of this information appears to be in flux. I began writing this update on Tuesday, and the information, agendas and meeting locations on the FS website have been changing on almost a daily basis. We strongly recommend checking the FS websites often for changes and updated agenda's. (See links below.)

You do have to register for the roundtables, which appears to be relatively easy. The agency's websites are a bit hard to navigate, but they are updated often and they should be able to get it all together before long. You can register for Region 2 and 4's roundtables here. For other regions click the “View other USDA Forest Service events” link on the right to find out how to register for the other Regions.

If you decide to go to the roundtables, BRC strongly recommends reviewing our formal comments. Our comments will give you some ideas on what points you might make during discussion of the principles, as well as additional concerns you might want to raise (if that is possible). We posted them on a webpage for easy viewing. Please feel free to cut, paste and/or link to these comments as you see fit.

We will have more comments and plan to have additional info on the meetings as they draw near. So stay tuned.

I don't want my head to explode, but I want to help. What can I do?

We also have an ACTION ITEM prepared for those who can't make it to the meetings and still want to do something to help.

It involves contacting your Congressional Representatives, and I know you think that's all I ever ask our members to do, and I also know that some of our political representatives aren't listening on these land use issues, but Congress has a very important oversight role to play, and they need to hear from YOU!

This is very important for members in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. That's because you have representatives that are on the committees overseeing the Department of Agriculture and the FS. They need to know your concerns now before the process gets really moving.

Dates, links and a LOT more info is below. As always, call or email if questions.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director, BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

PS. I need to mention that memberships and donations from individual OHV enthusiasts give us the resources needed to represent your interests in this important planning process. Everyone at BRC is profoundly grateful to our members and supporters. Membership is our lifeblood!



Meeting schedules:

•National Science Forum March 29 and 30, 2010, in Washington, DC.
•National roundtables April 1 and 2, April 20 and 21, and May 11 and 12, 2010, in Washington, DC.
•Nine regional roundtables in the following locations:
Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6), Portland, OR, on April 6, 2010;
Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5),Sacramento, CA, on April 6, 2010;
Intermountain Region (Region 4), Salt Lake City, UT, on April 8, 2010;
Rocky Mountain Region, (Region 2), Lakewood, CO, on April 12, 2010;
Northern Region (Region 1), Missoula, MT, on April 13, 2010;
Alaska Region (Region 10), Juneau, AK, on April 13, 2010;
Southern Region (Region 8), Atlanta, GA, during the week of April 12, 2010 (exact date to be determined);
Eastern Region (Region 9), Chicago, IL, during the week of April 28 (exact date to be determined); and
Southwestern Region (Region 3), Albuquerque, NM, on April 28, 2010.
Region 2 will host additional meetings on April 14 in Cheyenne, WY, and on April 21 meeting in Rapid City, SD.
More Info on the Web:
BRC’s Latest Action Alert

BRC's comments on Planning Rule: Click here.

USFS Planning Rule Homepage

Complete list of meetings:

Map and links to USFS Regional offices:

Forest Service collaborative planning and public involvement portal.

Another FS collaborative planning and public involvement portal (mostly the same info, but some additional stuff)

Science panel agenda:

Register for all but Region 3, 6 and 9's Regional Roundtables here.

Webcasting may also be available for selected meetings; please check the planning rule website, at, for the most up-to-date information.

FS Planning Rule Blog
To encourage widespread participation the Forest Service is using new media tools in conjunction with the public meetings. Please visit to participate in the Forest Service web-based planning rule blog.

Our advice? Skip the FS blog.
Another blog has interesting and useful discussion, and it also has the bios posted for those participating on the Science Forum. See:
A New Century of Forest Planning

A New Century of Forest Planning - Bio’s for Science Panel

Note: This is NOT the official FS blog for the new planning rule. A New Century of Forest Planning is a collaborative effort between the University of Montana and the Forest Service. The intent is to provide a forum where different academic communities (social, physical and biological disciplines, law, policy), practitioners of planning, and participants in planning processes can come together to share perspectives on forest planning. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the University of Montana nor the U.S. Forest Service.

high desert 4x4 03-28-2010 08:39 PM

Thank You Dave for the information. You must have spent lots of time on that post. I will go to the Portland meeting at 1:00pm to input what I can. If anyone can go at a different time that will be very good also. I and Mona have signed up to speak not sure what we will be allowed to say; but the agenda is coming and information is online if anyone wants to sign up you will know as much as I. Once again thank you for the information. Randy

Grumpy 03-28-2010 09:15 PM

Just attempting to do what little I can. Just hope it helps...

just duckie 04-05-2010 06:27 PM

planning rule 2010
my letter and my input for April 6th meeting

letterhead and etc...

April 6, 2010

United States Forest Service-Pacific Northwest Region

Attention: Forest Service Planning Rule

Dear Managers of our Public Lands,

We applaud the Forest Service’s attempts and efforts as they try to follow directives from Washington DC and incorporate management of our natural resources into these efforts. Collaboration in developing a new Planning Rule to manage 193 million acres of the public’s holdings will be a monumental task. Special interest groups are more often than not well funded, well armed and well prepared and therefore receive the most attention, a perfect example of “the squeaky wheel getting the most grease.”

The United States Forest Service is just now finishing up on a “Travel Management Plan” that was a collaborative exercise as this new plan proposes. The “Travel Management Plan” was used by special interest groups to close many areas of recreation to the public that utilized their historic camps, trails and areas.

The Travel Management Plan summary states the objective: designating trails, roads and ways for all classes of vehicles, to eliminate “cross country travel”. The special interest anti access groups utilized the collaborative system to force closures of trails, roads and ways. Closing areas where no resource damage had occurred. Class II vehicles, the 4x4’s were completely overlooked. Old jeep trails were obliterated which had been used for decades by families for recreations of all types.

Collaboration is not effective when bullies with agendas contrary to the good of the whole carry larger weapons and larger coffers.
"Our National Forests and Grasslands are great natural treasures that we must conserve and restore for the benefit of future generations," said Agriculture Secretary Tom 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." Local communities are made of a wide variety of individuals and families. These families and individuals cannot hire attorneys to keep their favorite trails and camping spots open. The US National Forest Service did a great disservice to many by allowing closures of their historic trails in the Travel Management Planning Sessions of late.

The US Forest Service’s collaborative input statement reflects the by-words public input and public comment. Of late the USFS “does” as whatever special interest group’s litigation threatens. The recent Travel Management Plans were highly ineffective with their “Public Meetings” and “Public Comments”. Meetings held during the comment periods were scheduled during work hours and publicized by the USFS ineffectively. The public did not understand the implications, the overall effect or magnitude their comments may or may not have influenced to the managers of their forests. The USFS must facilitate effective information dissemination to effect fair public anything. The USFS fell short and neglectful in the recent Travel Management Planning concerning the public’s wishes. When decisions were made in favor of Class II vehicles anti-access groups quickly threatened legal actions and forest managers readily rethought their decisions.

The US FS “could” list of principles and process is misleading and in-genuine to “the public”. In truth the USFS “could” utilize much of the public in restoration, conservation, and monitoring, maintaining and the general health of all forests. The USFS is a failure at education, information sharing/gathering, implementation of facts and truths of the forests they are stewards of. The rural public cares for its forests; the rural public knows its forests. The USFS has never published adequate mapping, adequate resource concerns or even adequate historical and biological facts on any of its forests. When a family entered a forest they were exploring, the roads marked are often mismarked. The United States’ forests are a foot print of an historic record yet as you traverse the trails there are rarely any kiosks or explanations of the forests’ history recorded. Let alone the individual forests health or well being.

The USFS “should” involve the public. Education of the truths on all aspects, forest fires kill healthy forests and its habitats. Healthy forests are not what “old growth” proponents proclaim. Old trees are dying trees and should be removed for the younger and healthier trees to survive and flourish the forest. Trail density may be an issue but a total roadless area inhibits forest health also as fire suppression etc… is curtailed. Forests become infested with harmful insects, noxious weeds and over run with dangerous levels of flammable fuels from lack of care. Preventive health care of forests may mean utilizing herbicides, brush thinning or insecticides.
Climate change is not an exact science. Climate change effects are as old as the world. Climate change has been a constant since the world’s inception, creation or when the world came into existence, however you believe it happened. The USFS reaction and especially over reaction to any change in the forests climate should be from experience not special interest group consensus. Reacting to a public’s fears on climate change dramatically exhibits the USFS’s own “Faith Based Religion”.

“Sustainable” means to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. Executive Order 13423—Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. January 26, 2007. The above statement is a lofty goal, I feel the USFS has failed in its recent “Plan” stopping cross country travel. The agency allowed itself to be used by special interest groups to curtail the harmony mentioned. I fear this present “Plan” an extension of the later. Forests unmanaged by designation into Wilderness or forests left to rot and not harvested after forest fire upon forest fire is not a harmonious picture, but devastation, a travesty of neglect.

USFS publication: Montreal Process Criteria for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests
1) Conservation of biological diversity
2) Maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems
3) Maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality
4) Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources
5) Maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles
6) Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socio-economic benefits to meet the needs of societies
7) Legal, policy, and institutional framework
Our actions in the coming five years—to help define the paths forward for adapting forests to climate changes and using them to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; to help shape the role of forest biomass in offsetting increased use petroleum; and to help stem the loss of forests and the ecosystem services they provide—have the potential to shape for future generations the forests they will have to manage, conserve, protect, and use. Will future foresters and citizens 130 years from now be able to look back at this point in time and say, well done! Will forest historians and policy makers then be able to point to actions taken now as turning points in the sustainable management of the Nation’s forests? We hope so. But it will take brisk action from all of us.

Historically the forests have been utilized by the civilization of the era. Will my children be permitted use of the forests as I have? Sightseeing from touring vehicles, hunting and fishing, gathering fire wood? Closing gates to the forest’s entrance and claiming management is but an offensive exclusivist action. Managing forests will require much of the stewards who claim the responsibly, partnership in education, policing and maintenance. Litigation should not be the winner.

Forest Service Planning must embrace motorized vehicle travel fairly. Since wheels had motors attached the public has accessed the forest’s boundaries. The USFS has not designated trails for 4x4 travel adequately. The USFS must understand and incorporate motorized recreation in each venue and arena of the forest. Do not assess an environmental issue without including motorized recreation. The forest’s sustainability, rehabilitation, and health stems on the utilization factor of the public. Education prevents most resource damage. Rehabilitation and education will sustain the public’s right to motorized recreation throughout the nation’s forests. Do not be negligent in this “new plan”. Address motorized recreation the fastest growing sport. If you do not embrace the issue of 4x4 travel and designate areas and trails for the public, by default the public will.


Mona Drake

Grumpy 04-05-2010 10:20 PM

WOW! That is fantastic...Mona, may I add that to our thread on this subject on the Putters' site?

Art Waugh 04-06-2010 04:43 PM

I agree, well put. But I fear that with this "project", such a comment, even though showing the pitfalls and failures of what they are doing, will get classified as a TMP comment and therefore "outside the scope of this document". Just be prepared for that kind of a response from them.

Since the RAC I serve on is chartered to work with both the USFS and BLM, and we are involved in the Blue Mtn, Plan Revision, we get a little closer feel and comments from the feds than some others do. The general feeling here is that the team doing the planning rule is not only being driven by court decisions, but also has the marching orders from the very top, and it will be very "resource "friendly"". They are moving toward more protection and restoration than as a sustainable, multiple use resource for the public good.

Peppermint Patti 04-06-2010 10:05 PM

Art, that was a horrendously negative, defeatist and condescending response to a very well researched and well written letter. If we adopted your attitude, then we should all just sell our rigs and stay home. Fortunately, there are many who feel otherwise. There were numerous members of the PNW board, both from Oregon and Washington, in attendance at the Forest Service meeting who believe their input and their participation could bring about positive change.

You may not realize it, but you are not the only PNW member who serves on a RAC. And your “closer feel” is much different than other RACs and much different than some Forest Service personnel “from the very top.”. In addition, some of our PNW representatives are working personally with those very same FS personnel “from the very top” to promote and protect our access to our public lands. We have found that our personal meetings with those in charge of the Forest Service at the Regional level and higher are very beneficial.

I am not sure just why the FS and the BLM in the remote eastern part of Oregon feel that multiple use will not be important, but fortunately, others from across this great country feel differently. You are entitled to your opinion, but we encourage everyone to write to the Forest Service and express your desires. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t roll over and play dead. Don’t accept closure as the only option. If you think those in charge of your local forest are not listening to you, keep writing, keep calling. Find out who their supervisors are and write to them also. Meet with them, talk to them and speak your right. If you have to continue to do this until you reach those from “the very top” then so be it.

I want to personally thank each of our PNW members who took the time to attend these meetings and to thank each member who wrote a comment. I also want to thank each member who provides positive and constructive support to the PNW land use volunteers. Your words of kindness, your calls of support and your prayers for our success are always appreciated and always welcome. Condescending negativity is not productive.

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