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 in the Federal Register today to prepare an environmental impact statement. The Forest Service is seeking public involvement.
To begin the conversation, the Forest Service has developed 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.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the National Forests and Grasslands are great natural treasures. 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.