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04/09/2010

Forest Service Crafting a New Rule that Will Govern the Future of Forests

Last week, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Forest Service (USFS) held four full days of presentations and roundtables regarding the National Forest Management Act and the development of a new forest planning rule.  This rule will determine how our public forests and grasslands across the country are managed.  The week started off in Washington, DC with a two-day science forum featuring presentations on issues ranging from new modeling and monitoring programs to biodiversity and climate change.

FS logo

Sierra Club staff and numerous colleagues from other conservation organizations attended the science forum and participated in the two-day national roundtable that helped establish a dialogue between Forest Service staff and various stakeholders, including representatives from the forest products industry and advocates for mechanized recreation.  With our coalition partners, the Sierra Club urged the Forest Service to focus on saving America's outdoor legacy by applying sound science, protecting fish and wildlife, addressing climate change, ensuring accountability to the American public, and preserving water and watersheds.

The USDA and USFS now move through the country with a series of regional roundtable discussions about the new planning rule.  Throughout the month of April, there will be no fewer than 34 such discussions across every region of the Forest Service.  The Sierra Club and our partner organizations are actively organizing around these discussions to ensure a wide variety of stakeholders are at the table.  We will strive to make sure that the emphasis on good science didn't just stop after the two-day science forum and that the Forest Service hears the same message across the country: we need a rule that protects our waters, lands, fish and wildlife from the challenges they face in a warming world.

Read more on the Forest Service's website.

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