New Forest Rule Moves to Next Phase
May 16, 2011
Environmentalists, scientists and 62 House lawmakers are urging the U.S. Forest Service to set clear standards for protecting water and wildlife as it revises a decades-old rule for managing 193 million acres of national forests. May 16th marked the close of the public comment period on the proposed planning rule that will govern how the agency updates land management plans for 175 national forests and grasslands.
Sierra Club provided extensive comments on the new forest rule, in addition to collecting more than 45,000 comments through its Resilient Habitats Campaign. In total, the Forest Service received well over 100,000 comments on the proposed rule. The new guidelines proposed by the Forest Service make much needed updates based on new science, including the realization that places cannot be protected in isolation. The rule also for the first time addresses the threat of climate change and the role that forests can play in helping store carbon pollution.
However, the provisions fall short of providing the detail needed to make sure that the ideas in the proposal result in action on the ground. Baseline protections and clear requirements for how to protect water resources, promote healthy wildlife populations, and manage forests to remove carbon pollution from the atmosphere are needed.
The Forest Service will now spend several months analyzing the comments it has collected from the public, and is expected to issue a final rule by the end of this year.
Details and Documents:
New Forest Rules Move to Next Phase
May 16, 2011, Sierra Club Press Release
Groups air concerns on planning rule as comment period ends
May 16, 2011 by Phil Taylor, E&E News
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.