News and information about environmental and land management action involving U.S. Forest Service

John Stewart

New Direction and Vision Announced for Forest Service

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTION AND VISION FOR AMERICA'S FORESTS

SEATTLE, August 14, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today outlined his vision for the future of our nation's forests. In his first major speech regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, Vilsack set forth a new direction for conservation, management, and restoration of these natural treasures.

"Our nation's forestlands, both public and private, are environmental and economic assets that are in critical need of restoration and conservation," said Vilsack. "By using a collaborative management approach with a heavy focus on restoring these natural resources, we can make our forests more resilient to climate change, protect water resources, and improve forest health while creating jobs and opportunities."

Climate change, catastrophic fires, disease and pests have all led to declining forest health in recent decades. The resulting impact on watersheds, the climate, local economies, wildlife, and recreation, has led the USDA to offer a new vision for our nation's forests. By taking forest management in a new direction, the Department will emphasize the role our national forestlands play in contributing to the health and prosperity of the country and reverse the trend of declining forest health.

Continue reading
3270 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

USFS Forest Plan Revision Update

This message received from USFS Region 5 is to update you on the status of forest plan revision efforts by the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region in California. On June 30, 2009, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision in Citizens for a Better Forestry v. United States Department of Agriculture ordering the Forest Service to cease the implementation and use of the 2008 planning rule. The Forest Service is complying with the Court’s decision. Use of the 2008 planning rule has been discontinued. Here is where we are currently with planning in the Pacific Southwest Region.

The 2000 planning rule, as amended, is now in effect. The rule allows the Forest Service to use the 1982 rule procedures to amend or revise plans. The Forest Service will be using procedures of the 1982 planning rule and is working on how best to transition to these procedures.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Modoc National Forest will continue work on their land management plans using the 1982 planning rule procedures.

Forest Service plan revision teams remain committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders. Planning activities such as public meetings that are independent of any specific planning rule will continue while we determine how best to transition to the 1982 rule procedures.The forest plan revision work that we have completed to date remains valid and useful. We are evaluating how to organize and convert this work to fit the framework of the 1982 rule procedures. We will provide regular updates as we determine the process and timeline for resuming forest plan revision work. As additional information becomes available, it will be shared with stakeholders and posted on our website: www.fs.fed.us/r5/planning Thank you for your continued interest and involvement in forest plan revision efforts. For more information about the 2000 planning rule and 1982 rule procedures please visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/nfma/2000_planning_rule.html

3564 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

Forest Service releases decision for Hoonah motorized vehicle access

Hoonah, AK (July 31, 2009) – Users of motorized vehicles on Forest Service roads on the Hoonah Ranger District, Tongass National Forest, will want to pick up a new Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for the district when it becomes available in January 2010. The map will identify which roads and trails are open to motorized use, based on the just-released Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) for the Hoonah Ranger District Access and Travel Management (ATM) project. Hoonah District Ranger Rich Jennings selected the Proposed Action with minor modifications, based on public comments and the analysis in the Environmental Assessment.

The original Proposed Action included 11 miles of trails that could be opened to future OHV use if funding were made available to make them accessible and/or to address resource concerns. The modification changes that to 5 miles for possible future OHV use, because analysis showed that 6 of the 11 miles of those additional trails were in Old Growth Habitat and designation as OHV trail would not meet Forest Plan Old Growth Habitat prescriptions. Provisions in the Selected Alternative also includes the following: * 141 miles of National Forest System (NFS) roads will remain open to highway vehicles; all or parts of these open roads may be open to both highway and off-highway vehicles (OHV) * 22 miles of existing NFS road will be designated exclusively for OHV use as OHV trails * 25 miles of open NFS road will be closed to highway vehicles, for a total of 122 miles closed to highway vehicles on the district * 95 miles of road on the Hoonah Ranger District will be closed to all motorized vehicle traffic Upon publication of the MVUM, all district areas not displayed as open roads or OHV trails on the map will be closed to all forms of motorized surface access including motorized subsistence access under ANILCA Section 811(b). Snow mobiles are not part of this decision and will be permitted off designated roads and trails when used over snow and in accordance with ANILCA section 1110 (a) and 811 (b). The map, which is expected to be available in January 2010, will be reviewed annually. Copies of the EA and Decision Notice are available on-line at http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/projects/projects.shtml under Hoonah Ranger District Access and Travel Management project.

 

3423 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

Interim directive for inventoried roadless areas issued

The U.S. Forest Service, with jurisdiction over the National Forests and Grasslands, makes decisions about what projects can take place on those lands. In simultaneously upholding and overturning the 2001 Clinton roadless rule, the courts have created confusion and made it difficult for the U.S. Forest Service to do its job. The directive will ensure that USDA can carefully consider activities in these inventoried roadless areas while long term roadless policy is developed and relevant court cases move forward.

This interim directive changes procedural requirements for Forest Service projects in inventoried roadless areas. It does not prevent the Secretary from either approving projects that he believes are in the interest of forest stewardship or prohibiting projects he believes are not. The Secretary will work closely with the US Forest Service to implement this interim directive.

This interim directive does not affect roadless areas on National Forest System lands in Idaho - Idaho is exempt from this interim directive. Idaho developed its own roadless rule through the Administrative Procedures Act. That rule already prescribes how decisions with respect to forest management and road building in roadless areas in Idaho are to be made.

This interim directive will last for one year and can be renewed for an additional year.

3734 Hits
0 Comments

OutdoorWire Websites

OutdoorWire

OutdoorWire

Portal page for OutdoorWire Access and Landuse Central Read More
4x4Voice

4x4Voice

California OHV recreation news and information Read More
MUIRNet News

MUIRNet News

News and information about outdoor recreation Read More
4x4Wire

4x4Wire

Off road recreation and news and information Read More
TrailTalk 
Forums

TrailTalk Forums

4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums for 4x4 tech information Read More
  • 1

4x4Wire Tech Section

Jeep 4x4 Tech

Jeep 4x4 Tech

Jeep Tech from JeepWire Read More
Toyota 4x4 Tech

Toyota 4x4 Tech

Toyota Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Mitsubishi 4x4 Tech

Mitsubishi 4x4 Tech

Mitsubishi Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Isuzu 4x4 Tech

Isuzu 4x4 Tech

Isuzu Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
  • 1