WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2011 – The U.S. Forest Service announced today that it will form an advisory committee that will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on the implementation of the new Planning Rule set for finalization this winter.
The Federal Advisory Committee – which could be formed early next year – will advise the Secretary on how the new rule is implemented. The U.S. Forest Service manages 155 national forests and 20 grasslands that will be affected by the new rule, which, if finalized later this year, will replace a 1982 version.
“This new committee will keep the collaborative momentum going on what has been a remarkably open and transparent process for the country’s first planning rule in 30 years,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Stakeholder input has been instrumental in allowing us develop a strong draft rule up to this point – we need to continue to tap into our strong partnerships to carry this rule forward.”
In the coming months the Forest Service will announce its request for committee member nominations in the Federal Register. More information about the committee and how to seek nomination will be available at that time. Members will be sought with diverse backgrounds, who represent the full range of public interests in management of the National Forest System lands and who represent geographically diverse locations and communities.
Visit the agency’s planning rule website for the latest information on the formation of the committee and the status of the new planning rule.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world