BlueRibbon Coalition – ACTION ALERT

BRC NATION-WIDE ACTION ALERT – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED
US FOREST SERVICE DEVELOPING NEW PLANNING REGULATIONS
WILL GLOBAL WARMING TRUMP MULTIPLE USE?

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is beginning the process of revising their regulations that govern how the agency prepares Forest Plans. Known as the “Planning Rule,” these regulations will be the driving force behind how the agency develops, amends and revises their Land Use Plans.

This is a big deal.

The FS is proposing a planning rule that will shift what is left of any emphasis toward multiple use/sustained yield to such things as global warming, ecosystem management and their new buzz word – restoration. Our action alert below gives a brief analysis and explains why BRC is concerned, and why we are encouraging our entire membership to respond.

For those of you who don’t want to know the details, or are busy with work and family, you can use our letter generator. For those of you who wish to send your own email to the USFS, we put together another one of our INSANELY EASY 3- step action items below.

Please send your comment email today. The comment deadline is February 16, 2010!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your support,

Brian Hawthorne Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 102 208-237-1008 ext 107

BRC NATION-WIDE ACTION ALERT – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED
US FOREST SERVICE DEVELOPING NEW PLANNING REGULATIONS
WILL GLOBAL WARMING TRUMP MULTIPLE USE?

SITUATION: The U.S. Forest Service is beginning the process of revising their regulations that govern how the agency prepares Forest Plans. Known as the “Planning Rule,” these regulations will be the driving force behind how the agency prepares Land Use Plans and will guide land managers in developing, amending, and revising land management plans for the 155 national forests and 20 grasslands in the National Forest System (NFS).

The USFS has released a proposed action that includes several so-called “Principles” that will be used to formulate the new regulations. The agency is asking for comments on these principles, and is asking the public to identify important issues and alternatives. (Read the Notice of Intent HERE)

BRC’S CONCERNS – WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOU

Land management planning is one way the USFS complies with requirements under such laws as the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (MUSYA) as well as laws like the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Sadly, planning regulations can also be used to dilute the requirements under NFMA and MUSYA and expand the requirements of other laws, such as the ESA and the Wilderness Act.

By including such nebulous guidance as, “restoration and conservation to enhance the resilience of ecosystems to a variety of threats” and “proactively address climate change through monitoring, mitigation and adaptation, and could allow flexibility to adapt to changing conditions and incorporate new information,” the proposed emphasis will further shift the agency away from multiple use management.

If that’s not bad enough, the agency’s proposal does virtually nothing to address the analysis paralysis problem. Current regulations provide multiple levels of seemingly never-ending environmental analysis. The result is a series of one-way procedural gates for litigious environmental groups. We often describe the situation by saying the environmental groups have executed a corporate takeover of the US Forest Service.

The agency has several problems with its planning. But the key problem is that the agency assumes it has the authority to change the policy that was established in Congress. The agency is attempting this via their planning regulations, which are supposed to be all about the procedures for revising land management plans, not the policy those plans will implement. As a result, the planning rules are unworkable. Plans take years to complete, are unbelievably expensive, totally unresponsive to public input and often include conflicting management guidance. By the time all the levels of environmental analysis are completed on a project, it’s time for a new land use plan. Sadly, this new proposal will likely make things worse.

More info on the web:
The FS has a website with all the information and links to other background documents.

We have reformatted the Notice of Intent for easy reading. Take a good look.

BRC’S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can.

STEP 1: Open your email program and start a draft email. Address the email to
fspr@contentanalysisgroup.com.
Put “New Planning Rule” in the Subject Line.

STEP 2: Use the comments below as a guideline for comments in your email.
Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, where you like to ride
and how much trail-based recreation means to you. Be certain to include your
name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! (“anonymous” emails
are often discarded).

COMMENT SUGGESTIONS – For your printable version (in PDF format) of suggestions and comments click here.

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 http://www.sharetrails.org
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As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

(Cousin Tim Fish sent this alert to us here at Onewithquad.com. Thanks cuz!)