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September 21, 2014
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New Forest Planning Rule seeks to restore nation’s forests: Final Environmental Impact Statement by US Forest Service released


The planning rule provides the framework for Forest Service land management plans for the 155 forests, 20 grasslands and 1 prairie in the National Forest System. A final rule, when selected, would update planning procedures that have been in place since 1982, creating a modern planning process that reflects the latest science and knowledge of how to create and implement effective land management plans. Revisions of the land management plans would take less time and cost less money under the preferred alternative than under the current 30-year-old procedures, while achieving better results for people and the environment.

The mission of the U.S. 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. 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.

USDA works with state and local governments and private landowners to conserve and protect the nation’s natural resources. During the past two years, USDA’s conservation agencies—the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Farm Service Agency—have delivered technical assistance and implemented restoration practices on public and private lands. They are working to better target conservation investments: embracing locally driven conservation and entering partnerships that focus on large, landscape-scale conservation.