Forest Planning

America’s 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands are the backbone of our public land system. They provide clean air and water and a place to camp and hike.

National forests also sustain local communities with drinking water, sustainable jobs and endless recreation opportunities. The U.S. Forest Service manages each national forest according to the direction laid out in its land management plan. Land management plans are revised every 10 to 15 years, and must follow a specific framework established in an overarching Forest Planning Rule. 

What is forest planning?

Land management plans identify and protect lands and waters with special features in our national forests. These can include wild and remote places, important habitats, unique recreational areas and remarkable botanical, ecological or geological values.

Forest plan revisions

In the history of the Forest Service, there has only been one successful forest planning rule and it dates back to 1982. The Obama administration recently revised the forest planning rule and is gearing up to revise a number of land management plans.

See also:

Statement on Forest Planning Rule

Helpful links

 

  • For this report, The Wilderness Society reviewed data from more than 16,000 parcels auctioned off by the state. The analysis details more than a century of land sales that have privatized and closed off an amount of once-accessible lands nearly the size of the entire Sawtooth National Forest. Parcels often end up in the hands of some of Idaho’s biggest industries, while others have been turned into gravel pits, strip malls and even exclusive private fishing retreats and lakeshore hideaways for those wealthy enough to buy them.

  • Sample Letter to IRA Adminstrator DOC

  • In this report, we provide the policy framework for designating ORV trails and areas on federal lands, along with a series of recommendations based on recent case law and ten case studies from the Forest Service, BLM, and National Park Service that demonstrate both agency failures to comply with the executive order minimization criteria and good planning practices that could be incorporated into a model for application of the criteria.