Court Strikes Down National Forest Planning Regulations

Last year, when the US Forest Service revised its rule for developing Land and Resource Management Plans, it was upbeat about the ramifications for the national forests and grasslands. The agency had just completed an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the updated rule, which it had been ordered by a court to prepare in 2007.

…Michael Francis, acting vice-president of the Wilderness Society and director of that association’s national forest program, said the society prefers the 1982 rule.

“The 1982 regulations clarified the ambiguities that Congress put into [the NFMA],” Francis said. “The viability of species is a key indicator of what the Forest Service is supposed to be all about – it manages for multiple uses, but it must protect all of the pieces of the forest ecosystems that provide those uses. The viability of wildlife is often an indicator of the health of the overall forest ecosystem.”