Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 21 new members to the Planning Rule Federal Advisory Committee (FACA), which provides guidance and recommendations on management of America's national forests on Planning Rule implementation of the 2012 Planning Rule. The Planning Rule continues to guide stewards of national forests and grasslands in developing, revising or amending land management plans.
"Members of the Planning Rule Advisory Committee help us strengthen ecological, social, economic and cultural sustainability objectives," said Vilsack. "The rule will allow the creation of management plans that will protect and restore National Forest System lands in order to sustain communities and protect natural resources."
The initial Planning Rule committee presented its first set of recommendations for the implementation of the 2012 Planning Rule to USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in November 2013, supporting strengthened collaboration, improved planning efficiencies and more informed decision making. These recommendations are intended to deepen the level of stakeholder collaboration in forest planning, as well as a focus on adaptive management, monitoring, wilderness, climate change, intergovernmental relations, species protection and water resources.
"The recommendations provided by the FACA Committee are critical to the successful implementation of the Planning Rule," said Chief Tidwell. "We value their commitment to land management planning that promotes healthy, resilient, diverse and productive national forests and grasslands."
The committee is comprised of 21 members with diverse backgrounds, who represent the full range of public interests in management of National Forest System lands and geographically diverse locations and communities. The current committee's membership expired in June 2014. The new committee members were selected from the candidates who responded to the Secretary's request for nominations in March 2014.