Collaboration & Public Involvement

Uinta National Forest Image by Teresa PrendusiThe Forest Service began the planning rule revision process with a commitment to developing a new planning rule that would endure over time. We utilized a transparent and participatory method to accomplish this effort. The 2012 planning rule  requires collaboration throughout the planning process.

This new rule was developed using an open collaborative process, and was refined by nearly 300,000 public comments that were received in response to the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement. These comments were in addition to the 26,000 comments to the Notice of Intent, which also refined the development of the proposed rule. In addition to public comments, the rulemaking process was enhanced by a science forum, regional and national roundtables, national and regional tribal roundtables, Tribal consultation meetings, national and regional public forums, Forest Service employee feedback, and comments posted to the Planning Rule blog. The agency considered all feedback received through these efforts, and used public input, science, and agency expertise to develop the 2012 planning rule.

Detailed information on the collaboration and public involvement process can be found on the Overall Collaboration and Public Involvement Strategy webpage.

Next Steps and How to Stay Involved

The 2012 planning rule was published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2012 and became effective on May 9, 2012, 30 days following publication. There are ways for the public to stay engaged in the planning process throughout implementation of the planning rule:  

  • Federal Advisory Committee: In January 2012 the Secretary announced a new Federal Advisory Committee to advise the Chief and Secretary on implementation of the planning rule. A total of 21 members were selected. The committee began meeting in September 2012; all committee meetings were open to the public. 
  • Directives: The Forest Service is currently developing a set of planning directives to provide further guidance on implementation of the planning rule; the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on those directives.
  • Plan Revisions: A number of national forests and grasslands have begun plan revisions. As individual units begin to implement the planning rule of 2012 and revise their forest plans, we encourage the public to become involved and provide input throughout the planning process on individual forest units.


Overall Collaboration and Public Involvement Strategy

The collaboration strategy for the development of a new planning rule has consisted of national and regional roundtables, a science forum, national and regional public forums, and tribal consultation. Click the above link for further information on this effort.

Tribal Relations

In addition to government to government consultation, the Forest Service invited Tribes to participate in the collaborative process for the development of a new National Forest Planning Rule. Visit the Overall Collaboration and Public Involvement Strategy webpage for further information.

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