April 12 meeting in Lakewood will determine future planning for national forest lands in Summit County.
Public input wanted on new rule that will shape planning for the White River NF and other public lands around the U.S.
A couple of quotes from the New Century of Forest Planning blog:
On the new rule-making adventure: “To boldly go, where we have gone three times before.” Ric Rine, USFS
On what planning should not be: “a once-per-decade tedium of covering all contingencies via numbing documentation” Jim Burchfield, University of Montana
Dean Arnold Bolle on public participation, with relevance to our blog: “Problem identification, or definition, the initial step in decision process, is the essence of participation.” (1971)
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — This Monday, April 12, the U.S. Forest Service is holding a regional roundtable in Lakewood to get public input on a new national planning rule that will determine how plans for individual forests — like the White River — will be formulated.
Get specific meeting information posted in a Scribd.com window at the end of this post, or click here. A Forest Service planning rule 101 intro is online here, and pre-registration for the roundtable is at this link.
I know, it sounds like a bad bureaucratic joke: A meeting to make a plan about making plans …
But here’s why it’s important. Last night, I was at another Forest Service meeting in Heeney, a tiny town in northern Summit County, Colorado once known for hosting an annual tick festival. A few weeks ago, the Forest Service unveiled a plan to rebuild campgrounds and make other improvements to recreational facilities nearby, around Green Mountain Reservoir.
The draft study for the plan, formally known as an environmental assessment, took a lot of locals by surprise, mainly because of the scope of what the agency was proposing. White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams was on hand. He’s amiable enough, and quick on his feet, and managed to win overt the somewhat hostile crowd of 35 or so citizens, at least on a personal level, even if the tone of some of the comments was skeptical.
“We’ve heard it before … you say you want public input and then you go ahead and do whatever it us you want,” said an older gent, who has been around the block with agency more than once.
Fitzwilliams suggested that wasn’t the case, and indicated that he would listen to public comment and try and pick an alternative that meshes with what the residents of the area would like to see. But the forest supervisor prefaced his presentation with these words: “It’s in the plan.” (more…)
Filed under: writing | Tagged: forest plans, national forests, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | 2 Comments »