The Missoulian takes on the thankless task of summarizing the new Forest Service planning rule . . .
The U.S. Forest Service’s recently released planning rule could turn the agency into a more efficient decisionmaker or create a department of perpetual planning, depending on who you listen to.
“We are ready to start a new era of planning that takes less time, costs less money and provides stronger protections for our lands and water,” Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in an email announcing the final version of the rule. “This new rule will bring 21st century thinking to a process that is sorely needed to protect and preserve our 193 million acres of amazing forests and grasslands.”
Critics have been equally expansive. Andy Stahl of the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics predicted the process “would die of its own weight.”
“Anyone who thinks this rule will make forest plans quicker to develop is naive,” Stahl said . . .