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|Release No. 0175.14|
|Larry Chambers (202) 205-1005|
|USDA Announces Selection of Advisory Committee Members to Help Guide Management of Public Forests and Grasslands|
WASHINGTON, August 12, 2014—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.
Federal advisory committee members are as follows:
Representing the public at-large
Representing American Indian Tribes
Representing commercial or recreational hunting and fishing
Representing conservation organizations or watershed associations
Representing county or local elected officials
Representing developed outdoor or commercial recreation
Representing dispersed recreation
Representing energy and mineral development
Representing national, regional or local environmental organizations
Representing private landowners/grazing
Representing the scientific community
Representing state-elected officials
Representing the timber industry
The charter, background information, and other information for the Planning Rule Advisory Committee can be found www.fs.usda.gov/main/planningrule/committee.
The mission of the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the Nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.
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