Water and science strengthened in NFMA Rule, jury still out on enforceability

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, (541) 482-4459
Geos Institute on Obama’s New National Forest Rules

Washington, D.C. – the Forest Service released its long anticipated final planning rule for the nation’s 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, covering nearly 200 million acres (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/planningrule/home/?cid=stelprdb5349164).

According to Randi Spivak, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Geos Institute, a science-based climate change organization in Ashland and Washington D.C., “the Forest Service gets credit for a bold vision for protecting and restoring the nations’ fish and wildlife at a time of unprecedented change and for responding to scientists and public concerns by improvements made in the final rule. Enforceability and accountability still remain a concern.”

Dominick A. DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President, also gave the Forest Service high marks for requiring best science to be used in forest plans. “The Forest Service took a major step forward in preparing the nation for a changing climate by emphasizing the role of the nation’s forests in reducing climate change and providing drinking water to millions of Americans. However, the agency needs to do more to ensure wildlife populations are well-distributed to avoid potential extinctions from ongoing resource extraction and climate change.”

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