Today, the United States Department of Agriculture released the much-anticipated new planning rule for the entire National Forest System. This new rule arose out of a robust and inclusive public engagement process. It will use sound science to better protect forests, water and wildlife, while supporting local rural economies and letting human powered outdoor recreation thrive.
From climbing in the Sierra Range in California, to riding the Monarch Crest Trail in Colorado or paddling Otter Creek in the West Virginia, the National Forests are home to our most valuable outdoor recreation resources. The economic benefit this recreation provides is vital to communities nationwide. From Outdoor Alliance’s perspective, the new rule will not only support stellar natural ecosystems and the sustainable recreational experiences they provide, it will also increase the involvement of the public in planning efforts. We expect that the more collaborative process instituted by the new rule will foster stronger partnerships between the Forest Service and the public that will in turn reduce conflicts and delays.
Outdoor Alliance and the broader human powered community is especially excited about the early adopter forests that are slated to immediately use the new rule on their forest plans. These forests, including the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, and California’s Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests have a wealth of human powered outdoor recreational resources and will benefit from a modern planning approach.