Forest Service to form panel on new planning rule

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The U.S. Forest Service says it will form a committee to advise the U.S. agriculture secretary how to implement a new planning rule that is set to be finalized this winter.

The new rule would guide how management plans are developed for the 155 national forests around the country, 20 grasslands and a prairie.

The existing planning rule was developed in 1982, and agency officials say it’s outdated. The new one would focus on adaptive management to allow more frequent updates in the future. It would take into account challenges associated with climate change, the need for forest restoration and conservation, watershed protection, wildlife conservation, and the sustainability of services, resources and uses of forests.

The Forest Service expects to request nominations for the advisory committee in the coming months.