DULUTH, MN - March 15, 2011 - The USDA Forest Service is offering a series of public forums around the country to explain the recently published proposed national forest planning rule and associated draft environmental impact statement.
The proposed rule would provide a framework to guide the collaborative and science-based development, amendment and revision of land management plans that promote healthy, resilient, diverse and productive national forests and grasslands across the country. The Forest Plan for the Superior National Forest was revised in 2004 and is not scheduled for additional revision for a few more years. The final planning rule will guide future Forest Plan development, revision, and amendment on the Superior National Forest and all other national forests.
On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, the Eastern Region of the Forest Service will be conducting two public forums (at 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. CST) on the proposed Forest Planning Rule at its Regional Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The public is invited to participate via a videoconference link to these Eastern Region forums at the Superior National Forest headquarters located at 8901 Grand Avenue Place, Duluth, MN.
While the public forums will assist attendees in better understanding the proposed rule and in making more informed comments on the proposed rule, the Forest Service will not be taking public comments on the proposed rule at the forums. Nor will the agency be recording the forums for inclusion in the rulemaking record. As with any rulemaking, attendees wishing to provide comments for the record will need to submit them in writing. This will insure clarity in defining the public comment record and allow interested parties to view the record of public comments in the manner customarily provided in notice and comment rulemaking.
The proposed planning rule was published in the February 14, 2011, Federal Register kicking off a 90-day public comment period ending on May 16, 2011. Full text of the proposed rule, instructions to provide comment and the planning rule blog and more can be found at: www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule