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The Forest Service has released a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for land management planning for the National Forest System. USDA and Forest Service staff carefully considered nearly 300,000 comments received on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement to develop a preferred alternative, which is included in the PEIS. The Secretary will issue a record of decision selecting a final planning rule no less than 30 days after publication of the Notice of Availability of the PEIS in the Federal Register.The planning rule provides the framework for Forest Service land management plans for the 155 forests, 20 grasslands and 1 prairie in the National Forest System. A final rule, when selected, would update planning procedures that have been in place since 1982, creating a modern planning process that reflects the latest science and knowledge of how to create and implement effective land management plans. Revisions of the land management plans would take less time and cost less money under the preferred alternative than under the current 30-year-old procedures, while achieving better results for people and the environment.
The preferred alternative emphasizes collaboration and strengthens the role of public involvement and dialogue throughout the planning process. It also would require the use of the best available scientific information to inform decisions
Highlights of the preferred alternative include:
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