The National Forests:

Better Planning Needed To Improve Resource Management

CED-78-133: Published: Jul 12, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 1978.

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The Forest Service's planning efforts have evolved over many years from single resource plans to multiple resource management plans that consider all forest resources.

While some individual regions and forests have made considerable progress in multiple resource land use planning, overall progress has been slow and problems have been encountered. Recent legislation requires the Forest Service to develop and implement a comprehensive, integrated land management planning system by 1985. Regulations to implement the planning system must be issued by October 1978.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Forest Service should: (1) identify specifically how many planning levels the new system will have and give priority to completing higher-level plans first; (2) specify the role of the various types of existing plans in the new planning system; (3) standardize the terminology, format, and timeframe to be covered by land management plans and establish national standards to measure quality of plans; (4) provide direction and guidance to field planners on how to obtain and utilize public input in the planning process and stress the need for early and extensive coordination with other Forest Service planning units and with state and local governments and other federal agencies; (5) establish minimum standards for data needed at each planning level; (6) develop a system to monitor implementation of land management plans; (7) establish fiscal and management control over planning by formalizing procedures for determining costs of and funding arrangements for planning; and (8) adopt measures to provide incentives to facilitate recruitment and retention of qualified planning personnel.

    Agency Affected:


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