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John Stewart

Interim directive for inventoried roadless areas issued

The U.S. Forest Service, with jurisdiction over the National Forests and Grasslands, makes decisions about what projects can take place on those lands. In simultaneously upholding and overturning the 2001 Clinton roadless rule, the courts have created confusion and made it difficult for the U.S. Forest Service to do its job. The directive will ensure that USDA can carefully consider activities in these inventoried roadless areas while long term roadless policy is developed and relevant court cases move forward.

This interim directive changes procedural requirements for Forest Service projects in inventoried roadless areas. It does not prevent the Secretary from either approving projects that he believes are in the interest of forest stewardship or prohibiting projects he believes are not. The Secretary will work closely with the US Forest Service to implement this interim directive.

This interim directive does not affect roadless areas on National Forest System lands in Idaho - Idaho is exempt from this interim directive. Idaho developed its own roadless rule through the Administrative Procedures Act. That rule already prescribes how decisions with respect to forest management and road building in roadless areas in Idaho are to be made.

This interim directive will last for one year and can be renewed for an additional year.

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John Stewart

New Direction in Agency Planning Efforts

Okay, I am going to unload a few tid-bits I have been collecting the past few months concerning new actions pending with land management issues.

BLM:  State-wide (California), BLM does not have a good inventory of routes nor do they have good mapping data.  To their credit, they are working to build a standard database of routes that reflects the management plans developed by the various field offices.

Forest Service:  Everyone is painfully familiar with the route designation process and the various gyrations over the past couple of years.  Well, the FS is at least trying to build a good database of their actions. I have used the term "database".  Specifically, this refers to the respective agencies moving into planning efforts using data that is coded into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) layers.

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