Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day, December 23, 2010

Planning for Our National Forests

December 23, 2010 (Washington, DC) - The Forest Service is going through an elaborate process to develop a Planning Rule which will guide planning efforts by national forests in the future. These forests cover 190 million acres and host hundreds of millions of recreation visits each year. The Planning Rule process has included Federal Register notices, a science forum, public roundtables and more.

Recreation community leaders met with Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Forest Service, in September to praise the process but underscore that major change is needed to keep national forests relevant to Americans in the 21st Century. While we agree that the Planning Rule can't go into great detail about treating recreation in the forests, we do believe that the Rule needs to signal a change in managing recreation. The Forest Service must plan a strong direction to utilize state programs, volunteers, concessioners and permittees. They must also facilitate an atmosphere of cooperation among recreationists in the forests, moving away from the current system in which all-too-frequent clashes that occur between and among competing recreation interests.

Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day is inspired by the President's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to connect Americans to the outdoors and its IdeaJam blog. ARC’s submissions to the blog can be found if you click here. Additional ideas that have been submitted to IdeaJam can be found in our September 2010 newsletter, which is here.