"The Obama administration [Thursday] proposed a new forest planning rule that will guide the management of 155 forests, 20 grasslands and one prairie in the National Forest System."
"The rule provides the framework for U.S. Forest Service land management plans. Once approved, the final rule will update planning procedures that have been in place since 1982, creating a planning process that the the Forest Service says reflects the latest science and knowledge of how to create and implement effective land management plans.
But, although plans would be required to provide habitat for plant and animal diversity and species conservation, several conservation groups say the new rule weakens protections for wildlife on national forests.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service under its jurisdiction considered nearly 300,000 public comments on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement issued last February, to develop the agency's preferred course of action for finalizing the planning rule."