The Current State of National Forest Planning

As appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, Martin Nie served on the U.S. Forest Service’s National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule from 2014 to 2018. National Forest plans throughout the nation are being revised, and the Committee worked collaboratively to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the rule.

Published in 2019 are two new appraisals of how planning is going so far, one a collection of essays by former Committee members in the Journal of Forestry (PDF) and one by Susan Jane Brown & Martin Nie in the American Bar Association’s Natural Resources & Environment (PDF)

In collaboration with the Western Environmental Law Center, students enrolled in the Bolle Center’s Policy Clinic in 2020 collaborated with those in the School of Law’s Environmental and Indian Law Clinics to assess forest plan revisions being done pursuant to the 2012 NFMA Planning Rule.  One group of students examined tribal engagement in forest planning (ongoing) and the other focused on issues related to wildlife diversity and species of conservation concern. The first product to emerge from this Clinic is a paper by Anna Wearn, “Protecting Biodiversity on National Forests: The Evolution and Implementation of Forest Planning Regulations.” (Anna Wearn paper pdf). In progress is work focused on the issue of ripeness as it pertains to judicial review of forest plans after the Supreme Court’s decision in Ohio Forestry Association v. Sierra Club (1998).