July 10, 1998; TELECONFERENCE
Minutes of July 10th Teleconference Call with Committee of Scientists
Format of Committee Report
Dr. Norm Johnson will bring a copy of the full report mockup, including graphics and illustrations, to Washington, D.C., on July 17 for Committee review. A suggestion to include two Table of Contents--one detailed and one for major headings only--at the beginning of the report was accepted.
The Committee discussed ways to highlight their recommendations, including numbering them, outlining them with boxes in the text, and showing them in the detailed Table of Contents.
Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C.
The latest schedule for the meetings is:
July 17, 11 am - 12 noon - meeting with Under Secretary Jim Lyons and Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck
July 17, 1 - 1:30 pm - briefing with Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman
July 17, 2:30 - 4 pm - meeting with NFMA-regulation writing team and Advisory Team.
Dr. Johnson discussed his proposed outline for the briefings. For the Secretary’s briefing, Norm would provide a 15 minute summary of the Committee’s proposal with an emphasis on the principles of planning and allow 15 minutes for questions.
For the Under Secretary and Chief’s meeting, topics would be presented as follows:
Each topic should be presented in less than 5 to 7 minutes to allow about one-third of the time for questions. All Committee members should be available for specific questions.
Committee Report, Chapter 2
Dr. Shannon provided a summary of the changes and recommendations in Section 2B, "Social and Eonomic Sustainability". The Committee discussed the "Hispanic Communities." Suggestions were offered to better portray the way in which the Hispanic communities use forest resources for personal uses and household needs.
Dr. Shannon summarized the Democratic Processes subsection. A couple key points are that if a Forest planning team works with a group for a long time, the group should be appointed under FACA, and the role of the advisory boards is not just limited to planning, but to ongoing forest management as well. Dr. Johnson asked that the recommendations be pulled out and highlighted, and the language about the use of advisory boards strengthened to state that the Committee recommends use of advisory boards or some other mechanism to bring about long-term participation in the planning process.
Committee Report, Chapter 3
Dr. Johnson summarized changes to the proposed regulation on ecological sustainability, especially the "Species Diversity" and "Evaluation of Planning" subsections. Forest Service research scientists will need to provide assistance to planning teams in selecting "focal species" for viability analysis and identifying criteria from which to test how well species would do given certain management regimes.
The Committee discussed the limitations of restricting the viability regulations to native species only, given situations where nonnative species have become the only species capable of inhabiting certain areas, e.g., streams and lakes. The Committee agreed to discuss the problem in the preamble to the proposed regulations, but not to change the requirement to protect and restore the viability of native species.
Dr. Johnson summarized the section on the suitability of land for timber production. Land where timber can be harvested in support of other multiple use goals should be considered suitable land, but the allowable sale quantity should be calculated from only part of the suitable timber land, i.e., those lands where timber production is itself a goal. The report proposes a major shift in the way forests have evaluated timber lands and in the ways budgets and monitoring would be evaluated.
Comments from nonCommittee participants
Comments were heard from a few Forest Service planners about some of the goals and principles in Chapter 6, about concerns regarding the feasibility of completing the small landscape plans proposed in Chapter 4, and about the expected difficulties in getting budgets sufficient to conduct the proposed planning steps. There was a concern about the reference to the Klamath Tribes v. U.S. Forest Service lawsuit since the case became moot following the Sect. 318 recission act.
Some members of the public expressed concern about the current version of the proposed regulation on ecological sustainability, feeling that language should be stronger.