Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service seek public comment on mature forests | SummitDaily.com

Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service seek public comment on mature forests

As part of a recent executive order, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service are seeking comment on how to define old-growth and mature forests.
Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance/Courtesy photo

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S, Forest Service are seeking public comment on the development of a definition of old-growth and mature forests. 

Executive Order 14072, issued in April, tasks the two departments to jointly define, identify and complete an inventory of old-growth and mature forests on lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management within one year. The order also calls for the publication of an inventory of old-growth and mature forests on these lands, accounting for regional and ecological variations.

According to a news release from the Bureau Land Management, public comment will be used to inform managers on how to respond to the portion of the executive order titled Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities and Local Economies.

Specifically, the departments seek comment on the following questions:

  • What criteria are needed for a universal definition that motivates mature and old-growth forest conservation and can be used for planning and management? 
  • What are the overarching old-growth and mature forest characteristics that belong in a definition?
  • How can a definition reflect changes based on disturbance and variation in forest type, climate, site productivity and geographic region?
  • How can a definition be durable but also accommodate and reflect changes in climate and forest composition?
  • What, if any, forest characteristics should a definition exclude?

The Forest Service will offer a live informational session that will be recorded and posted on the agency’s website at fs.usda.gov/managing-land/old-growth-forests

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