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Because of the interconnected nature of the threats to all the nation's forests regardless of ownership, the NASF has a strong interest in the management of National Forest System (NFS) lands, and therefore a strong interest in the Forest Service’s new planning rule. The ultimate measure of success of any planning rule will be on-the-ground accomplishments that improve forest health and the health and sustainability of local communities and economies. To be successful, a planning rule must afford enough flexibility for regions and forests to address their unique set of issues while providing a solid framework for management activities needed to ensure the ecological, social and economic elements of sustainability.
State Foresters can and should play a unique role in the planning process. In order to effectively manage at the landscape-scale, a comprehensive understanding of the forest resources that exist across various management boundaries is needed. Forest Action Plans provide this comprehensive examination of landscape-scale forest conditions and landscape-scale forest conservation needs, and should be incorporated into the planning process for each and every National Forest to help provide the landscape-level context in which the NFS lands lie.