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USDA/FS RIN: 0596-AC82 Publication ID: Fall 2010 
Title: Forest Service Manual 2020—Ecological Restoration and Resilience Policy 
Abstract: Justification for an Interim Directive: “Restoration” is a common way of describing much of the agency’s work and the concept is threaded throughout existing program directives and collaborative efforts such as the National Fire Plan 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy and Implementation Plan. Examples of national efforts already initiated, and that are dependent upon or would greatly benefit from availability of this policy, include: 1) Development of a policy for large-scale event recovery (LaSER) to assist restoration efforts after events such as Hurricane Katrina; 2) implementation of the Woody Biomass Utilization Strategy; and 3) development of new legislation, such as the Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2008. The restoration policy will allow agency employees and partners to more effectively communicate Forest Service work in meeting restoration needs at the local, regional, and national levels. The Agency will review comments on the interim directive and incorporate these comments in a final directive. Purpose of and Need for Directive: Ecosystem restoration is an overarching and unifying policy objective for various agency programs. Ranger districts and forest supervisor’s offices are leading agency efforts at integrated, landscape-scale approaches for addressing restoration needs. These units are applying the authorities and resources of multiple programs to achieve multiple benefits. The directive will better align national policy with efforts in the field. Restoration objectives span a number of initiatives in various program areas, including the invasive species strategy, recovery of areas affected by high-severity fires, hurricanes, and other catastrophic disturbances; fish habitat restoration and remediation; riparian area restoration; conservation of threatened and endangered species; and restoration of impaired watersheds and large-scale watershed restoration projects. This directive, articulating national policy, is needed to unite these various program-specific initiatives. Obstacles to restoration are widespread. For example, the 2004 National Integrated Fuels and Restoration Review reported the following key findings: * Differing interpretations of restoration have led to confusion over agency objectives; * Agency expectations for an integrated program are not clearly articulated; * A focus on meeting individual, program-specific targets is overriding the need to accomplish more effective and better-integrated treatments. * Program planning and budgeting processes are insufficient to evaluate priorities, trade-offs and impacts on other programs. * An integrated multi-resource approach to landscape- and project-level planning is not occurring everywhere. The directive defines the term restoration, which has been used widely by the agency beginning with the National Fire Plan Cohesive Strategy adopted in 2001. The directive accentuates that all resource management programs have a responsibility for ecological restoration. Moreover, the directive underscores the value of integrating program planning and budgeting as well as resource management projects to achieve complementary or synergistic results contributing to ecological restoration. Public controversy is not anticipated regarding this directive. The subjects of this directive are ecological restoration and resilience. These terms have been used in the National Fire Plan Cohesive Strategy and 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy and Implementation Plan; by Congress in existing laws and pending legislation; in the Forest Service Strategic Plan for 2007-2012; and in the Chief’s speeches. 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: None     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: Not Yet Determined   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Proposed Directive  12/00/2010    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Lorrie Parker
Regulatory Analyst
Department of Agriculture
Forest Service
ATTN: ORMS, D&R Branch, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250-0003
Phone:202 205-6560
Fax:202 205-3610

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