We Can All Speak for the Trees: A Guide to Advancing Sustainability and Equity Through Forest Planning

Credit: Raul Touzon/Getty

Authored with Gabrielle Gurian, John Mitchell, and Diane Sanchez

Land designated as a National Forest belongs to the American people—and we, ordinary citizens, have a say in how that land is managed. Each National Forest is managed by a forest plan that outlines the goals and principles for that forest and is revised and updated every 15 years. In 2012, the Forest Service adopted a new set of rules that prioritize intergenerational equity, making sure these public lands are resilient to climate change and contribute to ecological, social, and economic sustainability.

The rules also require transparency and public participation in the planning process. As these plans come up for revision, the public has the opportunity to ensure that the new rule’s sustainability principles are implemented in a way that delivers benefits today and tomorrow. Forest plan revisions also offer the chance to ensure that forest resources benefit us all, including Indigenous, Black, and other communities of color. This guide will help individual citizens and advocacy groups engage in forest planning and ensure sustainable and equitable outcomes for years to come.

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