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Forest Service taking input on land management planning

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The United States Forest Service (USFS) is taking comments on the information it needs to collect to implement its land management planning. USFS announced in the Federal Register of Friday, July 11, 2014 that it is opening up a 30-day comment period on its National Forest System Land Management Planning--Generic Collection. The public can file comments until Aug. 11, 2014.

Under Section 6 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976, each national forest must revise its land management plan every 15 years. They also most keep track of conditions and revise the plans as needed in between. The planning processes must include opportunities for public input.

National forest managers use a variety of ways to get public input, including comment cards from users, small discussion groups and surveys to get feedback on what people expect and experience in the national forests. Such efforts are supposed to warn officials of problems and alert them to ways they might improve services or land management planning.

The information collection in question can go to individuals, families non-profits, businesses and governments at the state, local and tribal levels. About 37,250 people or institutions participate every year. Their efforts generally take less than two hours per participant.

To get a copy of the proposed forms, call (202) 720-8681. Send your comments by U.S. Mail to Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management & Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725--17th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20503. Or send them by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Also send a copy to Departmental Clearance Office, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Refer to OMB Control Number: 0596-NEW.

USDA is welcoming comments on anything from best ways to collect information to what technology is should use, the amount of time people spend providing it and what information it should collect.

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