Today, December 15, 2016, the USDA Forest Service published a amendment to the 2012 Planning Rule in the Federal Register. This final amendment was developed following a proposed rule amendment published on October 12, 2016 and analysis of public comments received over a 30-day comment period.

While the 2012 Planning Rule includes direction specific to national forest plan amendments, the 2012 Planning Rule did not explicitly direct how to apply substantive requirements set forth in the 2012 Planning Rule (requirements for sustainability, diversity, multiple use and timber) to those plans developed under the 1982 Planning Rule. This amendment to the 2012 Planning Rule clarifies the Department’s and Agency’s expectation for plan amendments, including expectations for amending 1982 Rule plans.

This clarifying amendment is based on 2012 planning rule, implementing directives, and supporting documents; Forest Service experience gained from early adopter forests; feedback from the National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule ( while developing the draft amendment; and public comment received during the public notice and comment period.

Attached is a copy of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that talks about the amendment. Additional information will be posted at:

Attached Files
Attached PDF document

John Stewart
Vice President, BlueRibbon Coalition