The two day Sierra Cascade Dialog session in January introduced the “Science Synthesis”. That document is supposed to reflect a review of the available literature and science pertaining to the ecology of the region. Generally, a “Science Synthesis” is limited in geographic scope. In this case, the research document applies to the entire Region 5.
In my review, I noted a general lack of “science/literature” in relation to the social and economic aspects of the document. The ecology portion does contain a large volume of references and description as it applies to the Region 5 and forest health and endangered species management.
The document is an internal Forest Service working document and, generally, not subject to public review and comment. This is one instance where the Forest Service did introduce the incomplete draft document to the public and listened to feedback from attendees.
I did have extensive discussions with the individuals responsible for the socio-economic impacts section and did receive assurances that a major re-write of the section would occur based on my feedback.
This document will be a reference document as the forest plan revision process moves forward. Forest Service officials stressed that the document is basically ready for use by the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo NFs during their plan revisions. It will be reviewed and updated as required.
In short, the document is an internal working document and not subject to public review and comment.
The document was (at the time introduced) a draft with some incomplete sections.
The document is not a "decision document".
There are some issues with the document. There are errors. There are incomplete sections. Peer-reviewed and generally accepted science/literature are not clearly defined.
The thread of the document talks to a "triple bottom line" as defined on the Planning Rule - ecology, social, and economic. However, the document merged social and economic into a combined socio-economic category. The left the "triple bottom line" as socio-economic and ecology.
As noted, I did have extensive discussion with the social scientists and economists responsible for that section. They agree that a re-write is necessary prior to publishing the document.
Resources Consultant, California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs
Board of Directors, BlueRibbon Coalition