April 04, 2005

Wildlaw's White Paper comments
Sharon Friedman

Is anyone going to take on Wildlaw's analysis of the new planning rule? I'd like to see some discussion therein.

Posted by: Steve Funk | April 4, 2005 12:36 PM

I agree, Steve, and copied your comment to a new post because I felt it deserves a thread of its own.

Here's the link to the paper:

Note that part of their paper uses information found on the FS public EMS forum  http://www.ecosystem-management.org/forum/. some of the issues they mention about the availability of the ISO standard are addressed in some detail at http://www.ecosystem-management.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=14

Currently on that forum are in-depth discussions of the availability of the ISO standard, why the federal government and the FS use the ISO standard, and in another thread, examples of other agencies using EMS for land management.

Posted by Sharon Friedman on April 4, 2005 at 04:53 PM Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2005

Visioning Planning Nirvana
Sharon Friedman

One of the challenging things about land management planning in the Forest Service is that it lies at the boundary between different areas of expertise. As a federal agency, the FS wants to be able to plan and carry out management activities to accomplish its mission. The planning and analysis process as a whole (from GPRA to project) should be transparent, provide opportunities for public participation and collaboration, use the best and most current science and technology, follow all applicable statutes and regulations and be done in a way that iseffective in its use of both the agency’s funds (just enough analysis and just enough collaboration) and the time and costs to the public, partners, other agencies, contractors, and permittees. Successes and failures and new knowledge should form an adaptive loop to improve plans and plan implementation.

I propose this as a first cut at a definition of planning nirvana.

Defining and moving toward planning nirvana is what we might call "contested terrain," in the sense that planning practitioners, the public, the science communities, the legal communities and the academic planning communities and the public all have valuable knowledge and experience, but no one group alone can lay claim to knowing what is best. In this kind of situation, the designers can best open the subject for deliberation within and among the various communities.

I am encouraged that this forum may lead to that kind of deliberation.. and perhaps move toward "planning nirvana." What do others think about the characteristics of good planning so we would know if if we see it? Do you have examples of particularly good experiences (not necessarily "forest" planning)? What did you like best about them?

Posted by Sharon Friedman on March 21, 2005 at 01:48 PM Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)