If someone were a complete newcomer to forest planning, but really wanted to get involved, what are the 5 things you would make sure they understood?

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#1 The rules, regulation, and policy we follow...the Planning Rule, NFMA, NEPA...this is a good link.

#2 Emphasis on public involvement and collaboration

#3 Emphasis on ecological restoration

#4 Best available science

#5 Get involved!

That's a great question, because people seem nervous about getting involved with forest planning if they haven't been involved in the past. They need a welcoming attitude from the personnel they encounter, and someone answering the phone at the Supervisor's Office should have someone designated to talk with anyone who calls and asks about forest planning. Oftentimes, they don't get past that first phone call, because they aren't referred to the right person.

1. The Forest Service needs your help, assistance and point-of-view with forest planning. No one else will look at the issues exactly the same way you will!

2. There are no dumb questions, but sometimes you have to be persistent to get the right answers. Don't lose heart or lose hope, keep asking and eventually you will get your answer.

3. Don't assume that someone else is looking after your favorite trail, activity or area of interest.

4. You don't need to be a professional '-ologist' to have an opinion worth sharing. If you love your local forest, you're already half way there.

5. Be prepared to do research to understand the issues you will face. Previous forest plans, NEPA, biological studies; the information is all available online, but it will take time to understand everything. Then refer back to item#2

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