The new planning rule has a great intent to assess and achieve sustainability of ecological integrity. These terms can mean many things to many people. There are some broad definitions in the planning rule text and draft Forest Service Directives. What does it mean to you? 

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hmmm.  big question.  I appreciate the term ecologicla integrity because it can be broken down into pieces: ecology is the study of the home (broadly speaking) and integrity is the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished and/or a soundunimpaired condition.  (Ecology is also defined in many other ways, such as The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings." Sustainability is a nice concept.  Tough in practice.  For how long?  Under what scenarios?  Really tough to combine all three and have any practical guidance.  Reminds me of the time that a reed noss book came out about Ecological Integrity.  I bought it all excited, thinking an entire book, edited by one of my favorite guys, it has got to have a good definition and guidance.  No definition, good guidance at least...  i guess we get to figure it out as we go?

This might help with John Gallo's astute observation regarding the difficulty in defining and operationally planning for sustainability.  Remember that a key underpinning of the new Planning Rule is the critical importance of adaptive planning and a strong and robust plan-do-learn-adjust cycle.  This fundamental paradigm shift in approach allows us to openly recognize the "toughness" of combining the various facets of managing natural resources.  More importantly, it allows us to become comfortable not having to "figure it all out" now and focus on initial strategies for the most pivotal dilemmas that will be refined as we try things striving towards our desired conditions.  Thinking this way, I'd re-phrase John's last statement from "I guess we get to figure it out as we go" to "Fortunately, the process encourages us to start and refine as we go."  I'm excited about this opportunity, I hope you all are too!

Good rephrase Don.  There is much to like about the adaptive planning cycle. Speaking for myself, I’m excited by its potential,  but I’ll admit I’m scared by the consequences of failure.  If effectively implemented, it seems crucial to achieving "sustainability of ecological integrity.”  This begs the quesiton in my mind of how do we "implement it effectively" in this world of increasingly tight finances and institutional resources?  Two answers come to mind. First is to have the paradigm shift you talk about include the harnessing of all our new information and communication technology (ICT) to really ramp up the *teamwork* of society towards the goal.  We can use the ICT to communicate our values, observations, and knowledge, to analyze the complex and to work together in making the tough trade-offs and decisions.  For the first time ever we have the tools to implement the plan-do-learn-adjust cycxle at a landscape scale! Up.  I’m at my busstop.  We’ll see if these shifts occur and how they end up. Start and refine as we go? I lik eit.

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