All Blog Posts (70)

Living Assessment has been launched...

...and is ready for YOUR input!!

The Forest Service R5 Regional Planning Team has uploaded three Sierra Nevada Bioregion chapters to the Living Assessment, as well as short summaries for almost all the chapters. The remaining chapters should be posted in the coming weeks, so keep…


Added by Sonja Lin on January 14, 2013 at 10:08am — 3 Comments

Explain What You Do in 7 Words or Less

Explain What You Do in 7 Words or Less

Added by Erica Schachtell on January 7, 2013 at 2:42pm — 5 Comments

Federal Register is User-Friendly

Who knew?  I always thought the Federal Register was some stuffy binder, available at public libraries, whose foray into the digital era was an equally stuffy website that contained miles of useless info.

I was wrong!

Today's Federal Register is actually pretty slick.  It has lots of…


Added by Erica Schachtell on November 19, 2012 at 2:27pm — No Comments

2011 Annual Monitoring Report

the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment 2011 Annual Monitoring Report is posted,

and you can check it out here:

And don't those fishers look cute???  lol

Added by Erica Schachtell on August 22, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Shadowboxing the Apocalypse

As I sit here and begin to think about why revising our Forest Plans is important; not just for me; but for all of us, I have a recurring thought. I think about the task ahead of us and the words of a song by a group of musicians that I admire keep coming back to me, and seem completely appropriate to…


Added by Ronald L. Pugh on August 15, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Customers vs Active Citizens

I read a great blog post today about the difference between "customers" and "active citizens.

You can read it here .

The author defines the terms like…


Added by Erica Schachtell on August 6, 2012 at 2:30pm — 6 Comments

FACA Committee


After receiving 224 applications from 34 states and the District of Columbia,  Thomas Vilsack, our Secretary of Agriculture, has announced the 21 members selected to serve on the National Advisory Committee for…


Added by Erica Schachtell on June 26, 2012 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Open Gov vs. Open Data

What's the difference between open data and open gov?  How do all the 'opengov' terms relate?  Can someone make me a venn diagram?  oh!  cool, thx!

Blog post by David Tallan on GovLoop:…


Added by Erica Schachtell on May 2, 2012 at 11:49am — 2 Comments

Recent Congressional Hearings

Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands

Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1241, H.R. 1818, H.R. 2984 and H.R. 4234

Thursday, March 29, 2012 10:00 AM

video is here:…


Added by Erica Schachtell on April 3, 2012 at 5:16pm — No Comments

Internal Resistance to Gov't Use of Social Media

This article made me chuckle.  We heard every one of these when we started OFP.

GovLoop Blog Post by Gadi Ben-Yahuda:

Overcoming Obstacles to Social Media Use in Government

(clicking the link will take you to the following URL:)…


Added by Erica Schachtell on March 20, 2012 at 6:04pm — No Comments

gov as a platform

The Forest Service is good at data collection.  I mean, as an agency, the amount of information that the FS gathers, stores, and maintains is astounding.

However, the FS is not so good at implementing innovative and interactive methods that respond quickly and nimbly to information consumption…


Added by Erica Schachtell on March 5, 2012 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Social Media Revolution

Take a look at this great video about the "social media revolution". Every day social media becomes a stronger, faster, more accessible, easier and better(?) way to communicate. The stats in this 4 minute video are incredible and show how important it is to take social media seriously. If the government doesn't begin to use social media as a tool for communication, government initiatives and efforts involving stakeholders (like forest planning!) will become neglected and…


Added by Kelly Ross on January 23, 2012 at 11:03am — No Comments

Serious Games: Budget Hero

Who says that games can't be an effective educational tool?  Take this Budget Hero game, developed by American Public Media, as an example.  If we could do something similar for forest planning, that would be awesome.  Go ahead and play it - i provided the link below.  (It asks for your name, zip, and email - don't worry, it doesn't spam you.)


Play Budget Hero



Added by Erica Schachtell on December 21, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

CEQ's "Improving NEPA"

Last week, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the draft NEPA Guidance (“Improving the Process for…


Added by Erica Schachtell on December 13, 2011 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Forest Service's Interactive Travel Map

Did you know that the Forest Service has been working on an online, interactive map viewer to show allowed public motorized use on system roads and trails??

Yes, it's true.  It's called the Interactive Travel Map.  My colleagues at Geospatial Service and Technology Center (GSTC) have been developing this for a while now.

Basically, it takes the information from each unit's Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and displays it in a browser window.  The user can pan, zoom, turn layers on…


Added by Erica Schachtell on December 8, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Congressional Hearing on Proposed Planning Rule

November 15, 2011 - Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

For the complete webcast video and related content, click *here.*

It's great.

Chief Tidwell, one of the panelists, talks about the Proposed Planning Rule, Travel Management, and Special Use Permitting.  Lots of criticism about the 2011 Proposed Rule.  There are a few harsh…


Added by Erica Schachtell on November 30, 2011 at 3:04pm — No Comments

What is Ecosystem Services?

There's so much talk about Ecosystem Services these days - and there are a variety of ways to present it to different audiences.   Here's one alternative to searching in scientific journals: a great article in ArcNews.

Ecosystem Services—Learning to Leverage Natural…


Added by Erica Schachtell on October 24, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Obama Administration releases open government report

Gov 2.0 - making government services more open, transparent, participatory, and collaborative. Yes, we're part of this objective!  Like it says in the article, changing agency culture - to the point that openness becomes the norm - is going to take sustained commitment.  Keep it up!

Click on the following link for full article: …


Added by Erica Schachtell on September 19, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Great Article about Gov 2.0 in NY Times

Way of the World: Remaking Government in a Wiki Age


My favorite line is "...Just as much of Facebook’s or FourSquare’s value comes from content that users generate, proponents of Government 2.0 want us to participate in creating the government services we use."

So let's keep adding content to theLivingAssessment!  The better we make…


Added by Erica Schachtell on August 22, 2011 at 11:33am — No Comments

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