Forest Service proposes a “cultural shift” for more access to public lands


Original Post
Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290

Anyone know much about this? Is it a good thing?
http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/28/forest-service-cultural-shift-access-public-lands/

"Agency plans to streamline recreation permit process to encourage next generation to explore public lands."

"Several dozen permit holders — rock climbing, mountain biking and rafting guides, university outdoor programs, climbing clubs, inner-city outdoor groups, hunting and fishing outfitters, dude-ranch owners — cheered the proposed transformation of an agency that has caused them many headaches over the years”

Daniel H. Bryant · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 275

The article reads as if they are just streamlining the permit process.

What caught my attention:
"The agency also will invest $6 million to create an online permitting process and build a special-use database for applicants."

Spending way more than necessary.......typical gubmint.

Andy Nelson · · Fort Collins, Colorado · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 343

I was in attendance at the meeting and I'm excited about the potential changes that could come from the effort of the Outdoor Access Working Group and the folks in the USFS looking to make changes. For a long time the agency has been very slow and not responsive to permit requests for simple recreation activities that happen in areas where that same activity is being done by the public. What is new is not necessarily a regulation or rule - but guidance on how to apply existing rules in a way that speeds up the process and allows more groups to get outside.

And 6 million dollars invested in an online, streamlined, permit application process is long overdue. Considering a jet fighter costs probably over a 100 million - the cost of a new permit system for an agency as large as the USFS is paltry.

The big hurdles are changing the culture of the USFS in a way that is not top-down, but instead is shifted more by the groups and programs who are seen as partners in the process. We need to figure out ways that the new guidance can give a YES instead of a NO so that those examples can be shared across a forest or region. Leading by example so to speak. Too often, the lack of different environmental, capacity, and needs analyses have prompted permit administrators to say no to new permits - the big change is finding out "when exactly do you have to do all those analyses?" The answer I believe is "not all time"

I have more detailed documents from the USFS regarding the modernization of special uses if anyone would like - just pm me.

Clint White aka Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 158

Looks like a score for the public at the expwnse of nature. They seem to be executing a directive in a really public manner. This could be inpreface to the elections. The GOP has been trying to get Federally held lands given back to the States, a huge loss to us all as States would sell off the lands inevitably. If the Forest Service is making lands more open, the issue would be harder to press in 5 weeks when we may get Trumped upon.

One policy within a network of public spaces does amazing things for allowing us to preserve some sense of naturals land. I think it has the potential to be a good thing if we help teach the public LNT, Leave No Trace, and other basic outdoor skills. I already do these things in hopes that they begin to care about things outside their city and respecting the sad state that our ecosystems are in.

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
Andy Nelson wrote: And 6 million dollars invested in an online, streamlined, permit application process is long overdue.
I have been working with and around web hosting for about 20 years. It does not cost 6 million dollars to do this. 1 million would be a large budget for a similar website.

Faulted Geologist wrote:Looks like a score for the public at the expwnse of nature. They seem to be executing a directive in a really public manner. This could be inpreface to the elections. The GOP has been trying to get Federally held lands given back to the States, a huge loss to us all as States would sell off the lands inevitably. If the Forest Service is making lands more open, the issue would be harder to press in 5 weeks when we may get Trumped upon.
I think it is great to get more innercity and minority youth outdoors..
Clint White aka Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 158
Andy Nelson wrote:Leading by example so to speak. Too often, the lack of different environmental, capacity, and needs analyses have prompted permit administrators to say no to new permits - the big change is finding out "when exactly do you have to do all those analyses?" The answer I believe is "not all time"
First off, great response; read Andy's whole post. As for the above clip, I think these studies are important. The environmental studies should be completed for the protection of those ecosystems foremost, but also because that information would be great to compile in a site where we could learn about the resource and species interplay. We may even find sturdy places where a higher density of hairless monkeys can be achieved.

Are they taking input on completion of the directive?

Rick Blair wrote: I have been working with and around web hosting for about 20 years. It does not cost 6 million dollars to do this. 1 million would be a large budget for a similar website. I think it is great to get more innercity and minority youth outdoors..
Maybe they own infrastructure like servers and buildings instead of renting them. Also, if they are compiling info like my previous paragraph on what exists in that region or area, then the $6m could include some of the study costs. The budget could also be for the staff and helpdesk for a number of years. I think budgets typically run as an amount for a period of time.
Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
Faulted Geologist wrote: Maybe they own infrastructure like servers and buildings instead of renting them. Also, if they are compiling info like my previous paragraph on what exists in that region or area, then the $6m could include some of the study costs. The budget could also be for the staff and helpdesk for a number of years. I think budgets typically run as an amount for a period of time.
Maybe government, especially Federal and especially with IT, is very wasteful?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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