Request for Information (RFI) Regarding Involving the Public in the Formulation of Forest Service Directives

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Business Operations, Office of Regulatory and Management Services (ORMS) is preparing to revise a portion of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) governing public participation requirements and procedures related to the issuance or revision of internal Agency directives. The Forest Service is committed to ensuring that a broad and representative cross-section of the interested public is provided advance notice and a full and fair opportunity to comment upon the formulation of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. In keeping with this commitment, the Agency is interested in enhancing its public engagement and expanding its approach for public notice and comment beyond just formal rulemaking.

The Agency has identified a need to update the relevant regulations to reflect the varied media consumption patterns of key Forest Service stakeholders and the public at large. These potential regulatory revisions are also necessary to ensure that written policies align with the Agency’s current practices, which have changed to ensure compliance with recent court orders.
The Agency is hosting a webinar for all interested members of the general public to inform the public of these changes to the Forest Service’s public participation procedures. This session will include additional information on the need for these changes and the outcomes the Agency is seeking to achieve. It will also include an outline of a potential path forward and provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions, provide input, and suggest ideas.

DATES: A webinar will be held for interested members of the general public on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. ADDRESSES: The webinar will be held via Adobe Connect web conferencing software. To access the presentation, enter the following URL into any Flash-enabled web browser: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/orms/. Audio-only access is available toll-free by calling (888) 844-9904 and entering the following access code: 4909819.

 
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