The Forest Service has released its Open Space Conservation Strategy. The strategy charts a path forward for the Forest Service to work in partnership with states, local governments, landowners, and non-profit organizations to address the loss of open space threat. The strategy provides a framework to strengthen and focus existing and new Forest Service conservation actions across the agency.
- Review the results of a survey of Forest Service planners and district rangers on providing input to local community development plans.
- Download a copy of the Open Space Conservation Strategy [pdf].
- Read the press release announcing the Open Space Conservation Strategy.
- Read an overview of the strategy in our Open Space Conservation Strategy Highlights [pdf] brouchure.
The Open Space Conservation Strategy is the product of extensive public input, with over 22,000 comments received. We first asked for ideas late last year with a public comment period and three round table listening sessions. Those ideas were used to develop a Draft Open Space Conservation Strategy that was sent out for public review this summer. The result of this cooperative approach is that the public and our partners are overwhelmingly supportive of the Strategy.
The Four priorities of the Strategy that will guide future Forest Service actions to conserve open space are to 1) Convene partners to identify and protect priority open space; 2) Promote national policies and markets to help private landowners conserve open space; 3) Provide resources and tools to help communities expand and connect open spaces; and 4) Participate in community growth planning to reduce ecological impacts and wildfire risks.
Our vision for the 21st century is an interconnected network of open space across the landscape that supports healthy ecosystems and a high quality of life for Americans. The Strategy emphasizes collaborative approaches and partnerships to achieve this vision. Of course, the Forest Service will work with willing landowners, states, and local governments to promote voluntary land conservation. The Forest Service is only one stakeholder among many dedicated landowners, governments, and organizations working to conserve open space across the country. The next step is implementation – which will occur at the national, regional, and local levels of the agency as we work together to conserve open space across the landscape.
Follow these links for more information on the Open Space Conservation Strategy.
- Frequently Asked Questions – Get answers to some frequently asked questions about the loss of open space and the Forest Service's Open Space Conservation Strategy.
- Summary of Public Comments – The Open Space Conservation Strategy was developed with substantial input from the public, employees, and partners through two public comment periods, three listening sessions, and multiple Forest Service reviews. View summaries of the comments on this page.
- Team Members – A diverse group of Forest Service employees from across the country contributed to the Open Space Conservation Strategy.
- Submit Comments – Although the formal comment period has ended, this page describes how you can share your thoughts on the Open Space Conservation Strategy. It also contains all the Federal Register Notices from November & December 2006 and June 2007.