Improving Environmental Analysis and Decision Making

A picture of a Forest Service Ranger working in the field, using a shovel to make a small hole in the dirt.
Ranger working in the field on the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

The Forest Service, under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, conducts environmental analysis using the best available science and, based on the analysis and other relevant information, makes decisions to increase the diversity, health, resilience, and productivity of our national forests and grasslands. In September 2017, the Forest Service launched an agency-wide effort to improve processes associated with environmental analysis and decision making. The goals of the Environmental Analysis and Decision Making (EADM) effort is reducing the time and cost of project analysis and decision making, increasing the scale of analysis, accomplishing more work on the ground, and creatively designing new ways to care for the land.

The Forest Service has identified a number of impediments to efficient and effective implementation of work on the ground, including lengthy environmental analysis processes, staff training and skill gaps, workforce issues related to budget constraints, and the increasing costs of fire response. As the Forest Service works to improve EADM, it will continue to follow laws, regulations and policies to deliver high quality, science-based environmental analysis.

The Forest Service aims to decrease cost and increase efficiency by 20 percent and implement comprehensive national environmental analysis and decision-making improvements in 2019.

Check out some of the emerging EADM innovations and tools