Definitions of the special terms used in this subpart are set out in alphabetical order in this section as follows:
Adaptive management: An approach to natural resource management wherein the effects of policies, plans, and actions are monitored for the purpose of learning and adjusting future management actions. Successive iteration of the adaptive process is essential in contributing to sustainability.
Assessment or analysis area: The geographic area included within the scope of a broad-scale assessment or local analysis.
Candidate species: Species identified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which are considered to be candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act as published in the Federal Register.
Conservation agreement: A formal agreement between the Forest Service and the USFWS and/or NMFS identifying management actions necessary to prevent the need to list species under the Endangered Species Act.
Current climatic period: The period of time since establishment of the modern major vegetation types, which typically encompass the late Holocene Epoch including the present, including likely climatic conditions within the planning period. The climatic period is typically centuries to millennia in length, a period of time that is long enough to encompass the variability that species and ecosystems have experienced.
Desired condition: A statement describing a common vision for a specific area of land or type of land within the plan area. Statements of desired conditions should include the estimated time required for their achievement.
Desired non-native species: Those species of plants or animals which are not indigenous to an area but valued for their contribution to species diversity or their high social, cultural or economic value.
Disturbance regime: Actions, functions, or events that influence or maintain the structure, composition, or function of terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems. Natural disturbances include, among others, drought, floods, wind, fires, insects, and pathogens. Human-caused disturbances include actions such as recreational use, livestock grazing, mining, road construction, timber harvest, and the introduction of exotic species.
Diversity of plant and animal communities: The distribution and relative abundance of plant and animal communities and their component species occurring within an area.
Ecological conditions: Components of the biological and physical environment that can affect the diversity of plant and animal communities, including species viability, and the productive capacity of ecological systems. These could include the abundance and distribution of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, roads and other structural developments, human uses, and invasive and exotic species.
Ecological sustainability: The maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of ecosystems including the diversity of plant and animal communities and the productive capacity of ecological systems.
Ecosystem composition: The plant and animal species and communities in the plan area.
Ecosystem processes: Ecological functions such as photosynthesis, energy flow, nutrient cycling, water movement, disturbance, and succession.
Ecosystem structure: The biological and physical attributes that characterize ecological systems.
Focal species: Focal species are surrogate measures used in the evaluation of ecological sustainability, including species and ecosystem diversity. The key characteristic of a focal species is that its status and trend provide insights to the integrity of the larger ecological system to which it belongs. Individual species, or groups of species that use habitat in similar ways or which perform similar ecological functions, may be identified as focal species. Focal species serve an umbrella function in terms of encompassing habitats needed for many other species, play a key role in maintaining community structure or processes, are sensitive to the changes likely to occur in the area, or otherwise serve as an indicator of ecological sustainability. Certain focal species may be used as surrogates to represent ecological conditions that provide for viability of some other species, rather than directly representing the population dynamics of those other species.
Forest Service NEPA procedures: The Forest Service policy and procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR chapter V) as described in Chapter 1950 of the Forest Service Manual and Forest Service Handbook 1909.15, Environmental Policy and Procedures Handbook (See 36 CFR 200.4 for availability).
Inherently rare species: A species is inherently rare if it occurs in only a limited number of locations, has low population numbers, or has both limited occurrences and low population numbers, and those conditions are natural characteristics of the life history and ecology of the species and not primarily the result of human disturbance.
Inventoried roadless areas: Areas are identified in a set of inventoried roadless area maps, contained in Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation, Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Volume 2, dated May 2000, which are held at the National headquarters office of the Forest Service, or any subsequent update or revision of those maps.
Major vegetation types: Plant communities, which are typically named after dominant plant species that are characteristic of the macroclimate and geology of the region or sub-region.
Native species: Species of the plant and animal kingdom indigenous to the plan area or assessment area.
Plan area: The geographic area of National Forest System lands covered by an individual land and resource management plan. The area may include one or more administrative units.
Productive capacity of ecological systems: The ability of an ecosystem to maintain primary productivity including its ability to sustain desirable conditions such as clean water, fertile soil, riparian habitat, and the diversity of plant and animal species; to sustain desirable human uses; and to renew itself following disturbance.
Range of variability: The expected range of variation in ecosystem composition, and structure that would be expected under natural disturbance regimes in the current climatic period. These regimes include the type, frequency, severity, and magnitude of disturbance in the absence of fire suppression and extensive commodity extraction.
Reference landscapes: Places identified in the plan area where the conditions and trends of ecosystem composition, structure, and processes are deemed useful for setting objectives for desired conditions and for judging the effectiveness of plan decisions.
Responsible official: The officer with the authority and responsibility to oversee the planning process and make decisions on proposed actions.
Reviewing officer: The supervisor of the responsible official.
Social and economic sustainability: Meeting the economic, social, aesthetic, and cultural needs and desires of current generations without reducing the capacity of the environment to provide for the needs and desires of future generations, considering both local communities and the nation as a whole. It also involves the capacity of citizens to communicate effectively with each other and to make sound choices about their environment.
Species: Any member of the animal or plant kingdom that is described as a species in a peer-reviewed scientific publication and is identified as a species by the responsible official pursuant to a plan decision, and must include all species listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened, endangered, candidate, or proposed for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service.
Species-at-risk: Federally listed endangered, threatened, candidate, and proposed species and other species for which loss of viability, including reduction in distribution or abundance, is a concern within the plan area. Other species-at-risk may include sensitive species and state listed species. A species-at-risk also may be selected as a focal species.
Species viability: A species consisting of self-sustaining and interacting populations that are well distributed through the species' range. Self-sustaining populations are those that are sufficiently abundant and have sufficient diversity to display the array of life history strategies and forms to provide for their long-term persistence and adaptability over time.
Successional stages: The different structural and compositional phases of vegetation development of forests and grasslands that occur over time following disturbances that kill, remove, or reduce vegetation and include the major developmental or seral stages that occur within a particular environment.
Timber production: The sustained long-term and periodic harvest of wood fiber from National Forest System lands undertaken in support of social and economic objectives identified in one or more land and resource management plans. For purposes of this regulation, the term timber production includes fuel wood.
Undeveloped areas: Areas, including but not limited to inventoried roadless areas and unroaded areas, within national forests or grasslands that are of sufficient size and generally untrammeled by human activities such that they are appropriate for consideration for wilderness designation in the planning process.
Unroaded areas: Any area, without the presence of a classified road, of a size and configuration sufficient to protect the inherent characteristics associated with its roadless condition. Unroaded areas do not overlap with inventoried roadless areas.