36 CFR § 219.19 - Definitions.

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§ 219.19 Definitions.

Definitions of the special terms used in this subpart are set out as follows.

Alaska Native Corporation. One of the regional, urban, and village native corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

Assessment. For the purposes of this subpart, an assessment is the identification and evaluation of existing information to support land management planning. Assessments are not decisionmaking documents, but provide current information on select topics relevant to the plan area, in the context of the broader landscape.

Best management practices for water quality (BMPs). Methods, measures, or practices selected by an agency to meet its nonpoint source control needs. BMPs include but are not limited to structural and nonstructural controls and operation and maintenance procedures. BMPs can be applied before, during, and after pollution-producing activities to reduce or eliminate the introduction of pollutants into receiving waters.

Candidate species.

(1) For U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service candidate species, a species for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service possesses sufficient information on vulnerability and threats to support a proposal to list as endangered or threatened, but for which no proposed rule has yet been published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(2) For National Marine Fisheries Service candidate species, a species that is:

(i) The subject of a petition to list and for which the National Marine Fisheries Service has determined that listing may be warranted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)(A)), or

(ii) Not the subject of a petition but for which the National Marine Fisheries Service has announced in the Federal Register the initiation of a status review.

Collaboration or collaborative process. A structured manner in which a collection of people with diverse interests share knowledge, ideas, and resources while working together in an inclusive and cooperative manner toward a common purpose. Collaboration, in the context of this part, falls within the full spectrum of public engagement described in the Council on Environmental Quality's publication of October 2007: Collaboration in NEPA—A Handbook for NEPA Practitioners.

Connectivity. Ecological conditions that exist at several spatial and temporal scales that provide landscape linkages that permit the exchange of flow, sediments, and nutrients; the daily and seasonal movements of animals within home ranges; the dispersal and genetic interchange between populations; and the long-distance range shifts of species, such as in response to climate change.

Conservation. The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments, ecological communities, and species.

Conserve. For purposes of § 219.9, to protect, preserve, manage, or restore natural environments and ecological communities to potentially avoid federally listing of proposed and candidate species.

Culmination of mean annual increment of growth. See mean annual increment of growth.

Designated area. An area or feature identified and managed to maintain its unique special character or purpose. Some categories of designated areas may be designated only by statute and some categories may be established administratively in the land management planning process or by other administrative processes of the Federal executive branch. Examples of statutorily designated areas are national heritage areas, national recreational areas, national scenic trails, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness areas, and wilderness study areas. Examples of administratively designated areas are experimental forests, research natural areas, scenic byways, botanical areas, and significant caves.

Disturbance. Any relatively discrete event in time that disrupts ecosystem, watershed, community, or species population structure and/or function and changes resources, substrate availability, or the physical environment.

Disturbance regime. A description of the characteristic types of disturbance on a given landscape; the frequency, severity, and size distribution of these characteristic disturbance types; and their interactions.

Ecological conditions. The biological and physical environment that can affect the diversity of plant and animal communities, the persistence of native species, and the productive capacity of ecological systems. Ecological conditions include habitat and other influences on species and the environment. Examples of ecological conditions include the abundance and distribution of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, connectivity, roads and other structural developments, human uses, and invasive species.

Ecological integrity. The quality or condition of an ecosystem when its dominant ecological characteristics (for example, composition, structure, function, connectivity, and species composition and diversity) occur within the natural range of variation and can withstand and recover from most perturbations imposed by natural environmental dynamics or human influence.

Ecological sustainability. See sustainability.

Ecological system. See ecosystem.

Economic sustainability. See sustainability.

Ecosystem. A spatially explicit, relatively homogeneous unit of the Earth that includes all interacting organisms and elements of the abiotic environment within its boundaries. An ecosystem is commonly described in terms of its:

(1) Composition. The biological elements within the different levels of biological organization, from genes and species to communities and ecosystems.

(2) Structure. The organization and physical arrangement of biological elements such as, snags and down woody debris, vertical and horizontal distribution of vegetation, stream habitat complexity, landscape pattern, and connectivity.

(3) Function. Ecological processes that sustain composition and structure, such as energy flow, nutrient cycling and retention, soil development and retention, predation and herbivory, and natural disturbances such as wind, fire, and floods.

(4) Connectivity. (see connectivity above).

Ecosystem diversity. The variety and relative extent of ecosystems.

Ecosystem services. Benefits people obtain from ecosystems, including:

(1) Provisioning services, such as clean air and fresh water, energy, fuel, forage, fiber, and minerals;

(2) Regulating services, such as long term storage of carbon; climate regulation; water filtration, purification, and storage; soil stabilization; flood control; and disease regulation;

(3) Supporting services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, soil formation, and nutrient cycling; and

(4) Cultural services, such as educational, aesthetic, spiritual and cultural heritage values, recreational experiences, and tourism opportunities.

Environmental assessment (EA). See definition in § 219.62.

Environmental document. For the purposes of this part: an environmental assessment, environmental impact statement, finding of no significant impact, categorical exclusion, and notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

Environmental impact statement (EIS). See definition in § 219.62.

Even-aged stand. A stand of trees composed of a single age class.

Federally recognized Indian Tribe. An Indian or Alaska Native Tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian Tribe under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994, 25 U.S.C. 479a.

Focal species. A small subset of species whose status permits inference to the integrity of the larger ecological system to which it belongs and provides meaningful information regarding the effectiveness of the plan in maintaining or restoring the ecological conditions to maintain the diversity of plant and animal communities in the plan area. Focal species would be commonly selected on the basis of their functional role in ecosystems.

Forest land. Land at least 10 percent occupied by forest trees of any size or formerly having had such tree cover and not currently developed for non-forest uses. Lands developed for non-forest use include areas for crops, improved pasture, residential or administrative areas, improved roads of any width and adjoining road clearing, and power line clearings of any width.

Geographic area. A spatially contiguous land area identified within the planning area. A geographic area may overlap with a management area.

Indigenous knowledge. A body of observations, oral and written knowledge, innovations, practices, and beliefs developed by Tribes and Indigenous Peoples through interaction and experience with the environment. It is applied to phenomena across biological, physical, social, cultural, and spiritual systems. Indigenous Knowledge can be developed over millennia, continues to develop, and includes understanding based on evidence acquired through direct contact with the environment and long-term experiences, as well as extensive observations, lessons, and skills passed from generation to generation. Indigenous Knowledge is developed by Indigenous Peoples including, but not limited to, Tribal Nations, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Each Tribe or Indigenous community has its own place-based body of knowledge that may overlap with that of other Tribes. Indigenous Knowledge is based in ethical foundations often grounded in social, spiritual, cultural, and natural systems that are frequently intertwined and inseparable, offering a holistic perspective. Indigenous Knowledge is inherently heterogeneous due to the cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic differences from which it is derived, and is shaped by the Indigenous Peoples' understanding of their history and the surrounding environment. Indigenous Knowledge is unique to each group of Indigenous Peoples and each may elect to utilize different terminology or express it in different ways. Indigenous Knowledge is deeply connected to the Indigenous Peoples holding that knowledge.

Inherent capability of the plan area. The ecological capacity or ecological potential of an area characterized by the interrelationship of its physical elements, its climatic regime, and natural disturbances.

Integrated resource management. Multiple use management that recognizes the interdependence of ecological resources and is based on the need for integrated consideration of ecological, social, and economic factors.

Landscape. A defined area irrespective of ownership or other artificial boundaries, such as a spatial mosaic of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, landforms, and plant communities, repeated in similar form throughout such a defined area.

Maintain. In reference to an ecological condition: To keep in existence or continuance of the desired ecological condition in terms of its desired composition, structure, and processes. Depending upon the circumstance, ecological conditions may be maintained by active or passive management or both.

Management area. A land area identified within the planning area that has the same set of applicable plan components. A management area does not have to be spatially contiguous.

Management system. For purposes of this subpart, a timber management system including even-aged management and uneven-aged management.

Mean annual increment of growth and culmination of mean annual increment of growth. Mean annual increment of growth is the total increment of increase of volume of a stand (standing crop plus thinnings) up to a given age divided by that age. Culmination of mean annual increment of growth is the age in the growth cycle of an even-aged stand at which the average annual rate of increase of volume is at a maximum. In land management plans, mean annual increment is expressed in cubic measure and is based on the expected growth of stands, according to intensities and utilization guidelines in the plan.

Monitoring. A systematic process of collecting information to evaluate effects of actions or changes in conditions or relationships.

Multiple use. The management of all the various renewable surface resources of the NFS so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; that some land will be used for less than all of the resources; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources, each with the other, without impairment of the productivity of the land, with consideration being given to the relative values of the various resources, and not necessarily the combination of uses that will give the greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output, consistent with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528-531).

National Forest System. See definition in § 219.62.

Native species. An organism that was historically or is present in a particular ecosystem as a result of natural migratory or evolutionary processes; and not as a result of an accidental or deliberate introduction into that ecosystem. An organism's presence and evolution (adaptation) in an area are determined by climate, soil, and other biotic and abiotic factors.

Newspaper(s) of record. See definition in § 219.62.

Objection. See definition in § 219.62.

Online. See definition in § 219.62.

Participation. Activities that include a wide range of public involvement tools and processes, such as collaboration, public meetings, open houses, workshops, and comment periods.

Persistence. Continued existence.

Plan area. The NFS lands covered by a plan.

Plan or land management plan. A document or set of documents that provide management direction for an administrative unit of the NFS developed under the requirements of this part or a prior planning rule.

Plant and animal community. A naturally occurring assemblage of plant and animal species living within a defined area or habitat.

Productivity. The capacity of NFS lands and their ecological systems to provide the various renewable resources in certain amounts in perpetuity. For the purposes of this subpart, productivity is an ecological term, not an economic term.

Project. An organized effort to achieve an outcome on NFS lands identified by location, tasks, outputs, effects, times, and responsibilities for execution.

Proposed Species. Any species of fish, wildlife, or plant that is proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Federal Register to be listed under Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act.

Recovery. For the purposes of this subpart, and with respect to threatened or endangered species: The improvement in the status of a listed species to the point at which listing as federally endangered or threatened is no longer appropriate.

Recreation. See Sustainable recreation.

Recreation opportunity. An opportunity to participate in a specific recreation activity in a particular recreation setting to enjoy desired recreation experiences and other benefits that accrue. Recreation opportunities include non-motorized, motorized, developed, and dispersed recreation on land, water, and in the air.

Recreation setting. The social, managerial, and physical attributes of a place that, when combined, provide a distinct set of recreation opportunities. The Forest Service uses the recreation opportunity spectrum to define recreation settings and categorize them into six distinct classes: primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized, semi-primitive motorized, roaded natural, rural, and urban.

Responsible official. See definition in § 219.62.

Restoration. The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Ecological restoration focuses on reestablishing the composition, structure, pattern, and ecological processes necessary to facilitate terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems sustainability, resilience, and health under current and future conditions.

Restore. To renew by the process of restoration (see restoration).

Riparian Areas. Three-dimensional ecotones of interaction that include terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that extend down into the groundwater, up above the canopy, outward across the floodplain, up the near-slopes that drain to the water, laterally into the terrestrial ecosystem, and along the water course at variable widths.

Riparian management zone. Portions of a watershed where riparian-dependent resources receive primary emphasis, and for which plans include plan components to maintain or restore riparian functions and ecological functions.

Risk. A combination of the likelihood that a negative outcome will occur and the severity of the subsequent negative consequences.

Scenic character. A combination of the physical, biological, and cultural images that gives an area its scenic identity and contributes to its sense of place. Scenic character provides a frame of reference from which to determine scenic attractiveness and to measure scenic integrity.

Social sustainability. See sustainability.

Sole source aquifer. Underground water supply designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the “sole or principle” source of drinking water for an area as established under section 1424(e) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h-3(e)).

Source water protection areas. The area delineated by a State or Tribe for a public water system (PWS) or including numerous PWSs, whether the source is ground water or surface water or both, as part of a State or tribal source water assessment and protection program (SWAP) approved by the Environmental Protection Agency under section 1453 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h-3(e)).

Stressors. For the purposes of this subpart: Factors that may directly or indirectly degrade or impair ecosystem composition, structure or ecological process in a manner that may impair its ecological integrity, such as an invasive species, loss of connectivity, or the disruption of a natural disturbance regime.

Sustainability. The capability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For purposes of this part, “ecological sustainability” refers to the capability of ecosystems to maintain ecological integrity; “economic sustainability” refers to the capability of society to produce and consume or otherwise benefit from goods and services including contributions to jobs and market and nonmarket benefits; and “social sustainability” refers to the capability of society to support the network of relationships, traditions, culture, and activities that connect people to the land and to one another, and support vibrant communities.

Sustainable recreation. The set of recreation settings and opportunities on the National Forest System that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable for present and future generations.

Timber harvest. The removal of trees for wood fiber use and other multiple-use purposes.

Timber production. The purposeful growing, tending, harvesting, and regeneration of regulated crops of trees to be cut into logs, bolts, or other round sections for industrial or consumer use.

Viable population. A population of a species that continues to persist over the long term with sufficient distribution to be resilient and adaptable to stressors and likely future environments.

Watershed. A region or land area drained by a single stream, river, or drainage network; a drainage basin.

Watershed condition. The state of a watershed based on physical and biogeochemical characteristics and processes.

Wild and scenic river. A river designated by Congress as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System that was established in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (16 U.S.C. 1271 (note), 1271-1287).

Wilderness. Any area of land designated by Congress as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System that was established in the Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C. 1131-1136).

[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44145, July 27, 2012; 89 FR 37137, May 6, 2024]