U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version



Published in Transactions of the Forty-Seventh North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, ed. Kenneth Sabol (Washington, DC, 1982)


The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 (16 U .S.c. 1600) requires that each National Forest, by 1985, prepare one integrated management plan that provides for multiple use and sustained yield for goods and services (36 CFR 219). Such plans must, by inference, emphasize single resources only to the extent that thresholds or minimum legal conditions for all other resources are always provided (Clawson 1975). The goal for wildlife to be met by each forest plan is: manage wildlife habitats to maintain viable populations of all existing native vertebrate species in the planning area (the forest) and maintain and improve habitat of management indicator species (MIS) [36 CFR 219. 12(g)]. To meet this goal, wildlife habitat objectives representing threshold or minimum legal habitat conditions must be stated in forest plans to assure adequate consideration of the wildlife resource in all integrated management alternatives. Objectives representing the most desirable (optimum) habitat conditions must also be stated to provide direction for management emphasizing wildlife.