Recreation Site - Facility Master Planning (RS-FMP)
Natural Resource Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs
The Recreation Site - Facility Master Planning (RS-FMP) is a U.S. Forest Service process of national scope with local forest emphasis. Each national forest will use this process to create a 5-year proposed "Program of Work" to better manage and improve the quality of our recreation sites. All forests are scheduled to complete this initial phase of the RS-FMP process by the end of 2007.
RS-FMP is an administrative process for evaluating existing developed recreation facilities and projecting future management of them. Preliminary RS-FMP results have increased public interest and media attention, particularly in the western United States. Questions have been raised about the level and timing of public participation throughout the process. As a response to this increased scrutiny, a comprehensive public participation review was initiated by Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth in late January 2007. The report documents the findings and recommendations of the Review Team completed on March 30, 2007. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/rsfmp/2300-rsfmp-rev-team-report-05-16-2007.pdf
What Is RSFMP?
RS-FMP is an analysis tool developed nationally to help forests align their developed recreation sites with the unique characteristics of the forest, projected recreation demand, visitor expectations, and revenue. National forests across the country are undertaking this process. RS-FMP is driven by four strategic goals:
1. Provide recreation opportunities best suited for the national forest;
2. Operate and maintain recreation sites to meet national quality standards;
3. Eliminate/reduce recreation-site deferred maintenance.
4. Enhance recreation experiences.
A seven-step process is used to evaluate and prioritize sites for action. The results are contained in a proposed 5-year program of work. Public feedback is sought to ensure that these actions are sound and responsive to visitor needs. Annually, phases of the program of work are implemented; additional public participation is conducted at that time.
Seven Step Process
The RS-FMP process involves seven steps, each bringing the Forest's developed recreation sites in closer alignment with its unique characteristics, projected demand, visitor expectations and available revenue.
STEP 1: Prepare Site Data
Update and complete recreation site data for the Forest's developed sites, to provide information needed to make recreation management decisions for those sites.
STEP 2: Develop Recreation Niche for the Forest
Identify the recreation program “Niche,” or vision for the Forest, based on public desires and the unique characteristics of the forest. The Niche will help guide management of the Forest recreation program for the coming decade.
STEP 3: Identify Operational Efficiencies
Recreation sites are examined to determine if they can be operated more efficiently or reduce site management costs and uncompleted maintenance work. Proposed options to increase operational efficiency are developed for each site.
STEP 4: Rank Recreation Sites
Recreation sites are rated through evaluation of their contribution to the Forest recreation program Niche; their financial and operational efficiency; their effects on environmental sustainability; and their effects on community stability. A proposed ranking of all sites is developed based on the individual site evaluations.
STEP 5: Propose 5-year Program of Work to Stakeholders
The proposed 5-year program of work for recreation sites is prepared based upon the analysis completed in the previous four steps. Discussions with stakeholders are sought to explore alternative ways of operating sites and providing desired recreational services.
STEP 6: Finalize 5-year Proposed Program of Work
The 5-year program of work for recreation sites is refined, based upon information from stakeholders.
STEP 7: Implementation
Annually, site-specific projects are proposed to implement the 5-year program of work for recreation sites. Prior to implementation, National Environmental Policy Act and other agency coordination requirements are completed.
The Forest Service recognizes the importance of these sites and welcomes public comments and suggestions during this process. Public participation is important to ensure that the results of the RS-FMP process meet visitor needs and offer the best recreation opportunities in places important to people.
To track status of this program, check the web site for your local national forest. You will find links to all National Forests and Grasslands at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/finder.shtml
Forest recreation managers invite members of the public to work with them to identify how to best address these sites and specifically react to the proposed program of work. For more information about RS-FMP, refer to: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/rsfmp/index.shtml