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National Direction (of the US Forest Service)
Statements of missions, goals, policy, and objectives that guide National Forest System. All National Forest lands reserved or withdrawn from the public domain of the United States, all National Forest lands acquired through purchase, exchange, donation, or other means, the National Grasslands and land utilization projects administered under Title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (50 Stat. 525, 7 U.S.C. 1010-1012), the Midewin Tallgrass Prairie, and other lands, waters, or interests therein which are administered by the Forest Service or are Designated for administration through the Forest Service as a part of the system (16 U.S.C. 1608).

National Economic Development
One of the two main objectives of planning for water and related land resources by Federal agencies the activities of which involve planning and development of water resources, as contained in the Water Resources Council Principles and Standards. "National economic development" reflects increases in the Nation's productive output, an output that is partly reflected in a national product and income accounting framework to measure the continuing flow of goods and services into direct consumption or investment. National economic development is affected by beneficial and adverse externalities stemming from normal economic production and consumption, imperfect market conditions, and changes in productivity of resource inputs due to investment. Development as defined in these procedures is only partially reflected in the gross national product (GNP) and national income accounting framework.
National Economic Effects
Effects of an action or inaction on dollar market transactions in the Nation as a whole. These include both aggregation of microeconomic effects (individual product, industry or sector effects) and macroeconomic effects (money supply, inflation, and total economic growth effects).
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (P.L. 91-190; 83 Stat. 852; 42 U.S.C. 4321, 4331-4335, 4341-4347)
An act to declare a National policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between people and their environment, to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of people, to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
National Fire Management Analysis System (NFMAS)
A broad process to assist fire managers in fulfilling their planning and analysis roles. The system consists of (1) fire management analysis, and (2) budget analysis.
National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan
A plan developed to meet the requirements of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 and subsequent amendments, that guides all natural resource management activities and establishes management activities, standards, and guidelines for the National Forest System lands of a given National Forest.
National Forest Management Act (NFMA)
A law passed in 1976 amending the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act that requires Regional and Forest Plans be prepared along with regulations to guide the development.
National Forest System
The National Forest System consists of units of Federally owned forest, range, and related lands throughout the United States and its territories, united into a nationally significant system dedicated to the long-term benefit for present and future generations. The National Forest System includes all National Forest lands reserved or withdrawn from the public domain of the United States, all National Forest lands acquired through purchase, exchange, donation, or other means, the National Grasslands and land utilization projects administered under Title 111 of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (50 Stat. 525, 7 U.S.C. 1010-1012), and other lands, waters, or interests therein which are administered by the Forest Service or are Designated for administration through the Forest Service as a part of the system. The System includes State and Private Forestry programs as well as the research and administrative functions.
National Historic Landmark
The Historic Sites Act of 1935 authorized Designation of areas of major National historic and cultural significance as "National Historic Landmarks". The U.S. National Park Service administers the "National Historic Landmark" program. Designation as a "National Historic Landmark" makes management of the resource for its historic values the dominant objective. The landowner or manager must request that a property be considered for "Landmark" Designation. It will not be placed on the Register of Historic Landmarks without that owner's involvement and concurrence in the decision.
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 915)
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 declares a National policy of historic preservation (defined in the Act as "the protection, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, or culture"), including encouraging preservation on the state and private levels; expanding the National Register of Historic Places to include cultural resources of state and local as well as National significance; authorizing matching Federal grants to states and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for acquiring and rehabilitating National Register properties; establishing an Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and providing procedures in Section 106 for Federal agencies to follow in the event a proposal may affect a National Register property.
National Register of Historic Places
A list (maintained by the U.S. National Park Service) of areas which have been Designated as being of historical significance. The Register includes places of local and state significance as well as those of value to the Nation as a whole. The Register is a National inventory of our historical resources, providing an idea of the total size of this resource base. The "National Register of Historic Places" is separate and distinct from the National Historic Landmarks program, although the latter are routinely entered in the Register to afford them the additional protection of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 which is not given by the Historic Sites Act of 1935. Federal funds may not be expended on any project which will affect any site or object listed on the Register without first affording the Advisory Council an opportunity to comment.
National Registry of Natural Landmarks
A register of areas possessing such exceptional values or qualities for illustrating or interpreting the natural heritage of the Nation that they are considered to be of National significance. To possess National significance, such an area must be a true, accurate, essentially unspoiled example of nature. The legislative authority for the Natural Landmarks Program stems from the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935 (49 Stat. 666, 16 U.S.C. 641). The "Register of National Natural Landmarks" was established in 1963 and later renamed in 1965 to the "National Registry of Natural Landmarks," The Natural Landmark program does not have the protection features of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Thus, Designation of a National Natural Landmark presently constitutes only an agreement with the owner to preserve, insofar as possible, the significant natural values of the site or area. Administration and preservation of Natural Landmarks is solely the owner's responsibility. Either party may terminate the agreement after they notify the other.
National Trails System Act (82 Stat. 919; 16 U.S.C. 1241-1249)
Institutes a national system of recreation and scenic trails. Designates the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail as the initial components of that system and prescribes the methods by which, and standards according to which, additional components may be added to the systems. Additional Trails should be established primarily near urban areas and secondarily within established, more remotely located scenic areas.
Native Bacteria
Bacteria indigenous to natural water bodies.
Native Organism
Animals or plants that originated in the area in which they are found, i.e., were not introduced and naturally occur in that area.
Native Species
(1)Those plants and animal species indigenous to the plan area or assessment area.(USFS 1999); (2) Species indigenous to an area of analysis (USFS 2005)
Native Trout
A naturally reproducing population or individual brook trout fish.
Native Trout Stream
A stream that contains a population of naturally reproducing brook trout.
Natural Appearing
A landscape that appears to have evolved to its present condition as a result of the forces of nature. Human-made changes are present, but appear to be the result of natural change.
Natural Area Preserve (Natural Reserve, Natural Area, Research Natural Area)
An area which retains a natural or relatively natural conditions and exemplifies typical or unique vegetation and associated biotic, soil, geologic and aquatic features. The unit is maintained in natural conditions by allowing physical and biological processes to operate, usually without direct human intervention. Within it, wild parks, sanctuaries, refuges or wilderness can be Designated.
Natural Area, Research (Nature Reserve, Natural Area Preserve)
An area Designated by a public or private agency specifically to preserve a representative sample of an ecological community, primarily for scientific and educational purposes. Commercial exploitation is ordinarily not allowed and general public use is discouraged. Where the vegetation in the Natural Area is not of a stable, climax type, management measures may be taken to keep it at its present state, i.e., prescribed burning or controlled grazing to conserve certain floral and/or faunal characteristics. Research and study that is nondestructive and consistent with the purpose for which such an area has been established is encouraged. The general public may be excluded or restricted where necessary to protect studies or preserve these areas. U.S. Forest Service usage. Designated areas representing as many as possible of the major, natural timber types or other plant communities in unmodified condition. Other forest or range conditions that have special or unique characteristics of scientific or educational interest, such as examples of grass or timber types near the limits of their environmental range, unique bog associations, or unusual combinations of flora may also be set aside. To qualify as a Natural Area Preserve, a site should be under protection, usually by a nonprofit agency or a Government agency. To whatever extent is feasible, animal life should also be present in unmodified condition. Research Natural Areas should be large enough to provide essentially un-modified conditions in their interior portions -- usually over 300 acres. Exceptions to the usual minimum of 300 acres should be limited to truly outstanding cases. Research on Natural Areas is nondestructive in nature.
Natural Forest
The condition of a forest environment at any point in time, including its associated plant and animal communities, which has been reached essentially through the process of natural disturbance regimes (catastrophic occurrences) and natural ecological succession.
Natural Hazard (Environmental Hazard)
Those elements in the physical environment, harmful to people and caused by forces extraneous to them.
Natural Hazard Lands
Areas where uncontrolled or incompatible development could unreasonably endanger life and property. These lands include flood plains and areas frequently subject to weather disasters, areas of unstable geological, ice, or snow formations, and areas with high seismic or volcanic activity.
Natural History Resource
Natural phenomena which reference the development of the Earth's surface and the evolution of life. Two interrelated categories of natural features are recognized: (1) the geological category, with results from forces and processes acting on the Earth's surface to produce land forms and other nonliving entities; and (2) the ecological category, with living entities and processes between biological forms and their environments.
Natural Regeneration
Naturally establishing a new crop of trees on an area following timber harvest by seed fall from trees left for that purpose, by hardwoods sprouting from roots or stumps, or by seed or seedlings already in place.
Natural Resource
A feature of the natural environment about what choices must be made that is of use and value in serving human needs. It need not be possessable to be an object of choice. These are things such as air, water, sunshine, wild animals, or wild vegetation. The term "natural resources" may also encompass the substances, forces, conditions, relationships, and other aspects of nature which are transformed by people and underlie, shape, or affect that complex mixture of natural and cultural landscapes which constitute the environment.
Natural Selection
A process (with respect to a particular trait) in which, if , a population has (a) variation, (b) fitness, and (c) a heritable component, then the distribution of the trait will differ among life history stages, and if the population is not in equilibrium, the trait distribution will differ between parents and off spring more than would be expected from conditions a and c. (from John Endler Natural Selection in the Wild)
Natural Vegetation
The vegetation condition and/or species composition native to an area prior to it being modified by people. Little existing vegetation is unmodified by people's activities either directly (i.e., burning or cutting) or indirectly (i.e., introducing grazing animals or exotic plants). The current tendency is to call all vegetation not deliberately managed or controlled by farming activities "natural vegetation" or to use the term "semi-natural." The phrase rarely includes the mosses, lichen, algae, etc.
NAWDEX - Nation Water Data Exchange
A national confederation of organizations working together to improve access to water data. Its primary objective is to assist users of water data in identifying, locating, and acquiring needed data. The central management and coordination of NAWDEX located within the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia.
NCIC - National Cartographic Information Center of the National Mapping Division, U.S. Geological Survey
This center services the cartographic data user in three ways: collects information on cartographic data available for Federal, State, and private organizations; collects information on the acquisition plans of these organizations; and processes orders for data.
Need for Change
(US Forest Service 2005) A finding by the Responsible Official that there is a need to modify plan components through a review of new issues and information, monitoring and evaluation results, and changes in law or regulation.
The fundamental motivations and requirements of people, not to be confused with "wants" or "desires". The distinction between "needs" and "wants" becomes subject to debate beyond the minimal levels of basics such as food, clothing, shelter, drinkable water, and breathable air. Items that most Americans would consider necessities of life may be useless extravagances to other cultures. Psychological studies have indicated that conditions that should have no effect on the body may be necessities for maintaining mental health, and therefore physical health and productivity.
Negative Declaration Statement (Negative Declaration)
A finding that a proposed action on the land does not constitute a major Federal, state, or local agency action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and therefore does not require an environmental impact statement.
The whole group of macroscopic aquatic animals that swim actively and may move long distances for feeding or breeding. Aquatic organisms that are carried passively by water currents or the wind are termed plankton and those that dwell on the bottom benthos.
Neoteric Area
Sites and areas which contain outstanding examples of people's modern culture which will likely become historic properties in the future.
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Act requiring complete analysis of actions that have a significant or major impact on the environment
The behaviors of adult animals leading up to nest building and egg laying through departure of young from the nest.
Net Public Benefit
The overall long-term value to the nation of all goods and services, outputs, and positive effects (benefits) less all associated inputs and negative effects (costs) whether they can be quantitatively valued or not. Net public benefits are measured by both quantitative and qualitative criteria rather than a single measure and index.
Net Value Change (Also Net Resource Value Change)
The sum of the changes resulting from increases (benefits) and decreases (damages) in the value of outputs from the land area, e.g., the consequences of fire or flood.
Net Worth
Net monetary value.
National Forest Management Act of 1976.
A place or position of life suitable for the capabilities or merits of an organism or qualities of a thing. A site or habitat supplying the factors characteristically necessary for the successful existence of an organism or species. An "ecological niche" is the role of an organism in an ecological community, involving especially its way of life and its effect on the environment, as through its relations to other biotic and abiotic factors. It also may mean where it lives, what it does (how it transforms energy, behaves, responds to and modifies its physical and biotic environment), and how it is constrained by other species. By analogy, it may be said that the habitat is the organism's "address," and the niche is its "profession." The "ecological niche" can be subdivided into a "trophic niche" and a "multidimensional niche or hypervolume." (1) "Trophic niche" is the feeding role or position of an organism in a biotic community - e.g., producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, detritivore, etc. (2) The "Multidimensional niche or hypervolume" is an organism's position within a volume described by environmental gradients, such as temperature, moisture, pH, and soil factors. (3)The Forest's, Grassland's, or Prairie's (units of the US Forest Service) role in contributing to social, economic,and ecological sustainability.
Nitrogen Cycle
The sequence of biochemical changes undergone by nitrogen, wherein it is used by a living organism, liberated upon the death and decomposition of the organism, and converted to its original state of oxidation.
No Action Alternative
An alternative in a plan representing the condition expected to exist in the future if current management direction continues unchanged. Also referred to as the "current program."
Non-Substantive Changes
A modification to the plan (US Forest Service, 2005) that does not appreciably change plan components (e.g.,desired conditions, objectives, guidelines).
No Surface Occupancy
The prohibition against locating well sites, evaporation ponds, pits, tank batteries, and other oil and gas production facilities on a certain tract of land. Access roads and gas transmission pipelines may be located on a "no surface occupancy" area if other resource management activities would not be prohibited from similar types of development and the impacts can be mitigated.
No Surface Occupancy Stipulation
When included in an oil and gas lease, a condition that prohibits using the applicable land surface for access roads, drilling sites, etc.
Vibrations (sound) that lack agreeable quality, are noticeably loud, harsh, or discordant.
Noise Pollution
The addition of energy in the form of sound to the environment beyond what would naturally occur. The degree of pollution is measured in terms of intensity, duration, frequency of occurrence, and sound frequency (wavelength or pitch) and the extent to which it interferes with the enjoyment of life or property.
Non-Commercial Cutting
A cutting which does not yield a net income, usually because the trees cut are too small, are of poor quality, or are not marketable.
Non-Forest Acres
Areas in roads, rights-of-way for utilities, special-use areas, wildlife openings, lakes, etc.
Non-Forest Land
Lands never having or incapable of having 10 percent or more of the area occupied by forest trees, or lands previously having such cover and currently developed for non-forest use. Land where timber utilization is precluded for other uses. Includes areas used for crops, improved pasture, residential areas, improved roads of any width and adjoining clearings, and power line clearings of any width. If intermingled in forest areas, unimproved roads and non-forest strips must be more than 120 feet wide, and clearing more than one acre in size to qualify as non-forest land.
Non-Point Source Pollution
Pollution, the source of which is general rather than specific in origin (e.g., sediment from road construction, logging operations, or bacteria from swimming areas).
Non-Consumptive Use
Using a resource in a way that does not reduce the supply, such as many types of recreation.
Non-Consumptive Wildlife
All wild creatures (rarely plants) not taken by people for sport, food, or profit.
Non-Industrial Private Forest Land (NIPE)
Forest land owned by a private individual, group, or corporation not involved in wood processing.
Non-Market Values
Estimated values for goods and services valued in terms of what reasonable people should be willing to pay rather than go without the good or service but not traded in dollars and cents, e.g., fish and wildlife values, scenic quality values.
Non-chargeable Volume
All wood volume that is not included in the growth and yield projects for the selected management prescriptions used to arrive at the allowable sale quantity.
Non-declining Yield
A level of timber production planned so that the planned sale and harvest for any future decade is equal to or greater than the planned sale and harvest for the preceding period, usually a decade.
Non-Game Species
Animal species that are not usually hunted or may not be hunted in a state. This classification is determined by the State Legislature.
Non-Persistent Pesticide
A pesticide the harmful effects of which are of relatively short duration and, therefore, do not normally contaminate the environment for long periods after application. Phosphate-based Malathion is an example of a non-persistent pesticide.
Non-Point Source Pollution
Pollution arising from all ill-defined and diffuse source, such as runoff from cultivated fields, grazing land, or urban areas.
Non-Renewable Resources
Resources the total quantity of which physical quantity does not increase significantly with time. Thus, with the total initial supply being limited in quantity, each use must diminish the total stock. Long before a given resource is physically used up, it may be "exhausted" in the sense that further utilization is indefinitely discontinued because the costs of producing any possible quantity of this resource are larger than the revenue that could be obtained. The economic concept of resource exhaustibility typically only applies to commodity type resources because biological, location, and amenity type resources can be physically (by extinction or site occupancy) or conceptually (alteration of primeval wilderness conditions) exhausted.
Non-selected Roadless Area
A roadless or undeveloped portion of a National Forest greater than 5,000 acres (or smaller than 5,000 acres but contiguous to Designated wilderness or primitive areas) which, after administrative review, has been deleted from consideration for inclusion in a wilderness area system.
Non-structural Range Improvement
A modification of existing vegetation to improve the grazing resource. Examples are spraying or plowing sagebrush and seeding the treated area to grass.
An ideal standard of conduct or ethical value binding upon the members of a group which serves to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior.
Of, relating to, or dealing with norms, i.e., the standards of conduct or ethical value that are binding upon the members of a group and serve to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior. Normative variations exist even in a relatively stable culture. These variations are due to the generalized nature of norms relative to specific social situations and to the variations in their perception and interpretation by individuals. Moreover, in societies such as the United States, where structure manifests sub-cultural variations, ambiguities and variations about the meaning of norms are to be expected. Norms are external to the individual to the extent that normative definitions exist in the reality defined by a particular culture, which may pre-exist his or her being. There is a hierarchy of such definitions of "right and wrong". These are traditionally identified as "folkways", mores, and laws.
No Till; Zero Till
Planting a crop without prior seedbed preparation into sod, crop residue, or an existing cover crop and eliminating subsequent tillage operations.
Noxious Species
An undesirable plant species that is unwholesome to range or animals. (Not to be confused with species declared noxious by certain laws.)
Noxious Weed
A noxious, destructive, or troublesome plant when found to be in epidemic proportions and of negative economic importance.
Nursery Areas
Areas (early summer range) used by a temporary big game social unit consisting of cows and young calves.
Nutritive Value
Relative capacity of a forage to furnish nutrition for animals.

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Last revision January 17, 2000.