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Cataloging Information


Record updated:
NRFSN number: 18896

Risk in the Forest Service.  There is risk in everything we do. Risks taken to do our jobs are evaluated individually and collectively multiple times every day. Some actions we take to control risk require very little thought and are based on habit and collective knowledge. An example could be putting on a seat belt before we drive or ride in a vehicle. It takes very little thought and in many cases is instinctual, but that single action may have a significant impact in reducing the severity of the outcome to you and others in a vehicle in the event of an accident.

Other actions we take require a concerted thought process to identify potential hazards and implement risk controls and mitigations. By employing an operational risk management process we ensure that the actions taken on a daily basis result in the best possible outcome for our agency, the land we manage, our employees, our partners, and our public.

In a 2016 video, We Are the Forest Service, Forest Service employees describe their careers in the agency. It is interesting to think about how differently we manage risk. While watching this video and in the context of risk management a question may come to mind; how does the way a wildland firefighter manage risk compare to a fisheries biologist or an international program specialist or an information technology specialist or a regional forester? Regardless of how different occupations manage risk, by using an established process all employees will ensure consistency, thoughtful reflection, and dialogue before implementing plans.

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