In the midst of everything else they do, the Flathead National Forest has started the process of revising their Forest Plan. According to the Forest Plan Revision web page, “Forest Plans provide strategic direction to guide management of forest resources and provide a framework for decision making on site-specific projects and activities.”
The last Forest Plan was established in 1986. They hope to have the new one in the bag by 2016. This time around, they are required to have better transparency and consultation with the public.
Anyway, as part of this effort, they are running four field trips this year, open to the general public. Here’s the meat of the press release . . .
. . . To start the collaborative process we are holding four public field trips which will each focus on subject matter important to the forest plan. On these field trips we need people to share their values and the benefits they derive from the Flathead National Forest as well as provide input to help us accurately capture the current conditions we have on the forest as they pertain to the topic of the field trip. The trips will also be an opportunity to experience the distinct geographical areas that make up our ranger districts.
We anticipate the trips to run from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM (except for August 29 which includes a stop at the Spotted Bear Ranger District with a 5:00 PM return). The trips will begin and end at the Flathead County Fairgrounds with transportation provided.
- August 8 – Forest vegetation and disturbances including fire, timber harvest, and forest products (Tally Lake Ranger District)
- August 29 – Recreation settings, opportunities and access, native knowledge, existing wilderness and scenic character (Hungry Horse/Spotted Bear Ranger Districts)
- September 12 – Terrestrial and aquatic habitats, threatened and endangered species, species of conservation concern, and invasive species (Swan Lake Ranger District)
- September 26 – Inventoried roadless areas, recommended wilderness, and wild and scenic rivers (Glacier View Ranger District)
* Social science, economics, and the role and contributions of the Flathead National Forest will be a component of each of the field trips.
The information shared and the feedback received will be used to develop and finalize the assessment, determine needs for change, and to draft a proposed plan. There will be additional opportunities to engage in the collaborative process as the plan is developed over the next few years.
Please RSVP to Wade Muehlhof (email@example.com or 406-758-5252) at least one week before the field trip(s) you plan to attend. Please let us know if you have any special accommodation needs. For additional details please visit the Flathead National Forest Plan Revision page on our website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/flathead/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprdb5422786&width=full.