A total of 60 objections were filed by the deadline for the proposed Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forest Plan revisions. Of direct interest to the North Fork, 38 concerned the Kootenai Forest, which lies along the Flathead Forest’s western boundary . . .
One thing’s certain about the draft management plans for the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle national forests – they’ve got lots of kinks to work out.
By last week’s deadline, 60 people or organizations had filed hundreds of pages of objections to the draft plans. The two national forests, on the northwestern Montana-northern Idaho border, are the first in the nation to develop new long-term management plans.
“The new process allows the public a greater view of the wide variety of perspectives we’re trying to balance,” Idaho Panhandle spokesman Jason Kirchner said on Friday. “In 1987, this was mostly a timber-focused production plan. We’ve learned quite a bit about forest management since then. The new plan focuses on ecosystem management, in trying to balance various uses, impacts and needs of the forests.”