The Hungry Horse News covers the start of the collaborative planning phase of the Flathead Forest’s forest plan revision . . .
There were loggers and snowmobilers, environmentalists and motorcyclists, biologists and backcountry horsemen, all in one room, all looking for a stake in the future of the Flathead National Forest.
Over the course of the next six months, these diverse groups will sit down together in collaborative meetings to craft their vision of a new Forest Plan. More than 100 people attended the first meeting.
The collaborative meetings are just the start of the planning process. After the groups finish their efforts in May, the plan will go through a regular environmental review process starting next fall, with public scoping and public comments. A draft environmental impact statement is expected by June 2015. If all goes according to schedule, the Flathead Forest will have a new plan completed by September 2016.