Larry Wilson: Collaborative forest planning continues

Larry’s column is nicely timed this week. A lengthy series of Flathead National Forest Plan revision “stakeholder collaboration” meetings winds up tonight. Several North Fork folks have been participating.

In the more than 60 years I have been on the North Fork, I have been involved in a lot of planning efforts. These involved six years on the Flathead Basin Commission, 20 years on the Montana Governors Team negotiating with British Columbia, the Flathead County Planning Board, the North Fork group that started the Interlocal, and then the North Fork Land-Use Advisory Committee, which guided the Flathead County Commissioners from no planning to adopting a North Fork plan.

In addition, I have spent countless hours and several decades on groups or committees involved directly or indirectly with Flathead National Forest planning. All of these were slow-moving and acting and at times very frustrating, and I had decided I had done all that I could and would withdraw to the sidelines where I could comment on the new generation without spending time in meetings.

Then the Whitefish Range Partnership came along. I didn’t just jump on board but drug my feet for a month or more and finally agreed to be on the group, representing no one but myself as a North Fork resident.

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