Our neighbors in the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition have an interesting guest column in this week’s Flathead Beacon talking about their cooperative efforts to work for the benefit of the Kootenai National Forest . . .
Open the newspaper or start a conversation about the Kootenai National Forest and one topic is sure to come up: Lawsuits.
Frankly, this theme can be heard wherever there is a national forest. People often feel frustrated that lawyers and judges trump local professional land managers.
In the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition, we are waist-deep in forward-thinking efforts to restore our national forest lands, supporting our communities economically while protecting diverse recreation, wildlife and wilderness values. We share public frustration, but aren’t content to sit on our hands and complain.
This is a decent summary of the status of the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition, including a discussion of a couple of rather contentious lawsuits stirring the pot over there . . .
A collaborative group representing stakeholders in and around the Kootenai National Forest announced an agreement last week that will guide its input on proposed land management projects.
The Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition includes representatives from environmental, industry and recreation groups that often are at odds on forest policy. Robyn King, executive director of the Yaak Valley Forest Council, said the group was formed in 2006 to come up with a set of shared objectives to minimize litigation blamed for slowing down projects in the national forest.
“This is the guiding document that we would use, as a group, to make our comments to the U.S. Forest Service,” King said. “This is an organic document, so as we get out on the ground and see different applications being proposed by the U.S. Forest Service, we may make changes over time.”