The Helena / Lewis and Clark National Forests are beginning their Forest Plan revision. Visit these links below for information on the proposed plan and how to comment. Meeting schedule and comment info
Again we are seeing an agenda of closing our forests to multiple use. Beginning on page 30 of the Draft Desired Condition there is little mention of the importance of access which benefits local small communities. The document elevates the desire to burn the forest rather than harvest the renewable resource. The draft continues to mention climate change time and time again. Access to the forest for recreation, minerals, and grazing will surely diminish under the new forest plan unless the public speaks out. These meetings are important and your comments are necessary in order to have standing in the process. Please help us in reviewing this proposal. The draft also makes reference to the Forest Service requirement of coordinating they plan with local and state government. County governments have the ability to coordinate with the Forest Service by using their Growth Policies. The federal government is required to complete a consistency review by making sure their new plan meets the needs of the counties. Talk with your local county commissioners and ask them to formally submit their County Growth Policy to the Forest Service for the required consistency review. Much of Montana is currently under federal management and many communities depend on these lands for their economic stability. Reports to the EQC from the Forest Service have indicated the closure of more than 21,000 miles of roads by the Forest Service in Montana over the last 15 years. Every single mile of these roads that have been closed have affected someone in some way. All of these roads are vital to the proper management of our public lands yet the Forest Service continues their lock it up agenda.