Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Next phase of Forest Plan begins; public comments encouraged

Rick Brazell, Forest Supervisor of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, announced the next phase of revising the Forest’s Land and Resource Management Plan (the Forest Plan).

The Forest has released the proposed action for the Forest Plan and is asking for additional public input. For the last 20 months, the Forest has engaged the public in collaborative public participation efforts which have been instrumental for providing input into development of the proposed action.

Brazell shared, “I appreciate the hard work that our interdisciplinary team and the public that has participated in collaboration have done to get us this far. The public has devoted a lot of their personal time to come to the table to discuss how the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests should be managed. We still have a lot of work to do and I welcome input on this initial proposal. I encourage anyone interested in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests to submit comments on the proposed action.”

The Nez Perce and Clearwater forest plans were written in 1987 and the forests were administratively combined in 2013, resulting in need for revision. The Forest is an early adopter of the 2012 Planning Rule which guides the planning process. The rule includes protection for forests, water and wildlife, while supporting the economic vitality of rural communities. It requires the use of the best available scientific information to inform decisions.

The 2012 rule strengthens the role of public involvement and dialogue throughout the planning process. As an early adopter, the Forest is setting the stage for other national forests as they revise their plans.

The proposed action includes preliminary identification of the following items: forest-wide and management area desired conditions, objectives, standards, guidelines, and the suitability of lands for specific multiple uses, including those lands suitable for timber production; a long-term sustained yield calculation and a range of planned sale quantities; the distinctive roles and contributions the forest contributes within the broader landscape; priority restoration watersheds; proposed and possible actions that may occur on the plan area over the life of the plan; a list of rivers eligible for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic River inventory; and two preliminary options for areas to be recommended to Congress for inclusion in the Wilderness Preservation System.

Community meetings have been scheduled to provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions of the planning team. Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., PT in the following locations:

In Orofino Tuesday, July 22, North Fork Ranger District, 12730 Highway 12.

In Grangeville Thursday, July 24, Forest Service Grangeville Office, 104 Airport Road.

In Lewiston Monday, July 28, Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game office, 3316 16th Street.

In Moscow Wednesday, July 30, 1912 Center, 412 East Third St., Moscow.

In Lolo, MT Monday, Aug. 4, Lolo Middle School, 11395 U.S. Hwy 93 S.

Public comments will help the Forest identify issues and develop alternatives for analysis in an Environmental Impact Statement. Comments or questions about plan revision can be submitted to

For those who prefer regular mail, written comments can be mailed to Forest Plan Revision, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, 903 3rd Street, Kamiah, ID 83536. In addition, geographic-specific comments can be submitted via the Collaborative Mapping Website at

More information about the plan revision process, large scale color maps and the 2014 assessment is available online at:

For more information contact: Timory Peel at (208) 935-2513.

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