Forest Plan

The Draft EIS and Draft Management Plans for the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests have recently been released.  These documents and additional supporting materials including maps and instructions on how to comment can be found on their website at:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/kipz/home

The Forest Plans do not make decisions on specific projects but provide general guidance about how the forests are managed for the next 15 years.  One of the most important things that the plans do is to make decisions about which areas the forest service will manage as “Recommended Wilderness.” These agency recommendations strongly influence political support and are often shaped, in part, by the forest service’s interpretation of the level of public support for specific areas.

This is perhaps the best opportunity YOU have had in a long time to have your voice of support impact an important decision along the pathway to protecting the Scotchman Peaks as Wilderness.

The comment period has started and is open until April 5th.

The forest service is most interested in: “specific comments on how to improve the preferred alternative, what you prefer in other alternatives, or important things that you think were missed in alternatives are very helpful.

The Forest Service further states that: “We can better respond to your comments if you are as specific as possible and if you cite the location(s) that you are commenting on.”

We, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, are most interested in making sure that the forest service understands how important it is for many people that the final plan include the strongest possible recommendation for Wilderness for the Scotchman Peaks

YOUR voice is important!

Write them and comment on the reasons why you support including the Scotchman Peaks as recommended wilderness in the forest plan. Include your personal connection to and interest in the Scotchmans. From hiking to hunting, birdwatching to berry picking, environmental protection to economics or finding solitude and leaving a legacy for future generations, Wilderness management for the Scotchmans has many benefits.

The Forest Service is holding the following open houses, where you can pick up a copy and learn more about the plan as well as the process of commenting.  This is not a substitute for written comments, but is also a good chance to tell forest service representatives that you care about the Scotchmans.

  • January 23 Sanpoint, 5-7pm, Sandpoint District Ranger
  • January 24th, Libby, 4-7pm, Ponderosa Room
  • January 31st, Troy,  4-7pm, Senior Center,
  • February 2nd, Trout Creek, 4-7pm, Lakeside Motel Conference Room

Your written comments need to made specific to each draft plan and sent to the individual forest:

Kootenai National Forest

Email     KNFplanrevision@fs.fed.us

Kootenai National Forest
31374 Highway 2 West
Libby, MT 59923

Idaho Panhandle National Forest

Email    IPNFplanrevision@fs.fed.us

Idaho Panhandle National Forest
3815 Schreiber Way
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

He has hiked the "triple crown": the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest trail (twice). He has also paddled the length of the Yukon river. Phil's love of wilderness guides him as he works to save the incrediblly wild Scotchman Peaks, one of the last and largest roadless places in northern Idaho and western Montana.

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