Posts Tagged ‘Kootenai Forest’

No News is…..No News

Posted on Sunday, January 4th, 2009

The KIPZ (Kootenai Idaho Planning Zone) Forest process is awaiting further decision from the U.S. Forest Service. Additional updates will be posted as soon as decisions are made.

Kootenai Forest Plan Decision Announced

Posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2006

Your Help Is Needed

The Kootenai National Forest, in their forest revision draft map, has eliminated ALL recommended wilderness, replacing it with a “wildlands” category.   We need letters NOW to the regional forester Gail Kimbell expressing our disappointment over this outrageous decision and urging her to return wilderness to the Kootenai forest!  Your letter does not need to be long, just make it clear that you want Wilderness for the Scotchmans and send it today.

There are two ways that you can help:

  • Visit the Montana Wilderness Association Action Center – this is a user-friendly and interactive website that allows you to compose and submit templated electronic letters to the elected officials that make decisions about wilderness lands designation and protection.   It’s a very easy way to make your voice and opinions heard.
  • Send your letter today! – If you prefer to sit down and put pen to paper, visit this page to read more about this decision and for a list of officials to whom your comments should be directed.


Please take the time today to let our government know how you feel on this subject.   Together we really can make a difference.

Kootenai Forest Plans Released

Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

In September 2005, Forest Supervisor Bob Castaneda made the arbitrary decision to not recommend wilderness for roadless lands in the Kootenai Forest. In so doing, he significantly reduced the possibility that these lands will ever garner official protection for their outstanding wilderness character. The Montana Wilderness Association has created an Action Center web site to help raise awareness about this issue and and to make it very easy for us all to get involved in making a positive difference on behalf of our wild forest lands.

Please take a moment if you will to visit http:// to learn more about this issue, and to see how you can help make a difference.

If you take a few moments to submit your comments to the government officials regarding this issue, you will be entered to win a free PreCip Jacket from Rocky Mountain Outfitters in Kalispell Montana. See more details at

You can also read the letter from the Friends Of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Executive Committee members, which lists the elected officials responsible for these decisions and how to send them your mail and email – make your voice heard and your opinion count and together we really can make a difference.

Kootenai Forest Plan

Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Dear Friend of Scotchman Peaks for Wilderness,

We believe that Kootenai Forest Supervisor Bob Castaneda acted irresponsibly and improperly when he removed wilderness recommendations from the Kootenai Forest Plan in Montana.  As wilderness supporters we should all be outraged by this attack on the Kootenai’s unprotected wilderness, including the Scotchman Peaks area.  We hope you will agree and join us to take action.

We need lots of letters NOW to make sure wilderness supporters are heard loud and clear. Probably you have heard about this issue before, from the FSPW newsletter, from the Cabinet Resource Group, the newspaper, etc. Right now, we urge you to sit down and put pen to paper with your personal comments. Please, tell key forest service decision makers that it was wrong to take wilderness out of the Kootenai Forest Plan.  Tell them that we are unwilling to witness this assault on our public lands. 

For decades the Kootenai Forest has managed the Scotchman Peaks area as a recommended wilderness.  To remove that recommendation now goes against the promise to preserve these lands; it goes against the wishes of the majority of local citizens; and, it goes against the best interest of everyone who values wilderness.

Bob Castenda’s statement that "wilderness is too controversial to even talk about" challenges each and every one of us to let our elected and appointed officials know that we will not remain silent, that we care enough to talk about how important wilderness is to all of us. Your letter doesn’t have to be lengthy or profound; it just needs to get sent!  Please, join us letting our officials know that we will not sit idly by and watch wilderness potential vanish from the Kootenai or the Scotchmans.

Thank you for your support of wilderness for the Scotchmans!

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Executive Committee

Phil Hough
Jan Griffitts
Doug Ferrell
Carol Jenkins
Lexie de Fremery
Bill Martin
Cesar Hernandez
Neil Wimberly

PS If you want more background, contact:

Doug Ferrell (406) 827-4341,
Phil Hough (208) 255-2780

Please send your comments to the people listed below, in order of priority.

Gail Kimbell, Regional Forester (Castenada’s boss)
PO Box 7669
Missoula, MT 59807

Senator Conrad Burns
222 N. 32nd St. Suite 400
Billings, MT  59101
Go to website

Senator Max Baucus
Federal Building
32 East Babcock
Bozeman, MT  59715

Bob Castaneda
Forest Supervisor, Kootenai Forest
1101 Hyw 2 West
Libby, MT  59923

Ranotta McNair
Forest Supervisor, Idaho Panhandle Forest
3815 Schreiber Way
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815-8363
(208) 765-7223
FAX: (208)765-7307

State Senator Jim Elliott
100 Trout Creek Road
Trout Creek, MT 59874

Representative Paul Clark
20 Fox Lane
Trout Creek, MT 59874

In addition, you can Visit the Montana Wilderness Association Action Center – this is a user-friendly and interactive website that allows you to compose and submit templated electronic letters to the elected officials that make decisions about wilderness lands designation and protection.   It’s a very easy way to make your voice and opinions heard.

Facing The New Forest Plan

Posted on Sunday, September 4th, 2005

The draft forest plans for both the Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai National Forests were released in May. Here is a very brief review of how these draft plans impact the Scotchman Peaks area. Click here for a printable version(.pdf) of this Plan (will open in a new window).

The Idaho Panhandle National Forest (IPNF) has strengthened their wilderness recommendations for the Scotchman Peaks area. Specifically the IPNF has re-drawn boundaries for the recommended wilderness which make better geographic sense, and in so doing have added some acreage to the total amount they are recommending for wilderness for the Scotchman Peaks area. Additionally, they have proposed restricting snowmobiling from recommended wilderness. Snowmobiling is an activity suitable to non-wilderness areas.

The Kootenai National Forest has removed the category of recommended wilderness from the entire forest, including areas in the Scotchmans that had been managed since the 1970s as recommended wilderness. They have replaced it with a newly created “wildlands” category. The wildlands category does not contain a recommendation for wilderness from the forest service. By withdrawing their recommendation for wilderness, the Kootenai hinders the process of securing congressional designation of wilderness. This decision contradicts existing forest planning regulations as well as the forest service’s own directives. As residents and users of the Scotchman Peaks area we stand to loose our wilderness unless we take action. The Kootenai Forest has the opportunity to correct this egregious error when they write the final plan. In order for this to happen they need to understand we are not satisfied.

Make yourself heard and help make recommended wilderness a strong component of both forest plans. A strong community voice, with many people joining the chorus, can create this change. Comments on these draft plans will be accepted by the forest service until August 10th. Please send copies of your comments to both:

Kootenai National Forest
KIPZ Revision Team
1101 Hwy 2 W
Libby, MT 59923
Idaho Panhandle National Forest
KIPZ Revision Team
3815 Schreiber Way
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

We need to let both forest supervisors know that:

  • We fully support the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s wilderness recommendation for the Scotchmans and thank them for setting aside this area to be free from snowmobiles.
  • We do not believe that the Kootenai National Forest represented the best interest or desires of ourselves, or our communities, by removing recommended wilderness. We want Recommended Wilderness back in the plan for the Scotchman Peaks!
  • We want the Recommended Wilderness boundaries to include all areas identified in the 1987 plan as recommended wilderness as well as all areas identified in the “starting option” as recommended wilderness.
  • We are particularly concerned that the “5C” area east of Savage peak (which was recommended wilderness until the draft plan map came out) was carved out of an area with high wilderness values and containing critical habitat for many species. This action slices into the biological heart of the Scotchmans and undermines the wilderness integrity and solitude of the surrounding area. This area needs to be returned to recommended wilderness for the Scotchmans.
  • We expect both forests to recognize and, through recommended wilderness, to protect all critical habitat in the Scotchmans for threatened, endangered and sensitive species including the Grizzly Bear, Bull Trout, Canada Lynx, Wolverine and Mountain Goat.
  • We believe that opportunities for solitude, scenery, biological integrity, quiet recreation, quality hunting and fishing should be the primary concerns in determining boundaries and recommending wilderness for the Scotchman Peaks area.