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Public comment sought on wilderness evaluation using new website



The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is evaluating Recommended Wilderness Areas as part of Forest Plan Revision, and has this month unveiled a new web tool members of the public can use to provide information.

“Currently, the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Plan Revision Team is evaluating wilderness characteristics of inventoried roadless areas to determine which areas may be recommended for wilderness designation in the revised forest plan,” agency spokeswoman Jennifer Becar wrote in a Jan. 29 news release. “The Forest Plan Revision Team plans to develop a range of alternatives for which Recommended Wilderness Areas may be included, which could vary from including few to no wilderness recommendations in the Forest Plan, to recommending a variety of areas with wilderness characteristics.”

In hopes of easing public involvement, the forest has created an interactive website, called a story map, where the public can learn more about the law and the evaluation process, see the current inventory of roadless areas, and provide comments.

The Recommended Wilderness Areas story map can be found on the forest’s Wilderness Recommendation Process webpage (http://bit.ly/FPR-WRP) under the “Evaluation Process” heading.

The combined forests are asking comments be submitted by Feb. 12 so that the information gathered can help inform the alternatives among which supervisor Cheryl Probert will choose. The most useful comments are those that are related to a specific area and are based on the commenter’s personal experience.



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