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County commission to put forest plan issues to vote in Nov. 4 general election

Idaho County Courthouse

Photo by David Rauzi
Idaho County Courthouse

— Do you support adding more acres of wilderness to Idaho County? Do you support adding more wild and scenic river segments in Idaho County?

The Idaho County Commission approved a resolution Tuesday, Sept. 4, that will put these questions to local voters this November.

In a Sept. 5 report on the resolution, the Lewiston Tribune quoted representatives of the Clearwater Basin Collaborative – one of Idaho Forest Group, the other of Idaho Conservation League – asking the commissioners to hold off on the resolution.

Citing the ongoing Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests plan revision process, all three commissioners signed off on the exact wording of the questions, which will also note the number of wilderness acres and the number of river miles Congress has already designated.

It’s unclear what, if any, effect the vote may have on the outcome of the forest plan revision process, which began in 2012 and most recently resulted in a December 2017 letter to planning participants. The vote may clarify the first of the issues the Forest Service spelled out in that letter, which described apportioning wilderness and river designations as the first of four “unresolved conflicts” over its proposal.

Other unresolved issues concerned apportionment of frontcountry and backcountry recreation areas, the means and rate and aims of forest management activity, and the target amount of timber to be sold for logging projects.

The Free Press sought comment from the Forest Service regarding progress made since last winter on each of the unresolved issues.


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