GRANGEVILLE – This Saturday, May 30, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will hold a public workshop to update the public on forest plan revisions. The workshop will be held at the Grangeville Forest Service Office on Airport Road, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The current Nez Perce and Clearwater forest plans were written in 1987 and the forests were administratively combined in 2013, resulting in the need for revision. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are now in the process of developing alternatives to the proposed action, which was released for public review and comment in July 2014. These alternatives, and further refinement of the proposed action, will appear in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in the fall of 2015.
Cheryl Probert, the new Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests supervisor, and other planning team members will be on hand to provide an update and to answer questions about the current status of forest plan revision.
For information, go online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nezperceclearwater/ or contact Zach Peterson, Forest Planner, at 208-935-4239; or e-mail questions at:
Options to consider
With a workshop coming up on May 30, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests have boiled down nearly 14,000 public comments regarding ongoing plan revision to a two-page summary. Among the highlights, the Forest Service notes it received more than 10,000 form letters and about 3,200 unique comments from individuals.
Nearly 9,900 comments focused on motorized or non-motorized recreation.
Friends of the Clearwater outlined an alternative that group would favor, and was not alone among organizations to do so. Idaho Conservation League, Wilderness Society and Sierra Club support an alternative that would add inventoried roadless areas (IRAs) to recommended wilderness. Idaho Rivers United, American Whitewater, Pacific Rivers Council, and Trout Unlimited requested an alternative that would list more Wild and Scenic rivers. Idaho Conservation League and Wilderness Society asked for an alternative that would restrict motorized recreation in recommended wilderness areas in favor of primitive and semi-primitive use.
In contrast, the Clearwater Basin Collaborative requested an alternative that would set a higher timber harvest target than the combined forests’ proposed action and the Idaho County Commission requested a “maximum recreation alternative” that would provide for increased motorized access.