Forest Service’s Draft Revised Land Management Plan Enhances Long-Term Forest Health, Creates Regional Jobs

by Brenda Heckman on January 3, 2020

KAMIAH, Idaho (December 20, 2019) –  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service today released a revised draft land management plan for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests that has the potential to add nearly 4,000 new jobs to the region and as much as $160 million in additional labor income. 

The forests currently support roughly 2,100 jobs and contribute $83 million in annual labor income to surrounding communities, primarily from the timber industry and forest service expenditures.

“The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is an integral part of our communities and we developed the alternatives for this revision of our long-term plan, with input from our communities, governments and stakeholders from all over,” said Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert.  “We have a wide range of alternatives that truly reflects the range of desires and needs across our landscapes and in our communities and embraces shared stewardship of the National Forests.  I am looking forward to feedback on the alternatives so that we can create a Forest Plan from these building blocks that best addresses sustainability of our communities and the resources.”

Probert added that she appreciates all of the time that citizens, local government officials and others have spent over the past several years helping the Forest develop these alternatives for future forest management.  

Land management plans provide direction for how public lands are managed in the long term. These draft plans were developed through a process that involved the communities, publics and partners affected by the plan.

Since the planning process began in May 2012, there have been more than 50 community meetings and public webinars to shape the draft plan and draft EIS. Additionally, hundreds of meetings with other stakeholder groups helped shape the alternatives for the draft EIS. Four action alternatives outlined in the draft plan are the product of this input into how the Forests should be managed into the future. Written and electronic comments will be accepted for 90 days after the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register.  The draft plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are available for public review and comment for 90 days.

All project documents, including instructions on how to comment, are on the website at: http://bit.ly/NezClearFPR

15 public meetings are scheduled throughout the comment period along with six resource-specific videocasts. A schedule of public meetings is below:

Kamiah, IDKamiah Volunteer Fire Department – Fire Hall
515 Main Street, Kamiah ID 83536
Tuesday, January 7th1700-1900
Grangeville, IDGrangeville Forest Service Office
104 Airport Road, Grangeville, ID 83530
Wednesday, January 8th1700-1900
Orofino, IDNorth Fork Ranger District
12740 US Hwy 12, Orofino, ID 83544
Thursday, January 9th1700-1900
Elk City, IDRed River Ranger District/Elk City Ranger Station
300 American River Road, Elk City, ID 83525
Tuesday, January 14th1700-1900
Lewiston, IDRed Lion Hotel
621 21st Street, Lewiston, ID 83501
Conference Room: Clearwater
Saturday, January 25th1000-1200
Riggins, IDRiggins Community Center
121 Lodge Street, Riggins, ID 83549
Conference Room: Upper Level
Tuesday, January 28th1700-1900 (MST)

Maps and other materials will be available for review at public meetings, and planning team members will be available to answer questions. The location and schedule of these meetings will be published in local newspapers and can be found on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website. Click on Forest Plan Revision: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater

For more information, contact Forest Planner Zach Peterson at zachary.peterson@usda.gov or 208-935-4239.

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