Dear national forest lovers,
We wanted to give you an update on our collective efforts to engage the public on the forest plan revision for the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests. Indeed, the Forest Service has extended the public comment period until Monday, April 20, 2020. Thank you for contacting the agency and requesting an extension. Public pressure can still work if we apply it together.
This past week our staff was in Montana for forest planning programs in Hamilton and Missoula. A huge thank you to our co-sponsors, Friends of the Bitterroot, Wilderness Watch, Wild West Institute, WildEarth Guardians and Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizens Task Force. It was great to connect with some of our members, and meet new people as well.
The next stop on the road show is Thursday, February 20 at the Salmon River Brewery, 411 Railroad Avenue in McCall, Idaho. The program begins at 6:00 pm and will feature a powerpoint and information on how to make a public comment. The event is being co-sponsored by Idaho Rivers United.
We also wanted you to be aware that we have published an in-depth newsletter offering analysis of the draft forest plan and all the Clearwater stands to lose. The 8-page alert offers important information about the threats to undeveloped roadless wildlands, old growth, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat. The plan also neglects anthropogenic causes of climate change, and instead, calls for more road building and logging, and less carbon sequestration from our forests.
Our staff has also been using the Freedom of Information Act to get important project files from the government. Click here if you are interested in gaining access to the file for the forest plan revision.
Lastly, we also want to emphasize the threats the new draft forest plan poses to grizzly bears and their recovery. As you may know, three and possibly four, grizzly bears were observed this summer/fall on the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests. The Clearwater Country offers excellent habitat for grizzlies, but the new plan barely acknowledges them. The plan offers little-to-no habitat protections and food security outside of already designated Wilderness. The plan does a complete disservice to the Great Bear.
Again, the public comment deadline for the draft plan is now April 20, 2020. Click the link to learn more, including how to submit your public comment.
Gary, Katie & Brett