Let the back-and-forth begin.
The Lolo, Bitterroot and Flathead national forests will take comment on the proposed revision of their management plans through April 22.
And then some.
The "proposed action" released Monday is just the start. Over the next two years, western Montanans will have numerous opportunities to say how they want the national forests managed.
"While this initial proposal has been carefully thought out, I am certain that the proposed action will change as we listen to public responses over the next several months," said Bitterroot Forest Supervisor Dave Bull.
"The main purpose in making the proposed action public now is to stimulate a discussion that will both tell us whether we have correctly identified the major forest plan revision issues, and how members of the public think we should be responding to them."
Public meetings on the proposed action are planned for:
- Feb. 17 in Missoula, 6-8 p.m. at the Best Inn South
- Feb. 18 in Seeley Lake, 7-9 p.m. at the Community Center
- Feb. 19 in Superior, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Superior High School
- Feb. 23 in Frenchtown, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Frenchtown High School
- Feb. 25 in Plains, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Sanders County Fairgrounds
- Feb. 26 in Kalispell, 1-8 p.m. at the West Coast Hotel
- March 1, Stevensville
- March 2, Hamilton
- March 3, Darby
- March 4, Sula
Times and locations of the Bitterroot Valley meetings will be announced at a later date.
The proposed action is available on the Internet at www.fs.fed.us/r1/wmpz. Questions may also be directed to team leader Lee Kramer at (406) 329-3848.
To be added to the forest plan revision mailing list, contact Amy Lehtola at (406) 363-7191.
To comment, write the Western Montana Planning Zone Revision Team, Lolo National Forest, Fort Missoula, Building 24, Missoula, MT 59804; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Sherry Devlin can be reached at 523-5243 or at email@example.com