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Tue., Jan. 3, 2012, 5:22 p.m.

Idaho Panhandle releases draft forest management plan for comment

Glacier lilies on the east side of Chimney Rock in Idaho Selkirk Mountains. (Rich Landers)
Glacier lilies on the east side of Chimney Rock in Idaho Selkirk Mountains. (Rich Landers)

NATIONAL FORESTS -- Ten years in the making, a draft forest plan and environmental impact statement were released today by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests for 90 days of public comment.

Forest officials say the proposed plan covering a wide range of issues from fire management to roadless areas was shaped by science, collaboration, laws and input gathered at 30 public meeting and more than 140 public community-based work groups.

Open house meetings to review the plan and learn how to submit comments are scheduled 5 p.m.-7 p.m. as follows:

  • Coeur d’Alene, Jan. 10, Fernan Office
  • St. Maries, Jan. 11, St. Maries Ranger District Office
  • Smelterville, Jan. 12, Silver Valley Office
  • Bonners Ferry, Jan. 17, Bonners Ferry Ranger District Office
  • Priest Lake, Jan. 19, Priest Lake Ranger District Office
  • Sandpoint, Jan. 23, Sandpoint Ranger District Office

The draft plan attempts to  address multiple-use demands on the St. Joe, Coeur d'Alene and Kaniksu national forests.

According to Panhandle forests officials, it sets the foundation to address the ecological and social needs of forest stakeholders, while protecting water and restoring forests that began a century ago with the Weeks Act.

The Draft Plan helps address supplying clean water, restoring and maintaining ecosystems, improving the resistance and resiliency of the forest vegetation to undesirable disturbances and potential climate change effects, providing financially and ecologically sustainable access to the forest, offering a diversity of recreation opportunities including remote settings and utilizing best available science.

The draft plan documents are available online. For more info, call (208) 765-7417 or email

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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