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Mon., April 28, 2014, 7:03 a.m.

Snowmobilers, cyclists object to Panhandle forest plan

Looking west across Priest Lake Kalispell and Bartoo Islands can be seen. Priest Lake offers over 400 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.  (Craig Hill)
Looking west across Priest Lake Kalispell and Bartoo Islands can be seen. Priest Lake offers over 400 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. (Craig Hill)

PUBLIC LANDS -- The Idaho Panhandle National Forests is holding a meeting Tuesday, April 29, at the Coeur d'Alene Resort to discuss objections filed against the Revised Forest Management Plan.

For example:

  • Objections regarding wilderness study areas were filed by Idaho State Parks, snowmobiling groups, Montana mountain bikers and the Blue Ribbon Coalition will be addressed, among four other categories.
  • Objections regarding wild and scenic rivers were filed by American Whitewater.
  • Shoshone, Benewah and Bonner counties objected about the plan's lack of coordination with counties.
  • Objections regarding management indicator species were filed by Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting, but only the objectors, designated speakers and the Forest Service reviewing officers will be allowed to interact in the proceedings.  

The goal is "to discuss objection issues and seek resolution prior to finalizing and implementing the revised plan," said Jason Kirchner, Forest Service spokesman. 

  • A full meeting agenda and background on the IPNF Revised Forest Plan are available on the IPNF website.

The IPNF is currently operating under a forest plan that was completed in 1987 and has developed the revised forest plan to reflect changes in land use, science and public demands for the national forest. The objection resolution period is the final step in the process of revising the forest plan before a decision is made to implement the new plan.

 




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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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