2013 IPNF Revised Forest Plan - Objections Received

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests are using a Pre-decisional Administrative Review Process, also known as an “Objection Process.” The Objection Period for the revised plan began September 28 (the day after notice was published in the Coeur d’Alene Press newspaper of record) and ended November 26, 2013. This timeframe cannot be extended. Only those members of the public who provided substantive comments during public comment periods on the plan revision were eligible to file an objection. All objections must be linked to prior substantive formal comments submitted by the objector, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunity for formal comment.

The Washington Office received valid objections from 22 individuals or groups regarding the IPNF Revised Forest Plan. A complete list of objections received is available at the bottom of this web page.

The reviewing officer will render a written response to the objections within 90 days of the close of the objection-filing period (which was November 26, 2013), unless the allowable time is extended as provided at §36 CFR 219.56(g). The written response will set forth the reasons for the response but need not be a point-by-point response, and may contain instructions to the responsible official. The reviewing officer may consolidate objections and issue one or more responses. The response will be sent to the objecting party(ies) by certified mail, return receipt requested, and posted online.

Prior to the issuance of the reviewing officer’s written response, either the reviewing officer or the objector may request to meet to discuss issues raised in the objection and potential resolution.

Members of the public who wish to be involved in specific objection resolution meetings must submit a request to be an “Interested Person” to the Reviewing Official no later than December 16, 2013 (ten days after the legal Notice of Objection is published in the Missoulian  and Coeur d'Alene Press). Requests for recognition as an interested person must include the following information: name and affiliation, if any, of the individual; mailing address, phone number and email address (if available) for the requester; the name(s) of the objector(s) whose objection the requester has an interest in, and; a brief explanation of the interest for each objector.

The following address should be used for requests to be an “Interested Person” sent by regular mail, private carrier, or hand delivery:

USDA Forest Service
Objection Reviewing Officer
EMC, RPC-6th Floor
Attn: Judicial and Administrative Reviews
1601 N. Kent St
Arlington, VA 22209
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays

Phone to be used for carrier deliveries is 202-205-1449.
Electronic requests must be submitted to: objections-chief@fs.fed.us
Faxed requests must be submitted to: (703) 235-0138.

Objections Received:

The Idaho Panhandle NF has created a “Summary of Objections” spreadsheet, linked below. This document summarizes and paraphrases the individual objections described in each objection letter. This document is intended only to help members of the public determine which objection letters they may be interested in reading and is not intended to replace or interpret the objector’s specific objections.

Additionally the summary provides a preliminary ruling on whether or not the objector has standing for each of their specific objections based on whether or not the objector has ever provided formal comments on that issue in the past. The final determination of standing will be made by the Reviewing Official.

Summary of Objections Received

Interested Persons
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests received 94 requests from individuals or organizations who wished to be considered as interested persons for one or more of the objections received. Please view the Interested Persons Spreadsheet for a complete listing.

Revised Forest Plan Objection Meeting Held April 29, 2014

The reviewing officer conducted a meeting with objectors at 9:00 am at the Coeur d'Alene Resort on April 29, 2014. The meeting focused solely on discussions of proposed remedies related to the following areas of concern: county coordination, Wild and Scenic River eligibility determinations, recommended Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, and Management Indicator Species. Meeting participation included agency personnel, objectors and recognized interested persons, and was observed by members of the public.

A transcript of this meeting is available for download.

Download the meeting agenda.

The following links provide a summary of the issues as they were described and understood by the reviewing officer on the day of the meeting:

For more information on the forest plan objection process, please visit the IPNF Revised Forest Plan: Pre-decisional Administrative Review web page.