Forest Plan Revision

Help Plan the Flathead's Future

Middle Fork Flathead


Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The staff of the Flathead National Forest released the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the draft revised Land and Resource Management Plan (draft forest plan) for your review and input in May 2016. In addition to the effects of the draft forest plan, the DEIS includes the environmental consequences of the draft forest plan amendments to incorporate habitat-related management direction for grizzly bears for the Helena, Lewis and Clark, Lolo, and Kootenai National Forests.

These documents reflect extensive public participation over the past 3 years through collaborative working group meetings and other public input. We greatly appreciate the commitment of interested participants who have provided important contributions toward the development of the draft forest plan and amendments. The documents also reflect a truly interdisciplinary team approach in the consideration of the input received, as well as of the directives associated with the 2012 planning rule.

Purpose of the draft forest plan and amendments

The purpose of the draft forest plan is to provide for long-term direction to guide the management of the Flathead National Forest. The draft forest plan describes the Forest’s distinctive roles and contributions within the broader landscape and details forest-wide, management area, and geographic area desired conditions, objectives, standards, and guidelines. The draft forest plan identifies suitable uses of National Forest System lands and estimates of the planned timber sale quantity for the Forest. The draft forest plan identifies priority watersheds for restoration, and includes areas being recommended for wilderness designation and eligible wild and scenic rivers.

The purpose of the forest plan amendments, along with the revised forest plan for the Flathead National Forest, is incorporating habitat-related direction from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy to ensure adequate regulatory mechanisms are in place across these national forests in support of the de-listing of the grizzly bear (for more information go to the plan amendments webpage).

DEIS and draft forest plan documents

The full text of the draft forest plan, DEIS, maps, and other relevant documents can be found below:

Volume 1—DEIS for the revised forest plan for the Flathead National Forest

Volume 2—DEIS for the revised forest plan for the Flathead National Forest (includes literature cited), with appendices as follows:

 Volume 3—DEIS for the Forest Plan Amendments to incorporate relevant direction from the NCDE Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy for the Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, and Lolo National Forests, with the two appendices as follows:

 The Draft Revised Forest Plan for the Flathead National Forest, with appendices as follows:

Comment period ended

The 120-day comment period ended on October 3, 2016. Comments will help us to identify the range of issues to be addressed and the significant concerns related to the draft plan, draft amendments, and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). Comments will assist the interdisciplinary team in developing a preferred alternative and in the analysis and documentation of the environmental and social effects of the proposed plan components and alternatives, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures.

Comments can be viewed in the reading room:

The comment period commenced with the publication in the Federal Register (June 3, 2016) of the Notice of Availability. Only those individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the Flathead National Forest plan revision and the four amendments during the opportunities provided for public comment will be eligible to file an objection (36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 219.53(a)). The decision to approve the revised forest plan for the Flathead National Forest and the amendment for the Helena, Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National Forests will be subject to the objection process identified in 36 CFR Part 219 Subpart B (219.50 to 219.62). Comments must be received or postmarked within 120 days of the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the respondent with standing to participate in subsequent administrative or judicial reviews.

Species of conservation concern

The Flathead National Forest will provide the regional forester with public comments received on species of conservation concern (SCC). The regional forester will consider comments received and respond to them in the final environmental impact statement and Record of Decision. For more information about SCC visit the Northern Region SCC website.

 Forest Plan Revision Schedule

Key Deliverables/Activities

Proposed Date


Completed April 2014

Draft Proposed Action

Completed March 6, 2015

60-day Scoping Period (10-day extension authorized)

March 6 – May 15, 2015

DEIS for the draft forest plan and draft forest plan amendments (120-day comment period begins June 3, 2016)

May 27, 2016

FEIS & Draft ROD

June 2017

FEIS & Final ROD

December 2017

Links to additional webpages, documents, and information

The Flathead National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (1986)

The Forest Plan Revision Wilderness Inventory and Evalution webpage.

The Forest Plan Revision Collaboration, Communication, and Conversations webpage; includes links to the collaborative mapping websites for the proposed action, wilderness inventory and evalutation, and management area designations.

Click Here for geospatial data related to forest plan revision.

Proposed Action for the Revised Forest Plan

A proposed action for the revised forest plan was released in March 2015. The full text of the proposed action can be found below.

The Assessment of the Flathead National Forest (April 2014):

News Releases


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Krueger, Forest Planner, Flathead National Forest, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, Montana 59901, (406) 758-5243.


Keep Informed 


Email Updates
To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.