Planning

Forest Plan Revision

Help Plan the Flathead's Future

Middle Fork Flathead

The Flathead National Forest is revising its Land and Resource Management Plan (referred to as the "revised forest plan") in compliance with the 2012 Planning Rule for the National Forest System. 

 

The need for the proposed action is twofold: 1) significant changes have occurred in conditions and demands since the Flathead’s 1986 Forest Plan and 2) to ensure the adequacy of regulatory mechanisms regarding habitat protection across the national forests in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) in support of the de-listing of the grizzly bear. The Flathead National Forest is incorporating relevant direction from the NCDE Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy (GBCS) as part of its plan revision process.

The Forest Service in concurrently amending the forest plans of the Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, and Lolo National Forests (also referred to as "amendment forests") to incorporate relevant direction from the NCDE GBCS. The proposed amendment provides grizzly bear habitat-related management direction within the portions of each forest that lie within the NCDE.  For more information about the forest plan amendment on the amendment forests click here.

The Forest Service will prepare a single environmental impact statement (EIS) for the revised forest plan and the amendment.

Update on Planning Process

The public comment period on the proposed action ended on May 15. The interdisciplinary planning team has read and studied all the comments received to date.  From these comments, they are refining the proposed action and building alternatives to incorporate suggestions and comments already made.  In addition, the team has started the analysis of the important issues brought up in the comments. Once we complete the analysis, we will issue a draft environmental impact statement, disclosing our analysis and the effects of our actions. We hope to have this document completed by January 2016. Once it is issued, you will again have a chance to comment on the proposal.  (updated 6/18/15)

Proposed Action for the Revised Forest Plan

The Flathead National Forest is proposing to revise its land and resource management plan (forest plan). The proposed action is the proposal for changes to the current land management plan. The full text of the proposed action can be found below.

 The proposed action includes:

  • Forestwide, management area, and geographic area desired conditions, objectives, standards, and guidelines.
  • The suitability of lands for specific multiple uses, including those lands suitable for timber production.
  • An estimate of the projected timber sale quantity.
  • A description of the plan area’s distinctive roles and contributions within the broader landscape.
  • The identification of priority restoration watersheds.
  • Proposed management actions and strategies that may occur on the plan area over the life of the plan.
  • Areas proposed to be recommended to Congress for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
  • The rivers identified as eligible for inclusion as part of the Wild and Scenic River System.
  • The plan monitoring program.

The public comment period concluded on May 15, 2015.To view the subsequent notice extending the comment period (published May 1, 2015) in the Federal Register click here.   (updated 5/5/15)

Forest Plan Revision Schedule

Key Deliverables/Activities

Proposed Date

Assessment

Completed April 2014

Draft Proposed Action

Completed March 6, 2015

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

March 6 – May 15, 2015 (updated 4/14/15)

DEIS and 90-day comment period

January 2016 (late Jan-April)

FEIS & Draft ROD

December 2016

FEIS & Final ROD

June 2017

Links to additional webpages, documents, and information

The Flathead National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (1986) (added 5/11/15)

The Forest Plan Revision Wilderness Inventory and Evalution webpage. (linked 6/29/15)

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.

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, or at flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us.

 

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