Helena and Lewis & Clark National Forests Plan Revision

Helena National Forest website               Lewis & Clark National Forest website

North Belts


The Helena and Lewis & Clark National Forests have begun revising their Forest Plan. This section provides information on the Forest planning process and how you can learn more and become involved. It will be updated and revised as new information becomes available.

Here you will find information and links to planning documents and reports, dates for meetings, press releases, maps, briefing papers and ways to comment or be involved in the process.

Past Open Houses and Informational Materials

Process and Timeframe

What is the Process and Timeframe for Revision?



Estimated Time Period

Phase 1

Now Available!
March 31, 2015

  • Evaluate existing and relevant data/information on existing conditions, roles and contributions, and trends.
  • Assess sustainability of social, economic and ecological resources within the plan area and a broader landscape.
  • Prepare a Forest Assessment Report as the basis for determining needs-for-change to the 1985 plan. This will be made available for public review.

Spring 2014 to Spring 2015

Phase 2

Plan Revision and Scoping for Alternatives

With public involvement, identify needs for change to the current plan.

  • Develop the Draft Plan that addresses potential desired conditions, management objectives, and other plan components based on identified needs-for-change. This includes developing alternatives that focus on issues where there are differing options or controversy.
  • Develop a draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS) that analyzes the effects upon the environment of each of the alternative plan proposals.

Spring 2015 to Spring 2017

Public review and comment

  • Distribute a Proposed Forest Plan and DEIS for public review and comment
  • Receive feedback on Plan components and content
  • Analyze and respond to comments
  • Select a final Plan
  • Complete a Biological Assessment on the selected Plan
  • Prepare a final EIS

Spring 2017 to Winter 2017

Objection Process

  • Prior to approving the preferred alternative, the public may raise issues related to the plan revision and suggest ways to improve the plan decision

Spring 2018


Final decision is made by the Helena and Lewis & Clark NF Supervisor

early Summer 2018

Phase 3

Implementation and Monitoring


  • Forest Service implements the Plan and begins on-going monitoring


Summer 2018 on


Since the release of the current  Helena and Lewis & Clark Forest Land and Management Plans, the Helena and Lewis & Clark National Forests’ natural resources and the communities surrounding the Forests have changed and new information and technologies are now available to help us analyze and plan on how to best manage the Forests into the future. We face different opportunities and challenges now than we did then. The new forest plan will be developed using the 2012 forest planning rule which places greater emphasis on collaboration and public involvement than ever before. While we have good relationships with many of our partners, stakeholders, neighbors and visitors we need more information and input to move forward with this important planning effort.

Forest Plans provide strategic direction to guide management of forest resources and provide a framework for decision making on site-specific projects and activities. The new planning rule directs Forest Plans to be science-based and developed collaboratively with stakeholders interested in the management of national forests. The Helena and Lewis & Clark National Forests are committed to collaboration, improving transparency in the process, and strengthening the role of public involvement through dialogue on Forest plan issues.

Comments on the Plan Revision Process

We need your help in planning the future of the Forest. If you would like to send comments or suggestions about Forest Plan revision you can send an email to: hlcplanrevision@fs.fed.us.

Keep Informed

Would you like to receive electronic updates for the Helena and Lewis & Clark Forest Land and Management Plan Revision? The Forests now have an electronic mailing list. You can sign up for the electronic mailing list by following the instructions below.


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