There have been several major phases of public involvement in the process of the development of draft Land Management Plans and Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs) for the KIPZ:
Scoping - occured from 2002 until 2004
Collaborative workgroup meetings -developed desired conditions and other Plan components.
Collaborative workgroups refined Starting Option maps
The release of the 2006 Proposed Plan.
Analysis of Public Comment
The scoping period began on April 30, 2002 with the release of the Notice of Intent, which included our Proposed Actions. Due to continued interest and comments being received, we extended our scoping period ending on May 1, 2004. We used the comments that we received and specialist knowledge to develop our Analysis of the Management Situation (AMS), which described our need for change. All of the comments that were received throughout the scoping process were then analyzed through our content analysis process and can be found in the Content Analysis Report.
All comments that were received throughout the scoping process were then analyzed through our content analysis process and can be found in the Content Analysis Report.
Over 140 Collaborative Workgroup Meetings were held beginning in 2003. All of the comments that were gathered at these meetings are summarized for each forest. These workgroups consisted of citizens interested in the revision effort and focused on 12 specific mapped regions - 5 on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests and 7 on the Kootenai National Forest. The regions, referred to as Geographic Areas (GA's) represent unique characteristics such as watersheds, river basins or valleys as well as the socio-economic values they hold for local residents.
The collaborative forums brought forward knowledge, lifestyles and livelihoods, thus focusing on the core values of the communities and building a strong collaborative foundation for the development of draft Plans.
The Revision Team reviewed all the Workgroup desired conditions and other public comments and started developing alternatives. (It's important to note that all of this work up to this point was under the 1982 Planning Rule.) Twelve public meetings were then held from November 2004 - January 2005 to share the draft alternatives and/or conceptual ideas for the draft alternatives and here's a brief summary of those meetings.
Collaborative Meetings - Starting Option maps
In January 2005, a new Planning Rule was released. On May 12, 2005, the Regional Forester made a decision for the two Forests to use the new 2005 Planning Rule.
The team was charged with developing a "Starting Option" that incorporated all the previous comments, workgroup input, tribal input, agency input, and elected officials input in addition to following existing laws, regulations and policies. See the Rationale for selection of the Starting option. This Starting Option map would be the tool for the workgroups to focus their discussions on - either validating what was on the starting option map or collaboratively discussing possible changes to the maps. Over 50 workgroup meetings were held.
Summaries were provided to the Workgroups regarding what we heard from them during the Desired Condition workgroup meetings (see Table below). Meeting notes were taken during these meetings (see Table above).
Release of the 2006 Proposed Land Management Plan maps:
After ensuring the maps reflected the changes and were adhering to Forest Service law, regulation and policy the 2006 Proposed Land Management Plan (PLMP) maps were release for public review.
It is important to note that the maps released in October are the same as the maps that were released with the Proposed Land Management Plan in May 2006.
Release of Proposed Land Management Plans and 120-day Comment Period (5/12/06 – 9/11/06):
The Proposed Land Management Plans (PLMPs) were released on May 12, 2006, which initiated the 90-day public comment period. The comment period was to end on August 10, 2006 ; however, the comment period was extended 30 days and ended September 11, 2006 .
The Analysis of Public Comment report is a synthesis and summary of the comments and concerns we heard during the comment period on the 2006 Proposed Land Management Plans.