Liaison Panel Meeting

For information - Last night we held our first panel meeting. The

meeting was open to the public. We had a little over 80 people attend the

meeting. Many of those who attended came to voice concerns over of the

National Monument. Folks were informed at the beginning of meeting - the

monument was not on the agenda and would not be discussed. The meeting

went off without incident. Everyone hung around.

The kickoff meeting for the panel was successful. Talked about the

purpose of the panel and why a panel was needed. An outline of the

Bankhead's strategic guidance (5 year action plan) was provided.

Priority issues that were presented and discussed at the meeting

included: 1. forest health (district-wide loblolly thinning program; SPB

suppression; and timber harvesting issue; ie cut-to-length), 2. native

forest community restoration (longterm plans for 68,000 acres of loblolly

pine forest; increasing use of prescribe burning), 3. improving camping

facilities for horseback riders (new highend developed recreation).

The next meeting of the panel will be Thursday, June 29 - to discuss/make

recommendations regarding forest health issues, finalize panel operating

procedures, and review need for any additional members.