Panel Liaison Meeting

Bankhead National Forest

Liaison Panel

Meeting Notes

August 24, 2000

Panel Members Present

Bob Keefe, Forester - International Paper

Dudley White, Wildlife Biologist – Alabama Dept. of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Lamar Marshall, Exec. Director – Wild Alabama

Charles Hubbard (for) Greg Preston, Bankhead Cultural and Historical Society

Bill Snoddy, Alabama Treasure Forest Landowner

Mary Lee Ratliff, Trail User

Colin Bagwell, Consulting Forester

Gene Gold, Spiritual Leader

Randy Feltman, Local Timber Operator

Charles Borden, Landowner and Bankhead User

Margaret Dunn, Cherokee of Northeast Alabama

A total of 30 people were in attendance. Glen Gaines facilitated the meeting.

Meeting Objective

The primary objective of the meeting was to continue the discussion of the proposed Bankhead district-wide loblolly pine thinning program in the context of desired condition and restoration of native forest communities.

Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972

The first order of business was to revisit the panel’s role and operational procedures to insure they do not conflict with FACA. The primary reference for this topic was the Chief Thomas’ Policy Letter of October 2, 1995.

The purpose of Bankhead Liaison Panel is to provides a forum for the Forest Service and a diverse cross section of different public interests to come together in one place to listen and discuss various issues related to natural resources and uses on the Bankhead National Forest. Members of the panel include elected local officials, federal and state tribal representatives, state government employees, and private citizens. The panel is not a decision-making body. The Forest Service will consider recommendations or advice from individual members of the panel – not from the panel as a whole. The meetings are open and all members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the meetings. Recommendations and advice from members of the public, not on the panel, will be considered with equal weight. The Forest Service will continue it’s decision-making process, open for all individuals to voice ideas and concerns. The goal is to operate “in the sunlight”.

Operational procedures (see July Meeting Notes) to develop Bankead Liaison Panel (group) consensus on issues will not be utilized by the Forest Service in making decisions.

District-wide Loblolly Pine Thinning Program

The next meeting of the panel will be Thursday, September 2, at 7:00 pm. The meeting location will be the Traders and Farmers Bank Downstairs Meeting Room in Double Springs, Alabama.