Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Plan Revision

Field of lupine on a rocky mountain forest slope

 

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest (HLC NF) is revising its 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.

2020 Forest Plan, FEIS and Draft Record of Decision

The forest plan revision team has drafted the 2020 Forest Plan, final environmental impact statement and draft record of decision. The objection period opened May 21 - July 20, 2020. Please visit the 2020 Forest Plan/Final EIS/Draft Record of Decision page.

A species of conservation concern (SCC) list was developed at the Regional Office. This process occurred at the same time as the development of the Proposed Action. For more information about species of conservation concern, please go to the RO SCC page

February 2021 Update

The Regional Forester has completed the response to the objections. They have been sent to the objectors and are also available to review at the links below. The instructions to the Forest Supervisor that are included will be addressed prior to issuing the decision to approve the land management plan. Forest Supervisor Avey anticipates issuing the record of decision in spring 2021, 30 days after publishing the notice of availability of the final plan and EIS in the Federal Register. Plan implementation will begin 30 days following the notice of plan approval in the Federal Register. We will keep the website updated as these dates may change.

Letter of Response to Objectors

Reviewing Officer Response to Eligible Objections

Additionally, we have received the Biological Opinion (BO) for terrestrial species, it is posted below. We expect the aquatics BO in the near future. The Biological Assessments can be found on the 2020 Forest Plan/Final EIS/Draft Record of Decision page.

BIOLOGICAL OPINION on the Effects of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest 2021 Forest Plan on Grizzly Bears, Canada Lynx, and Designated Lynx Critical Habitat

December 2020 update:

The Regional Forester is preparing the response to the objections. She anticipates sending it to objectors and interested persons in early 2021. If the response includes instructions to the Forest Supervisor, they will be addressed prior to issuing the decision to approve the land management plan. Forest Supervisor Avey anticipates issuing the record of decision in spring 2021, 30 days after publishing the notice of availability of the final plan and EIS in the Federal Register. Plan implementation will begin 30 days following the notice of plan approval in the Federal Register. We will keep the website updated as these dates may change.

October 2020 update:

A transcript of the Forest Plan Revision objection meetings is now available. 

Click here to view the transcript (part I) 

Click here to view the transcript (part II)

September 2020 update:

The Northern Regional Forester will host an objection resolution meeting for the Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest’s land management plan revision and list of species of conservation concern September 29, 2020 through October 1, 2020.

The meeting will be held virtually via the Zoom link included in the agenda. The intent of the meeting is to have objectors and interested persons work together with the reviewing officer toward resolution of issue topics identified in the agenda. Summaries of the issues and suggested remedies the reviewing officers would like to discuss will be posted here prior to the meeting.

All objectors and interested persons are invited to participate throughout the 3-day meeting and the meeting is open to the public. However, the discussion on an issue will be limited to those individuals, lead objectors for organizations, and interested persons who submitted objections or identified their interest specific to that issue topic. Participants do not need to attend all three days of meetings if their interest is limited to a specific topic or small set of topics. This is a facilitated meeting so please join prior to the start time of the topic of interest, as outlined in the agenda. 

For meeting agenda CLICK HERE.

Briefing Papers can be found using the following links:

A transcription of the meeting discussions can be found here.

August 2020 update:

“The objection period for the revised forest plan closed on July 20, 2020. The Forest Service objection process allows the Agency to consider public concerns early on, before a decision is made, aligning with the Forest Service’s collaborative approach to forest management and increasing the likelihood of resolving ongoing concerns. A summary of objection issues and timely objection letters can be found here and timely objection letters can found in the reading room at: 

https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?project=44589.

The objection period was followed by a ten-day period during which the public could file as an interested person. In order to ensure potential objection resolution discussions are open and transparent, interested persons may participate in those discussions. Once interested parties are determined, the Forest Service will arrange for objection resolution meetings with objectors and interested parties. Virtual public meetings are being planned for the end of September. As dates are firmed up, objectors and interested parties will be contacted.”

Keep Informed

Would you like to receive electronic updates for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Plan Revision? The Forest now has an electronic mailing list. You can sign up for the electronic mailing list by following the instructions below.

 

Email Updates
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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hlcnf/home/?cid=stelprd3798801