Concerned About Future of Lolo National Forest? Share Your Thoughts
With issues ranging from wildfire to wildlife, and how to manage recreation as Western Montana's population goes through another growth spurt, some upcoming meetings will be critical for you to enjoy National Forest lands around Missoula.
Like several National Forests in the region, Lolo National Forest is launching a major effort this year to revise its Forest Plan, the document which forms the basis for forest planning, management, and operations. And that includes a ton of opportunities for local residents to get involved and have their suggestions on the future of the Lolo National Forest folded into the new plan.
The process started in January and ramps up this coming week with more meetings and workshops.
Next workshops are for the "Assessment" phase
Last month's meetings and webinars focused on the need to update the plan and some of the initial objectives. Now, the next series of workshops will dive into issues such as the need to change, the goal of using the "best available science", and a closer look at the "roles and contributions of" the forest. The key effort is to get your input on those elements, so they can be included in the environmental assessment, which has to be completed before the plan is adopted.
The workshops will be "in person", with a chance to attend virtually with stops in Missoula, Plains, Superior, and Seely Lake, starting February 13th and extending through the end of the month. There's a Lolo Revision Web Hub, where you can see all the information.
Here's the complete description of the upcoming workshops:
- Foundations of Revision Webinar on Feb 13 from 6-7 p.m.: Learn more about the technical aspects covered in the workshops including Assessment, distinctive roles and contributions, ecosystem services, the need to change, and the best available scientific information. Presented by Revision Team Leader, Amanda Milburn.
- Missoula Workshop, Common Ground in the Lolo on Feb 21 from 6-8 p.m., webinar screening from 5:30-6 p.m.
- Plains Workshop, Common Ground in the Lolo on Feb 22 from 6-8 p.m., webinar screening from 5:30-6 p.m.
- Seeley Lake Workshop, Common Ground in the Lolo on Feb 23 from 6-8 p.m., webinar screening from 5:30-6 p.m.
- Superior Workshop, Common Ground in the Lolo on Feb 23 from 6-8 p.m., webinar screening from 5:30-6 p.m.
- Revision Team Office Hours on Feb. 15 from 5-6 p.m.: Virtual opportunity to ask questions about the revision process with key revision team staff and Revision Team Leader, Amanda Milburn. At this event, there will be an opportunity to meet the Revision Team and learn more about the Forest Service staff members focused on the Lolo’s land management plan revision.
- Ranger Chats: Opportunity to discuss the Revision process in person with District Rangers across all five districts of the Lolo National Forest.