but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
--Samuel Adams - Leader in our Fight for Independence
In 2002 the KNF held public meetings in several locations around the forest to take the public pulse on some key planning issues. The meetings were well attended. Dozens of issue statements made by attendees were eventually collected from these meetings. At these meetings, the public was given 5 colored stickers to place next to issue statements that they favored. The results were tabulated. You can see the results >>>>HERE and our summary at >>>>Public Input
Working Groups were formed from sign up sheets at these meetings. These groups met for months formulating Desired Future Condition statements covering the six primary planning issues in their geographic area on the forest. The groups were told that their DFCs would be used to help build a set of alternatives.
When the Regional Forester decided to use the new regulations, the KIPZ put together a "Starting Option" and reconvened the working groups to comment on the SO. MFMU attended several meetings in LIbby in the first round and several more in Eureka in the second.
KNF released the Draft Forest Plan Map in October, 05. Three important changes were made to the Starting Option.
To learn more about KIPZ public comment go to >>>>Public Input
KIPZ has put together a summary of the new management area descriptions.
Wilderness Study Areas *
Designated Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers
Eligible and Suitable Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers
Special Interest Areas **
Established and Proposed Research
4b Experimental Forests
Backcountry - non-motorized
5c Backcountry Winter
6 General Forest
7 Primary Recreation Areas
*KNF has stated that they plan to continue to allow snowmobiling in the Ten Lakes WSA but no summer motorized use . However, the language they are using is very similar to the language in the 1986 Flathead NF plan that Judge Malloy ruled prohibited snowmobiling. Furthermore, they are currently working on a separate planning project called the Galton Project. Montana Wilderness Ass. claims that current snowmobile use in the WSA is illegal. Expect a lawsuit if Galton Project allows current level of snowmobile use. Also we do not know what planning rule Galton is using.
** Motorized use allowed in scenic, recreational, geological and historical SIAs only. Not allowed in wild river segments.
We underlined the other areas where motorized use will be allowed on designated open roads and trails. Except for the underlining, the above descriptions are excerpted and copied exactly from a draft KIPZ document. To see the entire document including tables of permitted and prohibited uses, go >>>>HERE . These documents came from the KIPZ website
Go to our KIPZ Map page to see where these descriptions will be used. You will also find tables there showing the acreage allocations.
(55 to 65 MMBF per year) will be about the same as recent years
but only about 33% of what is currently dying (about 230 MMBF)
each year so forest health will continue to deteriorate and fire
hazard will continue to accumulate. historical highs.
Fewer timber jobs predicted.
Suitable base for timber production will decrease by one
third. CH1-15, CH2-3,
Motorized access is expected to decrease even though the
demand will increase thus increasing the pressure on roads and
trails open to motorized use dramatically.
This will in turn lower the quality of the experience and
may cause problems that some will use as an excuse to close even
more access. CH2-7,
76,000 acres of new SIA (Special Interest Areas). Most of this increase results from enlarging the Ten Lakes
Area. The use and
access restrictions will be determined later.
All current recommendations for wilderness have been
these areas are still being managed as defacto wilderness under
the management designation of
“Wildlands”. The only difference between Wildlands and designated
Wilderness is that forest managers can use hand held mechanized
equipment in Wildlands. There
are several new areas that have been included in the Wildlands
category such as the Whitefish Divide east of Graves Cr. and north
of MT Marston.
The new Grizzly open road and total road densities will be
achieved in 5 years. That
is a very aggressive road closure and road rip program, and
ensures more fuel buildup and catastrophic fires will result from
areas with no access.
The new plan will only treat 5000 – 15,000 acres of hazardous fire fuels per year. That is not enough to even keep up with biomass growth in strategic fuel break areas again ensuring future catastrophic fires.
The trend in Flathead Forest Management is very much like management trends on the other forests in these planning zones. In fact, nationwide the FS is moving to a more restrictive, less people friendly, more of a preservation philosophy of management. Most of the intensively managed lands like the timber base will be managed less intensively. Less heavily managed general forest lands are becoming backcountry. Backcountry is becoming wilderness. Motorized is becoming non-motorized. Open lands and open roads are being closed.
Important differences in the Flathead and Kootenai plans are that the KNF has divided Backcountry into 3 categories of trail use – no motorized, snowmobile only and winter and summer off road motorized. There are no open roads in these areas. Also KNF has replaced recommended wilderness with Wildlands management and KNF has grouped all of general forest uses into one category.
Panhandle National Forests - Jodi Kramer
(208) 765-7235 Fax: (208) 765-7307
National Forest - Kirsten Kaiser
(406) 283-7659 Fax: (406) 283-7709
must be postmarked no later than August 10, 2006.
should be submitted to:
KIPZ Proposed Land Management Plan
Kootenai National Forest
1101 Highway 2 West
Libby, MT 59923
This page was last updated on 06/16/09
Copyright 1999-2007 by Montanans For Multiple Use