[Vision2020] Environmentalists object to forest plan

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Sat Nov 30 16:24:29 PST 2013

Courtesy of today's (November 30, 2013) Lewiston Tribune.

Environmentalists object to forest plan
Wilderness recommendations for Idaho Panhandle National Forest draw ire of environmental groups
A coalition of environmental groups has objected to wilderness recommendations included in the management plan for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.
In total, the draft record of decision for the new forest plan recommends 161,400 acres for wilderness designation. But the groups, which include the Moscow-based Friends of the Clearwater, the Sierra Club, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Kootenai Environmental Alliance, contend some prime country such as portions of the Mallard-Larkins roadless area and Grand Mother Mountain area were left out of the agency's wilderness proposal.
The Mallard-Larkins area, sandwiched between the St. Joe River and North Fork of the Clearwater River basins, sits in both the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and the Panhandle National Forest to the north. It includes the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area, which was recommended for wilderness protection.
However, Gary Macfarlane with Friends of the Clearwater said the groups are disappointed roadless properties like Foehls Creek west of the Little North Fork River were left out of the proposal. Macfarlane said the area includes some the most remote and wild land in the area.
"Wilderness and wild country were shortchanged in this plan, including portions of the Mallard-Larkins, especially the remote wild country west of the Little North Fork," he said.
Macfarlane said his group was also surprised that none of the alternatives considered by the agency included protection of the Grand Mother Mountain Area near Clarkia. The area is a popular destination for people who live in and around Moscow.
"I think that disappoints a lot of people," he said.
The groups filed an official objection this week. Under rules adopted earlier this year, objections replaced appeals as the means for members of the public to take issue with actions planned by the Forest Service.
Other complaints by the group include a lack of measurable standards in the plan, which will be used to guide future actions by the agency.
"Unlike the current forest plan, there are few if any obligatory standards for water quality, wildlife habitat or other public values to make sure these resources are maintained or improved," said Jeff Juel of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"There's room at the top they are telling you still 
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill 
If you want to be like the folks on the hill."

- John Lennon

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