10,000 Square Miles: Montana Forests Testing Planning Reforms

Three National Forests, the Flathead, the Helena-Lewis and Clark and the Custer-Gallatin are all writing the basic governing documents that lay out what can and can’t happen, and where, in their vast territories. In January the Helena-Lewis and Clark is holding a series of public input meetings on their new forest plan.

Montana Public Radion interview with Martin Nie, University of Montana Professor of Natural Resource Policy.

10,000 Square Miles: Montana Forests Testing Planning Reforms

Interesting excerpt about potential new laws under the Trump administration:

Whitney: I guess the other option would be for Congress to write more specific laws, do you have concerns about that?

Nie: Oh, absolutely, and it’s a great question. I think that’s what we’re going to see in the next year, a big pivot point. We’ve seen a number of proposed bills that are really radical overhauls of the existing legal structure, in terms of NEPA, in terms of National Forest management, and so that’ll be the question. And I don’t know what to expect in that regard. We’re at such a pivotal crossroads with federal lands management. It goes even beyond the National Forests. We’ve just had one pendulum swing from another for the last 20 years. And you’ve seen our federal land agencies swing between administrations, and so yeah, I think planning does offer that potential of having a very grounded, place-specific sort of direction for an agency that has the potential of a lot of local and national buy-in.

4 Comments

  1. Steve

    Thanks for this link.

    This, in particular gives me a little more hope than I’ve had to date:
    “the new 2012 planning rule has a new objections process. So it allows for an objection for those groups that have participated since the very early stages. It’s going to be very hard for any group that has not participated in planning to have any voice in the plan whatsoever because of the new 2012 regulation.”

    But then does it really matter if every implementation step can be litigated against whether they participated in the planning process or not? Will there still be too many cooks (litigators)? “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” 🙁

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