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Forest plan to help guide management

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Aug 05 2013 10:13:56 AM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

The Flathead National Forest is looking for your thoughts on what changes should be made to the forest land.  The forest service will be holding public field trips in the coming weeks to answer any questions or take any comments anyone may have.

They’re beginning to embark on a multi-year planning effort to update the forest plan, which helps guide forest management on decisions and use of Flathead National Forest land.

"We're required to update these plans every 15 years,” said Joe Krueger, who is the Forest Revision Plan Team Leader.

He's in charge of creating and studying the forest plan over the next few years.

"These plans guide where certain activities can occur on the national forest and where certain activities should not occur."

Hiking is a popular recreational activity in the forest, so we hit the trails to see for ourselves.

Kristianne Jones went camping with family in the forest this weekend.

I caught up with her and her family out on the trails today, and Jones tells us the trails are nice, but they aren't perfect.

"We don't know that if at the outlook you continue to go and come back down, there are no signs up there.  At the bottom it told us it was a mile to the outlook but we had to come back down the same way because we were not sure where it would go," Jones said.

Updating the plan will take some time, but Krueger wants to make sure everyone's voice is heard.

"It's time for us to update that with some of these new principles that want to guide the future of the management.  Where we have motorized use, where we have non-motorized use and where we have timber harvest and don't have timber harvest.  It’s important to get how the public sees and wants to get value from this land and so it's time and we're ready to take this task on."