April 21 (Bozeman) and April 28 (Billings), the Custer Gallatin Forest Plan Revision Team is inviting interested Forest stakeholders to help contribute to the range of alternatives, setting the stage for the upcoming specialists’ analysis. Many comments received focused on certain land allocations and meetings will focus on several variations including recommended wilderness, backcountry areas, recreation emphasis areas and more.
“Meetings will focus on high-level alternatives and landing at a solid place to start analyzing these alternatives,” said Virginia Kelly, Forest Plan Revision Team Leader. “We won’t be getting into every detail, but are looking to ensure the spectrum of comments we heard is incorporated, that people are able to help give critical feedback in the further development of these alternatives and we are in a good place prior to moving into writing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS),”
The Forest is just over halfway through a four-year process to revise their Forest Plan, the overarching document that guides management of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. The meetings, set on two Saturdays encourage folks to travel in and come together to hear about the comments received and how that helps set the stage for the alternatives. The range of alternatives is directly linked to the comments heard from the public and is a critical step before starting into the analysis.
Just after the meetings in April, specialists will set the alternatives and start to dive deep into environmental analysis; which includes months of inquiry, researching, working across many specialties and breaking down each alternative to determine the potential environmental impacts of each alternative.
The meeting in Bozeman, Saturday, April 21 will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Larkspur Room, and the meeting on Saturday, April 28 in Billings will be held at the Bighorn Resort, Broso & Bighorn Rooms. Both meetings start at 9:30 a.m. with a coffee and mingle, followed by the workshop starting promptly at 10:00 a.m. Meetings are expected to last several hours (approx. 1:00 p.m) in order to really get into each alternative. A virtual option is available. Meetings will be laid out with a presentation up front and then dialogue about the alternatives in small breakouts for the remainder of the meeting.