What goes into National Forest planning?
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: August 22, 2018

Bozeman, MT – At just over half-way through revising their forest plan, the Custer Gallatin National Forest is hosting the Science of National Forest Planning Symposium at Big Sky Resort, Friday morning, September 14 starting at 8:00 a.m. in the Roosevelt Amphitheatre of Huntley Lodge.  “Forest Plan Revision is a complex and lengthy undertaking and we live in a special area within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and stretching to far expanses in southeastern Montana and northwestern South Dakota with spectacular landscapes,” said Virginia Kelly, Forest Plan Revision Team Leader.  “As a forest we are deep into working on the draft plan and science is a critical component to that.  Our aim is to highlight a portion of the topics we saw public interest in and provide an opportunity for deeper learning and understanding about the science that is being used.”

Ten speakers will fill the morning providing an overview and a deeper dive into respective topics such as implementation of the planning rule, ecological integrity, setting the vision in a changing climate, fire as part of the ecosystem, the importance of riparian areas and connectivity for all species.  A panel discussion with 5 of the speakers will round out the day from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. “What a great day planned, learn more about what is being looked at, grab lunch then spend the afternoon recreating on the Forest,” Kelly explained.

Speakers carry a wide variety of expertise and experiences, from holding positions on the Forest Service’s National Advisory Committee to Directors for local/regionally based, nationally-known nonprofits and research scientists.  The day will open at 8:00 a.m. with sessions being approximately 20 minutes followed by a mid-morning break (light refreshments), then additional sessions, and to close there will be a panel discussion and questions.

A virtual option is available for those unable to attend in person, tune in at:  https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/cgpm-500/ (mobile compatible as well with adobe connect app pre-loaded).  The event will be recorded and posted on the Forest Plan Revision website afterwards.  The event is hosted Friday morning following the 14th Biennial Science Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, with special thanks to Yellowstone Forever for the opportunity.  Live streaming is anticipated on the Custer Gallatin National Forest facebook pageas well.  To receive emails on the latest Forest Planning information opt-in by signing up online at www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin and click on Forest Plan Revision or emailing cgplanrevision@fs.fed.us.