Missoula, Mont., January 31, 2024 – Today, the Lolo National Forest published a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for its land management plan revision in the Federal Register. A legal notice will be published in the Missoulian tomorrow, February 1, to begin a 60-day scoping comment period on the Proposed Action and Preliminary Need to Change.
The land management plan, commonly referred to as a forest plan, is being revised for the first time since 1986. The Proposed Action is a preliminary draft of a revised plan developed so the public can identify key issues and information gaps to inform alternative development in the next phase of the revision process.
The Proposed Action and Preliminary Need to Change were developed in collaboration with tribal, county, state and federal partners, diverse interest groups, and hundreds of individuals throughout 2023. The strategic direction included within these documents was informed by the best available science.
“This revision milestone is a tremendous step forward for the Lolo National Forest. The effort invested by the public developing these documents was invaluable and I’m grateful for the engagement we’ve experienced so far,” said Forest Supervisor Carolyn Upton, Lolo National Forest. “This proposed action is a reflection of our collective best efforts, and I look forward to hearing what we got right and what issues need to be further addressed in our work to come.”
During the comment period there will be opportunities to learn about the content of the documents and engage with Forest Service staff.
The following Plan Revision Events will be offered in February. Please visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/lolo/planrevision for more information and how to attend.
- Online Webinar, Orientation to the Proposed Action on February 1 from 5-7 p.m.
- Online Revision Team Office Hours on February 8 from 10-11 a.m.
- St. Regis Proposed Action Public Meeting on February 13 from 4-6 p.m.
- Missoula Proposed Action Public Meeting on February 15 from 5-7 p.m.
- Online Proposed Action Public Meeting on February 20 from 5-7 p.m.
- Online Revision Team Office Hours on February 26 from 5-6 p.m.
The public is invited to submit comments during the 60-day scoping period.
Comments may be sent electronically by clicking the “Submit Comments” button on the righthand side of the project webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/lolo/planrevision. Written comments or inquiries may be sent to:
Attn: Amanda Milburn – Lolo Plan Revision Lolo National Forest Supervisor’s Office 24 Fort Missoula Road Missoula, MT 59804 Please note comments must be submitted, post marked and/or hand delivered by April
All correspondence, including names and addresses, will be part of the public record. To ensure your comments are effectively tracked and reviewed, please avoid submitting multiple comments to different sites or addresses.
The purpose of the plan revision is to set forth strategic guidance for future decision making that provides sustainability (social, economic, and ecological), diversity of plant and animal communities, and multiple use as required by the 2012 Planning Rule. The Forest expects to issue the final Record of Decision and Revised Plan in 2026.
The responsible official for the revision process and the revised Land Management Plan is Lolo National Forest Supervisor Carolyn Upton. The revision of the forest plan is being conducted in accordance with the 2012 Planning Rule and the Lolo National Forest is the fifth national forest to initiate revision under this rule in the Northern Region of the Forest Service.
For more information, please visit the Lolo National Forest here https://www.fs.usda.gov/lolo or on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Forest Service: The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.