Revised national forest plan to be released for comments

OKANOGAN – The Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forests are revising their forest plans in a joint project that encompasses nearly five million acres of National Forest System lands in Central and Northeast Washington.

The National Forest Management Act mandates all national forests to update their land management plans every 15 years. The Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forests introduced their land management plans in 1989-90.

The two national forests are releasing a Plan Revision proposed action on June 30, which initiates a 60-day comment period that ends on Aug. 29, 2011. Comments on the proposed action will assist in the development of alternatives for the draft environmental impact statement, which should be released in June 2012. A final environmental impact statement and Record of Decision is planned for fall 2013.

Public meetings will be held mid-June through mid-August in communities near the two national forests to share information about the proposed action and comment process. A list of meeting dates and locations will be announced soon via media release and will be posted on the project web page:

The proposed action document, maps and other informational material will also be posted on the project website or available on CD beginning on June 30. Hard copies of the document will be available for viewing at forest service offices and public libraries. Questions or comments can be directed to the Forest Plan Revision Team at: (509) 826-3396 or (509) 826-3275; or e-mail:, or postal mail: Okanogan Valley Office, 1240 Second Ave. South, Okanogan, WA 98840.