BAKER CITY – The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is posting a Travel Management Plan newsletter to 1,700 mailboxes and over 2,000 email inboxes this weekend.
The Wallowa-Whitman TMP stirred intense interest and protests last year when it was released in March. The Forest Service withdrew the plan last April.
In the newsletter, Forest Supervisor John Laurence stresses that there is no agenda or imposed timeline for a plan decision, and that the staff “will work hard to establish effective ways to engage the public in discussions so that the public’s input is considered in the development and implementation of the plan.”
The newsletter includes information about the analysis of public comments that were received in 2012, new maps that are being developed that display existing conditions, and additional information about the Travel Management Rule.
A complete copy of the newsletter and instructions for how to get on the TMP mailing list are available on the Wallowa-Whitman website at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman.
“It is clear to me that access to the forest is important, regardless of how you use public lands,” said Laurence. “It’s important to me, as well, as I seek to fulfill the mission of the Forest Service. Balancing the needs for access in a way that protects the resources and health of the forest, and lives within our budget constraints is a critical and challenging task. We can only be successful and effective if we work together.
“One thing I want people to know is that the decision will be made carefully, openly, and with the health of the forest and surrounding communities in mind.”Read more on bluemountaineagle.com.