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BRIDGE NEWS & FOREST PLANS 1-11-16 LMS

The Lemhi County Commissioners have received word that the Rattlesnake Bridge project is nearing completion and that a ribbon cutting ceremony is being talked about for some time in late January or early February. The county has asked for as much lead time as possible so the event can be adequately publicized.

Deputy Forest Supervisor Cheri A. Ford met with the commissioners January 11 to get acquainted and to update the board on a Forest Plan Revision.

She said the revision to the forest plan involves two forests, the Salmon and the Challis and the goal is to combine the separate plans into one. She said the plans are actually very different from each other, including some terminology, which makes the revision more complicated than others around the country. She said it will be nice when the two forests are speaking the same language and using the same processes.

Ford said the Regional Forest office has recommended extra funding to handle the work load. The actual work will begin in 2017 but the gearing-up process is beginning with pre-assessment work and filling staff positions. Electronic systems are also being prepared. It is anticipated that the bulk of the forest plan revision work will be completed by 2019.

She said they will be looking at such things as communication plans and have already met with the local Forest Collaborative group. She said the Forest Service will stay in constant touch with the group throughout the process. Ford said they will be asking how the county wants to be involved. She said it is premature to say exactly what changes will be made however, she doesn’t anticipate any big changes in things like forest designations.

Commissioner John Jakovac said there has been a need for more active forest management for quite some time. He said the Forest Collaborative has been a big help in that direction.

Ford read a long list of projects scheduled for this year and the commissioners explained the bi-yearly meetings with the agency; one in the Spring to discuss what projects are scheduled and another in the fall for a summary of what was accomplished. The Autumn meeting usually includes whatever has happened during the year’s fire season. Commissioner Chairman Rick Snyder said the board is willing to meet with the Forest Service at any time.

Ford joined the Salmon-Challis National Forest in September of 2015.


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