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Flathead National Forest Plan Receives More Than 34,000 Comments

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Flathead National Forest
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Meetings this week address revisions and amendments to a few of Montana's National Forest plans.

Wilderness advocates say they’re “really excited” at the number of public comments supporting wilderness and wildlife habitat in Flathead National Forest.

The Flathead is re-writing its forest plan. A draft was released last May, and a public comment period was open until October 3. Keith Hammer, chairman of the Swan View Coalition in Kalispell, says his group counted at least 34,400 comments in favor of prioritizing wilderness and wildlife management.

“Urging the Forest Service to recommend wilderness for all roadless lands, and to continue with their current program to remove another 500 miles from grizzly bear habitat to improve wildlife security and water quality for fish and wildlife,” Hammer said.

The Swan View Coalition and other local advocates asked national groups including the Sierra Club and Wild Earth Guardians to help generate public comments in support of wilderness and wildlife habitat.

“These are America’s public lands, and they belong to everybody,” Hammer said. “And we can’t leave these kinds of decisions up to local government, or local groups that sit in a room and think that, well, because they sat in a room together that they should run the Flathead National Forest.”

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