Dubois mayor Twila Blakeman and Rick Metzer, Shoshone National Forest, Wind River District ranger. (June Bonasera photo)

Dubois mayor Twila Blakeman and Rick Metzer, Shoshone National Forest, Wind River District ranger. (June Bonasera photo)

By June Bonasera, County10.com

(Dubois, Wyo.) – Approximately 20 people were in attendance at Tuesday evening’s first of two USFS Forest Plan revision meetings in Fremont County. Tuesday evening’s session was held at Headwaters Arts and Conference Center in Dubois. Tonight, Wednesday, from 5 to 7 p.m. the second session is planned for the Monarch Room at the Pronghorn Lodge in Lander. A question and answer period begins at 6 p.m.

At Tuesday’s meeting, U.S. Forest Service staff members were in attendance to answer questions about the draft plan, with display boards and handouts describing the changes proposed to the 1986 plan for each of the forest use categories including: Oil and Gas Resources, Commercial Livestock Grazing, Special Interest Areas, Wildlife, Summer and Winter Motorized Recreation and Roadless Areas.

Ellen Jungck and Carrie Christman, Shoshone National Forest planning staff, discuss the forest plan draft with Pete Petera. (June Bonasera photo)

After a period of one-on-one question and answer opportunities for community members, Carrie Christman, USFS planning staff presented an overview of the planning revision process to date. She explained to the audience that the alternatives proposed in the draft were based on public comment and changes that have affected the forest since the 1986 Forest Plan was written. Changes mentioned were new laws and regulations, changes to the ecosystem, and specifically the infestation of pine bark and spruce beetles. Christman stated that the USFS draft offered 3 basic alternatives: ‘A’- a no- action alternative which would incur no changes to the 1986 plan, ‘B’-the recommended plan which would include active forest management changes or ‘C’- a plan which would emphasize protection of back country lands. She then fielded questions from the audience.

The public was encouraged to submit comments on the draft in writing or via e-mail, with the 90 day comment period ending November 1, 2012.

Contact information for comment:

E-Mail: shoshone_forestplan@fs.fed.us

Postal mail: Shoshone National Forest Plan Comments 808 Meadow Lane Avenue Cody, WY 82414