County, coalition sign collaborative agreement

Print Article

An agreement the Lincoln County Commission signed Nov. 29 might be unique in Montana.

At the very least, it was a dream come true for one of the involved parties.

“The Yaak Valley Forest Council and me personally have been hoping for something like this for 20 years, so thank you,” the council’s Executive Director Robyn King told the County Commissioners after all three voted in favor of the agreement.

The Memorandum of Agreement is between the Commission and the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition. In addition to the Yaak Valley Forest Council, the Coalition includes the Kootenai River Development Council, Troy Snowmobile Club, Montana Wilderness Association and other recreation organizations and business entities.

“The agreement is just a statement that says we are willing to work together to find common ground where possible on projects that the Forest Service brings forth in their yearly planning process,” King wrote in a follow-up email. “As far as we know, there isn’t another stakeholder/commissioner agreement like this in the state.”

King wrote that the agreement will help the coalition fulfill its goal to “enhance communication and coordination between all community members who have an interest in management of our federal lands.”

Under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, an environmental review process already exists that allows the public to participate in deciding what to do with federal lands. What King believes has been missing “is the coordination of community voices in that process.”

“This agreement ... is a first step in unifying our community participation in the process,” she wrote. “It seems to us that the more unified our community voice is on how our public lands are managed opens the door for greater collaboration with the Forest Service.”

With the signed agreement, King said the coalition would “actively seek” projects it and the Commission could collaborate on and “use these guidelines .. to bring a unified voice to the analysis process.”

King noted that the coalition since 2006 has sought “to find common ground where we can on traditionally polarizing land management issues.”

“We just can’t tell you how excited we are about this opportunity,” King told the Commission after the agreement was signed and everybody was getting ready to leave the table.

“Our goal is to make our forests productive,” Commissioner Mike Cole replied. “This is a huge part of it.”

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Health Board presses EPA for investigation results

November 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News The City-County Board of Health has given the Environmental Protection Agency a Dec. 1 deadline for telling it the outcome of an investigation into the improper use of EPA grant funds. The letter m...

Comments

Read More

Troy vote final: 2nd Street sale defeated

November 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News With all Lincoln County votes counted and tallied, the west end of Second Street in Troy that intersects with Highway 2 will not be sold to Town Pump, after the ballot initiative was defeated by thre...

Comments

Read More

Man charged with attempted deliberate homicide in stabbing of Libby man

November 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Western News Michael Borchardt Robertson, 24, of Yakima, Washington has been charged with attempted deliberate homicide for allegedly stabbing Doug Crum of Libby last Sunday afternoon. Robertson, who was arrest...

Comments

Read More

First court hearing held in ACLU suit against Sheriff

November 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News The initial hearing in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union has filed against Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe was held Friday, Nov. 9 in Montana 19th Judicial District Court in Libby. The A...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2018 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X