The Salmon-Challis National Forest is the heart of Idaho, important for the people who live nearby and for folks across the Gem State. The Salmon-Challis offers world-class wildlife, clean water and outdoor recreation opportunities that are the envy of America. At the same time, the Salmon-Challis has natural resources that help drive local jobs and make Idaho stronger. This vast, 4.3 million-acre forest includes iconic places such as
- Pioneers Mountains
- Borah Peak
- Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
- Pahsimeroi Valley
- Wild and Scenic Salmon River.
The Salmon-Challis National Forest is in the process of updating their forest management plan. Once finalized, this plan will guide how the entire forest is managed for the next 20+ years. Generally speaking, these plans take four or more years to develop. We know that our members care about the future of this iconic place and for that reason it’s our goal to highlight opportunities for you to get involved and speak up for what care about most on your public lands.
We’re at a Critical Juncture
Today, the Salmon-Challis National Forest team released a draft assessment report and a preliminary “needs for change” statement. The assessment examines existing conditions of the natural resources, uses and other influences on the Salmon-Challis National Forest. This forest-wide assessment reviewed 15 ecological, social and economic topics and identified places on the forest where changes in management may need to occur under the new forest plan (this is referred to as the “needs for change”). These preliminary needs for change that the planning team identified include:
- Public need for feasible firewood collection
- Recognition of tribal treaty rights, changing derogatory place names, and recognition of culturally and historically important resources
- Responses to wildfire
- Riparian and aquatic habitat conditions
- Old growth/late successional management
- Climate change impacts
- Forest health improvement
- Adaptive grazing management
- Local community economic and social sustainability
Forest Service Seeks Feedback
The U.S. Forest Service is seeking feedback right now to validate if what they have identified are in fact the greatest needs for change. Identifying accurate needs for change right now is critical as this assessment will provide the foundation on which the forest planning team will begin to craft the new Salmon-Challis Forest plan.
This Is Where You Come In!
We encourage you to spend some time going through the draft assessment report and preliminary needs for change statement. Does this information look right to you? Take some notes.
You can attend one of the Salmon-Challis Forest planning team’s meetings or the online webinar to learn more about the assessment and provide feedback. Can’t attend a meeting or the webinar? That’s okay, too. You can also type up your thoughts on the draft assessment report and email them directly to the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Upcoming Salmon Challis Forest Meetings
Challis, 6-8 pm, Monday, Nov 6, at the William Cobbley Senior Center
Salmon, 6-8 pm, Tuesday, Nov 7, at the Idaho Fish and Game conference room
Arco, 6-8 pm, Wednesday, Nov 8, at the Arco-Butte Business Incubation Center
Mackay, 1-3 pm, Thursday, Nov 9, at the American Legion
Ketchum, 6-8 pm Tuesday, Nov 14, at the Community Library
Webinar, 1-2:30 pm Thursday, Nov 16, webinar link: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/scnf-fpr/