White River forest plan still a few months away | PostIndependent.com

White River forest plan still a few months away

It will be a few months before the recently approved White River National Forest long-range plan is made public, the agency said Thursday.

In what WRNF officials are calling a major milestone, Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Rick Cables signed the record of decision on the plan revision Tuesday. But the WRNF says release of the plan must await printing of documents.

The documents first go to the Government Printing Office, which processes them and then ships them to a printer.

“Once the printer has the documents and can review its press schedule, we should have a better idea on the release date,” Dan Hormaechea, the WRNF’s planning director, said Thursday.

The Forest Service expects to be able to announce the anticipated release date in about three weeks.

The final plan will be sent to local libraries, and must also be sent to federal, state and local governments. WRNF offices also will have copies available for review, and the plan will be available for free on a CD-ROM and on the Forest Service website.

Said forest planner Carolyn Upton, “All these copies will have to be available on the same day, and right now we don’t know what that day will be.

“It’s kind of like taking your exams and knowing you passed, but until you have your cap and gown on, walk the stage and have your diploma in hand, you’re not officially a graduate,” she said.

Once the plan is made public, the Forest Service must wait another 30 days before implementing the plan.

Also, any individual or group wishing to appeal the plan will have 90 days from the release date to do so.

An appeal would not stop implementation of the plan. Hormaechea said someone could seek a court order to stop implementation, but if it were granted, it would most likely apply to only a portion of the plan, not all of it.

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