JOHN DAY – Mark your calendar – The plan revision for the national forests of the Blue Mountains will be the focus of a series of public meetings in March and April, in John Day, Burns, and other communities across the region and in two states.
The public is invited to attend and comment on the draft environmental impact statement and proposed Revised Land Management Plan, commonly known as the Forest Plan, for the Malheur, Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, and a portion of the Ochoco National Forest.
The Forest Service said the document will released to the public March 14, for a 90-day comment period.
On March 17, the first of 12 public meetings will be held at the Malheur National Forest building, 431 Patterson Bridge Road, in John Day. Meetings follow on March 18 at the Chamber of Commerce Community Center in Burns, and on March 19 at Long Creek Community Center in Long Creek. The meetings are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Other sessions will be held in Enterprise, Baker City, La Grande, Halfway, Portland and Pendleton.
“It is critical that the public become involved and provide input on the draft Forest Plan and DEIS,” said Steve Beverlin, acting Malheur Forest supervisor.
He urged people to attend, and said the public’s input will help determine what the final Forest Plans looks like.
Forest Plans guide land management decisions for about 15 years. They do not approve projects or actions, such as trail or road closures, on national forest system lands; further NEPA and public engagement is required for such decisions.