“Planned wilderness” seems like an oxymoron, but keeping wild spaces wild isn’t as easy as it might seem. That was the case with the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forests as the USDA Forest Service embarked on revision of its long-range plans for these two forests. When, as part of the revision process, the Forest Service began evaluating roadless areas for potential recommendation for congressional designation as wilderness, they contacted the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and asked EnviroIssues to help facilitate the process.
Decisions about managing national forests are complex and sometimes contentious. We designed and implemented a collaborative process, engaging tribes and other stakeholders across the region in discussions about future land use decisions. We oversaw public involvement, facilitated multiple public and advisory group meetings and discussions, and provided documentation along the way.
EnviroIssues developed reports for these two forests, including internal and external assessments of stakeholder perspectives and input on wilderness recommendations. We also provided a final report for the Institute, summarizing public comments and stakeholder opinions and recommendations.
Sometimes, even a forest needs a little help to be all it can be.