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Don't ignore the public in the new Shoshone forest plan

Mar 11, 2012 - Nick Dobric, Lander

After 257 people took the time to comment in support of additional wilderness on the Shoshone National Forest plan revision, the few people given a seat at the table don't want to include any areas for consideration in the preferred alternative.

The agency identified 34 areas that meet the requirements, and conservationists already have compromised and only advocated for a few special places including the DuNoir, Trout Peak, and the Wood River/Franc's Peak areas.

The U.S. Forest Forest Service says the public comments carry weight, but it appears that the few elected officials don't care what the public has to say and are moving forward with their own agenda in contrast to the recommended wilderness that generated the most public support.

I've hunted, fished, and explored these areas and know the value they have to wildlife and a quality back-country experience. Having the areas recommended for wilderness is the best way to keep them as they are.

It doesn't mean they are going to be designated wilderness -- it just keeps that potential on the table for future consideration. I hope the Forest Service can do what it had intended and represent the desires of the public.

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