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Meridian Institute

Flathead National Forest Plan Revision

External Project Site: merid.org/FNFplanrevision
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Related: Environment and Natural Resources

In April 2013, Meridian Institute began working with the Flathead National Forest to design and implement a stakeholder engagement process for the revision of the Forest Management Plan. The Flathead is one of the “Mid-Adopter” Forests revising their Forest Plans under the 2012 National Forest Planning Rule. The project engaged interested stakeholders near the Forest and around the region and the country in an inclusive, efficient, deliberative process focusing on key planning issues such as wilderness designation, recreational access, timber harvest, and threatened and endangered species. 

Meridian Institute conducted a series of stakeholder interviews during the spring of 2013 to gather input about how to design the process.  Between September 2013 and May 2014, Meridian convened, facilitated, and documented a series of meetings and calls, including a design workshop to finalize the details of the process; process advice calls; multiple collaboration meetings to discuss substantive issues related to Forest-wide Plan components and geographic area-specific components; and an interagency working group. In addition, Meridian also facilitated engagement with the broader public through an online E-collaboration component.

The stakeholder engagement component of the Plan Revision process concluded in May 2014, with a final set of meetings. A detailed report of the process, the Flathead National Forest Stakeholder Collaboration Final Report, was released in October 2014. Meridian continued to facilitate the Interagency Group, a group of local, state, and federal agency representatives until early 2017. The goal of the Interagency Group was to ensure that the revised Forest Plan reflects the shared objectives and values of other land management and regulatory agencies in addition to those of the Forest.