Five Years of Collaboration
On May 29, 2008, after years of conflict regarding the management of national forests in north-central Idaho, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo convened a diverse group of individuals and challenged them to collaborate to find solutions to divisive natural resource issues. Since its inception CBC members have worked on a multitude of projects and issues with the Forest Service. In May 2013 the Collaborative developed a long-term “Agreement and Work Plan” that articulates their intent to address specific issues through administrative and legislative actions over time.
Agreement & Work Plan Highlights
The Agreement & Work Plan is a milestone in charting a new path for land management within the Clearwater Basin. Signees acknowledge it is a comprehensive approach designed to address the diverse and often competing interests within the Basin. While CBC members recognize this to be an evolving agreement as new information and agreements are forged, their signatures represent commitment to work through these issues over time. The Agreement & Work Plan outlines seven major components:
- Forest Management – A vibrant timber industry is important to achieve economic and ecologic goals within the Basin. CBC agrees to work to provide a more predictable, long-term supply of timber, significantly increase the amount of timber harvested and implement a science-based restoration program.
- Rural Economic Needs and County Funding – Rural counties with high percentages of federal lands are struggling to fund schools, roads, law enforcement and search-and-rescue operations. CBC agrees to work for a legislative solution of more equitable and stable payment system as well as explore other opportunities for economic health in the Basin.
- Honoring Tribal Sacred and Special Places – The Basin is the homeland of the Nez Perce Tribe and includes places of cultural significance. The CBC agrees to work with the Tribe to protect these significant sites.
- Wilderness, Wild & Scenic Rivers and Special Management Areas – The Clearwater Basin is a vast area with many areas and rivers worthy of special protections. CBC agrees to pursue legislative designations for these special lands and rivers.
- Wildlife Management – Over time there have been profound changes in animal populations, particularly elk herds, within the Basin. CBC agrees to work with the Forest Service, IDF&G, Nez Perce Tribe and other landowners to develop habitat restoration strategies.
- Recreation – With growing demand for motorized recreation opportunities, CBC supports establishment of a 180-mile North-South Motorized Route from Avery, ID, to Elk City, ID. CBC is also committed to development of non-motorized recreation opportunities as well.
- Outfitters and Guides – Outfitters and Guides provide an important service on public lands. CBC seeks to protect the interests of outfitters and guides in association with any land protection legislation.