Custer-Gallatin National Forests Working Group

Madison, Gallatin, Park, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Carbon and Bighorn Counties

August 13, 2014, 1:00 PM


John Prinkki, Carbon County Commissioner (Chairman)
Richard Stem, retired Forest Service, consultant
Jim Hart
, Madison County Commissioner, Vice-Chair
Sidney Fitzpatrick, Bighorn County Commissioner
Earl Atwood, Beartooth RC & D office
Erik Nylund, Sen.Testers Reg. Dir & Natural Resource Liason
Jennifer Madgic, Sen. Tester, running for Gall. Co. Comm.
Joe Josephson, Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Alex Sienkiewicz, Gallatin National Forest
John Bodney, Stillwater Mining Company
Robin Hoover, Yellowstone Country (tourism)
Bill Wallace, Sweetgrass County Commissioner
Mary Erickson, Supervisor Gallatin National Forest
Barb Cestero, Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Jerry Furtney, RY Timber
Mike Penfold, Our Montana
Marty Malone, Park County Commissioner
Steve White, Gallatin County Commissioner
Pierre Martineau, Gallatin County Commissioner
Joe Skinner, Gallatin County Commissioner
Dan Clark, Director MSU Local Government Center
Bob Allen, Montana Mountain Bike Alliance
Alex Nixon, Carbon County Attorney
Kathryn QannaYahu, public, EMWH



















































 Audio MP3

Introductions, explanation of formation of working group between Mandison, Gallatin, Park, Sweetgrass, Stillwater and Carbon counties, hoping to add Bighorn. Mission is to assist forest service in getting boots on the ground, and projects accomplished, maintain, preserve and restore forest health.

Stated it was their 5th meeting. They dont want to sit around for 2 years talking about projects, they want to get projects on the ground. Effective collaborative that sets goals and meets those goals - members of collaborative to help meet those goals.

Round Table (counter clockwise) explaining what the participants are hoping to see.
Bob Allen spoke of trail development, quality over quantity, multiple use; Dan Clark, hanging out to see if there would be a need for his services, support; Joe Skinner spoke about being hamstrung by lawsuits; Pierre Martineau agreed with Skinner, solution oriented; Steve White spoke to health and safety, healthy forest, watershed, renweable resource, addressed beetle kill and dealing with management; Marty Malone spoke about timber far away being brought in to keep mill people employed, fires, restoration, soil conservation, wise use of timber; Mike Penfold addressed timber, set a better stage without roadblocks; Jerry Furtney discussed mills and companies disappearing, set up railyards to bring timber in from Wyoming, steady stream of products; Barb Cestero explained GYC, trying to figure out scope and purpose, what role GYC might play in this collaborative; Mary Erickson wanted Forest Service to speak last; Bill Wallace wanted weight behind FS, why burn when there could be use of it, wanted the Fed to help; Robin Hoover addressed that tourism plays a big part in Montana, geo tourism; John Bodney sponke on the Stillwater Mining Co, work collaboratively, culture of conflict, fuel reduction, concerns; Joe Josephson brought up not only the GYC but their part in the Gallatin Community Collaborative how it might intersect; Jennifer Madgic said the Senator appreciates collaborative efforts, spoke of learning about various FS projects;

I was concerned by Nylunds statement, so I have transcribed most of it for you. The reason there is so much litigation is because MEPA and NEPA are not being followed, but bypassed. Land management needs to be based on a number of things, most especially the science, not just special interests of a group of people. 31:30 - Erik Nylund, "Senator Tester is a big fan of collaboratives. The best ideas are going to come from the ground in Montana, they are not going to come from Washington DC with mandates and things like that. That's where a lot of things with FS or any other agency for that matter, go awry. We have some very well functioning collaboratives in Montana that have done some great things...You guys can really do a lot here, bring some people in, hopefully avoid some of the litigation. I think you said it best, put your collective weight behind it, those are the sort of things that a federal judge is going to notice when you guys come to an agreement, FS part of it, pretty diverse crowd, and one or two people sitting on the other side of the courtroom. That's the future of land management. And the tourism issue, 6 billion dollars alone, Montana's economy, public lands generate. That's not counting the grazing, the timber, the mining. These public lands are defintely some of our most important treasures. So your work here is very important work for the whole states economy."

Earl Atwood spoke to more clear identification of issues, organization to assist FS, stave off landmines of the past; Sidney Fitzpatrick addressed the Native American perspective and contribution, a liaison between BIA and tribes; Jim Hart expressed concern by multi use, Big Sky economic driver, recreational, safety, cant have fire, find specific spots and move it fast; Richard Stem discussed multiple use, smart use, dealt with NEPA and litigation; John Prinkki wanted good representation. They asked what I was there for, I explained I was a conservation hunter, a member of the public, dealt with Public Trust issues, scientific wildlife management that was the focus of EMWH. Prinkki asked if I would be interested in participating.
Prinkki explained interest in multi stakeholder participation, stated that working with Bree Dugan from Sen. Walsh's office they came up with a good list of participants, most of which had been invited. They want the working group to have good standing, good forest managment practices, healthy forest.

Break, then a discussion of stakeholders, the issues such as watershed, road issues.

Richard Stem gave a short presentation of 3 points:
1. Collaborative -
2. Capacity - dollars & resources
3. Clarity of process - NEPA, tools of the toolbox, rules, policy, litigation strategy
To have any legitimacy - broad base of stakeholders

Prinkki spoke to the long term aspect of the collaborative, self sustaining, that forest management would be ongoing, longeivity of the group depends on small issue, success, then go forward. Next meeting was tentatively set for Sept. 10th, in Bozeman, same location.











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