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Montana Call to Action for Helena Lewis and Clark Forest

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The Helena/Lewis and Clark has done a respectful job of including aviation in the Forest plan and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. For example, their desired conditions include this language: “Forest visitors use the designated system of roads, trails, and airstrips to access recreation activities appropriate within identified recreation opportunity setting locations.”

The pilot community should comment, showing appreciation for the consideration of aviation on the Forest.

The Plan refers to Recommended Wilderness Areas. They are not yet Wilderness and Congress has provided guidance in the Wyoming Wilderness bill that RWA's should continue uses compatible with wilderness characteristics. Our goal is to provide comments that could possibly provide access to what will become denied in this plan.

Comments should point out that aircraft are not a motorized recreation method, but are a minimal-footprint form of access which does not require roads. 

Airstrips present a footprint that is compatible with wilderness characteristics. It could also be pointed out that airstrips would provide access to these remote areas during the RWA period, and continued access, should the RWA be included in the Wilderness preservation system.  

Point out the airstrips already located in Wilderness areas.

Contact me at rnormandeau@theraf.org to see a document from the DEIS that provides a feel for what has been accomplished and a perspective for commenting.

The comment period closes September 6, 2018. 

To comment, go here:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hlcnf/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd524144

– Ron Normandeau, MPA member; RAF MT Liaison