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National Forest Planning

As appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, Bolle Center Director Martin Nie served on the U.S. Forest Service’s National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule from 2014 to 2018. National Forest plans throughout the nation are being revised, and the Committee worked collaboratively to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the rule. The Committee played a significant role in reviewing and recommending changes to the agency’s planning directives, federal regulations pertaining to forest plan amendments, and provided the Chief of the USFS dozens of recommendations in how to improve National Forest management and the plan revisions going on throughout the country. 

The group released A Citizens’ Guide to National Forest Planning and the guide Understanding Your Opportunities for Participating in the Forest Service Planning Process: A Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Governments (both are pdf files). The Committee’s web site provides more information regarding the recommendations made by the Committee. 

In Feb. 2018, Director Nie finished his second two year term with the the Federal Advisory Committee to the USFS in Feb. 2018.  The Committee finished its charter with a comprehensive set of recommendations pertaining to National Forest management and planning.  

The Bolle Center continues its collaborative work focused on National Forest planning. 

National Forest Planning

Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands and Wilderness

The authority, jurisdiction, and responsibility for managing fish and wildlife on federal lands and in federally designated wilderness is often a source of controversy and divergent stewardship practices. There have been multiple conflicts in recent years between state fish and game departments and federal land agencies responsible for managing public lands and wilderness areas, such as predator control efforts on public lands in Idaho and Alaska.

The Bolle Center was asked to investigate this issue and a research team was convened to provide an authoritative review of the relevant policy-legal issues and to offer a more constructive decision-making framework for the future. 

The comprehensive article, "Fish and Wildllife Management on Federal Lands: Debunking State Supremacy" was published by Environmental Law in late 2017 and a pdf of the article is available here.  

Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands and Wilderness

The Badger Two Medicine

As part of a collaborative effort, the Center is committing its expertise and research abilities to help protect the sacred land, cultural resources, and reserved treaty rights of the Blackfeet Nation in the Badger Two-Medicine area, located adjacent to Glacier National Park in Montana. The Center was asked in 2007 to provide a report investigating how the ecologically and tribally-significant Badger Two-Medicine area could possibly be protected and managed in the future. Much has happened since 2007, including renewed threats by proposed oil and gas development. The Center continues its commitment to the Badger Two-Medicine, providing consultation and analysis to decision makers regarding how the area could be protected and managed in the future.

Read the Center’s latest assessment of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Draft Revised Forest Plan as it pertains to management of the Badger-Two Medicine area. 


Nov. 2016: Obama Administration Cancels Oil and Gas Leases on Blackfeet Tribe's Sacred Grounds

In early Sept., 2015, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation held a public meeting in Choteau to take comments on the oil and gas lease.  On September 21st, the Council recommended to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior that the lease be cancelled to ensure that future mineral development does not occur.  Read the recommendation from the ACHP (pdf)

News coverage:

Missoulian: US Cancels Energy Leases in Sacred Badger-Two Medicine Area
Great Falls Tribune: Council Rejects Badger-Two Medicine Gas Exploration
Montana Public Radio: Making Sense of the Decades Long Badger-Two Medicine Drilling Dispute
Montana Public Radio: Blackfeet Tribe: Badger-Two Medicine Too Sacred To Drill
Helena Independent Record: Dozens testify against Badger-Two Medicine oil and gas lease
Great Falls Tribune: Meeting attendees urge cancellation of Badger gas lease 

The Badger Two Medicine