GUIDELINES TO ACTION PROVIDED BY CITIZENS FOR BALANCED USE
Get to know the Interdisciplinary (I.D.) team at the Supervisors office.
Get to know your District Rangers and staff.
Develop bibliographies on all personnel pertinent to the subject at hand.
Gather Information such as:
Trail inventories and analysis as required by OHV regulation.
Miles of roads, single track trails and other trails i.e. ATV
Inventory of trailheads, motorized vs. non-motorized.
Science reports and studies used for closures and Recommended Wilderness Areas (RWA). Also, try to identify all scientific papers/studies/reports that represent different views of resource impact levels from those cited by the USFS/USDA/etc, in USFS draft documents.
Road and trail closures and obliterations.
Monetary backlog on trail maintenance, Administrative cost and on the ground costs. Monies allowed for trail maintenance.
DEIS, mapping and matrix. Construct your own maps detailing summer and winter use.
Economic Impacts. Question data used in Implan modeling, the model is only as accurate as the data put into it. Strongly suggest to local communities to provide their views on economic impacts of proposed FS actions both as separate reports and as formal comment letters on draft FS NEPA documents during public comment periods.
Mining claims and trails for R.S. 2477.
Establish meetings with Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP). You can be present at any meetings between FWP and the US Forest Service. Contact your local FWP Region and put in your request.
Compile a history of uses for a particular area.
Physically disabled access.
Create cooperative programs with USFS
800 number for reporting violations. (Tip Mont)
Keep officials in the loop. Senators, Representatives, State Legislators, Governor, County Commissioners.
Familiarize yourselves with the Forest Plan for your area forest
Also become familiar with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations, the NEPA “Scoping” process, Notice of Intent (NOI) and Notice of Availability (NOA), key lawsuit results, the Federal Register, and Forest Service Directives.
Watch both area newspapers (legal section) and Federal Register for announcements on scoping process comment periods, draft EA and draft EIS public comment periods, and announcements of Final EA (FONSI) and Final EIS (ROD) decisions and final document dates Always attend announced scoping and draft review meetings and comment, then follow up by letter. Encourage supportive letters from as many individual members as possible.
By contacting CBU, you can request a refresher session for your organization’s leadership team on the NEPA/CEQ process, how to comment effectively on draft documents, and what the USDA and USFS regulations require (as well as their agencies’ “appeal” processes). CBU will assist in scheduling a refresher in your area. CEQ Regs are at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508; Key USFS Regs are at 36 CFR Part s 219, 215, 218, and 217; the key USFS Procedures Manual is FSM 1950 and the key Forest Service Handbook is FSH 1909.15.
Develop your own work groups that focus on specific areas of importance and then meet with District Rangers.
Keep group size small, 3 people for example.
Meet with the editorial and publishing staffs of local newspapers.
Be polite and professional and let them know fabrications, omissions and misrepresentations will not be tolerated.
CBU has developed a positive relationship with the Bozeman Chronicle by meeting their editorial and publishing staff.
When meeting with USFS, FWP, Senators, Representatives, Governors, County Commissioners:
Be polite and professional.
Do Not interrupt when others are speaking. If someone interrupts you, stop speaking, let them finish their comment, do not respond directly to their comment and continue with your comments.
Do Not become confrontational with personnel with opposing viewpoints. Let them become emotional and irate.
Do Not lose your temper as it will hinder your objective.
Do speak in a calm and respectful manner at all times.
Do talk with USFS personnel at every opportunity; they are a very good source of information.
Journalize and record all meetings with officials. If you have trouble contacting or establishing meetings with them, contact CBU for assistance.
Negotiate with environmental groups.
Be divisive amongst yourselves in a public setting. (Keep disagreements behind closed doors)
Be afraid to speak at public meetings, i.e. speak on the record. This is a very weak area for our side, we need to step up to the mike and voice our comments.
Be intimidated by elected officials.
Form a strong relationship with local, state and federal officials that are friendly towards your position. Keep them in the loop on all of your actions and intentions. Consult with them. These people will not tolerate a surprise move or change in direction very well.
Engage local, state and federal officials that are not friendly towards our position. Use this as an opportunity to let them know the importance of your point of view. They will take notice of your position, when approached professionally, and may even alter their position once they are aware that you are not going away.
Speak on the record at every opportunity. Find out when public meetings are being held, attend and comment.
Keep you comments short, simple and to the point, make sure your message relates directly to the topic at hand.
Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to take up your cause.
Keep a positive attitude.
Know your opposition. Identify the green groups that are interested in your area.
Locate their websites and monitor their movements. Know their board members and corporate sponsors. Attend their public meeting, but do not get confrontational.
Contact CBU for assistance.