The National Forests of the Northern Region
Living Legacy—

Chapter 16
Modern Management in Region 1

In 1988, the Northern Region comprised 15 national forests and 4 national grasslands—approximately 25 million acres—administered by 13 forest supervisory offices and 70 ranger districts. Those who manage the national forests include scientists, foresters, engineers, archaeologists, wildlife specialists, botanists, hydrologists, soil and range specialists, firefighters, seasonal employees, clerks, typists, volunteers, and many others who carry out the work of the region. Those who use the forest resources include lumbermen, livestock ranchers, miners, hunters, hikers, campers, tourists, birdwatchers, skiers, rock hunters, and firewood gatherers, among others. Uses are many; they are diverse and change over time. The resources are renewable and nonrenewable, but even the renewable resources often require decades for regeneration. For example, production of marketable timber may take 80 years or more, depending on the species. Thus, management of the national forests in the Northern Region involves decisions that affect very long timeframes, many different users with often divergent and conflicting interests, and a broader and often ill-defined national interest. The processes of reaching management decisions have changed markedly in recent decades, but the management goals and objectives have not. The reasons for which the region was organized, and the commitment on the part of those who manage the region, have been remarkably consistent. One of the most important resources of the Northern Region is the people who work there and manage the national forests. The history of the region is indeed their history, and they are the best tellers of that history. It is clear that over the past eight decades or so they have cared deeply, both about the forests and about those who use the forest resources. This stewardship can be demonstrated by reflecting on some of the personal experiences of the people who have lived and worked on the Northern Region forests; their tradition of stewardship is one of the living legacies of the Region.

Tradition of Stewardship

Thomas P. Farbo, who retired in 1981, spent his entire forestry career (almost 30 years) in the Northern Region. He recalls it as a "beautiful experience," and sees the work of the Region as having been, overall, an "enormous, complex task....undertaken by a group of people who worked as one large family (with an occasional internal spat here and there)..." [1]

"Service," Farbo said, "is a large part of Forest." He recalls the Englemann Spruce Bark Beetle Salvage Program on the Kootenai, Flathead, Lolo, Kaniksu, and other forests, in cooperation with the wood-products industry, as an outstanding effort by Region 1 personnel. Hundreds of miles of timber access roads were engineered and constructed, and millions of board feet of spruce were salvaged for conversion to building materials for use throughout the world. What might have been terrible losses from disease instead became a positive benefit for society. Moreover, he said, "this program welded the people in the Forest Service into a 'family' mode that made me very proud and humble, and created an esprit de corps very seldom seen in public-sector organizations." [2]

John A. Beebe (Supervisor of the Kaniksu National Forest from 1960 to 1966) praised the forest staff's pride in their work. That pride, he said, is partly exemplified by reintroduction of the large pine-tree shield badge on the working-day uniform; the effort to improve directional and location signs in the forests; and, most significantly, the organization of the Forest Advisory Council, which created a better public understanding of the work of the Forest Service. "With major assistance from Senator Frank Church," he said, "we acquired key real estate in the Upper Priest Lake area to prevent development of this pristine area." There were, of course, problems. There was always much more to do than the rather limited staff could accomplish; an antibiotic blister rust program "failed," and the Advisory Council was phased out as other planning structures developed. [3] (Later, the Kaniksu was incorporated with the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.)

Richard T. Bingham, who spent most of his career working to control blister rust in the Idaho Panhandle area, suggested that, despite the failures of pilot programs, enormous advances have been made. Selective breeding programs, he said, have increased the immunity of timber to blister rust by 65 percent and ultimately will save hundreds of millions of dollars for the wood-products user. Bingham estimated that the selective breeding programs, which probably cost $2 million, compared to the $50 million invested in traditional manual blister rust control work between 1926 and 1967, have resulted in impressive savings for present and future generations. [4]

The terrible losses from the great fires of earlier years have been alleviated by fire planning and management programs. Fire is not the enemy it once was, but it is fickle and dangerous. One method of "managing fire," noted by Donald V. Williams on the Nez Perce, is to develop "pre-attack planning," that is, to determine natural firebreaks and thus use nature as an ally rather than an enemy and, when appropriate, to organize fire cooperative teams. Williams assisted in forming such a team, which involved firefighting resources from Regions 1, 4, and 6. [5] Cooperation, necessitated by the very nature of the forest resources and their users, has always been a major management policy in the region.

However, from the early days of the independent ranger on the ranger district to the present, management also has been a highly individual practice. Thus, most Region 1 employees have treasured not only working with others, but also the independence of their jobs and lifestyle. Rolf Jorgensen, for example, said that throughout his career, whether as a district ranger or a forest supervisor, "One was pretty much his own boss. You made many major decisions on your own and were held accountable for them by your supervisors. You learned in a hurry from your mistakes! [6]

Work experiences in the region tended to be diverse, making jobs there ever interesting and never dull. Walter Hahn, who hopped a freight to Butte, Montana, in the spring of 1927, began work with the Forest Service as a packer, fire lookout, and trail foreman. He subsequently supervised a Civilian Conservation Corps workgroup, repaired phone lines, worked a pack string of mules, measured snow, built helicopter pads, and, as he said, did enough interesting and different things to "fill a large book." Similarly, Arne O. Nousanen, a trained forester, spent his career in the region working on blister rust control, fighting fires, counting game, supervising ranger districts, and serving as a check scaler and mill scale studies leader, all interposed with tours for the State Department in Cambodia and duty as Bitterroot staff officer in charge of recreation and lands. [7] Being a forester in the earlier years required that one be a "jack of all trades"; today, forest staff must include both generalists and specialists.

New Dimensions in Forest Management

Susan Giannettino believes that a good district ranger, in fact a forest manager, must necessarily be a generalist. Giannettino, with a degree in history and anthropology from the University of Montana, worked for a time as an archaeologist in the region, before an assignment in Alaska with the short-lived Heritage Conservation and Preservation Service. She began her management career in Region 1 as public information officer on the Flathead National Forest, working for Forest Supervisor John Emerson. Later, as the District Ranger for the Nine-Mile Ranger Station, Giannettino suggested that, rather than the "jack of all trades," today's ranger has become more of a general manager with a "people" orientation. The ranger and the forester must have a "broader view" of resource management that in a sense involves as much political science, sociology, and anthropology as it does forestry. A good manager, she said, must have a sense of the "public perception and culture." [8] Women such as Giannettino are assuming more management positions within the region.

Bertha Gillam, trained in botany, biology, and ecology, began her Forest Service career on the Bighorn National Forest in Sheridan, Wyoming, and filled various staff positions before transferring into the Custer Ranger District on the Black Hills National Forest. She then became Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Region 4 and in 1988 became Forest Supervisor on the Bitterroot—the first woman to serve as Forest Supervisor in Region 1. Forest management, according to Barbara Beck, archaeologist on the Deerlodge, has evolved from being largely an internal Forest Service business to include local input and most recently national and even international considerations. [9] Thus the role of the manager and the processes of management have distinctly changed.

The generalist, however, cannot function effectively without a team of specialists to deal with technical problems—the essence of the planning and applications aspects of Forest Service work. Andrew J. Arvish, who began his career in 1947 and retired 30 years later, lamented the passing of the old "family atmosphere," but commented that, "in retrospect, I can see why the 'family' atmosphere seemed to disappear. In its place are a multitude of little empires operating as specific disciplines to provide the forest supervisor with hard facts needed to blend into a working program." Thus, the work of such people as Raymond M. West, one of the first biologists in the Forest Service, who worked in Region 1 between 1934 and 1942 before going to another region, was crucial in the development of fish-planting plans developed in cooperation with State fish and game commissions. [10]

The role of engineers such as Ray Miner grew ever greater in the region after the 1920's, as roads, bridges, and land-use projects became more important. Miner built everything from bunk houses to fire towers, but spent much of his career as a "designated engineer" and operations and maintenance engineer. He insisted on quality construction and careful attention to specifications. [11]

Bayard R. (Bob) Van Giesen, trained in both forestry and electrical engineering (the latter interrupted by World War II), became one of the region's specialists in handling large-scale fires; Art Kahl, with the region's Division of Engineering, specialized in building bridges; L.M. Powell worked most of his career on boundary, right-of-way, and road surveys; and Virginia Hoeger spent much of her 22-year career as district clerk at the Squaw Creek Ranger District on the Gallatin National Forest. [12]

The job of managing and operating the national forests of Region 1 requires a diversity of talents, dedication, and simple hard work. Over the years, the personnel of Region 1 appear to have been unstinting in their efforts. The region has developed an enormous sense of "belonging" and pride among those who have served, but those people also believe that the work has become much more impersonal and complex.

Bill Fallis, who spent most of his career in Region 1 before transferring to become Forest Supervisor on the Fishlake National Forest in Region 4, and then served for a time in the Southwest (Region 3), treasured his years in the Northern Region above all others. "We worked with great people," he said. "Performing good work seemed to be a prevalent attitude among employees, and little attention was paid to personal discomfort or working long hours." Growing populations and more diverse and remote pressures have made land-management decisions "more complex and controversial," he believes. [13] The work of managing the national forests of the Northern Region has changed over time, as indeed it must. Change has been particularly intense since the 1960's; the Bitterroot Controversy of 1969 is both symbolic and symptomatic of that change.

The Management of Change

Regional Forester Neal M. Rahm was keenly aware of the changes occurring in the 1960's. He told a meeting of the Northern Rocky Mountain Section of the Society of American Foresters in Kalispell on July 14, 1969, that he wished he possessed the simplified outlook on life that his grandmother enjoyed. She had only two worries, he said—grandpa and the kitchen stove. But times, he said, are changing:

...[W]e are now living in a strange and restless time. It is strange because long-established qualities and standards are being challenged and new values are being introduced. It is a restless time because new forces are loose in our society, with unmeasured dimensions and untested strength... This is a new environment for conservation and it is creating new problems and new challenges for all of us. [14]

This has been a century marked by phenomenal change, Rahm said, and we have now come "to an almost unprecedented concentration of it." [15] For the Forest Service, the problem had become the effective management of change.

Rahm began to speak of new management directions for the 1970's and beyond. He believed that the Forest Service, including the Northern Region, had passed through three major eras and was now entering a fourth. The first, he said, was the "Crusading and Custodial Era," which lasted from about 1905 to 1940. It was, he said, a desperate and difficult period. National forests were carved out of the public domain lands of the West. Forest rangers were "cowboys and lumberjacks," who often literally had to fight to wrest control of the lands from local interests and pioneer settlers. In the "Industrial Development Era," from about 1940 to 1960, depression and war shaped events. Emphasis was placed on social programs, relief, and timber production and harvesting. The "Social-Multiple Use Era" of the 1960's, he said, was characterized by the development of multiple-use planning, increased population pressures, and markedly increased and diverse competition for national forest resources. "The Forest Service," he said, "was bombarded from every direction by pressures of all kinds." The 1970's introduced the "Environmental-Public Involvement Era" that resulted in the Forest Service recruiting people with more diverse skills, finding new ways to involve the public in management decisions, and actively seeking external advice on decisions relating to the uses of land and resources. [16]

One of the most important changes that has occurred in the management of the national forests, both in the Northern Region and elsewhere, has been in the processes used to measure and evaluate the public's interests and needs. At one time the individual ranger within the district could best determine the nature and extent of public uses; then, first the national forest, then the region, and finally Congress began to assist in determining management policies and practices. More than ever before, the administration of the national forests became an "other directed" process involving much greater public participation at the individual forest level, the Regional level, and the national level. The region began to develop a new level of management consciousness before "crises" of change, such as the Bitterroot controversy, developed.

In 1967, Neal Rahm organized the Forest Service Public Understanding Committee to conduct an exhaustive study and critical self-examination. "Ironically," said Ray Karr, who served as a member of the Committee, "the problem turned out to be us." The situation was:

The Forest Service is in an era within which many "publics" compete vigorously for the social and economic values of our national forest resources. Current public opinion and our analyses of long-range public interest may often be in opposition... Thus, the decisionmaking process is complex today and can only become more complex as time advances. [17]

The region subsequently developed the Program for Public Involvement, which established a conceptual framework for new management directions. [18]

The region also adopted certain basic assumptions to frame its new management direction. The region recognized, for example, that it was perhaps unique among all regions in that it had a wealth of resources that were relatively undeveloped. The realization that competition for land and resources would increase sharply meant that more coordination in multiple-use planning was essential. New, more intangible values such as natural beauty and the quality of the environment, it was believed, would begin to outweigh tangible economic values and dictate new management practices and programs. Increased demand for water storage, downstream water use, and recreation were expected to increase more sharply than other uses. While tourism and "viewing" would continue, more vigorous, action-oriented outdoor forms of recreation—many of them, such as hunting and fishing, traditional in the region—were expected to expand rapidly. Mining operations also were expected to expand greatly, as were other public uses of every kind. Greater use also meant more need for law enforcement and legal assistance. Although there were other assumptions, the key assumption was that the region must continue to "slant its attitudes and programs toward people." [19]

Rahm incorporated these assumptions and management criteria in the "managerial grid" training programs he began in the mid-1960's. The programs emphasized teamwork, trust, and openness, both internally and externally. Without them, Ray Karr believed, the region would have been "floundering under the multiple attacks on its performance and credibility. Instead, personnel worked hard to understand the basis of...criticisms...and to correct them where possible." [20] In part, because of these adaptations, the Northern Region not only succeeded in coping with the concentrated changes Rahm referred to, but also found new opportunities in those changes.

Karr, then public information officer for the region, contributed significantly to the new directions in forest management. He continually sought more information to apply to his job—one increasingly at the focus of the public's new environmental awareness. In 1975, while still managing his job with the Forest Service, he earned a master's degree in environmental studies with a thesis on public involvement. After a heart attack, which he explained came from "too much burning the candle at both ends," he pursued a Ph.D. and completed a dissertation entitled "Forests for the People," which studied the RARE I and RARE II processes. Karr opened "all the windows and doors and let the light in," said Orville Daniels, Supervisor on the Lolo National Forest. [21] By the 1980's, if not before, forest management had become a public process.

In his studies, Karr concluded that the Forest Service and thus the region had not understood that "it serves its external environment and is controlled by the same environment, just like any other modern, large, and complex organization." Moreover, similar to such organizations, the Forest Service had a propensity to repeat the same mistakes "time and time again," because it lacked (as do most such large-scale enterprises) a corporate memory. [22] The more rapid the changes, the greater the turnover of personnel, and the more far-flung and diverse the user constituency, the more difficult becomes the problem of retaining a "memory" that can guide responses to events. History, a form of corporate memory, is a useful management tool in a rapidly changing society.

As a logical extension of the multiple-use planning procedures adopted in the 1960's, the region and individual national forests began to systematically analyze the sources of social and economic influence on forest planning in the 1970's. The Beaverhead's socioeconomic overview (January 1974) explained that the Forest Service was "embarking on a course of constructive change in its planning and decisionmaking processes." The use of internal interdisciplinary teams, public participation, and improved systems of data collection and evaluation became the essence of the new unified planning and decisionmaking process. The point was, the overview explained, that in the realm of modern forest management, the capability for decisionmaking was beyond the scope of the individual. [23] Decisions, then, had become a collective process, and the data used to make decisions would be drawn from a broad array of socioeconomic inputs.

Forest Management Planning and Congressional Mandates

While the processes for planning and decisionmaking were changing, the end products of that planning were mandated in part by new Federal legislation. Thus, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 required the development of forest environmental impact statements demonstrating alternative impacts to be anticipated by a decision; the Forest and Rangelands Renewable Resource Planning Act of 1974 necessitated the development of renewable resource assessments and renewable resource programs; and the National Forest Management Act of 1976 supplemented previous legislation and established more precise guidelines for forest management plans. This "mandated management" has been previously discussed (see Chapter 13). The question is, coupled with the multiple-use planning and the new collectivist decision-making processes, what did it really mean?

For one, mandated management meant far more time, labor, and money involved in the planning and decisionmaking process. Theoretically, it meant wiser, better decisions with greater public acceptance. Forest plans produced in the region between 1979 and 1985 cost an estimated $884,000 each, involved an average of 48 full-time employees or contractors for each year, and attracted perhaps 1,000 public participants for each plan. Retired foresters are quick to point out that the congressional mandates of the 1960's and 1970's had a severe impact on the work of the region. According to Clark S. Binkley (1983), "planners were recruited from the normal work force, thus reducing it materially, since they were not nor could not be replaced under personnel ceilings in effect. [Moreover] the planners, per se, were not involved in implementation to any degree." [24] Thus, delays in implementation and traditional field work can be considered one practical result of management planning.

A review of one or two "case histories" of the forest planning process offers good insight into the enormous energy and application involved in the region's total planning effort. The forest plan and environmental impact statement for the Lolo National Forest, produced in 1980, the first issued under the new legislation and procedures, became both a model for other plans and a weathervane for evaluating the problems with the new procedures. Preliminary reviews by the Inland Forest Resource Council (representing industry) and the Sierra Club (representing environmentalists) both found fault with the forest plan. Industry believed that the Forest Service forest planning model used to define quantitative expressions of ecological relationships was too complicated, and that the baseline date in the Lolo plan was inadequate. Although the Sierra Club thought the plan was a "remarkable accomplishment," reviewers thought the document was poorly organized, was superficial on some points, treated management in a vacuum, and failed to summarize alternative courses of action in one section. [25]

The Lolo forest plan and environmental impact statement the regional forest plan, which was the first regional plan to be published; and all other forest plans in the region came under intense local and national scrutiny after the Lolo plans were issued. Lolo Forest Supervisor Orville L. Daniels issued a public update on the plan on March 6, 1981. Daniels explained that over 2,000 responses to the proposed plan and environmental impact statement had been received. Since publication of the Lolo plan and statement, he said, much had happened:

.... [T]he draft Northern Region Plan had been published; the 1985 [Resource Planning Act] program has been recommended to Congress by the President; the major questions about management of the Rattlesnake drainage were resolved through legislation; a review within the agency of the Proposed Lolo Forest Plan package surfaced some question about the legality of the format used in writing our [draft environmental impact statement]. [26]

The Lolo's revised plan and environmental impact statement were issued in January 1982. Again, the process of public review and revision involved many years, many people within and outside of the Forest Service, and a lot of paper. The final plan and statement were issued 4 years after these revisions, in February 1986. With each iteration, the plan grew in physical size:

Doc. StatusDate: PagesDate: PagesDate: Pages
Forest Plan4/80: 1881/82: 2172/86: 404
Environmental Impact Statement4/80: 2721/82: 3832/86: 1,165

Thus the physical size of the Lolo's planning documents grew to three volumes and some 1,569 pages. This degree of activity and involvement was reflected in each of the planning documents for each of the national forests in the region. During the period roughly between 1980 and 1986, the National Forest Management Act planning regulations were revised, and the Northern Region plan, which already had been formulated, was revised and reissued in June 1983 under the new guidelines. The proposed Northern Region plan now became the Northern Regional Guide. The record of decision (which reviews and explains the processes by which the guide was developed) explained that the guide was to provide direction for individual forest resource management planning efforts by establishing regional management guidelines, setting long-range program objectives, and resolving internal regional issues or variances in management planning. [27]

However, what appeared to be an uninterrupted flow of input from external reviewers, Congress, and even the courts, in addition to internal revisions of the planning process itself, continued to delay the schedules for completion of draft environmental impact statements and forest plans. Originally scheduled for completion in 1981 and 1982, the plans were rescheduled for 1984 and rescheduled again for 1985. [28]

Schedule for Planning Documents

Draft Plan and
Environmental Impact
Final Plan and
Environmental Impact

Regional GuidePublishedPublished

BeaverheadSeptember 1984June 1985
BitterrootJuly 1984April 1985
ClearwaterJanuary 1985September 1985
CusterSeptember 1984June 1985
DeerlodgeOctober 1984July 1985
FlatheadJuly 1984April 1985
GallatinJuly 1984April 1985
HelenaAugust 1984May 1985
Idaho PanhandleJanuary 1985September 1985
KootenaiJune 1984March 1985
Lewis and ClarkMay 1984February 1985
LoloJuly 1984April 1985
Nez PerceFebruary 1985September 1985

Completion and publication of these plans was considered more of a new beginning, rather than an end to the planning and public review process. Procedures for raising objections and appeals were specified by the plans, and the Wilderness Society and other advocacy groups gave the Region 1 forest plans and impact statements close scrutiny, as did editors such as Randal O'Toole of Forest Planning, and Robert E. Wolf, formerly with the Congressional Research Service. Wolf believed that, collectively, the plans did not reflect much improvement over the earlier multiple-use forest plans because they failed to demonstrate past accomplishments and shortcomings, failed to evaluate conditions, used weak data without showing its quality, and possessed "more volume than they have content." [29]

Subsequently, all final plans in Region 1 were appealed. Most of the appeals related to below-cost timber sales, water quality issues, and wilderness. Finally, the Beaverhead, Bitterroot, Custer, Deerlodge, Flathead, Helena, Lewis and Clark, and Lolo National Forests filed final forest plan environmental impact statements with the Environmental Protection Agency before the end of 1986. The Clearwater, Gallatin, Idaho Panhandle, Kootenai, and Nez Perce filed plans in 1987. [30]

Representative Plan: The Clearwater National Forest Plan

Although each forest plan and environmental impact statement is necessarily unique to a forest, the format of and basic processes used to create the documents are similar. In this section, the Clearwater National Forest Plan, issued in September 1987, is used as a representative plan. Forest Supervisor James C. Bates's cover letter to the four-volume report notes that "It is an understatement to say that considerable time, data, and public input have been applied to complete the enclosed documents." [31]

The Clearwater National Forest is defined as "unique in Idaho, a 'jewel' among the national forests in the 'Gem' State." It contains landscapes and land forms characterized by rugged, mountainous terrain, high mountain lakes, clear streams, and dense vegetation. "Nearly a million acres, over half of the forest, are currently roadless," and another quarter-million acres are designated wilderness. It is a land where the "natural environment and people are not separate entities, but an integral part of life." [32]

Development of the plan began in 1979, when a notice of intent was filed in the Federal Register. Next, letters were mailed to interested parties, a brochure explaining the planning process was circulated, and news releases announcing public workshops were distributed. About 210 people attended public workshops held in Moscow, Lewiston, Orofino, and Kamiah in November 1979. Issues raised at these meetings were addressed in the planning and evaluation process and, in 1983, additional public meetings were held to discuss roadless areas. The draft forest plan and impact statement were submitted for public inspection and review in September 1985, and public meetings for discussion and explanation followed. Some 300 people attended the various meetings, and 3,250 letters, 16 oral statements, and 30 reports were received in response to the draft documents. New assessments and evaluations resulted in the decision as to which designated land management planning program would be selected from the alternatives presented in the forest plan. [33]

The one-volume forest plan and the two-volume environmental impact statement accompany the record of decision that identifies the selected alternative. This strategy for land and resource management is to be followed for a period of 10 to 15 years, after which it will be revised under the terms of the National Forest Management Act of 1976. The forest plan contains general management direction but does not specify projects or actions on specific sites, nor does it address "day-to-day management." (Personnel matters, internal organization, and equipment and property management are not within the scope of forest plans). [34] As previously mentioned, the forest plans are subject to appeal, and the Clearwater plan, as were the plans for all forests, was appealed.

Implementing the Forest Plans

Implementation of the forest plans required resolution of all appeals and then, most importantly, financial and personnel resources adequate to do the work called for in the plans. Resolving appeals occupied considerable resources on the part of the forests and the region during the years after the forest plans and impact statements were released. A sampling of post-plan activity from selected forests is indicative of what took place throughout the region.

In October 1988, the Flathead reported that 39 administrative appeals were filed after implementation of its forest plan in January 1986. Expert evaluations, public hearings, and reviews resulted in the Forest Service Chief issuing decisions on two of those appeals, in August and October 1988. The Chief's decision required in one case additional analysis of habitat requirements for certain wildlife species, a supplement to the environmental impact statement, and an amendment to the forest plan. A second decision required additions to the forest plan that would clarify the intent of certain recommendations. It was believed, however, that these revisions or changes would not alter the environmental impact statement. [35]

These two decisions required another assessment and reporting procedure. Specifically, the Flathead amassed a considerable amount of new information for public review and comment, issued in three packages. The first contained nonsignificant forest plan amendments that resulted from the Chief's decisions; the second, scheduled for release in 1989, would contain nonsignificant amendments that might require some specific site selection analysis (grizzly habitat); and the third, also scheduled for release in 1989, would be a draft supplement to the environmental impact statement that reviewed old-growth, management indicator species, and grizzly bear density estimates. The Flathead again invited public review and comment for each stage of the planning and review process. [36]

New Style of Planning and Management

Forest planning became a complicated process, with consequences that will continue to unfold in the years, and even decades, ahead. But some of the products of that process are even now becoming evident. Although the reviews are mixed, there are some very positive indicators.

Frank Salomonsen, Supervisor of Deerlodge National Forest from 1979 to 1989, believes that the forest plan and the processes that encompass it were a cornerstone of effective forest management. He said that the plan provides "a long-range vision," and that one can deal with specific issues only if one has such a vision. "We made a conscious effort to get the facts out to people and to have people be a party to the decisions," he said. [37] Salomonsen and the Deerlodge staff succeeded in bringing together such diverse interest groups as industry, recreationists, and environmentalists to approve cooperative agreements that established public guidelines approved by users of the forest resources. Tony Schoonen, then president of the Montana Wildlife Federation, credited Salomonsen and the Deerlodge with being exceptionally "cooperative and open-minded in its planning process," saying, "We can talk to the Deerlodge," rather than litigate. Salomonsen, who was trained as a "generalist" with a degree in forest management, served on the Kaibab National Forest in Region 3 and was a member of the Kootenai staff before heading ranger districts on the Gallatin and then the Bitterroot. He believes that the Deerlodge's conscious efforts "to get the facts out to people and to have people be a party to the decisions" resulted in an increased trust and credibility of the Forest Service. [38]

On the Nez Perce, Forest Supervisor Tom Kovalicky believes that the forest plan and the processes leading to its development have placed the forest and the region in a new "defensible" position. The plan, he said, is "believable." It establishes high standards. It establishes the role of the forester as a public servant. It makes the work of the forest open and visible, as it should be. "The forest plan," he said," is a contract between the Forest Service and the public." [39]

The Nez Perce plan, Kovalicky said, drew 11 appeals. By mid-1988, six of those had been negotiated, two of the remaining five were being resolved, and two, he said, were nonnegotiable in that they were requests for larger allowable cuts. Kovalicky believes that the Nez Perce plan fully recognizes the National Environmental Policy Act standards and provides an excellent example of a contemporary and effective planning document. The recent problems in Forest Service management, he suggested, derived from something of an over-reaction to the National Environmental Policy Act, in that forests necessarily rushed to recruit specialists but then failed to establish a system to effectively integrate disparate technical information. Thus the Forest Service became overcompartmentalized. The new planning procedures provide necessary integration, public participation, monitoring processes, and Forest Service accountability. [40]

Kovalicky also believes that the new style of forest planning and management also requires a new style of manager. The district ranger must relate across the scale to people, budgets, and processes. The forest manager at every level must not be a passive administrator who essentially responds to external or internal stimuli. Instead, the forest manager must be a "leader". [41] As such, the forest manager becomes a manager of change, rather than a pawn and a victim of change. The new imperative of the Forest Service has become not just planning, but also the ability to manage change and to implement plans through effective leadership.

To be sure, planning and leadership are not truly new elements in the Forest Service or certainly in Region 1. The ranger traditionally has been a leader in the community and the district in which he or she operates. What has happened over time is that the community—through growth or through urbanization and modernization—has changed markedly. Thus, the Forest Service has been called upon to change both its perception of the community it serves and the processes through which it exercises leadership within that community. In Region 1, that change occurred for the most part between 1960 and 1980. The years since 1980 have been directed to applying the lessons learned to the management of the forest resources for which the region has responsibility.

Despite what may at times seem to have been unduly "concentrated" doses of change, the processes actually have been evolutionary. Planning and leadership have been recognized as essential to effective management throughout the region's history. Regional Forester Evan Kelley, for example, addressing potential roadless area classifications in a letter to the Chief in 1938 explained that effective land-use planning required the integration of various special interests and sound leadership from above. "Drives," he said, "by one division for this or that sort of land use—or any other form of planning having directly or indirectly to do with land and resource-use planning—without coordination of the interests and obligations of other Divisions, violate every principle of good organization and sound leadership..." [42]

Kelley believed that Washington needed to develop a program for land and resource planning that would incorporate "objectives, principles, procedures, and rules of practice," so that the Forest Service could move forward on a broad front in the development of land and resource plans. "Every region," he said, should "contribute its coordinated part to such a plan for the entire system of national forests." [43]

Although certainly earlier acts established a program for national forest management, the new legislative mandates from Congress, and the Forest Service regulations, have established a comprehensive program for the entire system of national forests.

The work of the Forest Service in the Northern Region has not been easy. It is a diverse, far-flung land; a land of hard winters and abundant raw resources. The Northern Region, perhaps more than others, has been closely integrated with the welfare and livelihood of the people who live in those States associated with it. A larger percentage of the people there have had more direct contact with the Forest Service than is true in other regions, either as employees, contractors, or users of national forest resources. The Forest Service there has had many "publics" and has acquired high visibility and set high standards of service and accountability. The uses of the forest resources have always been many, and both the uses and the users have changed over time. In recent decades, the region's accountability and visibility are no longer localized or even regional in scope, but are indeed national. Its planning processes and directives have changed to assume that larger role, but the basic responsibility and the intense sense of service that the region has exhibited throughout its history, like the forests, the waterways, the lands, and the wildlife that constitute its living legacy, are in many ways more abundant today than when the Forest Service began its work there. Paradoxically, so long as the Forest Service does its work in the Northern Region well, that work will never end.

Reference Notes

1. Thomas P. Farbo, Orofino, ID, to Henry C. Dethloff, Dethloff, March 27, 1989, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives, Missoula, MT.

2. Ibid.

3. John A. Beebe, Hayden Lake, ID, to Dethloff, May 26, 1989, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

4. Richard T. Bingham, Moscow, ID, to Dethloff, October 17, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

5. Donald V. Williams, Chino Valley, AZ, to Dethloff, February 17, 1989, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

6. Rolf B. Jorgensen, Coeur D'Alene, ID, to Dethloff, April 23, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

7. Walter R. Hahn, Superior, MT, to Dethloff, October 28, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

8. Interview, Dethloff with Susan Giannettino, Nine-Mile Ranger Station, August 18, 1987, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

9. "Biographical Sketch," Bertha C. Gillam to Dethloff, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives; Interview, Dethloff with Frank Salomonsen, Barbara Beck, and Ron Hansen, Deerlodge National Forest, July 23, 1987.

10. Andrew J. Arvish, Orofino, ID, to Dethloff, March 1, 1989; Raymond M. West, Portland, OR, to Dethloff, July 22, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

11. Ray Miner, Libby, MT. to Dethloff, April 27, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

12. L.D. Bruesch, Missoula, MT, to Dethloff, January 20, 1988, re: Arthur (Art) Kahl, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives; Virginia Hoeger, Gallatin Gateway, MT, to Dethloff, December 4, 1987, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives; L.M. Powell, Hamilton, MT, to Dethloff (n.d., Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives); "Biographical Sketch," Bayard R. (Bob) Van Giesen, to Dethloff, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

13. (Bill) Willard R. Fallis, Frenchtown, MT, to Dethloff, January 12, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

14. Regional Forester Neal M. Rahm to the Northern Rocky Mountain Section of the Society of American Foresters in Kalispell, MT, July 14, 1969, Federal Records Center, Seattle, WA, Box 95-75A109.

15. Ibid.

16. Opening Remarks by Regional Forester Neal M. Rahm at a news conference in the Federal Building, Missoula, MT, December 8, 1970, Federal Records Center, Seattle, WA, Box 95-75A109.

17. "Forest Service Public Understanding: A Candid Evaluation," USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, 1968, p. 2, in Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

18. Ray Karr, "Program for Public Involvement: A Synopsis," reprinted in 1982 by Region 1 from a report to the President's Panel on Timber and the Environment, dated June 1972, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

19. George A. Mahrt, Chairman, Middle Zone Supervisors, to Regional Forester, January 27, 1970, Federal Records Center, Seattle, WA, Box 95-75A109.

20. Ray Karr, Missoula, MT, to Dethloff, March 1, 1989, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

21. Ibid.; Missoulian (December 26, 1983).

22. Ray Karr, Forests for the People: Case Study of the RARE II Decision, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Montana, 1983, p. 160.

23. Region 1, Beaverhead National Forest, Pub. No. R1-74-005, Socio-Economic Overview (January 1974), p. 7.

24. Clark S. Binkley, "Comments," in Roger A. Sedjo, ed., Governmental Interventions, Social Needs and the Management of U.S. Forests (Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1983), p. 237 (but see pp. 1-300).

25. Looking at the Lolo—Forest Planning 7 (October 1980): 5-7, 19-21.

26. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, Lolo National Forest, Lolo Forest Plan Public Update (Missoula, MT: March 6, 1981), pp. 1-6.

27. See USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, The Northern Regional Guide (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1983); and USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Standards and Guidelines in the Northern Regional Guide (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1983), pp. 1-11.

28. "Planning Schedules Update," Forest Planning 4 (March 1984):8.

29. "Forest Service Timber Sales—Oversight Hearings Before the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Subcommittee on General Oversight, Northwest Power, and Forest Management, and the Subcommittee on Public Lands, House, 99th Cong., 1st Sess., 1985, pp. 1-90.

30. Forests of the Future? (Washington, D.C.: The Wilderness Society, 1987), pp. 56-62; Report of the Forest Service, Fiscal Year 1987 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1988), p. 97.

31. James C. Bates, Forest Supervisor, Orofino, ID, to "Dear Reader," September 23, 1987, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

32. Clearwater National Forest, Forest Plan: Record of Decision (Orofino, ID: September 1987), pp 2-3.

33. Ibid.

34. Ibid.

35. Robert G. Hensler, Flathead National Forest, Planning Staff Officer, to "Dear Forest Plan Participant," October 26, 1988 (Progress Report), Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

36. Ibid.

37. John McNay, "Forest Chief Leaves Landmark Pact," Montana Standard (n.d.), clipping in Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

38. Ibid.

39. Interview, Dethloff with Tom Kovalicky, Grangeville, ID, July 28, 1988, Intaglio Collection, University of Montana Archives.

40. Ibid.

41. Ibid.

42. Evan Kelley, Regional Forester, to Chief, Forest Service, February 9, 1938, Federal Records Center, Seattle, WA, Box 95-32173.

43. Ibid.

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Last Updated: 10-Sep-2008