This postponement will allow Martin time to fully understand the components of the travel management plan and process, the public’s concerns, and previous discussions with stakeholders in order to have a more informed decision on how the Forest will move forward in engaging the public. Currently, Martin is reaching out to county commissioners and other elected officials, Tribal governments, interest groups, community organizations, individuals, and employees to appreciate and gain a better understanding of what has been happening in regards to travel management. Martin is also taking time to familiarize himself with all other projects on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest.
Martin stated, “When we re-schedule the community engagement workshops, I want them to be an open and transparent process, and scheduled at times when most people will be able to attend.” Martin’s goal is to not only learn about the travel management plan but also to listen to the concerns of the public.
Deputy Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya expressed that this is a real opportunity for all interested parties, including the Forest Service, to re-evaluate travel management on the Wallowa-Whitman and work together on a solution. Public input is essential for an effective travel plan. There will be community engagement workshops, and as soon as schedule information is available, it will be posted on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman and released to local newspapers and radio stations.
Please feel free to contact Acting Public Affairs Officer, Jodi Kramer at 541-523-1246 or Public Affairs Specialist, Matt Burks at 541-523-1246 as they will be happy to speak with you.