Palmer highlights contention around forest access

By on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 in More Top Stories

GRANT COUNTY – Grant County Commissioner Sam Palmer has been involved with the Blues Intergovernmental Council (BIC) since he became a commissioner. He swung by the studio recently and gave us an update on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan, a multi-agency regional effort for managing our forests. Palmer noted that just a couple of pieces need to be agreed upon before a final plan is submitted for review:

“We’re just about there—all we have left is ‘Access’ and ‘Economics,’ and the economic piece is almost done through Eastern Oregon University. I think that one will go pretty easy, but the access piece is the elephant in the room and we’re working through it.”

Commissioner Palmer noted that much of the contention in the access piece is related to the potential closure of roads in an effort to conserve elk habitat. He said the local Natural Resources Advisory Committee reached out to him over the weekend regarding access, stating there could be potential public safety issues should the roads close.

On KJDY’s Coffee Time recently, Commissioner Palmer said the BIC continues to look for middle ground:

“We’re going to have to come together with a plan. Some will like it and some won’t; there’s always the objection period after the Forest Service gets it and writes it out if that one is not particularly well-received.”

We’ll keep you updated on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan.