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JANUARY 21, 2010

Project schedule for Upper Lochsa Land Exchange updated

    The Forest Service has revised the schedule for release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange. Originally the DEIS was planned to be released for public review in October 2009; the new estimated date for the release is July 2010.

    According to Project Manager Teresa Trulock, the revised schedule is necessary to allow completion of field reports from last summer. The pending information will be incorporated into the DEIS.

    The Upper Lochsa exchange proposal involves the exchange of up to 28,000 acres of scattered parcels of national forest system lands in north central Idaho for 40,000 acres of private lands in the headwaters of the Lochsa River. The private lands are currently owned by Western Pacific Timber, LLC.

    The public and agency comments received during the original “scoping” for the project are being used to create new alternatives for acquiring the Upper Lochsa lands. The Forest Service is currently analyzing the potential impacts of new alternatives. Those impacts will be disclosed in the DEIS.

    The release of the DEIS in July is the next opportunity for the public to provide formal comments on the proposed project.