Gov. Noem concerned about Black Hills National Forest future
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gov. Noem and Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming expressed their concern about the future of the Black Hills National Forest in a joint letter this week.
In the letter addressed to Jeff Tomac, Supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest, the governors requested revised assessments for the Forest’s Plan Revision process, according to a spokesperson for Gov. Noem.
“We request that the Forest Service produce another set of draft assessments with a public comment period, that those assessments include citations for factual statements, and that they contain discussion of why one authority was relied upon over another,” wrote Gov. Noem. “We look forward to meaningful participation in the Black Hills National Forest’s Forest Plan Revision process.”
The governors cited flawed statements “not backed by scientific material” in the Black Hills National Forest Plan revision assessments. According to a spokesperson for Gov. Noem, these flaws included errors in data analysis and assumptions in the Black Hills Timber Sustainability General Technical Report.
The governors also mentioned their worries regarding the Forest Service’s apparent plan to reduce the timber program in the Black Hills National Forest.
“The mills in our region are critical infrastructure, and our states have already experienced several mill closures,” wrote Noem. “We have seen the ramifications in other states after they lost their mill infrastructure and we do not want to suffer similar fates.”
You can find their letter to Supervisor Tomac here.
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