South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon urged the Supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest to produce another set of draft assessments for the Forest’s Plan Revision process.
“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 Noem. “We look forward to meaningful participation in the Black Hills National Forest’s Forest Plan Revision process.”
In recent years, timber mills in the Black Hills have struggled to keep the doors of their businesses open. Under logging constraints, one mill has already closed in South Dakota.
“We are concerned about the apparent desire of the Forest Service to drastically reduce the timber program in the Black Hills National Forest,” continued Noem.
The Governors pointed to flawed statements “not backed by scientific material” in the Black Hills National Forest Plan revision assessments. These flaws included errors in both the data analysis and assumptions in the Black Hills Timber Sustainability General Technical Report.
“If the inaccuracies are not addressed, it will be difficult for our states to have confidence in the outcome of the Forest Plan Revision,” wrote the Governors.
You can find their letter to Supervisor Tomac here.