Looks ok. Merry Christmas.
I have two comments regarding the CFLRP Tier Two Proposal. My first comment is on page 16 under the collaboration section. In the last draft that we saw, the livestock industry was included in the list of representatives from the collaboratives. ISDA is disappointed to see that removed. The livestock industry has worked hard on this and provided quite a bit of feedback. It would be appreciated to again include the livestock industry in the list of collaborators. My second comment is on page 11 in the last paragraph. The document mentions the use of targeted grazing. Grazing can certainly be utilized as a vegetation treatment within the CFLRP project, but I am hesitant to use the phrase "targeted grazing". I don't believe the PFC is all on the same page regarding what is meant by targeted grazing. Targeted grazing can be very management intensive and may not always be feasible, but I certainly believe that we can use current livestock grazing that is already authorized and occurring on the forest to help meet goals and objectives. Therefore, I would recommend t he removal of the word targeted and just identify "livestock grazing" as a potential vegetation treatment and tool.
WRCA previously provided two rounds of very specific input (coordinated with Idaho livestock industry and producers) earlier in this proposal development process. That input is not reflected in the current draft, and we recognize there is insufficient time to properly incorporate/integrate grazing into this proposal at this point. While we were very disappointed and feel that the proposal is very incomplete, WRCA voted to support the PFC letter and Forest's proposal. WRCA is currently coordinating with other Idaho livestock industry and producers on an explanation to the PFC and Forest on why we went ahead with a vote of support. We hope to have that document completed and available to the PFC in time for the January 16 meeting. Thank you. Frank
Austin, I agree that the livestock industry should be listed and believe that this was an inadvertent deletion somewhere in the back and forth. I will reach out to the FS and correct this. Per your second question, what about changing fuel reduction tools from “targeted grazing” to “livestock grazing management”? Frank, I think the best time and place for more detailed discussions about grazing will be in project development. With you on the PFC and Darcy Helmick from Simplot on the BFC, I think that there will be better opportunities to work with producers during project development.
Below is the content from the note I promised above o the PFC explaining our vote on the CFLRP proposal support and thoughts on opportunities to consider for our future collaborative process. From: Frank Schwartz, Weiser River Cattle Association To: Payette Forest Coalition Members and Forest Service Management The Weiser River Cattle Association along with other Idaho agriculture and livestock organizations and producers feel it is important to provide feedback on the experience we had with the Forest Service Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Tier II Proposal development. We believe there are opportunities for an improved collaborative process in the future, through considering some lessons learned on this proposal development effort. The proposal development process outlined up front by the Forest Service seemed to have the needed structure, with the Forest Service committing to involve Boise and Payette Forest Coalition members in developing the proposal. The actual proposal process used by the Forest Service did not live up to that stated objectiv e, and instead the Forest Service seemed to be a barrier to including new ideas in the proposal. Members were encouraged to provide input to the proposal, and we did so twice, the second time identifying minimum required changes to the draft in order to provide adequate context but recognizing there were page limits that must be met. Our input was not incorporated. The proposal will receive a more favorable review if it has the support of the coalitions. Support was to be demonstrated in this case by PFC member signatures on the letter of support for the CFLR Tier II proposal. The Idaho agricultural interests were faced with unfavorable choices – either vote to support the proposal even though it does not acknowledge the contributions grazing makes toward PL 111-11 objectives, or cast a “No” vote on the proposal, knowing that at this late date there was insufficient time to correct the proposal deficiencies ahead of the proposal submission deadline. And we recognized that a lack of support by coalition members could jeopardize the selection of the proposal for award. Idaho agricultural interests collectively understand the need to properly manage our federal, state and private lands and we support actions that are intended to improve the management and health of those lands. We therefore decided to vote to support the proposal to avoid the potential consequences of a negative vote. While WRCA’s formal vote was in support of the proposal, and we appreciate the opportunity to participate in this collaborative effort, we want to make it very clear that our industry is concerned regarding the continued resistance to incorporate grazing language in these CFLR projects. The experience on this latest proposal effort is identical to the experience we have had on the other CFLR projects we have participated in during the two years we have been on the PFC. The Forest Service has stated in recent PFC meetings that details of grazing can be included in project design and implementation. We are willing to continue to work with the PFC and Forest on these future projects and look forward to more efficient and cost-effective project outcomes that will result from the inclusion of the ongoing grazing program into the restoration strategies. Ranchers and livestock are critical to a sustainable social, ecological and economic future of our federal and private lands and to rural communities. Since there are no CFLR project actions planned on the Payette over the next six or more months, we support using some of this meeting time to assure PFC members receive the information they need on grazing in order to be able to support its inclusion in future projects. We support bringing in independent experts, reviewing relevant research and any other activity PFC members feel is important to gain a sufficient level of understanding to make informed decisions. We encourage the Forest Service to involve your Range Cons in future CFLR plans and in PFC meetings. PFC members deserve to know how ongoing activities like the grazing program fit with other restoration plans being considered for a project area. Informed decisions cannot be made unless all resource uses and contributions to a landscape and system are considered. And the Range Cons also need to be fully informed of plans for each project area so necessary coordination and communication with permittees and allotment owners occurs, and those parties have the opportunity to provide input to the planning and implementation for these projects. The process used to date which has not included range involvement has not been effective. Future Forest CFLR planning and reporting must include available tools in order for restoration activities to be successful and sustainable. Grazing is a tool that has not been used on these CFLR projects to date but can fill some gaps and provide a valuable contribution to CFLR ecological and social goals while also providing benefit to local rural economies, funding for counties, improvements on forest allotments and money back to the treasury.
[Here is a PDF version of Franks letter](http://sitekreator.com/Tools/file_direct_link.html?node_id=39117726) that is formatted for prinitng