Plum Creek Timber Company’s Draft Native Fish Habitat Conservation Plan

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Clark Fork Symposium Archives

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Sugden, Brian; Jostrom, M. D.
ScholarWorks at University of Montana
textual work description
Plum Creek Timber Company owns approximately 8% of the Clark Fork River Basin. Management of this forestland is governed by Plum Creek’s Environmental Principles and the standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)SM Program. Protecting water quality and fish habitat is a cornerstone of all Plum Creek operations. In a cooperative partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, Plum Creek is preparing a Native Fish Habitat Conservation Plan (NFHCP). This plan would conserve habitat for 18 fish species (including bull trout and westslope cutthroat) on 1.6 million acres of Plum Creek land in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. This includes 1.1 million acres tributary to the Clark Fork River. This is the first Habitat Conservation Plan to be developed in Montana and Idaho. If approved, the NFHCP would be the basis for a 30-year incidental take permit to be issued to Plum Creek under the Endangered Species Act. Development of the NFHCP has taken two years and involved over a dozen scientists to prepare 13 peer-reviewed technical reports. The NFHCP includes 53 individual commitments by Plum Creek in seven broad conservation categories, including: road and upland management, riparian management, legacy and restoration, land use planning, grazing management, administration and implementation, and adaptive management. A Draft NFHCP and Environmental Impact Statement were made available for public review earlier this year, and over 1200 individual comments were received. Comments are presently being analyzed and the NFHCP will be finalized later this year. For more information on the Plan, see the Plum Creek Website