PUBLISHED: 5:09 PM on Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Forest Service seeks public input in plan of the Stikine River Corridor
Wrangell Ranger District
The Wrangell Ranger District has organized a facilitated listening session to gather public input on issues related to wilderness management of the Stikine River Corridor.

"A number of proposals have come up this summer relating to use of the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness, including requests by outfitters and guides to use cabins and outhouses, and a proposal to limit the size of private groups using the area," said Mark Hummel, Wrangell District Ranger.

"We could talk about each topic one at a time, but I think there's a critical mass of ideas here, and it's time to hold a larger conversation about management in the river corridor."

The Forest Service enlisted the help of John Hendee, Professor Emeritus in the University of Idaho's Department of Conservation Social Sciences.

Dr. Hendee has authored over 150 publications, including three books, spanning a range of topics on human dimensions of natural resources, the resolution of land use problems, wilderness, and wildlife management.

He will be on hand to conduct interviews with those who use or are otherwise interested in the management of the Stikine River Corridor.

Those interested in participating in this unique planning opportunity are encouraged to call the Forest Service at (907) 874-2323 to arrange an interview time.

The Forest Service hopes that people will take advantage of this opportunity to provide input.

"A lot of people care deeply about this river," Hummel said.

"And I expect they have a lot to say about how they think it should be managed."

Two laws provide the sideboards for Wilderness management in Alaska: the Wilderness Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or ANILCA.

"Gaining a better understanding of public needs and desires will help us in our effort to manage the area in a way that is responsive to the people we serve and within the sideboards provided by law," Hummel said.

This is an opportunity for the public to provide input on management of the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness.

Additional opportunities will occur throughout this fall.

In addition to the planned interviews, employees of the Wrangell Ranger District and Dr. Hendee will hold a presentation and public meeting on management of the Stikine River Corridor at the Nolan Center in Wrangell.

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

For additional information about this presentation or Stikine River Corridor planning efforts, please contact Sandy Skrien at 907-874-2323.