Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project

Press Release

For Immediate Release - December 12, 2000
News Contacts:  Andy Brunelle, Boise, 208-334-1770, Ext 128
        Brenda Lincoln, Portland, 503-808-2553

Final EIS Released for Public Lands in the

Interior Columbia Basin

(Boise, ID; Portland, OR) -- The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the management of federal lands in eastern Oregon and Washington, Idaho and western Montana. The people of the Columbia River Basin have been involved in this project since its inception and have shaped the Final EIS through their thousands of comments and their participation in hundreds of public meetings held throughout the region.

The release of the Final EIS initiates a public protest process in which participants in the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project planning process, who may be adversely affected by the proposed decision, can request that the proposed decision be reviewed by the BLM Director and Chief of the Forest Service. This process begins on December 15, 2000 and closes on January 16, 2001. Once the protests have been reviewed, any necessary changes will be included in a Record of Decision. Once a Record of Decision is signed, National Forests and BLM Districts will begin implementing the new strategy.

The Record of Decision will amend 62 land use plans for the 32 National Forests and BLM administrative units within the project area. The Record of Decision will replace interim strategies that were in place to protect fish habitat and old forests while the Project's long-term strategies for these issues were being developed.

The Project, initiated in 1993, addresses the landscape health issues facing the Columbia River Basin such as the threat of wildfire, noxious weeds, and the protection and restoration of habitat for fish and wildlife species. The Project also addresses the socio-economic effects of federal land management decisions.

Copies of the Final EIS and Proposed Decision are available in a printed version, on CD, or can be downloaded from our wesbsite, If you would like a printed or CD copy, please contact the Project Office in Boise, Idaho at 208-334-1770. Protests on the Final EIS can be mailed to: Director, Bureau of Land Management, and Chief, Forest Service; ICBEMP Protests; P.O. Box 65480; Washington, D.C. 20035. Protests must be filed by January 16, 2001. Also available by fax or email: Final EIS Highlights, Summary of Effects, Protest Process Handout, Final EIS Questions & Answers (please call media contacts for these documents).