The proposed special use permits in the North Fork have generated a great deal of feelings and controversy. Many people have submitted comments to the Forest Service. A meeting between members of the North Fork Community and the Flathead Forest Service has been set up using Zoom for Tuesday, May 5 from 7:00 to 8:30pm. Representative Debo Powers (House District 3) will facilitate the meeting.
Although there are many proposed permits for many sections of the Flathead Forest, we will only be discussing the permits for the North Fork. This meeting is only for the North Fork Community. If you do not own land or a business in the North Fork or serve on one of the boards for NFLA, NFPA, or NFTA, please do not try to join this meeting. You will not be admitted from the “waiting room.”
Purpose of the Meeting
The purpose of the meeting is to facilitate communication between the North Fork Community and the Forest Service by getting clear information about the proposed permits, getting answers to your questions in order to clarify that information, and stating clearly any impacts that you think will result from these special use permits.
There will be many people at this meeting. In order to maintain decorum and avoid having everyone talking at once, the following procedures will be followed:
1—People are encouraged to join the meeting 20 minutes early to ensure that your technology is working correctly. During this first 15 minutes, you can socialize with each other and say hello to neighbors who you probably haven’t seen during this time of social distancing.
2—At 6:55, Debo will explain some of the features in Zoom, such as “Chat Box” and “Raise Hand.” If you have not used Zoom before, make sure that you hear these instructions.
3—The meeting will start at 7:00. At that time, everyone will be placed on “Mute” ….meaning that we won’t be able to hear you or any background noise in your home.
4—The meeting will begin with introducing District Ranger Rob Davies and any staff members who are joining him at the meeting.
5—Next, Rob and his staff will make a short presentation outlining the commercial permits that have been submitted for the North Fork. During this time, participants can submit clarifying questions through the “Chat Box.” Karina Petty will be monitoring the questions and will ask Rob and his staff to answer them.
6—In the time remaining, participants will get the opportunity to make short statements (1 minute or less). People will use the “Raise Hand” function and Karina will put them on the speaking list. Speakers will be individually taken off “Mute” when it is their turn to speak. We ask that you keep your comments short and to the point. We want to allow time for as many speakers as possible within the time restraints. There will be a timekeeper and you will be placed back on “Mute” if your statement goes beyond 1 minute. Think about what you want to say ahead of time and be ready to clearly state the potential impacts of these permits and why it is important to you. Listen closely to all comments and try not to repeat what someone has already said. (Longer comments should be submitted in writing to the Forest Service through their public comment process. Rob has promised to read every comment even if they are submitted past the deadline.)
Ground Rule #1: Treat everyone with respect and refrain from name calling, blaming, and attacking.
Access to the Zoom Meeting
To participate in the video conference on Zoom, you need a computer with an internal camera and connection to Internet. You can also join through your Smart Phone. Log into the meeting using the following URL. You may be asked to download the free Zoom app, so be prepared for this possibility.
Join URL: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85656791518
To connect by telephone, you can simply call the following number. You will be able to hear and speak during the meeting, but you will not be able to see the other participants. If you are calling in by phone, please send the phone number to Bill Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org before 6:00pm on Tuesday so that we will know who you are when you call in……and be able to admit you from the “waiting room.”
The phone number is: 253/215-8782……..The program will ask you for the meeting ID which is: 856-5679-1518
Thanks you for participating in this virtual meeting. The relationship between the North Fork Community and the Flathead Forest has been very supportive and productive in recent years. It is our hope that this evening of communication will continue that good relationship.