Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a series of public meetings starting in mid-March to unveil a draft environmental impact statement that examines a proposed long-term management plan for the three national forests in the Blue Mountains: Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Malheur.

Two of the meetings will be in Baker County.

andbull; March 25, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Baker City Community Events Center, 2600 East St.

andbull; March 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Halfway Lions Hall, 235 Lion St., Halfway

The draft EIS will be released to the public on March 14, the start of a 90-day comment period.

The three national forests have been working on the management plan for several years.

Each of the forests has a separate management plan; the Wallowa-Whitman's dates to 1990.

Management plans - typically known as "forest plans" - describe broad strategies for managing national forests but don't include specific projects such as timber sales, grazing allotments or road closures.

Although the potential effects for all three forests are being studied under a single EIS, each forest will have a separate management plan.