Montana Forest Restoration Committee
The Montana Forest Restoration Committee (MFRC) is primarily a volunteer consensus-based collaborative group, which was formed in January 2007 to help guide restoration of Montana’s National Forests.
The MFRC articulated a collective vision of ecologically-appropriate, scientifically-supported forest restoration through a set of 13 principles (Principles), ratified in August 2007. The Principles represent the “zone of agreement” where controversy, delays, appeals, and litigation are significantly reduced.
The group published a booklet, Restoring Montana's National Forest Lands, outlining the process and the restoration principles.
The MFRC set up restoration committees on three National Forests in Montana: Bitterroot, Helena and Lolo. These committees are utilizing the principles in on-the-ground projects on each forest.
2009 was an exciting year for the MFRC effort. Our first project made it through the Record of Decision on the Lolo National Forest, and we achieved consensus to work on two projects on the Bitterroot National Forest. We also implemented a new restoration committee on the Lincoln District of the Helena National Forest. That group, the Lincoln Restoration committee, has already reached consensus on their first project.
In 2010, the MFRC expanded its "zone of agreement" through the finalization of the Mixed Conifer/Mixed Severity Fire Regime Appendix. This Appendix, approved on Aug. 2, expands upon Principles 1 and 5 and will aid the local Forest Restoration Committees in working on more complex landscapes.
In early 2011 the MFRC further expanded with the implementation of a restoration committee working on the Elkhorn Management Area in the Helena and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests. The Elkhorn Restoration Committee meets monthly and is actively engaged on their first project within the Helena National Forest.