Approximately every ten years, a new forest management plan is developed for the Flathead Reservation. Each plan has been more progressive than the last. Due to direction of federal mandates and stand conditions, each plan has expressed increased forest health concerns (S. McDonald 2003).

The Indian Self-Determination Act of 1976" (Public Law 93-638) allowed tribes to contract with the federal government to manage certain Federal programs. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have taken a lead in assuming management responsibility for these programs and now manage more than one hundred federal, as well as state programs on the Reservation. In addition, the Tribes manage 70 Tribal programs and have repurchased more than two hundred forty-five thousand acres of Reservation land since 1944. Because of these successful efforts, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have become one of the ten tribes nationwide to participate in a Self-Governance Demonstration Project initiated in 1988 (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes 1994).

In 1995, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Forestry Department compacted with the federal government under PL 93-638. This allowed for the Tribes to play the leading role in forestry decisions on their land. Currently, the forest management plan is focused on ecosystem management. In the Flathead Indian Reservation Forest Management Plan, ecosystem management is defined as:

the integrated use of ecological knowledge at various scales to produce desired resource values, products, services, and conditions in ways that also sustain diversity and productivity of ecosystems. This approach blends physical, biological, cultural, and social needs (2000).

Because ecosystem management is a fairly new concept compared to past forest management plans, the Tribes are formulating their perception as to how this management strategy is most suitable for their land, culture, and people.

For more information regarding the Tribal Forestry Department, please call Department Head Tony Incashola, Jr. at (406) 676-3755 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Mission Statement: Forestry mission is to promote perpetually productive ecosystems for future generations in accordance with goals of the Confederated Salish, Pend dOreille, and Kootenai Tribes. We will prescribe and implement sound silvicultural treatments to promote forest health and return forest lands to near pre-settlement, fire maintained forest structures. Our decisions will be based on Tribal social and economic needs, as well as sound scientific and ecological principles.

 Available Documents

Flathead Indian Reservation Forest Management Plan
Popular May 2000 21.1 MB 1576
08/24/2015 03:24 PM
Amendment to FMP " Mission Mountain Buffer Zone"
Popular November 2005 727.36 KB 911
08/24/2015 03:43 PM
Assessment of Indian Forest Management in the United States Executive Summary
Popular 2013 1.66 MB 604
03/07/2016 04:41 PM
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Forest Management Plan
Popular 2005 12.75 MB 2074
08/24/2015 03:42 PM
Listening and Learning Article from Journal of Forestry -June 2012
Popular 2012 147.57 KB 648
03/07/2016 04:41 PM
Resetting the Clock with Uneven-Aged Management
Popular November 1997 169.86 KB 633
03/07/2016 04:41 PM
Returning Fire to the Land - Celebrating Traditional Knowledge and Fire Article
Popular 866.92 KB 704
07/13/2017 10:56 AM
TuPS FINAL 8917.pdf
Popular 219.85 KB
11/21/2019 10:43 PM
Two Forests Under The Big Sky: Tribal V. Federal Management
Popular 2.44 MB 779
02/23/2016 02:43 PM