Southwestern Region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma: Proposed Land and Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Valle Vidal, Carson National Forest, Taos and Colfax Counties, NM, 34441-34442 [05-11702]

Download as PDF 34441 Notices Federal Register Vol. 70, No. 113 Tuesday, June 14, 2005 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. Additional information related to the proposed amendment can be obtained from the Forest’s Web page at http:// www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/ or directly from the Forest on compact disc or a paper copy. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The information presented in this notice is included to help the reviewer determine if they are interested in or potentially affected by the proposed action. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Purpose and Need for Action In 1982, Pennzoil Corporation donated 101,794 acres (Valle Vidal) to the American people. Due to the timing of the donation, the lack of resource inventories, and the fact the Carson National Forest had already begun the development of its Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan), the management of the Valle Vidal was only partially considered in the development of the Forest Plan. Timber suitability was analyzed as part of plan development, however a desired condition and standards and guidelines for the Valle Vidal were never established. A Multiple Use Area Guide was developed in October 1982 and provides general direction for the Valle Vidal. In order to bring management direction for the Valle Vidal into full conformance with the Carson National Forest’s Forest Plan, an amendment is needed to establish Forest Plan natural resource goals, objectives, standards and guidelines, and desired future condition for the Valle Vidal. The plan amendment will speak directly to the desired condition, with standards and guidelines needed to meet this desired condition. Forest Service Southwestern Region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma: Proposed Land and Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Valle Vidal, Carson National Forest, Taos and Colfax Counties, NM Forest Service, USDA. Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The USDA Forest Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider and disclose the effects of amending the Carson National Forest’s 1987 Land and Resource Management Plan (hereafter called Forest Plan) to incorporate standards and guidelines for the management of the Valle Vidal area of the Carson National Forest. The proposed Forest Plan amendment includes a recommendation for a special area designation of the ‘‘Upper Ponil Botanical Area.’’ DATES: Comments on the proposed amendment should be submitted before September 15, 2005. The Draft EIS is expected to be available for public review sometime in February or March 2006. At that time, a Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS will be published in the Federal Register and a 90-day comment period will follow. The Final EIS is scheduled to be completed in September 2006. ADDRESSES: Comments concerning the proposed amendment should be sent to Carson National Forest, ATTN: Valle Vidal Forest Plan Amendment, 208 Cruz Alta Road, Toas, NM 87571. E-mail comments may be sent to commentssouthwestern-carson@fs.fed.us. ‘‘Valle Vidal Forest Plan Amendment’’ must be in the subject line of the e-mail. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Seesholtz, Forest Planner, Carson National Forest, at (505) 758–6210. SUMMARY: VerDate jul<14>2003 20:14 Jun 13, 2005 Jkt 205001 Proposed Action The Forest Service proposes to provide additional guidance for the Valle Vidal Unit on the Carson National Forest through a Forest Plan amendment. This area was identified as Management Area 21 in the Land and Resource Management Plan (1986). The proposed action would establish a long-term desired condition for the Valle Vidal and would incorporate Forest-wide prescriptions and specific Management Area prescriptions (standards and guidelines) from the current Forest Plan to apply on the Valle Vidal. Area specific standards and guidelines for the Valle Vidal are also PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 proposed. Standards and guidelines specific to the Valle Vidal would take precedence over Forest-wide standards and guidelines. Generally these standards compliment the Forest-wide standards. The proposed action would recommend a 4,083-acre botanical area as a Special Area (Management Area 19). A few specific standards and guidelines are proposed for this management area. A detailed description of the Proposed Action can be accessed via the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/ carson/. This site also contains background information about the management of the Valle Vidal and discussion on why additional management direction is needed for the area. Public Involvement Over the last several months, the Forest has received from the public over 5,000 form letters, 120 post cards, 600 individual letters, a petition and many phone calls expressing their views on the management of the Valle Vidal. Open house informational meetings were held in Taos, Raton and Santa Fe earlier this year. Comments raised during these meetings, as well as other public comments, helped in formulating the proposed action is largely to formalize the current management strategy. Additional open house meetings will be held in July and august during the scoping period. These meetings are tentatively scheduled for Taos, Raton, and Santa Fe. Due to the large amount of public interest expressed in the development of the proposed action the scoping will run for 90 days. Preliminary Issues and Alternatives The Forest Service has developed the proposed action to meet the purpose and need for action with the best information available—it is not a decision. This proposal is intended to facilitate public involvement in identifying pertinent issues, developing meaningful alternatives, and analyzing relevant effects. A range of alternatives, including the no action alternative, will be developed based upon issues identified during our scoping process and the associated analysis. E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 34442 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 113 / Tuesday, June 14, 2005 / Notices Lead and Cooperating Agencies USDA Forest Service, Carson National Forest will serve as the lead agency for this analysis. Responsible Official The Forest Supervisor for the Carson National Forest of the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service is the Responsible Official. Nature of Decision To Be Made Forest Plans define the direction for managing the National Forests. This amendment will provide the management direction for the Valle Vidal and provide the foundation for future activities. The amendment defines the overall management vision of the Valle Vidal and identifies specific standards and guidelines that will help move management of the Valle Vidal towards this vision. The decision made through this amendment would serve as Forest Plan direction until the Forest Plan is further amended or revised. Other analyses may be completed in the future to determine the appropriate level of activities to occur by a specific program. The Leasing Analysis required to determine whether to make certain lands available to development of natural gas resources is an example of possible future analyses. Future decisions would have to be consistent with the management direction provided through this current analysis or would have to amend this direction. Comment Requested The Forest Service would like to know of any issues, concerns, and/or suggestions the public, Native American tribes, or other government agencies have about the proposal. Comments should be as fully formed as possible to assist in the analysis. If you have any questions, or if something is unclear, contact David Seesholtz at 505–758– 6210 before submitting your comments. Although comments are welcome at any time, they will be most effective if received by September 15, 2005. Send comment to: Carson National Forest, ATTN: Valle Vidal Plan Amendment, 208 Cruz Alta Road, Taos, NM 87571. Alternately, e-mail your commentsto comments-southwesterncarson@fs.fed.us. ‘‘Valle Vidal Forest Plan Amendment’’ must be in the subject line of the e-mail. Reviewer’s Obligation: Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and VerDate jul<14>2003 20:14 Jun 13, 2005 Jkt 205001 considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR parts 215 or 217. Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27 (d), any person may request the agency to withhold a submission from the public record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be aware that, under FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only very limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest Service will inform the requester of the agency’s decision regarding the request for confidentiality, and where the request is denied, the agency will return the submission and notify the requester that the comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within seven days. The Forest Service believes, at this early stage, it is important to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of draft environmental impact statements must structure their participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts the agency to the reviewer’s position and contentions. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519, 553 (1978). Also, environmental objections that could be raised at the draft environmental impact stage but that are not raised nolil after completion of the final environmental impact statement may be waived or dismissed by the courts. City of Angoon v. Hodel, 803 F.2d 1016, 1022 (9th Cir. 1986) and Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., 490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D. Wise. 1980). Because of these court rulings, it is very important that those interested in this proposed action participate by the close of the comment period so that substantive comments and objections are made available to the Forest Service at the time when it can meaningfully consider them and respond to them in the final environmental impact statement. PAuthorization: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321–346); Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508); U.S. Department of Agriculture NEPA Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1b). Dated: June 8, 2005. Martin D. Chavez Jr., Forest Supervisor, Carson National Forest. [FR Doc. 05–11702 Filed 6–13–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–M PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands; North Dakota and South Dakota; Dakota Prairie Grasslands Noxious Weed Management Strategy EIS Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Dakota Prairie Grasslands (DPG) proposes to use an integrated approach to treat and control noxious weeds on approximately 35,000 acres of existing infestation sites, and 8,000 acres of new or previously unknown acres in a manner consistent with Dakota Prairie Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan direction and applicable laws. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will analyze the methods to be used in an integrated approach, and disclose the environmental effects of the proposal and alternatives. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The draft EIS is expected by September 2005 and the final EIS is expected by February 2006. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Sheila McNee, Noxious Weed EIS, Dakota Prairie Grasslands, 240 W. Century Ave., Bismarck, ND 58503 or email your comments to commentsnorthern-dakota-prairie@fs.fed.us. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila McNee, Project Leader, Dakota Prairie Grasslands, USDA Forest Service at the above address or call (701) 250– 4443. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action An aggressive and effective weed control program is dictated by U.S. Forest Service policies (FSM 2080), the DPG Land and Resource Management Plan (Grasslands Plan), other Forest Service objectives, and by the February 3, 1999 Executive Order 13112 ‘‘to prevent the introduction of invasive species and provide for their control and to minimize the economic, ecological and human health impacts that invasive species cause.’’ The DPG has been treating noxious weeds on each Ranger District under previous NEPA decisions including the 1986 Custer National Forest Noxious Weed Environmental Impact Statement; however, an updated noxious weed control analysis is needed to address newly listed noxious weeds species, to identify additional acres of noxious E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 113 (Tuesday, June 14, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34441-34442]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-11702]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 113 / Tuesday, June 14, 2005 / 
Notices

[[Page 34441]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Southwestern Region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and 
Oklahoma: Proposed Land and Resource Management Plan Amendment for the 
Valle Vidal, Carson National Forest, Taos and Colfax Counties, NM

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The USDA Forest Service is preparing an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) to consider and disclose the effects of amending the 
Carson National Forest's 1987 Land and Resource Management Plan 
(hereafter called Forest Plan) to incorporate standards and guidelines 
for the management of the Valle Vidal area of the Carson National 
Forest. The proposed Forest Plan amendment includes a recommendation 
for a special area designation of the ``Upper Ponil Botanical Area.''

DATES: Comments on the proposed amendment should be submitted before 
September 15, 2005.
    The Draft EIS is expected to be available for public review 
sometime in February or March 2006. At that time, a Notice of 
Availability for the Draft EIS will be published in the Federal 
Register and a 90-day comment period will follow. The Final EIS is 
scheduled to be completed in September 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments concerning the proposed amendment should be sent to 
Carson National Forest, ATTN: Valle Vidal Forest Plan Amendment, 208 
Cruz Alta Road, Toas, NM 87571. E-mail comments may be sent to 
comments-southwestern-carson@fs.fed.us. ``Valle Vidal Forest Plan 
Amendment'' must be in the subject line of the e-mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Seesholtz, Forest Planner, 
Carson National Forest, at (505) 758-6210. Additional information 
related to the proposed amendment can be obtained from the Forest's Web 
page at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/ or directly from the Forest on 
compact disc or a paper copy.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The information presented in this notice is 
included to help the reviewer determine if they are interested in or 
potentially affected by the proposed action.

Purpose and Need for Action

    In 1982, Pennzoil Corporation donated 101,794 acres (Valle Vidal) 
to the American people. Due to the timing of the donation, the lack of 
resource inventories, and the fact the Carson National Forest had 
already begun the development of its Land and Resource Management Plan 
(Forest Plan), the management of the Valle Vidal was only partially 
considered in the development of the Forest Plan. Timber suitability 
was analyzed as part of plan development, however a desired condition 
and standards and guidelines for the Valle Vidal were never 
established. A Multiple Use Area Guide was developed in October 1982 
and provides general direction for the Valle Vidal.
    In order to bring management direction for the Valle Vidal into 
full conformance with the Carson National Forest's Forest Plan, an 
amendment is needed to establish Forest Plan natural resource goals, 
objectives, standards and guidelines, and desired future condition for 
the Valle Vidal. The plan amendment will speak directly to the desired 
condition, with standards and guidelines needed to meet this desired 
condition.

Proposed Action

    The Forest Service proposes to provide additional guidance for the 
Valle Vidal Unit on the Carson National Forest through a Forest Plan 
amendment. This area was identified as Management Area 21 in the Land 
and Resource Management Plan (1986).
    The proposed action would establish a long-term desired condition 
for the Valle Vidal and would incorporate Forest-wide prescriptions and 
specific Management Area prescriptions (standards and guidelines) from 
the current Forest Plan to apply on the Valle Vidal.
    Area specific standards and guidelines for the Valle Vidal are also 
proposed. Standards and guidelines specific to the Valle Vidal would 
take precedence over Forest-wide standards and guidelines. Generally 
these standards compliment the Forest-wide standards.
    The proposed action would recommend a 4,083-acre botanical area as 
a Special Area (Management Area 19). A few specific standards and 
guidelines are proposed for this management area.
    A detailed description of the Proposed Action can be accessed via 
the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/. This site also 
contains background information about the management of the Valle Vidal 
and discussion on why additional management direction is needed for the 
area.

Public Involvement

    Over the last several months, the Forest has received from the 
public over 5,000 form letters, 120 post cards, 600 individual letters, 
a petition and many phone calls expressing their views on the 
management of the Valle Vidal. Open house informational meetings were 
held in Taos, Raton and Santa Fe earlier this year. Comments raised 
during these meetings, as well as other public comments, helped in 
formulating the proposed action is largely to formalize the current 
management strategy.
    Additional open house meetings will be held in July and august 
during the scoping period. These meetings are tentatively scheduled for 
Taos, Raton, and Santa Fe. Due to the large amount of public interest 
expressed in the development of the proposed action the scoping will 
run for 90 days.

Preliminary Issues and Alternatives

    The Forest Service has developed the proposed action to meet the 
purpose and need for action with the best information available--it is 
not a decision. This proposal is intended to facilitate public 
involvement in identifying pertinent issues, developing meaningful 
alternatives, and analyzing relevant effects. A range of alternatives, 
including the no action alternative, will be developed based upon 
issues identified during our scoping process and the associated 
analysis.

[[Page 34442]]

Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    USDA Forest Service, Carson National Forest will serve as the lead 
agency for this analysis.

Responsible Official

    The Forest Supervisor for the Carson National Forest of the 
Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service is the Responsible 
Official.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Forest Plans define the direction for managing the National 
Forests. This amendment will provide the management direction for the 
Valle Vidal and provide the foundation for future activities. The 
amendment defines the overall management vision of the Valle Vidal and 
identifies specific standards and guidelines that will help move 
management of the Valle Vidal towards this vision. The decision made 
through this amendment would serve as Forest Plan direction until the 
Forest Plan is further amended or revised.
    Other analyses may be completed in the future to determine the 
appropriate level of activities to occur by a specific program. The 
Leasing Analysis required to determine whether to make certain lands 
available to development of natural gas resources is an example of 
possible future analyses. Future decisions would have to be consistent 
with the management direction provided through this current analysis or 
would have to amend this direction.

Comment Requested

    The Forest Service would like to know of any issues, concerns, and/
or suggestions the public, Native American tribes, or other government 
agencies have about the proposal. Comments should be as fully formed as 
possible to assist in the analysis. If you have any questions, or if 
something is unclear, contact David Seesholtz at 505-758-6210 before 
submitting your comments.
    Although comments are welcome at any time, they will be most 
effective if received by September 15, 2005. Send comment to: Carson 
National Forest, ATTN: Valle Vidal Plan Amendment, 208 Cruz Alta Road, 
Taos, NM 87571.
    Alternately, e-mail your commentsto comments-southwestern-
carson@fs.fed.us. ``Valle Vidal Forest Plan Amendment'' must be in the 
subject line of the e-mail.
    Reviewer's Obligation: Comments received in response to this 
solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will 
be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and 
will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously 
will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous 
comments will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision under 
36 CFR parts 215 or 217. Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27 (d), any 
person may request the agency to withhold a submission from the public 
record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits 
such confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be 
aware that, under FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only very 
limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest 
Service will inform the requester of the agency's decision regarding 
the request for confidentiality, and where the request is denied, the 
agency will return the submission and notify the requester that the 
comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within 
seven days.
    The Forest Service believes, at this early stage, it is important 
to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public 
participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of 
draft environmental impact statements must structure their 
participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is 
meaningful and alerts the agency to the reviewer's position and 
contentions. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519, 
553 (1978). Also, environmental objections that could be raised at the 
draft environmental impact stage but that are not raised nolil after 
completion of the final environmental impact statement may be waived or 
dismissed by the courts. City of Angoon v. Hodel, 803 F.2d 1016, 1022 
(9th Cir. 1986) and Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., 490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 
(E.D. Wise. 1980). Because of these court rulings, it is very important 
that those interested in this proposed action participate by the close 
of the comment period so that substantive comments and objections are 
made available to the Forest Service at the time when it can 
meaningfully consider them and respond to them in the final 
environmental impact statement. PAuthorization: National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-346); Council on 
Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); U.S. 
Department of Agriculture NEPA Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1b).

    Dated: June 8, 2005.
Martin D. Chavez Jr.,
Forest Supervisor, Carson National Forest.
[FR Doc. 05-11702 Filed 6-13-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-M