Gunnison Basin Federal Lands Travel Management Plan, 24267-24270 [07-2153]

Download as PDF mmaher on DSK3CLS3C1PROD with $$_JOB Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 2, 2007 / Notices To follow the procedures, establishments, plants, and firms that manufacture and sell technology to official establishments and plants notify the Agency by submitting documents describing the operation and purpose of the new technology. The documents should explain why the new technology will not: Adversely affect the safety of the product, jeopardize the safety of Federal inspection personnel, interfere with inspection procedures, or require a waiver to a regulation. In addition, if the new technology could adversely affect the safety of the product, jeopardize the safety of Federal inspection personnel, interfere with inspection procedures, or require a waiver to a regulation, submitters are to provide a protocol for an in-plant trial as part of a pre-use review. FSIS expects the submitter of a protocol to provide data to the Agency throughout the duration of the in-plant trial. FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment: Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of 29 hours per response. Respondents: Official establishments and plants; firms that manufacture or sell technology. Estimated No. of Respondents: 290. Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 8,400 hours. Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from John O’Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20250– 3700, (202) 720–5627, (202) 720–0345. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS’ functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS’ estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both John O’Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, at the address provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, VerDate Mar 15 2010 03:08 Aug 19, 2011 Jkt 223001 Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Additional Public Notification Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that the public and in particular minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it on-line through the FSIS web page located at http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2007— Notices—Index/index.asp. FSIS also will make copies of this Federal Register publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, recalls, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The update is communicated via Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service consisting of industry, trade, and farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific professionals, and other individuals who have requested to be included. The update also is available on the FSIS Web page. Through Listserv and the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news—and— events/email—subscription/ Options range from recalls to export information to regulations, directives and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the option to password protect their account. Done at Washington, DC, on: April 26, 2007. David P. Goldman, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. E7–8341 Filed 5–1–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–DM–P PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24267 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Gunnison Basin Federal Lands Travel Management Plan Forest Service, USDA, Bureau of Land Management, USDI. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCIES: Comments concerning the scope of analysis must be received on or before August 31, 2007. The draft environmental impact statement is expected to be released in February 2008 and the final environmental impact statement is expected in August 2008. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Gunnison Travel Management, GMUG National Forests, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Janik, Public Involvement Specialist at ajanik@fs.fed.us, (970) 874–6637 or Gary Shellhorn, Team Leader at gshellhorn@fs.fed.us, (970) 874–6666. SUMMARY: The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are to designate which roads or trails on federal lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service within the Gunnison Field Office area and the Gunnison National Forest are open to motorized and/or mechanized travel. In so doing, both agencies will meet commitments set forth in the 2001 Gunnison Interim Travel Management Plan to further evaluate and analyze motorized travel needs on a route-byroute basis and comply with requirements of the Forest Service 2005 Travel Management Rule (36 CFR part 212) as well as policies for Public Lands found in the BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H–1601–1). As a result of these travel management decisions, the Forest Service will produce a Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) depicting those routes on the Gunnison National Forest and the Gunnison Field Office Public lands that will remain open to motorized and/or mechanized travel. The MVUM will be the primary tool used to determine compliance and enforcement with motorized and mechanized vehicle use designations on the ground. Those existing routes and other user-created routes not designated open on the MVUM will be legally closed to motorized and mechanized travel. The decisions on motorized and DATES: E:\FEDREG\02MYN1.LOC 02MYN1 mmaher on DSK3CLS3C1PROD with $$_JOB 24268 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 2, 2007 / Notices mechanized travel do not include oversnow travel or existing winter-use recreation. Background Information: The Gunnison Interim Travel Management Plan (2001), as an interim plan, was intended to be replaced by a more definitive and comprehensive designated system of routes to be maintained and remain open for motorized travel. The Gunnison Interim Travel Plan did not address whether specific routes were needed or were not needed to provide a manageable and sustainable transportation system on the Gunnison National Forest and Gunnison Field Office Public Lands. Nor did it fully evaluate the desired use by vehicle type or season of use on a route-by-route basis. The 2001 travel plan was implemented as an interim measure intended to halt the proliferation of user-created routes and attempt to restrict motorized travel to the then existing roads and trails. The 2001 travel plan needs to be amended, changed or superseded. In addition to the 2001 commitment by both agencies to complete further travel management planning, the Forest Service 2005 Travel Management Rule (36 CFR 212) requires each National Forest unit to complete travel management planning that will include the designation of routes open to motorized travel culminating with the completion and publication of a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). The Chief of the Forest Service has set a 4-year target to complete these initial motorized use designations that will define the MVUM. It is understood that the BLM will also include their route-by-route designations for motorized and mechanized travel on roads and trails traversing public lands in the Gunnison Field Office area on the Forest Service MVUM. National Forest System (NFS) lands are lands managed by the Forest Service. Public lands are lands managed by BLM. Both National Forest System lands and public lands in the Gunnison Basin will be addressed in this effort. Proposed Action: The proposed action is to designate selected roads and trails open to motorized and/or mechanized travel (wheeled vehicles only) on the Gunnison National Forest (NFS lands) and Gunnison Area public lands (BLM). Where it is appropriate and necessary, the designations will also set specific seasons (i.e., yearlong, summer, fallsummer-spring) of use and type of use (e.g., full-sized vehicles, ATV’s, motorcycles, or mountain bikes) for those routes. The Forest Service will produce a Motor Vehicle Use Map VerDate Mar 15 2010 03:08 Aug 19, 2011 Jkt 223001 (MVUM) depicting those routes which are open to the general public for motorized and/or mechanized travel. Possible Alternatives: Alternatives to the proposed action will be considered and evaluated. The No Action alternative would be to adopt the September 1, 2000 map of existing roads and trails as those routes open to motorized and mechanized travel. Alternatives to the Proposed Action and No Action will depict differing combinations of routes to remain open to motorized and/or mechanized travel. The Proposed Action and the alternative actions will provide a system of routes that differ from existing conditions and the No Action alternative. Less restrictive alternatives would generally entail designating a greater number of miles of road or trail to be open for motorized and mechanized travel than the Proposed Action. Alternatives considered to be less restrictive could also include fewer constraints on season of use or vehicle types allowed on designated routes. The less restrictive alternative would generally provide for more motorized and mechanized recreational use opportunities. More restrictive alternatives would generally entail designating fewer miles of road or trail to be open for motorized and mechanized travel than the Proposed Action or have more constraints on season of use and vehicle types using designated routes. The more restrictive alternative(s) would provide motorized and mechanized recreational opportunities yet there may be a greater emphasis on non-motorized recreational opportunities. A consequence of designating routes open for motorized and/or mechanized travel is that those existing routes not designated as open would be identified as closed to motorized and/or mechanized travel. Road closure procedures that involve ground disturbing activities would not be a part of the Proposed Action or alternatives and would generally require separate and distinct site-specific NEPA decisions regarding the implementation aspects of road closures. The environmental consequences of having routes closed to motorized and/or mechanized travel will be evaluated in this environmental assessment. Identification of new routes that would meet the goals and objectives for a motorized and/or mechanized transportation system on both Public lands and NFS lands will be, as appropriate, a part of this travel management planning, but would require separate, site-specific NEPA decisions to implement ground PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 disturbing activities associated with new route construction. Lead Agencies: The Forest Service and the BLM are joint lead agencies (CEQ § 1506.2). USDA, Forest Service, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest. USDI, Bureau of Land Management, Gunnison Field Office. Responsible Officials: The Responsible Official for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest is Charles Richmond, Forest Supervisor, GMUG National Forest, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81401. The Responsible Official for the BLM Gunnison Field Office is Kenny McDaniel, Manager, Gunnison Field Office, 216 North Colorado, Gunnison, CO 81230. Nature of Decisions To Be Made: Based on the purpose and need for the proposed action, the Forest Supervisor and the Field Office Manager will evaluate the Proposed Action and other alternatives in order to make the following decisions for the specific federal lands they have authority over: <bullet≤ Those roads or trails that will be designated as open to the public for motorized and/or mechanized travel; and, <bullet≤ The allowed season and/or type of use for those routes open to motorized and/or mechanized travel. Federal land managers are directed (Executive Order 11644, 36 CFR 212, and 43 CFR 8342.1) to ensure that the use of motorized vehicles and off-road vehicles will be controlled and directed so as to protect the resources of those lands, to promote the safety of users, minimize conflicts among the various uses of the federal lands, and to provide for public use of roads and trails designated as open. Permits or Licenses Required: No other permits or licenses are required to be obtained by either the Forest Service or the BLM to make decisions regarding motorized and/or mechanized travel on federal lands managed by the two agencies. Scoping Process: Preliminary public involvement was initiated in the summer 2006 in an effort to educate the public and stakeholders on the objectives of travel management. The public was also asked to provide input to the Forest Service and BLM on routes they wanted to remain open and/or those routes that may be in conflict with other desired conditions sought by the public on Forest and BLM lands. This initial comment period ended in October 2006 with the agencies receiving numerous comments on individual routes, a few general comments and some area-wide E:\FEDREG\02MYN1.LOC 02MYN1 mmaher on DSK3CLS3C1PROD with $$_JOB Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 2, 2007 / Notices comments on travel. There were over 800 route specific comments, many of which addressed the same route(s). This initial public input will help the Forest Service and BLM to develop a preliminary route-by-route proposed action that will be utilized in a more formal scoping process. The Forest Service and the BLM will jointly conduct the following public meetings to solicit for comments and concerns from the public and interested parties on motorized and/or mechanized travel on National Forest System (NFS) lands and Public Lands: (1) Paonia—May 23 (Wednesday), 5:30– 8 p.m. Paonia Town Hall, 214 Grand Avenue. (2) Gunnison—May 30 (Wednesday), 5:30–8 p.m. Gunnison County Fairgrounds (Multipurpose room). (Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center), 275 S. Spruce Street. (3) Crested Butte—June 5 (Tuesday), 5:30–8 p.m. Crested Butte Community School, 818 Red Lady Avenue. (4) Lake City—June 6 (Wednesday), 5:30–8 p.m. Lake City Community School (Middle/HS Wing, Room 6/8) 614 Silver. Legal notices of those meetings and requests for comments will be published in two local newspapers; Delta County Independent for the Paonia Ranger District, and the Gunnison Country Times for the Gunnison Ranger District and BLM Gunnison Field Office. Based on comments received as a result of this notice and after the Forest Service and BLM have conducted public meetings and afforded the public sufficient time to respond to the preliminary proposed action, the agencies will utilize the public scoping comments and concerns along with resource related input for the interdisciplinary team and other agency resource specialists to develop a set of issues to carry forward into the environmental analysis process. Preliminary Issues: The Forest Service and BLM addressed several key issues in the 2000 Gunnison Travel Interim Restrictions Environmental Assessment which provide the agencies with a list of potential issues that can be expected to again come from the public regarding motorized and mechanized travel. The agencies have also gotten some indications of potential issues from the initial public involvement process conducted during the summer and fall of 2006. Those expected issues include: (1) Adverse resource impacts caused by inappropriate types of vehicle use VerDate Mar 15 2010 03:08 Aug 19, 2011 Jkt 223001 (e.g. motorized vehicles in fragile or steep terrain), proliferation of routes (e.g. parallel trails or roads, illegal travel off designated routes), and unrestricted season of use (e.g. routes open to motorized travel too long into the wet or muddy seasons). (2) Infringement on wildlife caused by roads in important or critical wildlife habitat areas, too high of a density of roads in wildlife habitat areas, and disturbance to wildlife during critical lifecycle periods. (3) Loss of recreational opportunity when existing routes are closed to motorized and/or mechanized travel. (4) Loss of semi-primitive and primitive recreational opportunity if more routes or areas are open to motorized and/or mechanized travel. (5) Failure to accommodate the fast growing number of motorized and/or mechanized users desiring to use federal lands for recreational riding of ATVs and mountain bikes. (6) Inconsistencies between Forest Service and BLM restrictions and regulations for motorized and/or mechanized use of routes managed by those agencies. (7) Enforcement concerns centered on whether either of the agencies have the ability to provide enforcement once decisions have been made on allowed routes and uses for motorized and/or mechanized travel. (8) Safety concerns on routes where multiple vehicle types (e.g. full-sized trucks and cars, ATVs, motorcycles, mountain bikes) are allowed. (9) Conflicts with landowners when routes cross private lands to access federally managed lands of the BLM and Forest Service. (10) Jurisdictional questions regarding routes maintained by local governments or historically used by the public to access federally managed lands. Both the Forest Service and the BLM recognize that this list of issues is not complete and will be further defined and refined as scoping continues. It is expected that a comprehensive list of key issues will be determined before the full range of alternatives is developed and the environmental analysis is begun. Comments Requested: This notice of intent initiates the formal scoping process that guides the development of the environmental impact statement for the Gunnison Travel Management Plan. However all comments received during the initial comment period (July to October 2006) will be brought forward into this formal scoping, and those who commented then need not comment again to have their comments considered, or to demonstrate their PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24269 interest in this planning. Persons and organizations commenting during the initial scoping will be maintained on the mail list for future information about Gunnison Travel Management Planning. Early Notice of Importance of Public Participation in Subsequent Environmental Review: A draft environmental impact statement will be prepared for public comment. The comment period on the draft environmental impact statement will be 45 days from the date that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes the notice of availability in the Federal Register. Written comments are preferred and should include the name and address of the commenter. Comments submitted for this proposed action will be considered part of the public record. 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 review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts an 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 statement stage but that are not raised until 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. v. Harris, 409 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D.Wis. 1980). Because of these court rulings, it is very important those interested in this proposed action participate by the close of the 45-day 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. To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft environmental impact statement should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the draft statement. Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft environmental impact statement or the merits of the alternative formulated and discussed in the statement. Reviewers may wish to refer to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the E:\FEDREG\02MYN1.LOC 02MYN1 24270 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 84 / Wednesday, May 2, 2007 / Notices National Environmental Policy Act at 40 CFR 1503.3 in addressing these points. Dated: April 30, 2007. Charles S. Richmond, Forest Supervisor. Kenny McDaniel, Manager, Gunnison Field Office. [FR Doc. 07–2153 Filed 5–1–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–M DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of Meeting; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act Forest Service, (Title VIII, Pub. L. 108–447) public input session will be provided and individuals who have made written requests by May 9, 2007 to the Designated Federal Official will have the opportunity to address the Committee during the meeting on May 16 and 17, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. The Recreation RAC is authorized by the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in December 2004. Dated: April 26, 2007. Liz Agpaoa, Acting Regional Forester, Pacific Northwest Region. [FR Doc. 07–2154 Filed 5–1–07; 8:45 am] 1, 2007 due to budget constraints. NASS will resume this information collection as of May 2, 2007, and will publish the Farm Labor reports for April, July, and October 2007 as originally scheduled. Authority: These data are collected under authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. Signed at Washington, DC, April 4, 2007. Joseph T. Reilly, Associate Administrator. [FR Doc. E7–8381 Filed 5–1–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–20–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Pacific Northwest Region, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. BILLING CODE 3410–11–M DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Resume the Agricultural Labor Survey and Farm Labor Reports Notice of Intent To Suspend Portions of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY: National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of resumption of data collection and publication. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to resume a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Labor Survey, and its associated publication. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph T. Reilly, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720–4333. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Agricultural Labor Survey. OMB Control Number: 0535–0109. Expiration Date of Approval: April 30, 2009. Type of Request: To resume a currently approved information collection. Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service is to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, disposition, and prices. The Agricultural Labor Survey provides quarterly statistics on the number of agricultural workers, hours worked, and wage rates. Number of workers and hours worked are used to estimate agricultural productivity; wage rates are used in the administration of the H–2A Program and for setting Adverse Effect Wage Rates. Survey data are also used to carry out provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This collection was suspended on February SUMMARY: This notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to suspend portions of a currently approved information collection, the Agriculture Resource Management, Chemical Use, and Postharvest Chemical Use Surveys. The Fruit Chemical Use Survey and Postharvest Chemical Use Survey are being suspended, along with their associated publications. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph T. Reilly, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720–4333. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Agriculture Resource Management, Chemical Use, and Postharvest Chemical Use Surveys. OMB Control Number: 0535–0218. Expiration Date of Approval: September 30, 2008. Type of Request: To suspend portions of a currently approved information collection. Abstract: One of the primary objectives of the National Agricultural Statistics Service is to provide high quality and timely estimates about the nation’s food supply and environment. In the Fruit Chemical Use Survey and the Postharvest Chemical Use Survey data are collected regarding chemical usage on fruit and the types and amounts of pesticides used on selected AGENCY: The Pacific Northwest Recreation Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Portland, OR. The purpose of the meeting is to review and provide recommendations on recreation fee proposals for facilities and services offered on lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and Washington, under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004. DATES: The meeting will be held on May 16, 2007 from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. and May 17, 2007 from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. A public input session will be provided at 10:30 a.m. on both days of the meeting. Comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Designated Federal Official has discretion to not convene the committee on May 17, 2007, if necessary. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be at the Residence Inn by Marriott, Lloyd Center, 1710 NE Multnomah St., Portland, Oregon 97232. Send written comments to Dan Harkenrider, Designated Federal Official for the Pacific Northwest Recreation RAC, 902 Wasco Street, Suite 200, Hood River, OR 97031, 541–308–1700 or dharkenrider@fs.fed.us. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Harkenrider, Designated Federal Official, 902 Wasco Street, Suite 200, Hood River, OR 97031, 541–308–1700. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting is open to the public. Recreation RAC discussion is limited to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management staff and Recreation RAC members. However, persons who wish to bring recreation fee matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee staff before or after the meeting. A mmaher on DSK3CLS3C1PROD with $$_JOB SUMMARY: VerDate Mar 15 2010 03:08 Aug 19, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of suspension of data collection and publication. E:\FEDREG\02MYN1.LOC 02MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 84 (Wednesday, May 2, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24267-24270]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-2153]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management


Gunnison Basin Federal Lands Travel Management Plan

AGENCIES: Forest Service, USDA, Bureau of Land Management, USDI.

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

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

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of analysis must be received on or 
before August 31, 2007. The draft environmental impact statement is 
expected to be released in February 2008 and the final environmental 
impact statement is expected in August 2008.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Gunnison Travel Management, GMUG 
National Forests, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Janik, Public Involvement 
Specialist at ajanik@fs.fed.us, (970) 874-6637 or Gary Shellhorn, Team 
Leader at gshellhorn@fs.fed.us, (970) 874-6666.

SUMMARY: The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are 
to designate which roads or trails on federal lands administered by the 
BLM and the Forest Service within the Gunnison Field Office area and 
the Gunnison National Forest are open to motorized and/or mechanized 
travel. In so doing, both agencies will meet commitments set forth in 
the 2001 Gunnison Interim Travel Management Plan to further evaluate 
and analyze motorized travel needs on a route-by-route basis and comply 
with requirements of the Forest Service 2005 Travel Management Rule (36 
CFR part 212) as well as policies for Public Lands found in the BLM 
Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1). As a result of these travel 
management decisions, the Forest Service will produce a Motorized 
Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) depicting those routes on the Gunnison National 
Forest and the Gunnison Field Office Public lands that will remain open 
to motorized and/or mechanized travel. The MVUM will be the primary 
tool used to determine compliance and enforcement with motorized and 
mechanized vehicle use designations on the ground. Those existing 
routes and other user-created routes not designated open on the MVUM 
will be legally closed to motorized and mechanized travel. The 
decisions on motorized and

[[Page 24268]]

mechanized travel do not include over-snow travel or existing winter-
use recreation.
    Background Information: The Gunnison Interim Travel Management Plan 
(2001), as an interim plan, was intended to be replaced by a more 
definitive and comprehensive designated system of routes to be 
maintained and remain open for motorized travel. The Gunnison Interim 
Travel Plan did not address whether specific routes were needed or were 
not needed to provide a manageable and sustainable transportation 
system on the Gunnison National Forest and Gunnison Field Office Public 
Lands. Nor did it fully evaluate the desired use by vehicle type or 
season of use on a route-by-route basis. The 2001 travel plan was 
implemented as an interim measure intended to halt the proliferation of 
user-created routes and attempt to restrict motorized travel to the 
then existing roads and trails. The 2001 travel plan needs to be 
amended, changed or superseded.
    In addition to the 2001 commitment by both agencies to complete 
further travel management planning, the Forest Service 2005 Travel 
Management Rule (36 CFR 212) requires each National Forest unit to 
complete travel management planning that will include the designation 
of routes open to motorized travel culminating with the completion and 
publication of a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). The Chief of the Forest 
Service has set a 4-year target to complete these initial motorized use 
designations that will define the MVUM.
    It is understood that the BLM will also include their route-by-
route designations for motorized and mechanized travel on roads and 
trails traversing public lands in the Gunnison Field Office area on the 
Forest Service MVUM.
    National Forest System (NFS) lands are lands managed by the Forest 
Service. Public lands are lands managed by BLM. Both National Forest 
System lands and public lands in the Gunnison Basin will be addressed 
in this effort.
    Proposed Action: The proposed action is to designate selected roads 
and trails open to motorized and/or mechanized travel (wheeled vehicles 
only) on the Gunnison National Forest (NFS lands) and Gunnison Area 
public lands (BLM). Where it is appropriate and necessary, the 
designations will also set specific seasons (i.e., yearlong, summer, 
fall-summer-spring) of use and type of use (e.g., full-sized vehicles, 
ATV's, motorcycles, or mountain bikes) for those routes. The Forest 
Service will produce a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) depicting those 
routes which are open to the general public for motorized and/or 
mechanized travel.
    Possible Alternatives: Alternatives to the proposed action will be 
considered and evaluated. The No Action alternative would be to adopt 
the September 1, 2000 map of existing roads and trails as those routes 
open to motorized and mechanized travel. Alternatives to the Proposed 
Action and No Action will depict differing combinations of routes to 
remain open to motorized and/or mechanized travel. The Proposed Action 
and the alternative actions will provide a system of routes that differ 
from existing conditions and the No Action alternative.
    Less restrictive alternatives would generally entail designating a 
greater number of miles of road or trail to be open for motorized and 
mechanized travel than the Proposed Action. Alternatives considered to 
be less restrictive could also include fewer constraints on season of 
use or vehicle types allowed on designated routes. The less restrictive 
alternative would generally provide for more motorized and mechanized 
recreational use opportunities.
    More restrictive alternatives would generally entail designating 
fewer miles of road or trail to be open for motorized and mechanized 
travel than the Proposed Action or have more constraints on season of 
use and vehicle types using designated routes. The more restrictive 
alternative(s) would provide motorized and mechanized recreational 
opportunities yet there may be a greater emphasis on non-motorized 
recreational opportunities.
    A consequence of designating routes open for motorized and/or 
mechanized travel is that those existing routes not designated as open 
would be identified as closed to motorized and/or mechanized travel. 
Road closure procedures that involve ground disturbing activities would 
not be a part of the Proposed Action or alternatives and would 
generally require separate and distinct site-specific NEPA decisions 
regarding the implementation aspects of road closures. The 
environmental consequences of having routes closed to motorized and/or 
mechanized travel will be evaluated in this environmental assessment.
    Identification of new routes that would meet the goals and 
objectives for a motorized and/or mechanized transportation system on 
both Public lands and NFS lands will be, as appropriate, a part of this 
travel management planning, but would require separate, site-specific 
NEPA decisions to implement ground disturbing activities associated 
with new route construction.
    Lead Agencies: The Forest Service and the BLM are joint lead 
agencies (CEQ Sec.  1506.2). USDA, Forest Service, Grand Mesa, 
Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest. USDI, Bureau of Land 
Management, Gunnison Field Office.
    Responsible Officials: The Responsible Official for the Grand Mesa, 
Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest is Charles Richmond, Forest 
Supervisor, GMUG National Forest, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81401.
    The Responsible Official for the BLM Gunnison Field Office is Kenny 
McDaniel, Manager, Gunnison Field Office, 216 North Colorado, Gunnison, 
CO 81230.
    Nature of Decisions To Be Made: Based on the purpose and need for 
the proposed action, the Forest Supervisor and the Field Office Manager 
will evaluate the Proposed Action and other alternatives in order to 
make the following decisions for the specific federal lands they have 
authority over:
     Those roads or trails that will be designated as open to 
the public for motorized and/or mechanized travel; and,
     The allowed season and/or type of use for those routes 
open to motorized and/or mechanized travel.
    Federal land managers are directed (Executive Order 11644, 36 CFR 
212, and 43 CFR 8342.1) to ensure that the use of motorized vehicles 
and off-road vehicles will be controlled and directed so as to protect 
the resources of those lands, to promote the safety of users, minimize 
conflicts among the various uses of the federal lands, and to provide 
for public use of roads and trails designated as open.
    Permits or Licenses Required: No other permits or licenses are 
required to be obtained by either the Forest Service or the BLM to make 
decisions regarding motorized and/or mechanized travel on federal lands 
managed by the two agencies.
    Scoping Process: Preliminary public involvement was initiated in 
the summer 2006 in an effort to educate the public and stakeholders on 
the objectives of travel management. The public was also asked to 
provide input to the Forest Service and BLM on routes they wanted to 
remain open and/or those routes that may be in conflict with other 
desired conditions sought by the public on Forest and BLM lands. This 
initial comment period ended in October 2006 with the agencies 
receiving numerous comments on individual routes, a few general 
comments and some area-wide

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comments on travel. There were over 800 route specific comments, many 
of which addressed the same route(s).
    This initial public input will help the Forest Service and BLM to 
develop a preliminary route-by-route proposed action that will be 
utilized in a more formal scoping process. The Forest Service and the 
BLM will jointly conduct the following public meetings to solicit for 
comments and concerns from the public and interested parties on 
motorized and/or mechanized travel on National Forest System (NFS) 
lands and Public Lands:

(1) Paonia--May 23 (Wednesday), 5:30-8 p.m.
    Paonia Town Hall, 214 Grand Avenue.
(2) Gunnison--May 30 (Wednesday), 5:30-8 p.m.
    Gunnison County Fairgrounds (Multi-purpose room). (Fred R. Field 
Western Heritage Center), 275 S. Spruce Street.
(3) Crested Butte--June 5 (Tuesday), 5:30-8 p.m.
    Crested Butte Community School, 818 Red Lady Avenue.
(4) Lake City--June 6 (Wednesday), 5:30-8 p.m.
    Lake City Community School (Middle/HS Wing, Room 6/8) 614 Silver.

    Legal notices of those meetings and requests for comments will be 
published in two local newspapers; Delta County Independent for the 
Paonia Ranger District, and the Gunnison Country Times for the Gunnison 
Ranger District and BLM Gunnison Field Office.
    Based on comments received as a result of this notice and after the 
Forest Service and BLM have conducted public meetings and afforded the 
public sufficient time to respond to the preliminary proposed action, 
the agencies will utilize the public scoping comments and concerns 
along with resource related input for the interdisciplinary team and 
other agency resource specialists to develop a set of issues to carry 
forward into the environmental analysis process.
    Preliminary Issues: The Forest Service and BLM addressed several 
key issues in the 2000 Gunnison Travel Interim Restrictions 
Environmental Assessment which provide the agencies with a list of 
potential issues that can be expected to again come from the public 
regarding motorized and mechanized travel. The agencies have also 
gotten some indications of potential issues from the initial public 
involvement process conducted during the summer and fall of 2006. Those 
expected issues include:
    (1) Adverse resource impacts caused by inappropriate types of 
vehicle use (e.g. motorized vehicles in fragile or steep terrain), 
proliferation of routes (e.g. parallel trails or roads, illegal travel 
off designated routes), and unrestricted season of use (e.g. routes 
open to motorized travel too long into the wet or muddy seasons).
    (2) Infringement on wildlife caused by roads in important or 
critical wildlife habitat areas, too high of a density of roads in 
wildlife habitat areas, and disturbance to wildlife during critical 
lifecycle periods.
    (3) Loss of recreational opportunity when existing routes are 
closed to motorized and/or mechanized travel.
    (4) Loss of semi-primitive and primitive recreational opportunity 
if more routes or areas are open to motorized and/or mechanized travel.
    (5) Failure to accommodate the fast growing number of motorized 
and/or mechanized users desiring to use federal lands for recreational 
riding of ATVs and mountain bikes.
    (6) Inconsistencies between Forest Service and BLM restrictions and 
regulations for motorized and/or mechanized use of routes managed by 
those agencies.
    (7) Enforcement concerns centered on whether either of the agencies 
have the ability to provide enforcement once decisions have been made 
on allowed routes and uses for motorized and/or mechanized travel.
    (8) Safety concerns on routes where multiple vehicle types (e.g. 
full-sized trucks and cars, ATVs, motorcycles, mountain bikes) are 
allowed.
    (9) Conflicts with landowners when routes cross private lands to 
access federally managed lands of the BLM and Forest Service.
    (10) Jurisdictional questions regarding routes maintained by local 
governments or historically used by the public to access federally 
managed lands.
    Both the Forest Service and the BLM recognize that this list of 
issues is not complete and will be further defined and refined as 
scoping continues. It is expected that a comprehensive list of key 
issues will be determined before the full range of alternatives is 
developed and the environmental analysis is begun.
    Comments Requested: This notice of intent initiates the formal 
scoping process that guides the development of the environmental impact 
statement for the Gunnison Travel Management Plan.
    However all comments received during the initial comment period 
(July to October 2006) will be brought forward into this formal 
scoping, and those who commented then need not comment again to have 
their comments considered, or to demonstrate their interest in this 
planning. Persons and organizations commenting during the initial 
scoping will be maintained on the mail list for future information 
about Gunnison Travel Management Planning.
    Early Notice of Importance of Public Participation in Subsequent 
Environmental Review: A draft environmental impact statement will be 
prepared for public comment. The comment period on the draft 
environmental impact statement will be 45 days from the date that the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes the notice of 
availability in the Federal Register. Written comments are preferred 
and should include the name and address of the commenter. Comments 
submitted for this proposed action will be considered part of the 
public record.
    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 review of the proposal so that it is meaningful 
and alerts an 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 statement stage but that are not raised until 
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. v. Harris, 409 
F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D.Wis. 1980). Because of these court rulings, it 
is very important those interested in this proposed action participate 
by the close of the 45-day 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.
    To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues 
and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft 
environmental impact statement should be as specific as possible. It is 
also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the 
draft statement. Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft 
environmental impact statement or the merits of the alternative 
formulated and discussed in the statement. Reviewers may wish to refer 
to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for implementing 
the procedural provisions of the

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National Environmental Policy Act at 40 CFR 1503.3 in addressing these 
points.

    Dated: April 30, 2007.
Charles S. Richmond,
Forest Supervisor.
Kenny McDaniel,
Manager, Gunnison Field Office.
[FR Doc. 07-2153 Filed 5-1-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-M