Sparring Bulls EIS; Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, MT, 69324-69325 [E9-30740]

Download as PDF 69324 Notices Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 250 Thursday, December 31, 2009 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. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Sparring Bulls EIS; Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, MT Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and non-commercial vegetation management, prescribed burning, and watershed improvement activities which include intermittent stored service work or decommissioning of system roads. Access management changes and other design features are also included to protect resources and facilitate management activities. The project is located in the Lake and Spar planning subunits on the Three Rivers Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana, south of Troy, Montana. Scoping Comment Date Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Comments should be mailed to: Mike Herrin; District Ranger, Three Rivers Ranger District; 12858 U.S. Hwy 2; Troy, MT 59935, or e-mail: comments-northern-kootenai-threerivers@fs.fed.us. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Timory Peel, Project Team Leader, Three Rivers Ranger District, 12858 U.S. Hwy 2, Troy, MT 59935. Phone: (406) 295–4693. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The project area is south of Troy, Montana, in the Lake Creek watershed. The legal description includes Townships 28–31 North, Ranges 33–35 West, Lincoln County, Montana, and Township 57–58 North, Range 3 East, Bonner County, VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:06 Dec 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 Idaho. The area supports many species of wildlife and fish. Most of the project area is within the Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery zone. A separate population of bull trout inhabits the Lake Creek watershed. The purpose and need for this project is to: (1) Contribute to the supply of the timber in the area by recovering economically valuable wood products using timber harvest strategies that: (a) Manage characteristic vegetation patterns, stand structure, patch sizes, and species composition, while reducing stand vulnerability to insects and diseases; (b) Reduce existing fuel loadings and stand densities, and promote fire resilient conditions to allow for future use of fire as a management tool; and (c) Enhance visual resources as seen from critical viewpoints. (2) Increase forage habitat for big-game and grizzly bears using timber harvest and prescribed fire, including maintaining huckleberry fields over time for wildlife forage and public use. (3) Reduce hazardous ladder fuels, surface fuels, and canopy densities in the vicinity of private property and associated access routes to provide for public and firefighter safety. (4) Reduce sediment delivery and risk of road failures in bull trout watersheds. To meet this purpose and need this project proposes: 1. Approximately 700 acres of intermediate harvest and 710 acres of regeneration harvest. Approximately half of the harvest would be tractor yarded and half skyline yarded. This harvest would contribute approximately 8 million board feet (MMBF) or 16 hundred cubic feet (CCF) of timber products to the economy, and result in employment associated with timber sales and service contracts. Unit 13, an 11-acre unit, lies within the Cabinet Face West #670 Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA), and is included in this proposal for urban interface fuels reduction. This unit borders U.S. Highway 56 and is adjacent to a restaurant and tavern, and several residences. 2. It is estimated that four temporary roads totaling less than one mile would be utilized to accomplish this harvest and would be obliterated following activities. Approximately 71 miles of haul road would have State Best Management Practices applied for water quality protection. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3. The size of harvest openings created by even-aged silvicultural (regeneration harvest) in the Northern Region will be normally 40 acres or less. Creation of larger openings requires 60day public review and Regional Forester approval (FSM 2471.1). There is potential that Units 12, 12A, and 14 would create an opening greater than 40 acres. 4. Fuels reduction along open travel routes is proposed on approximately 216 acres. This includes approximately 207 acres of slashing with hand piling and 9 acres of excavator piling. 5. Prescribed burning, is proposed on approximately 3,820 acres to accentuate existing openings, with a Maximum Allowable Area of approximately 8,016 identified to allow for some movement of fire outside the ignition zone. Low to moderate intensity fire would be expected within the ignition zones, with low intensity fire expected outside that zone. 6. Approximately 40 miles of road would be stabilized to reduce sediment delivery to streams. This includes removing wood/log or old metal stream crossing structures, installing waterbars, and/or removing unstable fill material. Of this 40 miles, approximately 36 miles were identified in the Travel Analysis as needed for long-term management of the National Forest so would be put in intermittent stored service; approximately 4 miles identified as not needed would be decommissioned. All road decommissioning and intermittent stored service work is proposed on roads currently closed to motor vehicle access. Coordination with recreational users (snowmobiles, mountain bikers, hikers, and stock users) would be ongoing through analysis and implementation to maintain popular access routes. These activities and the Best Management Practices work will require an SPA 124/318 permit from the Montana Department of Environment Quality and a Nationwide 404 Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. 7. Design features and mitigations are included to maintain and protect resource values. Range of Alternatives The Forest Service will consider a range of alternatives. One of these will be the ‘‘no action’’ alternative in which none of the proposed activities will be implemented. Preliminary analysis identified two issues with the proposed E:\FR\FM\31DEN1.SGM 31DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 250 / Thursday, December 31, 2009 / Notices action: (1) Effects to Big Game Habitat and (2) Mechanical Equipment in the IRA. An alternative responding to these issues would be included in the analysis. Additional alternatives may be included to respond to the scoping issues and other resource values. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Public Involvement and Scoping The public is encouraged to take part in the process and to visit with Forest Service officials at any time during the analysis and prior to the decision. The Forest Service has sought and will continue seeking information, comments, and assistance from Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribal governments, and other individuals or organizations that may be interested in, or affected by, the proposed action. It is expected that formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will occur for this project regarding the potential impacts to endangered species. This input will be used in preparation of the draft and final EIS. The scoping process includes: 1. Identifying potential issues. 2. Identifying major issues to be analyzed in depth. 3. Identifying alternatives to the proposed action. 4. Exploring additional alternatives that will be derived from issues recognized during scoping activities. 5. Identifying potential environmental effects of this proposal (i.e., direct, indirect, and cumulative effects and connected actions). Estimated Dates for Filing The draft EIS is expected to be filed with the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) and to be available for public review in February 2010. At that time EPA will publish a Notice of Availability of the draft EIS in the Federal Register. The comment period on the draft EIS will be 45 days from the date the EPA publishes the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. It is very important that those interested in the management of this area participate at that time. The final EIS is scheduled to be completed in April 2010. In the final EIS, the Forest Service is required to respond to comments and responses received during the comment period that pertain to the environmental consequences discussed in the draft EIS and to applicable laws, regulations, and policies considered in making a decision regarding the proposal. Reviewer’s Obligations It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a way that they are useful to the VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:06 Dec 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 Agency’s preparation of the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns and contentions. The submission of timely and specific comments can affect a reviewer’s ability to participate in subsequent administrative review or judicial review. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the respondent with standing to participate in subsequent administrative review or judicial review. Responsible Official Paul Bradford, Forest Supervisor of the Kootenai National Forest, 31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923-3022, is the Responsible Official for this project. The Responsible Official decides if the proposed project will be implemented, and documents the decision and reasons for the decision in the Record of Decision. The responsibility for preparing the DEIS and FEIS is delegated to Mike Herrin, District Ranger, Three Rivers Ranger District. Dated: December 18, 2009. C. Quinn Carver, Acting for Forest Supervisor Paul Bradford, Kootenai National Forest. [FR Doc. E9–30740 Filed 12–30–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–M DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Bend/Ft. Rock Ranger District; Deschutes National Forest; Deschutes County, OR; Ogden Landscape Vegetation Management Project EIS Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The USDA, Forest Service, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposed action to promote development of large tree structural conditions and to improve forest health and fuel conditions within the 26,500-acre Ogden Landscape planning area. The planning area is located to the west of and adjacent to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and to private lands to the east of State Highway 97, south of Forest road 9735 and north of Forest road 22. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69325 The planning area is all within public lands managed by the Deschutes National Forest. An analysis has been initiated that takes a landscape approach to managing the vegetation to meet objectives for resilient forest, fuels and fire behavior, and wildlife habitat. Methods that would be used to reduce tree density and hazardous fuels are: Non-commercial and commercial thinning, mechanical shrub treatment, and prescribed burning. The alternatives will include the proposed action, no action, and, if necessary, additional alternatives that respond to issues generated through the scoping process. The agency will give notice of the full environmental analysis and decisionmaking process so interested and affected public may participate and contribute to the final decision. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by 30 days following the date that this notice appears in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Shane Jeffries, District Ranger, BendFort Rock Ranger District, Red Oaks Square, 1230 NE. Third Street Suite A–262, Bend, Oregon 97701. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beth Peer, Environmental Coordinator, BendFort Rock Ranger District, Red Oaks Square, 1230 NE. Third Street Suite A– 262, Bend, Oregon 97701, phone (541) 383–4769. Responsible Official: The responsible official is John Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest, 1001 SW. Emkay Dr., Bend, OR 97701. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background. This Central Oregon landscape is a priority for restoration. There are many high-value areas within and adjacent to the project area: Paulina Creek which bisects the planning area from east to west is eligible for the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; popular sites such as McKay, Ogden, and Prairie Campgrounds and the Peter Skeen Ogden National Scenic Trail provide diverse opportunities for recreation; and the primary access into and out of Newberry Crater and the Newberry National Monument passes through the project area. The project area also provides habitat for goshawk and other Management Indicator Species. High fuel loads and the presence of ladder of fuels puts these areas at risk to a large scale wildfire. The amount of late and old structure ponderosa pine is far below the historic range of variability. A majority of the planning area is second-growth ponderosa pine, which has grown in following historic logging in the 1920s to 1940s. Portions of the area have been E:\FR\FM\31DEN1.SGM 31DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 250 (Thursday, December 31, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69324-69325]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30740]


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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. 74, No. 250 / Thursday, December 31, 2009 / 
Notices

[[Page 69324]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Sparring Bulls EIS; Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, MT

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact 
statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and 
non-commercial vegetation management, prescribed burning, and watershed 
improvement activities which include intermittent stored service work 
or decommissioning of system roads. Access management changes and other 
design features are also included to protect resources and facilitate 
management activities. The project is located in the Lake and Spar 
planning subunits on the Three Rivers Ranger District, Kootenai 
National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana, south of Troy, Montana.

Scoping Comment Date

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. 
Comments should be mailed to: Mike Herrin; District Ranger, Three 
Rivers Ranger District; 12858 U.S. Hwy 2; Troy, MT 59935, or e-mail: 
comments-northern-kootenai-three-rivers@fs.fed.us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Timory Peel, Project Team 
Leader, Three Rivers Ranger District, 12858 U.S. Hwy 2, Troy, MT 59935. 
Phone: (406) 295-4693.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The project area is south of Troy, Montana, 
in the Lake Creek watershed. The legal description includes Townships 
28-31 North, Ranges 33-35 West, Lincoln County, Montana, and Township 
57-58 North, Range 3 East, Bonner County, Idaho. The area supports many 
species of wildlife and fish. Most of the project area is within the 
Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery zone. A separate population of bull 
trout inhabits the Lake Creek watershed.
    The purpose and need for this project is to: (1) Contribute to the 
supply of the timber in the area by recovering economically valuable 
wood products using timber harvest strategies that: (a) Manage 
characteristic vegetation patterns, stand structure, patch sizes, and 
species composition, while reducing stand vulnerability to insects and 
diseases; (b) Reduce existing fuel loadings and stand densities, and 
promote fire resilient conditions to allow for future use of fire as a 
management tool; and (c) Enhance visual resources as seen from critical 
viewpoints. (2) Increase forage habitat for big-game and grizzly bears 
using timber harvest and prescribed fire, including maintaining 
huckleberry fields over time for wildlife forage and public use. (3) 
Reduce hazardous ladder fuels, surface fuels, and canopy densities in 
the vicinity of private property and associated access routes to 
provide for public and firefighter safety. (4) Reduce sediment delivery 
and risk of road failures in bull trout watersheds.
    To meet this purpose and need this project proposes:
    1. Approximately 700 acres of intermediate harvest and 710 acres of 
regeneration harvest. Approximately half of the harvest would be 
tractor yarded and half skyline yarded. This harvest would contribute 
approximately 8 million board feet (MMBF) or 16 hundred cubic feet 
(CCF) of timber products to the economy, and result in employment 
associated with timber sales and service contracts. Unit 13, an 11-acre 
unit, lies within the Cabinet Face West 670 Inventoried 
Roadless Area (IRA), and is included in this proposal for urban 
interface fuels reduction. This unit borders U.S. Highway 56 and is 
adjacent to a restaurant and tavern, and several residences.
    2. It is estimated that four temporary roads totaling less than one 
mile would be utilized to accomplish this harvest and would be 
obliterated following activities. Approximately 71 miles of haul road 
would have State Best Management Practices applied for water quality 
protection.
    3. The size of harvest openings created by even-aged silvicultural 
(regeneration harvest) in the Northern Region will be normally 40 acres 
or less. Creation of larger openings requires 60-day public review and 
Regional Forester approval (FSM 2471.1). There is potential that Units 
12, 12A, and 14 would create an opening greater than 40 acres.
    4. Fuels reduction along open travel routes is proposed on 
approximately 216 acres. This includes approximately 207 acres of 
slashing with hand piling and 9 acres of excavator piling.
    5. Prescribed burning, is proposed on approximately 3,820 acres to 
accentuate existing openings, with a Maximum Allowable Area of 
approximately 8,016 identified to allow for some movement of fire 
outside the ignition zone. Low to moderate intensity fire would be 
expected within the ignition zones, with low intensity fire expected 
outside that zone.
    6. Approximately 40 miles of road would be stabilized to reduce 
sediment delivery to streams. This includes removing wood/log or old 
metal stream crossing structures, installing waterbars, and/or removing 
unstable fill material. Of this 40 miles, approximately 36 miles were 
identified in the Travel Analysis as needed for long-term management of 
the National Forest so would be put in intermittent stored service; 
approximately 4 miles identified as not needed would be decommissioned. 
All road decommissioning and intermittent stored service work is 
proposed on roads currently closed to motor vehicle access. 
Coordination with recreational users (snowmobiles, mountain bikers, 
hikers, and stock users) would be ongoing through analysis and 
implementation to maintain popular access routes. These activities and 
the Best Management Practices work will require an SPA 124/318 permit 
from the Montana Department of Environment Quality and a Nationwide 404 
Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
    7. Design features and mitigations are included to maintain and 
protect resource values.

Range of Alternatives

    The Forest Service will consider a range of alternatives. One of 
these will be the ``no action'' alternative in which none of the 
proposed activities will be implemented. Preliminary analysis 
identified two issues with the proposed

[[Page 69325]]

action: (1) Effects to Big Game Habitat and (2) Mechanical Equipment in 
the IRA. An alternative responding to these issues would be included in 
the analysis. Additional alternatives may be included to respond to the 
scoping issues and other resource values.

Public Involvement and Scoping

    The public is encouraged to take part in the process and to visit 
with Forest Service officials at any time during the analysis and prior 
to the decision. The Forest Service has sought and will continue 
seeking information, comments, and assistance from Federal, State, and 
local agencies, Tribal governments, and other individuals or 
organizations that may be interested in, or affected by, the proposed 
action. It is expected that formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service will occur for this project regarding the potential 
impacts to endangered species. This input will be used in preparation 
of the draft and final EIS. The scoping process includes:
    1. Identifying potential issues.
    2. Identifying major issues to be analyzed in depth.
    3. Identifying alternatives to the proposed action.
    4. Exploring additional alternatives that will be derived from 
issues recognized during scoping activities.
    5. Identifying potential environmental effects of this proposal 
(i.e., direct, indirect, and cumulative effects and connected actions).

Estimated Dates for Filing

    The draft EIS is expected to be filed with the Environmental 
Protection agency (EPA) and to be available for public review in 
February 2010. At that time EPA will publish a Notice of Availability 
of the draft EIS in the Federal Register. The comment period on the 
draft EIS will be 45 days from the date the EPA publishes the Notice of 
Availability in the Federal Register. It is very important that those 
interested in the management of this area participate at that time.
    The final EIS is scheduled to be completed in April 2010. In the 
final EIS, the Forest Service is required to respond to comments and 
responses received during the comment period that pertain to the 
environmental consequences discussed in the draft EIS and to applicable 
laws, regulations, and policies considered in making a decision 
regarding the proposal.

Reviewer's Obligations

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such a way that they are useful to the Agency's preparation of 
the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of 
the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's 
concerns and contentions. The submission of timely and specific 
comments can affect a reviewer's ability to participate in subsequent 
administrative review or judicial review. Comments received in response 
to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who 
comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. 
Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; 
however, anonymous comments will not provide the respondent with 
standing to participate in subsequent administrative review or judicial 
review.

Responsible Official

    Paul Bradford, Forest Supervisor of the Kootenai National Forest, 
31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923-3022, is the Responsible Official 
for this project. The Responsible Official decides if the proposed 
project will be implemented, and documents the decision and reasons for 
the decision in the Record of Decision. The responsibility for 
preparing the DEIS and FEIS is delegated to Mike Herrin, District 
Ranger, Three Rivers Ranger District.

    Dated: December 18, 2009.
C. Quinn Carver,
Acting for Forest Supervisor Paul Bradford, Kootenai National Forest.
[FR Doc. E9-30740 Filed 12-30-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-M