Coconino National Forest; Arizona; Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, 21590-21592 [2013-08455]

Download as PDF 21590 Notices Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 70 Thursday, April 11, 2013 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 Coconino National Forest; Arizona; Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The Forest Service is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) to document the potential effects of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP). The analysis will evaluate and disclose the effects of implementing treatments on the National Forest to reduce the threat of high severity wildfire and subsequent flooding in two watersheds around Flagstaff. Specifically, two key areas have been identified for analysis and treatment under this project: The Dry Lake Hills portion of the Rio de Flag Watershed north of Flagstaff, and the Mormon Mountain portion of the Upper Lake Mary Watershed south of Flagstaff. The project area includes approximately 10,543 acres (roughly 7,569 acres in the Dry Lake Hills portion and 2,974 on Mormon Mountain), and proposed treatments would include thinning and prescribed fire on roughly 8,810 of those acres. The EIS will analyze a variety of harvesting methods, including the use of traditional ground-based equipment, hand thinning, and also methods atypical for the region, including cable and helicopter logging, in order to treat steep, inaccessible terrain. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by May 13, 2013. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in early 2014 and the final environmental impact statement is expected in the summer of 2014. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Erin Phelps, Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Coconino National Forest, 5075 N. Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Apr 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 86004. Comments may also be sent via email to comments-southwesterncoconino-flagstaff@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 928–527–8288. Verbal comments can be submitted in person at the Flagstaff Ranger District Office, 5075 N. Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 or via telephone at (928) 527–8240 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Visit our planning Web site at https:// www.fs.usda.gov/projects/coconino/ landmanagement/projects or contact Erin Phelps, Project Leader, by phone at (928) 527–8240 or by email at ephelps@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action The primary purpose of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) is to reduce the risk of high severity wildfire and subsequent flooding in two key watersheds around Flagstaff, Arizona: In the Dry Lake Hills portion of the Rio de Flag Watershed, and the Mormon Mountain portion of the Upper Lake Mary Watershed. The FWPP analysis area includes portions of the Coconino National Forest that have either not been analyzed or not been treated previously due to prohibitive costs associated with very steep terrain, low value material, and other challenging issues such as potential impacts to wildlife and visual concerns. There is a need to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire in watersheds that contribute to the drinking water for the City of Flagstaff as well as reducing the risk of high intensity wildfire in the watershed that drains into the city itself. There is also a need to reduce the risk of severe flooding that would likely damage the drinking water infrastructure south of town, and which could also cause extensive damage to private municipal property should a high-intensity wildfire occur in mountainous areas that make-up the Upper Lake Mary and Rio de Flag watersheds. In general, fire regimes in the analysis area have shifted from historically more PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 frequent, lower-intensity surface fires (Fire Regime I and III, Condition Class I) to less frequent, higher-intensity crown fires (Condition Class III). There is a need to reduce the potential for crown fire and high intensity surface fire, and to reduce the likelihood of human-caused ignitions. The desired condition is to reduce the threat of high severity wildfire and subsequent flooding to values at risk within and adjacent to the project area, including the City of Flagstaff, outlying communities, the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, and Upper Lake Mary. For the majority of the project area, the desired condition is to decrease the departure from historic conditions, and return the majority of the analysis area in FRI and FRIII to Condition Class 1. To meet the project’s purpose and need, the Forest Service proposes a combination of thinning and prescribed burning activities, establishing a permanent campfire closure order in the Dry Lake Hills area and decommissioning about 34 miles of road in the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project area. To facilitate timber removal, approximately 15.5 miles of temporary road are also proposed, and three non-significant Forest Plan amendments would be necessarily to implement the proposed activities. Treatments would include mechanical and hand thinning as well as prescribed fire on approximately 8,810 acres. Mechanical tree thinning would occur within Mexican spotted owl protected activity centers (MSO PACs) with a desired condition of trees greater than 16 inches dbh contributing more than 50 percent of the stand basal area and maintaining a minimum of 40 percent canopy cover in pine-oak and 60 percent in mixed conifer per the MSO Recovery Plan (2012), followed by prescribed burning. Thinning treatments have been designed in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to occur within MSO nest/roost habitat to reduce the risk of high severity wildfire. Some treatments proposed within occupied PACs may need to occur during the breeding season (March 1–August 31); however treatments within PACs would be prioritized to be completed as quickly as possible to avoid long-term impacts and would be coordinated with FWS. Prescribed fire would include initial pile burning to remove slash E:\FR\FM\11APN1.SGM 11APN1 TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 70 / Thursday, April 11, 2013 / Notices accumulated through harvesting, followed by broadcast burning. Maintenance burning may occur every five to seven years following implementation in order to maintain lower fuel loading levels and to restore a frequent, low-intensity fire regime. Areas of mixed conifer on steep slopes may not receive prescribed burning treatments due to the difficulty and safety concerns associationed with implementation in these fuel types and terrain, and also because the vegetation type may not require as frequent burning due to longer historic fire intervals. Three project-specific, non-significant amendments to the Coconino National Forest Land Management Plan (Forest Plan; 1987, as amended) would be required to implement the proposed action. A site (project) specific plan amendment is a one-time variance in Forest Plan direction for the project; Forest Plan direction reverts back to its original language/direction upon completion of the specified project. The language proposed does not apply to any other forest project. The Forest Plan is currently under revision; depending on the timing of the release of the final Forest Plan document, the final FWPP analysis will be consistent with the revised Forest Plan. Additionally, a revised MSO Recovery Plan, issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was finalized in December of 2012 (USDI 2012). The current Forest Plan is consistent with the previous MSO Recovery Plan (USDI 1995). For this project, a Forest Plan amendment would be needed to utilize the revised recovery plan direction if it is different than what is currently included in the Forest Plan. The proposed Forest Plan amendments include: Amendment 1: Adding the desired percentage of interspace within unevenaged stands to facilitate restoration in northern goshawk habitat (excluding nest areas), add the interspace distance between tree groups, add language clarifying how canopy cover would be measured, and add a definition to the Forest Plan glossary for the terms ‘‘interspaces,’’ ‘‘open reference condition,’’ and ‘‘stands.’’ Amendment 2: Adding language to allow mechanical treatments in MSO PACs beyond 9 inches dbh, treatments in MSO restricted habitat above 24 inches dbh, and also to allow treatments and prescribed burning within MSO nest/cores. The monitoring requirement specified under the Forest Plan would be amended to include the monitoring plan developed by the Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Apr 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 Rocky Mountain Research Station. This amendment would also remove timing restrictions for the duration of the FWPP project. Treatments within PACs would be prioritized to be completed as quickly as possible to avoid long-term impacts and would be coordinated with FWS. Amendment 3: Removing language restricting mechanical equipment to slopes less than 40 percent and language identifying slopes above 40 percent as inoperable. This amendment would allow mechanical harvesting on slopes greater than 40 percent within the project area. Since the Forest Plan was written and amended, mechanized ground-based equipment has progressed to be able to operate on steep slopes more effectively. In order to be able to utilize such equipment to treat slopes above 40 percent in the project area and meet the purpose and need, this Forest Plan amendment is needed. Possible Alternatives A full range of alternatives to the proposed action, including a no-action alternative, will be considered. The noaction alternative represents no change and serves as the baseline for the comparison among the action alternatives. Cooperating Agencies The City of Flagstaff is a Cooperating Agency for the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, and is participating in the planning and analysis process. Responsible Official M. Earl Stewart, Forest Supervisor, Coconino National Forest. Nature of Decision To Be Made The Forest Supervisor is the responsible official for deciding whether or not, and in what manner, lands within the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project area would be treated to reduce wildfire and flooding hazards. Items in this decision will include: Number of acres treated mechanically; number of acres treated by hand thinning; number of acres treated with prescribed fire; treatments within the MSO restricted habitat; treatments within MSO PACs and protected habitat; treatments within northern goshawk habitat; construction of new temporary roads; decommissioning/ obliteration of closed roads; type of implementation method to be used; issuance of a permanent camfire restriction order in the Dry Lake Hills; project-specific Forest Plan amendments; and design features to protect forest resources of soil, water, PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 21591 scenery values, wildlife and habitat, and rare plants. The decision will be based on a consideration of the environmental effects of implementing the proposed action or alternatives. The Forest Supervisor may select the proposed action, any alternative analyzed in detail, a modified proposed action or alternative, or no action. Scoping Process This notice of intent initiates the formal scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. Multiple public meetings will be held throughout the planning process for the FWPP project, including a general information sharing and comment gathering meeting scheduled for May 1, 2013 at the Aquaplex in Flagstaff (1702 N. 4th Street) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership (GFFP) will also be hosting meetings on behalf of the City of Flagstaff. Please visit the FWPP project Web site at https:// www.flagstaffwatershedprotection.org/ for more information and a calendar of upcoming meeting dates. This project is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR part 218 (March 27, 2013), and is not being authorized under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA). As such, those who provide specific written comments during the formal scoping and/or the comment periods in accordance with § 218.5 will be eligible to participate in the objection process. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless new information arises after designated opportunities (36 CFR 218.7). It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency’s preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the 30 day scoping period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns and contentions. 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, but will not be eligible for objection per § 218.5. E:\FR\FM\11APN1.SGM 11APN1 21592 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 70 / Thursday, April 11, 2013 / Notices Dated: April 5, 2013. M. Earl Stewart, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2013–08455 Filed 4–10–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE ;P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security [Docket No. 130313244–3244–01] XRIN 0694–XC007 Reporting for Calendar Year 2012 on Offsets Agreements Related to Sales of Defense Articles or Defense Services to Foreign Countries or Foreign Firms Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice; annual reporting requirements. AGENCY: This notice is to remind the public that U.S. firms are required to report annually to the Department of Commerce (Commerce) information on contracts for the sale of defense articles or defense services to foreign countries or foreign firms that are subject to offsets agreements exceeding $5,000,000 in value. U.S. firms are also required to report annually to Commerce information on offsets transactions completed in performance of existing offsets commitments for which offsets credit of $250,000 or more has been claimed from the foreign representative. This year, such reports must include relevant information from calendar year 2012, and must be submitted to Commerce no later than June 15, 2013. ADDRESSES: Reports should be addressed to ‘‘Offsets Program Manager, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, Bureau of Industry and Security, Room 3878, Washington, DC 20230.’’ SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Ronald DeMarines, Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, telephone: 202–482–3755; fax: 202–482–5650; email: ronald.demarines@bis.doc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 723(a)(1) of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (DPA, 50 U.S.C. 2172(a)(1)) requires the President to submit an annual report to Congress on the impact of offsets on the U.S. defense industrial base. Section 723(a)(2) (50 U.S.C. 2172(a)(2)) directs VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Apr 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to prepare the President’s report, and to develop and administer the regulations necessary to collect offsets data from U.S. defense exporters. The authorities of the Secretary regarding offsets have been delegated to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. The regulations associated with offsets reporting are set forth in part 701 of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Offsets are compensation practices required as a condition of purchase in either government-to-government or commercial sales of defense articles and/or defense services, as defined by the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. For example, a company that is selling a fleet of military aircraft to a foreign government may agree to offset the cost of the aircraft by providing training assistance to plant managers in the purchasing country. Although this distorts the true price of the aircraft, the foreign government may require this sort of extra compensation as a condition of awarding the contract to purchase the aircraft. As described in the regulations, U.S. firms are required to report information on contracts for the sale of defense articles or defense services to foreign countries or foreign firms that are subject to offsets agreements exceeding $5,000,000 in value. U.S. firms are also required to report annually information on offsets transactions completed in performance of existing offsets commitments for which offsets credit of $250,000 or more has been claimed from the foreign representative. Commerce’s annual report to Congress includes an aggregated summary of the data reported by industry in accordance with the offsets regulation and the DPA. As provided by section 723(c) (50 U.S.C. 2172(c)) of the DPA, BIS will not publicly disclose individual firm information it receives through offsets reporting unless the firm furnishing the information specifically authorizes public disclosure. The information collected is sorted and organized into an aggregate report of national offsets data, and therefore does not identify company-specific information. In order to enable BIS to prepare the next annual offset report reflecting calendar year 2012 data, U.S. firms must submit required information on offsets agreements and offsets transactions from calendar year 2012 to BIS no later than June 15, 2013. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: April 1, 2013. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration. [FR Doc. 2013–08413 Filed 4–10–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–JT–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–570–983] Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People’s Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (the ‘‘Department’’) and the International Trade Commission (‘‘ITC’’), the Department is issuing an antidumping duty order on drawn stainless steel sinks (‘‘drawn sinks’’) from the People’s Republic of China (‘‘PRC’’). In addition, the Department is amending its final determination to correct a ministerial error. DATES: Effective Date: April 11, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brooke Kennedy or Eve Wang, AD/CVD Operations, Office 8, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–3818 or (202) 482– 6231, respectively. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: Background On February 26, 2013, the Department published the final determination of sales at less than fair value in the antidumping duty investigation of drawn sinks from the PRC.1 On April 4, 2013, the ITC notified the Department of its final determination pursuant to section 735(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (‘‘the Act’’), that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of drawn sinks from the PRC.2 Scope of the Order The products covered by the scope of this order are drawn stainless steel sinks 1 See Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People’s Republic of China: Investigation, Final Determination, 78 FR 13019 (February 26, 2013) (‘‘Final Determination’’). 2 See Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from China, USITC Pub. 4390, Investigation Nos. 701–TA–489 and 731–TA–1201 (Final) (April 2013). E:\FR\FM\11APN1.SGM 11APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 70 (Thursday, April 11, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21590-21592]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08455]


========================================================================
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. 78, No. 70 / Thursday, April 11, 2013 / 
Notices

[[Page 21590]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Coconino National Forest; Arizona; Flagstaff Watershed Protection 
Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The Forest Service is preparing an environmental impact 
statement (EIS) to document the potential effects of the Flagstaff 
Watershed Protection Project (FWPP). The analysis will evaluate and 
disclose the effects of implementing treatments on the National Forest 
to reduce the threat of high severity wildfire and subsequent flooding 
in two watersheds around Flagstaff. Specifically, two key areas have 
been identified for analysis and treatment under this project: The Dry 
Lake Hills portion of the Rio de Flag Watershed north of Flagstaff, and 
the Mormon Mountain portion of the Upper Lake Mary Watershed south of 
Flagstaff. The project area includes approximately 10,543 acres 
(roughly 7,569 acres in the Dry Lake Hills portion and 2,974 on Mormon 
Mountain), and proposed treatments would include thinning and 
prescribed fire on roughly 8,810 of those acres. The EIS will analyze a 
variety of harvesting methods, including the use of traditional ground-
based equipment, hand thinning, and also methods atypical for the 
region, including cable and helicopter logging, in order to treat 
steep, inaccessible terrain.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by May 13, 2013. The draft environmental impact statement is expected 
in early 2014 and the final environmental impact statement is expected 
in the summer of 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Erin Phelps, Project Leader, USDA 
Forest Service, Coconino National Forest, 5075 N. Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ 
86004. Comments may also be sent via email to comments-southwestern-coconino-flagstaff@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 928-527-8288. Verbal 
comments can be submitted in person at the Flagstaff Ranger District 
Office, 5075 N. Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 or via telephone at (928) 
527-8240 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Visit our planning Web site at https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/coconino/landmanagement/projects or contact 
Erin Phelps, Project Leader, by phone at (928) 527-8240 or by email at 
ephelps@fs.fed.us.
    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose and Need for Action

    The primary purpose of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project 
(FWPP) is to reduce the risk of high severity wildfire and subsequent 
flooding in two key watersheds around Flagstaff, Arizona: In the Dry 
Lake Hills portion of the Rio de Flag Watershed, and the Mormon 
Mountain portion of the Upper Lake Mary Watershed.
    The FWPP analysis area includes portions of the Coconino National 
Forest that have either not been analyzed or not been treated 
previously due to prohibitive costs associated with very steep terrain, 
low value material, and other challenging issues such as potential 
impacts to wildlife and visual concerns.
    There is a need to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire in 
watersheds that contribute to the drinking water for the City of 
Flagstaff as well as reducing the risk of high intensity wildfire in 
the watershed that drains into the city itself. There is also a need to 
reduce the risk of severe flooding that would likely damage the 
drinking water infrastructure south of town, and which could also cause 
extensive damage to private municipal property should a high-intensity 
wildfire occur in mountainous areas that make-up the Upper Lake Mary 
and Rio de Flag watersheds.
    In general, fire regimes in the analysis area have shifted from 
historically more frequent, lower-intensity surface fires (Fire Regime 
I and III, Condition Class I) to less frequent, higher-intensity crown 
fires (Condition Class III). There is a need to reduce the potential 
for crown fire and high intensity surface fire, and to reduce the 
likelihood of human-caused ignitions. The desired condition is to 
reduce the threat of high severity wildfire and subsequent flooding to 
values at risk within and adjacent to the project area, including the 
City of Flagstaff, outlying communities, the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, 
and Upper Lake Mary. For the majority of the project area, the desired 
condition is to decrease the departure from historic conditions, and 
return the majority of the analysis area in FRI and FRIII to Condition 
Class 1.
    To meet the project's purpose and need, the Forest Service proposes 
a combination of thinning and prescribed burning activities, 
establishing a permanent campfire closure order in the Dry Lake Hills 
area and decommissioning about 34 miles of road in the Flagstaff 
Watershed Protection Project area. To facilitate timber removal, 
approximately 15.5 miles of temporary road are also proposed, and three 
non-significant Forest Plan amendments would be necessarily to 
implement the proposed activities.
    Treatments would include mechanical and hand thinning as well as 
prescribed fire on approximately 8,810 acres. Mechanical tree thinning 
would occur within Mexican spotted owl protected activity centers (MSO 
PACs) with a desired condition of trees greater than 16 inches dbh 
contributing more than 50 percent of the stand basal area and 
maintaining a minimum of 40 percent canopy cover in pine-oak and 60 
percent in mixed conifer per the MSO Recovery Plan (2012), followed by 
prescribed burning. Thinning treatments have been designed in 
coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to occur 
within MSO nest/roost habitat to reduce the risk of high severity 
wildfire. Some treatments proposed within occupied PACs may need to 
occur during the breeding season (March 1-August 31); however 
treatments within PACs would be prioritized to be completed as quickly 
as possible to avoid long-term impacts and would be coordinated with 
FWS.
    Prescribed fire would include initial pile burning to remove slash

[[Page 21591]]

accumulated through harvesting, followed by broadcast burning. 
Maintenance burning may occur every five to seven years following 
implementation in order to maintain lower fuel loading levels and to 
restore a frequent, low-intensity fire regime. Areas of mixed conifer 
on steep slopes may not receive prescribed burning treatments due to 
the difficulty and safety concerns associationed with implementation in 
these fuel types and terrain, and also because the vegetation type may 
not require as frequent burning due to longer historic fire intervals.
    Three project-specific, non-significant amendments to the Coconino 
National Forest Land Management Plan (Forest Plan; 1987, as amended) 
would be required to implement the proposed action. A site (project) 
specific plan amendment is a one-time variance in Forest Plan direction 
for the project; Forest Plan direction reverts back to its original 
language/direction upon completion of the specified project. The 
language proposed does not apply to any other forest project.
    The Forest Plan is currently under revision; depending on the 
timing of the release of the final Forest Plan document, the final FWPP 
analysis will be consistent with the revised Forest Plan. Additionally, 
a revised MSO Recovery Plan, issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS) was finalized in December of 2012 (USDI 2012). The 
current Forest Plan is consistent with the previous MSO Recovery Plan 
(USDI 1995). For this project, a Forest Plan amendment would be needed 
to utilize the revised recovery plan direction if it is different than 
what is currently included in the Forest Plan. The proposed Forest Plan 
amendments include:
    Amendment 1: Adding the desired percentage of interspace within 
uneven-aged stands to facilitate restoration in northern goshawk 
habitat (excluding nest areas), add the interspace distance between 
tree groups, add language clarifying how canopy cover would be 
measured, and add a definition to the Forest Plan glossary for the 
terms ``interspaces,'' ``open reference condition,'' and ``stands.''
    Amendment 2: Adding language to allow mechanical treatments in MSO 
PACs beyond 9 inches dbh, treatments in MSO restricted habitat above 24 
inches dbh, and also to allow treatments and prescribed burning within 
MSO nest/cores. The monitoring requirement specified under the Forest 
Plan would be amended to include the monitoring plan developed by the 
Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Rocky Mountain 
Research Station. This amendment would also remove timing restrictions 
for the duration of the FWPP project. Treatments within PACs would be 
prioritized to be completed as quickly as possible to avoid long-term 
impacts and would be coordinated with FWS.
    Amendment 3: Removing language restricting mechanical equipment to 
slopes less than 40 percent and language identifying slopes above 40 
percent as inoperable. This amendment would allow mechanical harvesting 
on slopes greater than 40 percent within the project area. Since the 
Forest Plan was written and amended, mechanized ground-based equipment 
has progressed to be able to operate on steep slopes more effectively. 
In order to be able to utilize such equipment to treat slopes above 40 
percent in the project area and meet the purpose and need, this Forest 
Plan amendment is needed.

Possible Alternatives

    A full range of alternatives to the proposed action, including a 
no-action alternative, will be considered. The no-action alternative 
represents no change and serves as the baseline for the comparison 
among the action alternatives.

Cooperating Agencies

    The City of Flagstaff is a Cooperating Agency for the Flagstaff 
Watershed Protection Project, and is participating in the planning and 
analysis process.

Responsible Official

    M. Earl Stewart, Forest Supervisor, Coconino National Forest.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The Forest Supervisor is the responsible official for deciding 
whether or not, and in what manner, lands within the Flagstaff 
Watershed Protection Project area would be treated to reduce wildfire 
and flooding hazards.
    Items in this decision will include: Number of acres treated 
mechanically; number of acres treated by hand thinning; number of acres 
treated with prescribed fire; treatments within the MSO restricted 
habitat; treatments within MSO PACs and protected habitat; treatments 
within northern goshawk habitat; construction of new temporary roads; 
decommissioning/obliteration of closed roads; type of implementation 
method to be used; issuance of a permanent camfire restriction order in 
the Dry Lake Hills; project-specific Forest Plan amendments; and design 
features to protect forest resources of soil, water, scenery values, 
wildlife and habitat, and rare plants.
    The decision will be based on a consideration of the environmental 
effects of implementing the proposed action or alternatives. The Forest 
Supervisor may select the proposed action, any alternative analyzed in 
detail, a modified proposed action or alternative, or no action.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the formal scoping process, which 
guides the development of the environmental impact statement. Multiple 
public meetings will be held throughout the planning process for the 
FWPP project, including a general information sharing and comment 
gathering meeting scheduled for May 1, 2013 at the Aquaplex in 
Flagstaff (1702 N. 4th Street) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Greater 
Flagstaff Forests Partnership (GFFP) will also be hosting meetings on 
behalf of the City of Flagstaff. Please visit the FWPP project Web site 
at https://www.flagstaffwatershedprotection.org/ for more information 
and a calendar of upcoming meeting dates.
    This project is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR 
part 218 (March 27, 2013), and is not being authorized under the 
Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA). As such, those who provide 
specific written comments during the formal scoping and/or the comment 
periods in accordance with Sec.  218.5 will be eligible to participate 
in the objection process. Issues raised in objections must be based on 
previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the 
proposed project unless new information arises after designated 
opportunities (36 CFR 218.7).
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of 
the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be 
provided prior to the close of the 30 day scoping period and should 
clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.
    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, but will not be eligible for objection per 
Sec.  218.5.


[[Page 21592]]


    Dated: April 5, 2013.
M. Earl Stewart,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2013-08455 Filed 4-10-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE ;P