Bitterroot National Forest, Darby Ranger District, Como Forest Health Project, 36163-36164 [2013-14229]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 116 / Monday, June 17, 2013 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Forest Service National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition; Notice of Meeting Bitterroot National Forest, Darby Ranger District, Como Forest Health Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service, ACTION: USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. APP., this notice announces a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition. SUMMARY: Date and Time: July 23–25, 2013, 9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Place: The meeting will be held at the Virginian Suites, 1500 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22209. DATES: The National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant, and Fetal Nutrition will meet to continue its study of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The agenda will include updates and a discussion of Breastfeeding Promotion and Support activities, the WIC food packages, WIC funding, Electronic Benefits Transfer, CSFP initiatives and current research studies. Status: Meetings of the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition are open to the public. Members of the public may participate, as time permits. Members of the public may file written statements with the contact person named below before or after the meeting. Contact Person For Additional Information: Anne Bartholomew, Supplemental Food Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, (703) 305–2746. If members of the public need special accommodations, please notify Anita Cunningham by July 17, 2013, at (703) 305–0986, or email at Anita.Cunningham@fns.usda.gov. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: June 10, 2013. Yvette S. Jackson, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service. [FR Doc. 2013–14308 Filed 6–14–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–30–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:38 Jun 14, 2013 The USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to document and disclose the effects analysis of the proposed Como Forest Health Project (Como FHP). The Como FHP covers approximately 5,640 acres of national forest land between Lake Como and Lost Horse Roads, about XX miles northwest of Darby in Ravalli County, Montana. The purpose of the Como FHP is to (1) reduce potential mortality of large diameter ponderosa pine caused by increasing mountain pine beetle populations; (2) reduce fuel loads and maintain the historic fire return interval; (3) improve forest resilience to dwarf mistletoe, root rot, Douglas-fir beetle, and spruce budworm; (4) and maintain the visual integrity of the larger Lake Como Recreation Area. Commercial harvest is proposed on about 1,860 acres, pre-commercial thinning on about 330 acres, and prescribed fire on about 3,000 acres to achieve the purposes of the Como FHP. Three sections of road totaling about 0.8 of a mile are proposed for construction to support the timber harvest. The roads would be closed after timber operations. Site-specific Bitterroot National Forest Plan amendments may be proposed for coarse woody debris, snags, elk habitat effectiveness, thermal cover, old growth, and visual quality. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by July 17, 2013. The draft environmental impact statement is expected December 2013 and the final environmental impact statement is expected July 2014. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Chuck Oliver, Darby District Ranger, P.O. Box 388, Darby, MT, 59829. Comments may also be sent via email to comments-northern-bitterrootdarby@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 406– 821–4264. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Grove, South Zone Interdisciplinary Team Leader; West Fork Ranger Station; 6735 West Fork Road; Darby, Montana 59829; phone (406) 821–1251; email sgrove@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information SUMMARY: Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36163 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 Como Forest Health project (Como FHP) is proposed to manage the forest in the 5,640 acre project area to: (1) Reduce potential mountain pine beetle-caused tree mortality in large diameter ponderosa pine, (2) reduce fuel loads and maintain the historic fire return interval, (3) improve the forest resilience to native insects and diseases, and (4) maintain the visual integrity of the larger Lake Como Recreation Area. Mountain pine beetle populations are increasing across the Bitterroot National Forest and in this popular recreation area. Decreasing forest density and maintaining the historic fire return interval would preserve the large diameter ponderosa pine characteristic of this forest type, improve general forest resilience to natural disturbances (native insects, diseases, and fire), and maintain the aesthetics of the larger recreation area. Because the project area is in and adjacent to the popular Lake Como recreation area, visual integrity standards would be a focus of project design during and after treatments. Proposed Action The Darby District Ranger on the Bitterroot National Forest proposes to treat 5,190 acres of forest in the 5,640acre Lake Como Forest Health project area. The Como Forest Health project area lies between Lake Como Road and Lost Horse Road, about three miles northwest of Darby, Montana (R22W,T4N, Sec. 13, 24, 25, 36; R21W,T4N, Sec 17–21, 28–31). Treatments include commercial timber harvest on 1,860 acres, small tree thinning on 330 acres, and low to moderate severity prescribed fires on about 3,000 acres. To support timber harvest, three sections of road totaling 0.8 mile would need to be constructed and added to the National Forest System of Roads. These road sections are needed now and in the future to access Unit 41 and units in a recent acquisition to the forest. In addition to the new system road segments, the use of 2.3 miles of temporary road and 3.5 miles of tracked line machine trail would be needed to yard timber from the cutting units. The new system road would be closed, and the temporary road and tracked line machine trail would be obliterated following harvest. Another 0.5 mile of forest road would be converted to a nonmotorized trail. Approximately six miles of undetermined roads exist in the E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 36164 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 116 / Monday, June 17, 2013 / Notices project area. About three miles of these roads are needed to haul timber from the sale area and for future management of the national forest. These roads would be added to the Bitterroot National Forest System of Roads database and closed until needed for forest management. The remaining three miles of undetermined roads not needed for future national forest management would be obliterated by full or partial recontouring. Possible Alternatives Two alternatives to the proposed action have been identified. One alternative would treat units that are accessible with the existing road system. No new system roads or temporary roads would be constructed and tracked line machine trail would not be developed. The second alternative to the proposed action would address potential conflicts by focusing on forest plan objectives for wildlife habitat and visual quality in management areas 2, 3a, 3b, and 3c. Another alternative that would not require any forest plan amendments was considered. It will not be carried through the analysis because existing conditions in the project area do not meet forest plan standards and there are no management actions that can create conditions to meet forest plan standards. Responsible Official Julie K. King, Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor, 1801 N. First, Hamilton, Montana 59840–3114. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Preliminary Issues Scoping was initiated in November 2010 and restarted in February 2013. Issues identified through these scoping processes include: (1) Road management; (2) balancing forest management practices with recreation, visual quality, wildlife, fisheries, hydrology, and fire management; (3) economics of timber harvest; and (4) the effects and costs of obliterating roads. Jkt 229001 [FR Doc. 2013–14229 Filed 6–14–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Tongass National Forest; KetchikanMisty Fiords Ranger District; Alaska; Saddle Lakes Timber Sale Environmental Impact Statement Forest Service, USDA. Corrected notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement; correction. ACTION: The Responsible Official will select the proposed action, an alternative to the proposed action (including the no action alternative), or modify the proposed action or alternatives to the proposed action. The decision may include amendments to the Bitterroot National Forest Plan standards for coarse woody debris, visual quality objectives, old growth, and thermal and hiding cover. 20:38 Jun 14, 2013 Dated: June 3, 2013. Julie K. King, Forest Supervisor. AGENCY: Nature of Decision To Be Made VerDate Mar<15>2010 Scoping Process This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. 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 comment 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, however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agency with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Saddle Lakes Timber Sale project was published in the Federal Register (77 FR 27013) on May 8, 2012. Due to the length of time that has passed since the first NOI was published, and changes in the dates that the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements are expected, the Tongass National Forest is publishing this Corrected NOI. Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture published a final rule in the Federal Register (78 FR 18481–18504) on March 27, 2013 to establish a new process by which the public may file objections seeking predecisional administrative review of proposed projects and activities implementing land management plans documented with a Record of Decision or Decision Notice SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (reference 36 CFR part 218). This new process replaces the administrative appeals process at 36 CFR part 215. As the Record of Decision for the Saddle Lakes project is not expected until after September 27, 2013, the Saddle Lakes project is now subject to these new predecisional administrative review procedures. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Howle, Team Leader, KetchikanMisty Fiords Ranger District, 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901, (907) 225–3542. Corrections In the Federal Register (77 FR 27013– 27015) of May 8, 2012 on page 27014, in the first column, correct the DATES caption to read: DATES: Additional opportunity for formal comments will be accepted after release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is expected to be published in October 2013. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected in May 2014. In the Federal Register (77 FR 27013– 27015) of May 8, 2012 on page 27014, in the first column, correct the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT caption as follows: Remove the contact information for Rob Reeck and Linda Pulliam. Correct the caption to read: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ; or Susan Howle, Team Leader, telephone (907) 225–3542, also at the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District, 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901. In the Federal Register (77 FR 27013– 27015) of May 8, 2012 on page 27015, in the first column, after last paragraph, correct by adding the following under ‘‘Scoping Process’’ caption: Scoping Process: Forest Service regulations at 36 CFR part 218, Subparts A and B, published March 27, 2013 (78 FR 18481– 18504) regarding the project-level predecisional administrative review process applies to projects and activities implementing land management plans that are not authorized under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act. This proposed project is subject to 36 CFR part 218. Instead of an appeal period, there will be an objection process before the final decision is made, and after the Final Environmental Impact Statement and draft Record of Decision are mailed (reference 36 CFR 218.7). Individuals and entities as defined in 36 CFR 218.2 who have submitted timely, specific written comments (see 36 CFR 218.2) regarding a proposed project or activity that is subject to these regulations during any designated opportunity for public comment may file an objection. Objections will be accepted only from those who have previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping, the 45day DEIS comment period, or other public E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 116 (Monday, June 17, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36163-36164]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14229]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Bitterroot National Forest, Darby Ranger District, Como Forest 
Health Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest will 
prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to document and 
disclose the effects analysis of the proposed Como Forest Health 
Project (Como FHP). The Como FHP covers approximately 5,640 acres of 
national forest land between Lake Como and Lost Horse Roads, about XX 
miles northwest of Darby in Ravalli County, Montana. The purpose of the 
Como FHP is to (1) reduce potential mortality of large diameter 
ponderosa pine caused by increasing mountain pine beetle populations; 
(2) reduce fuel loads and maintain the historic fire return interval; 
(3) improve forest resilience to dwarf mistletoe, root rot, Douglas-fir 
beetle, and spruce budworm; (4) and maintain the visual integrity of 
the larger Lake Como Recreation Area. Commercial harvest is proposed on 
about 1,860 acres, pre-commercial thinning on about 330 acres, and 
prescribed fire on about 3,000 acres to achieve the purposes of the 
Como FHP. Three sections of road totaling about 0.8 of a mile are 
proposed for construction to support the timber harvest. The roads 
would be closed after timber operations. Site-specific Bitterroot 
National Forest Plan amendments may be proposed for coarse woody 
debris, snags, elk habitat effectiveness, thermal cover, old growth, 
and visual quality.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by July 17, 2013. The draft environmental impact statement is expected 
December 2013 and the final environmental impact statement is expected 
July 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Chuck Oliver, Darby District 
Ranger, P.O. Box 388, Darby, MT, 59829. Comments may also be sent via 
email to comments-northern-bitterroot-darby@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile 
to 406-821-4264.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Grove, South Zone 
Interdisciplinary Team Leader; West Fork Ranger Station; 6735 West Fork 
Road; Darby, Montana 59829; phone (406) 821-1251; email 
sgrove@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 Como Forest Health project (Como FHP) is proposed to manage the 
forest in the 5,640 acre project area to: (1) Reduce potential mountain 
pine beetle-caused tree mortality in large diameter ponderosa pine, (2) 
reduce fuel loads and maintain the historic fire return interval, (3) 
improve the forest resilience to native insects and diseases, and (4) 
maintain the visual integrity of the larger Lake Como Recreation Area. 
Mountain pine beetle populations are increasing across the Bitterroot 
National Forest and in this popular recreation area. Decreasing forest 
density and maintaining the historic fire return interval would 
preserve the large diameter ponderosa pine characteristic of this 
forest type, improve general forest resilience to natural disturbances 
(native insects, diseases, and fire), and maintain the aesthetics of 
the larger recreation area. Because the project area is in and adjacent 
to the popular Lake Como recreation area, visual integrity standards 
would be a focus of project design during and after treatments.

Proposed Action

    The Darby District Ranger on the Bitterroot National Forest 
proposes to treat 5,190 acres of forest in the 5,640-acre Lake Como 
Forest Health project area. The Como Forest Health project area lies 
between Lake Como Road and Lost Horse Road, about three miles northwest 
of Darby, Montana (R22W,T4N, Sec. 13, 24, 25, 36; R21W,T4N, Sec 17-21, 
28-31). Treatments include commercial timber harvest on 1,860 acres, 
small tree thinning on 330 acres, and low to moderate severity 
prescribed fires on about 3,000 acres.
    To support timber harvest, three sections of road totaling 0.8 mile 
would need to be constructed and added to the National Forest System of 
Roads. These road sections are needed now and in the future to access 
Unit 41 and units in a recent acquisition to the forest. In addition to 
the new system road segments, the use of 2.3 miles of temporary road 
and 3.5 miles of tracked line machine trail would be needed to yard 
timber from the cutting units. The new system road would be closed, and 
the temporary road and tracked line machine trail would be obliterated 
following harvest. Another 0.5 mile of forest road would be converted 
to a non-motorized trail. Approximately six miles of undetermined roads 
exist in the

[[Page 36164]]

project area. About three miles of these roads are needed to haul 
timber from the sale area and for future management of the national 
forest. These roads would be added to the Bitterroot National Forest 
System of Roads database and closed until needed for forest management. 
The remaining three miles of undetermined roads not needed for future 
national forest management would be obliterated by full or partial 
recontouring.

Possible Alternatives

    Two alternatives to the proposed action have been identified. One 
alternative would treat units that are accessible with the existing 
road system. No new system roads or temporary roads would be 
constructed and tracked line machine trail would not be developed. The 
second alternative to the proposed action would address potential 
conflicts by focusing on forest plan objectives for wildlife habitat 
and visual quality in management areas 2, 3a, 3b, and 3c.
    Another alternative that would not require any forest plan 
amendments was considered. It will not be carried through the analysis 
because existing conditions in the project area do not meet forest plan 
standards and there are no management actions that can create 
conditions to meet forest plan standards.

Responsible Official

    Julie K. King, Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor, 1801 N. 
First, Hamilton, Montana 59840-3114.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The Responsible Official will select the proposed action, an 
alternative to the proposed action (including the no action 
alternative), or modify the proposed action or alternatives to the 
proposed action. The decision may include amendments to the Bitterroot 
National Forest Plan standards for coarse woody debris, visual quality 
objectives, old growth, and thermal and hiding cover.

Preliminary Issues

    Scoping was initiated in November 2010 and restarted in February 
2013. Issues identified through these scoping processes include: (1) 
Road management; (2) balancing forest management practices with 
recreation, visual quality, wildlife, fisheries, hydrology, and fire 
management; (3) economics of timber harvest; and (4) the effects and 
costs of obliterating roads.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the environmental impact statement.
    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 comment 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, however, anonymous comments will not provide 
the Agency with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent 
environmental documents.

     Dated: June 3, 2013.
Julie K. King,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2013-14229 Filed 6-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P