Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) of the Kika de la Garza Subtropical Research Center (KSARC), 65607-65608 [2013-26015]

Download as PDF emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 212 / Friday, November 1, 2013 / Notices • Athens-Clarke County Public Library, 2025 Baxter Street, Athens, Georgia 30606. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the USDA has prepared an EA for the proposed transfer of approximately 1,055 acres of land at the JPC–NRCC from the USDA ARS in Watkinsville, Georgia to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for the benefit of UGA. The USDA ARS signed a FONSI on August 30, 2013 based on the Final EA. The Final EA evaluated USDA’s proposal to transfer approximately 1,055 acres of land and facilities at the JPC– NRCC from USDA ARS in Watkinsville, GA to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for the benefit of UGA. As a condition of the transfer, UGA would commit to using the property for agricultural and natural resources research for a period of 25 years, supporting the strategic goals of USDA and establishing a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Property. UGA would assume responsibility for management and maintenance of the constructed facilities and land to be conveyed from USDA. The JPC–NRCC has been in operation as a USDA ARS research station since 1937, with the mission, ‘‘to develop and transfer environmentally sustainable and profitable agricultural systems to landowners and managers in order to protect the natural resource base, build accord with non-agricultural sectors, and support healthy rural economies.’’ The facility was closed under Public Law (Pub. L.) 112–55, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012. In August 2012, a 5-year revocable permit was issued between USDA and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia that allows the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) to utilize the Property as a Research and Education Center (REC) and conduct a wide range of research, teaching, extension and demonstration activities. Since August 2012, it has been operated by the CAES as the JPC–REC under this permit. A Memorandum of Understanding was executed on March 25, 2013 that would allow the formal transfer of the Property from USDA to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The property transfer will be done with no monetary cost to UGA and a Quit Claim Deed will be prepared by the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:40 Oct 31, 2013 Jkt 232001 USDA to convey the title/property rights to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Quit Claim Deed will incorporate any use restrictions identified by the NEPA process as well as the 25-year use restriction for agricultural and natural resources research as required by Section 732 of the Public Law. Two alternatives are analyzed in the Final EA, the No Action Alternative and the Proposed Action. The Final EA addresses potential impacts of these alternatives on the natural and human environment. • Alternative 1—No Action. The USDA would retain possession of the approximately 1,055 acres of land and facilities at the JPC–NRCC. USDA would no longer operate and/or maintain the property and current research at the property would cease. • Alternative 2—Proposed Action. The USDA would formally transfer approximately 1,055 acres of land at the JPC–NRCC to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. As a condition of the transfer, UGA would commit to using the Property for agricultural and natural resources research for a period of 25 years, supporting the strategic goals of USDA and establishing a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Property. UGA would assume responsibility for management and maintenance of the constructed facilities and land to be conveyed from USDA. This land transfer alternative meets the purpose and need of the action. In addition, one alternative was considered in the Final EA but eliminated from detailed study. In this alternative, USDA would retain possession of the land and it would be transferred to the General Services Administration for disposal. Since it cannot reasonably be determined who would ultimately take possession of the property and how it would be utilized, it was not analyzed in detail in the EA. A Notice of Availability of the Draft EA was issued in the Federal Register on July 5, 2013. This notice announced the opening of a 30-day public comment period. The USDA used and coordinated the NEPA commenting process to satisfy the public involvement process for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f) as provided for in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3)). No comments were received during the public comment period. Based on its analysis of the Final EA for the property transfer, ARS has found that transferring the land and buildings to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for the benefit of UGA would have no PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65607 significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, ARS will not prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for this proposed action. Dated: October 21, 2013. Caird E. Rexroad, Jr., Associate Administrator, Agricultural Research Service. [FR Doc. 2013–26023 Filed 10–31–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–03–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) of the Kika de la Garza Subtropical Research Center (KSARC) Agricultural Research Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has made a FONSI for transferring the land and real estate at the KSARC in Weslaco, Texas to the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS). The FONSI document is based on impact analysis documented in the draft EA that was issued for a 30-day public comment period beginning on August 2, 2013 and that was finalized on September 4, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Phil Smith, Acting Property Team Lead, USDA–ARS–WBSC, 1001 Holleman Drive East, College Station, Texas 77840; Telephone: 979–260–9449; email: phil.smith@ars.usda.gov. You may contact Mr. Smith for a copy of the FONSI document. Copies of the Final EA and FONSI are available for public inspection during normal business hours at the following locations: • Weslaco Public Library, 525 South Kansas Avenue, Weslaco, Texas 78596. • Larry Ringer Library, 1818 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South, College Station, Texas 77845. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, USDA ARS has prepared a Final EA for the proposed transfer of approximately 70-acres of land and associated buildings at the KSARC in Weslaco, Texas from the USDA ARS to TAMUS. The KSARC is divided into two separate properties, with the main research station located at SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 65608 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 212 / Friday, November 1, 2013 / Notices 2413 East Highway 83, Weslaco, Texas 77840 and a research farm located at 2301 South International Boulevard, Weslaco, Texas 77840. As a condition of the transfer, TAMUS would commit to using the property for agricultural and natural resources research for a period of 25 years, supporting the strategic goals of USDA and establishing a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Property. TAMUS would assume responsibility and maintenance of the constructed facilities and land to be conveyed from USDA. The KSARC has been in operation as a USDA ARS research facility since 1960, with the mission ‘‘to increase food and fiber productivity by developing new technology for safe and efficient agricultural production methods and by conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.’’ The facility was closed under Public Law (Pub. L.)112–55, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 and is currently being utilized in a very limited capacity by researchers from other ARS locations. Under the terms of the PL, the Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to transfer the Property from USDA to TAMUS. If the Property is tranferred, it will be done with no monetary cost to TAMUS and a Deed Without Warranty will be prepared by the USDA to convey the title/property rights to TAMUS. The Deed Without Warranty would incorporate any use restrictions identified by the NEPA process, as well as the 25-year use restriction for agricultural and natural resources research as required by Section 732 of the PL. Two alternatives are analyzed in the Final EA, the No Action Alternative and the Proposed Action. The Final EA addresses potential impacts of these alternatives on the natural and human environment. • Alternative 1—No Action. The USDA would retain possession of the approximate 70 acres of land and facilities at the KSARC. The USDA would no longer operate and/or maintain approximately 85–90% of the property and it would likely fall into a state of disrepair. The USDA will continue ongoing research funded by other Locations on the remaining 10– 15% of the property. • Alternative 2—Proposed Action. The USDA would formally transfer approximately 70 acres of land at the KSARC to TAMUS. As a condition of the transfer, TAMUS would commit to using the Property for agricultural and natural resources research for a period of 25 years, supporting the strategic goals of USDA and establishing a VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:40 Oct 31, 2013 Jkt 232001 Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Property. TAMUS would assume responsibility and maintenance of the constructed facilities and land to be conveyed from USDA. In addition, one alternative was considered in the Draft EA but eliminated from detailed study. In this alternative, USDA would retain possession of the land and it would be transferred to the General Services Administration for disposal. Since it cannot reasonably be determined who would ultimately take possession of the property and how it would be utilized, it was not analyzed in detail in the EA. The USDA used and coordinated the NEPA commenting process to satisfy the public involvement process for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f) as provided for in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3)). No comments were received during the public comment period. Based on its analysis of the Final EA for the poperty transfer, ARS has found that transferring the land and buildings to TAMUS would have no significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, ARS will not prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for this proposed action. Dated: October 22, 2013. Caid E. Rexroad, Jr., Associate Administrator, Agricultural Research Service. [FR Doc. 2013–26015 Filed 10–31–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–03–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection; Outreach Opportunity Questionnaire Forest Service, USDA. Notice; request for comment. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with revision of a currently approved information collection, Outreach Opportunity Questionnaire. DATES: Comments must be received in writing on or before December 31, 2013 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to the Northern Research Station, Attention: Judy Terrell, USDA, Forest Service, 11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA 19073. Comments also may SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 be submitted via email to: jterrell@ fs.fed.us. The public may inspect comments received at USDA Forest Service, 11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA 19073 during normal business hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to 610–557–4257 to facilitate entry to the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Judy Terrell, 610–557–4257. Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Outreach Opportunity Questionnaire. OMB Number: 0596–0207. Expiration Date of Approval: January 31, 2014. Type of Request: Extension with revision. Abstract: This information collection collects information from students attending local college and university career fairs regarding the effectiveness of the information provided by the Forest Service personnel on career opportunities in the Forest Service. The collection is necessary to evaluate and determine the effectiveness of the Forest Service Northern Research Station’s (NRS) Civil Rights Outreach Program. Forest Service Civil Rights personnel utilize the Outreach Opportunity Questionnaire to collect evaluation information from students regarding presentations at career day events as well as at colleges and universities. Data received has appeared in reports provided to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, senior Forest Service officials, the NRS Director, and the NRS Civil Rights Diversity Committee. This information is a vital component in the analysis of Agency outreach efforts. Type of Respondents: Individuals. Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 520. Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimate of Burden per Response: 2 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 17.33 hours. Comment is invited on: (1) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes and the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 212 (Friday, November 1, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65607-65608]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26015]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Research Service


Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) of the Kika de la Garza 
Subtropical Research Center (KSARC)

AGENCY: Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has made a FONSI for 
transferring the land and real estate at the KSARC in Weslaco, Texas to 
the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS). The FONSI document is based on 
impact analysis documented in the draft EA that was issued for a 30-day 
public comment period beginning on August 2, 2013 and that was 
finalized on September 4, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Phil Smith, Acting Property Team Lead, 
USDA-ARS-WBSC, 1001 Holleman Drive East, College Station, Texas 77840; 
Telephone: 979-260-9449; email: phil.smith@ars.usda.gov. You may 
contact Mr. Smith for a copy of the FONSI document. Copies of the Final 
EA and FONSI are available for public inspection during normal business 
hours at the following locations:
     Weslaco Public Library, 525 South Kansas Avenue, Weslaco, 
Texas 78596.
     Larry Ringer Library, 1818 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South, 
College Station, Texas 77845.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, USDA ARS 
has prepared a Final EA for the proposed transfer of approximately 70-
acres of land and associated buildings at the KSARC in Weslaco, Texas 
from the USDA ARS to TAMUS. The KSARC is divided into two separate 
properties, with the main research station located at

[[Page 65608]]

2413 East Highway 83, Weslaco, Texas 77840 and a research farm located 
at 2301 South International Boulevard, Weslaco, Texas 77840. As a 
condition of the transfer, TAMUS would commit to using the property for 
agricultural and natural resources research for a period of 25 years, 
supporting the strategic goals of USDA and establishing a Beginning 
Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Property. TAMUS would assume 
responsibility and maintenance of the constructed facilities and land 
to be conveyed from USDA. The KSARC has been in operation as a USDA ARS 
research facility since 1960, with the mission ``to increase food and 
fiber productivity by developing new technology for safe and efficient 
agricultural production methods and by conserving natural resources and 
protecting the environment.'' The facility was closed under Public Law 
(Pub. L.)112-55, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations 
Act, 2012 and is currently being utilized in a very limited capacity by 
researchers from other ARS locations. Under the terms of the PL, the 
Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to transfer the Property 
from USDA to TAMUS. If the Property is tranferred, it will be done with 
no monetary cost to TAMUS and a Deed Without Warranty will be prepared 
by the USDA to convey the title/property rights to TAMUS. The Deed 
Without Warranty would incorporate any use restrictions identified by 
the NEPA process, as well as the 25-year use restriction for 
agricultural and natural resources research as required by Section 732 
of the PL.
    Two alternatives are analyzed in the Final EA, the No Action 
Alternative and the Proposed Action. The Final EA addresses potential 
impacts of these alternatives on the natural and human environment.
     Alternative 1--No Action. The USDA would retain possession 
of the approximate 70 acres of land and facilities at the KSARC. The 
USDA would no longer operate and/or maintain approximately 85-90% of 
the property and it would likely fall into a state of disrepair. The 
USDA will continue ongoing research funded by other Locations on the 
remaining 10-15% of the property.
     Alternative 2--Proposed Action. The USDA would formally 
transfer approximately 70 acres of land at the KSARC to TAMUS. As a 
condition of the transfer, TAMUS would commit to using the Property for 
agricultural and natural resources research for a period of 25 years, 
supporting the strategic goals of USDA and establishing a Beginning 
Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Property. TAMUS would assume 
responsibility and maintenance of the constructed facilities and land 
to be conveyed from USDA.
    In addition, one alternative was considered in the Draft EA but 
eliminated from detailed study. In this alternative, USDA would retain 
possession of the land and it would be transferred to the General 
Services Administration for disposal. Since it cannot reasonably be 
determined who would ultimately take possession of the property and how 
it would be utilized, it was not analyzed in detail in the EA.
    The USDA used and coordinated the NEPA commenting process to 
satisfy the public involvement process for Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f) as provided for in 36 CFR 
800.2(d)(3)). No comments were received during the public comment 
period. Based on its analysis of the Final EA for the poperty transfer, 
ARS has found that transferring the land and buildings to TAMUS would 
have no significant impact on the quality of the human environment. 
Therefore, ARS will not prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
this proposed action.

    Dated: October 22, 2013.
Caid E. Rexroad, Jr.,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Research Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-26015 Filed 10-31-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-03-P