Gauley Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest; West Virginia; Big Rock Project, 44152-44153 [2014-17903]

Download as PDF 44152 Notices Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 146 Wednesday, July 30, 2014 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 Gauley Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest; West Virginia; Big Rock Project Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The USDA Forest Service, Monongahela National Forest, Gauley Ranger District intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental consequences of a vegetation management project. In the EIS the USDA Forest Service will address the potential environmental impacts due to creating early successional forest; enhancing the growth and mast production of forest stands; and increasing wildlife habitat diversity. The Big Rock Project is located in the Cranberry River watershed, north of the community of Richwood, in Nicholas and Webster Counties, WV. The 23,490 acres in the project area include an estimated 21,767 acres of National Forest System Land and 1,723 acres of privately-owned land. No activities are proposed on private lands. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis should be received or post-marked by September 8, 2014. Comments received or post-marked after this initial scoping period will be considered, but will not afford the commenter standing to file a later objection on the project, unless they are submitted during a future designated comment period. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in March 2015 and the final environmental impact statement is expected in June 2015. A decision is expected in September of 2015. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Jane Bard, ID Team Leader, Big Rock Project, 932 North Fork Cherry Rd., mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Jul 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 Richwood, WV 26261. Comments may also be sent via email to commentseastern-monongahela-gauley@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 304–846–4307. Please list ‘‘Big Rock Project’’ in the subject line and include a mailing address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Bard, ID Team Leader, at jbard@fs.fed.us or 304–846–2695. Office hours are 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). See ADDRESSES above. Another means of obtaining information is to visit the Forest’s projects Web page at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/mnf/ landmanagement/projects and then click on ‘‘Big Rock’’. 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 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action The purpose of the Big Rock Project is to implement land management activities that are consistent with the Monongahela National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) and will help to bring the Forest closer to the desired condition. The Forest Plan outlines goals, objectives and desired conditions for Forest resources. The Big Rock Project Area is in Management Prescription (MP) 3.0, which emphasizes age class diversity and sustainable timber production; habitat for wildlife species tolerant of disturbances, such as deer, grouse, and squirrel; and a variety of forest scenery (Forest Plan, as updated in 2011, III–4). The desired condition relevant to this project is for a full range of forest ageclasses of primarily hardwood trees and associated understories to be distributed in a mosaic pattern, thus providing for the habitat needs of a variety of wildlife species. Harvest of trees is expected to provide sustainably-produced timber to the market. Roads and trails systems provide access for recreation, administration, and management purposes, including transportation of forest products. (Forest Plan, as updated in 2011, III–6 and 7) The project area is currently composed of approximately one percent early successional forest (0–19 yrs), with over 80% in the mid-late successional PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 age-class (80–120 yrs). In contrast, the Forest-wide MP 3.0 direction for ageclass composition is for a range of 12– 20% to be maintained in early successional forest and 24–40% to be maintained in mid-late successional forest. In addition, many stands in the project area contain closely-spaced trees. Crowded trees can result in reduced growth, crown size, and mast production due to competition for light, water, and nutrients. Throughout the project area there is a general lack of vernal pools for wildlife. Collectively, these conditions depart from the desired condition and present opportunities to increase wildlife habitat diversity. Proposed Action The following actions have been identified to address the needs described above. (1) To meet the need to create early successional forest, conduct commercial regeneration harvest using clearcut with reserves on 1,342 acres. Treatments included in regeneration harvests are pre-harvest vine treatment, site preparation for natural regeneration, designation of wildlife and riparian leave trees, retention of standing dead snag trees, and creation of any required snags by girdling. Herbicides may also be used for snag creation or vine treatment. (2) To meet the need to enhance the growth and mast production of forested stands, conduct commercial thinning harvest on 702 acres using ground based skidding and on 491 acres using helicopter logging. (3) To meet the need to increase wildlife habitat diversity, the vegetation management activities described in numbers 1 and 2 above are proposed. Additional habitat diversity will be created by constructing twenty small vernal pools. In order to carry out the proposed vegetation management activities, roads, skid trails, and landings will be needed. Therefore, the proposed action includes the construction of 3.7 miles of low standard road. This road mileage would be added to the National Forest System of roads. Associated landings and skid trails would be constructed as well. Responsible Official The Responsible Official for this project is the Gauley District Ranger of the Monongahela National Forest. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 146 / Wednesday, July 30, 2014 / Notices Nature of Decision To Be Made DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Following completion of the EIS, the responsible official will review the proposed action, other alternatives, and environmental consequences in order to decide whether to implement the proposed action as described; to implement an alternative version of this proposal that addresses issues; to defer any action at this time; or to amend the Forest Plan. Forest Service Scoping Process mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the EIS. In conjunction with this notice, the Forest is notifying the public of the open scoping period by sending letters to those that have indicated interest in this type of project on the Monongahela National Forest. In addition, news releases will be sent to the local newspapers and project information will be posted locally, including at the Gauley Ranger District Office and National Forest campgrounds in the vicinity of the project. A field trip to the project area will be held on August 15, 2014. This field trip will only take place if interest is expressed. Please RSVP to Jane Bard (at contact information contained in ADDRESSES, above), no later than August 7th if you would like to attend the field trip. This field trip is intended for informational purposes only. Those wishing to submit comments on the project in order to gain standing to later file an objection should ensure their specific, written comments have been received or post-marked by the close of the scoping period (September 8, 2014). A 45-day comment period will be offered on this project in the future when the Draft EIS is available for public review. Specific, written comments submitted during that comment period will also give standing to later submit an objection on the project. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be a part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, will not give the commenter standing to file an objection. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7, 1506.6, and 1508.22; Forest Service Handbook 1909.15, Chapter 20, Section 22 Dated: July 23, 2014. William W. Schiffer, District Ranger. [FR Doc. 2014–17903 Filed 7–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–15–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Jul 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 Southwest Montana Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Southwest Montana Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Dillon, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110– 343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. The meeting is open to the public. The purpose of the meeting is to review and recommend projects for Title II funding. DATES: The meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. on August 21, 2014. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. SUMMARY: The meeting will be held at 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, Montana. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the BeaverheadDeerlodge National Forest Supervisor’s Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Bates, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 406–683–3979 or via email at pbates@ 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 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: https://fsplaces.fs. fed.us/fsfiles/unit/wo/secure_rural_ schools.nsf. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44153 should request in writing by August 18, 2014, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Patty Bates, RAC Coordinator, 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, Montana 59725; by email to pbates@ fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 406–683– 3944. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. Dated: July 23, 2014. Melany Glossa, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2014–17914 Filed 7–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Tri-County Resource Advisory Committee; Meeting Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Tri-County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Deer Lodge, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community SelfDetermination Act (Pub. L. 110–343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. The meeting is open to the public. The purpose of the meeting is review and recommend projects for Title II funding. DATES: The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on August 20, 2014. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at 1002 Hollenback Road, Deer Lodge, Montana. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 146 (Wednesday, July 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44152-44153]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17903]


========================================================================
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. 79, No. 146 / Wednesday, July 30, 2014 / 
Notices

[[Page 44152]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Gauley Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest; West 
Virginia; Big Rock Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The USDA Forest Service, Monongahela National Forest, Gauley 
Ranger District intends to prepare an environmental impact statement 
(EIS) to disclose the environmental consequences of a vegetation 
management project. In the EIS the USDA Forest Service will address the 
potential environmental impacts due to creating early successional 
forest; enhancing the growth and mast production of forest stands; and 
increasing wildlife habitat diversity.
    The Big Rock Project is located in the Cranberry River watershed, 
north of the community of Richwood, in Nicholas and Webster Counties, 
WV. The 23,490 acres in the project area include an estimated 21,767 
acres of National Forest System Land and 1,723 acres of privately-owned 
land. No activities are proposed on private lands.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis should be received 
or post-marked by September 8, 2014. Comments received or post-marked 
after this initial scoping period will be considered, but will not 
afford the commenter standing to file a later objection on the project, 
unless they are submitted during a future designated comment period. 
The draft environmental impact statement is expected in March 2015 and 
the final environmental impact statement is expected in June 2015. A 
decision is expected in September of 2015.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Jane Bard, ID Team Leader, Big Rock 
Project, 932 North Fork Cherry Rd., Richwood, WV 26261. Comments may 
also be sent via email to comments-eastern-monongahela-gauley@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 304-846-4307. Please list ``Big 
Rock Project'' in the subject line and include a mailing address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Bard, ID Team Leader, at 
jbard@fs.fed.us or 304-846-2695. Office hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 
Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). See 
ADDRESSES above. Another means of obtaining information is to visit the 
Forest's projects Web page at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/mnf/landmanagement/projects and then click on ``Big Rock''.
    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 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday 
(excluding federal holidays).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the Big Rock Project is to implement land management 
activities that are consistent with the Monongahela National Forest 
Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) and will help to bring 
the Forest closer to the desired condition. The Forest Plan outlines 
goals, objectives and desired conditions for Forest resources. The Big 
Rock Project Area is in Management Prescription (MP) 3.0, which 
emphasizes age class diversity and sustainable timber production; 
habitat for wildlife species tolerant of disturbances, such as deer, 
grouse, and squirrel; and a variety of forest scenery (Forest Plan, as 
updated in 2011, III-4). The desired condition relevant to this project 
is for a full range of forest age-classes of primarily hardwood trees 
and associated understories to be distributed in a mosaic pattern, thus 
providing for the habitat needs of a variety of wildlife species. 
Harvest of trees is expected to provide sustainably-produced timber to 
the market. Roads and trails systems provide access for recreation, 
administration, and management purposes, including transportation of 
forest products. (Forest Plan, as updated in 2011, III-6 and 7)
    The project area is currently composed of approximately one percent 
early successional forest (0-19 yrs), with over 80% in the mid-late 
successional age-class (80-120 yrs). In contrast, the Forest-wide MP 
3.0 direction for age-class composition is for a range of 12-20% to be 
maintained in early successional forest and 24-40% to be maintained in 
mid-late successional forest. In addition, many stands in the project 
area contain closely-spaced trees. Crowded trees can result in reduced 
growth, crown size, and mast production due to competition for light, 
water, and nutrients. Throughout the project area there is a general 
lack of vernal pools for wildlife. Collectively, these conditions 
depart from the desired condition and present opportunities to increase 
wildlife habitat diversity.

Proposed Action

    The following actions have been identified to address the needs 
described above. (1) To meet the need to create early successional 
forest, conduct commercial regeneration harvest using clearcut with 
reserves on 1,342 acres. Treatments included in regeneration harvests 
are pre-harvest vine treatment, site preparation for natural 
regeneration, designation of wildlife and riparian leave trees, 
retention of standing dead snag trees, and creation of any required 
snags by girdling. Herbicides may also be used for snag creation or 
vine treatment. (2) To meet the need to enhance the growth and mast 
production of forested stands, conduct commercial thinning harvest on 
702 acres using ground based skidding and on 491 acres using helicopter 
logging. (3) To meet the need to increase wildlife habitat diversity, 
the vegetation management activities described in numbers 1 and 2 above 
are proposed. Additional habitat diversity will be created by 
constructing twenty small vernal pools.
    In order to carry out the proposed vegetation management 
activities, roads, skid trails, and landings will be needed. Therefore, 
the proposed action includes the construction of 3.7 miles of low 
standard road. This road mileage would be added to the National Forest 
System of roads. Associated landings and skid trails would be 
constructed as well.

Responsible Official

    The Responsible Official for this project is the Gauley District 
Ranger of the Monongahela National Forest.

[[Page 44153]]

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Following completion of the EIS, the responsible official will 
review the proposed action, other alternatives, and environmental 
consequences in order to decide whether to implement the proposed 
action as described; to implement an alternative version of this 
proposal that addresses issues; to defer any action at this time; or to 
amend the Forest Plan.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the EIS. In conjunction with this notice, the Forest 
is notifying the public of the open scoping period by sending letters 
to those that have indicated interest in this type of project on the 
Monongahela National Forest. In addition, news releases will be sent to 
the local newspapers and project information will be posted locally, 
including at the Gauley Ranger District Office and National Forest 
campgrounds in the vicinity of the project. A field trip to the project 
area will be held on August 15, 2014. This field trip will only take 
place if interest is expressed. Please RSVP to Jane Bard (at contact 
information contained in ADDRESSES, above), no later than August 7th if 
you would like to attend the field trip. This field trip is intended 
for informational purposes only. Those wishing to submit comments on 
the project in order to gain standing to later file an objection should 
ensure their specific, written comments have been received or post-
marked by the close of the scoping period (September 8, 2014).
    A 45-day comment period will be offered on this project in the 
future when the Draft EIS is available for public review. Specific, 
written comments submitted during that comment period will also give 
standing to later submit an objection on the project.
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will be a part of the public record 
for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be 
accepted and considered; however, will not give the commenter standing 
to file an objection.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7, 1506.6, and 1508.22; Forest Service 
Handbook 1909.15, Chapter 20, Section 22

    Dated: July 23, 2014.
William W. Schiffer,
District Ranger.
[FR Doc. 2014-17903 Filed 7-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-15-P