Shawnee National Forest, Illinois; Cretaceous Hills Ecological Restoration, 61283-61285 [2014-24229]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 197 / Friday, October 10, 2014 / Notices than adequate to carry fire the Forest Service proposes to leave a higher residual BA of 40 square feet per acre in order to allow pine needle cast to serve as primary carrier of fire across the stand. ➢ Spot foliar application of the herbicide triclopyr (as needed) on 811 acres of savannah restoration sites for site hardwood control. This is not a broadcast application of herbicide. Spot treatment would occur only where there is a presence of woody vegetation that threatens the re-establishment of savannah plant species. If the savannah restoration areas do not show evidence of woody encroachment after harvest it will not receive herbicide treatment. ➢ Clearcut 16 acres of slash pine plantation for borrow pit excavation to provide surface material for future road work. ➢ Remove six cattle guards from a closed range allotment (two on highway 379, two on FSR 113, and one on FSRs 174 and 109). Possible Alternatives Three potential alternatives will be evaluated in the EIS. The first is the No Action alternative which will consist of no treatments in the proposed project area other than those already approved such as prescribed burning or nonnative invasive species control. The second alternative addresses the impact to the environment if no herbicides were used and treatments such as hardwood control were done by mechanical means. The third alternative would remove all proposed savannah treatments in the project area. Additional alternatives may also be added as we move through the planning process. Responsible Official Marcus Beard, District Ranger for the Apalachicola National Forest mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Nature of Decision To Be Made Based upon the effects of the alternatives, the responsible official will decide whether or not to implement the Proposed Action or one of the possible alternatives. Preliminary Issues 1. Impact of timber removal on species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. 2. Impact of borrow pit excavation on 16 acres of forested land. Scoping Process This notice of intent reinitiates the scoping process, which was started with a public scoping notice sent to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Oct 09, 2014 Jkt 235001 interested parties in June 2013. Pursuant to 36 CFR part 218 subparts A and B, a draft EIS will be made available for the 45-day notice and comment period. A final EIS and draft Record of Decision will be made available for a 45-day objection period. 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, they will not have standing to object. Dated: October 1, 2014. Marcus Beard, District Ranger. [FR Doc. 2014–24191 Filed 10–9–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Shawnee National Forest, Illinois; Cretaceous Hills Ecological Restoration Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The USDA Forest Service Shawnee National Forest (Forest) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to disclose the environmental consequences of an ecological restoration project. In the environmental impact statement, the USDA Forest Service will address the potential environmental effects of the restoration of an oak-hickory hardwood forest-type and the increase of wildlife habitat diversity through the removal or thinning of non-native pine trees and small shade-tolerant hardwood trees from about 3,200 acres, the application of prescribed fire on about 15,100 acres, treatment of invasive species, maintenance of barrens habitats, development of vernal ponds, and transportation system maintenance, construction, or reconstruction. The Cretaceous Hills Ecological Restoration Project (Hills Project) is located in the Bay Creek Ditch, Barren Creek and Sister Islands-Ohio River SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61283 watersheds between the communities of Metropolis and Bay City, in southern Pope and eastern Massac Counties, Illinois. The 26,102 acres in the project areas include about 15,130 acres of National Forest System land and 10,972 acres of state and private land. All activities are proposed on National Forest System land. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by November 10, 2014 in order to be most useful in the development of the environmental impact statement. The draft environmental impact statement is expected February, 2015 and the final environmental impact statement is expected September, 2015. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted on the Hills Project Web page: http://tinyurl.com/CretaceousHills-Shawnee-NF. Written comments may be sent to: Shawnee National Forest, Attn: Hills Project, 602 N. 1st Street, Vienna, IL 62995. Comments may also be sent via facsimile to (618) 658–1300, with ‘‘Hills Project’’ on the subject line. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Kunzmann at 602 N. 1st Street, Vienna, (618) 658–2111, or akunzmann@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 of and Need for Action The purpose of the Hills Project is to implement land management activities consistent with the Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Plan) and bring the Forest closer to the desired condition stated therein. The Forest Plan outlines goals, objectives and desired conditions for Forest resources. The Hills Project Area encompasses three Forest Plan managementprescription areas: Even-Aged Hardwood Forest (EH), Mature Hardwood Forest (MH) and Natural Area (NA). The EH management prescription emphasizes maintenance of the oakhickory forest-type; ecological restoration to native hardwood of areas planted with non-native pine; wildlife habitat associated with a mix of hardwoods, pine and openland; and the production of high-quality hardwoods in a roaded-natural recreational setting. The desired condition relevant to this project is for a natural-appearing landscape with stands of hardwood trees in various age and size classes. The E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 61284 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 197 / Friday, October 10, 2014 / Notices oak-hickory community and associated understories dominate. The land supports a variety of wildlife, ranging from species that utilize earlysuccessional stages to those requiring mature-stand characteristics. Some areas are actively managed for forest-interior species. Roads provide access for recreation, administration and management purposes, including transportation of forest products (Forest Plan, page 59). The MH management prescription provides for recreation, wildlife and soil and water protection, with motorized and non-motorized recreation occurring in a roaded-natural or semi-primitive setting. The prescription provides habitat for wildlife requiring maturehardwood forest conditions. The desired condition relevant to this project is a landscape of natural ecosystems. Usually dominant, mature, hardwood trees and associated vegetation are interspersed with openland ecosystems; some areas are actively managed for forest-interior species (Forest Plan, page 68). The NA management prescription provides for the preservation, protection and/or enhancement of the unique natural values found in many natural areas on the Forest. The desired future condition relevant to this project is that the four designated natural areas included in the project, each biologically and geologically unique, contain a variety of wildlife species and diverse vegetation in a naturalappearing condition. The forest in the EH management area is about 30 percent non-native pine that was planted in the 1930’s and 1940’s to control erosion on depleted farmland. Forest Plan management goals include the conversion of non-native pine plantations to native hardwoods, emphasizing the removal of pine within or adjacent to natural areas; and the restoration and maintenance of the oakhickory forest-type for biological diversity and wildlife habitat, utilizing landscape-level prescribed burning, timber harvesting and timber-stand improvement to help create and/or maintain the necessary ecological conditions for regeneration and maintenance (Forest Plan, pages 21–22). The area has also been affected by two major ice storms that damaged many trees, increasing fuel-loading throughout. The forest in the MH management area was also damaged by the ice storms, with a heavy hazardous fuel load. This area includes the Burke Branch Inventoried Roadless Area, a forest-interior habitat as described in the Forest Plan (page 43). Managed under VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Oct 09, 2014 Jkt 235001 the NA management prescription, designated natural areas in the project area include Robnett Barrens Ecological Area, Dog Creek Barrens Ecological Area and Dean Cemetery East Barrens Ecological Area, as well as the Burke Branch Research Natural Area Ecological Area, with mesic barrens, mesic floodplain forest and dry mesic upland forest. Among the Forest Plan goals are the restoration and maintenance of barrens through active management and the management of forest-interior habitats for large blocks of oak-hickory forests, with burning conducted frequently to promote oakhickory generation and to control competition from shade-tolerant and invasive species, and the application of herbicide to control invasive species (Forest Plan, pages 21, 26 and 43). Proposed Action The following actions have been identified to address the needs described above. (1) To meet the need to convert about 3,200 acres of nonnative pine plantations to the oakhickory hardwood forest-type, conduct commercial harvest through overstory removal of remnant pine trees on about 490 acres and shelterwood with reserves and thinning on about 2,600 acres. Treatments include two entries for sitepreparation for natural regeneration on about 3,200 acres and the application of prescribed fire. Herbicides are proposed for site preparation and control of shade-tolerant species. (2) To reduce the threat of wildfire from the hazardous fuel load in the project area, prescribed fire will be applied to about 15,100 acres throughout the project area. This will not only reduce the fuel load in the area, but also will aid in the restoration and maintenance of designated natural areas and forest-interior habitat. (3) To restore and enhance the barrens natural areas, herbicide treatments and prescribed fire will be applied where necessary, small trees and shrubs will be removed, and non-native pines will be clearcut from about 90 acres within and adjacent to natural areas. (4) To maintain forest-interior habitat to increase wildlife diversity, herbicide treatments and prescribed fire will be applied where necessary. (5) To create additional habitat diversity, twenty small vernal pools will be constructed in the project area. (6) To provide management and possible future recreational access to the project areas, roads will be maintained, constructed or reconstructed. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Responsible Official The responsible official is the Hidden Springs-Mississippi Bluffs District Ranger. Nature of Decision To Be Made Given the purpose and need for the proposal, the responsible official will review the analyses of the proposed action and the alternatives in order to make the following decisions: Whether or not to release shade-intolerant oak, hickory and other hardwoods through removal of overstory pine; whether or not to use site-preparation tools to restore the native, hardwood-forest community; whether or not to utilize a commercial timber sale to remove the pine trees; whether or not to manage the forest-interior habitat and designated natural areas in the project areas; whether or not to apply prescribed fire or herbicides; whether or not to construct vernal ponds; and whether or not to manage the project area transportation system with maintenance, construction, or reconstruction. Scoping Process This notice of intent initiates the scoping process that will guide development of the environmental impact statement for a project implementing the Forest Plan; it is subject to the requirements of 36 CFR part 218, Subparts A and B—ProjectLevel Pre-decisional Admnistrative Review Process. The initiation of the scoping period also opens the ‘‘designated opportunity for public comment’’ on this proposal, under 36 CFR part 218.5(a). This designated opportunity will conclude at the end of the comment period for the draft environmental impact statement. It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a manner that they are useful to the agency’s preparation of the environmental impact statement. Commenters who desire eligibility to object during the pre-decisional administrative review process must submit comments that meet the requirements of 36 CFR part 218.25. To be most helpful to the development of the environmental impact statement, comments should be provided prior to the close of the scoping period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns. Scoping meetings will be scheduled with interested parties and organizations following publication of this notice. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 197 / Friday, October 10, 2014 / Notices 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: October 6, 2014. Hurston A. Nicholas, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2014–24229 Filed 10–9–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD [Docket No. ATBCB–2014–0002] RIN 3014–0011 Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3521), the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) approval to renew a generic information collection. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on July 28, 2014 (79 FR 43709). As part of a federal governmentwide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on service delivery, the Access Board has an approved Generic Information Collection Request entitled ‘‘Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.’’ A copy of the draft supporting statement is available at http://www.regulations.gov (see Docket ID ATBCB–2014–0002). DATES: Submit comments by November 10, 2014. ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Oct 09, 2014 Jkt 235001 Regulations.gov. ID for this docket is ATBCB–2014–0002. • Email: damiani@access-board.gov. Include docket number ATBCB–2014– 0002 in the subject line of the message. • Fax: (202) 272–0081. • Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of the General Counsel, Access Board, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004–1111. All comments, including any personal information provided, will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov and are available for public viewing. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mario Damiani, Office of the General Counsel, Access Board, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004–1111. Telephone numbers: (202) 272–0050 (voice); (202) 272–0064 (TTY). These are not toll free numbers. Email address: damiani@accessboard.gov. OMB Control Number: 3014–0011. Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery. Type of Review: Renewal of a generic information collection. Background: The proposed information collection activity provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration’s commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Access Board and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management. Feedback collected under this generic clearance provides useful information, but it does not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61285 program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential nonresponse bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior to fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results. Respondents: Average annual estimate of approximately 1,100 Individuals and Households, Businesses and Organizations, State, Local or Tribal Government. Below, we provide projected average estimates for the next three years: Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 7. Average Number of Respondents per Activity: 157. Annual Responses: 1,100. Frequency of Response: Once per request. Estimated Average Burden per Response: 7.25 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 120 hours. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the Access Board’s performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for the Access Board to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. We will summarize comments received in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. David M. Capozzi, Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2014–24168 Filed 10–9–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8150–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 197 (Friday, October 10, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61283-61285]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-24229]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Shawnee National Forest, Illinois; Cretaceous Hills Ecological 
Restoration

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The USDA Forest Service Shawnee National Forest (Forest) 
intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to disclose the 
environmental consequences of an ecological restoration project. In the 
environmental impact statement, the USDA Forest Service will address 
the potential environmental effects of the restoration of an oak-
hickory hardwood forest-type and the increase of wildlife habitat 
diversity through the removal or thinning of non-native pine trees and 
small shade-tolerant hardwood trees from about 3,200 acres, the 
application of prescribed fire on about 15,100 acres, treatment of 
invasive species, maintenance of barrens habitats, development of 
vernal ponds, and transportation system maintenance, construction, or 
reconstruction.
    The Cretaceous Hills Ecological Restoration Project (Hills Project) 
is located in the Bay Creek Ditch, Barren Creek and Sister Islands-Ohio 
River watersheds between the communities of Metropolis and Bay City, in 
southern Pope and eastern Massac Counties, Illinois. The 26,102 acres 
in the project areas include about 15,130 acres of National Forest 
System land and 10,972 acres of state and private land. All activities 
are proposed on National Forest System land.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by November 10, 2014 in order to be most useful in the development of 
the environmental impact statement. The draft environmental impact 
statement is expected February, 2015 and the final environmental impact 
statement is expected September, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted on the Hills Project Web page: 
http://tinyurl.com/Cretaceous-Hills-Shawnee-NF. Written comments may be 
sent to: Shawnee National Forest, Attn: Hills Project, 602 N. 1st 
Street, Vienna, IL 62995. Comments may also be sent via facsimile to 
(618) 658-1300, with ``Hills Project'' on the subject line.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Kunzmann at 602 N. 1st Street, 
Vienna, (618) 658-2111, or akunzmann@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 of and Need for Action

    The purpose of the Hills Project is to implement land management 
activities consistent with the Forest Land and Resource Management Plan 
(Plan) and bring the Forest closer to the desired condition stated 
therein. The Forest Plan outlines goals, objectives and desired 
conditions for Forest resources. The Hills Project Area encompasses 
three Forest Plan management-prescription areas: Even-Aged Hardwood 
Forest (EH), Mature Hardwood Forest (MH) and Natural Area (NA).
    The EH management prescription emphasizes maintenance of the oak-
hickory forest-type; ecological restoration to native hardwood of areas 
planted with non-native pine; wildlife habitat associated with a mix of 
hardwoods, pine and openland; and the production of high-quality 
hardwoods in a roaded-natural recreational setting. The desired 
condition relevant to this project is for a natural-appearing landscape 
with stands of hardwood trees in various age and size classes. The

[[Page 61284]]

oak-hickory community and associated understories dominate. The land 
supports a variety of wildlife, ranging from species that utilize 
early-successional stages to those requiring mature-stand 
characteristics. Some areas are actively managed for forest-interior 
species. Roads provide access for recreation, administration and 
management purposes, including transportation of forest products 
(Forest Plan, page 59).
    The MH management prescription provides for recreation, wildlife 
and soil and water protection, with motorized and non-motorized 
recreation occurring in a roaded-natural or semi-primitive setting. The 
prescription provides habitat for wildlife requiring mature-hardwood 
forest conditions. The desired condition relevant to this project is a 
landscape of natural ecosystems. Usually dominant, mature, hardwood 
trees and associated vegetation are interspersed with openland 
ecosystems; some areas are actively managed for forest-interior species 
(Forest Plan, page 68).
    The NA management prescription provides for the preservation, 
protection and/or enhancement of the unique natural values found in 
many natural areas on the Forest. The desired future condition relevant 
to this project is that the four designated natural areas included in 
the project, each biologically and geologically unique, contain a 
variety of wildlife species and diverse vegetation in a natural-
appearing condition.
    The forest in the EH management area is about 30 percent non-native 
pine that was planted in the 1930's and 1940's to control erosion on 
depleted farmland. Forest Plan management goals include the conversion 
of non-native pine plantations to native hardwoods, emphasizing the 
removal of pine within or adjacent to natural areas; and the 
restoration and maintenance of the oak-hickory forest-type for 
biological diversity and wildlife habitat, utilizing landscape-level 
prescribed burning, timber harvesting and timber-stand improvement to 
help create and/or maintain the necessary ecological conditions for 
regeneration and maintenance (Forest Plan, pages 21-22). The area has 
also been affected by two major ice storms that damaged many trees, 
increasing fuel-loading throughout.
    The forest in the MH management area was also damaged by the ice 
storms, with a heavy hazardous fuel load. This area includes the Burke 
Branch Inventoried Roadless Area, a forest-interior habitat as 
described in the Forest Plan (page 43). Managed under the NA management 
prescription, designated natural areas in the project area include 
Robnett Barrens Ecological Area, Dog Creek Barrens Ecological Area and 
Dean Cemetery East Barrens Ecological Area, as well as the Burke Branch 
Research Natural Area Ecological Area, with mesic barrens, mesic 
floodplain forest and dry mesic upland forest. Among the Forest Plan 
goals are the restoration and maintenance of barrens through active 
management and the management of forest-interior habitats for large 
blocks of oak-hickory forests, with burning conducted frequently to 
promote oak-hickory generation and to control competition from shade-
tolerant and invasive species, and the application of herbicide to 
control invasive species (Forest Plan, pages 21, 26 and 43).

Proposed Action

    The following actions have been identified to address the needs 
described above. (1) To meet the need to convert about 3,200 acres of 
non-native pine plantations to the oak-hickory hardwood forest-type, 
conduct commercial harvest through overstory removal of remnant pine 
trees on about 490 acres and shelterwood with reserves and thinning on 
about 2,600 acres. Treatments include two entries for site-preparation 
for natural regeneration on about 3,200 acres and the application of 
prescribed fire. Herbicides are proposed for site preparation and 
control of shade-tolerant species. (2) To reduce the threat of wildfire 
from the hazardous fuel load in the project area, prescribed fire will 
be applied to about 15,100 acres throughout the project area. This will 
not only reduce the fuel load in the area, but also will aid in the 
restoration and maintenance of designated natural areas and forest-
interior habitat. (3) To restore and enhance the barrens natural areas, 
herbicide treatments and prescribed fire will be applied where 
necessary, small trees and shrubs will be removed, and non-native pines 
will be clearcut from about 90 acres within and adjacent to natural 
areas. (4) To maintain forest-interior habitat to increase wildlife 
diversity, herbicide treatments and prescribed fire will be applied 
where necessary. (5) To create additional habitat diversity, twenty 
small vernal pools will be constructed in the project area. (6) To 
provide management and possible future recreational access to the 
project areas, roads will be maintained, constructed or reconstructed.

Responsible Official

    The responsible official is the Hidden Springs-Mississippi Bluffs 
District Ranger.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Given the purpose and need for the proposal, the responsible 
official will review the analyses of the proposed action and the 
alternatives in order to make the following decisions: Whether or not 
to release shade-intolerant oak, hickory and other hardwoods through 
removal of overstory pine; whether or not to use site-preparation tools 
to restore the native, hardwood-forest community; whether or not to 
utilize a commercial timber sale to remove the pine trees; whether or 
not to manage the forest-interior habitat and designated natural areas 
in the project areas; whether or not to apply prescribed fire or 
herbicides; whether or not to construct vernal ponds; and whether or 
not to manage the project area transportation system with maintenance, 
construction, or reconstruction.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process that will guide 
development of the environmental impact statement for a project 
implementing the Forest Plan; it is subject to the requirements of 36 
CFR part 218, Subparts A and B--Project-Level Pre-decisional 
Admnistrative Review Process. The initiation of the scoping period also 
opens the ``designated opportunity for public comment'' on this 
proposal, under 36 CFR part 218.5(a). This designated opportunity will 
conclude at the end of the comment period for the draft environmental 
impact statement.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such a manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation 
of the environmental impact statement. Commenters who desire 
eligibility to object during the pre-decisional administrative review 
process must submit comments that meet the requirements of 36 CFR part 
218.25. To be most helpful to the development of the environmental 
impact statement, comments should be provided prior to the close of the 
scoping period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns. 
Scoping meetings will be scheduled with interested parties and 
organizations following publication of this notice.
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will

[[Page 61285]]

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: October 6, 2014.
Hurston A. Nicholas,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2014-24229 Filed 10-9-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3411-15-P