Final Directive for National Saw Program, 46890-46895 [2016-16977]

Download as PDF 46890 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 138 / Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / Notices Dated: July 6, 2016. Telora T. Dean, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service. [FR Doc. 2016–17066 Filed 7–18–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–30–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service [0596–AD16] Final Directive for National Saw Program Forest Service, USDA. Notice of final directive. AGENCY: ACTION: The Forest Service is publishing a final directive revising Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2350 to establish training, evaluation, and certification requirements for the use of chain saws and crosscut saws on National Forest System (NFS) lands. In addition, the Agency is revising Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.11, section 22.48 (Safety Handbook), to remove duplicate text. The final directive applies to the use of chain saws and crosscut saws by Forest Service and other governmental employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators on NFS lands. SUMMARY: The final directive is effective July 19, 2016. ADDRESSES: The record for this final directive is available for inspection and copying at the office of the Director, Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources Staff, USDA, Forest Service, 5th Floor, Sidney R. Yates Federal Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) Monday through Friday, except holidays. Those wishing to inspect these documents are encouraged to call ahead at (202) 205–1227 to facilitate access to the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Stephens, National Trails Program Manager, (202) 205–1701 or jstephens02@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877– 8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES DATES: 1. Background and Need for the Final Directive Beginning in the 1970s, the Forest Service’s nine regions developed regional policies related to sawyer VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:39 Jul 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 training and saw use. Sawyers covered by those policies often maintained trails on national forests and grasslands, helped fight wildfires, and worked in wilderness where crosscut saws are required. Forest Service and other governmental employees, cooperators, training consultants, and volunteers who worked in more than one region had to comply with multiple regional policies, and certifications obtained in one region were not always honored in another. A national saw directive is needed to standardize training, evaluation, certification, and safety procedures for sawyers operating on NFS lands. The final directive will allow the Forest Service to facilitate the safe use of chain saws and crosscut saws while optimizing the critical skills and cooperative opportunities for trail maintenance and other projects on NFS lands. The final directive will be codified in Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2358 and will supersede duplicative text in the Health and Safety Code Handbook, Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.11, chapter 20, and all Forest Service Regional Supplements to that Handbook. 2. Overview of the Final Directive The following provides an overview of the final directive for the Forest Service’s National Saw Program. Training, Evaluation, and Certification. Under the final directive, the Forest Service will allow the use of chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS lands by Agency and other governmental employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators upon the successful completion of sawyer training and field evaluation, the prerequisites to obtain a National Sawyer Certification Card, and any other specified qualifications to perform assigned saw work safely, including current training on first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Sawyers will receive one or more of six skill level certifications upon successful completion of required sawyer training and a field proficiency evaluation. The issuance of a National Sawyer Certification Card documents the sawyer’s skill level certification and qualifies the sawyer to work on NFS lands within the qualifications indicated on the card. A Crosscut Sawyer Trainee may occasionally use a crosscut saw, but for bucking only (bucking is sawing logs and limbs into shorter lengths) and only under the immediate supervision of a certified higher qualified sawyer. Forest Service Cooperators. Forest Service agreements with cooperators PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (other than those working under interagency fire management cooperative agreements) will include a clause requiring cooperators’ employees, participants, and volunteers who will use chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands under their agreement to be trained, evaluated, and certified in accordance with this final directive. The clause will also provide that cooperators will be responsible for providing the training, evaluation, and certification, unless the Forest Service and the cooperator determine it is not in the best interest of the partnership. In these circumstances, the Forest Service, upon request and based on availability of Agency funding and personnel, may assist with developing and conducting the training, evaluation, and certification. Cooperators may take Nationally Recognized Sawyer Training Courses (NRSTCs) offered by the Forest Service or may train, evaluate, and certify their volunteers, participants, and employees through NRSTCs offered by Forest Service-recommended cooperator sawyer evaluators and sawyer instructors. This clause will be included in new cooperator agreements involving the use of chain saws or crosscut saws upon publication of the final directive. The clause will be included in existing cooperator agreements involving the use of chain saws or crosscut saws when modifications to the agreements are necessary, e.g., for additional funding or extensions. Cooperators will not have to comply with the clause for 1 year following publication of the final directive to give them time to meet the new requirements. Scope of Certification. Sawyers will be precluded from performing saw activities outside the limits of their certification or qualifications, except during formal evaluation proceedings or under the immediate supervision of a higher qualified sawyer. No Guarantee of Certification. Completion of classroom, field proficiency, and evaluation requirements does not guarantee a certification. Minimum Eligible Sawyer Age. Sawyers must comply with United States Department of Labor minimum age requirements. Those standards, as applied to sawyers performing trail maintenance, require that sawyers using chain saws be at least 18 years of age and that crosscut sawyers be at least 16 years of age. National Sawyer Database. The Forest Service is developing a web-based database to track Forest Service sawyer certifications nationwide. The name of the sawyer, contact information, and E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 138 / Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES certification level will be entered into the database and will be accessible by authorized Forest Service employees, training consultants, volunteers, and cooperators. The system will allow the Forest Service and cooperators to verify that employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators intending to operate chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS lands have met the requirements of the final directive to achieve their specific sawyer certification skill level. The database will provide a centralized record of sawyers and their qualifications, thereby facilitating consistent and efficient management of the Forest Service’s National Saw Program. Information Collection Requirements. The Forest Service has developed two forms for evaluating sawyers, one for chain saw sawyers and one for crosscut saw sawyers. In accordance with 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(1), these forms do not entail an information collection. They merely require sawyers who are being evaluated to affirm that they have completed and will maintain first aid and CPR training, and to indicate whether they give the Forest Service permission to share their sawyer qualifications and add their email address to a mailing list shared with other Federal agencies and nonFederal organizations so that they can be contacted about saw project opportunities in their area. Furthermore, in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(7), the evaluation forms do not entail an information collection to the extent they document examinations designed to test the aptitude, abilities, or knowledge of the persons tested and involve the collection of information for identification or classification in connection with those examinations. The National Sawyer Certification Card does not entail an information collection, as it is completed by the Forest Service without any additional information from the public beyond what is collected on the sawyer evaluation forms. 3. Response to Comments on the Proposed Directive On June 17, 2015, the Forest Service published notice of a proposed directive in the Federal Register (80 FR 34610) establishing guidance for the Forest Service’s National Saw Program (RIN 0596–AC82). Comments were solicited for 60 days, and the comment period ended on August 17, 2015. The Agency received 59 letters or emails commenting on the proposed directive from the following: Trail partner organizations (11); equestrian groups (5); motorized trail organizations (5); Youth Conservation Corps (5); VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:39 Jul 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 environmental groups (2); State agency (1); and individuals (30). The Agency conducted outreach to tribal interests. The Agency did not receive any comments from tribal interests. General Comments Comment: Three respondents expressed opposition to establishment of a national Forest Service saw program. Response: Beginning in the 1970s, the Forest Service’s nine regions developed regional policies related to sawyer training and saw use. Sawyers covered by those policies often maintained trails on national forests and grasslands, helped fight wildfires, and worked in wilderness where crosscut saws are required. Forest Service and other governmental employees, cooperators, training consultants, and volunteers who worked in more than one region had to comply with multiple regional policies, and certifications obtained in one region were not always honored in another. A national saw directive is needed to standardize training, evaluation, certification, and safety procedures for sawyers operating on NFS lands. The final directive will allow the Forest Service to facilitate the safe use of chain saws and crosscut saws while optimizing the critical skills and cooperative opportunities for trail maintenance and other projects on NFS lands. Comment: Coordination among Federal land managers was a concern for several commenters. Response: The Forest Service is one of the few federal land managers to require training, evaluation, and certification of sawyers. Most commenters who addressed interagency coordination were concerned about forthcoming National Park Service policy on use of saws and how that policy and the proposed directive would affect maintenance of national trails traversing lands under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and the Forest Service. Both Federal agencies are aware of this concern, and interagency coordination is ongoing. The Forest Service will continue working with other Federal land management agencies to maximize consistency in use of chain saws and crosscut saws on Federal lands. FSM 2300, Chapter 2350—Trail, River, and Similar Recreation Opportunities Comment: Several organizations have requested that this final directive be issued under FSM 6700, Safety and Health Program. Response: In November 2008, then Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimball PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46891 realigned several activities from the Office of Safety and Occupational Health (OSOH) to other program areas. Each of these activities involves program areas other than safety and occupational health. The realigned activities and associated program areas include: • Explosives and Blasting Materials– Engineering • Use of Chain Saws and Crosscut Saws–Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources • Scientific Diving–Research and Development • Tree Climbing–Forest Management The final directive will be incorporated into FSM 2358. FSM 2358 will contain cross-references to FSM 6700, where appropriate. The National Saw Program Manager will work with Safety and Occupational Health staff as well as other Agency staff to administer the final directive effectively in the context of other Agency programs. Section 2358.02—Objective Comment: Some cooperators expressed concerned that the proposed directive did not place enough emphasis on supporting the development of volunteer sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators. Response: In the final directive, the Agency revised the objective section, FSM 2358.02, to support ‘‘the development of stand-alone cooperator and volunteer training and certification programs for sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators.’’ Section 2358.03—Policy Comment: One respondent requested clarification regarding applicability of the proposed directive to Job Corps Center employees and students. Response: All Job Corps Centers run by the Forest Service (known as Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers) are subject to Forest Service directives, including the final directive. Other Job Corps Centers are considered cooperators with the Forest Service and will be required to follow this final directive when using chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands under an agreement with the Forest Service. Students at both Forest Service-run and non-Forest Service-run Job Corps Centers using chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands would be considered Public Lands Corps (PLC) participants per the PLC Act of 1993, 16 U.S.C. 1721 et seq., and would be required to follow this directive. The responsible official for implementing the final directive at Job Corps Centers is the Job Corps Center Director. The responsible official E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 46892 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 138 / Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / Notices for implementing the final directive in a Forest Service administrative unit would be the forest or grassland supervisor for that unit. Comment: Several cooperators expressed concern about how their existing agreements with the Forest Service and sawyer training programs would be affected by the proposed directive. Cooperators were also concerned about having six categories of certification and asked whether they would have to have these categories if they already had other certification standards in place. Response: Forest Service agreements with cooperators (other than those working under interagency fire management cooperative agreements) will include a clause requiring cooperators’ employees, participants, and volunteers who will use chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands under their agreement to be trained, evaluated, and certified in accordance with this final directive. The clause will also provide that cooperators will be responsible for providing the training, evaluation, and certification, unless the Forest Service and the cooperator determine it is not in the best interest of the partnership. In these circumstances, the Forest Service, upon request and based on availability of Agency funding and personnel, may assist with developing and conducting the training, evaluation, and certification. Cooperators may take NRSTCs offered by the Forest Service or may train, evaluate, and certify their volunteers, participants, and employees through NRSTCs offered by Forest Service-recommended cooperator sawyer evaluators and sawyer instructors. This clause will be included in new cooperator agreements involving the use of chain saws or crosscut saws upon publication of the final directive. The clause will be included in existing cooperator agreements involving the use of chain saws or crosscut saws when modifications to the agreements are necessary, e.g., for additional funding or extensions. Cooperators will not have to comply with the clause for 1 year following publication of the final directive to give them time to meet the new requirements. The Forest Service will review cooperators’ existing and new sawyer training, evaluation, and certification programs to determine if they comply with the final directive. The process for review is enumerated in the Forest Service Saw Operations Guide (FSSOG), which will be issued at the same time as the final directive and which will be available at http://www.fs.fed.us/aboutagency/regulations-policies/saw-policy. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:39 Jul 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 Requests to review existing training, evaluation, and certification programs will receive priority over requests to review new programs. Comment: Several respondents recommended that the Agency decrease the minimum age for crosscut sawyers from 16 years of age to 14 years of age. Response: The Agency recognizes the opportunity to foster a new generation of trail stewards, and crosscut saw use is essential to trail maintenance. Sawyers must comply with United States Department of Labor minimum age requirements. Those standards, as applied to sawyers performing trail maintenance, require that sawyers using chain saws be at least 18 years of age and that crosscut sawyers be at least 16 years of age. Section 2358.04—Responsibility Comment: Several commenters requested that cooperators be considered federal contractors apparently so that they could be exempt from the requirements of the proposed directive. Response: Like Forest Service and other governmental employees, cooperators, volunteers, and training consultants, Forest Service contractors are subject to applicable Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements governing the use of saws. However, Forest Service contractors are not subject to the national saw directive because the Agency does not believe it is necessary or appropriate to track their training and certification as sawyers given their role and responsibilities as Federal contractors. Forest Service cooperators and volunteers have different roles and responsibilities from Federal contractors and are not considered Federal contractors. Section 2358.04b—National Saw Program Manager Comment: Several commenters were concerned about whether the National Saw Program Manager’s position would be retained by the Forest Service. Response: The Forest Service is committed to supporting this position, which is critical to the success of National Saw Program. One of the National Saw Program Manager’s most important initial responsibilities will be assisting Forest Service administrative units, volunteers, and cooperators with consistent and effective implementation of the final directive. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FSM 2358.04c—Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Comment: Several organizations expressed interest in being a member of the TAG. Response: The TAG consists of the National Saw Program Manager, Regional Saw Program Managers, a representative from the Forest Service Technology and Development Centers, and other Federal agency saw and safety-related subject matter experts. The purpose of the TAG is to develop, coordinate, and provide advice and guidance to the National Saw Program Manager in connection with training, skills, and safety for all aspects of chain saw and crosscut saw operations on NFS lands. Individuals and individual partner organizations may meet with the TAG to provide input on sawyer training, skills, and safety. Section 2358.1—Exhibit 02, Sawyer Responsibilities and Limitations and Training, Knowledge, and Skill Requirements Comment: Several respondents expressed concern about limiting sawyers to bucking only (sawing logs and limbs into shorter lengths). Some respondents believed that C Sawyers— Bucking Only should be able to certify other sawyers. Response: C Sawyers—Bucking Only may conduct formal instruction within their skill level for A and B Sawyers. C Sawyers—Bucking Only may also conduct field proficiency evaluations within their skill level for A Sawyers and B Sawyers—Bucking Only. See FSM 2358.1, ex. 02, B Sawyers— Bucking Only, Responsibilities and Limitations. Comment: Several respondents expressed concern about the need for two C Sawyer Evaluators to determine proficiency of C Sawyers—Bucking Only and identified an inconsistency in the number of C Sawyer Evaluators necessary for certification of C Sawyers—Bucking Only between FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, and FSM 2358.1, exhibit 06. Response: In the final directive, only one C Sawyer Evaluator is necessary for certification of C Sawyers—Bucking Only, and both FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, and FSM 2358.3, exhibit 06, so provide. Comment: Several commenters expressed concerned about eliminating diameter at breast height (DBH) limitations and the subjectivity involved in assessing the complexity of sawing tasks in sawyer evaluations. Response: Based on input from experienced Forest Service sawyers, the Agency has determined that DBH E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 138 / Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / Notices restrictions are not an adequate way to judge how much risk sawyers will encounter. Moreover, the Agency does not agree that larger trees are more risky or complex. Many recent accidents involving sawyers striking others or being struck themselves have occurred with smaller-diameter trees. At this time, the Forest Service believes it has addressed the complexity of sawing tasks as precisely as possible and will rely on its most qualified staff to refine the many elements of complexity through implementation of the National Saw Program. The Agency is considering establishing indicators for levels of complexity, but field-testing of this approach is required to determine its efficacy. Definitions of terms associated with complexity of sawing tasks will be provided through FSSOG updates. Comment: Some commenters were concerned that the reevaluation standards for sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators were either ambiguous or too subjective. Response: Reevaluation standards for sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators are enumerated in FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02. The final directive includes additional requirements for sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators in FSM 2358.21, paragraphs 3 and 4. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Section 2358.04l—Sawyer Evaluators Comment: Many cooperators were concerned about access to the National Sawyer Database. Response: The Forest Service recognizes that direct access to this database by cooperators is paramount to the success of the National Saw Program. Therefore, implementation of the database will be delayed until that access can be secured. The Forest Service is developing a web-based database to track Forest Service sawyer certifications nationwide. The database will provide a centralized record of sawyers and their qualifications, thereby facilitating consistent and efficient management of the National Saw Program. The name of the sawyer, contact information, and certification level will be entered into the database and will be accessible by authorized Forest Service and cooperator employees. The system will allow the Forest Service and cooperators to verify that employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators intending to operate chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS lands have met the requirements of the final directive to achieve the requisite certification level. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:39 Jul 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 Section 2358.05—Definitions Comment: Several respondents were unsure of the difference between the terms ‘‘brush’’ and ‘‘tree.’’ Response: The final directive includes definitions that iterate the difference between these terms. Section 2358.1—Training, Knowledge, and Skill Requirements Comment: Several respondents commented about training, including access to training for volunteers and the elimination of total estimated hours of training needed for each certification level in FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02. Response: The Forest Service recognizes the benefit of volunteers and will provide training support to the extent feasible. One of the objectives of this final directive is to enable larger volunteer organizations and other partners to develop their own sawyer training, evaluation, and certification programs, which should enable more people to use chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS lands. Inclusion of the total estimated hours of training needed for each certification level is necessary to help participants understand the time commitment needed and provide consistency for program implementation. Comment: A respondent suggested removing the requirement for first aid and CPR certification for crosscut sawyer trainees. Several respondents objected to the restriction to double bucking for crosscut sawyer trainees and requested that single bucking under the supervision of another qualified sawyer be allowed for crosscut sawyer trainees. Response: Based upon further review, the Forest Service agrees that it makes sense to waive the requirement for first aid and CPR certification for crosscut sawyer trainees and has removed the requirement from FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, in the final directive. In addition, the Forest Service agrees that single bucking under the supervision of another qualified sawyer should be allowed for crosscut sawyer trainees and has revised FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, in the final directive accordingly. Section 2358.2—Sawyer Training and Field Proficiency Reevaluation Comment: Several commenters were concerned that a 3-year sawyer reevaluation cycle would not be followed by forests or regions. Response: This national saw directive will supersede all previous regional saw policies. The 3-year reevaluation requirement will ensure that sawyers are evaluated consistently throughout the NFS. If a sawyer evaluator is PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46893 concerned about a particular sawyer’s performance, the sawyer evaluator can require a more frequent evaluation of that sawyer, per FSM 2358.21 in the final directive. Comment: Some commenters were concerned that implementation of a national saw directive would adversely affect sawyer training at local levels and would increase saw incidents and injuries. Response: Beginning in the 1970s, the Forest Service’s nine regions developed regional policies related to sawyer training and saw use. Sawyers covered by those policies often maintained trails on national forests and grasslands, helped fight wildfires, and worked in wilderness where crosscut saws are required. Forest Service and other governmental employees, cooperators, training consultants, and volunteers who worked in more than one region had to comply with multiple regional policies, and certifications obtained in one region were not always honored in another. A national saw directive is needed to standardize training, evaluation, certification, and safety procedures for sawyers operating on NFS lands. The final directive will allow the Forest Service to facilitate the safe use of chain saws and crosscut saws while optimizing the critical skills and cooperative opportunities for trail maintenance and other projects on NFS lands. Section 2358.3—Exhibits 03 and 04, Sawyer Training and Field Evaluation for Chain Saws and Crosscut Saws Comment: Some commenters expressed concerns about the design of the sawyer training and field evaluation forms and confusion over how to use them. Response: These forms will be used to document sawyer training and field evaluation and are designed to capture the sawyer’s performance while undertaking any sawing task. If sawyers only intend to brush, limb, and buck, then only these sections of the form should be completed during the evaluation. The felling section should not be completed if the sawyer will not be felling. Section 2358.3—Exhibit 05, National Sawyer Certification Card Comment: Commenters were unclear regarding the notations that will be made on the National Sawyer Certification Card. Response: This credential will be issued through the National Sawyer Database. The sawyer’s name and address will be the only information that can be entered on the card. The E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 46894 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 138 / Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / Notices type of sawyer and certification level will be selected from drop-down boxes or buttons. The card format is under development, but will be designed to fit in a wallet. 4. Regulatory Certifications Environmental Impact This final directive revises the administrative policies and procedures for using crosscut saws and chain saws on NFS lands. Agency regulations at 36 CFR 220.6(d)(2) exclude from documentation in an environmental assessment or impact statement ‘‘rules, regulations, or policies to establish Service-wide administrative procedures, program processes, or instructions.’’ The Agency has concluded that this final directive falls within this category of actions and that no extraordinary circumstances exist which would require preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Regulatory Impact Per Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that the final directive is not significant. This final directive, which establishes the Forest Service’s National Saw Program, will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy, nor will it adversely affect productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health and safety, or State or local governments. This final directive will not interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency, nor will it raise new legal or policy issues. The final directive also will not alter the budgetary impact of entitlement, grant, user fee, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of beneficiaries of those programs. E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The E.O. directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. The Agency has developed the final directive consistent with these requirements. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:39 Jul 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 Regulatory Flexibility Act and E.O. 13272 The Agency has considered this final directive in light of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), and E.O. 13272 regarding consideration of small entities. The Agency certifies that the final directive will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under these authorities. The final directive will not impose recordkeeping requirements on small entities; it will not affect their competitive position in relation to large entities; and it will not affect their cash flow, liquidity, or ability to remain in the market. The final directive focuses on NFS saw program activities and will impose no requirements on small or large entities. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531–1538), the Agency has assessed the effects of this final directive on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. The final directive will not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by any State, local, or Tribal government or anyone in the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the act is not required. No Takings Implications (E.O. 12630) The Agency has analyzed the final directive in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in E.O. 12630. The Agency has determined that the final directive will not pose the risk of a taking of private property. A takings implication assessment is therefore not required. Federalism (E.O. 13132) The Agency has considered this final directive under the requirements of E.O. 13132 and has determined that the final directive conforms with the federalism principles set out in this E.O.; will not impose any compliance costs on the States; and will not have substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the Agency has determined that no further assessment of federalism implications is necessary. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988) The final directive has been reviewed under E.O. 12988, entitled ‘‘Civil Justice Reform.’’ Upon adoption of the final directive, (1) all State and local laws PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and regulations that conflict with the final directive or that impede its full implementation will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to the final directive; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file suit in court to challenge its provisions. Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175) In accordance with E.O. 13175, entitled ‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments’’; USDA Departmental Regulation 1350– 02 (Tribal Consultation, Coordination and Collaboration); and Forest Service Handbook 1509.13, Chapter 10 (Consultation with Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations), the Agency conducted outreach to Tribes to determine their interest in consulting on the proposed directive during the public comment period. The opportunity for tribal consultation was available for 90 additional days after the close of the public comment period, giving Tribes 150 days to review the proposed directive and request consultation. No interest in consultation was expressed by Tribes or tribal organizations during the outreach period. Opportunities to engage Tribes regarding implementation of the final directive will be explored, including information-sharing via Web sites and notices to major tribal organizations with an interest in the use of chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS lands. Tribes interested in requesting information about the final directive may contact Jonathan Stephens by email at jstephens02@fs.fed.us or by telephone at (202) 205–1701. In addition, Forest Service regional offices have information on the final directive to guide information-sharing with Tribes in their regions. Paperwork Reduction Act The final directive does not contain any recordkeeping or reporting requirements or other information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not already approved for use. Accordingly, the review provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211) The Agency has reviewed the final directive under E.O. 13211 and has determined that the final directive is not a significant energy action as defined in the E.O. Therefore, a statement of energy effects is not required. E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 46895 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 138 / Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / Notices Dated: July 6, 2016. Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service. [FR Doc. 2016–16977 Filed 7–18–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Designation for the West Sacramento, CA; and Richmond, VA Areas Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: GIPSA is announcing the designation of California Agri Inspection Co., Ltd. (California Agri); and Virginia Department of Agriculture SUMMARY: and Consumer Services (Virginia) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended. DATES: Effective Date: January 1, 2016. ADDRESSES: Sharon Lathrop, Compliance Officer, USDA, GIPSA, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Lathrop, 816–891–0415, Sharon.L.Lathrop@usda.gov or FGIS.QACD@usda.gov. Read Applications: All applications and comments are available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the July 1, 2015, Federal Register (80 FR 37580), GIPSA requested applications for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas presently serviced by California Agri and Virginia. Applications were due by July 31, 2015. The current official agencies, California Agri and Virginia, were the only applicants for designation to provide official services in these areas. As a result, GIPSA did not ask for additional comments. GIPSA evaluated the designation criteria in section 79(f) of the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 79(f)) and determined that California Agri and Virginia are qualified to provide official services in the geographic areas specified in the Federal Register on July 1, 2015. This designation to provide official services in the specified areas of California and Virginia is effective January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018. Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting these agencies at the following telephone numbers: Designation start Official agency Headquarters location and telephone California Agri .................................. Virginia ............................................. West Sacramento, CA 916–374–9700 ................................................... Richmond, VA 804–786–3501 ................................................................ Section 79(f) of the USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79 (f)). Larry Mitchell, Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. [FR Doc. 2016–16982 Filed 7–18–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–KD–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2017 Puerto Rico Census Test U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before September 19, 2016. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:39 Jul 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at jjessup@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Robin A. Pennington, Census Bureau, HQ–2K281N, Washington, DC 20233; (301) 763–8132 (or via email at robin.a.pennington@ census.gov). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. Abstract The Census Bureau will conduct a 2017 Puerto Rico Census Test, with components designed to test new approaches or validate existing approaches and systems integration related to (1) Address Canvassing, including In-Office and In-Field components; (2) Optimizing SelfResponse, including contact strategies, language support, and questionnaire content; (3) Update Enumerate, including technical and operational testing; and (4) Nonresponse Followup, including technological and operational improvements. The Address Canvassing component of the 2017 Puerto Rico Census Test is included in the Address Canvassing Testing package because the background, description, and systems to PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1/1/2016 1/1/2016 Designation end 12/31/2018 12/31/2018 be used are the same in both the stateside and Puerto Rico operations. Optimizing Self-Response, one of four key innovation areas for the 2020 Census, is focused on improving our methods for increasing the number of people who take advantage of selfresponse options and refining the questionnaire content to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of census operations, and at the same time reducing costs. Another key innovation area for the 2020 Census is Reengineering Field Operations. Making our methods for enumerating the households that do not initially respond more efficient can contribute to a less costly census while maintaining high-quality results. Our redesigned methods need to be tested in Puerto Rico because of a number of differences from stateside operations. A test in Puerto Rico includes a review of other innovations that are unique to this U.S. territory. Because of the unique structure of addresses in Puerto Rico, newly defined algorithms were necessary to update and maintain the address frame. These algorithms make it now possible to refresh the address frame with U.S. Postal Service data. Another innovation is the introduction of the self-response methodology that in the past has been the standard methodology used in urban and suburban areas of the States. In the 2000 and 2010 censuses, data collection throughout Puerto Rico used only the E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 138 (Tuesday, July 19, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46890-46895]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-16977]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

[0596-AD16]


Final Directive for National Saw Program

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of final directive.

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

SUMMARY: The Forest Service is publishing a final directive revising 
Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2350 to establish training, evaluation, and 
certification requirements for the use of chain saws and crosscut saws 
on National Forest System (NFS) lands. In addition, the Agency is 
revising Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.11, section 22.48 (Safety 
Handbook), to remove duplicate text. The final directive applies to the 
use of chain saws and crosscut saws by Forest Service and other 
governmental employees, volunteers, training consultants, and 
cooperators on NFS lands.

DATES: The final directive is effective July 19, 2016.

ADDRESSES: The record for this final directive is available for 
inspection and copying at the office of the Director, Recreation, 
Heritage, and Volunteer Resources Staff, USDA, Forest Service, 5th 
Floor, Sidney R. Yates Federal Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC, during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. Those wishing to inspect these 
documents are encouraged to call ahead at (202) 205-1227 to facilitate 
access to the building.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Stephens, National Trails 
Program Manager, (202) 205-1701 or jstephens02@fs.fed.us. Individuals 
who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the 
Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. 
and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

1. Background and Need for the Final Directive

    Beginning in the 1970s, the Forest Service's nine regions developed 
regional policies related to sawyer training and saw use. Sawyers 
covered by those policies often maintained trails on national forests 
and grasslands, helped fight wildfires, and worked in wilderness where 
crosscut saws are required. Forest Service and other governmental 
employees, cooperators, training consultants, and volunteers who worked 
in more than one region had to comply with multiple regional policies, 
and certifications obtained in one region were not always honored in 
another.
    A national saw directive is needed to standardize training, 
evaluation, certification, and safety procedures for sawyers operating 
on NFS lands. The final directive will allow the Forest Service to 
facilitate the safe use of chain saws and crosscut saws while 
optimizing the critical skills and cooperative opportunities for trail 
maintenance and other projects on NFS lands. The final directive will 
be codified in Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2358 and will supersede 
duplicative text in the Health and Safety Code Handbook, Forest Service 
Handbook (FSH) 6709.11, chapter 20, and all Forest Service Regional 
Supplements to that Handbook.

2. Overview of the Final Directive

    The following provides an overview of the final directive for the 
Forest Service's National Saw Program.
    Training, Evaluation, and Certification. Under the final directive, 
the Forest Service will allow the use of chain saws and crosscut saws 
on NFS lands by Agency and other governmental employees, volunteers, 
training consultants, and cooperators upon the successful completion of 
sawyer training and field evaluation, the prerequisites to obtain a 
National Sawyer Certification Card, and any other specified 
qualifications to perform assigned saw work safely, including current 
training on first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Sawyers 
will receive one or more of six skill level certifications upon 
successful completion of required sawyer training and a field 
proficiency evaluation. The issuance of a National Sawyer Certification 
Card documents the sawyer's skill level certification and qualifies the 
sawyer to work on NFS lands within the qualifications indicated on the 
card. A Crosscut Sawyer Trainee may occasionally use a crosscut saw, 
but for bucking only (bucking is sawing logs and limbs into shorter 
lengths) and only under the immediate supervision of a certified higher 
qualified sawyer.
    Forest Service Cooperators. Forest Service agreements with 
cooperators (other than those working under interagency fire management 
cooperative agreements) will include a clause requiring cooperators' 
employees, participants, and volunteers who will use chain saws or 
crosscut saws on NFS lands under their agreement to be trained, 
evaluated, and certified in accordance with this final directive. The 
clause will also provide that cooperators will be responsible for 
providing the training, evaluation, and certification, unless the 
Forest Service and the cooperator determine it is not in the best 
interest of the partnership. In these circumstances, the Forest 
Service, upon request and based on availability of Agency funding and 
personnel, may assist with developing and conducting the training, 
evaluation, and certification. Cooperators may take Nationally 
Recognized Sawyer Training Courses (NRSTCs) offered by the Forest 
Service or may train, evaluate, and certify their volunteers, 
participants, and employees through NRSTCs offered by Forest Service-
recommended cooperator sawyer evaluators and sawyer instructors. This 
clause will be included in new cooperator agreements involving the use 
of chain saws or crosscut saws upon publication of the final directive. 
The clause will be included in existing cooperator agreements involving 
the use of chain saws or crosscut saws when modifications to the 
agreements are necessary, e.g., for additional funding or extensions. 
Cooperators will not have to comply with the clause for 1 year 
following publication of the final directive to give them time to meet 
the new requirements.
    Scope of Certification. Sawyers will be precluded from performing 
saw activities outside the limits of their certification or 
qualifications, except during formal evaluation proceedings or under 
the immediate supervision of a higher qualified sawyer.
    No Guarantee of Certification. Completion of classroom, field 
proficiency, and evaluation requirements does not guarantee a 
certification.
    Minimum Eligible Sawyer Age. Sawyers must comply with United States 
Department of Labor minimum age requirements. Those standards, as 
applied to sawyers performing trail maintenance, require that sawyers 
using chain saws be at least 18 years of age and that crosscut sawyers 
be at least 16 years of age.
    National Sawyer Database. The Forest Service is developing a web-
based database to track Forest Service sawyer certifications 
nationwide. The name of the sawyer, contact information, and

[[Page 46891]]

certification level will be entered into the database and will be 
accessible by authorized Forest Service employees, training 
consultants, volunteers, and cooperators. The system will allow the 
Forest Service and cooperators to verify that employees, volunteers, 
training consultants, and cooperators intending to operate chain saws 
and crosscut saws on NFS lands have met the requirements of the final 
directive to achieve their specific sawyer certification skill level. 
The database will provide a centralized record of sawyers and their 
qualifications, thereby facilitating consistent and efficient 
management of the Forest Service's National Saw Program.
    Information Collection Requirements. The Forest Service has 
developed two forms for evaluating sawyers, one for chain saw sawyers 
and one for crosscut saw sawyers. In accordance with 5 CFR 
1320.3(h)(1), these forms do not entail an information collection. They 
merely require sawyers who are being evaluated to affirm that they have 
completed and will maintain first aid and CPR training, and to indicate 
whether they give the Forest Service permission to share their sawyer 
qualifications and add their email address to a mailing list shared 
with other Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations so that they 
can be contacted about saw project opportunities in their area. 
Furthermore, in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(7), the evaluation 
forms do not entail an information collection to the extent they 
document examinations designed to test the aptitude, abilities, or 
knowledge of the persons tested and involve the collection of 
information for identification or classification in connection with 
those examinations. The National Sawyer Certification Card does not 
entail an information collection, as it is completed by the Forest 
Service without any additional information from the public beyond what 
is collected on the sawyer evaluation forms.

3. Response to Comments on the Proposed Directive

    On June 17, 2015, the Forest Service published notice of a proposed 
directive in the Federal Register (80 FR 34610) establishing guidance 
for the Forest Service's National Saw Program (RIN 0596-AC82). Comments 
were solicited for 60 days, and the comment period ended on August 17, 
2015. The Agency received 59 letters or emails commenting on the 
proposed directive from the following: Trail partner organizations 
(11); equestrian groups (5); motorized trail organizations (5); Youth 
Conservation Corps (5); environmental groups (2); State agency (1); and 
individuals (30). The Agency conducted outreach to tribal interests. 
The Agency did not receive any comments from tribal interests.

General Comments

    Comment: Three respondents expressed opposition to establishment of 
a national Forest Service saw program.
    Response: Beginning in the 1970s, the Forest Service's nine regions 
developed regional policies related to sawyer training and saw use. 
Sawyers covered by those policies often maintained trails on national 
forests and grasslands, helped fight wildfires, and worked in 
wilderness where crosscut saws are required. Forest Service and other 
governmental employees, cooperators, training consultants, and 
volunteers who worked in more than one region had to comply with 
multiple regional policies, and certifications obtained in one region 
were not always honored in another. A national saw directive is needed 
to standardize training, evaluation, certification, and safety 
procedures for sawyers operating on NFS lands. The final directive will 
allow the Forest Service to facilitate the safe use of chain saws and 
crosscut saws while optimizing the critical skills and cooperative 
opportunities for trail maintenance and other projects on NFS lands.
    Comment: Coordination among Federal land managers was a concern for 
several commenters.
    Response: The Forest Service is one of the few federal land 
managers to require training, evaluation, and certification of sawyers. 
Most commenters who addressed interagency coordination were concerned 
about forthcoming National Park Service policy on use of saws and how 
that policy and the proposed directive would affect maintenance of 
national trails traversing lands under the jurisdiction of the National 
Park Service and the Forest Service. Both Federal agencies are aware of 
this concern, and interagency coordination is ongoing. The Forest 
Service will continue working with other Federal land management 
agencies to maximize consistency in use of chain saws and crosscut saws 
on Federal lands.

FSM 2300, Chapter 2350--Trail, River, and Similar Recreation 
Opportunities

    Comment: Several organizations have requested that this final 
directive be issued under FSM 6700, Safety and Health Program.
    Response: In November 2008, then Forest Service Chief Abigail 
Kimball realigned several activities from the Office of Safety and 
Occupational Health (OSOH) to other program areas. Each of these 
activities involves program areas other than safety and occupational 
health. The realigned activities and associated program areas include:

 Explosives and Blasting Materials-Engineering
 Use of Chain Saws and Crosscut Saws-Recreation, Heritage, and 
Volunteer Resources
 Scientific Diving-Research and Development
 Tree Climbing-Forest Management

    The final directive will be incorporated into FSM 2358. FSM 2358 
will contain cross-references to FSM 6700, where appropriate. The 
National Saw Program Manager will work with Safety and Occupational 
Health staff as well as other Agency staff to administer the final 
directive effectively in the context of other Agency programs.

Section 2358.02--Objective

    Comment: Some cooperators expressed concerned that the proposed 
directive did not place enough emphasis on supporting the development 
of volunteer sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators.
    Response: In the final directive, the Agency revised the objective 
section, FSM 2358.02, to support ``the development of stand-alone 
cooperator and volunteer training and certification programs for sawyer 
instructors and sawyer evaluators.''

Section 2358.03--Policy

    Comment: One respondent requested clarification regarding 
applicability of the proposed directive to Job Corps Center employees 
and students.
    Response: All Job Corps Centers run by the Forest Service (known as 
Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers) are subject to Forest Service 
directives, including the final directive. Other Job Corps Centers are 
considered cooperators with the Forest Service and will be required to 
follow this final directive when using chain saws or crosscut saws on 
NFS lands under an agreement with the Forest Service. Students at both 
Forest Service-run and non-Forest Service-run Job Corps Centers using 
chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands would be considered Public 
Lands Corps (PLC) participants per the PLC Act of 1993, 16 U.S.C. 1721 
et seq., and would be required to follow this directive. The 
responsible official for implementing the final directive at Job Corps 
Centers is the Job Corps Center Director. The responsible official

[[Page 46892]]

for implementing the final directive in a Forest Service administrative 
unit would be the forest or grassland supervisor for that unit.
    Comment: Several cooperators expressed concern about how their 
existing agreements with the Forest Service and sawyer training 
programs would be affected by the proposed directive. Cooperators were 
also concerned about having six categories of certification and asked 
whether they would have to have these categories if they already had 
other certification standards in place.
    Response: Forest Service agreements with cooperators (other than 
those working under interagency fire management cooperative agreements) 
will include a clause requiring cooperators' employees, participants, 
and volunteers who will use chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands 
under their agreement to be trained, evaluated, and certified in 
accordance with this final directive. The clause will also provide that 
cooperators will be responsible for providing the training, evaluation, 
and certification, unless the Forest Service and the cooperator 
determine it is not in the best interest of the partnership. In these 
circumstances, the Forest Service, upon request and based on 
availability of Agency funding and personnel, may assist with 
developing and conducting the training, evaluation, and certification. 
Cooperators may take NRSTCs offered by the Forest Service or may train, 
evaluate, and certify their volunteers, participants, and employees 
through NRSTCs offered by Forest Service-recommended cooperator sawyer 
evaluators and sawyer instructors. This clause will be included in new 
cooperator agreements involving the use of chain saws or crosscut saws 
upon publication of the final directive. The clause will be included in 
existing cooperator agreements involving the use of chain saws or 
crosscut saws when modifications to the agreements are necessary, e.g., 
for additional funding or extensions. Cooperators will not have to 
comply with the clause for 1 year following publication of the final 
directive to give them time to meet the new requirements.
    The Forest Service will review cooperators' existing and new sawyer 
training, evaluation, and certification programs to determine if they 
comply with the final directive. The process for review is enumerated 
in the Forest Service Saw Operations Guide (FSSOG), which will be 
issued at the same time as the final directive and which will be 
available at http://www.fs.fed.us/about-agency/regulations-policies/saw-policy. Requests to review existing training, evaluation, and 
certification programs will receive priority over requests to review 
new programs.
    Comment: Several respondents recommended that the Agency decrease 
the minimum age for crosscut sawyers from 16 years of age to 14 years 
of age.
    Response: The Agency recognizes the opportunity to foster a new 
generation of trail stewards, and crosscut saw use is essential to 
trail maintenance. Sawyers must comply with United States Department of 
Labor minimum age requirements. Those standards, as applied to sawyers 
performing trail maintenance, require that sawyers using chain saws be 
at least 18 years of age and that crosscut sawyers be at least 16 years 
of age.

Section 2358.04--Responsibility

    Comment: Several commenters requested that cooperators be 
considered federal contractors apparently so that they could be exempt 
from the requirements of the proposed directive.
    Response: Like Forest Service and other governmental employees, 
cooperators, volunteers, and training consultants, Forest Service 
contractors are subject to applicable Federal Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration requirements governing the use of saws. However, 
Forest Service contractors are not subject to the national saw 
directive because the Agency does not believe it is necessary or 
appropriate to track their training and certification as sawyers given 
their role and responsibilities as Federal contractors. Forest Service 
cooperators and volunteers have different roles and responsibilities 
from Federal contractors and are not considered Federal contractors.

Section 2358.04b--National Saw Program Manager

    Comment: Several commenters were concerned about whether the 
National Saw Program Manager's position would be retained by the Forest 
Service.
    Response: The Forest Service is committed to supporting this 
position, which is critical to the success of National Saw Program. One 
of the National Saw Program Manager's most important initial 
responsibilities will be assisting Forest Service administrative units, 
volunteers, and cooperators with consistent and effective 
implementation of the final directive.

FSM 2358.04c--Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

    Comment: Several organizations expressed interest in being a member 
of the TAG.
    Response: The TAG consists of the National Saw Program Manager, 
Regional Saw Program Managers, a representative from the Forest Service 
Technology and Development Centers, and other Federal agency saw and 
safety-related subject matter experts. The purpose of the TAG is to 
develop, coordinate, and provide advice and guidance to the National 
Saw Program Manager in connection with training, skills, and safety for 
all aspects of chain saw and crosscut saw operations on NFS lands. 
Individuals and individual partner organizations may meet with the TAG 
to provide input on sawyer training, skills, and safety.

Section 2358.1--Exhibit 02, Sawyer Responsibilities and Limitations and 
Training, Knowledge, and Skill Requirements

    Comment: Several respondents expressed concern about limiting 
sawyers to bucking only (sawing logs and limbs into shorter lengths). 
Some respondents believed that C Sawyers--Bucking Only should be able 
to certify other sawyers.
    Response: C Sawyers--Bucking Only may conduct formal instruction 
within their skill level for A and B Sawyers. C Sawyers--Bucking Only 
may also conduct field proficiency evaluations within their skill level 
for A Sawyers and B Sawyers--Bucking Only. See FSM 2358.1, ex. 02, B 
Sawyers--Bucking Only, Responsibilities and Limitations.
    Comment: Several respondents expressed concern about the need for 
two C Sawyer Evaluators to determine proficiency of C Sawyers--Bucking 
Only and identified an inconsistency in the number of C Sawyer 
Evaluators necessary for certification of C Sawyers--Bucking Only 
between FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, and FSM 2358.1, exhibit 06.
    Response: In the final directive, only one C Sawyer Evaluator is 
necessary for certification of C Sawyers--Bucking Only, and both FSM 
2358.1, exhibit 02, and FSM 2358.3, exhibit 06, so provide.
    Comment: Several commenters expressed concerned about eliminating 
diameter at breast height (DBH) limitations and the subjectivity 
involved in assessing the complexity of sawing tasks in sawyer 
evaluations.
    Response: Based on input from experienced Forest Service sawyers, 
the Agency has determined that DBH

[[Page 46893]]

restrictions are not an adequate way to judge how much risk sawyers 
will encounter. Moreover, the Agency does not agree that larger trees 
are more risky or complex. Many recent accidents involving sawyers 
striking others or being struck themselves have occurred with smaller-
diameter trees. At this time, the Forest Service believes it has 
addressed the complexity of sawing tasks as precisely as possible and 
will rely on its most qualified staff to refine the many elements of 
complexity through implementation of the National Saw Program. The 
Agency is considering establishing indicators for levels of complexity, 
but field-testing of this approach is required to determine its 
efficacy. Definitions of terms associated with complexity of sawing 
tasks will be provided through FSSOG updates.
    Comment: Some commenters were concerned that the reevaluation 
standards for sawyer instructors and sawyer evaluators were either 
ambiguous or too subjective.
    Response: Reevaluation standards for sawyer instructors and sawyer 
evaluators are enumerated in FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02. The final 
directive includes additional requirements for sawyer instructors and 
sawyer evaluators in FSM 2358.21, paragraphs 3 and 4.

Section 2358.04l--Sawyer Evaluators

    Comment: Many cooperators were concerned about access to the 
National Sawyer Database.
    Response: The Forest Service recognizes that direct access to this 
database by cooperators is paramount to the success of the National Saw 
Program. Therefore, implementation of the database will be delayed 
until that access can be secured. The Forest Service is developing a 
web-based database to track Forest Service sawyer certifications 
nationwide. The database will provide a centralized record of sawyers 
and their qualifications, thereby facilitating consistent and efficient 
management of the National Saw Program. The name of the sawyer, contact 
information, and certification level will be entered into the database 
and will be accessible by authorized Forest Service and cooperator 
employees. The system will allow the Forest Service and cooperators to 
verify that employees, volunteers, training consultants, and 
cooperators intending to operate chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS 
lands have met the requirements of the final directive to achieve the 
requisite certification level.

Section 2358.05--Definitions

    Comment: Several respondents were unsure of the difference between 
the terms ``brush'' and ``tree.''
    Response: The final directive includes definitions that iterate the 
difference between these terms.

Section 2358.1--Training, Knowledge, and Skill Requirements

    Comment: Several respondents commented about training, including 
access to training for volunteers and the elimination of total 
estimated hours of training needed for each certification level in FSM 
2358.1, exhibit 02.
    Response: The Forest Service recognizes the benefit of volunteers 
and will provide training support to the extent feasible. One of the 
objectives of this final directive is to enable larger volunteer 
organizations and other partners to develop their own sawyer training, 
evaluation, and certification programs, which should enable more people 
to use chain saws and crosscut saws on NFS lands. Inclusion of the 
total estimated hours of training needed for each certification level 
is necessary to help participants understand the time commitment needed 
and provide consistency for program implementation.
    Comment: A respondent suggested removing the requirement for first 
aid and CPR certification for crosscut sawyer trainees. Several 
respondents objected to the restriction to double bucking for crosscut 
sawyer trainees and requested that single bucking under the supervision 
of another qualified sawyer be allowed for crosscut sawyer trainees.
    Response: Based upon further review, the Forest Service agrees that 
it makes sense to waive the requirement for first aid and CPR 
certification for crosscut sawyer trainees and has removed the 
requirement from FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, in the final directive. In 
addition, the Forest Service agrees that single bucking under the 
supervision of another qualified sawyer should be allowed for crosscut 
sawyer trainees and has revised FSM 2358.1, exhibit 02, in the final 
directive accordingly.

Section 2358.2--Sawyer Training and Field Proficiency Reevaluation

    Comment: Several commenters were concerned that a 3-year sawyer 
reevaluation cycle would not be followed by forests or regions.
    Response: This national saw directive will supersede all previous 
regional saw policies. The 3-year reevaluation requirement will ensure 
that sawyers are evaluated consistently throughout the NFS. If a sawyer 
evaluator is concerned about a particular sawyer's performance, the 
sawyer evaluator can require a more frequent evaluation of that sawyer, 
per FSM 2358.21 in the final directive.
    Comment: Some commenters were concerned that implementation of a 
national saw directive would adversely affect sawyer training at local 
levels and would increase saw incidents and injuries.
    Response: Beginning in the 1970s, the Forest Service's nine regions 
developed regional policies related to sawyer training and saw use. 
Sawyers covered by those policies often maintained trails on national 
forests and grasslands, helped fight wildfires, and worked in 
wilderness where crosscut saws are required. Forest Service and other 
governmental employees, cooperators, training consultants, and 
volunteers who worked in more than one region had to comply with 
multiple regional policies, and certifications obtained in one region 
were not always honored in another. A national saw directive is needed 
to standardize training, evaluation, certification, and safety 
procedures for sawyers operating on NFS lands. The final directive will 
allow the Forest Service to facilitate the safe use of chain saws and 
crosscut saws while optimizing the critical skills and cooperative 
opportunities for trail maintenance and other projects on NFS lands.

Section 2358.3--Exhibits 03 and 04, Sawyer Training and Field 
Evaluation for Chain Saws and Crosscut Saws

    Comment: Some commenters expressed concerns about the design of the 
sawyer training and field evaluation forms and confusion over how to 
use them.
    Response: These forms will be used to document sawyer training and 
field evaluation and are designed to capture the sawyer's performance 
while undertaking any sawing task. If sawyers only intend to brush, 
limb, and buck, then only these sections of the form should be 
completed during the evaluation. The felling section should not be 
completed if the sawyer will not be felling.

Section 2358.3--Exhibit 05, National Sawyer Certification Card

    Comment: Commenters were unclear regarding the notations that will 
be made on the National Sawyer Certification Card.
    Response: This credential will be issued through the National 
Sawyer Database. The sawyer's name and address will be the only 
information that can be entered on the card. The

[[Page 46894]]

type of sawyer and certification level will be selected from drop-down 
boxes or buttons. The card format is under development, but will be 
designed to fit in a wallet.

4. Regulatory Certifications

Environmental Impact

    This final directive revises the administrative policies and 
procedures for using crosscut saws and chain saws on NFS lands. Agency 
regulations at 36 CFR 220.6(d)(2) exclude from documentation in an 
environmental assessment or impact statement ``rules, regulations, or 
policies to establish Service-wide administrative procedures, program 
processes, or instructions.'' The Agency has concluded that this final 
directive falls within this category of actions and that no 
extraordinary circumstances exist which would require preparation of an 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

Regulatory Impact

    Per Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) has determined that the final directive is not 
significant. This final directive, which establishes the Forest 
Service's National Saw Program, will not have an annual effect of $100 
million or more on the economy, nor will it adversely affect 
productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health and 
safety, or State or local governments. This final directive will not 
interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency, nor will 
it raise new legal or policy issues. The final directive also will not 
alter the budgetary impact of entitlement, grant, user fee, or loan 
programs or the rights and obligations of beneficiaries of those 
programs.
    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for 
improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The E.O. directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce 
burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public 
where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with 
regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations 
must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking 
process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of 
ideas. The Agency has developed the final directive consistent with 
these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act and E.O. 13272

    The Agency has considered this final directive in light of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), and E.O. 13272 
regarding consideration of small entities. The Agency certifies that 
the final directive will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under these authorities. The final 
directive will not impose record-keeping requirements on small 
entities; it will not affect their competitive position in relation to 
large entities; and it will not affect their cash flow, liquidity, or 
ability to remain in the market. The final directive focuses on NFS saw 
program activities and will impose no requirements on small or large 
entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 
U.S.C. 1531-1538), the Agency has assessed the effects of this final 
directive on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private 
sector. The final directive will not compel the expenditure of $100 
million or more by any State, local, or Tribal government or anyone in 
the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the act 
is not required.

No Takings Implications (E.O. 12630)

    The Agency has analyzed the final directive in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in E.O. 12630. The Agency has 
determined that the final directive will not pose the risk of a taking 
of private property. A takings implication assessment is therefore not 
required.

Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    The Agency has considered this final directive under the 
requirements of E.O. 13132 and has determined that the final directive 
conforms with the federalism principles set out in this E.O.; will not 
impose any compliance costs on the States; and will not have 
substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the 
Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the 
Agency has determined that no further assessment of federalism 
implications is necessary.

Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    The final directive has been reviewed under E.O. 12988, entitled 
``Civil Justice Reform.'' Upon adoption of the final directive, (1) all 
State and local laws and regulations that conflict with the final 
directive or that impede its full implementation will be preempted; (2) 
no retroactive effect will be given to the final directive; and (3) 
administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file 
suit in court to challenge its provisions.

Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 
13175)

    In accordance with E.O. 13175, entitled ``Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments''; USDA Departmental 
Regulation 1350-02 (Tribal Consultation, Coordination and 
Collaboration); and Forest Service Handbook 1509.13, Chapter 10 
(Consultation with Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations), the 
Agency conducted outreach to Tribes to determine their interest in 
consulting on the proposed directive during the public comment period. 
The opportunity for tribal consultation was available for 90 additional 
days after the close of the public comment period, giving Tribes 150 
days to review the proposed directive and request consultation. No 
interest in consultation was expressed by Tribes or tribal 
organizations during the outreach period. Opportunities to engage 
Tribes regarding implementation of the final directive will be 
explored, including information-sharing via Web sites and notices to 
major tribal organizations with an interest in the use of chain saws 
and crosscut saws on NFS lands. Tribes interested in requesting 
information about the final directive may contact Jonathan Stephens by 
email at jstephens02@fs.fed.us or by telephone at (202) 205-1701. In 
addition, Forest Service regional offices have information on the final 
directive to guide information-sharing with Tribes in their regions.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The final directive does not contain any recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements or other information collection requirements as defined in 
5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not already 
approved for use. Accordingly, the review provisions of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply.

Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    The Agency has reviewed the final directive under E.O. 13211 and 
has determined that the final directive is not a significant energy 
action as defined in the E.O. Therefore, a statement of energy effects 
is not required.


[[Page 46895]]


    Dated: July 6, 2016.
Thomas L. Tidwell,
Chief, U.S. Forest Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-16977 Filed 7-18-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3411-15-P