Willamette National Forest, Sweet Home Ranger District; Oregon; Trout Creek Project, 7793-7794 [2017-01343]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 13 / Monday, January 23, 2017 / Notices listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service Supervisor’s Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. Lisa Kamnikar, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 334–241–8114 or via email at lkamnikar@fs.fed.us; or Tammy Freeman Brown, Designated Federal Officer, by phone 334–241–8144 or via email at tfreemanbrown@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The purpose of the meeting is to: 1. Introduce new RAC Members, 2. Discuss purpose of RAC, operating guidelines and responsiblities; 3. Elect a RAC Chairperson, and 4. Discuss potential projects and processes. The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by close-of business, February 17, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Lisa Kamnikar, Alabama RAC Coordinator, 2946 Chestnut Street Montgomery, Alabama 36107; by email to lkamnikar@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 334–241–8111. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, pleases contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:02 Jan 19, 2017 Jkt 241001 Dated: January 13, 2017. Tammy Freeman Brown, Designated Federal Officer. [FR Doc. 2017–01347 Filed 1–19–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Willamette National Forest, Sweet Home Ranger District; Oregon; Trout Creek Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. ACTION: The Trout Creek Project is proposed to encourage stand health, vigor, species diversity and structural complexity in the Matrix, Adaptive Management Area (AMA), and Riparian Reserves; contribute a variety of sustainable forest products to local markets; increase spatial heterogeneity, including complex early seral habitat, at a landscape scale by mimicking mixed severity fire; improve fire resiliency and strategically manage hazardous fuels in high risk areas that could adversely affect the integrity of adjacent privately owned lands, Late Successional Reserves (LSR), Matrix, AMA, and Riparian Reserve lands and to enhance hardwood habitat and diversity. Proposed activities to achieve the purpose of the project inculde forest management treatments across approximately 1,670 acres (about 4.5% of the analyzed landscape). Treatments include approximately 733 acres of variable forest thinning (including 109 acres of Riparian Reserve thinning) and approximately 101 acres of regeneration harvesting that would include aggregate retention. Additionally, approximately 370 acres of non-commercial treatments are proposed including fall and leave treatments, snag creation, underplanting of native conifers, the planting of special forest products, and the restoration of a 2-acre meadow. Road work would also be part of the actions associated with the proposed activities and would include road maintenance/ reconstruction (48.5 miles), temporary road construction (4 miles), new road construction (less than 1 mile), road decommissioning (7 miles) and the expansion or establishment of 2 new rock pits. SUMMARY: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by February 15, 2017. The draft environmental impact statement is expected July 2017 and the final DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7793 environmental impact statement is expected May 2018. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to 4431 Highway 20, Sweet Home, OR 97386. Comments may also be submitted online at https:// cara.ecosystem-management.org/ Public//CommentInput?Project=46279. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joanie Schmidgall at jschmidgall02@ fs.fed.us or at 541–367–3809 Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action The Trout Creek project is approximately 37,344 acres in size and located approximately 20 miles east of the town of Sweet Home, Oregon. The project encompasses an area both to the north and south of Highway 20. The purposes of the project are to encourage stand health, vigor, species diversity and structural complexity in the Matrix, Adaptive Management Area (AMA), and Riparian Reserves; contribute a variety of sustainable forest products to local markets; increase spatial heterogeneity, including complex early seral habitat, at a landscape scale by mimicking mixed severity fire; improve fire resiliency and strategically manage hazardous fuels in high risk areas that could adversely affect the integrity of adjacent privately owned lands, Late Successional Reserves (LSR), Matrix, AMA, and Riparian Reserve lands; enhance and create hardwood habitat and diversity. The district resource specialists reviewed this landscape and identified it to have the greatest need across the Sweet Home Ranger District for work that would benefit forest health and diversity. Many of the forested stands in the project area are overstocked from a silviculture perspective. There is opportunity to thin, reduce the number of trees and increase the diversity and structure of the remaining forest over time. Additionally, the project area includes a portion of the Menagerie Wilderness and is adjacent to a large swath of private land. This interface of public and private ownership has resulted in neighboring parcels of land with differing management objectives and fuel loads. This project presents an opportunity to reduce the risk of fires spreading across these landscapes through strategically-placed fuel treatments. No management activities are proposed within the wilderness boundary. E:\FR\FM\23JAN1.SGM 23JAN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 7794 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 13 / Monday, January 23, 2017 / Notices Proposed Action We propose to thin approximately 733 acres (about 2% of the project area) and regenerate approximately 101 acres (less than 1% of the project area). Thinning treatments will be prescribed at varying frequencies and incorporate some untreated areas (skips) and create gaps up to 2 acres in size with variable spacing of remaining trees. We would design the regeneration harvest using an aggregate retention prescription to increase forest-age diversity and structural complexity across the project area. There are two categories of stands proposed for treatment: Managed stands that are about 40–60 years old and fire origin stands that range from 100–150 years old. Approximately 576 acres of thinning and 52 acres of regeneration would take place in managed stands and 157 of thinning and 49 acres of regeneration acres in fire origin stands. These actions will provide roughly 12 MMBF of timber products to the local community. Cedar, sugar pine and other minor species would be under planted on about 300 acres across the project area. Additionally, about 38 acres would be planted with desirable conifer bough species for future bough harvest. There would be 109 acres thinned in the Riparian Reserves in the managed stands. The older fire origin stands would see no thinning in the Riparian Reserves. We propose thinning harvests in managed stands within the Riparian Reserves to increase in-stream productivity by increasing hardwood species and light availability. About 8 acres of fall and leave treatments are also proposed to improve hardwood diversity and structure in the Riparian Reserve. This project also aims to increase spatial heterogeneity and complex early seral habitat by mimicking mixed severity fire on a landscape scale. On 309 acres of managed stands a combination of thinning, aggregate retention harvest, gap creation and controlled burn would result in a diverse landscape of green trees and openings. The treatments will vary by unit. In the fire origin stands, 47 acres would be treated to mimic high severity fire using a combination of commercial thinning, underburning and varying levels of tree girdling. An unburned area or low severity fire patch would be simulated by a proposed 65 acres of untreated skips. Hardwood fuel breaks, where conifers are thinned heavily and hardwood species are planted, are proposed on about 35 acres in managed stands and 76 acres of fire origin stands. This will VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:02 Jan 19, 2017 Jkt 241001 help curb the volume of hazardous fuels in these stands, provide a long term option for managing wildfires in the area, and further improve fire resiliency in and adjacent to the project area. A 14 acre managed stand in Late Successional Reserve is also proposed to be treated in this way to help protect an Oregon Department of Transportation facility. Additionally, approximately 370 acres of non-commerical treatments are proposed across the project area. These include the fall and leave treatments, snag creation for oak and madrone restoration, underplanting of native conifers such as sugar pine and cedar, the planting of special forest products, and the restoration of a 2-acre meadow. While not adding commerical value, these actions will restore and maintain hardwood populations, increase forest diversity and structure, and contribute to over all landscape health in the project area. The removal of forest products would include associated road work across the project area. The project would propose approximately 50 miles of road maintenance or reconstruction that would include the installation of approximately 260 culverts (primarily replacements). There would be less than 1 mile of new road construction. Construction or reconstruction of temporary road access would be approxiately 4 miles. These temporary roads would be decommissioned and returned to their original condition at the conclusion of project activities. Also proposed would be to decommission and hydrologically stabilize approximately 7 miles of road. The impacted roads for decommissioning would be existing Forest Sevice roads 2000–011, 2000–600, 632, 636, 641, and 643, 2000–308, 2000–017, 2032–419, and 2027–830. Most of these roads or sections of road are currently inaccessible to vehicle traffic. A rock pit would be developed near the 2027–825 road junction and an existing rock pit would be expanded at the end of the 2027–730 road. Responsible Official Nikki Swanson, Sweet Home District Ranger Nature of Decision To Be Made Given the purpose and need, the scope of the decision to be made by the responsible official will be as follows: • Do the proposed actions comply with all applicable laws governing Forest Service actions? • Do the proposed actions comply with the applicable Standards and Guidelines found in the Willamette PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Land and Resource Management plan (LRMP)? Æ If not, will the action ammend the LRMP? • Does the environmental impact statement have suffcient site-specific environmental analysis to make an informed decesion? • Do the proposed actions meet the purpose and need for action? With these assurances, the responsible official must decide: • Whether or not to select the proposed action or one of any other potential alternatives that may be developed, and what, if any, additional actions should be required. Scoping Process This Notice of Intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. We are interested in your comments on the following questions: • Are there alternative ways to meet the purpose and need of the project other than the proposed action we offer, which you would like the Forest Service to consider and analyze? • Is there any information about the project area, which you believe is important in the context of the proposed activities that you would like the Forest Service to consider? • What specifically are the potential effects of this proposed action that you are particularly concerned about? For example: Rather that simply stating that you would like a change in a proposed activity or that you would like an activity to not occur, it is more helpful to understand why you desire this. What are your underlying concerns with an activity or action; what are the effects from the activity that concern you? 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 also be accepted and considered. Dated: January 12, 2017. Nikki Swanson, District Ranger. [FR Doc. 2017–01343 Filed 1–19–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–P E:\FR\FM\23JAN1.SGM 23JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 13 (Monday, January 23, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7793-7794]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-01343]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Willamette National Forest, Sweet Home Ranger District; Oregon; 
Trout Creek Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The Trout Creek Project is proposed to encourage stand health, 
vigor, species diversity and structural complexity in the Matrix, 
Adaptive Management Area (AMA), and Riparian Reserves; contribute a 
variety of sustainable forest products to local markets; increase 
spatial heterogeneity, including complex early seral habitat, at a 
landscape scale by mimicking mixed severity fire; improve fire 
resiliency and strategically manage hazardous fuels in high risk areas 
that could adversely affect the integrity of adjacent privately owned 
lands, Late Successional Reserves (LSR), Matrix, AMA, and Riparian 
Reserve lands and to enhance hardwood habitat and diversity. Proposed 
activities to achieve the purpose of the project inculde forest 
management treatments across approximately 1,670 acres (about 4.5% of 
the analyzed landscape). Treatments include approximately 733 acres of 
variable forest thinning (including 109 acres of Riparian Reserve 
thinning) and approximately 101 acres of regeneration harvesting that 
would include aggregate retention. Additionally, approximately 370 
acres of non-commercial treatments are proposed including fall and 
leave treatments, snag creation, underplanting of native conifers, the 
planting of special forest products, and the restoration of a 2-acre 
meadow. Road work would also be part of the actions associated with the 
proposed activities and would include road maintenance/reconstruction 
(48.5 miles), temporary road construction (4 miles), new road 
construction (less than 1 mile), road decommissioning (7 miles) and the 
expansion or establishment of 2 new rock pits.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by February 15, 2017. The draft environmental impact statement is 
expected July 2017 and the final environmental impact statement is 
expected May 2018.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to 4431 Highway 20, Sweet Home, OR 
97386. Comments may also be submitted online at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=46279.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joanie Schmidgall at 
jschmidgall02@fs.fed.us or at 541-367-3809
    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Purpose and Need for Action

    The Trout Creek project is approximately 37,344 acres in size and 
located approximately 20 miles east of the town of Sweet Home, Oregon. 
The project encompasses an area both to the north and south of Highway 
20. The purposes of the project are to encourage stand health, vigor, 
species diversity and structural complexity in the Matrix, Adaptive 
Management Area (AMA), and Riparian Reserves; contribute a variety of 
sustainable forest products to local markets; increase spatial 
heterogeneity, including complex early seral habitat, at a landscape 
scale by mimicking mixed severity fire; improve fire resiliency and 
strategically manage hazardous fuels in high risk areas that could 
adversely affect the integrity of adjacent privately owned lands, Late 
Successional Reserves (LSR), Matrix, AMA, and Riparian Reserve lands; 
enhance and create hardwood habitat and diversity.
    The district resource specialists reviewed this landscape and 
identified it to have the greatest need across the Sweet Home Ranger 
District for work that would benefit forest health and diversity. Many 
of the forested stands in the project area are overstocked from a 
silviculture perspective. There is opportunity to thin, reduce the 
number of trees and increase the diversity and structure of the 
remaining forest over time. Additionally, the project area includes a 
portion of the Menagerie Wilderness and is adjacent to a large swath of 
private land. This interface of public and private ownership has 
resulted in neighboring parcels of land with differing management 
objectives and fuel loads. This project presents an opportunity to 
reduce the risk of fires spreading across these landscapes through 
strategically-placed fuel treatments. No management activities are 
proposed within the wilderness boundary.

[[Page 7794]]

Proposed Action

    We propose to thin approximately 733 acres (about 2% of the project 
area) and regenerate approximately 101 acres (less than 1% of the 
project area). Thinning treatments will be prescribed at varying 
frequencies and incorporate some untreated areas (skips) and create 
gaps up to 2 acres in size with variable spacing of remaining trees. We 
would design the regeneration harvest using an aggregate retention 
prescription to increase forest-age diversity and structural complexity 
across the project area.
    There are two categories of stands proposed for treatment: Managed 
stands that are about 40-60 years old and fire origin stands that range 
from 100-150 years old. Approximately 576 acres of thinning and 52 
acres of regeneration would take place in managed stands and 157 of 
thinning and 49 acres of regeneration acres in fire origin stands. 
These actions will provide roughly 12 MMBF of timber products to the 
local community. Cedar, sugar pine and other minor species would be 
under planted on about 300 acres across the project area. Additionally, 
about 38 acres would be planted with desirable conifer bough species 
for future bough harvest. There would be 109 acres thinned in the 
Riparian Reserves in the managed stands. The older fire origin stands 
would see no thinning in the Riparian Reserves. We propose thinning 
harvests in managed stands within the Riparian Reserves to increase in-
stream productivity by increasing hardwood species and light 
availability. About 8 acres of fall and leave treatments are also 
proposed to improve hardwood diversity and structure in the Riparian 
Reserve.
    This project also aims to increase spatial heterogeneity and 
complex early seral habitat by mimicking mixed severity fire on a 
landscape scale. On 309 acres of managed stands a combination of 
thinning, aggregate retention harvest, gap creation and controlled burn 
would result in a diverse landscape of green trees and openings. The 
treatments will vary by unit. In the fire origin stands, 47 acres would 
be treated to mimic high severity fire using a combination of 
commercial thinning, underburning and varying levels of tree girdling. 
An unburned area or low severity fire patch would be simulated by a 
proposed 65 acres of untreated skips.
    Hardwood fuel breaks, where conifers are thinned heavily and 
hardwood species are planted, are proposed on about 35 acres in managed 
stands and 76 acres of fire origin stands. This will help curb the 
volume of hazardous fuels in these stands, provide a long term option 
for managing wildfires in the area, and further improve fire resiliency 
in and adjacent to the project area. A 14 acre managed stand in Late 
Successional Reserve is also proposed to be treated in this way to help 
protect an Oregon Department of Transportation facility.
    Additionally, approximately 370 acres of non-commerical treatments 
are proposed across the project area. These include the fall and leave 
treatments, snag creation for oak and madrone restoration, 
underplanting of native conifers such as sugar pine and cedar, the 
planting of special forest products, and the restoration of a 2-acre 
meadow. While not adding commerical value, these actions will restore 
and maintain hardwood populations, increase forest diversity and 
structure, and contribute to over all landscape health in the project 
area.
    The removal of forest products would include associated road work 
across the project area. The project would propose approximately 50 
miles of road maintenance or reconstruction that would include the 
installation of approximately 260 culverts (primarily replacements). 
There would be less than 1 mile of new road construction. Construction 
or reconstruction of temporary road access would be approxiately 4 
miles. These temporary roads would be decommissioned and returned to 
their original condition at the conclusion of project activities. Also 
proposed would be to decommission and hydrologically stabilize 
approximately 7 miles of road. The impacted roads for decommissioning 
would be existing Forest Sevice roads 2000-011, 2000-600, 632, 636, 
641, and 643, 2000-308, 2000-017, 2032-419, and 2027-830. Most of these 
roads or sections of road are currently inaccessible to vehicle 
traffic. A rock pit would be developed near the 2027-825 road junction 
and an existing rock pit would be expanded at the end of the 2027-730 
road.

Responsible Official

    Nikki Swanson, Sweet Home District Ranger

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Given the purpose and need, the scope of the decision to be made by 
the responsible official will be as follows:
     Do the proposed actions comply with all applicable laws 
governing Forest Service actions?
     Do the proposed actions comply with the applicable 
Standards and Guidelines found in the Willamette Land and Resource 
Management plan (LRMP)?
    [cir] If not, will the action ammend the LRMP?
     Does the environmental impact statement have suffcient 
site-specific environmental analysis to make an informed decesion?
     Do the proposed actions meet the purpose and need for 
action?
    With these assurances, the responsible official must decide:
     Whether or not to select the proposed action or one of any 
other potential alternatives that may be developed, and what, if any, 
additional actions should be required.

Scoping Process

    This Notice of Intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the environmental impact statement. We are 
interested in your comments on the following questions:
     Are there alternative ways to meet the purpose and need of 
the project other than the proposed action we offer, which you would 
like the Forest Service to consider and analyze?
     Is there any information about the project area, which you 
believe is important in the context of the proposed activities that you 
would like the Forest Service to consider?
     What specifically are the potential effects of this 
proposed action that you are particularly concerned about? For example: 
Rather that simply stating that you would like a change in a proposed 
activity or that you would like an activity to not occur, it is more 
helpful to understand why you desire this. What are your underlying 
concerns with an activity or action; what are the effects from the 
activity that concern you?
    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 also be 
accepted and considered.

    Dated: January 12, 2017.
Nikki Swanson,
District Ranger.
[FR Doc. 2017-01343 Filed 1-19-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-11-P