Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests; Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache and San Miguel Counties; Colorado; Assessment Report of Ecological, Social and Economic Conditions, Trends and Sustainability for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, 25764-25765 [2017-11482]

Download as PDF 25764 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 106 / Monday, June 5, 2017 / Notices The Draft EIS for the MVP and the October 14, 2016 Federal Register Notice of Availability had also identified that Management Prescription Area Standard 4A–020 may need to be amended. However, a further review of this standard has determined that the proposed pipeline project can be made consistent with this standard and an amendment to this standard will not be needed. This standard is: Standard 4A–020: All management activities will meet or exceed a Scenic Integrity Objective of High. Potential Amendment, Part 5: After the Draft EIS was released, it has been identified that the JNF may also need to amend Forestwide Standard FW–184 to allow for the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline to deviate from the Scenic Integrity Objectives (SIOs) established in the LRMP. This standard is: Standard FW–184: The Forest Scenic Integrity Objectives (SIOs) Maps govern all new projects (including special uses). Assigned SIOS are consistent with Recreation Opportunity Spectrum management direction. Existing conditions may not currently meet the assigned SIO. The 36 CFR 219 planning rule requirement likely to be directly related to this part of the amendment is: § 219.10(b)(i)—‘‘[The plan must include plan components to provide for] ‘‘Sustainable recreation; . . . and scenic character.’’ asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES If any of the five parts of the proposed amendment to the JNF LRMP described above are determined to be ‘‘directly related’’ to a substantive rule requirement, the Responsible Official must apply that requirement within the scope and scale of the proposed amendment and, if necessary, make adjustments to the proposed amendment to meet the rule requirement (36 CFR 219.13 (b)(5) and (6)). Administrative Review of Plan Amendment Decisions The decision for a right-of-way grant across Federal lands will be documented in a record of decision issued by the BLM. The BLM’s decision to issue, condition, or deny a right-ofway will be subject to BLM administrative review procedures established in 43 CFR 2881.10 and the procedures established in section 313(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Forest Service concurrence to BLM to issue the right-of-way grant would not be a decision subject to the NEPA and therefore, would not be subject to the Forest Service administrative review procedures. The Forest Service would, however, issue its own draft record of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jun 02, 2017 Jkt 241001 decision for the project-specific amendment to the JNF LRMP that would be subject to the administrative review procedures under the 36 CFR 218 regulations (per 36 CFR 219.59(b)). The Reviewing Official for any objection filed on amending the JNF LRMP to allow for the MVP Project will be the Regional Forester for the Southern Region, or if delegated, the Deputy Regional Forester (36 CFR 218.3(a)). Responsible Official for Forest Service LRMP Amendments The Forest Supervisor for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Joby P. Timm, is the Responsible Official for amending the Jefferson National Forest LRMP. Dated: May 10, 2017. Robert M. Harper, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–11488 Filed 6–2–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests; Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache and San Miguel Counties; Colorado; Assessment Report of Ecological, Social and Economic Conditions, Trends and Sustainability for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Forest Service, USDA. Notice of initiating the assessment phase of the land management plan revision for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. AGENCY: ACTION: The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG), located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, are initiating the forest planning process pursuant to the 2012 National Forest System Land Management Planning rule. This process will result in a revised and updated Natural Resource Land Management Plan, often referred to as the Forest Plan, which will guide all management activities on the GMUG for the next fifteen years. The current GMUG Forest Plan was completed in 1983, and was subsequently amended in 1991, 1993, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Previous efforts to revise the Forest Plan, including an eight-year effort involving extensive public participation SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and the development of comprehensive assessments, a need for change report, and a proposed plan were shelved due to the overturning of the 2008 planning rule. Now that the national 2012 Planning Rule has been established, the GMUG will reinitiate the plan revision process. The plan revision process encompasses three stages: Assessment, plan revision, and monitoring. This notice announces the initiation of the assessment phase, the first stage of the plan revision process, which involves assessing ecological, social and economic conditions and trends in the planning area and documenting the findings in an Assessment report. For the first phase, the GMUG has posted helpful resources, including the current Forest Plan and subsequent amendments, information from the 2006 and 2007 revision efforts, and the Citizen’s Guide to National Forest Planning, on the GMUG Forest Plan Web site listed below. During this assessment phase, the GMUG invites other government agencies, non-governmental parties, and the public to share material about existing and changed conditions, trends, and perceptions of social, economic and ecological systems. The GMUG will host a variety of public outreach forums in summer and fall of 2017 to facilitate this effort, and the public is encouraged to participate and provide meaningful contributions. The GMUG is seeking local knowledge of social values, available data resources, areas of use and activities, goods and services produced by lands within the GMUG, and relevant material that will help inform desired conditions, standards and guidelines, land suitability determinations, and other plan components. This information will help identify gaps in the current management plan and inform the need for change, highlighting priority issues that should be addressed in this revision. Public participation and collaboration are essential steps to understanding current conditions, available data, and feedback needed to support a strategic, efficient and effective revision process. Several guiding principles, developed to overcome stakeholder-identified challenges, will drive public engagement throughout the plan revision process. These guiding principles include providing direct and transparent communication through a variety of methods, maintaining focused public involvement, building relationships, and promoting sharing, learning and understanding between the agency and the public. These guiding principles will help the GMUG ensure E:\FR\FM\05JNN1.SGM 05JNN1 asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 106 / Monday, June 5, 2017 / Notices that public engagement in the current assessment phase and throughout the plan revision process will be functional, accessible, and representative. DATES: In summer and fall of 2017, the public is invited to engage in the assessment phase of the revision process, for which public engagement opportunities will be posted on the GMUG Forest Plan Web site located at: www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug/ landmanagement/planning. Information will also be sent out to the Forests’ mailing list. If anyone is interested in being included in these notifications, please send an email to gmugforestplan@fs.fed.us. The assessment report for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests is expected to be completed by January 2018 and will be posted on the GMUG Forest Plan Web site listed above. The GMUG will then initiate procedures pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and prepare and evaluate a revised Forest Plan. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests, Attn: Plan Revision, 2250 HWY 50, Delta CO, 81416. Written comments may also be sent via email to gmugforestplan@ fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 970–874– 6698. All correspondence, including names and addresses when provided, will be placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and copying. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clay Speas, Acting Renewable Resources Planning Staff Officer, 970–874–6677, cspeas@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 requires that every National Forest System (NFS) unit develop a land management plan, often called a Forest Plan. On April 9th, 2012, the Forest Service finalized its land management planning rule, referred to as the 2012 Planning Rule, which describes requirements for the planning process and provides programmatic direction to National Forests and National Grasslands for developing and implementing their forest plans. Forest plans describe the strategic direction for management of forest resources, and are adaptive and amendable as conditions change over time, in order to remain relevant for their intended application period of 10–15 years. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jun 02, 2017 Jkt 241001 Similar to the 2008 Planning Rule, the 2012 Planning Rule requires the forests to outline desired conditions for each management area, specify objectives to achieve those conditions, and engage the public extensively throughout the plan revision process. However, the 2012 Planning Rule diverges from previous iterations in several guiding concepts and substantive components, particularly in relying on the concept of ecological integrity to frame plan assessment, develop plan components, and fulfill monitoring requirements. Based on current estimates, it is expected to take four years to produce a revised Forest Plan. Pursuant to the 2012 Planning Rule (CFR part 219), the revision process encompasses three stages: Assessment, plan revision and monitoring. Assessment—This notice announces the start of the first stage of the process, during which updated information from the public, other federal agencies, and non-governmental parties, as well as still applicable data from the previous revision effort will be compiled in an assessment report. Information relevant to the assessment report may include the current, changed, and changing status of ecological, social and economic conditions within the planning area and their interconnected relationships within the context of the broader landscape. The development of the assessment includes opportunities for the public to contribute information and engage in the planning process and build a common understanding prior to entering formal plan revision. Information gathered will be documented in assessment reports that form the basis for the need for change document, which identifies changes to be included in the new plan to provide management direction adaptable enough to address changing environmental, social and economic conditions. Plan Revision—Using the need for change as a foundation, the GMUG, in coordination with partners and the public, will then begin the plan revision phase of the process. During this phase, a vision statement will be developed that will lead the forests into the future, specifying desired conditions and objectives to help achieve these goals. In compliance with the NEPA, this phase will include the development of alternatives, a proposed action, an environmental impact statement (EIS), and eventually a revised Forest Plan, with announced opportunities for public review and comment. Once the Forest Plan is finalized, all projects and actions that will be implemented on the ground must be in compliance with the Forest Plan. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 25765 Monitoring—As part of the plan revision, the public will assist the Forest Service in developing a monitoring program, which will be carried out after the revised plan is approved and will continue throughout the life of the plan. The monitoring program should be designed to help evaluate progress towards meeting the desired conditions and objectives established by the Forest Plan, and may include monitoring questions that address the status of watershed conditions, visitor use and satisfaction, effects of management activities, and more. Monitoring efforts should be within the financial and technical capability of the agency and will help the Forest Service and the public evaluate the effectiveness of the Forest Plan by providing feedback and helping determine whether a change in the plan is necessary. To identify as much relevant information as possible, the GMUG is encouraging contributors to share their concerns and perceptions of the conditions and trends in social, economic and environmental systems within the GMUG planning area. Meetings, review and comment periods, and other opportunities for public engagement throughout the plan revision process will be publicized, with announcements posted on the Forests’ planning Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug/ landmanagement/planning. Information will also be sent out to the Forests’ mailing list. If anyone is interested in being included in these notifications, please send an email to gmugforestplan@fs.fed.us. Responsible Official The responsible official for the revision of the land management plan for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is Scott Armentrout, Forest Supervisor, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, 2250 HWY 50, Delta, CO 81416. Dated: April 13, 2017. Glenn P. Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–11482 Filed 6–2–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P E:\FR\FM\05JNN1.SGM 05JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 106 (Monday, June 5, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25764-25765]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11482]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests; Delta, 
Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache and San 
Miguel Counties; Colorado; Assessment Report of Ecological, Social and 
Economic Conditions, Trends and Sustainability for the Grand Mesa, 
Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of initiating the assessment phase of the land 
management plan revision for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison 
National Forests.

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

SUMMARY: The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests 
(GMUG), located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, are 
initiating the forest planning process pursuant to the 2012 National 
Forest System Land Management Planning rule. This process will result 
in a revised and updated Natural Resource Land Management Plan, often 
referred to as the Forest Plan, which will guide all management 
activities on the GMUG for the next fifteen years. The current GMUG 
Forest Plan was completed in 1983, and was subsequently amended in 
1991, 1993, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Previous efforts to revise the Forest 
Plan, including an eight-year effort involving extensive public 
participation and the development of comprehensive assessments, a need 
for change report, and a proposed plan were shelved due to the 
overturning of the 2008 planning rule. Now that the national 2012 
Planning Rule has been established, the GMUG will reinitiate the plan 
revision process.
    The plan revision process encompasses three stages: Assessment, 
plan revision, and monitoring. This notice announces the initiation of 
the assessment phase, the first stage of the plan revision process, 
which involves assessing ecological, social and economic conditions and 
trends in the planning area and documenting the findings in an 
Assessment report. For the first phase, the GMUG has posted helpful 
resources, including the current Forest Plan and subsequent amendments, 
information from the 2006 and 2007 revision efforts, and the Citizen's 
Guide to National Forest Planning, on the GMUG Forest Plan Web site 
listed below.
    During this assessment phase, the GMUG invites other government 
agencies, non-governmental parties, and the public to share material 
about existing and changed conditions, trends, and perceptions of 
social, economic and ecological systems. The GMUG will host a variety 
of public outreach forums in summer and fall of 2017 to facilitate this 
effort, and the public is encouraged to participate and provide 
meaningful contributions. The GMUG is seeking local knowledge of social 
values, available data resources, areas of use and activities, goods 
and services produced by lands within the GMUG, and relevant material 
that will help inform desired conditions, standards and guidelines, 
land suitability determinations, and other plan components. This 
information will help identify gaps in the current management plan and 
inform the need for change, highlighting priority issues that should be 
addressed in this revision. Public participation and collaboration are 
essential steps to understanding current conditions, available data, 
and feedback needed to support a strategic, efficient and effective 
revision process.
    Several guiding principles, developed to overcome stakeholder-
identified challenges, will drive public engagement throughout the plan 
revision process. These guiding principles include providing direct and 
transparent communication through a variety of methods, maintaining 
focused public involvement, building relationships, and promoting 
sharing, learning and understanding between the agency and the public. 
These guiding principles will help the GMUG ensure

[[Page 25765]]

that public engagement in the current assessment phase and throughout 
the plan revision process will be functional, accessible, and 
representative.

DATES: In summer and fall of 2017, the public is invited to engage in 
the assessment phase of the revision process, for which public 
engagement opportunities will be posted on the GMUG Forest Plan Web 
site located at: www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug/landmanagement/planning. 
Information will also be sent out to the Forests' mailing list. If 
anyone is interested in being included in these notifications, please 
send an email to gmugforestplan@fs.fed.us. The assessment report for 
the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests is 
expected to be completed by January 2018 and will be posted on the GMUG 
Forest Plan Web site listed above. The GMUG will then initiate 
procedures pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
prepare and evaluate a revised Forest Plan.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and 
Gunnison National Forests, Attn: Plan Revision, 2250 HWY 50, Delta CO, 
81416. Written comments may also be sent via email to 
gmugforestplan@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 970-874-6698. All 
correspondence, including names and addresses when provided, will be 
placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and 
copying.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clay Speas, Acting Renewable Resources 
Planning Staff Officer, 970-874-6677, cspeas@fs.fed.us. Individuals who 
use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 
p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 
1976 requires that every National Forest System (NFS) unit develop a 
land management plan, often called a Forest Plan. On April 9th, 2012, 
the Forest Service finalized its land management planning rule, 
referred to as the 2012 Planning Rule, which describes requirements for 
the planning process and provides programmatic direction to National 
Forests and National Grasslands for developing and implementing their 
forest plans. Forest plans describe the strategic direction for 
management of forest resources, and are adaptive and amendable as 
conditions change over time, in order to remain relevant for their 
intended application period of 10-15 years.
    Similar to the 2008 Planning Rule, the 2012 Planning Rule requires 
the forests to outline desired conditions for each management area, 
specify objectives to achieve those conditions, and engage the public 
extensively throughout the plan revision process. However, the 2012 
Planning Rule diverges from previous iterations in several guiding 
concepts and substantive components, particularly in relying on the 
concept of ecological integrity to frame plan assessment, develop plan 
components, and fulfill monitoring requirements. Based on current 
estimates, it is expected to take four years to produce a revised 
Forest Plan.
    Pursuant to the 2012 Planning Rule (CFR part 219), the revision 
process encompasses three stages: Assessment, plan revision and 
monitoring.
    Assessment--This notice announces the start of the first stage of 
the process, during which updated information from the public, other 
federal agencies, and non-governmental parties, as well as still 
applicable data from the previous revision effort will be compiled in 
an assessment report. Information relevant to the assessment report may 
include the current, changed, and changing status of ecological, social 
and economic conditions within the planning area and their 
interconnected relationships within the context of the broader 
landscape. The development of the assessment includes opportunities for 
the public to contribute information and engage in the planning process 
and build a common understanding prior to entering formal plan 
revision. Information gathered will be documented in assessment reports 
that form the basis for the need for change document, which identifies 
changes to be included in the new plan to provide management direction 
adaptable enough to address changing environmental, social and economic 
conditions.
    Plan Revision--Using the need for change as a foundation, the GMUG, 
in coordination with partners and the public, will then begin the plan 
revision phase of the process. During this phase, a vision statement 
will be developed that will lead the forests into the future, 
specifying desired conditions and objectives to help achieve these 
goals. In compliance with the NEPA, this phase will include the 
development of alternatives, a proposed action, an environmental impact 
statement (EIS), and eventually a revised Forest Plan, with announced 
opportunities for public review and comment. Once the Forest Plan is 
finalized, all projects and actions that will be implemented on the 
ground must be in compliance with the Forest Plan.
    Monitoring--As part of the plan revision, the public will assist 
the Forest Service in developing a monitoring program, which will be 
carried out after the revised plan is approved and will continue 
throughout the life of the plan. The monitoring program should be 
designed to help evaluate progress towards meeting the desired 
conditions and objectives established by the Forest Plan, and may 
include monitoring questions that address the status of watershed 
conditions, visitor use and satisfaction, effects of management 
activities, and more. Monitoring efforts should be within the financial 
and technical capability of the agency and will help the Forest Service 
and the public evaluate the effectiveness of the Forest Plan by 
providing feedback and helping determine whether a change in the plan 
is necessary.
    To identify as much relevant information as possible, the GMUG is 
encouraging contributors to share their concerns and perceptions of the 
conditions and trends in social, economic and environmental systems 
within the GMUG planning area. Meetings, review and comment periods, 
and other opportunities for public engagement throughout the plan 
revision process will be publicized, with announcements posted on the 
Forests' planning Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug/landmanagement/planning. Information will also be sent out to the Forests' mailing 
list. If anyone is interested in being included in these notifications, 
please send an email to gmugforestplan@fs.fed.us.

Responsible Official

    The responsible official for the revision of the land management 
plan for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is 
Scott Armentrout, Forest Supervisor, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and 
Gunnison National Forests, 2250 HWY 50, Delta, CO 81416.

    Dated: April 13, 2017.
Glenn P. Casamassa,
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-11482 Filed 6-2-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3411-15-P