Ochoco National Forest, Lookout Mountain Ranger District; Oregon; Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan Revision Project EIS, 28301-28303 [2017-12951]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 21, 2017 / Notices Signed this 16th day of June 2017. Carolyn C. Parker, Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach. [FR Doc. 2017–12972 Filed 6–20–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery Farm Service Agency, USDA. ACTION: 30-Day notice of submission of information collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget and request for comments. AGENCY: As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA) has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): ‘‘Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery ’’ to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). DATES: Comments must be submitted by July 21, 2017. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; OIRA_Submission@ OMB.EOP.GOV or fax (202) 395–5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250–7602. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information, please contact Ruth Brown (202) 720–8958 or Charlene Parker (202) 720–8681. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery. Abstract: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration’s commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Jun 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management. Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential nonresponse bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results. The Agency received one comments in response to the 60-day notice published in the Federal Register of April 4, 2017 (82 FR 16338). The comment was not related to this information collection. Farm Service Agency 0560–0286 Current Actions: Revision and Extension of Currently Approved Collection. Type of Review: Revision and Extension. Affected Public: Individuals and Households; Businesses; Organizations; and State and Local Government. Average Expected Annual Number of activities: 8. Respondents: 600,000. Annual responses: 600,000. Frequency of Response: Once per request. Average minutes per response: 30. Burden hours: 300,000. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28301 unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number. Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2017–12970 Filed 6–20–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ochoco National Forest, Lookout Mountain Ranger District; Oregon; Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan Revision Project EIS Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The Ochoco National Forest is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the effects of revising the 1975 Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan (Herd Management Plan). The Herd Management Plan provides guidance for managing wild, free roaming horses within the Big Summit Territory on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District. The 27,300-acre Big Summit Territory is located approximately 30 miles east of Prineville and includes Round Mountain and Duncan Butte. The 1975 Herd Management Plan set an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 55–65 horses; the Ochoco National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) states horses will be managed at a maximum of 60 head. This project will revise the original Herd Management Plan to comply with the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WFRHBA) of 1971, as amended, and the federal regulation for management of wild and free-roaming horses and burros. The proposed action is consistent with the Ochoco National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, as amended. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by July 21, 2017. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be completed and available for public comment in June 2018. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be completed in September 2018. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan Revision Project, c/o Marcy Anderson, Lookout Mountain District, Ochoco National Forest, 3160 NE Third Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754. Alternately, electronic comments SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES 28302 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 21, 2017 / Notices may be submitted at https:// cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ CommentInput?project=46228. Electronic comments may be entered directly into the online form or submitted as an attachment in plain text (.txt), Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document format (.pdf). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tory Kurtz, Project Leader, at 3160 NE Third Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754, or at (541) 416–6500, or by email at tlkurtz@ fs.fed.us. Responsible Official: The responsible official will be Stacey Forson, Forest Supervisor, Ochoco National Forest, 3160 NE Third Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need. The purpose of the proposed action is to revise the 1975 Plan to incorporate best available science and to be consistent with the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act as amended (WFRHBA), 36 CFR 222 Subpart D, the Ochoco NF LRMP, Forest Service Manual 2260 and other associated direction. The need for the proposed action is to ensure the herd is managed as a self-sustaining population of healthy animals in a thriving natural ecological balance with other uses and the productive capacity of their habitat as required by the WFRHBA. Proposed Action. The Ochoco National Forest is proposing the following actions to update and revise the 1975 Herd Management Plan: 1. Determine if the current AML of a maximum of 60 head, as established in the Ochoco National Forest LRMP, continues to be valid. If it is no longer valid, determine the optimum number of animals the Territory can support on a yearlong basis with a thriving natural ecological balance as required by the WFRHBA. An AML range will be proposed to provide for a thriving natural ecological balance incorporating the minimal feasible level of management as required by the WFRHBA. The AML analysis will be conducted according to the guidance of the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horses and Burros Management Handbook (H–4700–1). Under this guidance there is a three tier process to determine AML that considers: (1) The four essential habitat needs to sustain a healthy wild horse population and healthy lands over time; (2) the amount of sustainable forage use available for wild horses; and (3) management of the genetic diversity of the wild horse herd. In determining the AML, the most limiting factors for essential habitat VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Jun 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 needs must be used to create a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship in the area. The most limiting factors for the Big Summit Territory are winter forage and space. The AML analysis will calculate the winter forage available for horses and allocate the forage for maintenance of healthy horses with consideration of the multiple uses in the Territory. Based on an annual census, horses above the identified AML range would be considered excess animals. 2. Correct the Territory boundary map to remove private land that was mistakenly included in the original Territory map; this would revise the Territory acres to 26,975, as opposed to 27,300 acres as described in the original Environmental Assessment. 3. Manage for genetic diversity in the population through introduction of new genes, adjustments of the sex ratio or other actions. The Forest will continue to work with Texas A&M University and monitor genetic diversity with samples collected from captures or other opportunities to ensure genetic diversity is managed to the best of our ability. 4. Implement methods to slow the herd’s rate of growth (reproductive rate) as needed to maintain AML within the identified range. Methods to slow the herd growth rate could include adjusting age distribution and approved fertility control methods such as Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP). 5. Develop an Emergency Action Framework for effectively and humanely managing situations such as sick, lame, or old horses or public safety concerns. This Emergency Action Framework would be used to help inform the Forest Service’s Responsible Official. 6. Develop an off-range plan that would include protocols for capturing horses, handling horses including identifying facilities and needs, adoption of horses, training programs and the sale of horses. At a minimum, a corral that is currently located at the Ochoco Ranger Station compound on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District would be improved to fit the needs of off-range management. 7. Forest Plan Amendment: If the analysis indicates that a different AML or range of AMLs is appropriate for the revised Herd Management Plan, a Forest Plan amendment would be required. The 2012 Planning Rule at 36 CFR 219 includes provisions that must be considered when a forest plan amendment is completed. Substantive rule requirements that are likely to be directly related to the proposed amendment include: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 219.8(a)(2) Air, soil, and water; 219.8(a)(3) Riparian areas; 219.9(a)(1) Ecosystem integrity; 219.10(a)(1) Aesthetic values, air quality, cultural and heritage resources, ecosystem services, fish and wildlife species, forage, geologic features, grazing and rangelands, habitat and habitat connectivity, recreation settings and opportunities, riparian areas, scenery, soil, surface and subsurface water quality, timber, trails, vegetation, viewsheds, wilderness, and other relevant resources and uses; 219.10(a)(5) Habitat conditions, subject to the requirements of 219.9, for wildlife, fish, and plants commonly enjoyed and used by the public; for hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, observing, subsistence, and other activities (in collaboration with federally recognized Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, and State and local governments); and 219.10(a)(10) Opportunities to connect people with nature. Comment: Public comments about this proposal are requested in order to assist in identifying issues, determine how to best manage the resources, and to focus the analysis. Comments received on this notice, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments will not have standing to file an objection to the Record of Decision under 36 CFR 218. Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may request the Agency to withhold a submission from the public record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be aware that, under FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only very limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest Service will inform the requester of the Agency’s decision regarding the request for confidentiality, and where the request is denied, the Agency will return the submission and notify the requester that the comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within a specified number of days. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Agency officials to determine whether a proposed Federal action is an undertaking that has the potential to cause effects to historic properties. In addition, the Forest Service is required to provide those with significant interests in historic preservation issues the opportunity to participate in the consultation process as a consulting party. Participating in consultation during the early stages of a proposed E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 21, 2017 / Notices undertaking is in everyone’s best interest to avoid having problems emerge later as a project develops. If effects are identified, the Forest must reduce or eliminate those effects through avoidance, data recovery, or other forms of mitigation and in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, Native American tribes, and interested parties. In order for you to be considered as a consulting party, you must submit a written request to me in response to this letter. Each request will be reviewed in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Native American tribes to determine which should be consulting parties. A draft EIS will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and available for public review by June, 2018. The EPA will publish a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the draft EIS in the Federal Register. The final EIS is scheduled to be available September, 2018. The comment period on the draft EIS will be 45 days from the date the EPA publishes the notice of availability in the Federal Register. The Forest Service believes, at this early stage, it is important to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of a draft EIS must structure their participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts an agency to the reviewer’s position and contentions [Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519, 553 (1978)]. Also, environmental objections that could be raised at the draft EIS stage, but that are not raised until after completion of the final EIS, may be waived or dismissed by the courts [City of Angoon v. Harris, 490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D. Wis. 1980)]. It is very important that those interested in this proposed action participate by the close of the 45-day comment period, so that substantive comments and objections are made available to the Forest Service at a time when it can meaningfully consider them and respond to them in the final EIS. To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft EIS should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the draft statement. Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft EIS of the merits of the alternatives formulated and discussed in the statement. Reviewers VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Jun 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 may wish to refer to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act at 40 CFR 1503.3 in addressing these points. In the final EIS, the Forest Service is required to respond to substantive comments received during the comment period for the draft EIS. The Forest Service is the lead agency and the responsible official is the Forest Supervisor, Ochoco National Forest. The responsible official will decide whether and how to revise the Ochoco Wild Horse Herd Management Plan. The Ochoco Wild Horse Herd Management Plan decision and the reasons for the decision will be documented in the record of decision. That decision will be subject to the Forest Service Project-level Predecisional Administrative Review Process (‘‘Objection Process’’ at 36 CFR 218). Dated: June 7, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–12951 Filed 6–20–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF490 Surveys of Marine Recreational Fishing Effort on the U.S. Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico; Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP); Center for Independent Experts; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: NMFS is convening a peer review of a Calibration Model proposed by the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) to support its planned transition from a legacy telephone survey to a new mail survey for collecting data needed to estimate marine recreational fishing effort by shore and private/rental boat anglers on the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The peer review includes reviewers appointed by the Center for Independent Experts (CIE), as well as reviewers selected by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the New England, Mid-Atlantic, South SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28303 Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils. This notice lists the time and place of the Peer Review Workshop. DATES: The Workshop will be held from 9 a.m. on June 27, 2017 until 12 p.m. on June 29, 2017. ADDRESSES: The Workshop will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, 8777 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, 20910; Phone: 301/589–0800. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. David Van Voorhees, Chief of Fisheries Statistics Division of NMFS Office of Science and Technology; phone 301/ 427–8189; FAX 301/427–4520; email: Dave.Van.Voorhees@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Marine Recreational Information Program formed a Transition Team in 2015 to plan transitions from legacy survey designs to new, or improved, survey designs for monitoring marine recreational fishing effort and catch. The Transition Team consists of representatives from NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, the interstate fisheries commissions, and several state marine fisheries agencies. The team prepared a transition plan for implementing a new mail survey called the ‘‘Fishing Effort Survey’’ to replace the legacy telephone survey called the ‘‘Coastal Household Telephone Survey’’. The plan requires development of a calibration model to account for consistent differences between the surveys in their statistical estimates of fishing effort. The Peer Review Workshop will provide an assessment of the model developed by MRIP for this purpose. The product of the Workshop will be a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed calibration model. The panel of reviewers will consist of three persons selected by the Center of Independent Experts, and four persons selected by the regional fishery management councils and ASMFC. The Panel will be chaired by an individual also selected by the councils and ASMFC. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at https:// www.countmyfish.noaa.gov. The workshop will also be accessible by webinar in listen-only mode. Requests for webinar access should be directed to NMFS (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) three days prior to the workshop. Special Accommodations This workshop will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 21, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28301-28303]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12951]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Ochoco National Forest, Lookout Mountain Ranger District; Oregon; 
Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan Revision Project EIS

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

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

SUMMARY: The Ochoco National Forest is preparing an Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the effects of revising the 1975 
Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan (Herd Management 
Plan). The Herd Management Plan provides guidance for managing wild, 
free roaming horses within the Big Summit Territory on the Lookout 
Mountain Ranger District. The 27,300-acre Big Summit Territory is 
located approximately 30 miles east of Prineville and includes Round 
Mountain and Duncan Butte. The 1975 Herd Management Plan set an 
Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 55-65 horses; the Ochoco National 
Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) states horses will be 
managed at a maximum of 60 head. This project will revise the original 
Herd Management Plan to comply with the Wild Free Roaming Horse and 
Burro Act (WFRHBA) of 1971, as amended, and the federal regulation for 
management of wild and free-roaming horses and burros. The proposed 
action is consistent with the Ochoco National Forest Land and Resource 
Management Plan, as amended.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by July 21, 2017. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected 
to be completed and available for public comment in June 2018. The 
Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be completed in 
September 2018.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd 
Management Plan Revision Project, c/o Marcy Anderson, Lookout Mountain 
District, Ochoco National Forest, 3160 NE Third Street, Prineville, 
Oregon 97754. Alternately, electronic comments

[[Page 28302]]

may be submitted at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=46228. Electronic comments may be entered directly 
into the online form or submitted as an attachment in plain text 
(.txt), Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), or portable 
document format (.pdf).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tory Kurtz, Project Leader, at 3160 NE 
Third Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754, or at (541) 416-6500, or by 
email at tlkurtz@fs.fed.us.
    Responsible Official: The responsible official will be Stacey 
Forson, Forest Supervisor, Ochoco National Forest, 3160 NE Third 
Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Purpose and Need. The purpose of the proposed action is to revise 
the 1975 Plan to incorporate best available science and to be 
consistent with the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act as 
amended (WFRHBA), 36 CFR 222 Subpart D, the Ochoco NF LRMP, Forest 
Service Manual 2260 and other associated direction. The need for the 
proposed action is to ensure the herd is managed as a self-sustaining 
population of healthy animals in a thriving natural ecological balance 
with other uses and the productive capacity of their habitat as 
required by the WFRHBA.
    Proposed Action. The Ochoco National Forest is proposing the 
following actions to update and revise the 1975 Herd Management Plan:
    1. Determine if the current AML of a maximum of 60 head, as 
established in the Ochoco National Forest LRMP, continues to be valid. 
If it is no longer valid, determine the optimum number of animals the 
Territory can support on a yearlong basis with a thriving natural 
ecological balance as required by the WFRHBA. An AML range will be 
proposed to provide for a thriving natural ecological balance 
incorporating the minimal feasible level of management as required by 
the WFRHBA. The AML analysis will be conducted according to the 
guidance of the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horses and Burros 
Management Handbook (H-4700-1). Under this guidance there is a three 
tier process to determine AML that considers: (1) The four essential 
habitat needs to sustain a healthy wild horse population and healthy 
lands over time; (2) the amount of sustainable forage use available for 
wild horses; and (3) management of the genetic diversity of the wild 
horse herd. In determining the AML, the most limiting factors for 
essential habitat needs must be used to create a thriving natural 
ecological balance and multiple use relationship in the area. The most 
limiting factors for the Big Summit Territory are winter forage and 
space. The AML analysis will calculate the winter forage available for 
horses and allocate the forage for maintenance of healthy horses with 
consideration of the multiple uses in the Territory. Based on an annual 
census, horses above the identified AML range would be considered 
excess animals.
    2. Correct the Territory boundary map to remove private land that 
was mistakenly included in the original Territory map; this would 
revise the Territory acres to 26,975, as opposed to 27,300 acres as 
described in the original Environmental Assessment.
    3. Manage for genetic diversity in the population through 
introduction of new genes, adjustments of the sex ratio or other 
actions. The Forest will continue to work with Texas A&M University and 
monitor genetic diversity with samples collected from captures or other 
opportunities to ensure genetic diversity is managed to the best of our 
ability.
    4. Implement methods to slow the herd's rate of growth 
(reproductive rate) as needed to maintain AML within the identified 
range. Methods to slow the herd growth rate could include adjusting age 
distribution and approved fertility control methods such as Porcine 
Zona Pellucida (PZP).
    5. Develop an Emergency Action Framework for effectively and 
humanely managing situations such as sick, lame, or old horses or 
public safety concerns. This Emergency Action Framework would be used 
to help inform the Forest Service's Responsible Official.
    6. Develop an off-range plan that would include protocols for 
capturing horses, handling horses including identifying facilities and 
needs, adoption of horses, training programs and the sale of horses. At 
a minimum, a corral that is currently located at the Ochoco Ranger 
Station compound on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District would be 
improved to fit the needs of off-range management.
    7. Forest Plan Amendment: If the analysis indicates that a 
different AML or range of AMLs is appropriate for the revised Herd 
Management Plan, a Forest Plan amendment would be required. The 2012 
Planning Rule at 36 CFR 219 includes provisions that must be considered 
when a forest plan amendment is completed. Substantive rule 
requirements that are likely to be directly related to the proposed 
amendment include:

219.8(a)(2) Air, soil, and water; 219.8(a)(3) Riparian areas; 
219.9(a)(1) Ecosystem integrity; 219.10(a)(1) Aesthetic values, air 
quality, cultural and heritage resources, ecosystem services, fish 
and wildlife species, forage, geologic features, grazing and 
rangelands, habitat and habitat connectivity, recreation settings 
and opportunities, riparian areas, scenery, soil, surface and 
subsurface water quality, timber, trails, vegetation, viewsheds, 
wilderness, and other relevant resources and uses; 219.10(a)(5) 
Habitat conditions, subject to the requirements of 219.9, for 
wildlife, fish, and plants commonly enjoyed and used by the public; 
for hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, observing, subsistence, 
and other activities (in collaboration with federally recognized 
Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, and 
State and local governments); and 219.10(a)(10) Opportunities to 
connect people with nature.

    Comment: Public comments about this proposal are requested in order 
to assist in identifying issues, determine how to best manage the 
resources, and to focus the analysis. Comments received on this notice, 
including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered 
part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available 
for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted 
and considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments will not 
have standing to file an objection to the Record of Decision under 36 
CFR 218. Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may 
request the Agency to withhold a submission from the public record by 
showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such 
confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be 
aware that, under FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only very 
limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest 
Service will inform the requester of the Agency's decision regarding 
the request for confidentiality, and where the request is denied, the 
Agency will return the submission and notify the requester that the 
comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within a 
specified number of days.
    Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires 
Agency officials to determine whether a proposed Federal action is an 
undertaking that has the potential to cause effects to historic 
properties. In addition, the Forest Service is required to provide 
those with significant interests in historic preservation issues the 
opportunity to participate in the consultation process as a consulting 
party. Participating in consultation during the early stages of a 
proposed

[[Page 28303]]

undertaking is in everyone's best interest to avoid having problems 
emerge later as a project develops. If effects are identified, the 
Forest must reduce or eliminate those effects through avoidance, data 
recovery, or other forms of mitigation and in consultation with the 
State Historic Preservation Office, Native American tribes, and 
interested parties. In order for you to be considered as a consulting 
party, you must submit a written request to me in response to this 
letter. Each request will be reviewed in consultation with the State 
Historic Preservation Office, Tribal Historic Preservation Office and 
Native American tribes to determine which should be consulting parties.
    A draft EIS will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) and available for public review by June, 2018. The EPA will 
publish a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the draft EIS in the Federal 
Register. The final EIS is scheduled to be available September, 2018.
    The comment period on the draft EIS will be 45 days from the date 
the EPA publishes the notice of availability in the Federal Register.
    The Forest Service believes, at this early stage, it is important 
to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public 
participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of 
a draft EIS must structure their participation in the environmental 
review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts an agency to 
the reviewer's position and contentions [Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power 
Corp. v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519, 553 (1978)]. Also, environmental 
objections that could be raised at the draft EIS stage, but that are 
not raised until after completion of the final EIS, may be waived or 
dismissed by the courts [City of Angoon v. Harris, 490 F. Supp. 1334, 
1338 (E.D. Wis. 1980)]. It is very important that those interested in 
this proposed action participate by the close of the 45-day comment 
period, so that substantive comments and objections are made available 
to the Forest Service at a time when it can meaningfully consider them 
and respond to them in the final EIS.
    To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues 
and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft EIS should 
be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to 
specific pages or chapters of the draft statement.
    Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft EIS of the 
merits of the alternatives formulated and discussed in the statement. 
Reviewers may wish to refer to the Council on Environmental Quality 
Regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National 
Environmental Policy Act at 40 CFR 1503.3 in addressing these points.
    In the final EIS, the Forest Service is required to respond to 
substantive comments received during the comment period for the draft 
EIS. The Forest Service is the lead agency and the responsible official 
is the Forest Supervisor, Ochoco National Forest. The responsible 
official will decide whether and how to revise the Ochoco Wild Horse 
Herd Management Plan.
    The Ochoco Wild Horse Herd Management Plan decision and the reasons 
for the decision will be documented in the record of decision. That 
decision will be subject to the Forest Service Project-level 
Predecisional Administrative Review Process (``Objection Process'' at 
36 CFR 218).

    Dated: June 7, 2017.
Jeanne M. Higgins,
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-12951 Filed 6-20-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3411-15-P