Ashley National Forest, Utah and Wyoming; Revision of Ashley National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, 47475-47477 [2019-19503]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 175 / Tuesday, September 10, 2019 / Notices Additional Public Notification Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register. FSIS will also announce and provide a link to this Federal Register publication through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Constituent Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS can provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. 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How to File a Complaint of Discrimination To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http:// www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_ 12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative. Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email: Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410. Fax: (202) 690–7442. Email: program.intake@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Sep 09, 2019 Jkt 247001 (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Carmen M. Rottenberg, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–19443 Filed 9–9–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–DM–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ashley National Forest, Utah and Wyoming; Revision of Ashley National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The USDA Forest Service is revising the Land Management Plan (Forest Plan) for the Ashley National Forest and preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS). This notice describes the documents available for review and how to obtain them; summarizes the preliminary needs for changing the existing forest plan; summarizes the proposal to revise the forest plan, provides information concerning public participation and collaboration, including the process for submitting comments; provides an estimated schedule for the planning process, including the time available for comments, and includes the names and addresses of agency contacts who can provide additional information. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by November 8, 2019. The agency expects to release a draft revised Forest Plan and EIS by fall 2020 and a final revised Forest Plan and EIS by summer 2021. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Ashley National Forest, Attention: Plan Revision, 355 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal, Utah 84078–1703. Comments may also be sent via email to AshleyForestPlan@usda.gov, or via facsimile to (435) 781–5142. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cathleen Neelan, Forest Plan Revision Team Leader, at (435) 781–5120. 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. More information on the planning process may be found on the Ashley National Forest’s Planning website at https:// www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/ landmanagement/planning. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47475 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposed Action, Purpose and Need, and Need To Change The proposed action is to revise the Forest Plan to address the identified need to change the existing Forest Plan. According to the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), forest plans are to be revised on a 10 to 15-year cycle. The purpose and need for revising the current Forest Plan is (1) the Forest Plan is over 30 years old and has been amended 24 times, (2) since the Forest Plan was approved in 1986, there have been changes in economic, social, and ecological conditions, new policies and priorities, and new information based on monitoring and scientific research, and (3) to address the preliminary need to change to the existing plan, which is summarized below. Extensive public and employee involvement, along with science-based evaluations, will help shape the preliminary need to change the existing Forest Plan, so a proposed plan can be developed and analyzed in an EIS. The Ashley National Forest planning team has developed preliminary need to change statements in the document ‘‘Preliminary Need to Change the Ashley National Forest Land Management Plan,’’ available for review on the Ashley forest plan revision website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/ main/ashley/landmanagement/ planning. This document was developed based on public comments on and information in the Ashley National Forest Assessment. The responsible official will use public comments on the preliminary need to change information to develop an identified need to change that will provide the basis for revising the Forest Plan. The preliminary need to change the Forest Plan has been organized into five focus topics. Focus topics make it easier to ensure the purpose and need to revise the Forest Plan are met. The focus topics are as follows: 1. There is need for sustainable recreation (balance recreation use with ecological integrity, address population increases and aging populations; and address shifts in types of preferred recreation.) 2. There is need for economic resiliency (balancing local communities and economies with ecosystem services generated on the Ashley National Forest) including municipal water, recreation activities, employments and tourism. 3. There is need to manage traditional resource uses (conserve and encourage E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 47476 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 175 / Tuesday, September 10, 2019 / Notices traditional uses such as mineral development, livestock grazing, timber and woodland products use, fuelwood collection, etc.) and balance them with other multiple uses while transitioning from commodity based goods to a focus on restoration, resiliency and sustainability within emerging economic opportunities. 4. There is need to manage cultural resources, improving tribal relationships and partnerships, to provide for subsistence and other cultural activities, including guidance to manage areas of tribal importance. 5. There is need to manage for resilient ecosystems and watersheds (protect and restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and reduce conifer encroachment in vegetation communities associated with wildlife diversity and grazing). The preliminary need to change information has led to development of a ‘‘Proposal to Revise the Land Management Plan.’’ Public review and comments on these documents will help the Ashley National Forest responsible official and planning team to refine the need to change the Forest Plan and develop a proposed revised Forest Plan that will be analyzed in a draft EIS. Lead and Cooperating Agencies The Ashley National Forest is the lead agency for the environmental analysis process during the revision of the Forest Plan. The following counties have been formally identified as cooperating agencies for Utah: Daggett, Duchesne, Summit, Utah and Uintah Counties. The State of Utah—Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and the Conservation Districts for Daggett, Uintah and Duchesne also serve as cooperating agencies. Entities formally identified as cooperating agencies for Wyoming include the State of Wyoming Governor’s Policy Office, Sweetwater County and two Conservation Districts for Wyoming; Sweetwater and Uinta. The Ute and Eastern Shoshone Tribes did not sign formal agreements with the Ashley National Forest but are treated similar to cooperators because of their sovereign status. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Responsible Official Mike Richardson, Acting Forest Supervisor, Ashley National Forest Nature of the Decision To Be Made The Ashley National Forest is preparing an EIS to revise the existing 1986 Forest Plan. The environmental analysis process is meant to inform the Forest Supervisor so he can decide which alternative best maintains and restores National Forest System VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Sep 09, 2019 Jkt 247001 terrestrial and aquatic resources while providing ecosystem services and multiple uses, as required by the NFMA and the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act. The revised Forest Plan will describe the strategic intent of managing the Ashley National Forest for the next 10 to 15 years and will address the identified need to change the existing Forest Plan. The revised Forest Plan will provide management direction in the form of desired conditions, objectives, standards, guidelines, and suitability of lands. The revised Forest Plan will identify management areas and geographic areas, the timber sale program quantity, and the river segments found eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The revised Forest Plan may also include preliminary administration recommendations for wilderness designation by Congress. The revised Forest Plan will identify suitable uses of the Ashley National Forest, and it will identify a variety of recreation opportunities. The revised Forest Plan will provide a description of the plan area and its distinctive roles and contributions within the broader landscape, identify watersheds that are a priority for maintenance or restoration, include a monitoring program, and contain information reflecting expected possible actions over the life of the plan. The revised Forest Plan will provide broad, strategic guidance that is consistent with other laws and regulations. Though strategic guidance will be provided, no decisions will be made regarding the regulation of public activities and access to federal lands; the management of individual roads, trails, or areas associated with the Travel Management Rule (36 CFR part 212); or permitted activities, such as outfitters and guides, or grazing. These activities, projects, and site-specific management actions are managed through separate administrative and regulatory processes. Similarly, no decision regarding oil and gas leasing availability will be made, although plan components may be brought forward or developed in the future that will help guide oil and gas leasing availability decisions that may be necessary. Some actions (such as hunting regulations), although important, are outside Forest Service authority and cannot be included in the proposed action. Documents Available for Review and Comment The ‘‘Preliminary Need to Change the Ashley National Forest Land Management Plan’’ and the ‘‘Proposal to PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Revise the Land Management Plan’’ are available for review at the Ashley National Forest Planning website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/ landmanagement/planning. In addition to these documents, the Ashley National Forest is requesting review and comment on the Wilderness Evaluation Report and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Report, also available on the website. Congress has the authority to make wilderness and wild and scenic river designations; however, the 2012 Planning Rule requires the Forest Service to evaluate and make recommendations for such designations through the plan revision process. Both evaluations are a multi-step process that require public feedback throughout the forest plan revision process. Further opportunities for public participation will be provided on the inventories, evaluations, analyses, and, for wilderness, preliminary administrative recommendations. Scoping Process This Notice of Intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the EIS. The Ashley National Forest uses multiple means of communication and notification about forest plan revision information and events. These include newspaper, radio, TV, posters, social media and electronic notices. Informal phone networks have been developed to get information to members of the public that do not use electronic communication along with a newsletter update for important steps in the process that is mailed by postal mail. The Ashley National Forest encourages all those interested to sign up for information electronically on the Ashley National Forest Planning website https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ ashley/landmanagement/planning, submit comments, and continue to monitor the website for updates. Written comments received in response to this notice will be considered to determine the need to change the existing plan, further develop the proposed action, and identify potential significant issues. Significant issues will help form the basis for developing alternatives to the proposed action. Comments received on the Wilderness Evaluation Report and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Report will be considered to refine report findings as well as the process. 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 EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 175 / Tuesday, September 10, 2019 / Notices articulate the reviewer’s issues and contentions, and make suggestions for changes or inclusions. Comments received in response to this notice, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered in the environmental analysis process; however, anonymous comments will not provide the Ashley National Forest the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents. Refer to the Ashley National Forest website https:// www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/ landmanagement/planning for information on when public meetings will be scheduled for refining the proposed action and to begin identifying possible alternatives. The decision to approve the revised Forest Plan will be subject to the objection process for the planning process (36 CFR part 219, subpart B). Only those individuals and entities who submit substantive formal comments related to this Forest Plan revision during the opportunities for public comment as provided in 36 CFR part 219, subpart A, may file an objection. The burden is on the objector to demonstrate compliance with requirements for objection (36 CFR 219.53). Applicable Planning Rule Preparation of the revised Forest Plan for the Ashley National Forest began with the publication of a notice of initiation in the Federal Register on July 22, 2016 (81 FR 47749) using the 2012 Forest Service planning rule (36 CFR 219 (2012)). Dated: September 4, 2019. Frank R. Beum, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2019–19503 Filed 9–9–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Announcement of the Availability of Disaster Relief Act 2019 Grant Funds for Community Facilities Rural Housing Service, USDA. Notice of funds availability. AGENCY: ACTION: As part of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019, the Rural Housing Service’s Community Facilities Program (CF) received supplemental grant funding available for necessary SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Sep 09, 2019 Jkt 247001 expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters, to remain available until expended. The authority for the Agency to administer the Community Facilities Grant Program is provided in the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONAct). The grant funds will be administered in accordance with this notice of funds availability. DATES: Applications will be accepted on a continual basis, beginning on the publication date of this Notice, until funds are exhausted. ADDRESSES: Applications will be submitted to a processing office as designated by the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the applicant’s project is located. Agency state office contact information is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/ about-rd/offices/state-offices. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Peiffer, USDA Rural Development, Community Facilities Program at (515) 238–6668 or via email at karla.peiffer@ usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Language for Funding Opportunities The Agency encourages applications that will help improve life in rural America. See information on the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity found at www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include: • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life To leverage investments in rural property, the Agency also encourages projects located in rural Opportunity Zones where projects should provide measurable results in helping communities build robust and sustainable economies. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47477 nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. To combat a key threat to economic prosperity, rural workforce and quality of life, the Agency also encourages applications that will support the Administration’s goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address prevention, treatment and/or recovery at the community, county, state, and/or regional levels: Key strategies include: • Prevention: Reducing the occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) and fatal substance-related overdoses through community and provider education and harm reduction measures such as the strategic placement of overdose reversing devices, such as naloxone; • Treatment: Implementing or expanding access to evidence-based treatment practices for Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT); and • Recovery: Expanding peer recovery and treatment options that help people start and stay in recovery. To focus investments in areas with the largest opportunity for growth in prosperity, the Agency encourages applications that serve the smallest communities with the lowest incomes, with an emphasis on areas where at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty, according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts (or Reservation boundary for Indian tribes). Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements associated with the CF Program, as covered in this Notice, have been approved by the Office of Management Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0575–0173. Overview Federal Agency Name: Rural Housing Service (‘‘RHS,’’ an Agency of USDA in the Rural Development mission area). Solicitation Opportunity Title: Announcement of the Availability of Disaster Relief Act 2019 Grant Funds for Community Facilities. Announcement Type: Notice of Funds Availability. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.766. E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 175 (Tuesday, September 10, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47475-47477]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19503]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Ashley National Forest, Utah and Wyoming; Revision of Ashley 
National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The USDA Forest Service is revising the Land Management Plan 
(Forest Plan) for the Ashley National Forest and preparing an 
environmental impact statement (EIS). This notice describes the 
documents available for review and how to obtain them; summarizes the 
preliminary needs for changing the existing forest plan; summarizes the 
proposal to revise the forest plan, provides information concerning 
public participation and collaboration, including the process for 
submitting comments; provides an estimated schedule for the planning 
process, including the time available for comments, and includes the 
names and addresses of agency contacts who can provide additional 
information.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by November 8, 2019. The agency expects to release a draft revised 
Forest Plan and EIS by fall 2020 and a final revised Forest Plan and 
EIS by summer 2021.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Ashley National Forest, Attention: 
Plan Revision, 355 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal, Utah 84078-1703. 
Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or 
via facsimile to (435) 781-5142.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cathleen Neelan, Forest Plan Revision 
Team Leader, at (435) 781-5120. 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. More information on the 
planning process may be found on the Ashley National Forest's Planning 
website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Proposed Action, Purpose and Need, and Need To Change

    The proposed action is to revise the Forest Plan to address the 
identified need to change the existing Forest Plan. According to the 
National Forest Management Act (NFMA), forest plans are to be revised 
on a 10 to 15-year cycle. The purpose and need for revising the current 
Forest Plan is (1) the Forest Plan is over 30 years old and has been 
amended 24 times, (2) since the Forest Plan was approved in 1986, there 
have been changes in economic, social, and ecological conditions, new 
policies and priorities, and new information based on monitoring and 
scientific research, and (3) to address the preliminary need to change 
to the existing plan, which is summarized below.
    Extensive public and employee involvement, along with science-based 
evaluations, will help shape the preliminary need to change the 
existing Forest Plan, so a proposed plan can be developed and analyzed 
in an EIS.
    The Ashley National Forest planning team has developed preliminary 
need to change statements in the document ``Preliminary Need to Change 
the Ashley National Forest Land Management Plan,'' available for review 
on the Ashley forest plan revision website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning. This document was developed based 
on public comments on and information in the Ashley National Forest 
Assessment. The responsible official will use public comments on the 
preliminary need to change information to develop an identified need to 
change that will provide the basis for revising the Forest Plan.
    The preliminary need to change the Forest Plan has been organized 
into five focus topics. Focus topics make it easier to ensure the 
purpose and need to revise the Forest Plan are met. The focus topics 
are as follows:
    1. There is need for sustainable recreation (balance recreation use 
with ecological integrity, address population increases and aging 
populations; and address shifts in types of preferred recreation.)
    2. There is need for economic resiliency (balancing local 
communities and economies with ecosystem services generated on the 
Ashley National Forest) including municipal water, recreation 
activities, employments and tourism.
    3. There is need to manage traditional resource uses (conserve and 
encourage

[[Page 47476]]

traditional uses such as mineral development, livestock grazing, timber 
and woodland products use, fuelwood collection, etc.) and balance them 
with other multiple uses while transitioning from commodity based goods 
to a focus on restoration, resiliency and sustainability within 
emerging economic opportunities.
    4. There is need to manage cultural resources, improving tribal 
relationships and partnerships, to provide for subsistence and other 
cultural activities, including guidance to manage areas of tribal 
importance.
    5. There is need to manage for resilient ecosystems and watersheds 
(protect and restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and reduce 
conifer encroachment in vegetation communities associated with wildlife 
diversity and grazing).
    The preliminary need to change information has led to development 
of a ``Proposal to Revise the Land Management Plan.'' Public review and 
comments on these documents will help the Ashley National Forest 
responsible official and planning team to refine the need to change the 
Forest Plan and develop a proposed revised Forest Plan that will be 
analyzed in a draft EIS.

Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The Ashley National Forest is the lead agency for the environmental 
analysis process during the revision of the Forest Plan. The following 
counties have been formally identified as cooperating agencies for 
Utah: Daggett, Duchesne, Summit, Utah and Uintah Counties. The State of 
Utah--Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and the Conservation 
Districts for Daggett, Uintah and Duchesne also serve as cooperating 
agencies. Entities formally identified as cooperating agencies for 
Wyoming include the State of Wyoming Governor's Policy Office, 
Sweetwater County and two Conservation Districts for Wyoming; 
Sweetwater and Uinta. The Ute and Eastern Shoshone Tribes did not sign 
formal agreements with the Ashley National Forest but are treated 
similar to cooperators because of their sovereign status.

Responsible Official

    Mike Richardson, Acting Forest Supervisor, Ashley National Forest

Nature of the Decision To Be Made

    The Ashley National Forest is preparing an EIS to revise the 
existing 1986 Forest Plan. The environmental analysis process is meant 
to inform the Forest Supervisor so he can decide which alternative best 
maintains and restores National Forest System terrestrial and aquatic 
resources while providing ecosystem services and multiple uses, as 
required by the NFMA and the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act.
    The revised Forest Plan will describe the strategic intent of 
managing the Ashley National Forest for the next 10 to 15 years and 
will address the identified need to change the existing Forest Plan. 
The revised Forest Plan will provide management direction in the form 
of desired conditions, objectives, standards, guidelines, and 
suitability of lands. The revised Forest Plan will identify management 
areas and geographic areas, the timber sale program quantity, and the 
river segments found eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and 
Scenic Rivers System. The revised Forest Plan may also include 
preliminary administration recommendations for wilderness designation 
by Congress. The revised Forest Plan will identify suitable uses of the 
Ashley National Forest, and it will identify a variety of recreation 
opportunities. The revised Forest Plan will provide a description of 
the plan area and its distinctive roles and contributions within the 
broader landscape, identify watersheds that are a priority for 
maintenance or restoration, include a monitoring program, and contain 
information reflecting expected possible actions over the life of the 
plan.
    The revised Forest Plan will provide broad, strategic guidance that 
is consistent with other laws and regulations. Though strategic 
guidance will be provided, no decisions will be made regarding the 
regulation of public activities and access to federal lands; the 
management of individual roads, trails, or areas associated with the 
Travel Management Rule (36 CFR part 212); or permitted activities, such 
as outfitters and guides, or grazing. These activities, projects, and 
site-specific management actions are managed through separate 
administrative and regulatory processes. Similarly, no decision 
regarding oil and gas leasing availability will be made, although plan 
components may be brought forward or developed in the future that will 
help guide oil and gas leasing availability decisions that may be 
necessary. Some actions (such as hunting regulations), although 
important, are outside Forest Service authority and cannot be included 
in the proposed action.

Documents Available for Review and Comment

    The ``Preliminary Need to Change the Ashley National Forest Land 
Management Plan'' and the ``Proposal to Revise the Land Management 
Plan'' are available for review at the Ashley National Forest Planning 
website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning. In addition to these documents, the Ashley National Forest is 
requesting review and comment on the Wilderness Evaluation Report and 
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Report, also available on the 
website. Congress has the authority to make wilderness and wild and 
scenic river designations; however, the 2012 Planning Rule requires the 
Forest Service to evaluate and make recommendations for such 
designations through the plan revision process. Both evaluations are a 
multi-step process that require public feedback throughout the forest 
plan revision process. Further opportunities for public participation 
will be provided on the inventories, evaluations, analyses, and, for 
wilderness, preliminary administrative recommendations.

Scoping Process

    This Notice of Intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the EIS. The Ashley National Forest uses multiple 
means of communication and notification about forest plan revision 
information and events. These include newspaper, radio, TV, posters, 
social media and electronic notices. Informal phone networks have been 
developed to get information to members of the public that do not use 
electronic communication along with a newsletter update for important 
steps in the process that is mailed by postal mail. The Ashley National 
Forest encourages all those interested to sign up for information 
electronically on the Ashley National Forest Planning website https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning, submit comments, 
and continue to monitor the website for updates.
    Written comments received in response to this notice will be 
considered to determine the need to change the existing plan, further 
develop the proposed action, and identify potential significant issues. 
Significant issues will help form the basis for developing alternatives 
to the proposed action. Comments received on the Wilderness Evaluation 
Report and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Report will be 
considered to refine report findings as well as the process.
    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 EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of 
the comment period and should clearly

[[Page 47477]]

articulate the reviewer's issues and contentions, and make suggestions 
for changes or inclusions. Comments received in response to this 
notice, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be 
part of the public record. Comments submitted anonymously will be 
accepted and considered in the environmental analysis process; however, 
anonymous comments will not provide the Ashley National Forest the 
ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental 
documents. Refer to the Ashley National Forest website https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning for information on 
when public meetings will be scheduled for refining the proposed action 
and to begin identifying possible alternatives.
    The decision to approve the revised Forest Plan will be subject to 
the objection process for the planning process (36 CFR part 219, 
subpart B). Only those individuals and entities who submit substantive 
formal comments related to this Forest Plan revision during the 
opportunities for public comment as provided in 36 CFR part 219, 
subpart A, may file an objection. The burden is on the objector to 
demonstrate compliance with requirements for objection (36 CFR 219.53).

Applicable Planning Rule

    Preparation of the revised Forest Plan for the Ashley National 
Forest began with the publication of a notice of initiation in the 
Federal Register on July 22, 2016 (81 FR 47749) using the 2012 Forest 
Service planning rule (36 CFR 219 (2012)).

    Dated: September 4, 2019.
Frank R. Beum,
Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2019-19503 Filed 9-9-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3411-15-P