Joint Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement for Wildlife Damage Management in California, 55814-55815 [2020-19090]

Download as PDF 55814 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices Sacramento, CA 95825; (916) 979–2675; Dennis.L.Orthmeyer@usda.gov. Further information is also available on the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page (see ADDRESSES above). DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2020–0081] Joint Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement for Wildlife Damage Management in California Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement and proposed scope of study. AGENCY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, working in coordination with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, intends to prepare a joint environmental impact report (EIR) and environmental impact statement (EIS) analyzing alternatives for wildlife damage management in California in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. This notice proposes issues and alternatives for consideration in the joint EIR/EIS and requests public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives, environmental issues, and other issues of public concern to be considered in the EIR/EIS. DATES: Two virtual public scoping meetings will be held on October 13, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PST, and October 27, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PST. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before November 10, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page: Go to www.CaliforniaWDM.org. • Electronic Mail: Send electronic mail (email) to comments@ CaliforniaWDM.org. • At the virtual scoping meetings on October 13 and 27, 2020. Details for participation can be found at www.CaliforniaWDM.org. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS, ATTN: Scoping Comments, 2121 Broadway, P.O. Box 188797, Sacramento, CA 95818. Supporting documents and any comments received on this topic may be viewed at www.CaliforniaWDM.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Dennis Orthmeyer, USDA–APHISWildlife Services, 3419–A Arden Way, khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background California wildlife provides many positive ecological, cultural, economic, and aesthetic benefits. However, some wildlife species are involved in conflicts with humans, including damaging agricultural resources and property, preying upon or harassing livestock, damaging infrastructure, and threatening human health and safety. In certain instances, wildlife species may impede efforts by wildlife management agencies to protect and enhance natural resources. Wildlife may also prey upon populations of threatened or endangered species or damage habitat restoration efforts. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services’ California office (WSCalifornia) provides Federal leadership and expertise in managing wildlife conflicts in California to allow people and wildlife to coexist. WS-California currently uses an integrated approach to recommend and apply a range of legally available nonlethal and lethal techniques for reducing wildlife damage and conflicts. WS-California works to resolve bird and mammal conflicts with agriculture, infrastructure, property, airport operations, and threatened and endangered species protection. WSCalifornia also works to reduce conflicts with wildlife that threaten human health and safety. WS-California currently provides advice on wildlife damage prevention and management, information on sources of wildlife damage management materials, depredation investigations, training on the use of damage management methods, and technical assistance. WS-California also assists with implementation of wildlife damage management methods. WS-California receives requests for assistance from the public, private entities, other agencies and governmental bodies, and Native American Tribes. WS-California’s wildlife damage management activities are authorized and coordinated pursuant to Federal law (the Acts of March 2, 1931 (7 U.S.C. 8351–8352), as amended, and December 22, 1987 (7 U.S.C. 8353)), as well as memoranda of understanding and agreements with various Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies and other governmental bodies. WS-California PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 conducts its actions in accordance with applicable Federal, State, local, and Tribal laws, regulations, species management plans, and land management plans. WS-California has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to develop a joint environmental review of both agencies’ roles in wildlife damage management in California. Proposed Action WS-California and CDFA are cooperating as joint lead agencies to prepare an environmental impact report and environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) evaluating alternatives for both agencies’ involvement in managing wildlife damage and conflict in California. WS-California will serve as the lead agency for the EIS portion of the joint analysis. CDFA will serve as the lead agency for the EIR portion of the joint analysis. This EIR/EIS is being developed in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (California Public Resources Code 21000 et seq., CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., NEPA). In the EIS portion of the combined report, WS-California intends to evaluate the environmental impacts of managing wildlife damage and threats to agricultural resources, property, natural resources, and human health and safety. The scope of the analysis will include WS-California’s cooperative activities with Federal and State agencies, California counties, Tribes, and local municipalities managing humanwildlife conflicts caused by birds and mammals. Cooperative activities may include: • Reducing damage to agricultural resources; • Reducing damage to infrastructure and property; • Reducing wildlife strike hazards at airports; • Managing damage by invasive species; • Reducing threats to human health and safety associated with wildlife; and • Protecting threatened and endangered species. Once completed, the EIR/EIS will replace all of WS-California’s district level environmental assessments on wildlife damage management in California. Scoping This notice opens a public scoping period for the EIR/EIS. Please review the information in this notice and the supplemental information, which may E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices be viewed on the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page (see ADDRESSES above). Copies of supplemental information may be requested from WS-California (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). You can also register online to receive notices regarding this project at: https:// public.govdelivery.com/accounts/ USDAAPHIS/subscriber/new. WS-California is particularly interested in receiving comments regarding biological, cultural, or ecological issues that the analysis should address (see Environmental Issues for Consideration in the EIR/EIS Analysis below). We also encourage comments that assist us in further delineating the scope of alternatives, environmental impacts, and other issues of public concern. To promote informed decision-making, we especially encourage commenters to submit any scientific data, studies, or research that you feel is relevant to the analysis. Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail (see instructions in ADDRESSES above) on or before November 10, 2020. To facilitate public and agency involvement in the EIR/EIS process, we will hold two public meetings during the scoping period on October 13 and October 27, 2020 (see DATES above). Due to current local and State orders concerning COVID–19, the meetings will be virtual in format. The scoping meetings will solicit input from the public and interested public agencies regarding the scope of environmental impacts to be addressed in the draft EIR/ EIS. Further information concerning the scoping process, including links to attend the virtual scoping meetings, can be obtained through the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page (see ADDRESSES above), or by contacting WS-California (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Alternatives The EIS will consider a range of reasonable alternatives: • An alternative that continues WSCalifornia’s current wildlife damage and conflict management activities (the no action alternative); • Alternatives with restrictions on integrated wildlife damage management to reduce environmental impacts (e.g., no use of toxicants); • Alternatives that require varying levels of nonlethal wildlife damage management; and • No WS-California involvement alternative. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 Additional alternatives may be identified through the public scoping process. Environmental Issues for Consideration in the EIR/EIS Analysis The primary purpose of the EIR/EIS is to analyze and disclose environmental impacts of wildlife damage management activities conducted throughout the State of California by WS-California, CDFA, and California counties. WSCalifornia, CDFA, and the cooperating agencies have identified the following preliminary issues that will drive the analysis of the alternatives in the EIS. The public is encouraged to submit comments on these or other issues that should be considered: • Impacts on wildlife populations; • Effects on nontarget animal populations including species federally listed under the Endangered Species Act (61 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); • Impacts on ecosystem processes (e.g., trophic cascades); • Impacts on Special Management Areas, including Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas; • Humaneness of methods; • Impacts of the alternatives on Native American culture and resource uses; and • Risks and benefits to human and pet safety. More information on CEQA-specific issues considered in the EIR portion of the analysis can be found in CDFA’s Notice of Preparation available on the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page (see ADDRESSES above). After the comment period closes, WS-California and CDFA will review and consider all comments received during the comment period any other relevant information when developing the draft EIR/EIS. Upon completion of the draft EIS/EIR, a document announcing its availability and an opportunity to comment will be published in the Federal Register. Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of August 2020. Mark Davidson, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2020–19090 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Fishlake National Forest; Utah; Southern Monroe Mountain Allotments Livestock Grazing Authorization AGENCY: Forest Service, Agriculture (USDA). PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55815 Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. ACTION: The Forest Service will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental impacts of proposed land management activities and corresponding alternatives within the Southern Monroe Mountain Allotments Livestock Grazing Authorization project area. The project is located on National Forest System lands, administered by the Richfield Ranger District, south of Richfield, Utah. These six allotments are in Sevier and Piute Counties and cover multiple sections in Ranges 1, 2, 2.5, and 3 West and in Townships 26, 27, 28, and 29 South. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 26, 2020. The draft environmental impact statement is expected June 2021 and the final environmental impact statement is expected February 2022. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Mike Elson, Attention: Southern Monroe Mountain Allotments Livestock Grazing Authorization, Fishlake National Forest, 115 East 900 North, Richfield, Utah 84701. Comments may also be sent via email to commentsintermtn-fishlake-richfield@usda.gov, or via facsimile to 435–896–9347. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Kling, Richfield District Ranger, 115 East 900 North, Richfield, Utah 84701, by phone at phone 435–896– 9233 or email at jason.kling@usda.gov. 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 purpose of the Southern Monroe Mountain Allotments Livestock Grazing Authorization is to implement land management activities that are consistent with direction in the Fishlake National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) and respond to specific needs identified in the project area. The project-specific needs include the consideration of livestock grazing to be authorized on the Dry Lake, Forshea, Kingston, Koosharem, Manning Creek, and Rock Springs Allotments and managed in a manner that allows for healthy, resilient, and sustainable vegetation. The information presented in this notice was included to help the reviewer determine if they are interested in or potentially affected by the proposed land management activities. The SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 176 (Thursday, September 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55814-55815]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-19090]



[[Page 55814]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2020-0081]


Joint Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact 
Statement for Wildlife Damage Management in California

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement 
and proposed scope of study.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service, working in coordination with the California 
Department of Food and Agriculture, intends to prepare a joint 
environmental impact report (EIR) and environmental impact statement 
(EIS) analyzing alternatives for wildlife damage management in 
California in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act 
and the National Environmental Policy Act. This notice proposes issues 
and alternatives for consideration in the joint EIR/EIS and requests 
public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives, 
environmental issues, and other issues of public concern to be 
considered in the EIR/EIS.

DATES: Two virtual public scoping meetings will be held on October 13, 
2020, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PST, and October 27, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 
8:30 p.m. PST. We will consider all comments that we receive on or 
before November 10, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page: Go 
to www.CaliforniaWDM.org.
     Electronic Mail: Send electronic mail (email) to 
[email protected].
     At the virtual scoping meetings on October 13 and 27, 
2020. Details for participation can be found at www.CaliforniaWDM.org.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS, ATTN: Scoping Comments, 
2121 Broadway, P.O. Box 188797, Sacramento, CA 95818.
    Supporting documents and any comments received on this topic may be 
viewed at www.CaliforniaWDM.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Dennis Orthmeyer, USDA-APHIS-
Wildlife Services, 3419-A Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 95825; (916) 979-
2675; [email protected]. Further information is also 
available on the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page 
(see ADDRESSES above).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    California wildlife provides many positive ecological, cultural, 
economic, and aesthetic benefits. However, some wildlife species are 
involved in conflicts with humans, including damaging agricultural 
resources and property, preying upon or harassing livestock, damaging 
infrastructure, and threatening human health and safety. In certain 
instances, wildlife species may impede efforts by wildlife management 
agencies to protect and enhance natural resources. Wildlife may also 
prey upon populations of threatened or endangered species or damage 
habitat restoration efforts.
    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife 
Services' California office (WS-California) provides Federal leadership 
and expertise in managing wildlife conflicts in California to allow 
people and wildlife to coexist. WS-California currently uses an 
integrated approach to recommend and apply a range of legally available 
nonlethal and lethal techniques for reducing wildlife damage and 
conflicts. WS-California works to resolve bird and mammal conflicts 
with agriculture, infrastructure, property, airport operations, and 
threatened and endangered species protection. WS-California also works 
to reduce conflicts with wildlife that threaten human health and 
safety.
    WS-California currently provides advice on wildlife damage 
prevention and management, information on sources of wildlife damage 
management materials, depredation investigations, training on the use 
of damage management methods, and technical assistance. WS-California 
also assists with implementation of wildlife damage management methods. 
WS-California receives requests for assistance from the public, private 
entities, other agencies and governmental bodies, and Native American 
Tribes.
    WS-California's wildlife damage management activities are 
authorized and coordinated pursuant to Federal law (the Acts of March 
2, 1931 (7 U.S.C. 8351-8352), as amended, and December 22, 1987 (7 
U.S.C. 8353)), as well as memoranda of understanding and agreements 
with various Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies and other 
governmental bodies. WS-California conducts its actions in accordance 
with applicable Federal, State, local, and Tribal laws, regulations, 
species management plans, and land management plans.
    WS-California has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) 
with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to 
develop a joint environmental review of both agencies' roles in 
wildlife damage management in California.

Proposed Action

    WS-California and CDFA are cooperating as joint lead agencies to 
prepare an environmental impact report and environmental impact 
statement (EIR/EIS) evaluating alternatives for both agencies' 
involvement in managing wildlife damage and conflict in California. WS-
California will serve as the lead agency for the EIS portion of the 
joint analysis. CDFA will serve as the lead agency for the EIR portion 
of the joint analysis. This EIR/EIS is being developed in accordance 
with the California Environmental Quality Act (California Public 
Resources Code 21000 et seq., CEQA) and the National Environmental 
Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., NEPA). In the EIS portion of the 
combined report, WS-California intends to evaluate the environmental 
impacts of managing wildlife damage and threats to agricultural 
resources, property, natural resources, and human health and safety.
    The scope of the analysis will include WS-California's cooperative 
activities with Federal and State agencies, California counties, 
Tribes, and local municipalities managing human-wildlife conflicts 
caused by birds and mammals. Cooperative activities may include:
     Reducing damage to agricultural resources;
     Reducing damage to infrastructure and property;
     Reducing wildlife strike hazards at airports;
     Managing damage by invasive species;
     Reducing threats to human health and safety associated 
with wildlife; and
     Protecting threatened and endangered species.
    Once completed, the EIR/EIS will replace all of WS-California's 
district level environmental assessments on wildlife damage management 
in California.

Scoping

    This notice opens a public scoping period for the EIR/EIS. Please 
review the information in this notice and the supplemental information, 
which may

[[Page 55815]]

be viewed on the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page 
(see ADDRESSES above). Copies of supplemental information may be 
requested from WS-California (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
above). You can also register online to receive notices regarding this 
project at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/subscriber/new.
    WS-California is particularly interested in receiving comments 
regarding biological, cultural, or ecological issues that the analysis 
should address (see Environmental Issues for Consideration in the EIR/
EIS Analysis below). We also encourage comments that assist us in 
further delineating the scope of alternatives, environmental impacts, 
and other issues of public concern. To promote informed decision-
making, we especially encourage commenters to submit any scientific 
data, studies, or research that you feel is relevant to the analysis. 
Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail (see instructions 
in ADDRESSES above) on or before November 10, 2020.
    To facilitate public and agency involvement in the EIR/EIS process, 
we will hold two public meetings during the scoping period on October 
13 and October 27, 2020 (see DATES above). Due to current local and 
State orders concerning COVID-19, the meetings will be virtual in 
format. The scoping meetings will solicit input from the public and 
interested public agencies regarding the scope of environmental impacts 
to be addressed in the draft EIR/EIS.
    Further information concerning the scoping process, including links 
to attend the virtual scoping meetings, can be obtained through the 
California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page (see ADDRESSES 
above), or by contacting WS-California (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT above).

Alternatives

    The EIS will consider a range of reasonable alternatives:
     An alternative that continues WS-California's current 
wildlife damage and conflict management activities (the no action 
alternative);
     Alternatives with restrictions on integrated wildlife 
damage management to reduce environmental impacts (e.g., no use of 
toxicants);
     Alternatives that require varying levels of nonlethal 
wildlife damage management; and
     No WS-California involvement alternative.
    Additional alternatives may be identified through the public 
scoping process.

Environmental Issues for Consideration in the EIR/EIS Analysis

    The primary purpose of the EIR/EIS is to analyze and disclose 
environmental impacts of wildlife damage management activities 
conducted throughout the State of California by WS-California, CDFA, 
and California counties. WS-California, CDFA, and the cooperating 
agencies have identified the following preliminary issues that will 
drive the analysis of the alternatives in the EIS. The public is 
encouraged to submit comments on these or other issues that should be 
considered:
     Impacts on wildlife populations;
     Effects on nontarget animal populations including species 
federally listed under the Endangered Species Act (61 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.);
     Impacts on ecosystem processes (e.g., trophic cascades);
     Impacts on Special Management Areas, including Wilderness 
and Wilderness Study Areas;
     Humaneness of methods;
     Impacts of the alternatives on Native American culture and 
resource uses; and
     Risks and benefits to human and pet safety.
    More information on CEQA-specific issues considered in the EIR 
portion of the analysis can be found in CDFA's Notice of Preparation 
available on the California Wildlife Damage Management EIR/EIS web page 
(see ADDRESSES above). After the comment period closes, WS-California 
and CDFA will review and consider all comments received during the 
comment period any other relevant information when developing the draft 
EIR/EIS. Upon completion of the draft EIS/EIR, a document announcing 
its availability and an opportunity to comment will be published in the 
Federal Register.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of August 2020.
Mark Davidson,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-19090 Filed 9-9-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P