Extension of Comment Period on the Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management, Forest Service Manual 2560
The Forest Service published a notice in the Federal Register on May 6, 2014, initiating a 90-day comment period on the Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management, Forest Service Manual 2560. The closing date for that 90-day comment period is August 4, 2014. The Agency is extending the comment period; therefore, the comment period has been extended to September 3, 2014.
Umatilla National Forest, Supervisor's Office; Oregon; Kahler Dry Forest Restoration Project
The USDA, Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze impacts for vegetative treatment in the Kahler Creek area of the Heppner Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest. The district has started an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project, but has determined that an Environmental Impact Statement would be more appropriate for this project. Scoping for the EA was open for 30 days in March 2013 and numerous comments were received from the public. These comments were used to form the issues for the EA, and these issues will be carried over to the EIS.
Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending its regulations concerning Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement to incorporate statutory changes to section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) that were effected when the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) was signed into law on June 18, 2008. USDA is also announcing that an additional rulemaking activity will be initiated to further amend the Guidelines to address the provisions of the recently signed Agricultural Act of 2014.
Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Macadamia Tree Crop Insurance Provisions and Macadamia Nut Crop Insurance Provisions
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) proposes to amend the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Macadamia Tree Crop Insurance Provisions and the Macadamia Nut Crop Insurance Provisions to remove the provision requiring an optional unit to contain at least 80 acres. The intended effect of this action is to provide policy changes and to better meet the needs of the producers. The changes will apply for the 2016 and succeeding crop years for macadamia trees and the 2017 and succeeding crop years for macadamia nuts.
Changes to Existing Conservation Program Regulations
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) made several, nondiscretionary changes to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs. These conservation programs have existing regulations that require adjustments, including addressing the required review of operating procedures of the State Technical Committee, adding reference of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act program regulations, adding reference of the RCPP to, and expanding the definition of, ``acreage owned by Indian Tribes'' under the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP), revising and simplifying the Regional Equity provision, and adjusting the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program to correspond with changes to payment provisions under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture has delegated to NRCS administrative responsibility for implementation of the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) and internal NRCS administrative changes warrant updating the appropriate delegated official in the technical service provider (TSP) provision. This interim rule, with request for comments, implements changes to these NRCS conservation program regulations that are either necessitated by enactment of the 2014 Act or are required to implement administrative streamlining improvements and clarifications.