Importation of Beef From a Region in Argentina
We are reopening the comment period for our proposed rule that would allow, under certain conditions, the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from a region in Argentina located north of Patagonia South and Patagonia North B, referred to as Northern Argentina. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.
Notice of Request for Renewal and Revision of the Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) are requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision of a currently approved paperwork package associated with the Acreage and Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI).
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) Spearmint Oil for the 2014-2015 Marketing Year
This interim rule revises the quantity of Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2014-2015 marketing year under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order. This rule increases the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,149,030 pounds to 1,984,423 pounds and the allotment percentage from 55 percent to 95 percent. The marketing order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). The Committee recommended this rule for the purpose of maintaining orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Notice of Intent To Request an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) intention to request an extension of a currently approved information collection, Form AD-761, USDA Patent License Application for Government Invention that expires April 30, 2015.
Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Longan From Taiwan
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of longan from Taiwan.
Margin Protection Program for Dairy and Dairy Product Donation Program
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) published a final rule on August 29, 2014, implementing regulations for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) and the Dairy Product Donation Program (DPDP) as authorized in subtitle D of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). We are extending the comment period for the final rule to give the public more time to provide input and recommendations on the final rule. The original 60- day comment period, which will close on October 28, 2014, is being extended by 45 days from the date of publication of this document.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Generic Clearance To Conduct Pre-Testing of Surveys
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection to conduct various procedures to test questionnaires and survey procedures to improve the quality and usability of information collection instruments.
Helena National Forest, Montana, Tenmile-South Helena Vegetation Project
The Helena National Forest is going to prepare an environmental impact statement for vegetation management actions in the Tenmile Municipal Watershed and the South Hills of the City of Helena east of the Continental Divide. The purpose of the project is to address the need to modify forest fuels accumulation in order to reduce the potential for high-severity wildfire effects within the City of Helena's Municipal Watershed, wildland urban interface, and surrounding area as well as provide for firefighter and public safety. Treatment activities are proposed on both Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Lands (BLM).
Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program; Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection Governing the Inspection of Eggs
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-20), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection in support of the shell egg surveillance portion of the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs (Egg Products Inspection Act)7 CFR part 57.
Plant Variety Protection Board Meeting
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board (Board). The meeting is being held to discuss a variety of topics including, but not limited to, work and outreach plans, subcommittee activities, and proposals for procedure changes. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (domestic) and importers and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. Softwood lumber is used in products like flooring, siding and framing. This rule implements authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. This action will contribute to effective administration of the program.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Continuance Referendum
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of onions grown in South Texas to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order that regulates the handling of onions produced in the production area. This is the second referendum being conducted this year; the first was conducted in May 2014. The results of the first referendum revealed that the producer list used to mail ballots was not updated; consequently, USDA has determined that a second referendum should be conducted using an updated producer list to ensure all eligible producers have an opportunity to vote on whether to continue their Federal marketing order.
Tongass Advisory Committee
The Tongass Advisory Committee (Committee) will meet in Sitka, Alaska. The Committee is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. 2). The most up-to-date information concerning the Committee, including meeting times and agendas can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http:// www.fs.usda.gov/goto/R10/Tongass/TAC. The meeting is open to the public.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) intends to request an extension for a currently approved information collection procedure for Sugar Import Licensing Programs described in 7 CFR part 1530.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) intends to request an extension for a currently approved information collection procedure for entry of specialty sugars into the United States as described in 7 CFR part 2011.
Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek approval to conduct a new information collection consisting of two questionnaires, the Quarterly Colony Loss Survey and the Annual Colony Loss Survey.
Media Outlets for Publication of Legal and Action Notices in the Southern Region
This notice lists all newspapers that will be used by the Ranger Districts, Grasslands, Forests and the Regional Office of the Southern Region to publish notices required under 36 CFR parts 218 and 219. The intended effect of this action is to inform members of the public which newspapers will be used by the Forest Service to publish legal notices regarding proposed actions, notices of decisions and notices indicating opportunities to file objections.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest; Idaho; Johnson Bar Fire Salvage
This is a corrected notice. This notice updates the scoping period from 30 days to 45 days and gives notice that the proposed project will be subject to 36 CFR 218 subpart A and B regulations. The original notice was published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2014 pages 62098-62099. The Forest Service gives notice of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Johnson Bar Fire Salvage Project. The Proposed action would utilize ground based (tractor and skyline) and helicopter logging systems to harvest trees killed by the Johnson Bar Fire. Harvested areas would be replanted with early seral species such as ponderosa pine, western white pine and western larch. Approximately 3 miles of roads would be decommissioned to reduce sediment related impacts to the watershed. The EIS will analyze the effects of the proposed action and alternatives. The Nez Perce-Clearwater Forests invites comments and suggestions on the issues to be addressed. The agency gives notice of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and decision making process on the proposal so interested and affected members of the public may participate and contribute to the final decision.
Transportation and Marketing Program: Notice of Guidance Regarding the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Multi-State Project Competition
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a guidance document intended for use by State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The guidance document is entitled: Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Multi-State Project Competition. This guidance document is intended to inform the public of the Transportation Marketing Program's (TM) current thinking on this topic and will be used to develop a Request for Applications (RFA). Comments are requested on the guidance.
Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board
The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. II), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et. seq.), the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. sec. 1612), and the Federal Public Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Pub. L. 108-447). Additional information concerning the Board, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Board's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/blackhills/ workingtogether/advisorycommittees.
United States Standards for Grades of Creole Onions
This Notice revises the U.S. Standards for Grades of Creole Onions, which are issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the similar varietal characteristic requirement to allow mixed colors of onions, when designated as a mixed or specialty pack, to be certified to a U.S. grade. In addition, AMS will correct language and remove the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. These revisions will align the standards with today's marketing practices and provide the industry with greater flexibility.
Onions Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano/Creole; Bermuda-Granex-Grano
This rule revises the U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano (BGG) and Creole Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions which were issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the ``similar varietal characteristic'' and ``one type'' requirements to allow mixed colors of onions when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. This revision will update the standards to more accurately represent today's marketing practices and to provide the industry with greater flexibility.
Requirements for the Distribution and Control of Donated Foods
This rule proposes to revise and clarify requirements to ensure that USDA donated foods are distributed, stored, and managed in the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective manner, at State and recipient agency levels. The rule would also reduce administrative and reporting requirements for State distributing agencies, revise or clarify regulatory provisions relating to accountability for donated foods, and rewrite much of the regulations in a more user-friendly, ``plain language,'' format. Lastly, the rule proposes to revise and clarify specific requirements to conform more closely to related requirements elsewhere in the Code of Federal Regulations. In formulating the proposals, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has utilized input received from program administrators, industry representatives, and other organizations at national conferences and other meetings, and through email or other routine communications with such parties.
Announcement of the Sixth 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting
As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is hereby giving notice that a meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will be held and will be open to the public by Internet access only.
Information Collection; Foreign Travel Proposal
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with revision of a currently approved information collection, Foreign Travel Proposal.
Saguache Ranger District, Rio Grande National Forest; Colorado; La Garita Hills Restoration Project
The Saguache Ranger District, Rio Grande National Forest (USFS), and San Luis Valley Field Office, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), propose to conduct restoration activities on up to 90,000 acres within the 187,778 acre La Gartia Hills (LGH) analysis area; approximately 145,709 acres are managed by the USFS and 33,294 acres are managed by the BLM. All activities would occur only on federal lands. The analysis area is located west and northwest of the town of La Garita in Saguache County, in south central Colorado. Treatment activities could include mechanical thinning, hand thinning, mastication, hazard tree removal, salvage, prescribed fire, tree planting, and relocation of selected road segments. The treatments will be used singularly or in combination to transition the landscape towards long-term desired future conditions that are more characteristic of a resilient forest, as described in the Rio Grande National Forest and San Luis Resource Area Management Plans. Resilient landscapes are more resistant to droughts, insect outbreaks, diseases, potential large wildfires, and will also offer additional protection to identified values at risk including: adjacent private land and property, water quality, watershed health, transportation systems, recreation sites, wildlife habitats, heritage sites, and timber resources. The USFS is the lead agency for the Environmental Impact Statement and the BLM is participating as a cooperating agency.
Notice of Decision To Authorize the Importation of Chipilin Leaves and Edible Flowers of Chufle, Izote, and Pacaya From Guatemala Into the Continental United States
We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the importation of chipilin leaves and edible flowers of chufle, izote, and pacaya from Guatemala into the continental United States. Based on the findings of pest risk analyses, which we made available to the public to review and comment through a previous notice, we have concluded that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of chipilin leaves and edible flowers of chufle, izote, and pacaya from Guatemala.
Importation of Kiwi From Chile Into the United States
We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to list kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa and Actinidia chinensis) from Chile as eligible for importation into the United States subject to a systems approach. Under this systems approach, the fruit would have to be grown in a place of production that is registered with the Government of Chile and certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis. The fruit would have to undergo pre-harvest sampling at the registered production site. Following post-harvest processing, the fruit would have to be inspected in Chile at an approved inspection site. Each consignment of fruit would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the fruit had been found free of Brevipalpus chilensis based on field and packinghouse inspections. This proposed rule would allow for the safe importation of kiwi from Chile using mitigation measures other than fumigation with methyl bromide.
Request for Information: Unpaid Meal Charges
The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs play a critical role in ensuring that America's children have access to nutritious food. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) subsidizes all school meals in participating schools in various ways including reimbursement for meals served based on the eligibility of the child receiving the meal. FNS reimburses schools at higher rates for those meals served to children eligible for free meals and reduced price meals. Schools are responsible for establishing paid meal prices for children who do not receive free or reduced price meals and whose meals are thus reimbursed by FNS at lower rates. If children do not have the required payment for meals on the day of service, schools may extend credit to the child for the meal. Generally, this process entails the school allowing the child to ``charge'' the meal with the understanding that the child will reimburse or pay back the school for the meal provided. Since credit policies are usually established at the school district level, they vary across the nation and within States and are not monitored by FNS. FNS considers access to healthy school meals including nutritious foods a critical function of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Evidence shows that children who regularly eat healthy school meals perform better in the classroom and are less likely to be overweight. However, FNS also recognizes that allowing children to ``charge'' school meals can have financial impacts on individual schools and even school districts. This is especially true when meal charges are not subsequently paid, results in large unpaid meal charges and potential financial losses. Section 143 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires FNSin conjunction with States and participating local educational agencies (LEAs)to examine and report on the current policies and practices of State agencies and LEAs regarding extending credit to children by allowing them to ``charge'' the cost of school meals on the day of service. As required by the HHFKA, this examination must include the feasibility of establishing national standards for extending credit to children by allowing meal charges, establishing national charges for alternate meals which might be served, and providing recommendations for implementing those standards. At this time, FNS is seeking information from all affected parties regarding State and LEA current policies regarding extending credit to children by allowing them to ``charge'' the cost of school meals on the day of service. Specifically, FNS is interested in commenters providing details of policies and procedures in their State or LEA and the advantages and challenges associated with those procedures.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Emergency Approval of New Information Collection for Feasibility of Tribal Administration of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces FNS' intention to request emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the purpose of determining the interest among Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) in administering FNS programs, the capacity of ITOs to do so, and legislative and regulatory implications.
Request for Information: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Revision of the Program and Budget Summary Statement Part B-Program Activity Statement
Each year, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) State agencies are required to submit the Program and Budget Summary Statement Part B, Program Activity Statement (FNS-366B) to the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) per 7 CFR 272.2(c)(ii). Information collected on this form includes fraud activity for the reporting fiscal year such as a total number of fraud referrals, investigations, prosecutions, disqualification consent agreements (DCA), administrative disqualification hearings (ADH) and ADH waivers. This form further contains data on program dollars associated with pre-certification and post-certification fraud investigations, as well as program dollars that may be recovered resulting from an ADH or prosecution. This information is reported not later than 45 days after the end of the State agency's fiscal year, which is typically August 15th for most States. FNS is contemplating proposed changes to this form in order to improve the reliability and accuracy of State integrity reporting by revising data field definitions, such as what constitutes an investigation, for clarity and consistency. FNS is also considering an increase in the frequency of reporting and would be interested in better understanding what impact increasing the reporting frequency may have on stakeholders. Furthermore, FNS is considering the addition of new data elements in order to better understand the impact and value returned to the taxpayer as a result of fraud prevention activities. Through this notice, FNS announces a request for information regarding the impacts for consideration in revising the Program Activity Statement (FNS- 366B). FNS will consider all comments in the development of the new reporting form.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest; Idaho; Johnson Bar Fire Salvage
The Forest Service gives notice of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Johnson Bar Fire Salvage Project. The Proposed action would utilize ground based (tractor and skyline) and helicopter logging systems to harvest trees killed by the Johnson Bar Fire. Harvested areas would be replanted with early seral species such as ponderosa pine, western white pine and western larch. Approximately 3 miles of roads would be decommissioned to reduce sediment related impacts to the watershed. The EIS will analyze the effects of the proposed action and alternatives. The Nez Perce- Clearwater Forests invites comments and suggestions on the issues to be addressed. The agency gives notice of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and decision making process on the proposal so interested and affected members of the public may participate and contribute to the final decision.
Information Collection; Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency and the Commodity Credit Corporation are requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision of a currently approved information collection in support of the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). The information collected is needed from producers to determine eligibility for NAP assistance.
Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Endangered Species Regulations and Forfeiture Procedures
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for protection of endangered species of terrestrial plants and for procedures related to the forfeiture of plants or other property.
Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection; Lacey Act; Definitions for Exempt and Regulated Articles
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request approval of a new information collection required by the Lacey Act concerning definitions for exempt and regulated articles.
Klamath National Forest, California, Westside Fire Recovery Project
The Klamath National Forest will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal to reduce safety hazards to the public and forest workers, obtain the maximum economic commodity values from burned timber, and increase the likelihood and speed by which burned forested areas are regenerated on about 63,883 acres that burned with high severity in the Beaver Creek, Whites, and Happy Camp Complex fires in 2014. The project area includes 162,264 acres of National Forest System lands and 20,863 acres of private land. Treatments for the project will be limited to National Forest System lands. It is located on the west side of the Forest within the Beaver Creek, Horse Creek-Klamath River, Humbug Creek-Klamath River, Elk Creek, Indian Creek, Lower Scott River, Seiad Creek-Klamath River, Thompson Creek- Klamath River, Ukonom Creek-Klamath River, French Creek-Scott River, North Fork Salmon River, and South Fork Salmon River 5th field watersheds. The legal description of the project area is Township (T) 39 North (N) Range (R) 10 West (W), T39NR11W, T40NR8W, T40NR10W, T40NR11W, T41NR10W, T41NR11W, T43NR12W, T44NR11W, T44NR12W, T45NR10W, T45NR11W, T45NR12W, T46NR8W, T46NR9W, T46NR10W, T46NR11W, T46NR12W, T47NR8W, T47NR9W, and T47NR10W of the Humboldt Meridian and T14NR8 East (E), T15NR7E, T15NR8E, T16NR7E, T16NR8E of the Humboldt Meridian.
Opportunity for Designation in Casa Grande, AZ; Jamestown, ND; Lincoln, NE; Memphis, TN; and Sioux City, IA Areas; Request for Comments on the Official Agencies Servicing These Areas
The designations of the official agencies listed below will end on March 31, 2015. We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by these agencies to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agencies: Farwell Commodity Grain Services, Inc. (Farwell Southwest); Grain Inspection, Inc. (Jamestown); Lincoln Inspection Service, Inc. (Lincoln); Midsouth Grain Inspection Service (Midsouth); and Sioux City Inspection and Weighing Service Company (Sioux City).
Advisory Committee Meeting
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this constitutes notice of the upcoming meeting of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Grain Inspection Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee meets annually to advise the GIPSA Administrator on the programs and services that GIPSA delivers under the U.S. Grain Standards Act. Recommendations by the Advisory Committee help GIPSA better meet the needs of its customers who operate in a dynamic and changing marketplace.
Importation of Fresh Bananas From the Philippines Into Hawaii and U.S. Territories
We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh bananas from the Philippines into Guam, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands. As a condition of entry, the bananas will have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for importation of commercial consignments, monitoring of fruit flies to establish low-prevalence places of production, harvesting only of hard green bananas, and inspection for quarantine pests by the national plant protection organization of the Philippines. The bananas will also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that they were grown, packed, and inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the proposed requirements. This action will allow the importation of bananas from the Philippines into Guam, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests.
Pine Shoot Beetle; Addition of Quarantined Areas and Regulated Articles
We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the pine shoot beetle regulations by adding areas in the States of Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, and Virginia and the States of Indiana and New Jersey in their entirety to the list of quarantined areas. The interim rule also updated the list of regulated articles. The interim rule was necessary to prevent the spread of pine shoot beetle, a pest of pine trees, into noninfested areas of the United States.
Shawnee National Forest, Illinois; Cretaceous Hills Ecological Restoration
The USDA Forest Service Shawnee National Forest (Forest) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to disclose the environmental consequences of an ecological restoration project. In the environmental impact statement, the USDA Forest Service will address the potential environmental effects of the restoration of an oak- hickory hardwood forest-type and the increase of wildlife habitat diversity through the removal or thinning of non-native pine trees and small shade-tolerant hardwood trees from about 3,200 acres, the application of prescribed fire on about 15,100 acres, treatment of invasive species, maintenance of barrens habitats, development of vernal ponds, and transportation system maintenance, construction, or reconstruction. The Cretaceous Hills Ecological Restoration Project (Hills Project) is located in the Bay Creek Ditch, Barren Creek and Sister Islands-Ohio River watersheds between the communities of Metropolis and Bay City, in southern Pope and eastern Massac Counties, Illinois. The 26,102 acres in the project areas include about 15,130 acres of National Forest System land and 10,972 acres of state and private land. All activities are proposed on National Forest System land.
Information Collection; Locatable Minerals
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension of a currently approved information collection, 36 CFR part 228, subpart ALocatable Minerals.
Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in a cooperative partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council is conducting a prize competition funding initiative to support the demonstration of tall wood buildings in the United States. The U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition (the ``Competition'') is being conducted to showcase the architectural and commercial viability of advanced wood products in tall building construction in order to support employment opportunities in rural communities, maintain the health and resiliency of the Nation's forests, and advance sustainability in the built environment. Using wood obtained through sustainable forestry practices in green building applications promotes a healthy environment and a strong economy. The timber industry is an important job creator and supports hundreds of local communities, many of them rural. A recent life cycle analysis found that harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, and using wood in lumber and panel products in building yields fewer air emissionsincluding greenhouse gasesthan the resource extraction, manufacture, and use of other common building materials. There are barriers to being the first to adopt new building materials and systems, most notably the costs of analyzing novel design and engineering alternatives and verifying that these solutions comply with applicable code(s). The funds made available for the Competition will support costs associated with pioneering the use of advanced wood products and systems in tall buildings and open the door for more widespread adoption of the innovative materials. The objective of the Competition is to identify one or more proponents with existing viable projects and capable design and construction teams willing to convert their existing project from a traditionally constructed tall building to a design and construction approach using advanced wood building materials, new composite or hybrid wood methods, and/or existing proven alternative solution techniques. The Competition prize purse will be awarded to selected proponent(s) to cover the incremental costs of converting from traditional construction to wood construction. The selected proponent(s) will be the team demonstrating the best ability to utilize new scientific data, to develop technical expertise, and to use incremental funding to safely design, specify, and construct a building of a minimum of eighty feet (80') in height (not including a reinforced concrete podium) in the United States of America that can showcase the application, practicality, and sustainability of innovative wood based structural building solutions in tall building construction.
Apalachicola National Forest; Apalachicola Ranger District, Florida; Beasley Pond Analysis Area
The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the impacts of timber harvest and associated activities on approximately 3,800 acres of forestland and savannahs in the Beasley Pond Analysis Area. Based on public scoping, discussion with other federal agencies and initial issues analysis, the responsible official has determined that preparation of an EIS is appropriate for this project. The proposed project is an activity implementing a land management plan and is subject to the pre- decisional objection process at 36 CFR part 218 subparts A and B.
Farm Loan Pilot Projects
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will conduct pilot projects of limited scope and duration to evaluate processes and techniques that may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) real estate loans (also referred to as ``farm ownership loans''), operating loans, emergency loans, and administrative provisions, as required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). This notice provides an opportunity for the public to provide comments for FSA to consider for pilot projects. FSA expects to conduct at least two to three pilot projects.
Farm Loan Programs; Entity Eligibility
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations for loan making and servicing on eligibility conditions for certain legal entities, allowing additional flexibility for loan applicants to meet the required farming experience, and increasing the maximum total indebtedness on Microloans (ML) to $50,000. The changes implement provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The changes will help increase the number of entities eligible to participate in certain FLP loans and adjust to better reflect the changes in the way farms are owned and operated by legal entities. The changes will allow FSA to extend credit and servicing to family farm operations that may have been ineligible under existing regulations.