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.