National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council) will meet in Washington, DC The Council is authorized under Section 9 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, as amended by Title XII, Section 1219 of Public Law 101-624 (the Act) (16 U.S.C. 2105g) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. II). Additional information concerning the Council, can be found by visiting the Council's Web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/ucf/ nucfac.shtml.
Forest Resource Coordinating Committee
The Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (Committee) will meet in Washington, DC. The Committee is authorized under Section 8005 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Act) (Pub. L. 110-246). Additional information concerning the Committee, including the meeting agenda, supporting documents and minutes, can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/ frcc/.
Allegheny Resource Advisory Committee Meeting
The Allegheny Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Warren, Pennsylvania. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http:// www.fs.usda.gov/main/allegheny/workingtogether/advisorycommit tees.
Notice of Invitation for Nominations to the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, this notice announces an invitation from the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture for nominations to the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics. On August 15, 2016, the Secretary of Agriculture renewed the Advisory Committee charter for a two-year term to expire on August 15, 2018. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the scope, timing, content, etc., of the periodic censuses and surveys of agriculture, other related surveys, and the types of information to obtain from respondents concerning agriculture. The Committee also prepares recommendations regarding the content of agriculture reports and presents the views and needs for data of major suppliers and users of agriculture statistics.
Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Cotton Ginning Survey. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length.
Importation of Hass Avocados From Colombia
We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, Hass avocados from Colombia would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would include requirements for importation in commercial consignments; registration and monitoring of places of production and packinghouses; pest-free places of production; grove sanitation, monitoring, and pest control practices; lot identification; and inspection for quarantine pests by the Colombian national plant protection organization. Additionally, avocados from Colombia would be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the avocados have been produced in accordance with the proposed requirements. This action would allow for the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests.
Importation of Orchids in Growing Media From Taiwan
We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation of plants for planting to add orchid plants of the genus Dendrobium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported into the United States in an approved growing medium, subject to specified growing, inspection, and certification requirements. We are taking this action in response to a request from the Taiwanese Government and after determining that the plants could be imported, under certain conditions, without resulting in the introduction into, or the dissemination within, the United States of a plant pest or noxious weed.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.75 to $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled under the marketing order. The Committee, which is composed of growers and handlers, locally administers the order which regulates the handling of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon apricot handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Amendment to the Designation of North Dakota Grain Inspection
North Dakota Grain Inspection Service, Inc.'s (North Dakota) geographical territory is amended to include the area previously designated to Columbus Grain Inspection, Inc. (Columbus). North Dakota purchased Columbus effective July 11, 2016, and met the requirements specified in the agency's General Regulations. The designation of North Dakota is from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020.
Amendment to the Designation of Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection
Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection, Inc.'s (Mid-Iowa) geographical territory is amended to include the area previously designated to John R. McCrea Agency, Inc. (McCrea). Mid-Iowa purchased McCrea effective September 1, 2016, and met the requirements specified in GIPSA's General Regulations. The designation of Mid-Iowa is from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2020.
Exportation of Live Animals, Hatching Eggs, and Animal Germplasm From the United States
In a final rule published in the Federal Register on January 20, 2016, and effective on February 19, 2016, we revised our regulations regarding the exportation of livestock from the United States. Among other revisions, we expanded the scope of the regulations so that, if the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) knows that an importing country requires an export health certificate endorsed by the competent veterinary authority of the United States for any animal other than livestock or for any animal semen, animal embryos, hatching eggs, other embryonated eggs, or gametes intended for export to that country, the animal or other commodity must have an endorsed export health certificate in order to be eligible for export from the United States. While, in the preamble for that rule, we indicated that APHIS is the competent veterinary authority of the United States, and must endorse the export health certificate in such instances, this was not reflected in the regulations themselves. This document corrects that error.
Inhumane Handling of Livestock in Connection With Slaughter by Persons Not Employed by the Official Establishment
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), is announcing its intent to hold livestock owners, transporters, haulers and other persons not employed by an official establishment responsible if they commit acts involving inhumane handling of livestock in connection with slaughter when on the premises of an official establishment. The Agency intends to initiate civil or criminal action, in appropriate circumstances, against individuals not employed by an official establishment, if these individuals handle livestock inhumanely in connection with slaughter when on the official premises. FSIS believes these actions will further improve the welfare of livestock handled in connection with slaughter by ensuring that all persons that inhumanely handle livestock in connection with slaughter are held accountable.
Designation of Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc. To Provide Class X or Class Y Weighing Services
GIPSA is announcing the designation of Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc. (Hastings) to provide Class X or Class Y weighing services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended.
Amendment to the Designation of Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc.
Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc.'s (Lincoln) geographical territory is amended to exclude the area previously designated to Lincoln within New Mexico and Texas. Lincoln advised GIPSA that they will cease providing official services in New Mexico and Texas on October 31, 2016. Accordingly, GIPSA is announcing that the portion of Lincoln's designation within New Mexico and Texas will be canceled effective October 31, 2016. The designation of Lincoln is from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2018, but from October 31, 2016, through March 31, 2018 it will apply only to the geographic area listed below due to the voluntary cancellation. For official services in the New Mexico and Texas areas after October 31, 2016, contact Ron Metz, Field Office Manager, Domestic Inspection Operations Office, at telephone number 816-659-8400.
Tobacco Inspection and Grading Services: Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension to the currently approved information collection in support of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (U.S.C. Chapter 518), the Rural Development, Food and Drug Administrative, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2002 (Appropriations Act), and the Tobacco Inspection Act and Regulations Governing the Tobacco Standards.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Open 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.
Cotton Classing, Testing and Standards: Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension and revision to the currently approved information collection entitled Cotton Classing, Testing, and Standards.
Cotton Classification and Market News Service: Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection Cotton Classification and Market News Service.
Notice of Intent To Revise a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, this notice announces the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) intention to renew a currently approved information collection entitled, ``4-H Youth Enrollment Report''.
EZ Guarantee Program and Micro Lender Program (MLP) Status
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the guaranteed Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations to implement an EZ Guarantee Program and establish an additional lender status. The EZ Guarantee Program will help lenders reduce costs of underwriting and servicing loans to help meet the unique financing needs of small farm operations. The intended effects of the rule are to make guaranteed loan programs more widely available and attractive to small farm operations and the lenders who work with those farm operations through a more flexible underwriting analysis process, reduced application requirements, and faster FSA approval. In addition, FSA is amending the regulations to make a technical correction related to chattel appraisal appeals related to both guaranteed and direct loans.
Notice of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics Meeting
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics.
Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry staff, requests applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP). This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access. Eligible lands for grants funded under this program are private forest that is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, must not be held in trust by the United States on behalf of any Indian Tribe, must not be Tribal allotment lands, must be offered for sale by a willing seller, and if acquired by an eligible entity, must provide defined community benefits under CFP and allow public access.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Federal Fiscal Year 2017
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (the Agency) announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs. REAP have two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from: Wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources. The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, grantee, will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations.
Dairyland Power Cooperative: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Hold Public Scoping Meetings
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and hold public scoping meetings in connection with possible impacts related to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project proposed by Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC). Other utilities participating in the Project are American Transmission Company LLC, by its corporate manager ATC Management Inc. and ITC Midwest LLC. The proposal consists of the construction of a 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated infrastructure connecting the Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, with the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton, Wisconsin (near Madison, Wisconsin). The Project also includes a new intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort in either Grant County or Iowa County, Wisconsin. The total length of the 345-kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be approximately 125 miles. DPC and the other project participants have identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate substation. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project.
Notice of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Wisconsin Field Office Technical Guide
NRCS is proposing to revise Section I of the Wisconsin Field Office Technical Guide to include ``Wisconsin Wetland Determination Methods'' which will replace the existing ``Wisconsin Wetland Mapping Conventions issued May 1, 1998'' (commonly referred as State Wetland Mapping Conventions). The Wisconsin Wetland Determination Methods will be used as part of the technical documents and procedures to conduct wetland determinations on agriculture land as part of the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended).
New Equipment Contract, RUS Contract Form 395 for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, is issuing a final rule to streamline the contractual process for equipment procurement by replacing type-specific equipment contracts, RUS Forms 397, 398, 525, 545, and associated documents (Forms 231, 396, 396a, 517, 525a, 744, 752a, 754, and addenda) with a new, unified Equipment Contract, RUS Contract Form 395 and associated close-out documents (Forms 395a, 395b, 395c and 395d) and by removing construction standards RUS Forms 397b, 397c, 397d, 397f, 397g, 397h. On October 1, 2015, RUS published a Request for Comments in the Federal Register, to establish a new equipment contract and associated policies for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers, Equipment Contract, RUS Contract Form 395 (RUS Contract Form 395).
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
NRCS published an interim rule, with request for comments, on February 27, 2015, to implement the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) that was authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014. NRCS received 1,055 comments from 102 respondents to the interim rule. In this document, NRCS responds to comments, makes adjustments to the rule in response to some of the comments received, and issues a final rule for ACEP implementation.
Designation for the Olympia, WA Area
GIPSA is announcing the designation of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (Washington) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended.
Angeles National Forest, California, Cattle Canyon Improvements Project
The Angeles National Forest (USFS-ANF) and the Watershed Conservation Authority WCA are lead agencies preparing a joint Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Endangered Species Act, and other applicable laws, to evaluate the San Gabriel River Confluence with Cattle Canyon Improvements Project (Project). The USFS- ANF and the WCA have agreed to jointly prepare an EIS/EIR in order to optimize efficiency and avoid duplication. The EIS/EIR is intended to be sufficient in scope to address the federal, state, and local requirements and the environmental issues concerning the proposed activities and permit approvals. The Project was developed to better manage the recreation use and balance the needs for resource protection. The project site encompasses an approximate 2.5-mile reach of the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, running generally south until its confluence with Cattle Canyon Creek in Los Angeles County: T2N R8W Sections 19 and 30, T2N R9W Sections 24, 25, 26, T3N R8W Section 18. The entire project site is within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument boundary and will continue to be managed by the USFS- ANF. The proposed actions are to develop new management strategies to protect and restore the multi-use areas for future public enjoyment. Proposed enhancements include establishment of parking spaces, development of new picnic areas, pedestrian trails, river access points and upgrades to existing facilities, improvements to paved and unpaved roadways, and restoration of riparian and upland vegetation communities.
Proposed Posting and Posting of Stockyards
The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is taking several actions to post stockyards under the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act). Specifically, we are proposing that eight stockyards now operating subject to the P&S Act be posted. We are also posting 15 stockyards that were identified previously as operating subject to the P&S Act.
New Mexico Resource Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting
The Northern New Mexico Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http:// www.fs.usda.gov/main/santafe/workingtogether/advisorycommitte es.
Fremont-Winema National Forest; Bly and Chiloquin Ranger Districts; Oregon; East Hills Project Environmental Impact Statement
The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and non-commercial vegetation management activities, prescribed burning, road activities, stream and aquatic habitat improvements, and other restoration activities. The project is located on the Bly and Chiloquin Ranger Districts, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath County, Oregon.
Notice of Availability of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project and Equitrans Expansion Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the USFS Draft Associated Land and Resource Management Plan Amendments
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended; and the National Forest Management Act of 1976, as amended (NFMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have participated as cooperating agencies with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the preparation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project (MVP) and Equitrans Expansion Project (Equitrans) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Draft EIS addresses the impacts of these projects, the associated draft Jefferson National Forest Revised Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) amendments of the USFS, and the application to the BLM for a right-of-way grant sought by Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (Mountain Valley) for the MVP project. With this agency-specific Notice of Availability, the BLM and the USFS are announcing the opening of the FERC comment period. Comments need to be timely and specific, showing a direct relationship to the proposal and include supporting reasons.
Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council
The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council (Council) will meet in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Council is authorized under Section 5(d) of the National Trails System Act of 1968 (Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Additional information concerning the Council, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Council's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pnt/working-together/advisory-com mittees.
National Forest System Land Management Planning
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service is proposing to amend regulations pertaining to the National Forest System Land Management Planning. The proposed rule would amend the administrative procedures to amend land management plans developed or revised in conformance with the provisions under a prior planning rule.
Forestry Research Advisory Council
The Forestry Research Advisory Council (FRAC) will meet in Washington, DC. The Council is required by Section 1441 of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 (Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Additional information concerning FRAC can be found by visiting the FRAC's Web site at: http:/ /www.fs.fed.us/research/about/forestry-research-council/.
Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health; Notice of Solicitation for Membership
We are giving notice that the Secretary is soliciting nominations for membership for this Committee to serve for terms of 2 years.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comments Request-Assessment of the Barriers That Constrain the Adequacy of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Allotments
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the purpose of assessing the individual, household, and the environmental factors that limit the adequacy of the SNAP allotment.
Boundary Description and Final Map for Skagit Wild and Scenic River, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
In accordance with section 3(b) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the USDA Forest Service, Washington Office, transmitted the final map and perimeter boundary description of the Skagit Wild and Scenic River to Congress.
General Administrative Policy for Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreements
This final rule amends ARS regulations and adopts the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance entitled, ``Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,'' as the uniform guidance within the REE mission area on the use, award, and administration of non-assistance cooperative agreements awarded pursuant to National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977. It thereby gives regulatory effect to the OMB guidance.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in NHCP. These standards include Brush Management (Code 314), Herbaceous Weed Treatment (Code 315), Lined Waterway or Outlet (Code 468), Prescribed Grazing (Code 528), and Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities (Code 643). NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices for use within their States will incorporate them into section IV of their respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. These practices may be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land (HEL), or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland provisions of the law.
Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory Committee
The Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/ minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda- gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcwBAAS.