National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees: Stakeholder and Public Listening Session
On behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Pollinator Health Working Group, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will host a Listening Session to discuss a strategy to monitor native bees in the United States.
Notice of Updated Information Concerning the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project and Equitrans Expansion Project and the Associated Forest Service Land and Resource Management Plan Amendments
The USDA Forest Service (Forest Service) is participating as a cooperating agency with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the preparation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project (MVP) and Equitrans Expansion Project (EEP) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). On October 14, 2016, the Forest Service published in the Federal Register (81 FR 71041) a Notice of Availability of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project and Equitrans Expansion Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Draft of Amendments to the Jefferson National Forest's Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) to allow for the MVP to cross through the Jefferson National Forest. Since that publication, the Forest Service determined there is a need to disclose the following: New information relating to the proposed LRMP amendments and the substantive provisions in the 2012 Planning Rule that are likely to be directly related to the proposed amendments. In addition, a proposed change to one of the LRMP amendments will result in a change to the administrative review procedures as outlined in the October 14, 2016 Federal Register Notice.
Notice of Updated Information Concerning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project and Supply Header Project and the Associated Forest Service Land and Resource Management Plan Amendments
The USDA Forest Service (Forest Service) is participating as a cooperating agency with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the preparation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Supply Header Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). On January 6, 2017, the Forest Service published in the Federal Register (82 FR 1685) a Notice of Availability of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Supply Header Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Draft of Amendments to the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests' Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs) to allow for the ACP to cross through these National Forests. Since that publication, the Forest Service determined there is a need to disclose the following: New information relating to the proposed LRMP amendments; a change in the Responsible Officials for the amendments; and the substantive provisions in the planning regulations that are likely to be directly related to the proposed amendments. In addition, a proposed change to one of the LRMP amendments will result in a change to the administrative review procedures as outlined in the January 6, 2017 Federal Register Notice.
Payette and Boise National Forests; Valley County, Idaho; Stibnite Gold Project Environmental Impact Statement
The Payette National Forest (PNF) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate and disclose the potential environmental effects from: (1) Approval of the ``Stibnite Gold Project Plan of Restoration and Operations'' (Plan) submitted by Midas Gold Idaho, Inc. (Midas Gold) in September 2016, to occupy and use National Forest System (NFS) lands for operations associated with open-pit mining and ore processing; and (2) related amendments to the Payette National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Payette Forest Plan, 2003) and/or the Boise National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Boise Forest Plan, as amended in 2010). The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will cooperate on the preparation of the EIS and evaluate its content to ensure that the EIS can be adopted by the USACE to support an eventual decision to either issue, issue with conditions, or deny a Department of the Army Permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the Plan. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will cooperate on the preparation of the EIS and evaluate its content to ensure that the EIS can be adopted in support of the decision-making process for issuance of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit under Section 402 of the CWA.
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests; Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache and San Miguel Counties; Colorado; Assessment Report of Ecological, Social and Economic Conditions, Trends and Sustainability for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG), located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, are initiating the forest planning process pursuant to the 2012 National Forest System Land Management Planning rule. This process will result in a revised and updated Natural Resource Land Management Plan, often referred to as the Forest Plan, which will guide all management activities on the GMUG for the next fifteen years. The current GMUG Forest Plan was completed in 1983, and was subsequently amended in 1991, 1993, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Previous efforts to revise the Forest Plan, including an eight-year effort involving extensive public participation and the development of comprehensive assessments, a need for change report, and a proposed plan were shelved due to the overturning of the 2008 planning rule. Now that the national 2012 Planning Rule has been established, the GMUG will reinitiate the plan revision process. The plan revision process encompasses three stages: Assessment, plan revision, and monitoring. This notice announces the initiation of the assessment phase, the first stage of the plan revision process, which involves assessing ecological, social and economic conditions and trends in the planning area and documenting the findings in an Assessment report. For the first phase, the GMUG has posted helpful resources, including the current Forest Plan and subsequent amendments, information from the 2006 and 2007 revision efforts, and the Citizen's Guide to National Forest Planning, on the GMUG Forest Plan Web site listed below. During this assessment phase, the GMUG invites other government agencies, non-governmental parties, and the public to share material about existing and changed conditions, trends, and perceptions of social, economic and ecological systems. The GMUG will host a variety of public outreach forums in summer and fall of 2017 to facilitate this effort, and the public is encouraged to participate and provide meaningful contributions. The GMUG is seeking local knowledge of social values, available data resources, areas of use and activities, goods and services produced by lands within the GMUG, and relevant material that will help inform desired conditions, standards and guidelines, land suitability determinations, and other plan components. This information will help identify gaps in the current management plan and inform the need for change, highlighting priority issues that should be addressed in this revision. Public participation and collaboration are essential steps to understanding current conditions, available data, and feedback needed to support a strategic, efficient and effective revision process. Several guiding principles, developed to overcome stakeholder- identified challenges, will drive public engagement throughout the plan revision process. These guiding principles include providing direct and transparent communication through a variety of methods, maintaining focused public involvement, building relationships, and promoting sharing, learning and understanding between the agency and the public. These guiding principles will help the GMUG ensure that public engagement in the current assessment phase and throughout the plan revision process will be functional, accessible, and representative.