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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southwest  |  Topic: Ca - Plumas - Notice of intent to prepare a Supplement to the EISl « previous next »
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Todd Ockert
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« on: July 18, 2007, 08:08:00 am »

[Federal Register: July 18, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 137)]
[Notices]               
[Page 39383-39384]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18jy07-25]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Plumas National Forest; Butte and Plumas Counties, CA; Watdog
Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Supplement to the Environmental
Impact Statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Forest Service will prepare a supplement to the final
Environmental Impact Statement to document and clarify the analysis of
environmental effects.

DATES: Scoping is not required for supplements to environmental impact
statements (40 CFR 1502.9(c)4). The draft supplemental environmental
impact statement is expected to be issued in August 2007 and the final
supplemental environmental impact statement is expected in November
2007.

ADDRESSES: Plumas National Forest, 159 Lawrence Street, PO Box 11500,
Quincy, CA 95971; Feather River Ranger District, 875 Mitchell Avenue,
Oroville, CA 95965.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Zarlengo, Project Leader, Feather
River Ranger District, 875 Mitchell Avenue, Oroville, CA 95965; (530)
534-6500.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of intent to prepare a draft
environmental impact statement for this project appeared in the Federal
Register on February 10, 2005. The Notice of Availability for the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement appeared on June 24, 2005. A Final
Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision were issued on
September 15, 2005. The legal notice of the Record of Decision appeared
in the Feather River Bulletin on September 28, 2005. The decision was
appealed and later withdrawn by the Responsible Official on December
20, 2005. The notice of intent to prepare a draft supplement to the
environmental impact statement for this project appeared in the Federal
Register on March 29, 2006. The Notice of Availability for the Draft
Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement appeared on September
1, 2006. A supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement and
record of decision was prepared on March 30, 2007. The decision was
appealed and then reversed after review, on June 26, 2007.

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose and need remain the same as was described in the FEIS.
The purpose of and need for the project has several elements: (1)
Implement fuels reduction by proposing defensible fuel profile zone
(DFPZ) treatments to provide for fire resiliency and improved fire
fighter safety; (2) Implement group selection provisions of the HFQLG
Act providing for shifting existing conditions towards desired
conditions of an uneven-aged (all-aged), multistory, fire-resilient
forest and contributing toward community stability; (3) Provide for
reduced impacts of the transportation system on forest resources by
implementing road relocation or improvements as part of project access.
The purpose and need includes the following restoration opportunities:
(1) Promote a more natural forest ecosystem with a higher abundance of
hardwoods and create openings around existing California black oaks to
stimulate natural regeneration; and (2) Provide for healthy aquatic and
riparian ecosystems by implementing restoration projects to improve
fish passage in streams and restore selected streams and meadows.

Proposed Action

    The proposed action and alternatives will remain the same as
described in the FEIS. These alternatives include varied levels of fuel
treatments, group selection timber harvest, and transportation system
improvement.

Responsible Official

    Chris Knopp, Acting Forest Supervisor, Plumas National Forest, P.O.
Box 11500, Quincy, CA 95971.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Based on the supplement, the responsible official will decide
whether to implement the project based on an alternative in the FEIS or
not implement the project at this time.

Early Notice of Importance of Public Participation in Subsequent
Environmental Review

    A draft supplemental environmental impact statement will be
prepared for comment. The comment period on the draft supplemental
environmental impact statement will be 45 days from the date the
Environmental Protection Agency publishes the notice of availability in
the Federal Register.

[[Page 39384]]

    The Forest Service believes, at this early stage, it is important
to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public
participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of
draft supplemental environmental impact statements must structure their
participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is
meaningful and alerts an agency to the reviewer's position and
contentions. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519,
553 (1978). Also, environmental objections that could be raised at the
draft supplemental environmental impact statement stage but that are
not raised until after completion of the final supplemental
environmental impact statement may be waived or dismissed by the
courts. City of Angoon v. Hodel, 803 F.2d 1016, 1022 (9th Cir. 1986)
and Wisconsin Heritages, Inc. v. Harris, 490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D.
Wis. 1980). Because of these court rulings, it is very important that
those interested in this proposed action participate by the close of
the 45-day comment period so that substantive comments and objections
are made available to the Forest Service at a time when it can
meaningfully consider them and respond to them in the final
supplemental environmental impact statement.
    To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues
and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft supplemental
environmental impact statement should be as specific as possible. It is
also helpful if comments refer to specific pages of the draft
supplement. Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft
supplemental environmental impact statement or the merits of the
alternatives formulated and discussed in the statement. Reviewers may
wish to refer to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for
implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental
Policy act at 40 CFR 1503.3 in addressing these points.
    Comments received, including the names and addresses of those who
comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposal
and will be available for public inspection.

(Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 1508.22; Forest Service Handbook
1909.15, Section 21)

    Dated: July 3, 2007.
Maria T. Garcia,
Deputy Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 07-3479 Filed 7-17-07; 8:45 am]

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