[Federal Register: August 2, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 148)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Colville National Forest; Washington; Republic Ranger Station
Excess Residence Sale
AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.
SUMMARY: The Colville National Forest, USDA Forest Service, will
prepare an EIS (environmental impact statement) on a proposal to sell a
0.4-acre parcel of land with a residential building, located on the
Republic Ranger District administrative compound, within the City of
Republic, Ferry County Washington. The parcel and Building are no
longer needed to meet public service of Forest Service mission
requirements. The Forest Service Facility Realignment and Enhancement
Act of 2005 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to sell
administrative sites that are no longer needed for National Forest
System purposes. Project implementation is scheduled for Fiscal Year
2008. This project is not associated with the proposed Secure Rural
Schools Land Sale Initiative. The Colville National Forest invites
written comments and suggestions on the scope of the analysis. The
agency will give notice of the full environmental analysis and
decision-making process so interested and affected people may
participate and contribute to the final decision.
DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received
by August 31, 2007. The draft environmental impact statement is
expected in November 2007 and the final environmental impact statement
is expected in January 2008.
ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Rick Brazell, Forest Supervisor,
Colville National Forest, 765 South Main, Colville, WA 99114 (phone
509-684-7000). Comments may be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Comments may also be sent by fax
to (509) 775-7401. Include your name and mailing address with your
comments so documents pertaining to this project may be mailed to you.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ed Shaw, Reality Specialist, Colville
National Forest, 765 South Main, Colville, WA 99114 (phone 509-684-
7129), or Jim Parker, EIS Project Leader, Republic Ranger District, 650
East Delaware, Republic WA 99166 (phone 509-775-7462).
Purpose and Need for Action
One of the key findings of the Colville National Forest Facilities
Master Plan is that the Colville National Forest maintains more
facility space than it needs to perform its mission. The Colville
National Forest needs to remove unneeded buildings from the Forest's
facility inventory in order to eliminate the cost of maintaining
The proposed action is to sell 0.4 acres of land with a residential
building, located on the Republic Ranger District administrative
compound, located in Republic, Ferry County, Washington. The property
legal description is: A portion of the SW\1/4\NW\1/4\ Section 6, T36N,
R33E, WM. The site is located within the city limits of Republic,
Washington. The land was acquired by the Forest Service in 1934.
The site has one residential building. The mineral estate would be
reserved by the government. Water and sewer are provided by a community
This property may be sold directly to an identified purchaser or
may be sold under competitive bidding procedures. The method of sale
will be determined at a later date. If the property is offered for sale
under competitive bidding procedures, an Invitation for Bid will
provide specific information, including a minimum bid price, the
scheduled starting date for bidding, approximate bid closing date,
requirements and instructions for bidding, payment and other closing
procedures. An Offer to Sell will be released after all environmental
studies and other required analysis ar completed and a final decision
to sell the property is made.
The Responsible Official is Rick Brazell, Forest Supervisor,
Colville National Forest, 765 South Main, Colville, WA 99114.
Nature of Decision To Be Made
The Responsible Official will decide whether or not to proceed with
sale of Republic Ranger Station residence and property, including any
outstanding interests or conditions to be conveyed. The decision and
rationale for the decision will be documented in the Record of
Decision, which will be subject to Forest Service Appeal Regulations
(36 CFR Part 215).
The scoping process will identify and clarify issues, identify key
issues to be analyzed in depth, explore alternatives based on themes
derived from key issues recognized during the scoping process, and
identify potential environmental effects associated with the proposed
action. A No Action alternative will be considered.
Only one key issue was identified in preliminary project
assessment: The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Revised,
requires that Federal agencies evaluate properties for historic
significance under Section 106. The residential structure has been
found eligible to the NHRP (National Register of Historic Places), with
the Washington State Historic Preservation Office concurring on this
finding. Conveyance of the property from Federal ownership will be an
adverse effect because of NRHP eligibility based on the following
criteria: The property may represent a significant contribution to the
American history (Criterion A), is associated with the lives of
significant persons in our past (Criterion B), displays distinctive
characteristics of type or period (Criterion C), or may be likely to
yield information important to history (Criterion D). The NRHP
eligibility for the structure is based on a national significance of
context in association with the Depression-era Civilian Conservation
Corps. Eligibility is also based on national and regional significance
of context associated with distinctive architectural characteristics.
The property also contains a deposit of prehistoric lithic material
which would also be eligible for listing on the NRHP; however, the
Forest Service intends to conduct a data recovery excavation of the
site. Data will be professionally recorded, and artifacts recovered
will be curated at an approved curation facility.
This notice of intent initiates the scoping process which guides
the development of the environmental impact statement. The Forest
Service is seeking information, comments, and assistance from other
agencies, organizations, Indian Tribes, and individuals who may be
interested in or affected by the Proposed Action. This input will be
used in preparation of the Draft EIS. Your comments are appreciated
throughout the analysis process.
Early Notice of Importance of Public Participation in Subsequent
Environmental Review: A draft environmental impact statement will be
prepared for comment. The comment period on the draft environmental
impact statement will be 45 days from the date the Environmental
Protection Agency publishes the notice of availability in the Federal
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 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 environmental impact statement stage but that are not raised
until after completion of the final 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 environmental impact statement.
To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues
and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft
environmental impact statement should be as specific as possible. It is
also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the
draft statement. Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft
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 26, 2007.
[FR Doc. 07-3771 Filed 8-1-07; 8:45 am]
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