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[Federal Register: January 7, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 4)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
36 CFR Part 294
Special Areas; Roadless Area Conservation; Applicability to the
National Forests in Idaho
AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment.
SUMMARY: The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is
proposing to establish a State-specific rule to provide management
direction for conserving and enhancing the roadless characteristics for
designated roadless areas in Idaho. The agency is particularly
interested in receiving public input regarding the following topics: to
what extent should the Forest Service allow building roads for the
purpose of conducting limited forest health activities in areas
designated as backcountry; are the limitations on sale
of common variety minerals and discretionary mineral leasing
appropriate; and will the proposed mechanism for administrative
corrections and modifications be sufficient to accommodate future
adjustments necessary due to changed circumstances or public need?
DATES: Comments must be received in writing by April 7, 2008.
ADDRESSES: Comments may be sent via email to IDcomments@fsroadless.org
Comments also may be submitted via the world wide web/Internet at http://www.regulations.gov
. Written comments concerning this notice
should be addressed to Roadless Area Conservation-Idaho, P.O. Box
162909, Sacramento, CA 95816-2909, or via facsimile to 916-456-6724.
All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are
placed in the record and are available for public inspection and
copying. The public may inspect comments received at http://roadless.fs.fed.us
A copy of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), the DEIS
summary, and other information related to this rulemaking is available
at the national roadless Web site (http://www.roadless.fs.fed.us
well as by calling the number listed below, under the ``for further
information'' heading. Reviewers may request printed copies or compact
disks of the DEIS and the summary by writing to the Rocky Mountain
Research Station, Publication and Distribution, 240 West Prospect Road,
Fort Collins, CO 80526-2098. Fax orders will be accepted at 970-498-
1122. Order by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org
. When ordering,
requesters must specify if they wish to receive the summary or full set
of documents and if the material should be provided in print or on
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Gilbert, Idaho Roadless Rule Team
Leader, at (208) 765-7438. Individuals using telecommunication devices
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Standard
Time, Monday through Friday.
As a leader in natural resource conservation, the Forest Service
provides direction for the management and use of the Nation's forests,
rangelands, and aquatic ecosystems. The Forest Service is charged to
collaborate cooperatively with states, Tribes, and other interested
parties regarding the use and management of the National Forest System
State of Idaho Petition
On June 23, 2005, the State of Idaho (hereafter referred to as
State) announced it would submit a petition pursuant to the State
Petitions Rule (70 FR 25654), requesting specific regulatory
protections and certain management flexibility for the approximately
9.3 million acres of NFS inventoried roadless areas in Idaho. As part
of that announcement, the State invited affected county commissioners,
Tribes, and members of the public to develop specific recommendations
for the NFS inventoried roadless areas in their respective areas.
Additionally, over 50 public meetings were held and the public was
encouraged to send individual comments directly to the Governor's
office for consideration.
Idaho's petition, under the State Petition Rule, was submitted to
the Secretary of Agriculture for consideration on September 20, 2006.
Subsequently, Idaho submitted a new petition on October 5, 2006, under
section 553(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act and Department
regulations at 7 CFR Sec. 1.28. The Department has also received
rulemaking petitions from the Nez Perce Tribe and other organizations
and individuals requesting reinstatement of the 2001 rule.
The Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee (RACNAC)
(72 FR 13469) reviewed the Idaho petition on November 29 and 30, 2006,
in Washington, DC. Governor James Risch, on behalf of the State of
Idaho, discussed his views on the scope and intent of the petition
during the first day of the meeting. The committee also heard comments
from other State and Forest Service officials, and members of the
On December 19, 2006, the committee issued a unanimous consensus-
based recommendation that the Secretary direct the Forest Service, with
the State as a cooperating agency, to proceed with rulemaking.
On December 22, 2006, the Secretary accepted the petition based on
the advisory committee's review and report, and directed the Forest
Service to initiate rulemaking.
The USDA is committed to conserving and managing inventoried
roadless areas. The Department considers the proposed rule the most
appropriate solution to address the challenges of inventoried roadless
area management on NFS lands in the State of Idaho. Additional
information, maps, and other materials concerning the Idaho Roadless
Areas, as well as other roadless areas, can be found at http://roadless.fs
fed.us/. Collaborating and cooperating with states and
other interested parties regarding the long-term strategy for the
conservation and management of inventoried roadless areas allows
recognition of both national values and local situations.
The State of Idaho petition included specific information and
recommendations for the management of individual inventoried roadless
areas in the State. This site-specific knowledge provided by the State
and its citizens aids the USDA and Forest Service in accomplishing
their objectives and is reflected in this proposed rulemaking.
Additionally, the State of Idaho examined roadless areas sharing
boundaries or overlapping with neighboring states and determined the
need to coordinate with Montana and Utah to insure consistency of
management themes assigned to these inventoried roadless areas. Lastly,
the Forest Service and the State anticipate collaborating on
implementing this proposed rulemaking. This commitment is reflected in
the Governor's Roadless Rule Implementation Commission (Idaho Executive
Order 2006-43), which is charged with the responsibility of working
with the Forest Service to accomplish collaborative implementation of
this proposed rule. The Executive Order can be found on the State of
Idaho's roadless Web site http://gov.idaho.gov/roadless_petition.htm