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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Midwest  |  Topic: Superior National Forest, LaCroix Ranger District, MN; Border EIS « previous next »
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Todd Ockert
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« on: January 27, 2008, 10:54:42 am »

[Federal Register: January 28, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 18)]
[Notices]               
[Page 4776-4777]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28ja08-21]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Superior National Forest, LaCroix Ranger District, MN; Border
Project Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, will prepare an
environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Border Project. The
proposed activities would manage forest vegetation composition,
structure, and spatial patterns. Proposed activities also address the
transportation system associated with vegetation activities and long-
term federal, non-federal, and public access needs.

    The Project Area encompasses about 57,000 acres of National Forest
System land. The Proposed Action would create young forest through
timber harvest on about 8,617 acres; improve stand structure and
within-stand diversity with harvests such as thinning on about 3,730
acres; and restore stand conditions without harvest on about 1,904
acres. Managing the minimum road system needed for long-term vegetation
management would involve adding 1.6 miles of system road and
decommissioning 9.2 miles of road. A range of alternatives, including a
no-action alternative, will be developed to respond to significant
issues. The proposed project is located on the LaCroix Ranger District,
Cook, Minnesota, Superior National Forest.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received
by March 10, 2008. The draft environmental impact statement is expected
in summer 2008 and the final environmental impact statement is expected
in winter 2008/2009.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Nancy S. Larson, LaCroix District
Ranger, Border Project, 320 Hwy 53 North, Cook, MN 55723. Send
electronic comments to comments-eastern-superior-la-croix@fs.fed.us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol Booth, Border Project
Coordinator, 320 Hwy 53 North, Cook, MN 55723; telephone (218) 666-
0020.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose and Need for Action

    The primary purpose of the Border Project is to move the area
towards the vegetation and landscape ecosystem desired conditions
described in the Superior National Forest Land and Resource Management
Plan (Forest Plan). Forest Plan direction for the transportation system
is also part of the project's purpose.

Proposed Action

    The proposed Action would manage forest vegetation composition,
structure, and spatial patterns and the transportation system
associated with these activities. Proposed activities include: creating
young forest approximately 8,617 acres, improving stand structure and
within-stand diversity on approximately 3,730 acres, and restoring
stand conditions through a variety of non-harvest activities such as
planting, biomass removal, and conducting prescribed burns to reduce
risk of wildfire on approximately 1,904 acres. Managing the minimum
road system needed for long-term vegetation management would involve
adding 1.6 miles of system road and decommissioning 9.2 miles of road.

Responsible Official

    Nancy S. Larson, LaCroix District Ranger, 320 Hwy 53 North, Cook,
MN 55723.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    An environmental analysis for the Border Project will evaluate
site-specific issues, consider management alternatives, and analyze the
potential effects of the proposed action and alternatives. The scope of
the project is limited to decisions concerning activities within the
Border Project Area that meet the Purpose and Need, as well as desired
conditions. An environmental impact statement will provide the
Responsible Official, Nancy S. Larson, with the information needed to
decide which actions, if any, to approve.

Scoping Process

    Public participation will be an integral component of the analysis
process, and will be especially important at several points during the
analysis. The first is during the scoping process. The Forest Service
is seeking information, comments, and assistance from federal agencies,
State agencies, local agencies, individuals, and organizations that may
be interested or affected by the proposed activities. The scoping
process will include: (1) Identification of potential issues, (2)
identification of issues to be analyzed in depth, and (3) elimination
of insignificant issues, or those which have been covered by a previous
environmental review. Based on the results of scoping and the resource
capabilities within the project area, alternatives, including a no-
action alternative, will be developed for the draft environmental
impact statement.

Permits or Licenses Required

    Easement or permission to cross non-federal property may be needed
to access some treatment units to implement Forest Service activities.

Comment Requested

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process which guides
the development of the environmental impact statement. Written comments
will be solicited through a scoping package that will be sent to the
project mailing list. For the Forest Service to

[[Page 4777]]

best use the scoping input, comments must be received by March 10,
2008. Include name, address, and title of the project with your
comments.
    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
Register.
    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: January 18, 2008.
Nancy S. Larson,
LaCroix District Ranger.
[FR Doc. 08-335 Filed 1-25-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-11-M

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Joel Adamson
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 04:47:48 pm »

Thanks for the heads up.  I don't understand why they have to be so anxious to "decommission" existing trails every time they do some kinfd of a project.

At Least Superior Nat. Forest is better than some.

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