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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  South Central  |  Topic: Comments needed on Continental Divide National Scenic Trail « previous next »
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Author Topic: Comments needed on Continental Divide National Scenic Trail  (Read 710 times)
Todd Ockert
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« on: June 22, 2007, 12:44:48 am »

Comments needed for support of the Northern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Intermountain Regions Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
Here is the url for the site of the whole document: http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=490012368628+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

[FSM 2350]

Northern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Intermountain Regions
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA

ACTION: Notice--Proposed directives; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: The Northern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Intermountain
Regions of the USDA Forest Service are considering issuing directives,
and are requesting comments, for the planning, development, and
management of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST).
After considering comments, the USDA Forest Service proposes to issue a
supplemental directive for each Region. The directives would also amend
the CDNST Comprehensive Plan of 1985.
    Policy direction is needed to clarify the nature and purposes of
the CDNST and to align the CDNST planning with USDA Forest Service land
management planning processes.

DATES: Comments are requested and must be submitted on or before August
13, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Warren, CDNST Administrator,
(303) 275-5054.
    Written comments concerning this proposal are to be sent to USDA
Forest Service, Attn: CDNST, P.O. Box 25127, Lakewood, CO 80225-0127;
delivered to 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401; or via e-mail to
cdnst@fs.fed.us.

    All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, will be
placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and
copying. The public may inspect comments received in the office of the
Director of Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resources, USDA Forest
Service, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401,
on business days between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Those
wishing to inspect comments are encouraged to call ahead at (303) 275-
5200 to facilitate entry into the building.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The USDA Forest Service provides internal direction to field units
through its Directives System, consisting of the USDA Forest Service
Manuals (FSM) and USDA Forest Service Handbooks (FSH). Directives
provide guidance to field units in implementing programs established by
statute and regulation. USDA Forest Service directives establish agency
policies for delegations of authority, consistent definitions of terms,
clear and consistent interpretation of regulatory language, and
standard processes.
    The USDA Forest Service is requesting comment on policy that
promotes the nature and purposes of the CDNST as depicted in the CDNST
Study Report and Final Environment Statement. In addition, the
directives recommend land management planning integration and
management direction for the CDNST, and amends the CDNST Comprehensive
Plan of 1985.
    The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is administered by the
Secretary of Agriculture in consultation with the Secretary of the
Interior. The Regional Forester of the Rocky Mountain Region is the
lead Forest Service official for coordinating matters concerning the
study, planning, and operation of the CDT.
    The issuance of timely direction for the planning and management of
the CDNST is important due to the extensive nature of ongoing land
management planning and project planning assessments along the trail
corridor throughout these four Regions of the USDA Forest Service.
These assessments need to provide for the integrated management of the
CDNST designated area. Additional information regarding this proposed
directive can be found on the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/cdnst_directive/
.

    Because the agency plans to propose additional revisions to USDA
Forest Service Manual 2300, chapter 50, proposed directives are issued
for comments at this time. The current Forest Service Manual can be
found on the Internet at: http://www.fs.fed.us/im/directives/fsm/.
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Todd Ockert
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 06:19:53 pm »

[Federal Register: August 2, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 148)]
[Notices]               
[Page 42378-42381]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02au07-55]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

[FSM 2350]

 
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of extension of public comment period for Proposed
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) Directives.

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

SUMMARY: The Northern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Intermountain
Regions of the USDA Forest Service are extending the public comment
period through October 12, 2007, for the proposed directives for the
planning, development, and management of the CDNST. The notice of
proposed directives was first published in Federal Register Notice Vol.
72, No. 112, on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. After considering comments, the
USDA Forest Service proposes to issue a supplemental directive for each
Region. The directives would also amend the CDNST Comprehensive Plan of
1985.
    Policy direction is needed to clarify the nature and purposes of
the CDNST and to align the CDNST planning with USDA Forest Service land
management planning processes. The directives would have no effect on
the ground until site-specific planning decisions are completed, with
additional opportunity for public involvement. Additional information
regarding this proposed directive can be found on the Internet at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/cdt.


DATES: Comments are requested and must be submitted on or before
October 12, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Warren, CDNST Administrator,
(303) 275-5054.
    Written comments concerning this proposal are to be sent to US
Forest Service, Attn: CDNST, 740 Simms St, Golden, CO 80401-4720; or
via e-mail cdnst@fs.fed.us.
    All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, will be
placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and
copying. The public may inspect comments received in the office of the
Director of Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resources, USDA Forest
Service, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 740 Simms Street, Golden, CO
80401, on business days between the hours 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Those
wishing to inspect comments are encouraged to call ahead at (303) 275-
5200 to facilitate entry into the building.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The USDA Forest Service provides internal direction to field units
through its Directives System, consisting of the USDA Forest Service
Manuals (FSM) and USDA Forest Service Handbooks (FSH). Directives
provide guidance to field units in implementing programs established by
statute and regulation. USDA Forest Service directives establish agency
policies for delegations of authority, consistent definitions of terms,
clear and consistent interpretation of regulatory language, and
standard processes.
    The USDA Forest Service is requesting comment on policy that
promotes the nature and purposes of the CDNST as depicted in the CDNST
Study Report and Final Environment Statement. In addition, the
directives

[[Page 42379]]

recommend land management planning integration and management direction
for the CDNST, and amends the CDNST Comprehensive Plan of 1985.
    The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is administered by the
Secretary of Agriculture in consultation with the Secretary of the
Interior. The Regional Forester of the Rocky Mountain Region is the
lead Forest Service official coordinating matters concerning the study,
planning, and operation of the CDT.
    The issuance of timely direction for the planning and management of
the CDNST is important due to the extensive nature of ongoing land
management planning and project planning assessments along the trail
corridor throughout these four Regions of the USDA Forest Service.
These assessments need to provide for the integrated management of the
CDNST designated area. Additional information regarding this proposed
directive can be found on the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/cdt.

    Because the agency plans to propose additional revisions to USDA
Forest Service Manual 2300, chapter 50, proposed directives are issued
for comments at this time. The current Forest Service Manual can be
found on the Internet at: http://www.fs.fed.us/im/directives/fsm/2300/2350.doc
.

    The proposed directives for the four Regions are as follows:

Digest

    2353.42(4)(5)--Adds policy direction for the Continental Divide
National Scenic Trail.
    2353.43(1-11) Planning and Development of the Continental Divide
National Scenic Trail (CDNST)--Adds planning and development direction
for the CDNST.
    2353.44(1-8) Management of the Continental Divide National Scenic
Trail (CDNST)--Adds management direction for the CDNST.

2353.4--Administration of National Scenic and National Historic Trails

2353.42--Policy

    4. The nature and purposes of the Continental Divide National
Scenic Trail are to provide for high quality, scenic, primitive hiking
and horseback-riding, non-motorized recreational experiences and to
conserve natural, historic, and cultural resources along the
Continental Divide.
    5. The policy, development, and management direction in this
directive amends and supersedes the purpose depiction, management
policy, and direction contained in the ``Continental Divide National
Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan'' of 1985.

2353.43--National Scenic and Historic Trail System Development

Planning and Development of the Continental Divide National Scenic
Trail (CDNST)

    1. Land Management Planning (FSM 1921) is to provide for the nature
and purposes of theCDNST congressionally designated area, and address
the Comprehensive Plan programmatic requirements of the National Trails
System Act, as amended (Title 16, United States Code, section 1244(f)
(16 U.S.C. 1244(f)):
    a. Identify CDNST desired conditions,
    b. Establish CDNST objectives,
    c. Establish CDNST management guidelines,
    d. Establish monitoring programs to evaluate the condition of the
CDNST in the land management planning area, and
    e. Where the CDNST travel route is outside the congressionally
established wilderness delineate a special area or management area for
the trail corridor.
    2. For each land management plan area that encompasses the CDNST, a
management plan should be completed to address the site-specific
requirements of the National Trails System Act, as amended (16 U.S.C.
1244(f)):
    a. Identify and display the located CDNST travel route,
    b. Identify the significant natural, historical, and cultural
resources to be preserved along the CDNST corridor,
    c. Identify the carrying capacity for the trail that reflects the
nature and purposes of the CDNST,
    d. Provide for CDNST development, signing, and maintenance
programs,
    e. Establish monitoring programs to evaluate the condition of each
CDNST segment as related to the nature and purposes of the CDNST, and
    f. Where applicable, protect high potential segments until such
time that the CDNST is located and delineated as a special area or
management area (FMS 2353.43, Planning and Development of the CDNST
(1)(e)).
    3. The Scenery Management System (FSM 2382) should be followed when
developing land management plans. The foreground zone from the CDNST
travel route should be a primary consideration in delineating a CDNST
special area or management area.
    4. Use the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) system to
delineate, define and integrate CDNST recreational opportunities in
land management planning (FSM 2311.1). The CDNST should be located in
Primitive and Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized ROS settings where available
in the land management planning area, while recognizing that the CDNST
will intermittently traverse through more developed areas, and across
designated motor vehicle use routes (Subpart B--Designation of Roads,
Trails, and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use, part 212 Travel Management, of
Title 36 Code of the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR part 212
subpart B)), in order to provide for a continuous travel route between
Canada and Mexico along the Continental Divide.
    5. A new segment of the CDNST travel route should only be
constructed if current National Forest System trails cannot be managed,
maintained, and reconstructed to provide for the nature and purposes of
the CDNST.
    6. A CDNST trail segment (16 U.S.C. 1246(c)) is not to be
designated for motor vehicle use (36 CFR part 212 subpart B) by the
general public, unless such use is consistent with FSM 2353.44,
Management of the CDNST (5).
    7. A CDNST segment may only be located on a road (16 U.S.C.
1244(5)) where the following conditions are met:
    a. The road is primitive in nature and offers a recreation
experiences not materially different in quality than that extended by a
bona fide hiking and equestrian trail,
    b. An affirmative determination has been made that motor vehicle
use would not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of
the CDNST, and
    c. Motor vehicle use does not constitute a safety hazard to hikers-
pedestrians and equestrians.
    8. Locating the CDNST in wilderness on a National Forest System
trail, and marking the travel route at trail junctions with the CDNST
marker brand, is consistent with the Wilderness Act (Title 16, United
States Code, sections 1131(a) and 1133(b)).
    9. The CDNST should be located on a permanent easement where the
trail crosses private land (FSM 5460.3).
    10. The CDNST should be designed following the Pack-and-Saddle
Trail Class 2 or 3 design parameters when constructed or reconstructed
(FSH 2309.18). However, a CDNST segment may be designed following the
Hiker-Pedestrian Trail Class 1, 2, or 3 design parameters where there
exists a substantial safety or resource concern, or the overall
management direction for the land management plan area only provides
for Hiker-Pedestrian use.

[[Page 42380]]

2353.44--Management of National Scenic and National Historic Trails

Management of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST)

    1. Scenery should be managed following the Scenery Management
System (FSM 2380). The CDNST is a concern level 1 travel route, and
scenic integrity objective is to be high or very high.
    2. Use the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) system (FSM
2311.1) in the management of the CDNST corridor. The CDNST is to be
managed primarily for Primitive and Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized ROS
conditions and experiences.
    3. The CDNST should be managed for both Pack-and-Saddle and Hiker-
Pedestrian uses (FSH 2309.18). However, where the trail design
parameters reflect only Hiker-Pedestrian use, the managed use should be
only Hiker-Pedestrian.
    4. Motor vehicle use may be allowed on a trail segment of the CDNST
(Title 16 United States Code, section 1246(c) (16 U.S.C. 1246(c)):
    a. If necessary to meet emergencies,
    b. To enable adjacent landowners or land users to have reasonable
access to their lands or where there are existing valid rights, and
    c. On a designated motor vehicle use route (36 CFR part 212 subpart
B) that crosses the CDNST where an affirmative determination has been
made that such use would not substantially interfere with the nature
and purposes of the CDNST.
    d. In addition to one of the above three situations being met,
motor vehicle use must also be allowed by the overall management
direction for the land management plan area.
    e. Motor vehicle use is also allowed on a trail segment if such use
is consistent with FSM 2353.44, Management of the CDNST (5).
    5. Motor vehicle use shall be allowed on a trail segment of the
CDNST where the following conditions are met (16 U.S.C. 1246(c)):
    a. An affirmative determination has been made that motor vehicle
use would not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of
the CDNST, and
    b. Motor vehicle use was allowed by administrative regulations on a
National Forest System travel route that was developed prior to
November 10, 1978, which is the time of designation of the CDNST by
Public Law 95-625.
    c. In addition to both of the above two situations being met, motor
vehicle use must also be allowed by the overall management direction
for the land management plan area.
    d. Motor vehicle use may also be allowed on a trail segment if such
use is consistent with FSM 2353.44, Management of the CDNST (4).
    6. Where motor vehicle use is allowed on a road segment (16 U.S.C.
1244(5)) or trail segment (16 U.S.C. 1246(c)) of the CDNST, consider
establishing motor vehicle use prohibitions and restrictions (part 261-
Prohibitions, of Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR part
261)) to mitigate the effects of such use on the nature and purposes of
the CDNST. Management practices and actions that would promote or
result in increased motor vehicle use ont he CDNST should not occur.
    7. Bicycle (mountain bike) use may only be allowed on a trail
segment of the CDNST where the following conditions are met (16 U.S.C.
1246(c)):
    a. An affirmative determination has been made that bicycle use
would not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the
CDNST, and
    b. Bicycles must also be allowed by the overall management
direction for the land management plan area.
    8. Where bicycle (mountain bike) use is allowed on the CDNST,
consider establishing bicycle use prohibitions and restrictions (36 CFR
part 261) to mitigate the effects of such use on the nature and
purposes of the CDNST. Management practices and actions that would
promote or result in increased bicycle use on the CDNST should not
occur.

Regulatory Certifications

Environmental Impact

    The directives would provide policy and procedural guidance to
agency officials implementing the National Trails System Act. CDNST
management decisions implementing the directives would include
appropriate site-specific environmental analysis and public
involvement. The directives would have no effect on the ground until
site-specific planning decisions are completed, with opportunity for
public involvement. Section 31b of USDA Forest Service Handbook 1909.15
(57 FR 43180, September 18, 1992) excludes from documentation in an
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement ``rules,
regulations, or policies to establish Service-wide administrative
procedures, program processes, or instructions.'' The agency's
conclusion is that the directives fall within this category of actions
and that no extraordinary circumstances exist which would require
preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact
statement.

Regulatory Impact

    The directives have been reviewed under USDA procedures and
Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 on regulatory planning and review. The
directives would not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on
the economy, nor would it adversely affect productivity, competition,
jobs, the environment, public health and safety, or State and local
governments. The directives would not interfere with any action taken
or planned by another agency, nor would they raise new legal or policy
issues. Finally, the directives would not alter the budgetary impact of
entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and
obligations of beneficiaries of such programs. Accordingly, the
directives are not subject to OMB review under E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    The directives have been considered in light of the Regulatory
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 602 et seq.). The directives would not have
any effect on small entities as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility
Act. The directives would not directly affect small businesses, small
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Therefore, the
agency has determined that the directives would not have a significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities pursuant to
the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the directives would not impose
record-keeping requirements on them; the directives would not affect
their competitive position in relation to large entities; and it would
not affect their cash flow, liquidity, or ability to remain in the
market.

No Takings Implications

    The directives have been analyzed in accordance with the principles
and criteria contained in E.O. 12630. It has been determined that the
directives would not pose the risk of a taking of private property.

Federalism and Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal
Governments

    The agency has considered the directives under the requirements of
E.O. 13132 on federalism, and has determined that the directives
conform with the federalism principles set out in this E.O.; would not
impose any compliance costs on the States; and would not have
substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the
Federal government and the States, or the distribution of power and
responsibilities among the various

[[Page 42381]]

levels of government. Therefore, the agency has determined that no
further assessment of federalism implications is necessary.
    Moreover, the directives would not have Tribal implications as
defined by E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal
Governments, and therefore advance consultation with Tribes is not
required.

Energy Effects

    The directives have been reviewed under E.O. 13211 of May 18, 2001,
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect the Energy
Supply. It has been determined that the directives would not constitute
a significant energy action as defined in the E.O.

Unfunded Mandates

    Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2
U.S.C. 1531-1538), which the President signed into law on March 22,
1995, the agency has assessed the effects of the directives on State,
local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. The directives
would not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by an State,
local, or Tribal government or anyone in the private sector. Therefore,
a statement under section 202 of the act is not required.

Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public

    These directives do not contain any record-keeping or reporting
requirements or other information collection requirements as defined in
5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not already
approved for use. Accordingly, the review provisions of the Paperwork
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its implementing
regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply.

    Dated: July 26, 2007.
Richard Stem,
Deputy Regional Forester.
[FR Doc. 07-3770 Filed 8-1-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-11-M
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