[Federal Register: February 21, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 34)]
[Page 7855-7856]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.


[[Page 7855]]



Forest Service

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Baker County, Oregon; North Fork 
Burnt River Mining

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a supplement to a final 
environmental impact statement.


SUMMARY: The USDA, Forest Service will prepare a supplemental 
environmental impact statement (SEIS) to address the order of Judge 
Paul Papak, United States District Court, District of Oregon (Hells 
Canyon Preservation Council, and Northwest Environmental Defense Center 
v. Richard J. Haines, Steve Ellis, and United States Forest Service, 
August 4, 2006). Specifically the court found that the April 2004 North 
Fork Burnt River Final Environmental Impact Statement was deficient 
because the Agency: (1) Did not require a certificate of compliance 
under 33 U.S.C. 1341(a)(1), also referred to as 401 under the Clean 
Water Act, prior to approvals of the Plans of Operations, (2) failed to 
ensure that authorized mining activities will comply with 313 of the 
Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1323(a), on the 303(d) listed waters for 
water-quality limited for sedimentation, (3) failed to adequately 
analyze the selection of buffer widths for the riparian habitat 
conservation areas (RHCAs) and as such is inconsistent with INFISH 
standard MM-1, (4) failed to adequately analyze the necessity of new 
roads and whether alternatives exist and to provide specific assurances 
that the new road construction will comply with INFISH standard MM-2, 
(5) incorrectly determined that settling ponds are not structures 
subject to INFISH standard MM-2 and therefore failed to perform the 
required analysis under MM-2 as to alternative locations; and (6) 
failed to adequately analyze whether mining and private property access 
needs, administrative use and needs of other forest users are warranted 
exceptions to the open-road density guidelines of the Wallowa-Whitman 
National Forest Land Management Plan.
    The SEIS will provide additional information and analysis to 
address the deficiencies noted by the court in the 2004 FEIS, and 
record the analysis of a proposed non-significant project-specific 
amendment to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest's Land and Resource 
Management Plan (LRMP) to change Standard 12 and Standard 
13 for Management Area 1(LRMP pg. 4-58), and Standard 
9 for Management Area 3, 3a (LRMP pg. 4-62) to reflect a more 
realistic and achievable open road density for these management areas 
in subwatersheds 83B, 83C, 83D, 83E, 83F and 83G within the North Fork 
Burnt River Mining planning area in light of the current and projected 
land uses and management activities for the foreseeable future.

DATES: Comments on the scope of the analysis must be postmarked by 
April 6, 2007, and should be addressed to the Responsible Official 

ADDRESSES: Send written comments and suggestions to Steve Ellis, Forest 
Supervisor, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, PO Box 907, Baker City, 
OR, 97814, or fax comments to (541) 523-1315. Written comments may be 
delivered to the office in Baker City, at 1550 Dewey Avenue during 
normal business hours, up through 5 p.m. April 6, 2006.

Electronic Comments: Comments may also be e-mailed to: 
comments-pacificnorthwest-wallowa-whitman-whitmanunit@fs.fed.us, by 5 p.m. April 

6, 2007. Those submitting electronic copies must do so only to the e-
mail address listed above, must put the project name in the subject 
line, and must either submit comments as part of the e-mail message or 
as an attachment only in one of the following three formats: Microsoft 
Word, rich text format (rtf) or Abobe Portable Document Format (pdf). 
E-mails submitted to e-mail addresses other than the one listed above 
or in other formats that those listed or containing viruses will be 
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the 
public record on this proposed action and will be available for public 
inspection. Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may 
request the agency to withhold a submission from the public record by 
showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such 
confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be 
aware that, under the FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only very 
limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest 
Service will inform the requester of the agency's decision regarding 
the request for confidentiality, and where the request is denied, the 
agency will return the submission and notify the requester that the 
comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within 10 
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination 
in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, 
national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital 
status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, 
genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or 
part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance 
program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with 
disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program 
information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a 
complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil 
Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or 
call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal 
opportunity provider and employer.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sophia Miller, Interdisciplinary Team 
Leader, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Wallowa Mountains Office, 
88401 Hwy 82, Box A, Enterprise, OR, Phone: (541) 426-5540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scoping is not required for supplements to 
environmental impact statements (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(4)). However, at 
their discretion the Agency is inviting comments at this time. Comments 
are sought to help the Agency identify specific information needs and 
analytical methodologies necessary to fully address the court 

[[Page 7856]]

deficiencies. For comments to be most useful, they should be as 
specific as possible and submitted in writing by the date identified 
    A notice will be prepared and circulated to affected Federal, 
State, and local agencies, affected tribes and individuals and 
organizations previously expressing an interest in the 2004 FEIS.
    The Forest Supervisor for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is 
the Responsible Official. The Responsible Official will decide whether 
or not to (1) Incorporate the supplemental analysis into the FEIS, and 
(2) amend the LRMP to change specific LRMP standards and guidelines for 
open road densities in subwatersheds 83B, 83C, 83D, 83E, 83F and 83G 
within the North Fork Burnt River Mining planning area.
    The Responsible Official will also document the decision and 
reasons for the decision in the Record of Decision. This Record of 
Decision will replace and supercede the vacated 2004 Record of Decision 
for the North Fork Burnt River Mining FEIS. This decision will be 
subject to Forest Service Appeal Regulations (36 CFR part 215).

    Dated: February 13, 2007.
Steven A. Ellis,
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 07-750 Filed 2-20-07; 8:45 am]