[Federal Register: December 16, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 242)]
[Notices]               
[Page 76332-76333]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16de08-31]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests; Arizona; Revised Land and 
Resource Management Plan

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Initiation to revise the Apache-Sitgreaves National 
Forests' Land and Resource Management Plan.

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SUMMARY: The Forest Service is revising the Apache-Sitgreaves National 
Forests' Land and Resource Management Plan (hereafter referred to as 
the forest plan). This notice describes the documents available for 
review and how to obtain them; summarizes the need to change the forest 
plan; provides information concerning public participation and 
collaboration, including the process for submitting comments; provides 
an estimated schedule for the planning process, including the time 
available for comments; and includes names and addresses for agency 
officials who can provide additional information.

DATES: Revision formally begins with the publication of this notice in 
the Federal Register. To be most beneficial to the planning process, 
your comments on the need for change should be submitted by February 
16, 2009. A series of public meetings to build the proposed plan are 
tentatively planned for late spring 2009. The dates, times, and 
locations of these meetings will be posted on the forests' Web site: 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Apache-Sitgreaves National 
Forests, Attention: Forest Plan Revision Team, P.O. Box 640, 
Springerville, Arizona 85938. E-mail: asnf.planning@fs.fed.us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Davalos at (928) 333-6334 or 
Deryl Jevons at (928) 333-6261; or e-mail the plan revision team at: 
asnf.planning@fs.fed.us.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Documents Available for Review

    The Comprehensive Evaluation Report, the Ecological Sustainability 
Report, and the Economic and Social Assessment are the forest plan 
revision analyses documents that provide evaluations of social, 
economic, and ecological conditions and trends in and around the 
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The information outlined in the 
Comprehensive Evaluation Report identifies the need to change or revise 
the 1987 forest plan. These documents are available for review and are 
located on the forests' Web site at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/documents.shtml or by request.

Need for Change

    The need for change has been organized into three revision topics: 
1. Maintenance and Improvement of Ecosystem Health, 2. Managed 
Recreation, and 3. Community-Forest

[[Page 76333]]

Interaction. For each of the revision topics, there is a need for the 
revised forest plan to:

1. Maintenance and Improvement of Ecosystem Health

    [ctrcir] Adequately describe desired conditions for the vegetative 
communities regarding: composition, structure, and cover; resilient, 
functioning ecosystems; fire regimes; and plant and animal diversity.
    [ctrcir] Provide direction regarding invasive species.
    [ctrcir] Address the emerging issue of climate change by 
incorporating adaptive management strategies and describing ecological 
conditions that are resilient to change.

2. Managed Recreation

    [ctrcir] Update the spectrum of recreation opportunities and the 
suitability of areas for motorized vehicle use.
    [ctrcir] Incorporate direction for existing special areas that were 
not included in the current forest plan.
    [ctrcir] Identify rivers that are eligible for the National Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System.
    [ctrcir] Evaluate lands for wilderness potential and, if 
appropriate, recommend designation by Congress.

3. Community-Forest Interaction

    [ctrcir] Reduce the risk to communities and natural resources from 
wildfire and provide guidance for addressing urban interface demands 
(access, trailheads, special use permits).
    [ctrcir] Address community expansion needs, preservation of open 
space, and water during land ownership adjustments.
    [ctrcir] Address a sustainable supply of forest and rangeland 
resources that is consistent with achieving desired conditions and that 
supports local communities.
    [ctrcir] Update the criteria for establishing new energy (utility) 
corridors.
    (Reference: Comprehensive Evaluation Report.)

Public Participation and Opportunity To Comment

    The revision process is designed to provide continued opportunities 
for public collaboration and open participation in the development of 
the revised forest plan. Additional information on the process, the 
documents being produced, and public participation opportunities can be 
found on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests' plan revision Web site 
at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/.
    The Forest Service is seeking public comments on the need for 
change identified in the Comprehensive Evaluation Report. Substantive 
comments received by February 16, 2009 will be of the most value in 
evaluating public response to the adequacy of the need for change 
topics outlined in the report.
    It is important to participate in the plan revision process as only 
those parties who participate following the publication of this notice 
through the submission of written comments can submit an objection 
later in the proposed plan development process pursuant to 36 CFR 
219.13(a). Comments received during the planning process, including the 
names and addresses of those who commented will be part of the public 
record available for public inspection. The Responsible Official shall 
accept and consider comments submitted anonymously. Submit written 
comments to the address noted above.

Estimated Planning Process Schedule

    The revision process for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests 
officially begins with the publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register. A series of public meetings to begin building the revised 
plan is tentatively planned for late spring 2009. The dates, times, and 
locations of these meetings will be posted on the forests' Web site: 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision/. A draft proposed forest 
plan is currently scheduled to be issued for pre-decisional review in 
September 2009 and final plan approval in September 2010.

Responsible Official

    The Forest Supervisor, Chris Knopp, is the Responsible Official (36 
CFR 219.2(b)(1)).

(Authority: 36 CFR 219.9(b)(2)(i), 73 FR 21509, April 21, 2008)

    Dated: December 8, 2008.
Chris Knopp,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. E8-29729 Filed 12-15-08; 8:45 am]

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