[Federal Register: May 30, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 105)]
[Notices]               
[Page 31054-31055]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30my08-18]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho; Salmon-Challis National 
Forest Travel Management Plan and Off-highway Vehicle Designation

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Revised Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact 
statement.

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SUMMARY: On August 3, 2007 (72 FR 43223), the USDA, Forest Service 
published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare 
an environmental impact statement to designate a portion of the 
National Forest roads, trails, and areas open to public motor vehicle 
use on the Salmon-Challis National Forest (SCNF), and assign the type 
of use(s) and season of use allowed on each road and trail or portion 
thereof. The Forest Service is revising the proposed action to correct 
inconsistencies with the Salmon National Forest and Challis National 
Forest Land and Resource Management plans, correct errors in the 
mileages of roads and motorized trails described in the original 
proposed action, and announce a 60-day public comment period, rather 
than a 45-day public comment period on the Draft EIS.

DATES: Written comments concerning the revised proposed action should 
be received by June 13, 2008. The draft environmental impact statement 
is expected to be released in July 2008 and the final environmental 
impact statement is expected in March 2009.

ADDRESSES: Send or e-mail written comments to Salmon-Challis National 
Forest, ATTN: Travel Management Planning, 1206 South Challis Street, 
Salmon, ID 83467; e-mail comments-intermtn-salmon-challis@fs.fed.us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Gallogly, Travel Planning Team 
Leader, Salmon-Challis National Forest, 1206 South Challis Street, 
Salmon, ID 83467. Telephone: (208) 756-5103.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Further information about the proposal can 
be found in the original NOI published in the Federal Register, Vol. 
72, No.149, pp. 43223-43225, on August 3, 2007. This Revised Notice of 
Intent modifies the proposed action as defined in the original Notice 
of Intent to correct the proposed miles of designated roads from about 
3,400 miles to about 2,300 miles and about 1,100 miles of motorized 
trails to about 900 miles. The revised proposed action also corrects 
project inconsistencies with the Salmon National and the Challis 
National Forest Land and Resource Management plans and announces a 60-
day public comment period on the Draft EIS.
    Maps and data tables displaying the roads and motorized trails 
proposed for designation in the revised proposed action and a list of 
changes from the original proposed action are posted on the SCNF Web 
site at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc/.

Responsible Official

    William A. Wood, Supervisor, Salmon-Challis National Forest, 
Headquarters Office, 1206 South Challis Street, Salmon, Idaho 83467, is 
the responsible official for making the decision and providing 
direction for the analysis.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Based on the purpose and need for the proposal, the Forest 
Supervisor will evaluate the revised proposed action and other 
alternatives to decide which roads, trails and areas will be designated 
as open to the public for motorized use and the allowed season and/or 
type of use for those routes open to motorized travel.
    Federal land managers are directed (Executive Order 11644, 36 CFR 
212 and 43 CFR 8342.1) to ensure that the use of motorized vehicles and 
off-road vehicles will be controlled and directed so as to protect the 
resources of those lands, to promote the safety of users, minimize 
conflicts among the the various uses of federal lands, and to provide 
for public use of roads and trails designated as open.

Scoping Process

    In August 2007, the Forest Service issued an earlier version of the 
proposed action. Many public comments requesting better quality and 
more accurate proposed action maps were received. During the fall and 
winter of 2007-2008, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and 
associated databases were upgraded and refined to improve the quality 
and accuracy of the maps and information needed for detailed analysis. 
As a result, errors in the mileages of roads and motorized trails 
described in the proposed action and inconsistencies with direction in 
the forest plans were discovered. Public comment received during the 
initial scoping period along with resource-related input from the 
interdisciplinary team and other agency resource specialists was used 
to identify a set of issues to carry forward into the environmental 
analysis.

Comment Requested

    This notice of intent initiates the final phase of the scoping 
process which guides the development of the EIS. The Forest Service is 
requesting any new scoping comments related to the revised proposed 
action and its potential effects on the quality of the human 
environment. All comments received during the initial comment period 
(April 2006-March 2007) are being retained and considered as 
potentially relevant to the revised proposed action; such comments do 
not need to be resubmitted unless there are changes or additions. Any 
new or additional comments about the revised proposed action would be 
most useful if received by June 13, 2008. Persons and organizations 
commenting during the intitial scoping will be maintained on the 
mailing list for future information about Salmon-Challis National 
Forest Travel Management Planning.

Early Notice of Importance of Public Participation in Subsequent 
Environmental Review

    A draft environmental impact statement will be prepared for comment

[[Page 31055]]

in July 2008. The comment period on the draft environmental impact 
statement will be 60 days from the date the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) publishes the notice of availability in the Federal 
Register. Written comments are preferred and should include the name 
and address of the commenter. Comments submitted for this revised 
proposed action will be considered part of the public record.
    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 60-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 revised 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: May 22, 2008.
Larry A. Svalberg,
Acting Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. E8-12157 Filed 5-29-08; 8:45 am]

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