[Federal Register: October 24, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 207)]
[Notices]               
[Page 63433-63434]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24oc08-37]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Revision of Land Management Plan for National Forests in 
Mississippi

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of adjustment for resuming the land management plan 
revision process.

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SUMMARY: The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture is resuming 
preparation of the National Forests in Mississippi revised land 
management plan as directed by the National Forest Management Act 
(NFMA). Preparation of the revised plan was halted when the 2005 Forest 
Service planning rule was enjoined. A new planning rule (36 CFR Part 
219) took effect on April 21, 2008, allowing the planning process to be 
resumed. This notice marks the resumption of the National Forests in 
Mississippi plan revision process under the new planning rule.

DATES: This notice is effective on October 24, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to; Forest Plan Revision, National 
Forests in Mississippi, 100 West Capitol Street, Suite 1141, Jackson, 
MS 39269. Submit electronic comments and other data to: Mississippi_
Plan@fs.fed.us. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for file formats and 
other information about electronic access and filling.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Long, Team Leader Plan Revision, 
National Forests in Mississippi, (601) 965-1629; TTY (601) 965-1791.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Bienville, Delta, De Soto, Holly 
Springs, Homochitto, and Tombigbee National Forests are managed as a 
single administrative unit (National Forests in Mississippi). 
Notification of adjustment of the plan revision process for the 
National Forests in Mississippi land management plan was provided in 
the Federal Register on July 27, 2005 (70 FR 43391). The plan revision 
was being developed under the planning procedures contained in the 2005 
Forest Service planning rule (36 CFR 219 (2005)). On March 30, 2007, 
the Federal district court for the Northern District of California 
enjoined the Department from implementing and using the 2005 planning 
rule until the Agency complied with the court's order regarding the 
National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the 
Administrative Procedure Act (Citizens for Better Forestry v. USDA, 481 
F. Supp 2d 1059 (N.D. Cal. 2007)). Revision of the National Forests in 
Mississippi land management plan under the (36 CFR 219 (2005)) rule was 
suspended in response to the injunction. On April 21, 2008, following a 
notice and comment opportunity, completion of an environmental impact 
statement and consultation under the Endangered Species Act, the 
Department of Agriculture promulgated a new planning rule (36 CFR part 
219 (2008)). This new planning rule explicitly allows the resumption of 
plan revisions started under the 2005 rule based on a finding that the 
revision process conforms to the new planning rule (36 CFR 
219.14(b)(3)(ii)).
    Prior to the injunction of the 2005 planning rule, the National 
Forests in Mississippi had substantially engaged the public in 
collaboration efforts to develop plan components, completed a draft 
Comprehensive Evaluation Report, worked with the scientific community 
on addressing concerns for species viability and sustainability to be 
addressed in the revised plan, had developed the model for timber 
suitability and sustainability analysis, and had completed initial 
drafts of major plan components.
    Based on the discussions above, I find that the planning actions 
taken prior to

[[Page 63434]]

April 21, 2008, the effective date of the new planning rule, conform to 
the planning process of the 2008 planning rule and for that reason, the 
plan revision process does not need to be restarted. Therefore, the 
National Forests in Mississippi is resuming its plan revision process 
by moving forward with developing a draft plan for formal public 
review. Future meetings will be announced on the National Forests in 
Mississippi Web site, and a formal comment opportunity will be provided 
when the draft plan is completed. The Forest plan revision World Wide 
Web Internet address is: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/mississippi/forest_plan/forestrevision/index.htm.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1600-1614; 36 CFR 219.14.

    Dated: October 15, 2008.
R.E. Vann, III,
Acting Forest Supervisor, National Forests in Mississippi.
 [FR Doc. E8-25390 Filed 10-23-08; 8:45 am]

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