[Federal Register: September 19, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 183)]
[Page 54363-54364]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Forest Service

Revised Land and Resource Management Plan: Kiowa, Rita Blanca, 
Black Kettle, and McClellan Creek National Grasslands; Oklahoma, Texas, 
and New Mexico

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Initiation to revise the Cibola National Forest and 
Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan.


SUMMARY: The Forest Service is revising the Land and Resource 
Management Plan (hereafter referred to as Grasslands Plan) for the 
Kiowa, Rita Blanca, Black Kettle, and McClellan Creek National 
Grasslands. This notice describes the documents available for review 
and how to obtain them; summarizes the need to change the Grasslands 
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 the names and addresses of agency 
officials who can provide additional information.

DATES: Revision formally begins with publication of this notice in the 
Federal Register. Many public comments regarding Forest Plan revision 
have already been received at public meetings and through e-mail, phone 
calls, and letters. Additional comments on the Comprehensive Evaluation 
Report (CER) should be submitted by October 31, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Sara Campney, Cibola National 
Forest, 2113 Osuna Rd., NE., Albuquerque, NM 87113.
    Electronic mail address: comments-grasslandsplan@fs.fed.us.
    Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/cibola/plan-revision/national_grasslands/index.shtml.
    Comment form: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/cibola/plan-revision/national_grasslands/contactus.shtml.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cibola National Forest Planner 
assistant, Sara Campney phone (505) 346-3886 fax (505) 346-3901.

    Documents Available for Review: Three pre-revision documents are 
available for review on the Cibola National Forest Plan Revision Web 
site: The Socio-Economic Sustainability Report, the Ecological 
Sustainability Report, and the CER for the Kiowa, Rita Blanca, Black 
Kettle, and McClellan Creek National Grasslands. In addition, the final 
version of the Canadian River Potential Wilderness Area Evaluation (the 
Evaluation) is also available on the Web site (see Web site address 
above). Public meetings and a comment period for the Evaluation were 
held from October 2007 to February 2008. There will be another 
opportunity to comment on the Evaluation during the 90-day comment 
period that will follow the publication of the Proposed Plan.
    Need for Change: The Grasslands Plan revision needs to:

--Better address the unique, local conditions and historic natural 
processes of each of the Grassland's ecosystems.

[[Page 54364]]

--Include more adaptive management approaches for emerging vegetation 
issues, such as invasive plants, the effects of climate change, and 
managing wildland fire in a checkerboard land ownership pattern.
--Evaluate the at-risk species relationships to associated ecosystems 
on the Grasslands and determine the need for species-specific 
management direction.
--Identify management strategies that address the recreation 
opportunities and challenges on the Grasslands and that support the 
sustainability of local communities.
--Identify areas of high scenic quality and develop management 
objectives based on the distinguishing features of the Grassland's 
--Use the Travel Analysis Process to assist in developing the long-term 
goals and objectives that will guide future road designation and 
maintenance on the Grasslands for administrative and public purposes.
--Evaluate the suitability of the Canadian River Potential Wilderness 
Area (Mills Canyon) for a Wilderness designation and provide direction 
that protects the unique features of this area.
--Address the unique management considerations for existing special 
areas, including eligible Scenic Rivers, Historic Trails and Scenic 
--Address the future impacts and suitability of renewable energy 
production on and around the Grasslands, particularly wind energy 
--Provide management direction for oil and gas operations from the 
drilling and construction phase through site rehabilitation.

Public Participation and Opportunity To Comment

    The public is invited to submit comments on the Comprehensive 
Evaluation Report to the address or electronic mail address listed in 
the beginning of this announcement. Comments should be submitted by 
October 31, 2008. Public meetings on the Draft Plan have not yet been 
scheduled. Only those parties who participate in the planning process 
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 
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.

Estimated Schedule

September 2008 to March 2009--Prepare Proposed Plan.
April 2009--Begin collaboration with the public to refine the Proposed 
October 2009--Complete Proposed Plan and begin the formal 90-day 
comment period.
February 2010--30-day pre-decisional Objection Period.
March 2010--Responsible Official signs Plan Approval Document.

Responsible Official

    The Forest Supervisor, Nancy Rose, 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: September 12, 2008.
Nancy Rose,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. E8-22001 Filed 9-18-08; 8:45 am]