[Federal Register: March 2, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 39)]
[Notices]               
[Page 9076]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02mr09-11]                         

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Notices
                                                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.

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[[Page 9076]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Divide Ranger District, Rio Grande National Forest; Colorado; Big 
Moose Vegetation Management Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, Rio Grande National Forest, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

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SUMMARY: The Rio Grande National Forest proposes to harvest and 
regenerate timber stands killed by or infested with spruce beetle on 
the Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest, and treat 
portions of the analysis area to promote aspen regeneration and healthy 
stands of young aspen. The proposed treatments would ensure moving 
towards or maintaining Forest Plan Desired Conditions and would 
contribute to societies need for wood fiber.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by April 1, 2009. The draft environmental impact statement is expected 
November 2009 and the final environmental impact statement is expected 
March 2010.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Paul Hancock, Team Leader, Rio 
Grande National Forest, Divide Ranger District, 13308 W. Highway 160, 
Del Norte, CO 81132. Comments may also be sent via e-mail (with 
subject, Big Moose Vegetation Management Project Public Comment) to 
comments-rocky-mountain-rio-grande-divide@fs.fed.us or via facsimile to 
(719) 657-6035.
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record 
for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be 
accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide 
the respondent with standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Hancock at (719) 657-3321.
    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the Big Moose Vegetation Management Project proposal 
is to meet the desired conditions and objectives of the Forest Plan. 
Action is needed to maintain or move existing forest conditions toward 
desired conditions. The proposed treatments would ensure moving towards 
or maintaining Forest Plan Desired Conditions and would contribute to 
societies need for wood fiber.

Proposed Action

    The Rio Grande National Forest proposes to harvest and regenerate 
timber stands killed by or infested with spruce beetle on the Divide 
Ranger District southwest of Creede, Colorado, and treat portions of 
the analysis area to promote aspen regeneration and healthy stands of 
young aspen.
    In order to promote aspen regeneration and healthy stands of young 
aspen, we propose to use prescribed fire. In some areas, prescribed 
fire would be used in conjunction with timber harvest methods to 
promote aspen regeneration. Other areas not treated with timber 
harvesting would be treated with prescribed fire to create a mosaic 
landscape where fuel loads would be reduced and openings would be 
created to promote additional areas for aspen regeneration.
    Most of the proposed treatment areas would use the existing 
transportation system. New temporary road construction would occur. 
This work would be needed for access, improved safety, and additional 
resource protection. Non-system and new temporary roads would also be 
closed following their use.

Responsible Official

    Thomas Malecek, District Ranger, Divide Ranger District, 13308 W. 
Highway 160, Del Norte, CO 81132.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    An environmental impact statement (EIS) that discloses the 
environmental consequences of implementing the proposed action and 
alternatives to that action will be prepared. A separate Record of 
Decision (ROD) will explain the responsible official's decision of 
whether or not to implement some level of timber sale harvest and other 
proposed activities on all, part, or none of the Analysis Area given 
considerations of multiple-use goals and objectives.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the environmental impact statement. The Rio Grande 
National Forest invites public comment and participation regarding this 
project and subsequent EIS through scoping efforts in the form of this 
notice in the Federal Register; the Schedule of Proposed Actions 
(SOPA); public notice in the Valley Courier--the newspaper of record; 
and letters sent to potentially concerned public, tribal governments, 
and State and other Federal agencies. Scoping meetings will be 
announced in the Valley Courier. Information will also be posted on the 
Rio Grande National Forest Web site as the project progresses. Comments 
received during these scoping efforts will be considered in this EIS.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of 
the environmental impact statement. Therefore, substantive comments 
should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should 
clearly articulate the reviewer's ability to participate in subsequent 
administrative appeal or judicial review.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 1508.22, 36 CFR 220.5(b) and Forest 
Service Handbook 1909.15, section 21.

    Dated: February 19, 2009.
Thomas Malecek,
District Ranger/Field Office Manager.
[FR Doc. E9-4267 Filed 2-27-09; 8:45 am]

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