[Federal Register: June 3, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 105)]
[Notices]               
[Page 26649]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03jn09-26]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, MT; Flower Creek 
Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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SUMMARY: The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of fuel and 
vegetation management through commercial timber harvest, precommercial 
thinning and fuel grinding; road storage; temporary road construction; 
and trail construction. The project is located in the Flower Creek 
Watershed on the Libby Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, 
Lincoln County, Montana, and south of Libby, Montana.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The 
draft environmental impact statement is expected December 2009 and the 
final environmental impact statement is expected March 2010.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Malcolm R. Edwards, District 
Ranger, Libby Ranger District, 12557 Hwy 37, Libby, MT 59923. Comments 
may also be sent via e-mail to comments-northern-kootenai-
libby@fs.fed.us.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such a way that they are useful to the Agency's preparation of 
the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of 
the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's 
concerns and contentions. The submission of timely and specific 
comments can affect a reviewer's ability to participate in subsequent 
administrative review or judicial review.
    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 participate in subsequent 
administrative review or judicial review.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Beck, Team Leader, Libby Ranger 
District, 12557 Hwy 37, Libby, MT 59923; phone: (406) 293-7773.
    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: The project area is approximately 3 air 
miles south of Libby, Montana, within all or portions of T30N, R31W, 
Sections 3, 4, 5, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29 and 30; T30N, 
R32W, Sections 3, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 
32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 PMM, Lincoln County, Montana. The area contains 
the Flower Creek Watershed.

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose and need for this project is to: (1) Trend vegetation 
in the Flower Creek Watershed towards conditions that are resilient to 
fire thereby reducing the risk of stand replacing wildfire and 
associated post-fire effects to the municipal watershed.

Proposed Action

    To meet this purpose and need this project proposes:
    (1) Vegetation treatments, including commercial timber harvest and 
associated fuel reduction, fuel reduction in stands that are not 
economically viable for commercial harvest, pre-commercial thinning, 
yarding tops to the landing in commercial harvest units, grinding 
landing piles and spot fuel grinding or mastication with and without 
associated timber harvest. Vegetation treatments total 990 acres of 
treated area.
    (2) Access management includes road storage and construction of 
temporary road. Approximately 1.81 miles of road storage is proposed. 
Approximately 1 mile of temporary road construction to access treatment 
units is proposed.
    (3) Construction of a non-system trail tread to form a walking loop 
in the project area for a total of 0.23 miles.

Possible Alternatives

    The Forest Service will consider a range of alternatives. One of 
these will be the ``no action'' alternative in which none of the 
proposed activities will be implemented. Additional alternatives will 
examine varying levels and locations for the proposed activities to 
achieve the proposal's purposes, as well as to respond to the issues 
and other resource values.

Responsible Official

    Forest Supervisor of the Kootenai National Forest, 31374 U.S. 
Highway 2 West, Libby, MT 59923. As the Responsible Official, I will 
decide if the proposed project will be implemented. I will document the 
decision and reasons for the decision in the Record of Decision. I have 
delegated the responsibility for preparing the DEIS and FEIS to Malcolm 
R. Edwards, District Ranger, Libby Ranger District.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the environmental impact statement. A public meeting 
will be held June 16 in Libby, Montana followed by a public field trip 
on June 18.
    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, comments should be 
provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly 
articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. The submission of 
timely and specific comments can affect a reviewer's ability to 
participate in subsequent administrative appeal or judicial review.

    Dated: May 21, 2009.
Paul Bradford,
Forest Supervisor, Kootenai National Forest.
[FR Doc. E9-12724 Filed 6-2-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-11-M