[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 121 (Monday, June 23, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35408-35409]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-14159]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[OR932-6334-DF-062H; HAG-0125]


Notice of Intent (NOI) To Prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) for Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on BLM Lands 
in Oregon

AGENCY: USDI, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oregon/Washington State 
Office.

ACTION: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS).

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SUMMARY: In accordance with Section 102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the BLM in Oregon is beginning 
preparation of a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to 
analyze the use of 18 nationally approved herbicides to control noxious 
weeds; to treat invasive plants and other weeds in administrative 
sites, recreation sites, and rights-of-way; to treat forest pests and 
diseases; and to meet non-commodity landscape health objectives across 
nine BLM Districts in Oregon.
    This EIS will tier to, and adopt procedures from, the programmatic 
Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on BLM Lands in 17 Western 
States EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) completed by the BLM in 2007 
for the same 18 herbicides. The EIS will not amend existing District 
Resource Management Plans (RMPs).

DATES: Publication of this notice initiates a scoping period that runs 
through July 28, 2008. Written or e-mailed comments are being sought to 
help identify the relevant issues and environmental concerns, identify 
possible alternatives, and help determine the scope of the EIS. During 
the scoping period, the BLM will hold public scoping meetings in 
Oregon, at or near each of the nine BLM District Offices and in Klamath 
Falls and Baker City, to describe the proposal and solicit ideas for 
issues and alternatives to be considered in the EIS. Times and 
locations are included in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below and will be 
announced through local press releases, advertisements, and the project 
Web site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, to be placed 
on the mailing list, or to provide written comments, send e-mail to 
ORVegTreatments@blm.gov or contact Ken Denton, EIS Team Leader, OR/WA 
Bureau of Land Management-932, PO Box 2965, Portland, OR 97208; 
telephone (503) 808-6443. Additional information is also available on 
the project Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/vegtreatmentseis.
    Comments received will be available for public inspection at the 
Bureau of Land Management Oregon State Office reading room, located at 
333 SW. First St., Portland, OR 97204. Before including your address, 
phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--
including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. The minutes and list of 
attendees for each scoping meeting will be available to the public and 
any participant who wishes to clarify the views he or she expressed may 
do so through the end of the scoping period.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BLM manages 15.7 million acres in Oregon. 
Invasive plants (including noxious weeds) affect over a million of 
these acres and are increasing at an estimated 10 to 15 percent per 
year. Invasive plants degrade soil and water quality, displace native 
vegetation, and negatively alter habitat for fish and wildlife. Noxious 
weeds, invasive plants, and other weeds also encroach on rights-of-ways 
and administrative and recreation sites. Currently, the BLM utilizes an 
integrated pest management approach for invasive plant and other weed 
management; which includes education, early detection and prevention 
measures, as well as manual, mechanical, cultural, biological, and 
chemical vegetation controls. However, chemical control on BLM lands in 
Oregon is currently limited to the use of four approved herbicides, and 
those are limited to treatment of federal-, state-, and county-
designated noxious weeds (a subset of the invasive plants).
    To improve the overall effectiveness of Oregon BLM's integrated 
pest management program, there is a need for access to a broader array 
of herbicides that are generally less toxic, more target-specific, and 
more effective at controlling noxious weeds, invasive plants, and other 
weeds.

[[Page 35409]]

    The BLM in Oregon will analyze the use of up to 18 herbicide active 
ingredients approved for use in the national Vegetation Treatments 
Using Herbicides on BLM Lands in 17 Western States EIS and ROD 
completed by the BLM in 2007. The purpose of the Oregon EIS is to:
     Evaluate the effects of using up to 18 nationally approved 
herbicide active ingredients for treatment of noxious weeds; for 
treatment of invasive vegetation and other weeds in administrative 
sites, recreation sites, and rights-of-way; for treatment of forest 
pests and diseases; and to achieve non-commodity landscape health 
objectives.
     Incorporate the Risk Assessments, Standard Operating 
Procedures, and Mitigation Measures for herbicide application outlined 
in the National Programmatic EIS.
     Provide the necessary context and analysis of 
environmental effects that will enable each of the nine BLM Districts 
in Oregon to prepare National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses 
on site-specific projects and treatments.
    The EIS will not evaluate herbicide use directed specifically at 
commodity production such as livestock forage production and timber 
production.
    The National Programmatic EIS and Environmental Report completed in 
2007 for the 17 western states (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/
veg_eis.html ) provided a programmatic analysis of the effects of 
using herbicides for treating vegetation on BLM lands in the western 
U.S., including Alaska. That EIS did not specifically address which 
herbicides, and in what quantities, would be used in Oregon. The Oregon 
EIS will tier to the National EIS. The Oregon EIS will, however, 
identify which herbicides will be available for use in Oregon and how 
those herbicides will be used as part of an integrated vegetation 
treatment program and provide Oregon-specific environmental effects of 
their use. Subsequent project-specific NEPA analyses will be conducted 
at the field-office level before individual projects are carried out.
    The BLM has initially identified the following issues for analysis 
in the Oregon-wide programmatic EIS:
     Effects to fish and other non-target aquatic organisms;
     Effects to water quality;
     Effects to wildlife and other non-target terrestrial 
organisms;
     Public and worker health and safety;
     Treatment-effectiveness; and,
     Cost-effectiveness.

Meetings

Oregon Meeting Schedule

Date and Time--Location--Key Contact
July 7, 5-7 p.m.--Baker BLM Resource Area Office, 3285 11th Street, 
Baker City--Mark Wilkening (541) 473-6218.
July 8, 6:30-8 p.m.--Vale BLM District Office, 100 Oregon St., Vale--
Mark Wilkening (541) 473-6218.
July 9, 5:30-7 p.m.--Harney County Senior Center, 17 S. Alder Ave., 
Burns--Tara Martinak (541) 573-4519.
July 10, 8-10 a.m.--Lakeview BLM Office, 1301 S. ``G'' Street, 
Lakeview--Scott Stoffel (541) 947-6237.
July 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m.--Klamath Falls, 2795 Anderson Avenue, Bldg. 
25, Klamath Falls--Scott Stoffel (541) 947-6237.
July 14, 6:30-8 p.m.--North Bend Public Library, 1800 Sherman Ave., 
North Bend--Megan Harper (541) 751-4353.
July 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.--Medford BLM Office, 3040 Biddle Road, 
Medford--James Whittington (541) 618-2220.
July 16, 6:30-8 p.m.--Umpqua National Forest Supervisor's Office, 2900 
Stewart Pkwy, Roseburg--Robert Hall (541) 464-3245.
July 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.--Harris Hall, Lane Co. Building, 125 E. 8th 
Ave., Eugene--Doug Huntington (541) 683-6415.
July 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.--Downtown Hilton, Director's Suite, 921 SW. 6th 
Ave., Portland--Maya Fuller (503) 808-6437.
July 21, 6:30-8 p.m.--Salem BLM Office, 1717 Fabry Rd. SE., Salem--
Trish Hogervorst (503) 375-5657.
July 22, 6:30-8 p.m.--Saint Joseph's Parish Hall, 200 East 1st St. 
Prineville--Teal Purrington (541) 416-6772.

    Dated: June 13, 2008.
James G. Kenna,
Associate State Director, Oregon/Washington.
 [FR Doc. E8-14159 Filed 6-20-08; 8:45 am]
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