[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 177 (Tuesday, September 14, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55736-55737]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-22820]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Mark Twain National Forest; Missouri; Integrated Non-Native 
Invasive Plant Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

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

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SUMMARY: The Mark Twain National Forest (MTNF) proposes to implement an 
integrated Forest-wide management strategy to control the spread of 
non-native invasive plants (NNIP) within the National Forest over the 
next 10 years, or until circumstances change to the point that the 
analysis is no longer valid. The proposal utilizes several management 
tools, including registered herbicides, bio-agents, and manual/
mechanical methods.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by October 4, 2010. The draft environmental impact statement is 
expected November 2010 and the final environmental impact statement is 
expected March 2011.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Integrated NNIP Project, 401 
Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, MO 65401. Comments may also be sent via e-mail 
to mailroom_r9_mark_twain@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to (573) 364-
6844.
    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.
    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.

[[Page 55737]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian K Davidson, 401 Fairgrounds 
Road, Rolla, MO 65401.
    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 this project is to protect and restore naturally-
functioning native ecosystems on the MTNF by controlling current and 
future threats of NNIP infestations. Control means, as appropriate, 
eradicating, suppressing, reducing, or managing NNIP populations, 
preventing the spread of NNIP, and taking steps such as restoration of 
native species and habitats to reduce the effects of invasive species 
and to prevent further invasions (Executive Order 13112 invasive 
species). Resiliency, integrity, and sustainability of a variety of 
ecosystems on the MTNF could be compromised if NNIP infestations 
continue to spread. This proposal is needed because existing 
populations of NNIP currently occur on the MTNF and are degrading 
natural communities. Inventoried and new or unknown infestations 
continue to spread unchecked. Past projects to control invasive plants 
on the MTNF have been authorized as small portions of larger vegetation 
management projects. Those limited actions have not been able to keep 
pace with the extent in which several NNIP species spread and encroach 
into new areas. Species such as garlic mustard, spotted knapweed, and 
Sericea lespedeza are too wide-spread and aggressive to address 
individually or at a smaller project level in order to be successful.

Proposed Action

    The MTNF proposes to implement an integrated program for the 
prevention, eradication, suppression, and reduction of existing and 
future NNIP infestations on the forest. The integrated approach 
considers the best available scientific information, most current NNIP 
inventories, and the effectiveness of control methods designed to meet 
desired treatment objectives to control NNIP infestations on National 
Forest System lands with the MTNF boundaries. These control methods 
would include various combinations of manual, mechanical, chemical, 
cultural, and biological treatments.

Cooperating Agencies

    Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is a cooperating agency 
with the MTNF, the lead agency, on this proposal.

Responsible Official

    The forest supervisor of the Mark Twian National Forest is the 
responsible official.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The forest supervisor will make a decision on whether to implement 
the Integrated NNIP strategy on National Forest System land as 
proposed, an alternative, or no action.

Preliminary Issues

    The interdisciplinary team has identified preliminary issues. 
Unintended detrimental environmental effects to non-target species 
could result from the application of herbicide or release of bio-
agents. The application of herbicide could result in an increase of 
toxic chemicals in groundwater.

Scoping Process

    Typically, this notice of intent initiates the scoping process, 
which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. 
Scoping for this project began in November 2009 with a letter to the 
public and posting of information to MTNF world wide Web site. Four 
comment letters were received in response to that solicitation. Those 
comments will be incorporated into the analysis for 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, comments should be 
provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly 
articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Dated: August 23, 2010.
David C. Whittekiend,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2010-22820 Filed 9-13-10; 8:45 am]
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