[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 151 (Friday, August 5, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Page 47538]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-19849]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Sacred Sites; Executive Order 13007

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Public notice; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: A draft report concerning U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) and U.S. Forest Service Native American Sacred Sites policies 
and procedures is available for review and comment at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/sacredsites.

DATES: Comments must be received in writing on or before October 4, 
2011 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date 
will be considered to the extent possible.

ADDRESSES: Public comments concerning this notice should be addressed 
to U.S. Forest Service, Office of Tribal Relations, Ericka Luna, 1400 
Independence Ave., SW., Mailstop Code: 1160, Washington, DC 20250-1160. 
Comments also may be submitted via facsimile to Ericka Luna at 202-205-
1773 or by e-mail to sacredsitescomment@fs.fed.us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Clark, USDA, Forest Service, 
Washington Office, Office of Tribal Relations, 202-205-1514 or 
fclark@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the 
deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through 
Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This draft report to the Secretary of 
Agriculture, Thomas J. Vilsack evaluates the current condition of 
Native American Sacred Sites protection, pursuant to Executive Order 
13007 and other policies and procedures, on National Forest System 
(NFS) lands throughout the United States. The Secretary requested 
information about the unintended consequences of land management 
decisions affecting Native American Sacred Sites and communities whose 
cultural survival is connected to these sites.
    In response to Secretary Vilsack's request, USDA's Office of Tribal 
Relations and the Forest Service formed a team to talk to Tribes and 
other Native American communities about how the Agency can do a better 
job incorporating Sacred Sites issues into the Agency's mission to 
deliver forest goods and services for current and future generations on 
NFS lands. Over 50 meetings (listening sessions) were held across the 
Nation. The meetings were held in Indian Country, Alaska Native 
villages, telephonically and face-to-face, at inter-tribal venues, and 
at numerous other locations as requested by the Tribes. These listening 
sessions engaged not only tribal leadership but also culture keepers, 
traditional practitioners, and unaffiliated native descendants. The 
team conducting this review also surveyed Forest Service line officers 
and program managers to learn their thoughts and observations about the 
effectiveness of the Agency's efforts to manage land that includes 
Sacred Sites. The review included a synthesis of current laws, rules, 
regulations, and policies that affect the Agency's ability to protect 
Sacred Sites.
    The draft report, and other associated information, is available 
at: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/sacredsites.
    The draft report will be made available to federally recognized 
Tribes and to Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporations 
(as required by 25 U.S.C. 450(b)) for consultation consistent with 
Executive Order 13175. Federally recognized Tribes and ANCSA 
Corporations will be directly contacted by USDA or the Forest Service. 
We will incorporate what we hear during government-to-government 
consultation with Tribes and government-to-corporation consultation 
with ANCSA Corporations into the final report, which is anticipated to 
be submitted to the Secretary early in 2012. In addition, public 
comments will be summarized as part of the final report. Public 
comments should be submitted as listed under ADDRESSES. All comments 
received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when 
provided, will be a matter of public record.
    As a result of this review, if the Secretary directs policy change 
or other agency action, the need for additional consultation or public 
comment and publication in the Federal Register will be determined by 
the scope and extent of the proposed changes.

    Authority:  Executive Orders 13007 and 13175.

    Dated: August 1, 2011.
Joel D. Holtrop,
Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2011-19849 Filed 8-4-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P