[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 43 (Monday, March 5, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13072-13073]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5219]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Salmon-Challis National Forest, Butte, Custer and Lemhi Counties, 
ID, Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to the 2009 Salmon-
Challis National Forest Travel Planning and OHV Route Designation 
Project Final EIS

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact 
statement.

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SUMMARY: The Salmon-Challis National Forest announces its intent to 
prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) and 
revised record of decision (ROD) to the 2009 Salmon-Challis National 
Forest Travel Planning and OHV Route Designation Project FEIS and ROD 
as ordered by the District Court of Idaho in a February 4, 2011, 
memorandum decision and order. The order was filed in response to a 
January 22, 2010, complaint from The Wilderness Society and the Idaho 
Conservation League challenging the 2009 decision. Supplemental 
analysis to correct deficiencies identified by the Court could change 
the designation of some routes and areas currently open for motor 
vehicle use and/or change the types of motor vehicle uses and/or 
seasonal open periods allowed on roads, trails and areas authorized 
under the 2009 Travel Plan. Any motor vehicle route designation changes 
resulting from new or supplemental analysis would be dcoumented in a 
revised record of decision in addition to Court ordered instructions to 
clarify that a minimum road system determination has not been made (as 
stated in the original ROD).

DATES: Scoping will not be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR 
1502.9(c)(4). The draft supplemental environmental impact statement is 
expected in early September 2012 and the final supplemental 
environmental impact statement is expected in late December 2012. There 
will be a 45-day comment period after the draft supplemental 
environmental impact statement is issued.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Frank Guzman, Forest Supervisor, 
1206 South Challis Street, Salmon, Idaho 83467. Comments may also be 
sent via email to comments-intermtn-salmon-challis@fs.fed.us or by 
facsimile to 208-756-5151.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Gallogly, Interdisciplinary Team 
Leader, at kgallogly@fs.fed.us or (208) 756-5103.
    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 and need for the Salmon-Challis National Forest Travel 
Planning and OHV Designation Project Supplemental EIS is to clarify and 
revise sections of the analysis conducted for the original 2009 FEIS to 
correct deficiencies identified by the District Court of Idaho in their 
February 4, 2011, memorandum decision and order and determine if 
changes to motor vehicle route designations made in the 2009 ROD are 
warranted based on supplemental analysis.
    To correct the deficiencies, there is a need to (1) analyze the 
cumulative impacts of multiple short motor vehicle routes on wilderness 
values and roadless characteristics in Recommended Wilderness Areas 
(RWAs) and Idaho Roadless Areas (IRAs) to comply with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The cumulative effects of multiple 
routes less than one-half mile in length in RWAs and IRAs were not 
analyzed in the 2009 FEIS because it was thought the ``intrusions into 
roadless areas were minimally intrusive and not likely to affect 
wilderness values''. The Court rejected this rationale; (2) demonstrate 
how the Forest Service applied criteria for the designation of roads, 
trails and areas with the objective of minimizing damage to soil, 
watershed, vegetation, and other forest resources; harassment of 
wildlife and significant disruptions of wildlife habitats; conflicts 
between motor vehicle uses and existing or proposed recreational uses 
of National Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands; and 
conflicts among different classes of motor vehicle uses of National 
Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands in compliance with 
section 212.55 of the Travel Management Rule (36 CFR 212.55); (3) 
respond to Plaintiff's site-specific comments raised during the legal 
comment period for the Draft EIS to comply with the NEPA, and (4) 
include specific language in the revised ROD to clarify a minimum road 
system determination was not made in the 2009 Travel Plan decision.

Proposed Action

    (1.) Analyze the cumulative effects of multiple routes less than 
one-half mile in length in RWAs and IRAs to wilderness values and 
roadless characteristics and determine if motor vehicle route 
designation changes to the 2009 Travel Plan are warranted based on 
supplemental analysis. 103 routes less than one-half mile in length, 
totaling 14.91 miles within 24 IRAs and RWAS were identified in the 
2009 FEIS; however the cumulative impacts of these routes were not 
considered. Errors regarding the number and length of all routes in 
RWAs and IRAs have been identified since 2009. An analysis of effects 
of all routes in RWAs and IRAs would be conducted and disclosed in the 
SEIS. Thirty-seven routes totaling 6.68 miles within RWAs and IRAs were 
inadvertently overlooked and associated effects were not analyzed or 
disclosed in the 2009 FEIS. Of these 37 routes, 29 are less than one-
half mile in length totaling 3.21 miles. These will be included in the 
supplemental analysis of cumulative effects of routes less than one-
half mile in length. Thirteen routes totaling 2.80 miles were 
designated for use in the 2009 ROD; however these routes did not meet 
safety specifications or were causing resource damage and were not 
delineated on the Motor Vehicle Use Map. (2.) Explain how the Forest 
Service applied the minimization criteria to 2009 motor vehicle route 
designations to comply with the Travel Management Rule (36 CFR 212.55) 
and determine if motor vehicle route designation changes are warranted. 
(3.) Respond to Plaintiffs site specific comments for 113 routes 
provided during the legal comment period for the DEIS and determine if 
route designation changes are warranted. Plaintiff's provided 
monitoring information, photographs and descriptive comments for 113 
routes proposed for designated motor vehicle use. Reconsideration of 
these comments, evaluation of road and trail maintenance, and 
application of the minimization criteria could change route 
designations in the revised ROD. (4.) Prepare a Revised ROD documenting 
any motor vehicle route designations made as a result of supplemental 
analysis and include language that a minimum road system determination 
was not made in the 2009 decision.

[[Page 13073]]

    The supplemental information presented in the SEIS will replace the 
corresponding information in the August 2009 Salmon-Challis National 
Forest Travel Planning and OHV Designation Project FEIS. For example, 
the revised analysis of effects for routes in Idaho Roadless Areas and 
Recommended Wilderness Areas will replace the roadless and recommended 
wilderness environmental effects section of the FEIS. Similarly, the 
public comments and agency responses section of the SEIS will replace 
the public comments and agency responses section of the FEIS. Other 
areas of the analysis that are not identified for supplementation 
within the SEIS will remain unaltered from its presentation in the 
FEIS. In this manner the SEIS and FEIS will be companion documents.

Responsible Official

    The Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisor, Frank Guzman, is the 
responsible official.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The decisions to be made in the revised ROD are similar to the 
decisions made in the original August 2009 ROD, although the scope of 
the analysis is narrower and fewer decisions will be made. Given the 
Purpose and Need, the Forest Supervisor will determine if analysis 
disclosed in the SEIS to comply with the Court Order will
    (1.) Change the designation of some routes and areas open for motor 
vehicle use under the 2009 Travel Plan, and
    (2.) Change the types of use and/or seasonal open period on these 
roads, trails and areas.

    Dated: February 27, 2012.
Frank V. Guzman,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2012-5219 Filed 3-2-12; 8:45 am]
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