[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 133 (Thursday, July 11, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41782-41783]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16633]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests; Idaho; Notice To Proceed 
With Forest Plan Revision

AGENCY: Forest Service, Northern Region, Nez Perce-Clearwater National 
Forests, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of initiating the development of a proposed forest plan 
revision for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Northern 
Region, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests have initiated revision 
of their forest plan pursuant to the 2012 Forest Planning Rule. This 
process will ultimately result in a Forest Land Management Plan which 
describes the strategic direction for management of forest resources 
for the next ten to fifteen years on these National Forests (NFs). The 
first two phases of the process--preparing an assessment and developing 
a proposed action for plan revision--have begun. The 2012 Planning Rule 
requires the Forest Service to notify interested parties of development 
of a proposed plan or plan revision (36 CFR 219.16(a)(1). This notice 
meets that requirement. The public may comment on the draft assessment 
and draft proposed action (draft plan components) through the plan 
revision Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/main/nezperceclearwater/landmanagement/planning.

DATES: The refined assessment will be available for public input in 
October 2013. A proposed action, which will be in the format of a plan 
(including plan components), is expected to be available for public 
comment in January 2014. A Notice of Intent will be published in the 
Federal Register pursuant to NEPA at that time. The Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) is anticipated to be available for public review 
and comment in early 2015 with the Final EIS being available late 2015.

ADDRESSES: Information, including the draft assessment and draft forest 
plan components (proposed action), is available on the Nez Perce-
Clearwater NFs' Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/nezperceclearwater/landmanagement/planning. The Web site has a link to 
a Collaborative Mapping Web site for site based input. Comments can 
also be sent via email to fpr_npclw@fs.fed.us. Comments are welcome at 
anytime but comments received prior to August 1, 2013 will be 
considered in the refined assessment and proposed action.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joyce Thompson, Forest Planning and 
Public Affairs Staff, (208) 935-4273, email: fpr_npclw@fs.fed.us.
    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 National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 
1976 requires that every National Forest System unit develop a land 
management plan. On April 9, 2012, the Forest Service finalized its 
land management planning rule (2012 Planning Rule) which implements the 
NFMA. Forest Plans describe the strategic direction for management of 
forest resources for ten to fifteen years and are adaptive and 
amendable as conditions change over time.
    Under the 2012 Planning Rule, the assessment of ecological, social, 
and economic trends and conditions is the first phase of the planning 
process. Only informal public input is required at this stage (36 CFR 
219.16(c)(6)).
    The second phase is development of a proposed plan which ultimately 
includes analysis and a Record of Decision in compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
    The Forest Plan Revision process started on the Nez Perce and 
Clearwater National Forests in April 2012. An interdisciplinary team 
was assigned and began working on development of the Forest Plan 
Assessment.
    The Forest worked with University of Idaho staff to develop a 
strategy on how to engage the public in the Forest Plan Revision 
process through a collaborative framework and open, transparent 
process. Five public orientation meetings, cohosted by County 
Commissioners and facilitated by University of Idaho staff, were held 
in Grangeville, Orofino, Moscow, and Lewiston, ID and Lolo, MT to:
1. Inform the interested public on our intent to initiate Forest Plan 
Revision efforts
2. Solicit input on how the Forests could allow for an open, 
transparent and inclusive public participation process
3. Identify interested members of the public

    Interested members of the public participated in a two-day Forest 
Planning Summit held Oct. 13-14, 2012 in Orofino, ID. The Forest worked 
with University of Idaho staff to design and facilitate the Summit. The 
Summit was also cohosted with County Commissioners representing the 
five counties in which the Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs lay. During the 
Summit, participants were asked how they wanted to participate in 
Forest Plan Revision, to what extent they could participate and how 
they would work together during collaborative participation. A core 
group of 60-70 interested parties/members of the public identified a 
process for collaborating with the Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs.
    The Summit initiated a process where interested parties/members of 
the public met monthly in a collaborative learning environment to 
provide input to the Forest Supervisor and Forest Interdisciplinary 
Team. The locations of meetings rotated between Grangeville and 
Orofino, ID with two satellite locations in Missoula, MT and Boise, ID 
participating via video teleconference. The first meeting occurred in 
November 2012 in Grangeville, ID with seven subsequent meetings. The 
Forests will not hold meetings during the summer of 2013 while they 
review and compile input and perform preliminary analysis. Public 
collaboration meetings will continue in October 2013.
    E-collaboration tools were developed so all interested members of 
the public could provide input into Forest Plan Revision efforts, not 
just those individuals who physically participated in collaborative 
meetings. Public input, whether received through collaborative 
meetings, e-collaboration or other forms,

[[Page 41783]]

will be on-going throughout the Forest Plan Revision process. All 
public input received during collaborative meetings was recorded and 
will be considered within the final decision, along with input received 
via e-collaboration and other forms.
    The Interdisciplinary Team's refinement of the Forest Plan 
Assessment is expected to be available to the public in October 2013; 
however, public input will be accepted and consequently included into 
the Assessment until the Record of Decision is signed. A detailed 
proposed action will be available for public comment in January 2014, 
at which time a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement will be published in the Federal Register.

    Dated: June 27, 2013.
Rick Brazell,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2013-16633 Filed 7-10-13; 8:45 am]
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