[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 201 (Thursday, October 16, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61455-61496]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-24285]



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Part II





Department of Agriculture





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Forest Service



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36 CFR Part 294



Special Areas; Roadless Area Conservation; Applicability to the 
National Forests in Idaho; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 201 / Thursday, October 16, 2008 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

36 CFR Part 294

RIN 0596-AC62


Special Areas; Roadless Area Conservation; Applicability to the 
National Forests in Idaho

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule and record of decision.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) is 
adopting a state-specific, final rule establishing management direction 
for designated roadless areas in the State of Idaho. The final rule 
designates 250 Idaho Roadless Areas (IRAs) and establishes five 
management themes that provide prohibitions with exceptions or 
conditioned permissions governing road construction, timber cutting, 
and discretionary mineral development.
    The final rule takes a balanced approach recognizing both local and 
national interests for the management of these lands. The Department 
and Forest Service are committed to the important challenge of 
protecting roadless areas and their important characteristics. The 
final rule achieves this through five land classifications that assign 
various permissions and prohibitions regarding road building, timber 
cutting, and discretionary mineral activities. The final rule also 
allows the Forest Service to continue to be a good neighbor and reduce 
the risk of wildland fires to at-risk communities and municipal water 
supply systems. The rule does not authorize the building of a single 
road or the cutting of a single tree; instead it establishes 
permissions and prohibitions that will govern what types of activities 
may occur in IRAs. Any decision to build a road, allow mineral 
activities, harvest a tree, or conduct any other activity permissible 
under this final rule will require appropriate site-specific analysis 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable 
laws. Projects will also be consistent with the applicable land 
management plan (LMP) components.
    This final rule supersedes the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule 
(2001 roadless rule) for National Forest System (NFS) lands in the 
State of Idaho.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective October 16, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Idaho Roadless Rule Team Leader Brad 
Gilbert at (208) 765-7438. Individuals using 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 Standard 
Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document serves as both notice of final 
rule and record of decision.

Decision

    For the reasons set out below, the Department hereby promulgates a 
regulation establishing IRAs as described in Alternative 4 of the 
``Roadless Area Conservation National Forest System Lands in Idaho 
Final Environmental Impact Statement,'' USDA Forest Service, 2008, and 
the supporting record. This decision is not subject to Forest Service 
appeal regulations.

Outline

    The following section outlines the contents of the preamble.

Introduction and Background
Roadless Area Inventories in Idaho
Purpose and Need for the Idaho Roadless Rule
Public Involvement on the Proposed Rule
     How Was Public Involvement Used in the Rulemaking 
Process?
     How Did the RACNAC Participate in the Rulemaking 
Process?
Alternatives Considered
     Alternatives Considered by the Department
     The Environmentally Preferred Alternative
Comments on the Proposed Rule and Changes Made in Response
     General Comments Not Related to Particular Rule 
Provisions
     Summary of Changes and Comments Related to Particular 
Rule Provisions
Regulatory Certifications

Introduction and Background

    On October 5, 2006, Idaho Governor James Risch submitted a petition 
to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to establish new management 
for Idaho's inventoried roadless areas on NFS lands. Idaho's petition 
divided roadless areas into five broad management themes: Wild Land 
Recreation (WLR); Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance 
(SAHTS); Primitive; Backcountry/Restoration (BCR); and General Forest, 
Rangeland, and Grassland (GFRG). The petition was submitted under 
section 553(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act and Department 
regulations at 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1.28. The Roadless 
Area Conservation National Advisory Committee (RACNAC) (72 FR 13469) 
reviewed the Idaho petition on November 29 and 30, 2006, in Washington, 
DC. The committee issued a unanimous, consensus-based recommendation on 
December 19, 2006, that the Secretary direct the Forest Service, with 
the State of Idaho as a cooperating agency, to proceed with rulemaking. 
The Committee's report provided specific advice and suggested 
clarifications regarding particular issues. After considering the 
advisory committee's review and report, the Secretary accepted the 
petition and directed the Forest Service to initiate rulemaking on 
December 22, 2006.
    A notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement 
(EIS) was published in the Federal Register April 10, 2007, (72 FR 
17816). A notice of availability for the draft environmental impact 
statement (DEIS) was published on December 21, 2007, (72 FR 72708). The 
Forest Service published a proposed rule for conservation of NFS 
inventoried roadless areas within Idaho on January 7, 2008, (73 FR 
1135). The notice of availability for the final environmental impact 
statement (FEIS) was published on September 5, 2008, (73 FR 51815). 
Additional information, maps, and other materials concerning the FEIS, 
IRAs, and roadless areas nationally, can be found at http://roadless.fs.fed.us/.
    The Department is committed to conserving and managing inventoried 
roadless areas. The Department considers the final rule as the most 
appropriate solution to address the challenges of inventoried roadless 
area management on NFS lands in the State of Idaho. Collaborating and 
cooperating with states and other interested parties regarding the 
long-term strategy for the conservation and management of inventoried 
roadless areas allows recognition of both national values and local 
situations.
    The Department believes that the final Idaho Roadless Rule 
collaboratively resolves an issue of great importance to the people of 
Idaho and the nation. The management of large tracts of undeveloped 
land has been a contentious issue since the founding of the Forest 
Service in 1905. The Forest Service has engaged in numerous approaches 
and periodic reviews to address how to best manage these lands. The 
Idaho Roadless Rule represents a unique effort to address these 
difficult questions. How can the Agency best conserve open space? How 
can the Agency protect some of the most magnificent areas in Idaho and 
the nation? How much active management, including reducing fuel levels 
through timber harvest, should the Agency consider allowing to reduce 
the risk of

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unwanted wildland fire effects on adjacent private and other public 
lands?
    The State of Idaho petition included specific information and 
recommendations for the management of individual inventoried roadless 
areas in the State. Additionally, the State of Idaho examined roadless 
areas sharing boundaries or overlapping with all neighboring states and 
determined coordination with Montana and Utah was necessary to ensure 
consistency of management themes assigned to these inventoried roadless 
areas.
    The unique perspectives and knowledge provided by the State and its 
citizens was of great assistance throughout this rulemaking. Many of 
these roadless areas form the backdrop for Idaho communities and have 
become part of their identity. They are used for hiking, camping, 
hunting, and motorized recreation on backcountry trails. Local 
communities are also sensitive to the economic consequences of Federal 
land management, whether for recreation or other multiple-use purposes. 
Although this rule does not provide management direction for recreation 
and access management, its emphasis on retaining the roadless 
characteristics over the vast majority of IRA acres will address 
recreation and scenery concerns from both national and local 
perspectives.
    Recently, there have been several attempts to resolve the roadless 
issue nationally and in the State of Idaho. Since the Forest Service 
Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE II), the Agency has used 
locally driven forest plans to manage inventoried roadless areas. While 
these plans accounted for the comments of local communities by 
considering the characteristics of each individual roadless area, some 
felt these plans lacked a national perspective and allowed too much 
modification of roadless characteristics.
    The 2001 roadless rule sought to answer these questions from a 
national perspective, but many felt that the rule's approach would 
cause undue harm to local communities. Some states and communities felt 
disenfranchised by the process.
    The State of Idaho indicated that its decision to petition was 
precipitated by the State's belief that it was not provided an adequate 
opportunity to participate in the development of the 2001 roadless 
rule. The State expressed concern that the rule could be interpreted as 
not allowing adequate protection for communities and municipal water 
supplies from the threat of unwanted wildland fire effects. 
Additionally, the State indicated its belief that the 2001 roadless 
rule could negatively affect some local communities that are dependent 
on use of resources from NFS lands.
    On August 12, 2008, the Federal District Court for the District of 
Wyoming declared that the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule (2001 
roadless rule) was promulgated in violation of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wilderness Act. The court held 
``the roadless rule must be set aside'' and that ``[t]herefore, the 
Court ORDERS that the Roadless Rule, 36 CFR 294.10 to 294.14, be 
permanently enjoined, for the second time.'' Previously, another 
Federal district court in California had issued an order that 
reinstated the 2001 roadless rule, including the Tongass-specific 
amendment, and specified that ``federal defendants are enjoined from 
taking any further action contrary to the [2001] Roadless Rule * * *.'' 
Both these orders have been appealed and the Forest Service has sought 
relief in both Federal district courts. For purposes of this 
rulemaking, however, nothing in the pending litigation limits the 
Secretary from conducting state-specific rulemaking regarding roadless 
area management or from evaluating the 2001 roadless rule as one 
alternative in the FEIS.
    The Department has continued to seek a middle ground to resolve 
this issue by using forest plans, the locally driven state petition 
process, and integrating the national perspective provided by RACNAC. 
While the proposed rule made strides in accomplishing this objective, 
several respondents and RACNAC expressed concern whether some 
provisions could be read to allow portions of the BCR areas to be 
managed in a way that varied from the Governor's stated intent to 
manage the BCR similar to the way the area would be managed under the 
2001 roadless rule while providing for limited stewardship activities. 
This was not the intent.
    This final rule refines provisions and represents a compromise that 
balances the nationally recognized need for conservation of IRAs with 
being more responsive to local communities and citizens. Specifically, 
the final rule conserves the undeveloped/unroaded character for the 
vast majority of the IRAs; allows limited fuel treatment activities to 
reduce the risk of wildland fire effects to private and public property 
and municipal water supply systems; and accommodates limited exceptions 
for some communities highly dependent on the natural resources found on 
NFS lands.
    These undeveloped lands will become increasingly important as 
sources of public drinking water, plant and animal diversity, natural 
appearing landscapes, and other unique resources as the nation 
continues to grow in population and faces increasing demands for the 
various multiple-use resources available from NFS lands.

Roadless Area Inventories in Idaho

    This rulemaking relies on the most recent inventory available for 
roadless areas within each national forest in the State of Idaho. Land 
management plans were used, as well as other assessments and the 
inventories associated with the 2000 Roadless Area Conservation Final 
Environmental Impact Statement. Using these inventories, the Forest 
Service has identified approximately 9.3 million acres of inventoried 
roadless areas that are the subject of this rule.
    The Agency has sought to be particularly sensitive to concerns over 
the accuracy of the inventories. The 2001 roadless rule used the 
inventories of record from late 1999 as their basis for boundaries. 
This final rule uses these inventories as a starting point but also 
looked at updates identified through land management plan (LMP) 
revisions, most notably on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest (NF) in 
1998 and the southwest Idaho forests (Boise, Payette and Sawtooth NFs) 
in 2003. New inventories for northern Idaho forests (Idaho Panhandle, 
Clearwater, and Nez Perce NFs) currently in LMP revision were also 
used. These inventories are based on agency direction in Forest Service 
Handbook (FSH) 1909.12, section 70. The oldest inventory used is from 
the Salmon-Challis NF, which dates to their LMP from mid-1980.
    Changes to the roadless inventory reflect improvements in mapping 
and elimination of some areas that had been developed since the last 
inventory of record and inclusion of some areas after review. 
Inventories used for this final rule have all received review and 
comment by the public during the LMP revision process prior to this 
rulemaking.

Purpose and Need for the Idaho Roadless Rule

    The purpose of the Idaho Roadless Rule is to respond to the State's 
petition to recommend State-specific direction for the conservation and 
management of inventoried roadless areas within the State of Idaho. The 
final Idaho Roadless Rule integrates local management concerns and the 
need to protect these areas with the national objectives for protecting 
roadless area values and characteristics.
    Collaborating with the State of Idaho on the long-term strategy for 
the

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management of IRAs recognizes national values and local situations and 
resolves unique resource management challenges. Collaboration with 
others who have a strong interest in the conservation and management of 
inventoried roadless areas also helps ensure balanced management 
decisions that maintain the most important characteristics and values 
of those areas.
    The management direction established by the rule is based on 
individual roadless characteristics for lands containing outstanding or 
unique features where there is minimal or no evidence of human use; 
culturally significant areas; general roadless characteristics where 
human uses may or may not be apparent; as well as some areas displaying 
high levels of human use. The Department also recognizes there is 
compelling interest in--
     Reducing the threat to communities, homes, and property 
from the risk of severe wildfire or other risks associated with 
adjacent Federal lands;
     Reducing the threat to forests from the negative effects 
of severe wildfire and insect and disease outbreaks; and
     Assuring access to property, for the State, Tribes, and 
citizens that own property within roadless areas.
    Between 2001 and 2007, wildland fires burned about 3.1 million 
acres in Idaho, of which about 1 million acres were in IRAs. Wildland 
fire is a natural component of these roadless areas; however, actions 
to reduce the risk of wildland fire effects to communities and 
municipal water supply systems may be needed in some situations. In 
2003, Congress recognized the need to improve the capacities of the 
Departments of Agriculture and Interior to conduct hazardous fuel 
reduction projects, by passing the Healthy Forests Restoration Act 
(HFRA) (Pub. L. 108-148).
    Aware of all of these concerns and the long unresolved debates over 
conserving and managing inventoried roadless areas in the absence of 
wilderness legislation for the State of Idaho and after considering the 
State's petition, the advice and recommendations of the RACNAC, Tribes, 
and public; the Secretary determined that regulatory direction for 
managing Idaho's roadless areas was needed.

Public Involvement on the Proposed Rule

     How Was Public Involvement Used in the Rulemaking Process?
    A notice of intent to prepare an EIS on ``Roadless Area 
Conservation; National Forest System Lands in Idaho'' was published in 
the Federal Register, April 10, 2007, (68 FR 17816). The public comment 
period ended on May 10, 2007. The Forest Service received about 38,000 
comments, of which 32,000 were form letters. The remaining letters 
consisted of original comments or form letters with additional original 
text.
    A notice of availability for the DEIS was published in the Federal 
Register on December 21, 2007, (72 FR 72708). The Forest Service 
published a proposed rule for conservation of national forests 
inventoried roadless areas in Idaho on January 7, 2008, (73 FR 1135). A 
copy of the proposed rule and the DEIS has been available on the World 
Wide Web/Internet at http://roadless.fs.fed.us/ since January 7, 2008. 
A public meeting on the proposed rule was held in Washington, DC on 
January 14, 2008. Sixteen public meetings were held in Idaho between 
January 22 and February 28, 2008.
    In addition to the suggestions from the RACNAC, the Department 
received approximately 140,000 responses. Responses included advocacy 
for a particular outcome or regulatory language, as well as suggestions 
for analyses to conduct, issues to consider, alternatives to the 
proposed action, and calls for compliance with laws and regulations. 
Response to comments on the DEIS are in Appendix R of the FEIS. These 
comments played a key role in the development of modifications to the 
proposed rule and the decision made in this record of decision.
    It is noteworthy that many of the improvements between draft and 
final were made in response to requests made by Idaho Indian Tribes. 
Some of the theme changes were made in direct response to Tribal 
requests (see FEIS Appendix P). Chapters 3.15 (Cultural Resources) and 
3.16 (Idaho and Affected Indian Tribes) were modified in the FEIS based 
on Tribal input. Section 294.28(h) was added to Scope and Applicability 
assuring Tribes this rule would not affect any of their rights or 
Federal Government responsibilities to consult on projects in roadless 
areas. The Department and Forest Service are grateful for the insights 
and serious attention the Tribes have provided during this rulemaking.
     How Did the RACNAC Participate in the Rulemaking Process?
    The RACNAC held open meetings in various locations across the 
country. The meetings helped the RACNAC develop recommendations to the 
Secretary to be considered in the development of the final rule. The 
RACNAC submitted their final recommendations to the Secretary in a 
letter dated May 30, 2008.
    Through the public meetings as well as Tribal and public comments, 
the Agency and State repeatedly heard that any exception to the 2001 
roadless rule's road building prohibitions must be based on an actual 
on-the-ground need. Most notable among those needs was the protection 
of property and municipal water supply systems for at-risk communities, 
and phosphate development.
    The Agency and State sought the RACNAC's advice concerning a 
framework for better achieving the objectives laid out in the proposed 
rule. The RACNAC recognized that a one-size-fits-all management regime 
for the BCR theme was unrealistic. The committee provided advice on a 
framework for protecting at-risk communities and their water systems 
after several public meetings and careful deliberation. The Department 
adopted most of these recommendations in the final rule. The Department 
carefully considered all input before making a decision in areas where 
the RACNAC could not reach consensus; for example, building new roads 
for forest health activities.
    The RACNAC served a critical role in advising the Department 
regarding the critical need to go beyond past differences and focus on 
the on-the-ground management issues for these lands. This focus led to 
important adjustments including: (1) Reducing GFGR acres by 200,000; 
(2) increasing BCR acres by 280,000, primarily in recognition of high 
fish and wildlife values; (3) lowering the determination threshold for 
temporary roads and timber cutting within the community protection zone 
(CPZ), which increases opportunities for the Forest Service to address 
local communities' concerns with wildfire risks; (4) defining more 
clearly the permissions for hazardous fuel treatments outside CPZ to 
clarify that the vast majority of these acres will be subject to 
management direction that is similar to the 2001 roadless rule; and (5) 
defining with greater precision where phosphate mining, a nationally 
strategic mineral, may occur.
    The Department recognizes the invaluable work and advice provided 
by the RACNAC throughout the rulemaking process.

Alternatives Considered

Alternatives Considered by the Department

    The FEIS examines four fully developed alternatives based on public 
comments: No Action, Existing Plans, Proposed Idaho Roadless Rule, and 
Modified Idaho Roadless Rule.

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Additional alternatives were considered but were eliminated from 
detailed analysis because they did not meet some aspect of the purpose 
and need or for other reasons in response to public comments including: 
Alternative allocations of management themes; additional conservation 
measures for the GFRG theme; additional limitations on management 
activities in the various themes; motorized access; and expansion of 
the scope of the proposal. Chapter 2 of the FEIS provides a more 
complete discussion of the disposition of these alternatives.
Alternative 1 (No Action) (2001 Rule)
    The 2001 roadless rule was the product of a national process and 
established management direction at the national level with limited 
focus on state or local issues. The 2001 roadless rule (66 FR 3244, 
Jan. 12, 2001) proposed to ensure that inventoried roadless areas 
sustain their values for this generation and for future generations. By 
sustaining these values, a continuous flow of benefits associated with 
healthy watersheds and ecosystems was expected.
    The Forest Service identified timber cutting and road construction 
or reconstruction as having the greatest likelihood of altering and 
fragmenting landscapes and the greatest likelihood of resulting in an 
immediate, long-term loss of roadless area values and characteristics. 
Therefore, the 2001 Rule prohibited these activities with certain 
exceptions in each roadless area.
    The 2001 Rule alternative identified a list of exceptions to the 
prohibitions on road construction (sec. 294.12) that respond to 
circumstances where the prohibitions might conflict with legal 
responsibilities to provide for public health and safety or 
environmental protection. The Department noted that while in some 
cases, the exceptions could result in effects contrary to the purpose 
of the rule; the Department determined that they were necessary to 
honor existing law or address social or economic concerns (66 FR 3255).
    The 2001 Rule alternative also allows for timber cutting for 
activities such as improving threatened, endangered, proposed, or 
sensitive species habitat; maintaining or restoring the characteristics 
of ecosystem composition and structure to reduce the risk of 
uncharacteristic wildfire effects; selling or removing timber 
incidental to other authorized activities; cutting, selling, or 
removing timber needed for personal or administrative uses; or 
improving roadless characteristics that have been substantially altered 
in a portion of an inventoried roadless area due to the construction of 
a classified road and subsequent timber harvest.
    These exceptions, with some modifications, are carried forward as 
part of Alternatives 3 and 4.
Alternative 2 (Existing Plans)
    Management direction in this alternative represents a roadless area 
management regime based on each forest's land management plan (LMP). 
Each forest's plan is unique to its planning area. Collectively the 
LMPs provide a broad range of management opportunities from wilderness 
to intensive management. When revising a LMP, each forest or group of 
forests collaborates with the public to develop management direction 
for their roadless areas. Overall, as national forests in Idaho have 
revised the LMPs, the trend has been to move more roadless areas into 
management prescriptions that emphasize the conservation of roadless 
characteristics. Under this alternative, management of roadless areas 
would be governed by the specific management allocations assigned in 
each LMP. Management direction would be periodically reviewed as plans 
are revised.
Alternative 3 (Proposed Idaho Roadless Rule) (Proposed Rule)
    Alternative 3 considers establishment of regulatory direction based 
on the State's petition, as presented to the RACNAC and set forth in 
the Proposed Rule. This alternative represents a strategy for the 
conservation and management of Idaho Roadless Areas (IRAs) that takes 
into account State and local situations and unique resource management 
challenges, while recognizing and integrating the national interest in 
maintaining roadless characteristics for future generations.
    Building from the petition's examination of the management 
direction assigned in each forest's existing or proposed LMPs, the 
Proposed Rule assigned the lands within each roadless area to one or 
more of five broad management themes: Wild Land Recreation (WLR); 
Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance (SAHTS); Primitive; 
Backcountry/Restoration (BCR); and General Forest, Rangeland, and 
Grassland (GFRG). These themes span a continuum that includes at one 
end, a restrictive approach emphasizing passive management and natural 
restoration approaches, and on the other end, active management 
designed to accomplish sustainable protection of roadless 
characteristics. The continuum accounts for stewardship of the 
uniqueness of each roadless area's landscape and the quality of 
roadless characteristics in that area.
    The Proposed Rule did not apply to other special areas referred to 
as forest plan special areas such as research natural areas; wild and 
scenic rivers (designated, eligible, and suitable); special interest 
areas; and visual corridors. Table S-1 in the FEIS shows 334,500 acres 
as forest plan special areas. These areas would be managed according to 
applicable current and future LMP direction. However, if the current 
special status designations for an area are changed in the future, 
these lands would be subject to the terms of the rule and a 
modification would be undertaken.
    The Proposed Rule presented a continuum of prohibitions and 
permissions for each roadless area through the allocation of themes. 
Allocation to a specific theme does not mandate or direct the Forest 
Service to propose or implement any action; rather, the themes provide 
an array of permitted and prohibited activities related to cutting, 
selling or removing timber; road construction or reconstruction; and 
discretionary mineral activities.
    The Proposed Rule would have established prohibitions and 
permissions for discretionary mineral activities that vary according to 
an area's classification theme. However, like the 2001 Rule 
alternative, the Proposed Rule allowed for road construction or 
reconstruction in the case of reserved or outstanding rights or as 
provided for by statute or treaty, including roads associated with 
locatable mineral activities pursuant to the General Mining Law of 
1872. The Proposed Rule provided additional direction regarding common 
variety minerals.
Alternative 4 (Modified Idaho Roadless Rule) (Final Rule)
    Alternative 4 considers establishment of regulatory direction based 
on modifications to the Proposed Rule (Alternative 3). Public comment 
identified the need for modifications to the Proposed Rule and DEIS. 
The Department and Forest Service officials, in consultation with the 
State, reviewed and considered the public comment, Tribal 
recommendations, and the advice of the RACNAC and concluded the rule 
could be improved. Many of the suggested modifications contributed to 
the development of the final rule and FEIS.
    Alternative 4 (Final Rule) uses the thematic approach of 
Alternative 3 but adds refinements to address five principle concerns:

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    (1) The amount and type of roadless areas placed in the various 
themes;
    (2) The permissions and restrictions for road construction and 
reconstruction, and timber cutting, sale, and removal in the BCR theme;
    (3) Management of lands containing phosphate deposits in BCR areas;
    (4) Tribal interests regarding activities in roadless areas and 
future consultations; and
    (5) Public comment requirements for corrections and modifications.
    The Final Rule alternative reflects consideration of other 
adjustments beyond these principal issues as well.
    Overall, Alternative 4 provides more protections from development 
than the 2001 Rule alternative on 3.25 million acres of IRAs. These 
lands are in the WLR, Primitive, and SAHTS themes. All road 
construction and reconstruction is prohibited, except when provided by 
statute or treaty, or pursuant to valid existing rights or other legal 
duty of the United States. In addition, Alternative 4 prohibits surface 
use and occupancy and road construction or reconstruction to access new 
mineral leases. Similarly, Alternative 4 provides the same or more 
restrictions than the 2001 Rule alternative for cutting, selling, or 
removing timber for lands in the Primitive and SAHTS themes. By 
reassigning acres to the WLR, Primitive, or SAHTS themes, Alternative 4 
provides greater protection from development for 76,400 acres more than 
the Existing Plans alternative and 199,500 acres more than the Proposed 
Rule alternative.
    As to lands managed under the BCR theme, Alternative 4 provides 
similar management direction as the 2001 Rule alternative for 5.26 
million acres, although an estimated 442,000 acres would be subject to 
special consideration of specific situations involving reducing the 
risk of wildland fire to at-risk communities within the CPZ. Outside 
the CPZ, temporary roads could be constructed only where, in the 
regional forester's judgment, such roads are the only reasonable way to 
meet the objectives of reducing the significant risk of wildland fire 
effects to an at-risk community or municipal water supply system, and 
the activity is developed in a way that maintains or improves one or 
more roadless characteristics over the long-term. Infrequent use of 
this provision, with its conditions, is anticipated due to resource 
conditions, agency budgets, and regional forester approval and 
oversight. CPZ status will be confirmed at the project level, based on 
the definition of CPZ provided in section 294.21.
    Alternative 4 reduces the lands managed under the GFRG theme to 
405,900 acres. These areas are mainly managed according to forest plan 
direction except that roads may not be constructed to access new 
mineral or energy leases other than to access specific areas of 
phosphate deposits. Design of projects in these areas will consider 
roadless characteristics and will meet all environmental laws, and the 
area will remain on the roadless inventory.
    In sum, Alternative 4 assures retention of the roadless 
characteristics of approximately 8.5 million acres of roadless lands. 
On the remaining 0.8 million acres (community protection zones in the 
BCR theme and GFRG acres), the Agency's best estimates indicate only 
about 0.1 percent of IRAs would likely see any changes in roadless 
characteristics over the next 15 years.

The Environmentally Preferred Alternative

    Under NEPA, the Department is required to identify the 
environmentally preferred alternative (40 CFR 1505.2(b)). This is 
interpreted to mean the alternative that will promote the national 
environmental policy as expressed in NEPA's section 101 and that would 
cause the least damage to the biological and physical components of the 
environment. This alternative best protects, preserves, and enhances 
historic, cultural, and natural resources (Council on Environmental 
Quality, Forty Most Asked Questions Concerning CEQ's National 
Environmental Policy Act Regulations (46 FR 18026).
    The Department believes the alternative that best meets these 
criteria is Alternative 1 (No Action, 2001 Rule). Alternative 1 
generally protects all inventoried roadless areas from adverse 
environmental impacts associated with limited exceptions for road 
construction, reconstruction, and tree cutting for commodity purposes 
and discretionary mineral activities and is projected to result in the 
least road construction (15 miles) and fewest harvested acres (9,000 
acres) over the next 15 years.
    Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 allow for an array of vegetation 
management activities potentially needed to maintain or improve 
roadless characteristics or restore ecological structure, function, 
composition, or processes; including reducing the risks of 
uncharacteristic or unwanted wildland fire effects. In addition, these 
alternatives provide additional protections to certain lands with 
outstanding roadless characteristics. However, these alternatives 
provide varying levels of road construction and reconstruction to 
facilitate timber cutting and also provide differing levels of limited 
tree cutting for commodity purposes and mineral resource development. 
The total projected road construction or reconstruction over the next 
15 years is 15 miles (Alternative 1, 2001 Rule), 180 miles (Alternative 
2, Existing Plans), 61 miles (Alternative 3, Proposed Rule), and 50 
miles (Alternative 4, Modified Rule). Alternative 1 projects the fewest 
ground disturbing activities and is deemed the environmentally 
preferred alternative.

Comments on the Proposed Rule and Changes Made in Response

    The Department received approximately 140,000 comments in response 
to the proposed rule and DEIS. A detailed analysis and response to 
public comment is set out in Appendix R of the FEIS. The Forest Service 
considered all comments as part of the rulemaking. The discussion of 
public comment below is divided between general comments and those that 
involve particular regulatory provisions, as well as providing a 
summary of changes made in the final rule.

General Comments Not Related to Particular Rule Provisions

    Comment: State role in rulemaking. Some respondents expressed 
concerns over the legality of the State of Idaho's efforts to submit a 
petition to change current Federal land management or that the State 
would have undue influence on the outcome of the rule.
    Response: This is a Federal rule and the Department has, in no way, 
abdicated or delegated its authority or responsibility for management 
of these NFS lands. The Governor of Idaho, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(e) 
and 7 CFR 1.28 filed a petition to conduct rulemaking for these 
immensely valuable lands. The Forest Service has worked cooperatively 
with the State of Idaho during consideration of the petition and during 
the development of this final rule as is expected under numerous 
statutes, regulations, and Executive orders.
    Pursuant to NEPA's implementing regulations, State, local, and 
Tribal governments are frequently granted cooperating agency status. 
State governments are especially important partners in management of 
the nation's land and natural resources. States, particularly in the 
West, own and manage large tracts of land with tremendous social and 
biological value. State governments frequently pioneer innovative land 
management programs

[[Page 61461]]

and policies. State governments exert considerable influence over 
statewide economic development and private land use, both of which 
significantly affect natural resource management. In addition, State 
conservation agencies' relationships with others offer additional 
partnership opportunities. Strong State and Federal cooperation 
regarding management of inventoried roadless areas can facilitate long-
term, community-oriented solutions.
    Collaborating with the State of Idaho on the long-term strategy for 
the management of IRAs recognizes national values and local situations 
and resolves unique resource management challenges. Collaboration with 
the State, Tribes and others who have a strong interest in conserving 
and managing inventoried roadless areas also helps to ensure balanced 
management decisions that maintain the most important characteristics 
and values of those areas.
    Comment: Idaho's Roadless Rule Implementation Commission. Some 
respondents questioned the role and authority of the Governor's 
Roadless Rule Implementation Commission (Idaho Executive Order No. 
2006-43 of December 21, 2006). Other respondents thought the structure 
of the commission should be better defined, that there should be a time 
frame for the commission to respond to a proposed project, and that 
county commissioners and rural communities should be involved in 
designing and implementing projects. Some respondents raised concern 
over the legality of the commission. The RACNAC recommended additional 
procedural requirements in the rule, which includes collaborative 
review of projects, especially in the BCR theme, by a State 
Implementation Commission with a regional advisory committee-like 
structure.
    Response: Although it is the Department's position that it cannot 
mandate the creation of or the scope of the commission's 
responsibilities to the State, the Department supports this 
collaborative concept and feels it would be an essential part of the 
overall collaborative process with the public, Tribes, and local and 
state governments. The Forest Service shared public comments and the 
RACNAC recommendations on the composition and function of the 
implementation commission received during this rulemaking with the 
State of Idaho. The State of Idaho has already committed to having the 
implementation commission as its way of providing a collaborative 
approach pursuant to State of Idaho Executive Order 2006-34 and may 
continue to determine its own course for providing input and 
cooperation during the NEPA process for a proposal affecting an IRA. It 
is the Department intent that the State of Idaho can request 
cooperating agency status for proposals affecting IRAs like it has done 
for this rulemaking. It is important to note that although the 
recommendations provided by the commission will be non-binding on the 
Agency, the Department encourages the responsible Forest Service 
officials to give priority to those projects recommended by the 
commission.
    Comment: Compliance with Executive Order 13175, Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. Some Tribal officials 
requested more government-to-government consultation on the proposed 
rule. One Tribe expressed concern that the change clause builds in 
categorical exclusions that will exclude public input and Tribal 
government-to-government consultation on individual projects. One Tribe 
questioned the use of the theme approach suggesting that maintaining 
all roadless areas should provide the same or similar values and 
opportunities. Another Tribe stated the themes do not incorporate the 
holistic nature of Tribal rights and interests that include areas 
outside those identified as SAHTS, and clarification was needed so 
areas of Tribal interest would still have project-by-project 
consultation with affected Tribes.
    Response: On September 20, 2007, the State of Idaho and the Forest 
Service met with the Idaho Council on Indian Affairs and presented a 
joint overview of the history of the Idaho Roadless Petition and the 
DEIS associated with development of the proposed rule. The Forest 
Service and the State of Idaho committed to meeting with each Tribe to 
discuss in more detail the Idaho Roadless Rule prior to the release of 
the DEIS. These meetings took place between October 2007 and January 
2008 and were tailored to meet each Tribe's preference. After the 
release of the DEIS and the proposed rule, several staff-to-staff and 
government-to-government meetings were held between January and August 
2008 with each Tribe. Many of the Tribes' ideas and suggestions 
resulted in improvements to the final rule.
    Nothing in the final rule should be construed as eliminating public 
input or Tribal consultation requirements for future projects conducted 
in accordance with this rule. The final rule clarifies that it does not 
modify the unique relationship between the United States and Indian 
Tribes. The final rule requires the Federal government to work with 
federally recognized Indian Tribes, government-to-government, as 
provided for in treaties, laws, or Executive orders. Nor does the final 
rule limit or modify prior existing Tribal rights, including those 
involving hunting, fishing, gathering, and protecting cultural and 
spiritual sites. Finally, the Department listened carefully and 
understood Tribal concerns that the Tribe's holistic interests are in 
no way limited to one particular theme or management classification. 
The SAHTS designation highlights and protects certain areas that 
possess historically and culturally important attributes, but is not 
the exclusive indicator of areas that possess such values. The final 
rule allows continued recognition of Tribal rights and interests in 
IRAs outside of the SAHTS theme.
    Comment: NEPA requirements for projects. Some respondents felt an 
EIS should be required for all projects proposed in IRAs and the use of 
an environmental assessment (EA) should be disallowed.
    Response: The Idaho Roadless Rule focuses on general land 
classifications rather than project-level analysis and documentation 
requirements. However, since 1992, the Forest Service has routinely 
required the use of EISs for proposals that ``would substantially alter 
the undeveloped character of an inventoried roadless area or a 
potential wilderness area.'' This requirement, originally in its 
implementing procedures in Forest Service Handbook 1909.15 at section 
20.6, is now in the Agency's regulations at 36 CFR 220.5(a) (73 FR 
43095). The Department has determined that a general prohibition on the 
use of EAs is not warranted as some proposed actions will not have 
significant environmental effects and will not harm roadless 
characteristics. Public response to scoping for a proposed action in an 
IRA will help the responsible Forest Service official determine the 
appropriate level of documentation for compliance with NEPA.
    Comment: Endangered species consultation. Several respondents 
expressed concern regarding the proposed rules effects to threatened 
and endangered species and sought clarifications regarding consultation 
under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
    Response: Idaho Roadless Areas have been identified as an important 
habitat for a variety of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and plants, 
including some threatened and endangered species. The large, relatively 
undisturbed areas provide biological strongholds and play a key role in 
proving for diversity of plant and animal communities.

[[Page 61462]]

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
Fisheries and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), have oversight 
responsibilities for implementation of the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA). Informal consultation and conferencing on the proposed rule 
began with frequent discussions among Forest Service, FWS, and NOAA 
Fisheries biologists. The Agency has prepared a biological assessment 
on the final rule and formally consulted with the FWS and NOAA. The 
biological opinions can be found at http://roadless.fs.fed.us/idaho.shtml and effects are discussed in the FEIS at sections 3.7 
Botanical Resources, 3.8 Aquatic Species, and 3.9 Terrestrial Animal 
Habitat and Species.

Summary of Changes and Comments Related to Particular Rule Provisions

Proposed Section 294.20 Purpose
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.20 (Final Rule Section 
294.20). Text about the relationship between this rule and other 
roadless rulemakings was removed from paragraph (a) and is now 
addressed in section 294.28(a). Paragraph (b) was removed as 
unnecessary because the multiple-use mission of the Forest Service is 
well understood and is provided for elsewhere in statute and 
regulation.
    Comment: Purpose and need. A respondent suggested the same 
statement of purpose and need as described in the DEIS should be 
included in the rule.
    Response: The regulatory purpose set out in the final rule has been 
slightly revised and is now a more accurate statement of purpose of the 
Idaho Roadless Rule as providing State-specific direction for 
management of roadless areas. The purpose and need statement included 
with the DEIS served a related but distinct function under NEPA.
Proposed Section 294.21 Definitions
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.21 (Final Rule Section 
294.21). Definitions of the following terms have been included in 
response to public comment: community protection zone, fire hazard and 
risk, fire occurrence, Forest Plan Special Area, forest type, hazardous 
fuels, road decommissioning, and uncharacteristic wildland fire 
effects. Most of these definitions were added to improve clarity on the 
use of the exemptions allowed for road construction and reconstruction, 
timber cutting, and mineral activities. Rational for their inclusion is 
discussed in the appropriate sections below. Definitions for 
significant risk and the individual management classification themes 
have been removed. Significant risk is now addressed at section 
294.24(c)(1)(ii). The Department believes the themes are best 
understood in terms of the specific permissions and restrictions 
established by the rule for each land classification rather than a 
generalized description of desired conditions.
    Comment: Definition of road. A respondent stated it was unclear if 
user-created roads or unclassified roads under the 2001 roadless rule 
are roads for purposes of this rule and whether deciding officers can 
designate an unclassified road as a forest road.
    Response: First, the definition of forest road used in the proposed 
and final rule is drawn from the Agency's definition of that term in 
the travel management regulations found at 36 CFR part 212. Travel 
management decisions are not affected by this rule as noted in section 
294.26(a). Adjustments to NFS road inventories are made pursuant to the 
Travel Management rule (70 FR 68264).
    Comment: Management theme definitions. Several respondents 
requested clarification of the management themes. Some suggested that 
specific references to recreation in the theme definitions should be 
dropped.
    Response: Definitions for individual themes are removed in the 
final rule. The Department believes the prohibitions and permissions 
established for each individual theme best defines the management 
intended and the redundant definitions in the proposed rule were 
unnecessary and led to confusion.
Proposed Section 294.22 Idaho Roadless Areas
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.22 (Final Rule Section 
294.22). Paragraphs (b) and (c) have been reordered to improve 
continuity. Similarly, the narrative description of the management 
continuum that was set out in proposed paragraph (c) has been removed 
as unnecessary.
    The final rule remains structured around five themes: (1) Wild Land 
Recreation (WLR); (2) Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance 
(SAHTS); (3) Primitive; (4) Backcountry/Restoration (BCR); and (5) 
General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland (GFRG). These five themes were 
proposed following review of the allocations set out in the existing 
and proposed revisions to land management plans. The five themes and 
allocations for particular areas were refined in response to public 
comment on the proposed rule. The themes span a continuum from more 
restrictive to more permissive (see Figure 1). This continuum accounts 
for stewardship of each roadless area's unique landscape and the 
quality of roadless characteristics in that area.

[[Page 61463]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR16OC08.000

    Allocation to a specific theme does not mandate or direct the 
Forest Service to propose or implement any action; rather, the themes 
provide an array of permitted and prohibited activities regarding road 
construction, timber cutting, and discretionary mineral activities. 
Although the ability of the Forest Service to conduct certain 
activities (road building, activities associated with mineral 
development, and timber cutting) typically varies from theme-to-theme, 
other activities (motorized travel, current grazing activities, or use 
of motorized equipment and mechanical transport) is not changed by this 
final rule. Although these other activities are not regulated by this 
rule, these activities and others not addressed by this rule are still 
subject to the allowances and restrictions of their current LMP and 
would be subject to future planning and decisionmaking processes of the 
Forest Service. For example, when allowed under the LMP, the use of 
prescribed fire as a management tool would be available across all 
themes as this rule does not require, limit or prohibit the use of 
prescribed fire. Similarly, some activities (e.g., locatable mineral 
access and operations) are governed under entirely separate 
regulations. Additionally, like the 2001 roadless rule, timber cutting, 
sale, or removal in inventoried roadless areas is permitted when 
incidental to implementation of a management activity not otherwise 
prohibited by the final rule. Examples of these activities include, but 
are not limited to, trail construction or maintenance; removal of 
hazard trees adjacent to forest roads for public health and safety 
reasons; fire line construction for wildland fire suppression or 
control of prescribed fire; survey and maintenance of property 
boundaries; other authorized activities such as ski runs and utility 
corridors; or for road construction and reconstruction where allowed by 
this rule.
    Comment: Eliminate the use of multiple themes. A respondent 
suggested the removal of the multiple theme approach from the rule and 
return to the single theme approach used for the 2001 roadless rule.
    Response: The Governor's petition sought refinement of the 2001 
roadless rule's one-size-fits-all approach maintaining that some areas 
deserved higher protections, others similar, and others less protection 
then those granted in the 2001 roadless rule. Comments received by the 
various Idaho County commissioners and other members of the public were 
in accord. The wide-variety of management regimes given these areas by 
individual Forest Service LMPs further demonstrates the value of a more 
measured approach. Therefore, the Department has elected to maintain 
the flexibility the multiple theme approach allows and has retained it 
in the final rule.
    Comment: Theme assignment. Some respondents requested changes in 
theme assignments for specific IRAs.
    Response: In response to these requests, some theme assignments 
were adjusted for the final rule. In general, public requests for 
changes in theme assignments for IRAs in section 294.29 in this final 
rule were adopted when the Forest Service review, demonstrated that the 
theme change would better reflect the uniqueness of the roadless area 
and the appropriate level of conservation needed for the protection and 
management of the particular area. The FEIS, Appendix P describes each 
of the specific requests and the disposition of those requests.
    The following changes were made to theme assignments as a result of 
public and Tribal comments.
    (1) Approximately 279,800 acres were changed from GFRG to BCR. This 
includes important big game habitat and known phosphate lease areas on 
the Caribou portion of the Caribou-Targhee NF where development would 
be precluded because of aquatic concerns (portions of Deer Creek).
    (2) Approximately 75,900 acres were changed from BCR to GFRG. This 
includes lands that were already roaded on the Salmon and Targhee NFs 
and lands adjacent to Jesse Creek Watershed that are outside the CPZ 
but where the community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs) anticipate 
treatment is needed to protect the municipal water supply system.
    (3) Approximately 149,200 acres were changed from BCR to Primitive.

[[Page 61464]]

    (4) Approximately 68,400 acres of the Rapid River Roadless Area on 
the Payette and Nez Perce NFs were changed from Primitive to WLR.
    (5) Approximately 10,700 acres of the Selkirk Roadless Area on the 
Idaho Panhandle NF were changed from Primitive to WLR.
    (6) Approximately 21,000 acres of the Pioneer Area in the Mallard 
Larkins Roadless Area on the Idaho Panhandle NF was changed from SAHTS 
to WLR.
    Comment: Management under existing LMPs for certain areas. A 
respondent suggested areas not recommended for wilderness in the 2001 
roadless rule should be removed from this process and be managed under 
their existing plans.
    Response: The 2001 roadless rule made no wilderness 
recommendations. The Forest Service makes preliminary wilderness 
recommendations through the land management planning process. 
Recommendations to Congress concerning wilderness recommendations are 
an authority reserved to the Secretary. However, the suggested approach 
of directing that preliminarily recommended areas be managed in 
accordance with existing LMP direction would essentially be achieved 
through the approach described in FEIS Alternative 2. The Department 
believes that in the absence of Congressional action, it is appropriate 
to include such lands in the IRA system.
    Comment: Wild Land Recreation (WLR) theme. A respondent suggested 
the WLR theme should be eliminated as it unlawfully creates de facto 
wilderness. Another respondent felt the rule should maintain current 
wilderness recommendations, maintain the current type of recreation 
activities allowed in each individual WLR area, and recommend 
additional areas for wilderness designation.
    Response: It is important to note that IRAs are not de facto 
wilderness areas and the final rule does not make any recommendations 
for potential wilderness. The Department is mindful that only Congress 
can establish additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System 
and that Congress has not called for the creation of protective 
perimeters or buffer zones around wilderness areas. The Department 
maintains that the WLR theme provides appropriate protections for 
selected areas.
    It is correct that most lands in the WLR theme were identified and 
recommended for wilderness designation during the land management 
planning process. In the context of land management planning, the 
Forest Service Manual 1923.03 states, ``Any inventoried roadless area 
recommended for wilderness or designated wilderness study is not 
available for any use or activity that may reduce the wilderness 
potential of an area. Activities currently permitted may continue, 
pending designation, if the activities do not compromise wilderness 
values of the area.'' Similarly, the final rule does not change current 
recreational opportunities in WLR areas, including motorized travel 
(see sections 294.27(a) and 294.28). A wide-array of motorized and 
mechanical recreation and other multiple-use activities that are not 
allowed in designated wilderness areas will continue to be available 
and are unaffected by this rule.
    Comment: Primitive theme. A respondent suggested the Primitive 
theme should be avoided because areas designated as Primitive would 
fall short of the wilderness suitability criteria because of the 
proposed rule's permitted activities.
    Response: This rule is not designed to address potential wilderness 
designations. However, agency wilderness evaluation criteria associated 
with LMPs provide that although a forest road or other permanently 
authorized road is one criteria for not considering an area for 
potential wilderness, Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.12, section 
71.11, paragraph 9, provides for including areas where prior timber 
harvest and road construction is not evident. Road construction and 
reconstruction is prohibited in the Primitive theme except to access 
reserved or outstanding rights, or other legal duty of the United 
States. Any roads constructed for these purposes could affect 
consideration for wilderness. Timber cutting, sale, or removal is also 
prohibited except under limited conditions and only when done from an 
existing road or using aerial systems and is subject to numerous 
restrictions. The FEIS, section 3.14 Roadless Characteristics, 
discloses that the existing character may be modified on the edges of a 
roadless area with the interior kept intact. Future activities in the 
Primitive theme could have potential effects on the undeveloped and 
natural qualities of a roadless area but these activities are expected 
to be limited, infrequent, and would not affect natural ecosystems 
processes or opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation.
    Comment: Backcountry/Restoration theme (BCR). Several respondents 
felt the use of the BCR theme should be avoided because it would allow 
road construction, logging, and other development.
    Response: The BCR theme represents the largest amount of acreage 
across all of the theme designations in this rule, and it received the 
majority of the comments. During his original presentation to the 
RACNAC, Governor Risch expressed a desire to have the areas designated 
under this theme managed similar to the 2001 roadless rule while also 
providing for certain stewardship activities. The proposed rule sought 
to provide this balance by only allowing new road construction or 
reconstruction facilitating timber cutting where necessary to address 
significant risks and to facilitate permitted forest health activities.
    Many respondents felt that the criteria by which new roads could be 
constructed were left undefined and potentially could vary from the 
purpose of the 2001 roadless rule. Specifically, several respondents 
felt that new road construction to facilitate timber cutting should 
only be done in cases of imminent threat to people and property, 
although others felt significant risk was too restrictive and did not 
have enough flexibility to address forest health issues in IRAs. Based 
on public comments and advice from the RACNAC, the Department saw a 
need to refine the scope and conditions by which temporary roads could 
be constructed in the BCR theme.
    The RACNAC spent a considerable amount of time discussing this 
theme and recognized that the theme did not lend itself to a one-size-
fits-all management approach, particularly with regard to fuel 
treatments for protecting at-risk communities and municipal water 
supply systems, but also felt that the proposed rule was too expansive 
and needed further clarification and refinement.
    The Department agrees that the principles articulated by the RACNAC 
represented a good starting point. The final rule adopts the RACNAC's 
advice of borrowing the CPZ concept from HFRA to focus timber cutting 
and temporary road construction where needed to protect at-risk 
communities. The definition of at-risk communities used in the proposed 
and final rule reflects the definition of that term as used in the 
HFRA. Within the CPZ, the Department believes the balance should tip in 
favor of community protection while ensuring that temporary road 
construction is not undertaken where in the responsible official's 
judgment the project cannot reasonably achieve the community protection 
objectives without a temporary road. Additionally, the RACNAC 
recognized that the geographic definition from HFRA may not provide 
enough flexibility for some

[[Page 61465]]

IRAs. Therefore, the Department is limiting the scope of temporary road 
building for fuels treatments outside the CPZ to projects that can 
demonstrate significant risk of wildland fire effects to an at-risk 
community or a municipal water supply system while positively 
determining that one or more roadless characteristics will be 
maintained or improved over the long-term. The long-term perspective is 
especially important because a temporary road may have the potential 
for immediate short-term effects to an area's roadless characteristics, 
but stand thinning, strategic fuel breaks, and other activities 
accomplished by building a temporary road could have long-term 
beneficial effects. The final rule also emphasizes the importance of 
maximizing the retention of large trees, as appropriate for the forest 
type, to the extent the trees promote fire resilient stands and 
exercises restraint by permitting projects that cannot reasonably be 
accomplished without a temporary road. Notably, the final rule does not 
permit new road construction for the purpose of conducting limited 
forest health activities. Under the final rule, the vast majority of 
the BCR acres will be managed comparable to the 2001 roadless rule with 
a small amount of additional timber cutting and temporary road 
construction to allow fuel treatments to better protect vital community 
interests.
    Comment: General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland (GFRG) theme. A 
respondent suggested elimination of the GFRG theme. Another suggested 
any small strips of GFRG lands should go into adjacent BCR and felt 
that the GFRG theme should be eliminated to avoid the conflict of the 
rule allowing for activities not permissible in LMPs. A respondent 
thought the Agency should reconsider the roadless character for some of 
the GFRG designations based on the Idaho Conservation League maps.
    Response: The FEIS considered the request to eliminate the GFRG 
theme in, section 2.3, Consideration of Comments and determined that 
this request was effectively accomplished through examination of the 
2001 Rule alternative (Alternative 1). Based on public comment, 
including Idaho Conservation League's maps, some areas were changed 
from GFRG to BCR to better retain the roadless character in these areas 
to respond to Tribal interests and to provide important big game 
habitat. For example, several small strips adjacent to the outer 
boundaries of roadless areas were changed to BCR, including lands 
associated with the East Cathedral, Magee, Mallard Larkins, and Upper 
Priest Roadless Areas on the Idaho Panhandle NF and the Scotchmans Peak 
Roadless Area on the Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai NFs. Some developed 
lands, which are areas that have been previously roaded and harvested, 
were changed from the BCR theme to the GFRG theme. In total, the land 
area encompassing the GFRG theme was reduced by approximately 203,700 
acres. See Appendices E and P of the FEIS.
    Comment: Forest Plan Special Areas. Several respondents asked for 
clarification about whether wild and scenic river management areas and 
other LMP special areas have precedence over the rule.
    Response: Under section 294.28(f), Forest Plan Special Areas 
(FPSA), like wild and scenic river management areas, are managed in 
accordance with local LMP components. For clarification, a definition 
of FPSA has been added to the final rule. These lands include areas 
such as research natural areas, designated and eligible wild and scenic 
river corridors, developed recreation sites, or lands identified for 
other specified management purposes. A listing of all the FPSAs is set 
out in the FEIS, Appendix Q. The State's petition identified that some 
roadless areas are already part of other land classification systems 
that are governed by specific agency directives and existing LMP 
direction. The petition did not request the Forest Service to impose 
additional or superseding management direction or restrictions for 
these FPSAs. Instead, the petition identified a preference that these 
lands be administered under the laws, regulations, and other management 
direction unique to the special purpose of the applicable land 
classification. The Department agrees, and although these lands are 
included in section 294.29 for the sake of completeness, the final rule 
does not establish any management direction for, or that applies to, 
any of these identified FPSAs.
Proposed Section 294.23 Road Construction and Reconstruction in Idaho 
Roadless Areas
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.23 (Final Rule Section 
294.23). No substantive changes were made to paragraph (a). In response 
to advice from the RACNAC and public comment, the Department refined 
the road construction provisions concerning the BCR theme. The proposed 
rule allowed roads for classes of timber cutting activities per the 
2001 roadless rule with the addition of a significant risk threshold 
determination and allowed for forest health activities consistent with 
the timber cutting provision. The final rule follows the list of 
excepted activities from the 2001 roadless rule and adds two refined 
categories of actions.
    First, the final rule accepts advice from the RACNAC and public 
comment to retain the 2001 roadless rule's general exceptions. All 
exceptions are retained except the minerals roads provision which is 
separately addressed in section 294.25. Second, there was confusion 
regarding the expected level of treatment to address significant risk 
situations in BCR theme areas. RACNAC and many respondents wanted 
clarification for the situations in which road building would be 
permitted. Some respondents expressed concern that all 5.3 million 
acres would be treated under these provisions. This was never the 
Department's or the State's intention. The State had noted, at the 
January 2008 RACNAC meeting, that it desired such projects to focus 
mainly on protecting the wildland urban interface (WUI) and municipal 
water supply systems. The RACNAC agreed that such refinements were 
appropriate but were unable to reach consensus regarding road 
construction for forest health treatments outside CPZ. See the 
discussion under Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.25 (Final 
Rule Section 294.24).
    In light of these considerations, the Department refined the final 
rule and will allow temporary roads in CPZ recognizing that in 
balancing public interests of community protection and roadless 
characteristics--the balance tips sharply in favor of communities 
within the CPZ. Further, the Department has found there is broad 
support for addressing instances where wildland fire can affect vital 
community interests and infrastructure even beyond CPZs. Local 
communities, the RACNAC, and various officials strongly supported 
providing limited opportunities for hazardous fuel reduction projects 
in a way that continues to recognize the importance of conserving 
roadless area characteristics. In contrast to treatments within the 
CPZ, the Department believes the balance tips in favor of maintaining 
or improving roadless characteristics over the long-term for projects 
conducted outside the CPZ. However, the Department will allow temporary 
roads outside CPZ to protect at-risk communities and municipal water 
supply systems under limited circumstances. To meet these goals, Forest 
Service officials will make a positive determination that the community 
or water supply system is facing a significant risk from a wildland 
fire disturbance event, and the project

[[Page 61466]]

will maintain or improve one or more roadless characteristics over the 
long-term. A significant risk exists where the history of fire 
occurrence and fire hazard and risk indicated a serious likelihood that 
a wildland fire disturbance event would present a high risk of threat 
to an at-risk community or municipal water supply system. Officials 
must also determine that the project cannot be reasonably accomplished 
without a temporary road. Clearly, temporary roads will not need to be 
constructed to address every significant risk situation inside or 
outside a CPZ.
    In paragraph (c), new wording has been added that specifically 
directs the minimizing of effects and clarifies the intent to conform 
to applicable LMP components. Existing LMPs for these areas set out 
forestwide and area specific direction and make general suitability 
determinations but do not generally authorize any particular projects. 
Under this framework the Forest Service examines site-specific 
environmental effects when projects or activities are actually 
proposed. See Ohio Forestry Ass'n v. Sierra Club, 118 S. Ct. 1665, 
1668, 1671 (1998). The RACNAC and some members of the public suggested 
that the requirements for roads under the proposed minerals section be 
carried forward and applied to all road construction. In response, the 
final rule at section 294.23(d) provides additional direction 
concerning temporary roads comparable to that provided for mineral 
activities. Additionally, a provision has been added that existing 
roads and those permitted under this final rule may be maintained.
    Comment: Significant risk. Several respondents requested the 
establishment of more guidelines to determine what constitutes a 
significant risk situation. Others suggested that the significant risk 
criteria should be confined to WUI areas and only apply the imminent 
threat criteria for the remaining areas. Some respondents felt 
vegetation activities outside CPZs should have more restrictions than 
those inside the zone. A respondent suggested inclusion of threats to 
irrigation and water rights as part of the significant risk exception.
    Response: The Department, based on public comment and advice from 
the RACNAC, concluded that the significant risk threshold should not be 
required for projects, including temporary road construction, in the 
CPZ as defined in this rule. See also the discussion below under 
Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.25 (Final Rule Section 
294.24.) However, the Department, based on the RACNAC's advice, does 
not believe that all BCR theme areas outside the CPZ should have to 
demonstrate the imminent threat standard of the 2001 roadless rule. 
Instead, this rule provides the flexibility needed to implement 
Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) where consistent with this 
rule and allows for limited treatment of hazardous fuels that threaten 
at-risk communities and municipal water supply systems. Thus, the 
Department has determined an allowance will be made for individual 
projects that can demonstrate a significant risk that a wildland fire 
disturbance event could adversely affect an at-risk community or 
municipal water supply system and maintain or improve one or more 
roadless characteristics in the long-term. Notably, the responsible 
Forest Service official must determine that the activity cannot be 
reasonably accomplished without a temporary road. For further clarity, 
a definition taken from the 2006 Interagency Protecting People and 
Natural Resources: A Cohesive Fuels Treatment Strategy (2006 Cohesive 
Strategy) for hazardous fuels has been added to the Final Rule.
    Furthermore, on advice from the RACNAC, the Department has limited 
the application of the term significant risk in geographic terms as 
well. First, a proposed project must demonstrate that its purpose is to 
treat hazardous fuels connected to an at-risk community or municipal 
water supply system. This greatly reduces the potential geographic 
scope of road building and treatments in the BCR theme from those in 
the proposed rule. Second, the Department refined the term significant 
risk to situations where the history of fire occurrence, and fire 
hazard and risk, indicated a serious likelihood that a wildland fire 
disturbance event would present a high risk of threat to an at-risk 
community or municipal water supply system. The final rule defines fire 
hazard and risk to mean the fuel conditions on the landscape. Fire 
occurrence is defined as the probability of wildfire ignition based on 
historic fire occurrence records and other information. Under these 
definitions, this significant risk determination focuses largely on 
landscape conditions, probability of ignition (serious likelihood), 
departure from historical fire frequencies, and the severity of the 
risk of adverse affects (significant) to an at-risk community or 
municipal water supply system. The Department's experience indicates 
that much of this pertinent information may be in individual Idaho 
county CWPPs and encourages responsible officials to use these plans 
where appropriate in determining whether or not a project qualifies 
under this exception. The Department expects that responsible officials 
will give due consideration during the public comment process to input 
from the State's Collaborative Implementation Commission. The 
Commission's recommendations would be considered along with other 
public and Tribal comments.
    The Department believes it has appropriately considered roadless 
area characteristics and the interests in protecting at-risk 
communities or municipal water supply systems in defining the scope of 
the significant risk exception. Expansion of the significant risk 
determination to include irrigation and water rights is beyond the 
scope of the HFRA provision used as a model for this provision and 
therefore was not adopted.
    Comment: Temporary roads standards, reclamation, and alternatives. 
Several respondents suggested the rule should include plans and 
standards for temporary road design criteria, identification of the 
responsible party to close it, and timeframes for rehabilitation. They 
felt definitions for decommissioning, rehabilitation, and closure of 
roads should be included in the rule. One respondent suggested that the 
Agency should require monitoring and funding to occur for temporary 
roads prior to their construction thus ensuring the temporary road is 
reclaimed and re-vegetated to meet roadless characteristics. The RACNAC 
recommended further clarifications when temporary roads could be built, 
who could use them, and how they would be decommissioned.
    Response: The final rule now contains a definition of temporary 
road. Use of such roads is restricted, although use of these roads for 
Forest Service administrative purposes is permissible, as defined at 36 
CFR 212.51(a)(5) (involving fire, military, emergency, or law 
enforcement vehicles for emergency purposes). In the final rule, the 
use of a discretionary temporary road outside the CPZ will be limited 
in scope and only occur if no other reasonable alternative for treating 
the fuels is available. If a temporary road is determined to be 
necessary to support allowed activities such as fuel treatments to 
reduce a significant risk situation, the Forest Service can ensure 
closure and rehabilitation through contract provisions for any 
associated timber sale or stewardship contract. Temporary roads are 
sometimes necessary to allow purchasers to access and transport timber. 
Specific timber

[[Page 61467]]

and stewardship contract provisions govern the authorization, 
construction, operation, and restoration of these temporary roads. In 
the past, the Agency has sometimes waived the contract's 
decommissioning requirement because the Agency intended to continue to 
use the road for other multiple-use purposes, such as post-sale 
reforestation projects, monitoring, or fire protection. However, 
closure of these roads then became dependent upon the Agency receiving 
funding. This led to many temporary roads remaining open without 
decommissioning. The final rule reinforces that new temporary fuel 
treatment roads must be decommissioned when the project is completed 
and will not be open for public use while the project is underway. 
Additional funding for road closures would not be necessary. A 
definition for road decommissioning is provided in the final rule. 
Definitions for rehabilitation and closure are not provided as these 
terms are not used in the final rule. Agency road definitions are found 
at 36 CFR 212.1, and the regulations found in 36 CFR part 212 are 
applied for all road construction and do not need to be repeated in 
this rule. See FEIS Appendix O for more details regarding road 
construction and decommissioning.
    Comment: Roads in the BCR theme. Several respondents felt that the 
proposed rule allowed too many opportunities to build roads in the BCR 
theme. They suggested that the 2001 roadless rule language should be 
used to protect these areas. One respondent suggested no roads be built 
in the BCR theme. Another respondent suggested limiting all roads in 
BCR to temporary roads and using them only for fire protection needs, 
not habitat improvement projects. If a permanent road is needed, the 
respondent wanted more justification requirements. Others suggested 
more roads should be allowed in the BCR theme without restrictions.
    Response: The Department agrees with respondents that the scope and 
conditions for building temporary roads in the BCR theme needed 
refinement. The Department has concluded that building new roads for 
fuels treatments should be limited to two circumstances: (1) To conduct 
fuel treatment activities within the CPZ; and (2) to conduct fuel 
treatment activities outside the CPZ only where a significant risk of 
wildfire effects to an at-risk community or municipal water supply 
system can be demonstrated and only when roadless values can be 
improved or maintained over the long-term. Other exceptions are made in 
the BCR theme for public health and safety reasons or for reserved or 
outstanding rights. The 2001 roadless rule lists the same exemptions. 
Like the 2001 roadless rule, roads for habitat improvement projects are 
not allowed. It is anticipated that most roads will be temporary. 
However, the Department recognizes that a permanent road may need to be 
constructed in some situations, such as access for a private land 
inholding. Justification for a permanent road will need to be 
established for any proposed project.
    Comment: Roads for forest health activities. Several respondents 
recommended that no roads be allowed in the BCR and the GFRG themes for 
the purpose of forest health. Other respondents suggested that 
temporary roads should be permitted only for vegetation management for 
wildlife and forest health reasons. Another respondent suggested 
allowing temporary roads for only forest health activities but not 
habitat improvement projects in the BCR theme.
    Response: The RACNAC could not come to a consensus on whether new 
roads to facilitate forest health activities should be permitted 
outside the CPZ. After careful deliberation, the Department decided 
that no new roads (temporary or permanent) for forest health purposes 
should be built in the BCR theme, but such activities could be 
conducted from existing permanent roads, temporary roads allowed by 
this rule, or by aerial harvest systems. The final rule does permit 
road construction for forest health activities in the GFGR theme as 
long as the activity is consistent with applicable LMP components.
    Comment: Responsible official for authorizing construction of 
permanent roads. One respondent thought that decisions regarding 
whether or not a permanent road is needed should be made at a higher 
level than that of the local line officer.
    Response: The final rule identifies roles for responsible officials 
in connection with various activities across the different themes. 
Regional foresters will be responsible for certain determinations, for 
example road construction activities in BCR theme outside the CPZ. 
Standard delegation of decisionmaking authority found at Forest Service 
Manual (FSM) 1230 will operate unless specified otherwise in the final 
rule.
    Comment: Roads in GFRG. One respondent felt that no permanent roads 
should be built GFRG. Another respondent felt that the 2001 roadless 
rule approach should be the minimum protection for the GFRG theme.
    Response: Based on public comment, input from Tribal 
representatives, and RACNAC advice, the Department made a net reduction 
in the amount of the GFRG theme by approximately 203,700 acres. In 
addition, roads may not be constructed or reconstructed to access new 
mineral leases except in association with specific phosphate deposits. 
The Agency has carefully reviewed existing management direction and 
potential uses of these lands to ensure that the appropriate management 
theme is being applied for each IRA. This specific review goes beyond 
what was undertaken during the 2001 rulemaking and these refinements 
reflect the best judgment and expertise of the Forest Service.
Proposed Section 294.24 Mineral Activities in Idaho Roadless Areas
    Summary of Changes to Proposed Section 294.24 (Final Rule Section 
294.25). Mineral and energy potential within IRAs was given serious 
consideration. The minerals portion of the rule has been reorganized 
and now provides management direction for each theme. Paragraphs (a) 
and (b) separately identify that the rule provisions apply 
prospectively and only where the Department exercises discretionary 
authority.
    The final rule does not include the proposed rule's (section 
294.24(a)) language ``including any subsequent renewal, reissuance, 
continuation, extension, or modification, or new legal instruments, for 
mineral and associated activities on these or adjacent land.'' This 
provision, in particular, the adjacent land phrase allows new access 
and road building, mainly for phosphate mining, to occur where a post-
rule modification to a pre-existing lease resulted in an enlargement of 
the original lease boundary regardless of theme. The RACNAC could not 
reach consensus on the issue of phosphate mining. However, there were 
discussions during committee deliberations expressing support for a 
recommendation that the final rule eliminate the exception for 
phosphate mining in the BCR theme lands and move appropriate acres of 
known phosphate lease areas (KPLAs) and a buffer zone into GFRG theme 
lands.
    Based on these comments, the Department is eliminating the adjacent 
lands provision. New access will only be permitted where the expansion 
falls within the GFRG theme. This change is not to be construed as 
limiting access or other related activities associated with mineral 
leasing, including lease renewals, reissuances, continuations, 
extensions, or modifications issued prior to the effective date of this 
rule regardless of the theme. The Forest

[[Page 61468]]

Service in cooperation with the State, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 
the RACNAC, and other interested parties identified the locations of 
phosphate mining activities most likely to occur in the future and 
adjusted the land classifications to focus on a smaller number of acres 
that could be available for mineral development and conserving the 
roadless character of the remaining areas. These adjustments allow the 
Agency to preserve the unroaded character of the vast majority of these 
lands, especially certain high quality fish and game habitat (e.g., 
portions of Deer Creek and Bear Creek), while recognizing long-standing 
interest in limited development of nationally critical phosphate 
mineral resources by industry and local communities. By adjusting the 
classifications for specific lands the Agency will provide better 
resource protection while making essentially the same number of acres 
available for phosphate development.
    Because of these adjustments, the proposed rule's exceptions for 
new phosphate activities in the BCR theme were no longer necessary and 
have been removed. Thus, for leases obtained after the effective date 
of this rule, road construction and other associated activities can 
only occur in areas designated as GFRG theme to access specific 
phosphate deposits identified in Figure 3-20 in the FEIS. As a result, 
under the final rule road construction or reconstruction will only be 
permissible in specific areas (5,770 acres of KPLAs) where there is 
very high potential for development in the future. This refinement 
addresses concerns regarding unbounded geographic scope of these 
possible activities within IRAs. Road construction is not permitted 
after the effective date of the final rule for mineral leasing in BCR 
theme areas, but the final rule does not bar surface occupancy unless 
prohibited by the applicable LMP.
    The Forest Service will no longer recommend, authorize, or consent 
to road construction or reconstruction associated with post-rule 
mineral leases in GFRG theme areas, except for phosphates. Currently, 
the known oil and gas potential is low and some LMPs restrict or 
prohibit new exploration. Geothermal development is currently 
speculative in IRAs and a major part of the areas with potential for 
its development is outside IRAs. Therefore, an exception for oil and 
gas or geothermal leasing is not warranted. The final rule also 
clarifies that surface occupancy is permissible within GFRG theme areas 
unless prohibited by the applicable LMP. This is consistent with the 
approach taken by the 2001 roadless rule. The Agency will also require 
that permissible road construction or reconstruction associated with 
mining activities in the GFRG theme will only be approved after 
evaluating other access options. The use or sale of common variety 
mineral materials in the GFRG theme will only be permitted where it is 
incidental to an otherwise lawful activity.
    Comment: Mineral activities. One respondent asked for clarifying 
language concerning surface use and roading for mineral activities with 
respect to each of the themes. Others felt that the proposed 
regulations did not provide adequate environmental protection for 
mineral extraction operations. Some respondents felt there should not 
be any new roads allowed for mineral development. Others felt there 
should be no mineral development of any kind on national forests and 
suggested pursuing a formal statutory withdrawal of lands under the 
mining laws.
    Response: After consideration of these comments, the Department 
determined that surface use and occupancy for leasable minerals will 
only be permitted in the BCR and GFRG theme areas, and that any such 
operations may be further restricted or prohibited by the applicable 
LMP components. Comparatively, these limitations are more restrictive 
than the 2001 roadless rule, which permitted surface use and occupancy 
on any inventoried roadless area. However, the Department declines the 
request submitted by some respondents that USDA request the Secretary 
of Interior to initiate the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA) withdrawal process for all roadless areas or all NFS lands. 
Instead, the final rule establishes limitations on the future exercise 
of discretion available to Forest Service responsible officials. These 
limitations include: (1) No road construction or reconstruction or 
surface occupancy in the WLR, SAHTS, and Primitive theme areas; (2) no 
road construction or reconstruction for mineral leases in BCR theme 
areas; (3) no road construction or reconstruction for mineral leases in 
GFRG theme areas except for activities associated with phosphate 
deposits; and (4) in the BCR and GFRG theme areas, the use and sale of 
common variety mineral materials, and associated road construction 
access these mineral materials may occur only when the use of these 
mineral materials is incidental to an activity otherwise permissible by 
this rule.
    Comment: Saleable minerals. One respondent suggested that sale of 
common variety minerals should be restricted within BCR theme areas. 
Another respondent asked for clarification for why some saleable 
mineral activities are allowed when associated with other allowable 
activities, what these other allowable activities would be, how 
frequent, and what is the pubic benefit. Another suggestion was to 
provide an exception for the Forest Service to use of common variety 
minerals in support of its activities, like road or trail maintenance.
    Response: Commercial permitting of salable minerals in the BCR and 
GFRG themes is prohibited in the final rule. This addresses public 
concerns over this type of mineral development. Practically speaking, 
there is no independent commercial interest in development of these 
saleable minerals in IRAs. The total average production of mineral 
materials from NFS lands represents only about 1 percent of the total 
mineral materials production for all of Idaho (FEIS, section 3.5 
Minerals and Energy).
    Saleable minerals will only be made available as incidental to an 
otherwise permissible activity. The majority of saleable mineral use 
has been gravel for road construction, reconstruction, and maintenance 
or for Agency facilities development including trails. For example, 
gravel may be necessary to reduce the sediment from a road permitted in 
the BCR theme by this rule and could be authorized where an appropriate 
gravel source is in proximity of the road. This exception is expected 
to be rarely used, but is important because it allows use of saleable 
minerals for protection of other resources in IRAs without the 
increased costs of hauling these materials long distances. It also 
allows the Agency to use these sources in support of permissible road, 
trail, or facilities construction or maintenance.
    Comment: Phosphate and leasable minerals. Several respondents 
expressed concern over allowing any expansion of phosphate mining in 
IRAs, especially Primitive and WLR themes, although phosphate is only 
known to occur on about 14,460 acres in IRAs. Many comments pertained 
to public concern for the phosphate mining-related effects of selenium 
on water quality. Some Tribes shared this concern and also expressed 
concern over the potential loss of trust resources. Respondents 
requested clarification about how far road construction and development 
would extend outside of existing leases into roadless areas. The BLM 
suggested the rule allow for a one-half mile expansion buffer around 
existing leases as there are some leases outside the known phosphate 
lease areas (KPLAs) and the rule should not restrict access

[[Page 61469]]

to these deposits. The BLM sought other clarifications and urged the 
Department to provide flexibility to administer existing leases to 
ensure maximum recovery of the resource by allowing the building of 
roads, water wells, power lines, and other supporting facilities on 
off-lease sites. Other respondents stated that the rule should clarify 
whether modifications of existing leases in an IRA, which are part of 
the KPLA, are allowed and how existing lease rights are dealt with in 
the Primitive designation. One respondent felt that all KPLA and 
existing leases should be moved to the GFRG theme. Other respondents 
felt phosphate leases should be confined to KPLAs and not to the entire 
BCR theme. Another respondent suggested known and high potential KPLA 
areas should be moved to the GFRG theme, and all other KPLAs moved to 
BCR where their development should not be allowed. Another respondent 
felt the rule should include requirements for mine clean up and the 
prevention of any future selenium pollution before any expansion of 
phosphate mining areas. One respondent felt there should be no 
expansion of phosphate mines under any circumstances.
    Response: Mineral activities were one of the areas where the 
Department made a specific request for public comment in the preamble 
to the proposed rule (73 FR 1139). The RACNAC could not come to 
consensus on the issue of phosphate mining within IRAs. However, during 
RACNAC's deliberations, several committee members recommended that if 
the Agency were to allow road construction and reconstruction for 
leases obtained after the effective date of this final rule, that those 
activities be limited to areas managed pursuant to the GFRG theme.
    The Department agrees, and believes that with fine tuning of the 
allocations, all new road construction or reconstruction associated 
with post-rule phosphate leases can be limited to the GFRG theme. After 
careful review of KPLAs and the specific classifications in the 
proposed rule, the Agency changed the proposed designation of some BCR 
theme areas in the proposed rule to the GFRG theme in the final. Not 
all KPLAs with phosphate potential proposed as BCR theme were changed 
to the GFRG theme. Several areas including the Bear Creek IRA, retain 
their BCR theme designation because those areas exhibit other high 
resource values. Approximately 1,280 acres of unleased phosphate are 
retained in the Primitive theme and 6,500 acres in the BCR theme. In 
addition, about 910 acres are in the GFRG theme in the Bear Creek 
Roadless Area but are not specified on figure 3-20. Therefore, roads 
may not be constructed to access any of these areas.
    The Agency also agreed with the BLM's recommendation that, 
consistent with local land management plan components, the KPLAs should 
have a one-half mile buffer to allow for any uncertainties about where 
the ore body is located. For leases obtained after the effective date 
of this rule, road construction and other associated activities can 
only occur in areas designated as GFRG theme to access phosphate 
deposits identified in Figure 3-20 in the FEIS. This rule does not 
grant automatic access across the GFRG theme to ore bodies depicted in 
the map. However, it does allow consideration and review of the merits 
of individual applications which will undergo site-specific 
environmental analysis, including consideration of access options.
    The Department believes maintaining future options within the 
select GFRG theme areas are important to communities in Southeast Idaho 
and to the nation because of the increasing demand for phosphate. The 
Department believes these permissions and restrictions provide a 
balance between providing access to a limited portion of a significant 
national resource and protecting roadless area values. Of course, any 
future development proposals would themselves require site-specific 
environmental analysis.
    Additionally, the final rule directs the responsible official to 
review other access options and assure consistency with applicable LMP 
components before authorizing any new road construction associated with 
mineral activities in IRAs. Similar to the proposed rule, the final 
rule also directs that temporary road construction must be conducted in 
a way that minimizes effects on surface resources, is consistent with 
LMP components, and may only be used for specified purposes. Like the 
2001 roadless rule, this final rule honors valid existing leases. In 
this situation, the Forest Service will permit necessary road 
construction, road reconstruction, and surface occupancy for existing 
leases regardless of the theme.
    The issue of phosphate mining and selenium pollution is discussed 
in the FEIS at pp. 186, 187, 205, 208, 210, 211, 216, 259, 262, 264, 
267, 277, 291, and 294. The Department has determined that requirements 
for mine clean up and the prevention of any future selenium pollution 
is best handled at the site-specific project level.
    Comment: Locatable minerals. One respondent suggested language 
allowing access similar to the language proposed under leasable 
minerals should be included for locatable minerals.
    Response: The final rule is clear that it does not intend to 
regulate mining activities conducted pursuant to the General Mining Law 
of 1872. The Agency has separate requirements relating to road 
construction and maintenance for locatable minerals at 36 CFR 228.8(f) 
that adequately provide for these protections. Recently, the Agency 
proposed a revision of its locatable mineral regulations; questions 
concerning access to locatable minerals will be governed by that final 
rule. Therefore, it was determined that no further adjustment of this 
regulation is necessary.
    Comment: Energy resources. Several respondents suggested that the 
rule should not include an exemption for oil and gas or geothermal 
development as there is currently no known potential for their 
development. These respondents further asserted that future energy 
exploration should be dealt with under the proposed change clause, and 
that there are sufficient places outside roadless areas where 
alternative energy sources like wind, biomass, and geothermal can be 
developed.
    Response: As identified in the FEIS, there is low potential for oil 
and gas development in Idaho but there is some potential for geothermal 
energy. Wind energy is more developed in southern Idaho and there 
appears to be ample opportunities for expansion outside roadless areas. 
The Western Energy Corridor study was also considered during 
development of this rule and no corridors have been identified in IRAs. 
There is currently one geothermal facility in Idaho generating 
electricity. Because the development of this resource is in its infancy 
and would be widely available on private and the roaded portion of NFS 
lands, the Department has determined there is not a need to allow roads 
for developing geothermal energy in IRAs at this time. If the State or 
other parties believe new information or circumstances warrant an 
adjustment, a change of the rule's restrictions can be sought and 
considered though the rule's modification process. For now, the final 
rule prohibits new road construction or reconstruction within any theme 
for post-rule oil and gas, and geothermal leasing. Surface use and 
occupancy would still be permitted in the BCR and GFRG themes so long 
as the LMP components do not expressly prohibit such activities.
    Comment: Consultation with mining and energy interests. A 
respondent suggested the Agency should consult with State of Idaho 
agencies and

[[Page 61470]]

mining, energy, and geothermal industry representatives to assure the 
rule does not restrict or confuse development.
    Response: The Department highlighted its desire for public comment 
concerning mineral and energy issues in the proposed rule. With regard 
to phosphates, as noted above, the Agency and State have coordinated 
with BLM, representatives of the affected industry, Tribal 
representatives, environmental groups, and other interested parties to 
identify the IRAs that possess resource values other than phosphate 
development and placed those areas in themes that would preclude future 
development. The Forest Service also worked with the BLM to ensure that 
both agencies understood the extent of phosphate development that would 
be permissible in IRAs.
    Comment: Project-by project approach. One respondent recommended 
that decisions regarding mineral exploration and development should be 
made project-by-project rather than rule classifications for BCR and 
GFRG themes.
    Response: A project-level approach would effectively be the same as 
the system examined in Alternative 2--Existing Plans, which is analyzed 
in detail in the draft and final EISs. The Department believes that the 
final rule (Alternative 4) presents a better approach blending local 
understanding of these regional interests along with national interest 
in roadless area management, minerals management, and energy security. 
Additionally, the modification provision set out in section 294.27 is 
available for adjustments as needed for individual projects.
Proposed Section 294.25 Timber Cutting, Sale, or Removal in Idaho 
Roadless Areas
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.25 (Final Rule Section 
294.24). Paragraph (a) has been reworded for clarity but retains the 
same limitations on timber cutting in WLR presented in the proposed 
rule. The proposed rule's use of significant risk in paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii) in the Primitive and SAHTS themes has been eliminated and 
has been revised with language that better describes a narrower 
exception focusing on protection for at-risk communities and municipal 
water supply systems from uncharacteristic wildland fire effects. As 
explained in the FEIS at section 3.3, Fuels Management, these fuel 
treatments are necessary to reduce potential direct and indirect 
effects of wildland fires to these communities. This aligns more 
closely to the Department's, Forest Service's, and State's desire to 
provide protections similar or beyond those provided by the 2001 
roadless rule without sacrificing necessary flexibility for the 
protection of critical community interests. Instead of splitting 
limitations on these activities across multiple paragraphs as in the 
proposed rule, section 294.24(b)(2) lists all limitations. The final 
rule also clarifies that when assessing whether actions maintain or 
improve roadless characteristics, responsible official's evaluations 
examine long term effects rather than only immediate consequences.
    Several refinements have been made to the provisions concerning 
timber cutting in the BCR theme. The final rule includes new provisions 
in section 294.24(c)(1)(i-ii) to refine instances where timber cutting 
can be conducted to reduce hazardous fuel conditions. The rule now 
distinguishes between cutting for fuel reduction purposes inside and 
outside CPZs and requires additional protections and findings for 
actions taken outside a CPZ. The final rule clarifies that significant 
risk will be addressed in terms of landscape condition and fire event 
probability. Consistent with the concepts of the 2006 Cohesive 
Strategy, the regulation now identifies and defines the factors that go 
into that determination--history of fire occurrence along with fire 
hazard and risk. These adjustments parallel changes made in the road 
construction provision in the final rule discussed above.
    The RACNAC and some respondents expressed concern regarding whether 
temporary roads should be constructed for facilitating forest health or 
other permissible timber cutting, sale, or removal activities in BCR 
theme areas. The Department agrees that new roads, even temporary 
roads, should not be developed to undertake these types of timber 
cutting activities because of their potential to diminish roadless 
characteristics. However, the final rule recognizes that with 
appropriate limitations, such as maximizing the retention of large 
trees, these activities could make use of roads that already exist and 
roads authorized under the various provisions of this rule (including 
temporary roads until decommissioned). By allowing the use of existing 
and permissible roads to support limited timber cutting activities, the 
ability to accomplish limited forest health objectives can be met 
without diminishing roadless characteristics over the long-term. Such 
roads would not be available to support further timber cutting 
operations once they are decommissioned. General instructions regarding 
temporary roads have been added in a new paragraph (d) based on input 
from RACNAC and the public.
    Comment: Limits on timber cutting. One respondent suggested 
limiting timber cutting, sale, or removal in the Primitive theme to 
only those timber activities that will improve one or more of the 
roadless characteristics. Several respondents suggested timber cutting 
should be limited in the Primitive theme to instances where it would 
improve one or more roadless characteristics and maintain the quality 
of game and fish habitat and recreation experience. Other respondents 
suggested that an exception be included for the Primitive theme 
allowing treatment for human health and safety near trails or other 
recreation sites. For the BCR theme, it was suggested the cutting, 
selling, or removing of timber be limited to where it will maintain all 
roadless characteristics or improve one or more of the roadless 
characteristics. Another respondent felt the rule should disclose the 
controversy over the use of logging as a fuels reduction method. 
Another felt that the proposed rule exceptions were ambiguous and that 
the DEIS underestimated potential effects. Other respondents wanted to 
know why language in the 2001 roadless rule concerning generally small 
diameter and the range of variability were are not carried forward into 
the proposed rule. Similarly, other respondents asked for clarification 
about whether large diameter trees can be logged and consideration of a 
limitation to small diameter trees and/or an old-growth, large tree 
retention requirements.
    Response: Based on these comments, the Department has elected to 
follow the approach used in the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) 
with modifications recommended by the RACNAC. In the Primitive theme, 
timber cutting under the final rule would be prohibited unless existing 
roads or aerial systems are used and the cutting, selling, or removing 
of timber would: (1) Improve threatened, endangered, proposed, or 
sensitive species habitat; (2) maintain or restore ecosystem 
composition, structure, and processes; or (3) reduce the risk of 
uncharacteristic wildfire to at-risk communities and municipal water 
supply systems. Such cutting, selling, or removing of timber would also 
have to maintain or improve one or more of the roadless characteristics 
over the long-term. Some additional requirements for timber cutting 
were added, including: (1) Timber cutting, selling, or removing must be 
approved by the regional forester; (2) retention of large trees as 
appropriate for the forest type to the extent the trees promote fire-
resilient

[[Page 61471]]

stands must be maximized; and (3) projects must be consistent with 
applicable plan components. With these limitations, timber cutting 
activities on these lands is expected to be limited and infrequent. The 
cutting of hazard trees near trails and recreation sites for human 
health and safety is allowed under section 294.24(b)(v) as it is 
incidental to a management activity not otherwise prohibited by this 
final rule.
    For the BCR theme, the final rule modifies the proposed rule's 
timber cutting provisions (section 294.25(c)(1)(ii)) to be more 
specific about where and under what conditions timber cutting is 
permissible. The final rule identifies that timber cutting would only 
be allowed as follows: (1) To reduce hazardous fuel conditions within 
the CPZ; (2) to reduce the significant risk of wildland fire effects to 
an at-risk community or municipal water supply system outside the CPZ; 
(3) to improve threatened, endangered, proposed, or sensitive species 
habitat; (4) to maintain or restore the characteristics of ecosystem 
composition, structure, and process; (5) to reduce the risk of 
uncharacteristic wildland fire effects; (6) for personal or 
administrative use; (7) where incidental to implementation of a 
management activity not otherwise prohibited by this rule; or (8) in a 
substantially altered portion of an IRA.
    Additional conditions were added for actions undertaken to reduce 
significant risk of wildland fire effects outside of a CPZ; to maintain 
or restore characteristics of ecosystem composition, structure, and 
process; and to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildland fire. 
These actions must also maintain or improve one or more of the roadless 
characteristics over the long-term; maximize the retention of large 
trees as appropriate for the forest type, to the extent the trees 
promote fire-resilient stands; are consistent with LMP components; and 
are approved by the regional forester.
    The 2001 roadless rule used the phrase generally small diameter. 
The requirement to retain large trees as appropriate for the forest 
type replaces that terminology. This language was recommended by the 
RACNAC and has been part of the Agency's implementation of HFRA and the 
Agency believes the language will be better understood by field 
personnel. The new language reflects the site-specific flexibility 
needed to treat certain forest types in Idaho (e.g., lodgepole pine). A 
definition of forest type has been added in the final rule that is 
drawn from the definition of that term in the Dictionary of Ecology. 
The Agency will continue to emphasize the use of stand thinning, 
strategic fuel breaks, and prescribed fire where possible to reduce the 
forest fuel loading. Similarly, the language ``within the range of 
variability that would be expected to occur under natural disturbance 
regimes of the current climatic period'' found in the 2001 roadless 
rule is not used in this rule because it does not easily account for 
species like lodgepole pine that routinely experiences stand 
replacement fires, and although it may not be outside of its natural 
disturbance regimes, it could pose a significant risk to at-risk 
communities.
    Comment: Restrictions on logging methods. One respondent suggested 
that only selective logging by helicopter should be allowed in themes 
where timber cutting is allowed because it would allow for better 
quality wood without habitat destruction. Another respondent felt that 
the rule should clarify whether maintaining roadless character means 
that there will be no clear-cutting or seed tree harvest methods.
    Response: The Department believes selection of logging methods to 
meet silvicultural treatment objectives is best left to project-
specific decisionmaking. A general prohibition on particular harvest 
systems, like clear-cutting or seed tree harvest methods, could 
preclude necessary and otherwise permissible activities for treating 
areas. Some areas with low commercial value, like lodgepole pine 
stands, may be in need of treatment to protect local communities and 
municipal water supplies. Restricting logging methods would 
unnecessarily endanger these at-risk communities and municipal water 
supplies.
    Comment: Timber cutting and vegetative treatments to improve 
roadless characteristics. Several respondents felt it was confusing to 
allow timber cutting under proposed section 294.25 if it will maintain 
or improve one or more of the roadless characteristics and suggested 
changing the standard to be an assurance that timber cutting does not 
degrade roadless character. One respondent suggested more rationale is 
needed before conducting vegetative treatments to reduce significant 
risks or for forest health activities in the Primitive and BCR themes. 
Other respondents felt language was needed that requires scientific 
documentation before activities for the maintenance and improvement of 
threatened, endangered, and sensitive species can be authorized in 
roadless areas.
    Response: The final rule language has been modified and section 
294.24(c)(2)(i) now provides that actions should maintain or improve 
roadless characteristics over the long-term. The final rule includes 
additional definitions and clarifications addressing when and where 
actions undertaken for maintaining or restoring the characteristics of 
ecosystem composition, structure, and processes; or significant risk 
situations may occur. Agency procedures already require responsible 
officials to identify the reasons for their decisions and the 
scientific and other source material relied upon for agency 
conclusions. Therefore, additional requirements are not necessary.
    Comment: Wildland urban interface (WUI). Many respondents requested 
clarifications and definition concerning WUIs and communities. One 
respondent felt that a roadless area by definition is not part of the 
urban interface and should not be included in WUI areas. Some 
respondents suggested expanding the radius beyond one mile, while 
others suggested reducing the radius to 200 feet. Still others wanted 
more application of science when determining WUI boundaries.
    Response: The proposed rule did not specifically use WUI as a 
condition for road construction or timber cutting. The proposed rule 
permitted road construction or reconstruction and timber cutting, sale, 
or removal in the BCR theme to reduce the significant risk of wildland 
fire effects. Significant risk was defined as ``a natural resource 
condition threatening an at-risk community or municipal water supply 
system.'' WUI as defined by the HFRA includes an area within or 
adjacent to an at-risk community that is identified in a community 
wildfire protection plan (CWPP) or is based on default criteria if a 
CWPP does not exist. CWPPs are completed for all counties in Idaho.
    Based on public comment and RACNAC recommendations, the timber 
cutting section was modified to be more precise about where and under 
what conditions timber cutting could be done. Timber cutting, sale, or 
removal could be done in the CPZ as described as an at-risk community 
in HFRA. The CPZ is an area extending one-half mile from the boundary 
of an at-risk community; or an area within one and a half miles of the 
boundary of an at-risk community, where any land (1) has a sustained 
steep slope that creates the potential for wildfire behavior 
endangering the at-risk community; (2) has a geographic feature that 
aids in creating an effective fire break, such as a road or a ridge 
top; or (3) is in condition class 3 as defined by HFRA meaning areas 
where fire regimes on

[[Page 61472]]

land have been significantly altered from historical ranges; there 
exists a high risk of losing key ecosystem components from fire; fire 
frequencies have departed from historical frequencies by multiple 
return intervals, resulting in dramatic changes to: (1) The size, 
frequency, intensity, or severity of fires; and (2) landscape patterns; 
and vegetation attributes have been significantly altered from the 
historical range of the attributes. The final rule's definition of an 
at-risk community comes from the HFRA.
    Comment: Use of community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs). 
Several respondents raised concerns over the legality of using CWPPs in 
the rule to define the WUI because the development of a CWPP is not 
solely in the control of the Federal Government. Some felt the Proposed 
Rule's references to HFRA may unintentionally broaden forest fuels 
treatments in roadless areas beyond limited community protection needs. 
Others suggested adding language to cover any updates to the HFRA 
Interim Field Guide. They also noted the field guidance is not limited 
to community protection and includes municipal watersheds, ecosystem 
components, and forest/rangeland resources.
    Response: CWPPs were not specifically referenced in the proposed 
rule. However, consideration of CWPPs was implied in provisions 
regarding timber cutting and road construction to reduce significant 
risk. The CWPPS were considered when developing the final rule as a way 
to define a geographic area for projects that reduce significant risks 
to communities and municipal water supply systems. However, this 
concept was not considered in detail because it is too difficult to 
define. Each CWPP is developed based on a variety of information, some 
more scientific than others; and a set distance may not work in many 
cases. While CWPPs can provide helpful information, they are not 
developed and controlled solely by the Federal Government, and can vary 
widely. In some instances, the county's CWPP indicates the entire 
county is a WUI including all IRAs within the county. Therefore, the 
Department decided that reliance exclusively on CWPPs was not 
appropriate. After consideration of public comments and the RACNAC's 
recommendation for allowing road building in certain circumstance 
described above, the Department has decided to use a combination of 
specific geographic criteria (the CPZs) and added requirements for the 
situations when road construction and reconstruction could be used to 
facilitate timber cutting to reduce significant risk outside the CPZs. 
Responsible officials can consider information from CWPPs as in many 
instances they may be a useful tool for determining whether a 
significant risk situation exists.
    Comment: Vegetation treatments in the BCR theme. One respondent 
suggested that documentation should be required for maintenance or 
improvement of habitat for threatened, endangered, proposed, indicator, 
and sensitive species. Another respondent recommended inclusion of 
aspen as a type of restoration project. One respondent felt that the 
rule should be more flexible in the BCR theme to allow for management 
treatments outside of WUI and municipal watersheds. Another respondent 
questioned if timber cutting activities in the BCR theme would maintain 
all roadless characteristics or improve one or more of the roadless 
characteristics.
    Response: Agency planning procedures (i.e., NFMA, NEPA, ESA) 
already require analysis, documentation and disclosure of the 
scientific and other information relied upon for agency conclusions 
regarding wildlife habitat. Therefore, additional requirements are not 
necessary. Treatments in aspen stands are allowed as long as they 
conform to the requirements of the rule. For a discussion of activities 
outside of WUI, see the discussions above under significant risk and 
under Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.25 (Final Rule Section 
294.24). As a clarification, the final rule limits timber cutting in 
the BCR theme to situations that (1) maintain or improve one or more of 
the roadless characteristics over the long-term; (2) maximize the 
retention of large trees as appropriate for the forest type to the 
extent the trees promote fire-resilient stands; (3) are consistent with 
LMP components other than those inconsistent with this final rule; and 
(4) are approved by the regional forester.
    Comment: Forest health activities. Some respondents were concerned 
over the possible abuse of this exception and thought the language 
should be struck from the rule. One respondent thought the two 
exceptions in proposed section 294.25(c)(1) should stand on their own 
and the reference to forest health should be removed. Others felt that 
a definition was needed for the term forest health and that further 
parameters should be included. Another respondent thought forest health 
projects should not be allowed in the BCR theme, making the proposed 
rule more like the 2001 roadless rule. One respondent felt forest 
health should not be confined to the health of trees but other parts of 
the ecosystem.
    Response: The final rule has been designed to address vital forest 
health needs. The final rule removes the proposed criteria that a road 
could be constructed ``to facilitate forest health activities.'' The 
final rule does not include a definition for forest health because the 
term is not used. The BCR theme in the final rule does not permit road 
building for the purpose of conducting limited forest health 
activities. However, these limited forest health activities may proceed 
using other means, including the use of aerial systems and existing 
roads, including those temporary roads authorized by this rule until 
the road is decommissioned. This adjustment is intended to add a small 
degree of flexibility under special circumstances while maintaining 
essentially the same management regime for these lands as directed 
under the 2001 rule. The final rule does not impose restrictions on 
forest health activities for the betterment of the ecosystem beyond 
those expressly addressed by the regulation. For example, stream 
habitat improvements like willow planting for shade improvement are 
unaffected by the rule.
Proposed Section 294.26 Other Activities in Idaho Roadless Areas
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.26 (Final Rule Section 
294.26). The rule language concerning motorized travel, motorized 
equipment, and mechanical transport has been simplified with no change 
in intent. Along with other minor wording changes, the grazing 
provision now uses permit rather than allotment. The proposed and final 
rules both indicate that future grazing operations will conform to the 
rule, but that current operations are not affected. Standard Forest 
Service grazing permits have a maximum ten-year term. Allotment 
management planning occurs periodically and has no set term. The 
Department's intention for bringing future grazing operations into 
conformance with the rule classifications is more readily accomplished 
through the mandatory term permit system than through the optional 
allotment management planning system as not all operations are covered 
by an existing allotment management plan.
    Comment: Public involvement during transportation planning. A 
respondent suggested the rule should require that any present or future 
roads analysis conducted in an Idaho roadless area

[[Page 61473]]

should be shared with county commissioners.
    Response: The Governor's petition and final rule at section 
294.26(a) identify that decisions concerning the future management and/
or status of existing roads or trails in IRAs under this rule will be 
made during the applicable travel management processes. Forest Service 
responsible officials are already directed to coordinate with counties 
when engaged in travel management decisionmaking regarding designation 
or revision of NFS roads, trails, and areas on NFS land as directed in 
36 CFR 212.53. No additional regulatory direction is needed.
    Comment: Ski areas. A respondent suggested ski areas should be 
taken out of roadless area designations, including the Primitive theme. 
Several respondents felt ski areas should be moved into the Forest Plan 
Special Area (FPSA) designation. Another respondent requested a re-
evaluation of the ski area permit boundaries in LMPs and the ski area 
master development plan to consider the actual ski use boundaries.
    Response: The status and theme assignment for all ski areas was 
further evaluated based on public comment. Based on the review, it was 
determined that some existing LMP prescriptions did not match the 
authorized ski area permit boundary. In the proposed rule, not all the 
developed winter recreation sites had been placed into the FPSA 
category. In the final rule, all developed winter recreation sites, 
based on their permit boundaries are placed into FPSA. These areas 
would be managed according to the applicable LMP.
    For example, the potential for future expansion of Brundage 
Mountain has been acknowledged in its master development plan, 
including approximately 7,000 acres in the Patrick Butte Roadless Area. 
The final rule identifies these lands as a FPSA and, as such, the lands 
will be managed in accordance with the local land management plan and 
standard administrative and environmental review processes for 
evaluation of ski areas will apply. The final rule is neutral regarding 
potential expansion, neither assuring nor baring the outcome of future 
decisionmaking.
    Classifications for ski areas, or parts of ski areas, where only 
snowcat skiing is authorized were not adjusted as no rule related 
activities are associated with these uses.
Proposed Section 294.27 Scope and Applicability
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.27 (Final Rule Sections 
294.27 and 294.28). Several adjustments were made to the scope and 
applicability provisions set out in the proposed section 294.27. First, 
a new paragraph 294.28(a) was added to respond to requests that the 
rule clarify the relationship of this subpart to the 2001 roadless 
rule. Paragraph (a) of the final rule is intended to make clear that 
this rule supersedes the 2001 roadless rule. Therefore the 2001 
roadless rule shall have no effect within the State of Idaho regardless 
of the legal uncertainties of the 2001 roadless rule because of pending 
litigation as noted above. The Department has reexamined management 
direction for these lands under various regimes, considering national 
and local interests, and determined that the final rule represents a 
balanced solution that best meets the needs of the American public for 
these lands. A clarification has been added about the relationship of 
this final rule and LMPs in section 294.28(d). A further clarification 
of the relationship between the rule and plans was made by adding 
paragraph 294.28(f) in the final rule that expressly states that the 
final rule is not intended to overwrite management direction applicable 
within FPSAs. Paragraphs 294.28(g) and (h) are added to expressly note 
that nothing in the rule waives any applicable requirements regarding 
site-specific environmental analysis, public involvement, consultation 
with Tribes and other agencies, or compliance with applicable laws; nor 
modifies the relationship between the United States and Indian Tribes. 
Finally, the corrections and modifications process has been simplified 
to improve readability and placed in a separate section (294.27).
    Comment: Role of LMP components during implementation of the rule. 
Several respondents raised concerns that the proposed rule was silent 
on meeting LMP standards and guidelines or other interagency standards 
established to meet resource objectives, for example INFISH.
    Response: The final rule (section 294.28(d)) makes it clear that 
applicable LMP components (desired conditions, objectives, suitability, 
guidelines, and standards) must be adhered to during the planning and 
implementation of a project. For example, in the GFRG theme, LMP 
components generally permit road construction. However, some components 
set sideboards or conditions for road construction (e.g., roads may not 
be constructed in riparian areas unless certain conditions are met or 
may not be constructed in grizzly bear habitat unless certain road 
densities are met). In particular LMPs provide management direction to 
reduce or minimize adverse effects to threatened and endangered 
species. This direction is not inconsistent with the final rule. 
Therefore, these conditions would still apply to actions permissible 
under the final rule and if the project cannot comply with the plan 
requirements, the proposed project would have to be modified, 
abandoned, or the specific LMP component amended. There are some IRAs 
where the management theme direction established in the final rule 
would be more permissive than existing LMPs, for example allowing the 
use of a temporary road for fuels treatment within a CPZ while the 
existing LMP does not allow for roads in the area. In these few 
instances, the rule would override the plan's general allocation and 
road construction could be permitted. However, any such road building 
must still be consistent with all LMP direction that provides specific 
criteria for designing projects or activities. In the example above, 
the road must still meet requirements found in INFISH, PACFISH, 
southwest Idaho Group Forest-wide requirements, the Final Conservation 
Strategy for the Grizzly Bear in the Greater Yellowstone Area, the 
Northern Rockies Lynx Amendment, or other species-specific direction.
    Comment: Administrative corrections and modifications. Several 
respondents felt that more clarity was needed on the procedures for 
boundary changes to the IRA maps identified in proposed section 294.21. 
Others requested further clarification regarding the proposed 
significance determination for modifications. Several respondents 
recommended public involvement no matter the magnitude of change even 
if the proposed change is perceived by the Agency to be non-significant 
or an administrative correction. In addition, respondents requested a 
30-day public comment period before any change is made. One respondent 
expressed concern that the change clause would allow incremental 
erosion of IRA protections. A Tribal respondent felt that the change 
clause would result in the categorical exclusions of public input and 
Tribal government-to-government consultation. Other respondents felt 
that the revision of boundary lines for the themes and roadless areas 
should be made simpler.
    Response: The Department identified the correction and modification 
process as an aspect of the proposed rule where public input was most 
desired. To improve readability, the final rule establishes a separate 
provision for corrections and modifications. Although there was 
widespread agreement that a

[[Page 61474]]

modification provision is needed, respondents sought clarifications 
regarding two particular points: the public comment process and the 
significance threshold for modifications.
    The proposed rule identified that all changes, except correcting 
typographic or mapping errors, would be subject to an opportunity for 
public comment. The extent of public involvement was intended to vary 
depending on whether a proposed change was deemed a significant 
modification. Some respondents found the proposed rule's approach 
overly complicated or confusing. Several respondents, including the 
RACNAC, urged that an opportunity for public comment be provided for 
all changes. Therefore, the Department has simplified the process. The 
final rule directs the Chief to provide notice and comment for all 
changes, including corrections for typographic or mapping errors. 
Further, the significance test has been eliminated and the Agency will 
provide a 30-day comment period for corrections and a minimum 45-day 
comment period for all other modifications. Adjustments will comply 
with applicable administrative and environmental analysis requirements.
Proposed Section 294.28 List of Designated Idaho Roadless Areas
    Summary of Changes in Proposed Section 294.28 (Final Rule Section 
294.29). The final rule designations reflect adjustments to area 
boundaries and assigned classifications for specific IRAs based upon 
further review by Forest Service field units, the State, and in 
response to public comment since publication of the 2001 roadless rule. 
The FEIS Appendix A lists each adjustment and identifies the reason the 
change was made. These roadless areas are based on the most current 
inventory, found either in existing forest plans, proposed forest 
plans, or the 2001 roadless rule. In most cases, the boundaries from 
the three sources are the same.
    Most of the Idaho's 2001 roadless rule roadless area boundaries 
were based on forest plan inventories completed in the mid-1980s. Most 
of these inventories were not updated for the 2001 roadless rule to 
reflect activities that had occurred in the 1990s. During LMP revisions 
since the 2001 roadless rule, national forests in Idaho updated their 
inventories. Some roadless areas have decreased in size from the 
inventories used by the 2001 roadless rule due to road construction and 
timber sales that occurred between the mid-1980 inventory and prior to 
the implementation of the 2001 roadless rule. Other roadless areas 
increased in size due to lands gained through land exchanges or a new 
inventory during a LMP revision found more adjacent lands qualifying 
for consideration FSH 1909.12 Land Management Planning, Chapter 70 
requirements. Additionally, some minor changes were made to correct 
mapping errors found since the 2001 roadless rule.
    Comment: Several respondents raised concerns that the proposed 
theme designations for the propose rule did not correctly reflect 
current LMP direction for the area. In addition, some respondents felt 
that too many acres are being placed in the GFRG theme.
    Response: As previously noted, the GFRG theme was reduced by 
203,700 acres (from 609,600 to 405,900 acres) in the final rule as 
described in FEIS, Appendices E and P. The Forest Service reviewed 
current LMP direction for each IRA. Based on public comment and Forest 
Service review, several changes were made to place some additional 
areas into the forest plan special area (FPSA) category as this 
category better reflects the management intent of the rule for these 
areas. They include small developed or designated dispersed sites on 
the Caribou-Targhee, Payette, and Sawtooth NFs, and the ski areas of 
Brundage Mountain discussed above. A change was also made to remove 
potential wild and scenic river corridors from the FPSA in the Idaho 
Panhandle NFs. Similarly, a change was made on the Challis NF where 
Management Areas 11 and 12 had been placed into the Primitive theme 
based on the interpretation of LMP direction. However, after further 
review by the Challis NF of the road construction or reconstruction 
activities that have occurred in these management areas, it was 
determined that the appropriate theme for these two areas is the BCR 
theme. More information on these changes can be found in Appendix E of 
the FEIS.

Regulatory Certifications

Regulatory Planning and Review

    This final rule was reviewed under USDA procedures, Executive Order 
(E.O.) 12866 issued September 30, 1993, as amended by E.O. 13258 and 
E.O. 13422 on Regulatory Planning and Review and the major rule 
provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness 
Act (5 U.S.C. 800). This final rule is not an economically significant 
rule. This final rule will not have an annual effect of $100 million or 
more or adversely affect the economy or economic sectors. This final 
rule is not expected to interfere with an action taken or planned by 
another agency, nor raise legal or policy issues. This final rule will 
not alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or 
loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients of such 
programs. However, due to the level of interest in roadless area 
management, this final rule has been designated as significant and is 
therefore subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review under 
E.O. 12866.
    A regulatory impact analysis has been prepared for this final rule. 
OMB circulars as well as guidance regarding E.O. 12866 indicate that 
regulatory impact analysis should include a benefit cost analysis and 
an assessment of distributional effects. The benefits, costs, and 
distributional effects of four alternatives referred to as follows: 
2001 Roadless Rule (2001 Rule), existing forest plans (Existing Plans), 
the Proposed Rule and the final rule are analyzed over a 15-year time 
period from 2008 to 2022. For the purpose of regulatory impact 
analysis, the 2001 Rule is assumed to be the no action alternative to 
represent baseline conditions or goods and services provided by 
national forests and grasslands in the near future in the absence of 
the final rule. The baseline assumption is consistent with no action 
alternative used in the final environmental impact statement for the 
final rule. The IMPLAN modeling framework is used to estimate the 
economic impacts of the regulatory action.

Summary of the Results of Impact Analysis

    The regulatory impact analysis examines four alternatives 
establishing regulatory direction for the management of the 9.3 million 
acres of Idaho Roadless Areas (IRAs):
    (1) Direction based on the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule 
(2001 Rule);
    (2) Direction based on existing land management plans for national 
forests in Idaho (Existing Plans);
    (3) Direction based on the proposed rule (Proposed Rule).
    (4) Direction based on this final rule (Final Rule).
    The purpose of the Final (and Proposed) Rule is to provide State-
specific direction for the conservation and management of Idaho's 
inventoried roadless areas. The Final Rule integrates local management 
concerns with the national objectives for protecting roadless area 
values and characteristics.

[[Page 61475]]

The 2001 Rule

    The 2001 Rule is the baseline alternative. The 2001 Rule 
alternative presents a roadless area management regime based on 
prohibitions with exceptions. This alternative prohibits road 
construction and reconstruction in roadless areas with exceptions. 
Timber cutting, sale, or removal, is prohibited with exceptions. Unless 
an exemption applied, road construction would not be allowed for 
discretionary (leasable and saleable) mineral activities.

Existing Plans

    The Existing Plans alternative represents an Idaho Roadless Area 
management regime based on each forest's land management plan (LMP). 
Generally, LMPs would allow timber cutting and road construction or 
reconstruction on 1.26 million acres of the 9.3 million acres of IRAs. 
Road construction and timber cutting would be allowed on an additional 
4.48 million acres over the baseline. Permissions for mineral activity 
vary by each National Forest land management plan from limited to full 
development.

Proposed Rule

    The proposed Idaho Roadless Area Conservation Rule is programmatic 
in nature and consists of five management themes. The themes provide a 
management spectrum intended to meet the purpose of the rule. Depending 
on the theme, road construction or reconstruction, timber cutting, and 
discretionary mineral activities are allowed or prohibited with or 
without exceptions.

Final Rule

    The Final Rule refines and clarifies parts of the Proposed Rule 
based on comments received on the Proposed Rule from the public, 
Tribes, the State of Idaho, and recommendations from the RACNAC. The 
major modifications between the Proposed Rule and Final Rule include:
     The amount and type of roadless areas placed in the 
various themes.
     Clarifications on the permissions and restrictions 
associated with road construction and reconstruction and timber 
cutting, sale, or removal with fuel treatments in areas associated with 
at-risk communities and municipal water supplies.
     Restrictions on road construction in association with 
leasable minerals other than phosphate.
     The public comment requirements to make changes in the 
future.
    For more information on the alternatives, see discussion under 
Alternatives Considered by the Department section in this preamble and 
FEIS Chapter 2 (http://roadless.fs.fed.us/documents/idaho_roadless/feis/feis_vol_1.pdf).
    The final rule establishes five management themes to clarify 
direction in IRAs in contrast to the single management strategy 
assigned to all IRAs under the 2001 Rule alternative. The five themes 
are Wild Land Recreation (WLR), Primitive, Special Areas of Heritage 
and Tribal Significance (SAHTS), Backcountry/Restoration (BCR), and 
General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland (GFRG). In general, these 
themes vary according to the degree to which road construction, timber 
cutting, and discretionary minerals activity are prohibited in IRAs, 
with the WLR theme being the most restrictive and the GFRG theme being 
the least restrictive. Management direction under the 2001 Rule 
alternative is most similar to the BCR theme under the final rule. The 
final rule does not prescribe site-specific activities on the ground 
nor does it irreversibly commit resources. Direct effects of site-
specific activities would be disclosed through NEPA project-level 
analysis when site-specific decisions are made. Table 1 compares 
roadless acres by theme, across alternatives.
    Because the rule does not prescribe site-specific activities, it is 
difficult to quantify the benefits and costs of the alternatives. It 
should also be emphasized that the types of benefits derived from 
roadless characteristics and the uses of roadless areas are far ranging 
and include a number of non-market and non-use benefit categories. 
Consequently, benefits and costs are not monetized, nor are net present 
values or benefit cost ratios estimated. Instead, increases and/or 
losses in benefits are discussed separately for each resource area in a 
quantitative or qualitative way. Benefits and costs are organized and 
discussed in the context of local resource concerns and roadless 
characteristics to remain consistent with overall purpose of the rule, 
recognizing that benefits associated ``with local concerns may trigger 
indirect benefits in roadless characteristics in some cases (such as, 
forest health).'' Table 2 summarizes the potential benefits and costs 
of the final rule, the 2001 Rule, the Proposed Rule, and Existing Plans 
alternatives.
    Distributional effects or economic impacts, in terms of jobs and 
labor income, are quantified for Idaho's five economic areas (EAs) 
using regional impact models (IMPLAN). Economic impacts are evaluated 
only for changes in activities directly affected by the rule (timber 
cutting, minerals extraction, and road construction and 
reconstruction). Distributional effects are also discussed in relation 
to revenue sharing, small entities, and to the resource dependent 
communities (counties) most likely to be affected by the rule. Table 3 
summarizes distributional effects and economic impacts of the final 
rule and alternatives. The precision of these estimates are unknown 
since a formal analysis of uncertainty has not been undertaken. 
Discussion of estimated economic impacts therefore focuses on the 
direction of change and the relative differences in impacts across 
alternatives, not absolute values of impacts.
    Details about the environmental effects of the rule are in the 
Roadless Area Conservation; National Forest System Lands in Idaho Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
    In general, projected activity levels associated with future road 
construction and timber cutting are anticipated to be greater for the 
final rule, relative to the 2001 Rule alternative baseline conditions. 
For example, the final rule projects an increase in road construction 
by 18 miles over the next 15 years. Reasonably foreseeable levels of 
activities such as road construction can be projected, but the effects 
of permitted activities on resource conditions or roadless 
characteristics are more difficult to predict. As a consequence, the 
agency is often limited to describing the extent to which particular 
resource conditions (e.g., highly sensitive soils) overlap with 
roadless areas where opportunities for activities (e.g., road 
construction) exist under the different alternatives. The actual extent 
of resource effects would be significantly smaller than the area of 
overlap because reasonably foreseeable activities are projected to 
occur on very small fractions of the total area where activities are 
permitted under the alternatives. In addition, other requirements to 
minimize or reduce adverse effects, such as management direction found 
in land management plans would apply.

Local Resource Concerns

    Local resource concerns include protecting communities, property, 
and resources from risk of wildland fire, as well as protecting forests 
from the adverse effects of wildfire, insects and disease, and ensuring 
access (see Table 2).
    Projected levels of timber cutting for reducing hazardous fuels 
and/or reducing the risks from insects and disease in roadless areas 
over 15 years, are greatest under Existing Plans alternative (40,500 
acres) followed by

[[Page 61476]]

the Proposed Rule alternative (18,000 acres), the final rule (15,000 
acres), and the 2001 Rule alternative (9,000 acres). Projected timber 
cutting is estimated to generate approximately 3.0 million board feet 
(MMBF) per year for the 2001 Rule alternative, 13.36 MMBF per year for 
Existing Plans alternative, 5.8 MMBF per year for the Proposed Rule 
alternative, and 5.0 MMBF per year for the final rule and would account 
for 2 percent, 11 percent, 5 percent, and 4 percent respectively of the 
average annual harvests from NFS land in Idaho. A majority of the 
volume under the final rule is projected for the Idaho Panhandle 
National Forest (NF) in the northern EA.
    Approximately 1.44 million acres in Idaho Roadless Areas (IRAs) are 
estimated to be at risk of 25 percent or more tree mortality (i.e., 
high risk) over the next 15 years. Under the 2001 Rule alternative, a 
majority of the high-risk areas would remain untreated. Under the final 
rule, opportunities for treatment increase as a result of acreage 
assigned to the GFRG and BCR themes. Approximately 39,600 of the 1.44 
million acres at risk are in the GFRG under the final rule. An 
estimated 877,000 at-risk acres are in the BCR theme, of which 56,600 
acres are in community protection zones (CPZs). The final rule 
specifies that road construction under the BCR theme is primarily 
limited to areas in CPZs (or areas determined to be at significant 
risk) with the intent of focusing treatment opportunities in those 
areas where reductions in wildfire to at-risk communities and/or 
community water supplies can be obtained. The areas at high risk of 
tree mortality that are located in the GFRG theme (39,600 acres) or in 
CPZs under the BCR theme (56,600 acres) therefore have the most 
potential to be treated under the final rule.
    Compared to the final rule, the Proposed Rule alternative decreases 
the amount of high risk acreage assigned to the GFRG theme to 25,600 
acres and increases high risk acreage assigned to the BCR theme to 
939,400 acres. The areas identified in the GFRG theme would have the 
most potential to be treated given treatment flexibility. Timber 
cutting in the BCR theme would be limited and would be done to retain 
roadless characteristics. In contrast to the final rule, the Proposed 
Rule alternative does not specify that road construction is limited to 
CPZs or areas at significant risk under the BCR theme. Under the 
Existing Plans alternative, the high risk acreage assigned to the GFRG 
theme increases to 187,500 acres while 755,800 acres are assigned to 
BCR. The Existing Plans alternative provides flexible opportunities to 
treat high risk acres through timber cutting on lands assigned to BCR 
and GFRG themes without constraints associated with roadless 
characteristic retention requirements under the Proposed and final 
rules.
    Approximately 731,000 acres (8 percent) of IRAs are in the Wildland 
Urban Interface (WUI), and about 418,900 acres (57 percent) of those 
acres are in high priority fire risk areas as defined by fire regime 
and condition class. Projected harvests for hazardous fuel reductions 
could treat the equivalent of approximately 4 percent of high priority 
areas in the WUI under the Proposed and final rules over a 15 year 
period. In contrast, approximately 10 percent of high priority WUI 
areas could be treated under Existing Plans alternative. An 
insignificant amount of high priority WUI acreage would be treated 
under the 2001 Rule alternative. As noted above, the final rule is more 
prescriptive about where road construction is permitted in association 
with treatments compared to the Proposed Rule alternative, thereby 
clarifying the intent to focus projected treatments and tree-cutting in 
areas at high risk of wildland fire, including the WUI.
    Opportunities to use a full range of treatment methods to address 
severe wildland fire risk, particularly in the WUI, are substantially 
greater under the Proposed and final rules relative to the 2001 Rule 
alternative. Treatment flexibility expands only slightly under the 
Proposed and final rules compared to the Existing Plans alternative. 
Approximately 66 percent of WUI acreage in IRAs is assigned to 
management themes that permit flexible treatment methods (mechanical or 
prescribed fire) with road construction under the final rule, compared 
to 67 percent under the Proposed Rule alternative, and 65 percent under 
the Existing Plans alternative.
    Under the final rule, approximately 16 percent of community public 
water system acreage that overlaps roadless areas is assigned to themes 
that permit flexible treatments with road construction. Flexible 
treatments with road construction are conditionally permitted on an 
additional 42 percent of community public water systems acreage under 
the final rule when significant risk conditions are met; these areas 
are located primarily outside of CPZs. In contrast, flexible treatments 
with road construction are permitted on 58 percent and 47 percent of 
community public water systems areas under the Proposed Rule and 
Existing Plans alternatives respectively.
    There is some potential for spreading of noxious weeds under the 
Existing Plans alternative, with decreasing potential under the 
Proposed and final rules due to projected amounts of road construction 
or reconstruction, timber cutting, and mineral activity. However, the 
limited extent of projected activities would minimize the potential for 
spreading noxious weeds.
    The environmental consequences associated with climate change have 
been considered in the context of carbon dioxide releases associated 
with projected activity levels and the varying capability to respond to 
climate change under the alternatives. Details about these consequences 
are provided in the vegetation and forest health section of chapter 3 
in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the final rule.
    Phosphate mining activity on existing leases will be similar across 
the alternatives over the next 15 years. However, 13,190 acres of 
unleased IRAs with known phosphate reserves (593 million tons) will be 
made available for future leasing or lease expansion under the Proposed 
Rule alternative that would not be accessible under the 2001 Rule 
alternative. Areas of unleased reserves accessible under the final rule 
decrease to 5,770 acres (260 million tons) due to additional road 
construction prohibitions. Opportunities to recover phosphate from 
unleased areas are negligible under the 2001 Rule alternative. Unleased 
areas with known phosphate reserves accessible under the Existing Plans 
alternative are estimated to be 13,620 acres (613 million tons). 
Development of these areas is expected to occur over an extended period 
of time (50+ years).
    There are negligible opportunities for geothermal development under 
the 2001 Rule alternative as well as the final rule due to road 
construction prohibitions. Geothermal opportunities increase under the 
Proposed Rule alternative where a total of 382,400 acres of land 
suitable for leasing (less than 40 percent) are assigned to the GFRG 
theme, though roadless acres (7,033 acres) under current lease 
applications would not be accessible using road construction. Under the 
Existing Plans alternative, opportunities increase to include a total 
of 3,091,900 acres under the BCR and GFRG themes. Roadless areas under 
current lease applications would be accessible under the Existing Plans 
alternative. All future phosphate and geothermal lease proposals are 
subject to NEPA review. There are currently no existing geothermal 
leases

[[Page 61477]]

on NFS lands in Idaho, implying that information is not available to 
project reasonably foreseeable geothermal activity in roadless areas.
    The final rule is not expected to have a significant impact on 
other local resource issues or concerns including livestock grazing, 
saleable minerals, other leasable minerals (oil, gas, and coal), 
locatable minerals, energy corridors, or wind or biomass energy.

Roadless Characteristics

    Roadless characteristics include: high quality soil, water 
(including drinking water), air; plant and animal diversity; habitat 
for sensitive species; reference landscapes and high scenic quality; 
primitive and semi-primitive recreation; cultural resources; and other 
locally identified unique characteristics (see Table 2). Shifts in the 
number of acres assigned to more permissive management themes can 
increase the potential for adverse effects to roadless characteristics. 
However, reasonably foreseeable effects in the next 15 years are likely 
to be limited by the levels of road construction or reconstruction, 
timber harvest, and leasable minerals activity that are projected to be 
reasonably foreseeable during that time.
    Based on activity prohibitions and the relative acreage assigned to 
different management themes (e.g., GFRG), the final rule creates 
greater potential for reductions in scenic integrity compared to the 
2001 Rule alternative but lower potential relative to the Proposed Rule 
and Existing Plans alternatives. Based on projected levels of timber 
harvest over the next 15 years, reasonably foreseeable reductions in 
scenic integrity from high to moderate levels are expected to occur on 
15,000 acres under the final rule compared to 40,500 acres under the 
Existing Plans alternative and 18,000 acres under the Proposed Rule 
alternative. Reasonably foreseeable reductions in scenic integrity from 
high to low levels from long-term development (50+ years) of the 
Caribou-Targhee NF's unleased phosphate reserves are also lower under 
the final rule (5,770 acres) compared to the Proposed Rule alternative 
(13,190 acres) and the Existing Plans alternative (13,620 acres). 
Development within a half-mile buffer around long-term future phosphate 
activity could affect additional acres (e.g., estimated 812 acres under 
the final rule). Reductions in scenic integrity associated with 
development of existing phosphate leases are similar across the other 
three alternatives.
    The final rule does not directly affect wilderness designations in 
the context of the National Wilderness Preservation System, but the 
changes in activities permitted in IRAs under the final rule have the 
potential to affect visitor experience in adjacent wilderness and the 
degree to which IRAs are considered for future wilderness designation. 
The final rule and Proposed Rule alternatives significantly reduce GFRG 
theme acreage located adjacent to existing wilderness (9,400 GFRG 
acres) compared to the Existing Plans alternative (158,300 GFRG acres 
adjacent to wilderness); thereby limiting the potential for impacts on 
wilderness experience in adjacent areas. There would be little or no 
impact on wilderness experience under the 2001 Rule alternative.
    Approximately 1,320,500 acres are recommended for wilderness under 
the Existing Plans alternative. There is no change or effect on 
recommended wilderness expected under the 2001 Rule alternative. Under 
the final rule, parts of three of the recommended wilderness areas 
would be managed under less protective themes (Primitive, BCR); 
however, eight areas would benefit from a net increase in protection 
under theme assignments under the final rule. Overall, a total of 
1,479,700 acres would be managed under the WLR theme under the final 
rule, implying 159,200 acres of additional protection of wilderness-
type characteristics. The Proposed Rule alternative also offers 
additional overall protection (1,378,000 acres assigned to the WLR 
theme) but to a lesser extent compared to the final rule. Parts of 
three recommended wilderness areas would be assigned to less protective 
themes with seven areas benefiting from a net increase in protection 
under the Proposed Rule alternative. No measurable differences in 
dispersed recreation opportunities are expected across alternatives. 
Losses in dispersed recreation associated with development of existing 
phosphate leases are equal for all alternatives over the next 15 years. 
Development of future leases may affect dispersed recreation associated 
with 13,620 and 13,190 acres under the Existing Plans and the Proposed 
Rule alternatives respectively. Potential impacts decrease to 5,770 
acres under the final rule. Perceptions of remoteness and solitude may 
be affected in dispersed recreation areas where timber cutting and road 
construction occur under all alternatives, but effects are constrained 
by projected levels of these activities. No adverse effects to hunting 
and fishing are expected under the final rule with the exception of 
potential effects to opportunities in areas associated with development 
linked to phosphate leases. Approximately 257,700 acres were reassigned 
from the GFRG theme to the BCR theme under the final rule to provide 
greater protection of big game habitat compared to the Proposed Rule 
alternative.
    Opportunities for developed recreation are limited under the 
Proposed and final rule alternatives but increase to some extent under 
the Existing Plans alternative, though reasonably foreseeable 
development is minimal (there are no foreseeable developments planned). 
Opportunities for maintaining dispersed recreation opportunities are 
high under the 2001 Rule alternative with little potential for 
increases in developed recreation opportunities. The potential for 
shifts in recreational opportunity spectrum classes is slight across 
the alternatives due to relatively limited activity level projections 
and the focus on temporary roads that are not accessible for 
recreation. Concerns about access and designations for motorized versus 
non-motorized recreation were raised in comments during scoping; 
however, the final rule does not provide direction on where and when 
off-highway vehicle (OHV) use would be permissible and makes clear that 
travel planning-related actions should be addressed through travel 
management planning and individual forest plans.
    Existing special use permits for outfitters and guides would be 
unaffected by the final rule. The potential for adverse effects to 
outfitter and guide opportunities are expected to be limited because 
the projected extent of activities or development would be relatively 
small and localized in any outfitter's area of operation. Likewise, 
existing permits for ski areas would not be affected by the final rule. 
There are no foreseeable ski area expansions or developments into 
roadless areas over the next 15 years for which an EIS does not already 
exist. Future ski area expansion into roadless areas with road 
construction would not be permitted under the 2001 Rule alternative. 
Under the Existing Plans alternative, ski area expansion or development 
could occur as permitted by the forest plan. Under the Proposed and 
final rules, existing ski areas with development and any additional 
development authorized in their master development plans are in the 
forest plan special area theme and the applicable land management plan 
direction would apply.
    The overall effects of the 2001 Rule alternative on endangered, 
threatened, candidate, or sensitive species are expected to be 
beneficial, as are the effects derived from assigning roadless areas to 
the WLR, Primitive, and SAHTS

[[Page 61478]]

themes under the other alternatives. There is some potential for 
adverse effects from activities permitted under the BCR and GFRG 
themes, with relative risks being highest under the Existing Plans 
alternative and lowest under the final rule. Eleven threatened or 
candidate plant and 339 to 345 sensitive plant populations are known to 
occur in the BCR and GFRG themes under the Proposed Rule and Existing 
Plans alternatives. These populations decrease to six and 51 in the 
GFRG theme and in the CPZ areas within the BCR theme under the final 
rule. In general, foreseeable effects to sensitive populations and 
biodiversity are constrained by projected activity levels. No 
measurable changes in populations are expected across the alternatives; 
however, activities may impact individuals.
    Road building associated with timber cutting will have a negligible 
effect on high hazard soils under all alternatives. Acres of high 
sensitivity soils assigned to themes where road construction is 
permitted decreases from approximately 2 million acres under the 
Existing Plans and Proposed Rule alternatives to 253,500 acres under 
the final rule. Land management plan direction that provides guidance 
on road construction across sensitive soils would apply across all 
alternatives. Road construction is conditionally permissible on 
1,786,400 acres of high sensitivity soils under the final rule. Road 
construction is not permitted in areas that overlap with highly 
sensitive soils under the 2001 Rule alternative. Road building is 
likely to affect high hazard soils in areas associated with existing 
phosphate leases but effects are equivalent across alternatives. 
Similar effects associated with future leases are possible but not 
likely to occur within the next 15 years under the Proposed Rule and 
Existing Plans alternatives (future leases are not feasible under the 
2001 Rule alternative).
    Road construction and timber cutting under the 2001 Rule 
alternative, the Proposed Rule alternative, and the final rule are 
expected to have negligible effects on the water quality of 303(d)-
listed (i.e., impaired water quality) streams and drinking water. 
Unleased known phosphate areas with potential for development over a 
period of 50 or more years under the Existing Plans alternative, the 
Proposed Rule alternative, and the final rule are estimated to overlap 
with three 303(d)-listed streams, one of which is impaired by selenium, 
and 640 acres of community water supplies (groundwater). Development of 
these areas could affect the listed water bodies; however, mine 
development or expansion would be required to use a variety of 
environmental commitments and best management practices (BMPs) to 
reduce the potential for exceeding environmental standards for 
selenium. The EIS for the Smoky Canyon mine expansion predicts that 
water quality criteria will not be exceeded. Operators would also be 
required to monitor for selenium impacts and migration.
    The final rule is expected to have negligible adverse effects on 
other resources associated with roadless characteristics including 
cultural resources, air quality, and non-timber products based on 
reasonably foreseeable activity projections. Any adverse impacts to 
these resources and services would be addressed through analysis 
conduced in accordance with NEPA and minimized through compliance with 
forest plan standards and guidelines.

Agency Costs and Revenues

    Under all alternatives, road construction or reconstruction likely 
would not see an increase in the foreseeable future (next 15 years) 
because the appropriated road budget is expected to be flat or 
declining. Reasonably foreseeable changes in agency costs associated 
with roads are not likely to be significant under the Proposed or final 
rules relative to the Existing Plans alternative given the types of 
roads constructed (e.g., temporary, single-purpose, and/or built by the 
user) and relative levels of construction or reconstruction projected. 
None of the alternatives would restrict or limit road maintenance. 
Given the current backlog of road maintenance, there is no emphasis on 
constructing new roads that need to be maintained. New roads under the 
Proposed and final rules must be temporary unless certain exceptions 
are met. Many roads under the Existing Plans alternative are expected 
to be single-purpose, closed between uses, and/or temporary. As a 
result, road maintenance costs are not expected to be significantly 
different across alternatives.
    Timber sales are often used as a least-cost method (revenue is 
returned to the Federal treasury to offset the costs of preparing and 
carrying out the timber harvest) of managing vegetation to meet 
resource objectives or to achieve desired ecosystem conditions. Net 
revenues associated with reasonably foreseeable volumes may increase 
under the Proposed and final rules relative to the 2001 Rule 
alternative, primarily for the Idaho Panhandle NF and the northern EA 
based on projected levels of timber cutting, though changes in harvest 
are relatively small and may not result in significant changes to 
aggregate volumes from all NFS lands. Net revenue may decrease under 
the Proposed and final rules relative to the Existing Plans 
alternative.
    Vegetation treatments for forest health or fuel reductions can be 
challenging in roadless areas because of the potential costs of 
accessing sites and implementing treatment practices in areas that are 
remote or otherwise dominated by roadless characteristics. Current 
trends in silvicultural practices often require thinning and other 
treatments with greater frequency, thus needing road access more often. 
Thinning to remove excessive forest fuels, before using prescribed 
fire, or to treat diseased or insect-infested stands is often 
economically feasible only if a road system is present. Allowing road 
construction for harvesting timber in the GFRG theme and to a limited 
degree in the BCR theme under the Proposed and final rules reduces the 
cost of using treatment methods that may contribute to forest health 
objectives. Fuel treatments are likely to be more expensive and less 
efficient to implement under the 2001 Rule alternative because road 
construction or reconstruction is prohibited, and mechanical treatments 
would generally occur near the limited number of existing roads.
    Based on a qualitative comparison of relative treatment cost per 
acre, treatments in the WUI are potentially most costly per acre for 
the 2001 Rule alternative, followed by the Existing Plans alternative, 
the Proposed Rule alternative and final rule. Relative treatment costs 
per acre in areas with community public water systems ranked highest 
for the 2001 Rule alternative, followed by the Existing Plans and 
Proposed Rule alternatives. Relative costs under the final rule are 
expected to be similar to the Proposed Rule if all community public 
water systems are treated using a significant risk determination, 
thereby allowing greater treatment flexibility. Otherwise, final rule 
treatment costs are likely to fall between the 2001 Rule alternative 
and the Existing Plans alternative.

Distributional Effects

    Distributional effects, as represented by changes in employment and 
income contributed under the final rule, are a function of projected 
levels of road construction, timber cutting, and discretionary minerals 
activity in roadless areas under the different alternatives. Employment 
and income impacts (Table 3) are quantified for

[[Page 61479]]

reasonably foreseeable levels of activities over the next 15 years.
    Phosphate mining on existing leases is estimated to contribute the 
greatest number of jobs and income, but jobs from this sector are not 
projected to differ by alternative. Timber cutting is primarily 
responsible for differences in jobs and income across alternatives. 
Under baseline or no-action conditions, as represented by the 2001 Rule 
alternative, timber harvest and road construction are estimated to 
contribute 19 jobs per year. Projected harvest and accompanying road 
construction under the final rule is estimated to contribute an 
additional 15 jobs and $371,900 in labor income per year, relative to 
baseline conditions. These contributions are expected to occur in the 
northern (Idaho Panhandle NF) and southeastern (Caribou/Targhee NF) EAs 
where current employment in agriculture, mining, and construction 
sectors is approximately 41,000 jobs in the northern EA and 32,000 jobs 
in the southeastern EA, suggesting that distributional effects are 
relatively small or insignificant under the final rule. Employment and 
income are estimated to decrease by 53 jobs and $1.49 million per year 
under the final rule compared to conditions expected under the Existing 
Plans alternative. Impacts relative to the Existing Plans alternative 
are likely to occur within the northern, southeastern, and central 
(Clearwater NF) EAs but are again expected to be relatively small 
compared to current employment levels in these economic areas. 
Employment and income decreases by only 5 jobs and $134,500 per year 
under the final rule relative to the Proposed Rule alternative.
    Timber-dependent counties where changes in harvest opportunities 
and corresponding jobs and income may have the most significant impact 
on local economies are identified by EA. Timber cutting or harvest 
opportunities increase or remain constant for all counties under the 
final rule compared to the 2001 Rule alternative. When comparing the 
opportunities under the final rule to those of the Existing Plans 
alternative, nine counties are identified for the northern EA, while 
five such counties are located in the central EA, one of which is 
located in the State of Washington. One additional county is located in 
the southeastern EA.
    Payments to counties are expected to remain the same under all 
alternatives as long as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-
Determination Act (SRSA) remains in effect. Mineral-based payments to 
states are a function of receipts from leasable minerals, including 
receipts from phosphate operations, but no differences in phosphate 
production are projected across alternatives. Opportunities for mining-
dependent counties (e.g., Caribou, Oneida, Power, and Bannock) are 
therefore expected to remain the same in the reasonably foreseeable 
future (15 years).

                                   Table 1--Comparison of Alternatives--Themes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          2001 rule        Existing plans     Proposed rule        Final rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Idaho Roadless Rule and equivalent themes for the 2001 Rule and Existing Plans (acres)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WLR.................................                  0          1,320,500          1,378,000          1,479,700
Primitive...........................                  0          1,903,100          1,652,800          1,722,700
SAHTS...............................                  0                  0             70,700             48,600
Similar to BCR *....................          9,304,300                  0                  0                  0
BCR.................................                  0          4,482,000          5,258,700          5,312,900
GFRG................................                  0          1,263,200            609,600            405,900
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Other lands (acres) **
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FPSAs...............................                  0            334,500            334,500            334,500
                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total Idaho Roadless Area             9,304,300          9,304,300          9,304,300         9,304,300
         Acres......................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The 2001 roadless rule is similar to the BCR theme for timber cutting, and discretionary mineral activities,
  except for the allowance for road construction or reconstruction to access phosphate deposits, and the
  allowance for road construction or reconstruction to facilitate timber cutting in specific situations.
** The final rule would not apply to Forest Plan Special Areas (FPSA).


[[Page 61480]]


                                    Table 2--Comparison of Benefits and Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       2001 rule        Existing plans       Proposed rule        Final rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             LOCAL RESOURCE CONCERNS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Forest Health
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Insects and disease.............  Most of the 1.44    Opportunities for   Opportunities for   Opportunities for
                                   million acres       treatment of high-  treatment of high-  treatment of high-
                                   currently at risk   risk forests:       risk forests:       risk forests:
                                   of 25 percent       187,500 acres of    25,600 acres in     39,600 acres in
                                   mortality or        high-risk forests   GFRG; 939,400       GFRG; 877,000
                                   significant         in GFRG; 755,800    acres in BCR.       acres in BCR, of
                                   growth loss         acres in BCR.      Opportunities to     which 56,600
                                   (i.e., high-risk   Projected            treat GFRG.         acres are in the
                                   forests) would      treatments on       Opportunity for     CPZ.
                                   remain untreated.   40,500 acres        treatment in BCR   Opportunities to
                                  Projected            likely to be        if done for         treat GFRG.
                                   treatments on       effective over 15   forest health or    Opportunity for
                                   9,000 acres         years.              to reduce           treatment in BCR
                                   likely to be                            hazardous fuels.    if done in the
                                   effective over 15                      Projected            CPZ or to reduce
                                   years.                                  treatments on       significant risk
                                                                           18,000 acres        of wildland fire
                                                                           likely to be        effects to at-
                                                                           effective over 15   risk communities
                                                                           years.              or municipal
                                                                                               water supply
                                                                                               systems.
                                                                                              Projected
                                                                                               treatments on
                                                                                               15,000 acres
                                                                                               likely to be
                                                                                               effective over 15
                                                                                               years.
Noxious weeds--Potential for      Spreading is        Some potential for  Some potential for  Some potential for
 noxious weed spread.              unlikely given      spreading based     spreading based     spreading based
                                   limited potential   on acreage          on acreage          on acreage
                                   for soil            assigned to GFRG    assigned to GFRG    assigned to GFRG
                                   disturbance.        (1.26 million       (609,600 acres);    (405,900 acres);
                                  42,250 acres of      acres); the         the limited         the limited
                                   weeds currently     limited degree of   degree of           degree of
                                   in IRAs.            projected road      projected           projected
                                                       construction,       construction,       construction,
                                                       timber cutting,     harvest, and        harvest, and
                                                       and mineral         mineral activity    mineral activity
                                                       activity would      would minimize      would minimize
                                                       minimize the        the potential for   the potential for
                                                       potential for       spreading. 2,750    spreading. 3,070
                                                       spreading. 5,170    acres of noxious    acres of noxious
                                                       acres of weeds      weeds currently     weeds currently
                                                       currently in GFRG.  in GFRG.            in GFRG.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Fuels Management
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ability to treat Wildland Urban   Road construction   Treatments          Treatments          Treatments
 Interface (WUI) and Community     not permitted in    (mechanical and     (mechanical and     (mechanical and
 Public Water System (CPWS)        conjunction with    prescribed fire)    prescribed fire)    prescribed fire)
 areas.                            treatments on 100   permitted on 89%    permitted on 89%    permitted on 87%
                                   percent of the      of the WUI and      of the WUI and      of the WUI and
                                   WUI or CPWS that    93% of CPWS.        92% of CPWS.        92% of CPWS.
                                   overlap roadless   Treatments with     Treatments with     Treatments with
                                   areas.              road construction   road construction   road construction
                                  Treatments more      permitted on 65%    permitted on 67%    permitted on 66%
                                   expensive;          of WUI and 47% of   of WUI and 58% of   of WUI and 16% of
                                   insignificant       CPWS.               CPWS.               CPWS.
                                   acreage treated    Projected harvests  Projected harvests  Mechanical
                                   relative to acres   could treat 10      could treat 4       treatments with
                                   at risk. Limited    percent of high-    percent of high-    road construction
                                   capacity to treat   priority areas      priority areas      are permitted in
                                   high-priority       (Fire Regimes I,    (Fire Regimes I,    42 percent of the
                                   Condition class 2   II, and III;        II and III,         CPWS areas only
                                   and 3 areas.        Condition class 2   Condition class 2   when the
                                  Projected harvests   and 3) within       and 3) within       significant risk
                                   could treat 2       WUIs or 1 percent   WUIs or less than   conditions are
                                   percent of high-    of high-priority    half a percent of   met.
                                   priority areas      areas overall.      high-priority      Projected harvests
                                   (Fire Regimes I,   May permit timber    areas overall.      could treat 4
                                   II, and III;        cutting to reduce  Directly permits     percent of high-
                                   Condition class 2   risk of unwanted    timber cutting to   priority areas
                                   and 3) within       wildland fires.     reduce risk of      (Fire Regimes I,
                                   WUIs or less than  May permit fuel      unwanted wildland   II, and III;
                                   half a percent of   reduction to        fires in the        Condition class 2
                                   high-priority       reduce wildland     Primitive, BCR,     and 3) within
                                   areas overall.      fire risks to       and GFRG themes.    WUIs or less than
                                  Does not directly    municipal water    Permits fuel-        half a percent of
                                   permit timber       supply systems.     reduction           high-priority
                                   cutting to reduce                       activities to       areas overall.
                                   risk of unwanted                        reduce wildland    Directly permits
                                   wildland fire.                          fire risks to       timber cutting to
                                                                           CPWSs in the        reduce
                                                                           Primitive, BCR,     significant risk
                                                                           and GFRG themes.    of unwanted
                                                                                               wildland fires in
                                                                                               the BCR and
                                                                                               generally
                                                                                               permitted in GFRG
                                                                                               themes.
                                                                                              Permits fuel-
                                                                                               reduction
                                                                                               activities to
                                                                                               reduce wildland
                                                                                               fire risks to
                                                                                               CPWS in the
                                                                                               Primitive, BCR,
                                                                                               and GFRG themes.

[[Page 61481]]

 
                                  Prescribed burning is permitted in 100 percent of the WUI or to protect CPWS
                                   areas.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Potential for increase in human-  No increase.......  Potential for       No measurable       No measurable
 caused fire starts.                                   increase.           increase.           increase.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Timber Cutting--Projected
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timber harvest (Acres over 15     9,000.............  40,500............  18,000............  15,000.
 years).
Harvest (MBF/year)\1\...........  3,000 (2% of        13,360 (11% of      5,840 (5% of        5,040 (4% of
                                   annual avg.).       annual avg.).       annual avg.).       annual avg.).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Roads--Projected (miles over 15 years)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Construction--Permanent.........  12................  72................  12................  12.
Construction--Temporary.........  3.................  33................  26................  21.
Reconstruction..................  0.................  75................  23................  17.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................  15.0..............  180...............  61................  50.
                                 ===============================================================================
Decommissioning.................  1.0...............  3.2...............  2.7...............  2.4.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Leasable Minerals
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geothermal development..........  No existing leases on NFS land. Trend data not available to project reasonably
                                   foreseeable activity. Current lease applications include 7,033 acres within
                                   roadless areas.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Negligible          No opportunities    No opportunities    Negligible
                                   opportunities for   on 38% of acreage.  on 93% of acreage.  opportunities for
                                   development.       Development         Development          development.
                                                       opportunities on    opportunities on
                                                       53% of BCR theme    63% of GFRG theme
                                                       (2,354,100          (382,400 suitable
                                                       suitable acres)     acres) \3\.
                                                       and on 58% of      7,033 under
                                                       GFRG theme          current lease
                                                       (737,800 suitable   applications
                                                       acres) \3\.         would not be
                                                      7,033 under          accessible.
                                                       current lease
                                                       applications
                                                       accessible.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phosphate--Reasonably             Projected output is equal (2,000,000 tons per year) across all alternatives
 foreseeable output (short term    because (i) none of the alternatives prohibit road construction and
 within 15 years).                 reconstruction associated with existing leases and (ii) existing leases are
                                   expected to meet demand in reasonably foreseeable future.
Phosphate--Reasonable             1,100 acres of road construction and mining disturbance proposed in Sage Creek
 foreseeable development in        and Meade Peak Roadless Areas; development over next 15 years.
 roadless areas.
Phosphate--Additional acres       6,100 acres of remaining unmined phosphate currently under lease in seven
 under lease in roadless areas.    roadless areas; development expected to be spread out over 50 or more years.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phosphate--Long term leasing of   Opportunities to    Estimated 613       Estimated 593       Estimated 260
 unleased phosphate deposits (50   recover phosphate   million tons of     million tons of     million tons of
 or more years).                   from IRAs are       phosphate           phosphate           phosphate
                                   negligible.         deposits from       deposits from       deposits from
                                                       13,620 unleased     13,190 unleased     5,770 unleased
                                                       acres available     acres available     acres available
                                                       for development.    for development.    for development.
                                                       \1/2\ mile buffer   \1/2\ mile buffer   \1/2\ mile buffer
                                                       could affect        could affect        could affect
                                                       additional 1,910    additional 1,850    additional 812
                                                       acres.              acres.              acres.
                                                                          Road construction   Road construction
                                                                           prohibited in       prohibited in
                                                                           WLR, SAHTS,         WLR, SAHTS,
                                                                           Primitive, BCR      Primitive, BCR
                                                                           theme acres.        themes, and 910
                                                                                               acres of GFRG
                                                                                               themes.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Other Resource and Service Areas where Relative Impacts are Insignificant or Negligible
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Livestock Grazing...............  Differences in activity, revenue, and operating costs are expected to be
                                   minimal across alternatives; existing processes will regulate management
                                   direction related to grazing (allotments and permitted use).
Leasable Minerals: Oil, gas, and  Differences in activity and revenue associated with oil, gas, and coal
 coal.                             development are expected to be minimal based on existing trends and
                                   inventories.
Locatable Minerals: Gold,         None of the alternatives would affect rights of reasonable access to prospect
 silver, lead, etc.                and explore lands open to mineral entry and develop valid claims under the
                                   General Mining Law of 1872. Rights to reasonable access continue.
Saleable minerals (sand, stone,   Differences in production of saleable minerals are projected to be minimal
 gravel, pumice, etc.).            across alternatives because of the relative inefficiencies of providing
                                   saleable minerals from IRAs.

[[Page 61482]]

 
Energy corridors................  None of the proposed corridors designated for oil, gas, and/or electricity
                                   under section 368 of the Energy Policy Act are within IRAs. Opportunities for
                                   non-section 368 corridors within IRAs are a function of the themes assigned
                                   to the areas proposed for corridor development; differences in opportunities
                                   across alternatives cannot be discerned.
Wind and biomass energy.........  Low potential for wind energy in IRAs because of technological, logistical,
                                   and environmental issues associated with constructing wind turbines in the
                                   more mountainous roadless areas. Biomass energy could be a by-product from
                                   any alternative. It is unlikely that any medium- to large-scale wood biomass
                                   in roadless areas would be conducted independently.
Road Construction allowed for     Road construction to address CERCLA violations is allowed in all alternatives.
 CERCLA violations.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            ROADLESS CHARACTERISTICS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Physical Resources--Soils
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acres of highly sensitive soils   0.................  2,049,300.........  2,121,300.........  253,500 (GFRG and
 where road construction/                                                                      BCR/CPZ).
 reconstruction is permitted
 (BCR and GFRG themes).
Acres of highly sensitive soils   0.................  0.................  0.................  1,786,400.
 where road construction is
 conditionally permissible.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effects from road construction    Land management plan direction that provides guidance on road construction on
 on high-hazard soils.             sensitive soils would apply across all alternatives; therefore although road
                                   construction could be permitted land management plans may provide design
                                   criteria to minimize effects, such as avoidance or mitigation practices. No
                                   or negligible effect from road building associated with timber cutting.
                                   Effects to soils are equal for road construction associated with phosphate
                                   mining over next 15 years. Effects to high-hazard soils from long-term future
                                   (50 or more years) phosphate leases are likely under the Existing Plans and
                                   the Proposed Rule, but limited risk under the Final and 2001 Rules.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Physical Resources--Water
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effect of road construction,      Negligible effect.  Minimal effect....  Negligible effect.  Negligible effect.
 reconstruction, and timber
 harvest on listed streams and
 drinking water.
Effect of mining on listed        Overlap with        Overlap with        Overlap with        Overlap with
 streams and drinking water.       unleased            unleased            unleased            unleased
                                   phosphate in        phosphate in        phosphate in        phosphate in
                                   roadless areas:     roadless areas:     roadless areas:     roadless areas:
                                  Three 303(d)        Three 303(d)        Three 303(d)        Three 303(d)
                                   streams (one in     streams (one in     streams (one in     streams (one in
                                   roadless areas      roadless areas      roadless areas      roadless areas
                                   due to selenium);.  due to selenium);.  due to selenium);.  due to selenium);
                                  640 acres of        640 acres of        640 acres of        640 acres of
                                   community water     community water     community water     community water
                                   supplies (ground-   supplies            supplies (ground-   supplies (ground
                                   water);.            (groundwater);.     water);.            water);
                                  Possible effect on  Possible effect on  Possible effect on  Possible effect on
                                   303(d) streams      303(d) streams      303(d) streams      303(d) streams
                                   from selenium--     from selenium--     from selenium--     from selenium--
                                   mitigation          mitigation          mitigation          mitigation
                                   required at time    required at time    required at time    required at time
                                   of analysis.        of analysis.        of analysis.        of analysis.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Selenium Mitigation.............  Mine development or expansion would use a variety of environmental commitments
                                   and Best Management Practices to reduce the potential for selenium
                                   mobilization and migration from the mine site. Operators required to monitor
                                   impacts on water, soils, vegetation, wildlife, and fisheries. Analysis for
                                   preferred alternative for Smoky Canyon predicts that groundwater quality
                                   protection standards or surface water quality standards would not be
                                   exceeded.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Sensitive Species and Biodiversity
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effects on terrestrial and        Projected activities may impact individuals, but no measurable change in
 aquatic animal species or         populations is expected. Projects and development would be subject to NEPA
 habitat.                          and other regulatory requirements related to monitoring and mitigation for
                                   sensitive species.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 61483]]

 
                                  Beneficial........  Beneficial in WLR,  Beneficial in WLR,  Beneficial in WLR,
                                                       Primitive, or       Primitive, or       Primitive, or
                                                       SAHTS; some         SAHTS; limited      SAHTS, BCR
                                                       potential risk of   potential risk of   outside CPZ;
                                                       adverse effects     adverse effects     limited potential
                                                       in management       for activities      risk of adverse
                                                       prescriptions       occurring in BCR;   effects for
                                                       similar to BCR      some potential      activities
                                                       and GFRG.           risk in GFRG, but   occurring in BCR
                                                                           less than           CPZ; some
                                                                           Existing Plans.     potential risk in
                                                                                               GFRG, but less
                                                                                               than Existing
                                                                                               Plans or the
                                                                                               Proposed Rule.
Effects on biodiversity of        Beneficial........  Beneficial in WLR,  Beneficial in WLR,  Beneficial in WLR,
 botanical species.                                    Primitive, or       Primitive, or       Primitive, or
                                                       SAHTS. Some         SAHTS. Some         SAHTS, BCR
                                                       potential risk of   potential risk of   outside CPZ. Some
                                                       adverse effects     adverse effects     potential risk of
                                                       for activities      for activities      adverse effects
                                                       conducted in the    conducted in the    for activities
                                                       GFRG and BCR        GFRG and BCR        conducted in GFRG
                                                       themes.             themes, but less    and BCR CPZ but
                                                                           than Existing       less than
                                                                           Plans.              Existing Plans or
                                                                                               the Proposed
                                                                                               Rule.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Number of occurrences of known threatened and candidate plant populations, by
                                                                       theme
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WLR/Primitive/SAHTS.............  0.................  0.................  0.................  0.
BCR.............................  16................  9.................  9.................  11 (6 in BCR CPZ).
GFRG............................  0.................  2.................  2.................  0.
Forest Plan Special Areas.......  0.................  5.................  5.................  5.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Number of occurrences of known sensitive plant populations, by theme
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WLR.............................  0.................  81................  90................  102.
Primitive/SAHTS.................  0.................  97................  82................  100.
BCR.............................  686...............  284...............  336...............  312 (46 in BCR
                                                                                               CPZ).
GFRG............................  0.................  55................  9.................  3.
Forest Plan Special Areas.......  0.................  169...............  169...............  169.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Scenic Integrity
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Potential for change in scenic integrity--based on activity projections
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acres that stay in High to Very   9,228,000.........  9,242,980.........  9,234,740.........  9,276,230.
 High scenic integrity.
Acres likely to change to High    9,000.............  40,500............  18,000............  15,000.
 or Moderate scenic integrity
 from timber cutting or road
 construction or reconstruction.
���������������������������������
Acres likely to change from High  7,200 acres associated with development of existing phosphate mining leases
 to Low due to development of      under all alternatives.
 existing phosphate leases.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acres likely to change to         0.................  13,620............  13,190............  5,770.
 Moderate or Low scenic
 integrity from phosphate mining
 over long-term (50 or more
 years).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Recreation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dispersed Recreation (including   Feeling of solitude or remoteness may change in areas where projected road
 Hunting and Fishing).             construction and timber cutting occur (see above for projected activity
                                   levels, by alternative).
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  No measurable       No measurable       No measurable       No measurable
                                   change to           change to           change to           change to
                                   dispersed           dispersed           dispersed           dispersed
                                   recreation          recreation          recreation          recreation
                                   opportunities.      opportunities,      opportunities,      opportunities,
                                                       except if           except if           except if
                                                       unleased            unleased            unleased
                                                       phosphate           phosphate           phosphate
                                                       deposits (13,620    deposits (13,190    deposits (5,770
                                                       acres) are          acres) are          acres) are
                                                       developed.          developed.          developed.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 61484]]

 
Developed recreation--ability to  There are no foreseeable developments under any of the alternatives.
 construct or reconstruct roads
 to access new or expanded
 developed recreation areas.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  No road             Road construction/  Road construction/  Road construction/
                                   construction/       reconstruction      reconstruction      reconstruction
                                   reconstruction      generally           permitted to        permitted to
                                   permitted to        permitted to        access new          access new
                                   access new          access new          developed           developed
                                   developed           developed           recreation sites    recreation sites
                                   recreation sites    recreation sites    management in       management in
                                   (9.3 million        in management       GFRG (0.6 million   GFRG (0.4 million
                                   acres).             prescriptions       acres).             acres).
                                                       similar to BCR
                                                       and GFRG (5.7
                                                       million acres).
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recreation Opportunities\2\.....  In general, the magnitude of shifts in recreational opportunity spectrum
                                   classes is slight across the alternatives because: (i) differences in road
                                   construction is minimal, and (ii) many constructed roads are likely to be
                                   temporary and not accessible for recreation purposes. As a consequence,
                                   changes in dispersed compared to developed recreation opportunities are small
                                   across alternatives. Relative differences include the following:
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Relatively high     Greatest            High level of       High level of
                                   potential for       opportunity for     protection for      protection for
                                   maintaining         developed and       dispersed           dispersed
                                   existing            road-based          recreation,         recreation,
                                   dispersed           recreation to       foreseeable         foreseeable
                                   recreation          occur and expand,   threats from        threats from
                                   opportunities;      but magnitude of    construction and    construction and
                                   little potential    shift is tempered   development are     development are
                                   for increasing      by limited amount   remote.             remote.
                                   developed           of construction
                                   recreation.         projected to
                                                       occur.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special uses--Ski areas.........  Existing permits are unaffected. No foreseeable ski area expansions or
                                   developments into IRAs over next 15 years.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Expansion or        Expansion or          Existing ski areas with development
                                   development with    development as          and any additional development
                                   roads not           permitted by the          authorized in their master
                                   permitted.          forest plan.         development plans are in FPSA theme
                                                                                and the rule does not apply.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special uses--Outfitters and      Existing permits are unaffected. None of the alternatives directly affect the
 Guides.                           processing or administration of special use permits. Potential for adverse
                                   effects is limited because projected levels of activity would be relatively
                                   small and localized within any outfitter's area of operation. Recreational
                                   experience may change in some areas where activities occur, but outfitter and
                                   guide services are not expected to be affected due to the dispersed nature of
                                   the activities.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hunting and fishing.............  No effect on        Opportunities       Opportunities       Opportunities
                                   opportunities.      could be affected   could be affected   could be affected
                                                       in locations of     in locations of     in locations of
                                                       phosphate leasing   phosphate leasing   phosphate
                                                       and geothermal      and geothermal      leasing. No
                                                       development. No     development. No     effect from
                                                       effect from         effect from         geothermal
                                                       timber cutting      timber cutting      development. No
                                                       and limited road    and limited road    effect from
                                                       construction.       construction.       timber cutting
                                                                                               and limited road
                                                                                               construction.
                                                                                              Additional
                                                                                               protections
                                                                                               provided to
                                                                                               257,700 acres
                                                                                               moved from GFRG
                                                                                               to BCR because of
                                                                                               big game habitat.
���������������������������������
                                                   Wilderness
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Existing wilderness areas         Limited to no       158,300 acres of    9,400 acres of      9,400 acres of
 (1,723,300 acres of IRAs          indirect effects    GFRG adjacent to    GFRG adjacent to    GFRG adjacent to
 adjacent to existing              to wilderness       wilderness;         wilderness;         wilderness;
 wilderness).                      from activities     841,900 acres of    951,000 acres of    951,000 acres of
                                   in roadless areas.  BCR.                BCR.                BCR.
                                                      Limited potential   Limited potential   Limited potential
                                                       for impacts to      for impacts on      for impacts on
                                                       wilderness          wilderness          wilderness
                                                       experience.         experience.         experience.

[[Page 61485]]

 
Recommended wilderness..........  No change or        Existing Plans      No change to        No change to
                                   effect on           recommend           recommendations     recommendations
                                   recommended         1,320,500 as        in Existing Plans.  in Existing
                                   wilderness in       wilderness.        1,378,000 acres in   Plans.
                                   Existing Plans.                         WLR, implying      1,479,700 acres in
                                                                           57,500 acres of     WLR, implying
                                                                           additional          159,200 acres of
                                                                           protection over     additional
                                                                           existing plans.     protection over
                                                                          Seven recommended    Existing Plans.
                                                                           wilderness areas   Eight recommended
                                                                           benefit from        wilderness areas
                                                                           increased           benefit from
                                                                           protection on a     increased
                                                                           total of 93,100     protection on a
                                                                           acres. Net          total of 172,200
                                                                           decreases in        acres. Net
                                                                           protection occur    decreases in
                                                                           in three areas      protection occur
                                                                           (total of 35,600    in three areas
                                                                           acres).             (total of 13,000
                                                                                               acres).
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roadless area characteristics     Majority of         Areas developed could have reduced roadless area
 associated with wilderness.       roadless areas      character. Activities in GFRG may not change roadless
                                   retain their        character if prior activities are still evident.
                                   existing
                                   character.
���������������������������������
                                  Based on            Based on            Based on            Based on
                                   projections, 99.9   projections,        projections,        projections,
                                   percent             99.55% of           99.9% of roadless   99.9% of roadless
                                   unaffected over     roadless areas      areas unaffected    areas unaffected
                                   the next 15 years.  unaffected over     over the next 15    over the next 15
                                                       the next 15 years.  years.              years.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Other Resource and Service Areas where Relative Impacts are Negligible or Minimal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-timber products.............  Current access for the harvest of non-timber products is not expected to
                                   change under the Proposed and Final Rules. Assignment of roadless acres to
                                   themes that restrict road construction may limit access opportunities for
                                   some individuals, but construction may also reduce availability of some
                                   species.
Cultural resources..............  Prior to management actions taking place on the ground under any alternative
                                   or theme, cultural resource inventories and appropriate mitigation are
                                   required by law. Differences in risk to cultural resources are not expected
                                   to be measurable across alternatives because of projected levels of road
                                   construction and long-term use and fate of new roads. There is low potential
                                   for disturbance/vandalism under all alternatives with the exception of low to
                                   moderate potential under Existing Plans.
Air Quality.....................  Negligible effects on air quality from fuel reduction projects are expected;
                                   subject to strict guidelines for minimizing impacts.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            AGENCY COSTS AND REVENUES
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roads...........................  Reasonably foreseeable changes in agency costs associated with roads
                                   (administration, construction, maintenance) are not likely to be significant
                                   under the Proposed or Final Rules relative to the 2001 Rule given the types
                                   of roads constructed (e.g., temporary, single-purpose, and/or built by the
                                   user), relative levels of construction or reconstruction projected, and flat
                                   budget expectations.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timber and Vegetation/Fuel        Accessing sites and implementing treatments in remote areas, dominated by
 Treatments.                       roadless characteristics can be costly. Revenue from timber sales are often
                                   used to offset the costs of treatments. There is slight potential for gains
                                   in net revenues for some forest units (e.g., Idaho Panhandle) under the Final
                                   and Proposed Rules, as well as Existing Plans, relative to the 2001 Rule, but
                                   projected changes in harvest are relatively small and may not result in
                                   significant changes to aggregate volumes from all forest system lands.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Highest cost per    Second highest      Lowest cost per     Lowest cost per
                                   acre and less       cost per acre for   acre for            acre for
                                   efficient           treatments in the   treatments in the   treatments in the
                                   treatments due to   WUI and community   WUI and CPWS        WUI (and equal to
                                   road construction   public water        areas (and equal    the Proposed
                                   prohibitions.       system (CPWS)       to the Final Rule   Rule).
                                                       areas.              in the WUI).       Lowest cost per
                                                                                               acre for
                                                                                               treatments in
                                                                                               CPWS areas if
                                                                                               using significant
                                                                                               risk
                                                                                               determination for
                                                                                               CPWS; otherwise,
                                                                                               cost per acre is
                                                                                               second highest
                                                                                               for CPWS areas.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Percentage of average harvest on all NF land within Idaho that occurred between 2002 and 2006. Harvest
  primarily attributable to stewardship and treatments for forest health and fuels management.
\2\ The alternatives do not provide direction on where and when OHV use would be permissible.
\3\ Suitability based on areas with acceptable slopes for leasing (<40% slope).
CPZ = Community Protection Zone
CPWS = Community Public Water System
GFRG = General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland theme
NF = National Forest
SAHTS = Special Areas of Historical and Tribal Significance theme
WUI = Wildland Urban Interface


[[Page 61486]]


                         Table 3--Summary of Distributional Effects and Economic Impacts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       2001 rule        Existing plans       Proposed rule        Final rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Timber Cutting
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jobs per year (1)...............  17................  75................  35................  30.
Labor income per year (1).......  $452,700..........  $1,902,800........  $849,600..........  $741,900.
Location of jobs: BEA Economic    Northern EA (Idaho  Northern (Idaho     Northern (Idaho     Northern (Idaho
 Areas (EA).                       Panhandle NF).      Panhandle),         Panhandle), and     Panhandle), and
                                                       Southeastern        Southeastern        Southeastern
                                                       (Caribou/Targhee    (Caribou/Targhee    (Caribou/Targhee
                                                       NF), and Central    NF) EAs.            NF) EA.
                                                       (Clearwater and
                                                       Nez Perce NF) EAs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Leasable Minerals: Phosphate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jobs and labor income per year    No changes in jobs (582/year) or labor income ($23.5 million) contributed by
 (1).                              phosphate on existing leases within IRAs, due to the fact that none of the
                                   alternatives affect existing leases.
                                  No new leases in    Jobs and income from new leases on unleased phosphate
                                   roadless areas      reserves within IRAs in the southeastern EA are expected
                                   likely to be        to occur in the future over an extended period of time
                                   feasible.           (50 or more years).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Road Construction
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jobs per year (1)...............  2.................  12................  4.................  4.
Labor income per year (1).......  $52,900...........  $462,500..........  $162,400..........  $135,600.
Location of jobs: BEA Economic    Northern and        Northern,           Northern and        Northern and
 Areas (EA).                       Southeastern EAs.   Southeastern, and   Southeastern EAs.   Southeastern EAs.
                                                       Central EAs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Revenue Sharing and Resource-Dependent Counties
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Resource-dependent counties       Opportunities increase for all timber-dependent counties under the Final or
 where potential opportunities     Proposed Rule relative to the 2001 Rule. Opportunities for mining-dependent
 decrease.                         counties (e.g., Caribou, Oneida, Power, and Bannock) remain the same based on
                                   reasonably foreseeable phosphate output (over next 15 years) that remains
                                   constant across alternatives.
                                  Potential opportunities decrease for the following timber-dependent counties
                                   under the Final and Proposed Rule relative to Existing Plans (2):
                                  Northern EA: Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah, Latah, Ferry (WA), Pend
                                   Oreille (WA), Shoshone, and Stevens (WA).
                                  Central EA: Clearwater, Idaho, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Asotin (WA).
                                  Southeastern EA: Bear Lake.
Revenue sharing.................  Payments to counties are expected to remain the same under all alternatives as
                                   long as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act remains
                                   in effect. Mineral-based payments to states are a function of leasable
                                   receipts, but no differences in phosphate production are projected across
                                   alternatives over the next 15 years.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adverse impacts to small          Greatest potential  Least potential     Limited potential for losses of small
 entities.                         given               given fewest        entity opportunities. Opportunity
                                   prohibitions in     prohibitions and    losses are not expected to result in
                                   roadless areas;     theme               significant adverse economic impacts
                                   most protective     assignments;        and/or affect substantial numbers of
                                   of sectors that     least protective    small entities, including
                                   benefit from        of sectors that     recreational special use permit
                                   resource            benefit from        holders that may benefit from
                                   conditions          resource            resource conditions associated with
                                   associated with     conditions          roadless characteristics.
                                   roadless areas.     associated with
                                                       roadless areas.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Jobs and income contributed annually (2007$). Based on projected levels of timber harvest, road
  construction, and phosphate mining output per year, conversion of physical output to final demand ($) and
  application of regional economic multipliers.
(2) Counties where 10% of total labor income is attributable to timber-related sectors and that are located in
  economic areas (EAs) where there is a significant net decrease in acreage assigned to the GFRG theme.

Proper Consideration of Small Entities

    This final rule has also been considered in light of E.O. 13272 
regarding proper consideration of small entities and the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), which amended the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The Forest Service 
with the assistance of the State of Idaho has determined that this 
action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities as defined by the E.O. 13272 and SBREFA, 
because the final rule does not subject small entities to regulatory 
requirements. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required for this final rule.
    For many activities and/or program areas, small entity 
opportunities under the final rule are projected to increase, relative 
to the 2001 Rule alternative (i.e., baseline or no-action alternative) 
as a result of (1) easing of restrictions on selected activities under 
the BCR management theme under the final rule, and (2) adopting the 
less-restrictive GFRG theme for some roadless acres under the final 
rule. There is some potential for reasonably foreseeable decreases in 
small entity opportunities to occur for special uses (recreation--
outfitters and guides) under the final rule, relative to the 2001 Rule 
alternative. When comparing the impacts to entities associated with 
wood products, the number of jobs under the final rule are projected to 
increase relative to the 2001 Rule, though the magnitude of this 
increase is less than corresponding increases projected to occur under 
existing plans or the Proposed Rule. None of these

[[Page 61487]]

opportunity losses are expected to result in significant economic 
impacts and/or affect a substantial number of small entities.
    Jobs and income related to timber harvest are projected to increase 
under the final rule relative to the 2001 Rule for all EAs, in large 
part, because prohibitions on road construction and timber cutting are 
eased under the GFRG theme and some areas under the BCR theme (e.g., 
CPZs). In contrast, jobs and income decrease under the final rule, 
relative to the Existing Plans alternative primarily for the northern 
and central EAs, implying potential decreases in small entity 
opportunities associated with timber harvest (opportunities are not 
expected to decrease significantly in other EAs). However, the decrease 
in jobs associated with timber cutting in roadless areas under the 
final rule is only 45 jobs relative to the Existing Plans alternative. 
This number of jobs is relatively small (less than 1%) when compared to 
4,581 workers employed by small business establishments within the 
forestry/logging/sawmill sectors in Idaho. The decreases in timber 
harvest projected under the final rule for these EAs are representative 
of volumes from roadless acres only, and it should be noted that recent 
harvests from IRAs, as represented by projected harvests under the 2001 
Rule alternative have been equal to or less than the volumes projected 
under the final rule. As a consequence, reasonably foreseeable 
opportunities for timber harvest from roadless areas under the final 
rule are projected to be equal to or larger than timber volumes 
harvested from IRAs in recent years or volumes projected under the 2001 
Rule alternative. Timber sales to small businesses are currently 
exceeding established small business shares in all forest units within 
the northern and central EAs, with the exception of the Kanisku portion 
of the Idaho Panhandle NF. This suggests that economic impacts to small 
businesses in the wood product sectors are not expected to be 
significant nor are a substantial number of small businesses likely to 
be adversely affected under the final rule.
    In the context of special use permits for recreation (320 outfitter 
and guide permits are associated with Idaho's NFs, as of fall 2006), 
none of the four alternatives address the processing or administration 
of special use permits directly. All decisions regarding existing and 
future special use permits will be project-specific and require 
compliance with all environmental regulations. Relative to the 2001 
Rule alternative, increases in timber harvest opportunities projected 
for roadless areas under the final rule suggest the potential for 
losses in desirable resource conditions and corresponding decreases in 
small business opportunities for outfitters and guides for the 
southeastern EA. However, the magnitude of these decreases is expected 
to be small given minimal overlap between existing permit locations and 
the location of projected harvests on IRAs, as well as the relatively 
small percentage of roadless areas projected to be affected by timber 
cutting (less than 0.01% of roadless area per year) within the 
southeastern EA. Economic impacts to small businesses are therefore not 
expected to be significant in this EA. Similar effects in the northern 
EA (approximately 0.02% of roadless areas affected by timber cutting 
per year) are also not expected to result in significant economic 
impacts, nor affect a substantial number of small businesses (22 of the 
320 outfitter and guide permits are associated with the Idaho Panhandle 
NF in the northern EA).
    Reasonably foreseeable opportunities for small businesses linked to 
phosphate mining over the next 15 years are expected to remain the same 
across all alternatives because projected phosphate output from 
existing leases is not projected to vary across alternatives. In the 
long-term, a greater number of acres associated with unleased known 
phosphate reserves would be made accessible under the final rule, 
relative to the 2001 Rule, implying greater opportunities for small 
businesses. Unleased phosphate acreage accessible under the Existing 
Plans alternative (13,620 acres) and the Proposed Rule alternative 
(13,190 acres) is greater than corresponding acreage under the final 
rule (5,770 acres), but the impacts of these differences are expected 
to occur over a period of 50 years or more. It is also noted that none 
of the companies currently operating phosphate mines in Idaho can be 
classified as small businesses. Adverse economic impacts are therefore 
not expected to occur to small entities associated with phosphate 
mining in the reasonably foreseeable future.
    There are no changes in small business opportunities under the 
final rule compared to the 2001 Rule alternative because opportunities 
for geothermal development are negligible under both alternatives due 
to prohibitions on road construction for this purpose. Under the 
Existing Plans and Proposed Rule alternatives, road construction 
associated with geothermal development is permitted primarily in acres 
assigned to the GFRG theme. Given the stated permission for road 
construction for geothermal development under the Existing Plans and 
Proposed Rule alternatives, and the corresponding prohibition of road 
construction for geothermal purposes under the final rule, there is 
some potential for decreases in opportunities for geothermal 
development under the final rule. However, the absence of existing 
geothermal leases on NFS land in Idaho, combined with evidence that 11 
of 14 pending or authorized geothermal leases on BLM land in Idaho are 
held by a company that cannot be considered a small business per the 
definitions set forth by the Small Business Administration, suggests 
that these opportunity losses will not result in significant economic 
impacts nor affect a substantial number of small businesses in the 
reasonably foreseeable future.
    Decreases in small entity opportunities under the final rule are 
expected to be minimal or negligible for other sectors, including 
construction (i.e., roads), saleable minerals, oil and gas, livestock, 
non-forest timber products, ski areas, and other special uses (energy 
corridors).
    Thirty eight of Idaho's 44 counties are considered small with 
population size of less than 50,000. Thirty five of these small 
counties are considered rural and are natural resource-dependent 
counties. Opportunities increase for all timber-dependent counties 
under the final rule or Proposed Rule alternative relative to the 2001 
Rule alternative. Opportunities for mining-dependent counties (e.g., 
Caribou, Oneida, Power, and Bannock) remain the same based on 
reasonably foreseeable phosphate output (over the next 15 years) that 
remains constant across alternatives. When comparing the final rule or 
the Proposed Rule alternative relative to the Existing Plans 
alternative, potential opportunities may be decreased for the following 
timber-dependent counties: Northern EA: Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, 
Benewah, Latah, Ferry (WA), Pend Oreille (WA), Shoshone, and Stevens 
(WA); Central EA: Clearwater, Idaho, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Asotin (WA); 
and Southeastern EA: Bear Lake.
    Revenue sharing with counties (i.e., secure payments to counties, 
payments in lieu of taxes) is expected to remain the same under all 
alternatives as long as the Secure Rural School and Community Self-
Determination Act (SRSA) remains in effect. Counties that may 
experience losses in funding associated with 25% revenue-sharing, in 
the event that SRSA is not reauthorized, are those counties that share 
land with national forests where revenue-

[[Page 61488]]

generating opportunities potentially decrease. These counties may 
include timber-dependent counties in the northern and central EAs when 
comparing the final rule to the Existing Plans or Proposed Rule 
alternatives. However, reasonably foreseeable levels of revenue-sharing 
from timber harvest from roadless areas under the final rule are 
expected to be equal to or larger than revenue shares derived from 
harvest projected to occur under the 2001 Rule or volumes harvested 
from roadless areas in recent years. Revenue-sharing opportunities 
increase or remain the same for all counties under the final rule 
compared to the 2001 Rule, indicating that the final rule is not 
expected to have a significant adverse economic impact on small 
government entities. Mineral-based payments to states are a function of 
receipts from leasable minerals, including receipts from phosphate 
operations, but no differences in phosphate production are projected 
across alternatives. Opportunities for mining-dependent counties (e.g., 
Caribou, Oneida, Power, and Bannock) are therefore expected to remain 
the same in the reasonably foreseeable future (15 years).
    Mitigation measures for small entity impacts associated with the 
final rule are not relevant in many cases, because the final rule eases 
restrictions on a number of activities in many areas, implying 
increases in potential opportunities for small entities, as noted 
above. Mitigation measures associated with existing programs and laws 
regarding revenue sharing with counties and small business shares or 
set-asides will continue to apply (e.g., SRSA).

Environmental Impact

    The Agency has prepared a FEIS in concert with this rule. In it, 
the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of the final rule and 
alternatives are disclosed. The FEIS may be viewed at http://www.roadless.fs.fed.us/idaho.
    The Agency has prepared a biological assessment on the potential 
effects of the final rule on threatened, endangered, and proposed 
species and formally consulted with the FWS and NOAA. The biological 
opinions can be found at http://roadless.fs.fed.us/idaho.shtml and 
effects are discussed in the FEIS at sections 3.7 Botanical Resources, 
3.8 Aquatic Species, and 3.9 Terrestrial Animal Habitat and Species.

Energy Effects

    This final rule has been reviewed under E.O. 13211 of May 18, 2001, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. It has been determined that this final rule does 
not constitute a significant energy action as defined in the Executive 
order.
    As explained in greater detail in the FEIS, this final rule is not 
expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. 
The final rule does not disturb existing access or mineral rights, 
restrictions on saleable mineral materials are narrow, and no oil and 
gas leasing is currently underway or projected for these lands. The 
final rule is not expected to have a significant impact on wind or 
biomass energy. Opportunities for geothermal development are negligible 
under both the final rule and the 2001 Rule alternative.
    No novel legal or policy issues regarding adverse effects to 
supply, distribution, or use of energy are anticipated beyond what has 
already been addressed in the FEIS or the Regulatory Impact Analysis. 
None of the proposed corridors designated for oil, gas, and/or 
electricity under section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 are 
within IRAs.
    The final rule also provides a regulatory mechanism for 
consideration of requests for modification of restrictions if 
adjustments are determined to be necessary in the future. Therefore, 
this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of 
Energy Effects is required.

Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public

    This rule does not call for any additional record keeping or 
reporting requirements or other information collection requirements as 
defined in 5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not 
already approved for use and, therefore, imposes no additional 
paperwork burden on the public. Accordingly, the review provisions of 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its 
implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply.

Federalism

    The Department has considered this rule under the requirements of 
E.O. 13132 issued August 4, 1999, Federalism. The Department assessed 
that the rule conforms with the Federalism principles set out in this 
Executive order; would not impose any compliance costs on the states; 
and would not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the 
relationship between the national government and the states, nor on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. Therefore, the Department concludes that this rule does not 
have Federalism implications. This rule is based on a petition 
submitted by the State of Idaho under the Administrative Procedure Act 
at 5 U.S.C. 553(e) and pursuant to Department of Agriculture 
regulations at 7 CFR 1.28. The State's petition was developed with 
involvement of local governments. The State has been a cooperating 
agency for the development of the EIS for this rule. State and local 
governments were encouraged to comment on this rule in the course of 
this rulemaking process.

Consultation With Indian Tribal Governments

    Pursuant to E.O. 13175 of November 6, 2000, ``Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,'' the Agency has assessed 
the impact of this rule on Indian Tribal governments and has determined 
the rule does not significantly or uniquely affect Indian Tribal 
governments. The rule deals with future permitted road construction, 
timber cutting, and certain mineral development projects in IRAs and 
has no direct effect on the current occupancy or use of these NFS 
lands. The rule does not waive any applicable requirements regarding 
site-specific environmental analysis, public involvement, consultation 
with Tribes, and other agencies or compliance with applicable laws. Nor 
does the rule modify the unique relationship between the United States 
and Indian Tribes that requires the Federal Government to work with 
federally recognized Indian Tribes government-to-government as provided 
for in E.O. 13175. Nothing herein limits or modifies prior existing 
Tribal rights, including those involving hunting, fishing, or 
gathering. The Agency has also determined this rule does not impose 
substantial direct compliance costs on Indian Tribal governments. This 
rule does not mandate Tribal participation in NFS planning. Rather, the 
rule recognizes the responsibility of Forest Service officials to 
consult early with Tribal governments and to work cooperatively with 
them where planning issues affect Tribal interests.

No Takings Implications

    This rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria in E.O. 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Civil Constitutionally Protected Rights. It has been determined that 
the rule does not pose the risk of a taking of private property. The 
rule effects only NFS lands and contains exemptions that prevent the 
taking of constitutionally protected private property.

[[Page 61489]]

Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule has been reviewed under E.O. 12988, Civil Justice 
Reform. The Department has not identified any State or local laws or 
regulations that are in conflict with this regulation or that would 
impede full implementation of this rule. Nevertheless, in the event 
that such a conflict was to be identified, the final rule, if 
implemented, would preempt the State or local laws or regulations found 
to be in conflict. However, in that case (1) no retroactive effect 
would be given to this final rule and (2) the Department would not 
require the use of administrative proceedings before parties could file 
suit in court challenging its provisions.

Unfunded Mandates

    Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 
U.S.C. 1531-1538), which the President signed into law on March 22, 
1995, the Department has assessed the effects of this final rule on 
State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. This rule 
does not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by any State, 
local, or Tribal governments or anyone in the private sector. 
Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the Act is not required.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 294

    National Forests, Navigation (air), Recreation areas, State 
petitions for inventoried roadless area management.

0
Therefore, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Forest 
Service proposes to amend part 294 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations by adding new subpart C to read as follows:

PART 294--SPECIAL AREAS

Subpart C--Idaho Roadless Area Management

Sec.
294.20 Purpose.
294.21 Definitions.
294.22 Idaho Roadless Areas.
294.23 Road construction and reconstruction in Idaho Roadless Areas.
294.24 Timber cutting, sale, or removal in Idaho Roadless Areas.
294.25 Mineral activities in Idaho Roadless Areas.
294.26 Other activities in Idaho Roadless Areas.
294.27 Corrections and modifications.
294.28 Scope and applicability.
294.29 List of designated Idaho Roadless Areas.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 472, 529, 551, 1608, 1613; 23 U.S.C. 201, 
205.


Sec.  294.20  Purpose.

    The purpose of this subpart is to provide, in the context of 
multiple-use management, State-specific direction for the conservation 
of inventoried roadless areas in the national forests within the State 
of Idaho. This subpart sets forth the procedures for management of 
Idaho Roadless Areas consistent with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield 
Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528-531).


Sec.  294.21  Definitions.

    The following terms and definitions apply to this subpart.
    At-risk community: As defined under section 101 of the Healthy 
Forests Restoration Act (HFRA).
    Community protection zone: An area extending one-half mile from the 
boundary of an at-risk community or an area within one and a half miles 
of the boundary of an at-risk community, where any land:
    (1) Has a sustained steep slope that creates the potential for 
wildfire behavior endangering the at-risk community;
    (2) Has a geographic feature that aids in creating an effective 
fire break, such as a road or a ridge top; or
    (3) Is in condition class 3 as defined by HFRA.
    Fire hazard and risk: The fuel conditions on the landscape.
    Fire occurrence: The probability of wildfire ignition based on 
historic fire occurrence records and other information.
    Forest Plan Special Area: Certain lands identified on the Idaho 
Roadless Area Maps, Sec.  294.22(c) and listed in Sec.  294.29 shall be 
managed pursuant to applicable land management components. These lands 
include areas such as research natural areas, designated and eligible 
wild and scenic river corridors, developed recreation sites, or other 
specified management purposes, as described in the Roadless Area 
Conservation; National Forest System Lands in Idaho, Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, Appendix Q.
    Forest road: As defined at 36 CFR 212.1, the term means a road 
wholly or partly within or adjacent to and serving the National Forest 
System that the Forest Service determines is necessary for the 
protection, administration, and use of the National Forest System and 
the use and development of its resources.
    Forest type: A forest stand that is essentially similar throughout 
its extent in composition under generally similar environmental 
conditions, including temporary, permanent, climax, and cover types.
    Hazardous fuels: Excessive live or dead wildland fuel accumulations 
that increase the potential for uncharacteristically intense wildland 
fire and decrease the capability to protect life, property, and natural 
resources.
    Idaho Roadless Areas: Areas designated pursuant to this rule and 
identified in a set of maps maintained at the national headquarters 
office of the Forest Service.
    Municipal water supply system: As defined under section 101 of the 
Healthy Forests Restoration Act, the term means the reservoirs, canals, 
ditches, flumes, laterals, pipes, pipelines, and other surface 
facilities and systems constructed or installed for the collection, 
impoundment, storage, transportation, or distribution of drinking 
water.
    Responsible official: The Forest Service line officer with the 
authority and responsibility to make decisions about protection and 
management of Idaho Roadless Areas pursuant to this subpart.
    Road: As defined at 36 CFR 212.1, the term means a motor vehicle 
route over 50 inches wide, unless identified and managed as a trail.
    Road construction and reconstruction: As defined at 36 CFR 212.1, 
the terms mean supervising, inspecting, actual building, and incurrence 
of all costs incidental to the construction or reconstruction of a 
road.
    Road decommissioning: As defined at 36 CFR 212.1, the term means 
activities that result in the stabilization and restoration of unneeded 
roads to a more natural state.
    Road maintenance: The ongoing upkeep of a road necessary to retain 
or restore the road to the approved road management objective.
    Road realignment: Activity that results in a new location of an 
existing road or portions of an existing road, and treatment of the old 
roadway.
    Roadless characteristics: Resources or features that are often 
present in and characterize Idaho Roadless Areas, including:
    (1) High quality or undisturbed soil, water, and air;
    (2) Sources of public drinking water;
    (3) Diversity of plant and animal communities;
    (4) Habitat for threatened, endangered, proposed, candidate, and 
sensitive species, and for those species dependent on large, 
undisturbed areas of land;
    (5) Primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized, and semi-primitive 
motorized classes of dispersed recreation;
    (6) Reference landscapes;
    (7) Natural appearing landscapes with high scenic quality;

[[Page 61490]]

    (8) Traditional cultural properties and sacred sites; and
    (9) Other locally identified unique characteristics.
    Substantially altered portion: An area within an Idaho Roadless 
Area where past road construction, timber cutting, or other uses have 
materially diminished the area's roadless characteristics.
    Temporary road: As defined at 36 CFR 212.1, the term means a road 
necessary for emergency operations or authorized by contract, permit, 
lease, or other written authorization that is not a forest road and 
that is not included in a forest transportation atlas. Temporary roads 
are available for administrative use until decommissioned.
    Uncharacteristic wildland fire effects: An increase in wildland 
fire size, severity, and resistance to control; and the associated 
impact on people, property, and fire fighter safety compared to that 
which occurred in the native system.


Sec.  294.22  Idaho Roadless Areas.

    (a) Designations. All National Forest System lands within the State 
of Idaho listed in Sec.  294.29 are hereby designated as Idaho Roadless 
Areas.
    (b) Management classifications. Management classifications for 
Idaho Roadless Areas express a management continuum. The following 
management classifications are established:
    (1) Wild Land Recreation;
    (2) Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance;
    (3) Primitive;
    (4) Backcountry/Restoration; and
    (5) General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland.
    (c) Maps. The Chief shall maintain and make available to the public 
a map of each Idaho Roadless Area, including records regarding any 
corrections or modifications of such maps pursuant to Sec.  294.27.
    (d) Activities in Idaho Roadless Areas shall be consistent with the 
applicable management classification listed for each area under Sec.  
294.29.


Sec.  294.23  Road construction and reconstruction in Idaho Roadless 
Areas.

    (a) Wild Land Recreation, Special Areas of Historic or Tribal 
Significance, or Primitive. Road construction and reconstruction are 
prohibited in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as Wild Land Recreation, 
Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance, or Primitive. 
However, the Regional Forester may authorize a road to be constructed 
or reconstructed in an area designated as Wild Land Recreation, Special 
Area of Historic or Tribal Significance, or Primitive if pursuant to 
statute, treaty, reserved or outstanding rights, or other legal duty of 
the United States.
    (b) Backcountry/Restoration. (1) Road construction and 
reconstruction are only permissible in Idaho Roadless Areas designated 
as Backcountry/Restoration where the Regional Forester determines:
    (i) A road is needed to protect public health and safety in cases 
of an imminent threat of flood, wildland fire, or other catastrophic 
event that, without intervention, would cause the loss of life or 
property;
    (ii) A road is needed to conduct a response action under the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 
(CERCLA) or to conduct a natural resource restoration action under 
CERCLA, section 311 of the Clean Water Act, or the Oil Pollution Act;
    (iii) A road is needed pursuant to statute, treaty, reserved or 
outstanding rights, or other legal duty of the United States;
    (iv) A road realignment is needed to prevent irreparable resource 
damage that arises from the design, location, use, or deterioration of 
a road and cannot be mitigated by road maintenance. Road realignment 
may occur under this subsection only if the road is deemed essential 
for public or private access, natural resource management, or public 
health and safety;
    (v) Road reconstruction is needed to implement a road safety 
improvement project on a road determined to be hazardous based on 
accident experience or accident potential on that road; or
    (vi) The Secretary of Agriculture determines that a Federal Aid 
Highway project, authorized pursuant to Title 23 of the United States 
Code, is in the public interest or is consistent with the purpose for 
which the land was reserved or acquired and no other reasonable and 
prudent alternative exists.
    (2) A responsible official may authorize temporary road 
construction or road reconstruction for community protection zone 
activities pursuant to Sec.  294.24(c)(1)(i) if in the official's 
judgment the community protection objectives cannot be reasonably 
accomplished without a temporary road.
    (3) The Regional Forester may approve temporary road construction 
or road reconstruction to reduce hazardous fuel conditions outside a 
community protection zone where in the Regional Forester's judgment the 
circumstances set out below exist. Temporary road construction or road 
reconstruction to reduce hazardous fuel conditions under this provision 
will be dependent on forest type and is expected to be infrequent.
    (i) There is a significant risk that a wildland fire disturbance 
event could adversely affect an at-risk community or municipal water 
supply system pursuant to Sec.  294.24(c)(1)(ii). A significant risk 
exists where the history of fire occurrence, and fire hazard and risk, 
indicate a serious likelihood that a wildland fire disturbance event 
would present a high risk of threat to an at-risk community or 
municipal water supply system.
    (ii) The activity cannot be reasonably accomplished without a 
temporary road.
    (iii) The activity will maintain or improve one or more roadless 
characteristics over the long-term.
    (c) General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland. (1) A forest road may 
be constructed or reconstructed or a temporary road may be constructed 
in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as General Forest, Rangeland, and 
Grassland, unless prohibited in Sec.  294.25(e).
    (2) Forest roads constructed or reconstructed pursuant to Sec.  
294.23(c)(1) must be conducted in a way that minimizes effects on 
surface resources and must be consistent with land management plan 
components as provided for in Sec.  294.28(d).
    (d) Temporary roads. (1) Temporary road construction must be 
conducted in a way that minimizes effects on surface resources, is 
consistent with land management plan components as provided for in 
Sec.  294.28(d), and may only be used for the specified purpose(s).
    (2) Temporary roads must be decommissioned upon completion of the 
project or expiration of the contract or permit, whichever is sooner. A 
road decommissioning provision will be required in all such contracts 
or permits and may not be waived.
    (e) Road maintenance. Maintenance of temporary and forest roads is 
permissible in Idaho Roadless Areas.
    (f) Roads associated with mineral activities. Road construction or 
reconstruction associated with mineral activities is provided for in 
Sec.  294.25.


Sec.  294.24  Timber cutting, sale, or removal in Idaho Roadless Areas.

    (a) Wild Land Recreation. The cutting, sale, or removal of timber 
is prohibited in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as Wild Land 
Recreation under this subpart, except:
    (1) For personal or administrative use, as provided for in 36 CFR 
part 223; or
    (2) Where incidental to the implementation of a management

[[Page 61491]]

activity not otherwise prohibited by this subpart.
    (b) Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance and Primitive. 
(1) The cutting, sale, or removal of timber is prohibited in Idaho 
Roadless Areas designated as a Special Area of Historic or Tribal 
Significance or as Primitive under this subpart, except:
    (i) To improve threatened, endangered, proposed, or sensitive 
species habitat;
    (ii) To maintain or restore the characteristics of ecosystem 
composition, structure, and processes;
    (iii) To reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildland fire effects 
to an at-risk community or municipal water supply system;
    (iv) For personal or administrative use, as provided for in 36 CFR 
part 223; or
    (v) Where such cutting, sale or removal is incidental to the 
implementation of a management activity not otherwise prohibited by 
this subpart.
    (2) Any action authorized pursuant to paragraphs Sec.  
294.24(b)(1)(i) through (iii) shall be limited to situations that:
    (i) Maintain or improve one or more of the roadless characteristics 
over the long-term;
    (ii) Use existing roads or aerial harvest systems;
    (iii) Maximize the retention of large trees as appropriate for the 
forest type, to the extent the trees promote fire-resilient stands;
    (iv) Are consistent with land management plan components as 
provided for in Sec.  294.28(d); and
    (v) Is approved by the regional forester.
    (c) Backcountry/Restoration. (1) The cutting, sale, or removal of 
timber is permissible in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as 
Backcountry/Restoration only:
    (i) To reduce hazardous fuel conditions within the community 
protection zone if in the responsible official's judgment the project 
generally retains large trees as appropriate for the forest type and is 
consistent with land management plan components as provided for in 
Sec.  294.28(d);
    (ii) To reduce hazardous fuel conditions outside the community 
protection zone where there is significant risk that a wildland fire 
disturbance event could adversely affect an at-risk community or 
municipal water supply system. A significant risk exists where the 
history of fire occurrence, and fire hazard and risk, indicate a 
serious likelihood that a wildland fire disturbance event would present 
a high risk of threat to an at-risk community or municipal water supply 
system;
    (iii) To improve threatened, endangered, proposed, or sensitive 
species habitat;
    (iv) To maintain or restore the characteristics of ecosystem 
composition, structure, and processes;
    (v) To reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildland fire effects;
    (vi) For personal or administrative use, as provided for in 36 CFR 
part 223;
    (vii) Where incidental to the implementation of a management 
activity not otherwise prohibited by this subpart; or
    (viii) In a portion of an Idaho Roadless Area designated as 
Backcountry/Restoration that has been substantially altered due to the 
construction of a forest road and subsequent timber cutting. Both the 
road construction and subsequent timber cutting must have occurred 
prior to October 16, 2008.
    (2) Any action authorized pursuant to paragraphs Sec.  
294.24(c)(1)(ii) through (v) shall be approved by the Regional Forester 
and limited to situations that, in the Regional Forester's judgment:
    (i) Maintains or improves one or more of the roadless 
characteristics over the long-term;
    (ii) Maximizes the retention of large trees as appropriate for the 
forest type to the extent the trees promote fire-resilient stands; and
    (iii) Is consistent with land management plan components as 
provided for in Sec.  294.28(d).
    (3) The activities in paragraph Sec.  294.24(c)(1) may use any 
forest roads or temporary roads, including those authorized under Sec.  
294.23(b)(2 and 3) until decommissioned.
    (d) General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland. Timber may be cut, 
sold, or removed within Idaho Roadless Areas designated as General 
Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland but shall be consistent with the land 
management plan components as provided for in Sec.  294.28(d).


Sec.  294.25  Mineral activities in Idaho Roadless Areas.

    (a) Nothing in this subpart shall be construed as restricting 
mineral leases, contracts, permits, and associated activities 
authorized prior to October 16, 2008.
    (b) Nothing in this subpart shall affect mining activities 
conducted pursuant to the General Mining Law of 1872.
    (c) Wild Land Recreation, Special Areas of Historic or Tribal 
Significance, or Primitive. (1) For mineral leases, contracts, permits, 
and other associated activities authorized after the effective date of 
this subpart the Forest Service will not recommend, authorize, or 
consent to road construction, road reconstruction, or surface occupancy 
associated with mineral leases in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as 
Wild Land Recreation, Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance, 
or Primitive themes.
    (2) After October 16, 2008, the Forest Service will not authorize 
sale of common variety mineral materials in Idaho Roadless Areas 
designated as Wild Land Recreation, Special Areas of Historic or Tribal 
Significance, or Primitive themes.
    (d) Backcountry/Restoration. (1) For mineral leases, contracts, 
permits, and other associated activities authorized after the effective 
date of this subpart, the Forest Service will not recommend, authorize, 
or consent to road construction or road reconstruction associated with 
mineral leases in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as Backcountry/
Restoration. Surface use or occupancy without road construction or 
reconstruction is permissible for all mineral leasing unless prohibited 
in the applicable land management plan.
    (2) After October 16, 2008, the Forest Service may authorize the 
use or sale of common variety mineral materials, and associated road 
construction or reconstruction to access these mineral materials, in 
Idaho Roadless Areas designated as Backcountry/Restoration only if the 
use of these mineral materials is incidental to an activity otherwise 
permissible in backcountry/restoration under this subpart.
    (e) General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland. (1) For mineral 
leases, contracts, permits, and other associated activities authorized 
after October 16, 2008, the Forest Service will not recommend, 
authorize, or consent to road construction or reconstruction associated 
with mineral leases in Idaho Roadless Areas designated as General 
Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland theme; except such road construction 
or reconstruction may be authorized by the responsible official in 
association with phosphate deposits as described in Figure 3-20 in 
section 3.15 Minerals and Energy in the Roadless Area Conservation; 
National Forest System Lands in Idaho Final Environmental Impact 
Statement. Surface use or occupancy without road construction or 
reconstruction is permissible for all mineral leasing unless prohibited 
in the land management plan components.
    (2) After October 16, 2008, the Forest Service may authorize the 
use or sale of common variety mineral materials, and associated road 
construction or reconstruction to access these mineral materials, in 
Idaho Roadless Areas designated as General Forest,

[[Page 61492]]

Rangeland, and Grassland only if the use of these mineral materials is 
incidental to an activity otherwise permissible in General Forest, 
Rangeland, and Grassland under this subpart.
    (3) Road construction or reconstruction associated with mining 
activities permissible under this subsection may only be approved after 
evaluating other access options.
    (4) Road construction or reconstruction associated with mining 
activities permissible under this subsection must be conducted in a 
manner that minimizes effects on surface resources and must be 
consistent with land management plan components as provided for in 
Sec.  294.28(d). Roads constructed or reconstructed must be 
decommissioned upon completion of the project, or expiration of the 
lease, or permit, or other authorization, whichever is sooner.


Sec.  294.26  Other activities in Idaho Roadless Areas.

    (a) Motorized travel. Nothing in this subpart shall be construed as 
affecting existing roads or trails in Idaho Roadless Areas. Decisions 
concerning the future management of existing roads or trails in Idaho 
Roadless Areas shall be made during the applicable travel management 
process.
    (b) Grazing. Nothing in this subpart shall be construed as 
affecting existing grazing permits in Idaho Roadless Areas. Future road 
construction associated with livestock operations shall conform to this 
subpart.
    (c) Motorized equipment and mechanical transport. Nothing in this 
subpart shall be construed as affecting the use of motorized equipment 
and mechanical transport in Idaho Roadless Areas.


Sec.  294.27  Corrections and modifications.

    Correction or modification of designations made pursuant to this 
subpart may occur under the following circumstances:
    (a) Administrative corrections. Administrative corrections to the 
maps of lands identified in Sec.  294.22(c) include, but are not 
limited to, adjustments that remedy clerical errors, typographical 
errors, mapping errors, or improvements in mapping technology. The 
Chief may issue administrative corrections after a 30-day public notice 
and opportunity to comment.
    (b) Modifications. The Chief may add to, remove from, or modify the 
designations and management classifications listed in Sec.  294.29 
based on changed circumstances or public need. The Chief shall provide 
at least a 45-day public notice and opportunity to comment for all 
modifications.


Sec.  294.28  Scope and applicability.

    (a) After October 16, 2008 subpart B of this part shall have no 
effect within the State of Idaho.
    (b) This subpart does not revoke, suspend, or modify any permit, 
contract, or other legal instrument authorizing the occupancy and use 
of National Forest System land issued prior to October 16, 2008.
    (c) This subpart does not revoke, suspend, or modify any project or 
activity decision made prior to October 16, 2008.
    (d) The provisions set forth in this subpart shall take precedence 
over any inconsistent land management plan component. Land management 
plan components that are not inconsistent with this subpart will 
continue to provide guidance for projects and activities within Idaho 
Roadless Areas; as shall those related to protection of threatened and 
endangered species. This subpart does not compel the amendment or 
revision of any land management plan.
    (e) The prohibitions and permissions set forth in the subpart are 
not subject to reconsideration, revision, or rescission in subsequent 
project decisions or land and resource management plan amendments or 
revisions undertaken pursuant to 36 CFR part 219.
    (f) This subpart shall not apply to Forest Plan Special Areas 
within Idaho Roadless Areas.
    (g) Nothing in this subpart waives any applicable requirements 
regarding site-specific environmental analysis, public involvement, 
consultation with Tribes and other agencies, or compliance with 
applicable laws.
    (h) This subpart does not modify the unique relationship between 
the United States and Indian Tribes that requires the Federal 
Government to work with federally recognized Indian Tribes government-
to-government as provided for in treaties, laws or Executive orders. 
Nothing herein limits or modifies prior existing tribal rights, 
including those involving hunting, fishing, gathering, and protection 
of cultural and spiritual sites.
    (i) If any provision of the rules in this subpart or its 
application to any person or to certain circumstances is held invalid, 
the remainder of the regulations in this subpart and their application 
remain in force.


Sec.  294.29  List of designated Idaho Roadless Areas.

    The acronyms used in the list are Wild Land Recreation (WLR), 
Backcountry/Restoration (BCR), General Forest, Rangeland, and Grassland 
(GFRG), Special Areas of Historic or Tribal Significance (SAHTS) and 
Forest Plan Special Areas (FPSA).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Forest                       Idaho roadless area            WLR      Primitive      BCR        GFRG        SAHTS       FPSA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boise...................................  Bald Mountain..............       019   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Bear Wallow................       125   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Bernard....................       029   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Black Lake.................       036   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Blue Bunch.................       923   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Breadwinner................       006   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Burnt Log..................       035   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Cathedral Rocks............       038   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Caton Lake.................       912   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Boise...................................  Cow Creek..................       028   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Danskin....................       002   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Deadwood...................       020   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Elk Creek..................       022   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Grand Mountain.............       007   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Grimes Pass................       017   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Boise...................................  Hanson Lakes...............       915           X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Hawley Mountain............       018   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Horse Heaven...............       925   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  House Mountain.............       001   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Lime Creek.................       937   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........

[[Page 61493]]

 
Boise...................................  Lost Man Creek.............       041   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Meadow Creek...............       913   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Boise...................................  Mt Heinen..................       003   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Nameless Creek.............       034   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Needles....................       911           X           X           X           X   ..........          X
Boise...................................  Peace Rock.................       026   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Poison Creek...............       042   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Poker Meadows..............       032   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Rainbow....................       008   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Red Mountain...............       916           X           X           X           X   ..........          X
Boise...................................  Reeves Creek...............       010   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Sheep Creek................       005   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Smoky Mountains............       914   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Snowbank...................       924   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Steel Mountain.............       012   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Stony Meadows..............       027   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Ten Mile/Black Warrior.....       013           X           X   ..........          X   ..........          X
Boise...................................  Tennessee..................       033   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Boise...................................  Whiskey....................       031   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Whiskey Jack...............       009   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Whitehawk Mountain.........       021   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Boise...................................  Wilson Peak................       040   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Bear Creek.................       615   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Bonneville Peak............       154   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Caribou City...............       161           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Clarkston Mountain.........       159   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Deep Creek.................       158   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Dry Ridge..................       164   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Elkhorn Mountain...........       156   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Gannett-Spring Creek.......       111   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Gibson.....................       181   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Hell Hole..................       168   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Huckleberry Basin..........       165   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Liberty Creek..............       175   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Meade Peak.................       167   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Mink Creek.................       176   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Mount Naomi................       758           X   ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  North Pebble...............       155   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Oxford Mountain............       157   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Paris Peak.................       177   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Pole Creek.................       160   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Red Mountain...............       170   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Sage Creek.................       166   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Schmid Peak................       163   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Scout Mountain.............       152   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Sherman Peak...............       172   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Soda Point.................       171   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Station Creek..............       178   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Stauffer Creek.............       173   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Stump Creek................       162   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Swan Creek.................       180   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  Telephone Draw.............       169   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Toponce....................       153   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Caribou.................................  West Mink..................       151   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Williams Creek.............       174   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Caribou.................................  Worm Creek.................       170   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Challis.................................  Blue Bunch Mountain........       923   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Borah Peak.................       012           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Challis.................................  Boulder-White Clouds.......       920           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Camas Creek................       901   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Challis Creek..............       004   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Cold Springs...............       026   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Copper Basin...............       019   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Diamond Peak...............       601   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Challis.................................  Greylock...................       007   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Grouse Peak................       010   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Hanson Lake................       915   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Jumpoff Mountain...........       014   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  King Mountain..............       013   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Lemhi Range................       903   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Challis.................................  Loon Creek.................       908   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Pahsimeroi Mountain........       011   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Pioneer Mountains..........       921           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Challis.................................  Prophyry Peak..............       017   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........

[[Page 61494]]

 
Challis.................................  Railroad Ridge.............       922   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Red Hill...................       027   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Red Mountain...............       916   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Seafoam....................       009   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Spring Basin...............       006   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Squaw Creek................       005   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Taylor Mountain............       902   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Warm Creek.................       024   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  White Knob.................       025   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Challis.................................  Wood Canyon................       028   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Clearwater..............................  Bighorn-Weitas.............       306   ..........  ..........          X   ..........          X           X
Clearwater..............................  Eldorado Creek.............       312   ..........  ..........          X   ..........          X   ..........
Clearwater..............................  Hoodoo.....................       301           X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........
Clearwater..............................  Lochsa Face................       311   ..........          X           X   ..........          X           X
Clearwater..............................  Lolo Creek (LNF)...........       805   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Clearwater..............................  Mallard-Larkins............       300           X           X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Clearwater..............................  Meadow Creek--Upper North         302   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
                                           Fork.
Clearwater..............................  Moose Mountain.............       305   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Clearwater..............................  North Fork Spruce--White          309           X           X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
                                           Sand.
Clearwater..............................  North Lochsa Slope.........       307   ..........          X           X   ..........          X           X
Clearwater..............................  Pot Mountain...............       304   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Clearwater..............................  Rackliff-Gedney............       841   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Clearwater..............................  Rawhide....................       313   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Clearwater..............................  Siwash.....................       303   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Clearwater..............................  Sneakfoot Meadows..........       314           X           X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Clearwater..............................  Weir-Post Office Creek.....       308   ..........  ..........          X   ..........          X           X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Beetop.....................       130   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Big Creek..................       143   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Blacktail Mountain.........       122   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Blacktail Mountain.........       161   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Buckhorn Ridge.............       661   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Continental Mountain.......       004   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  East Cathedral Peak........       131   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  East Fork Elk..............       678   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Gilt Edge-Silver Creek.....       792   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Graham Coal................       139   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Grandmother Mountain.......       148           X   ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Hammond Creek..............       145   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Hellroaring................       128   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Katka Peak.................       157   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Kootenai Peak..............       126   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Little Grass Mountain......       121   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Lost Creek.................       137   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Magee......................       132   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Mallard-Larkins............       300           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Maple Peak.................       141   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Meadow Creek-Upper N. Fork.       302   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Midget Peak................       151   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Mosquito-Fly...............       150   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Mt. Willard-Lake Estelle...       173   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  North Fork.................       147   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Packsaddle.................       155   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Pinchot Butte..............       149   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Roland Point...............       146   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Saddle Mountain............       154   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Salmo-Priest...............       981           X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Schafer Peak...............       160   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Scotchman Peaks............       662           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Selkirk....................       125           X   ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Sheep Mountain-State Line..       799   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Skitwish Ridge.............       135   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Spion Kop..................       136   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Stevens Peak...............       142   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Storm Creek................       144   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Tepee Creek................       133   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Trestle Peak...............       129   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Trouble Creek..............       138   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Trout Creek................       664   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Upper Priest...............       123   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Idaho Panhandle.........................  White Mountain.............       127   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Idaho Panhandle.........................  Wonderful Peak.............       152   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Kootenai................................  Mt. Willard-Lake Estelle...       173   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Kootenai................................  Roberts....................       691   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Kootenai................................  Scotchman Peaks............       662   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........

[[Page 61495]]

 
Kootenai................................  West Fork Elk..............       692   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Clear Creek................       844   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Dixie Summit--Nut Hill.....       235   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Nez Perce...............................  East Meadow Creek..........       845   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Nez Perce...............................  Gospel Hump................       921   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Gospel Hump Adjacent to      .........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
                                           Wilderness.
Nez Perce...............................  John Day...................       852   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Lick Point.................       227   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Little Slate Creek.........       851   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Little Slate Creek North...       856   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Nez Perce...............................  Mallard....................       847   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  North Fork Slate Creek.....       850   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  O'Hara--Falls Creek........       226   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Nez Perce...............................  Rackliff--Gedney...........       841   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Nez Perce...............................  Rapid River................       922           X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Nez Perce...............................  Salmon Face................       855   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Selway Bitterroot..........  .........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  Silver Creek--Pilot Knob...       849   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........
Nez Perce...............................  West Fork Crooked River....  .........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Nez Perce...............................  West Meadow Creek..........       845   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Big Creek Fringe...........       009   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Caton Lake.................       912   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Chimney Rock...............       006   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Cottontail Point/Pilot Peak       004   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Council Mountain...........       018   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Crystal Mountain...........       005   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Cuddy Mountain.............       016   ..........          X   ..........          X   ..........          X
Payette.................................  French Creek...............       026   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Payette.................................  Hells Canyon/7 Devils             001   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
                                           Scenic.
Payette.................................  Horse Heaven...............       925   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Indian Creek...............       019   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Meadow Creek...............       913   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Needles....................       911           X           X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Patrick Butte..............       002   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Placer Creek...............       008   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Poison Creek...............       042   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Rapid River................       922           X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Secesh.....................       010           X           X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Payette.................................  Sheep Gulch................       017   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Smith Creek................       007   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Snowbank...................       924   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Payette.................................  Sugar Mountain.............       014   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Agency Creek...............       512   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Allan Mountain.............       946   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Salmon..................................  Anderson Mountain..........       942   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Blue Joint Mountain........       941   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Camas Creek................       901   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Deep Creek.................       509   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Duck Peak..................       518   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Salmon..................................  Goat Mountain..............       944   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Goldbug Ridge..............       903   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Haystack Mountain..........       507   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Italian Peak...............       945   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Jesse Creek................       510   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Jureano....................       506   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Lemhi Range................       903   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Salmon..................................  Little Horse...............       514   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Long Tom...................       521   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Salmon..................................  McEleny....................       505   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Musgrove...................       517   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Napias.....................       515   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Napoleon Ridge.............       501   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Salmon..................................  Oreana.....................       516   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Perreau Creek..............       511   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Phelan.....................       508   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Sal Mountain...............       513   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Sheepeater.................       520   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Salmon..................................  South Deep Creek...........       509   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  South Panther..............       504   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  Taylor Mountain............       902   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Salmon..................................  West Big Hole..............       943   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Salmon..................................  West Panther Creek.........       504   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Black Pine.................       003   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X

[[Page 61496]]

 
Sawtooth................................  Blackhorse Creek...........       039   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Boulder-White Clouds.......       920           X           X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Buttercup Mountain.........       038   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Cache Peak.................       007   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Cottonwood.................       010   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Elk Ridge..................       019   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Fifth Fork Rock Creek......       023   ..........          X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Hanson Lakes...............       915           X           X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Huckleberry................       016   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Liberal Mountain...........       040   ..........          X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Lime Creek.................       937   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Lone Cedar.................       011   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Loon Creek.................       908   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Mahogany Butte.............       012   ..........  ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Mount Harrison.............       006   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Pettit.....................       017   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Pioneer Mountains..........       921           X           X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Railroad Ridge.............       922   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Smoky Mountains............       914   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Sawtooth................................  Sublett....................       005   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Third Fork Rock Creek......       009   ..........          X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........
Sawtooth................................  Thorobred..................       013   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Targhee.................................  Bald Mountain..............       614   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Targhee.................................  Bear Creek.................       615   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Caribou City...............       161   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........
Targhee.................................  Diamond Peak...............       601           X           X           X           X   ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Garfield Mountain..........       961   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Garns Mountain.............       611   ..........  ..........          X           X   ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Italian Peak...............       945           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Lionhead...................       963           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Mt. Jefferson..............       962   ..........          X           X           X   ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Palisades..................       613           X   ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Poker Peak.................       616   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Pole Creek.................       160   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Targhee.................................  Raynolds Pass..............       603   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Targhee.................................  Two Top....................       604   ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........
Targhee.................................  West Slope Tetons..........       610   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........          X
Targhee.................................  Winegar Hole...............       347   ..........          X           X   ..........  ..........          X
Wallowa-Whitman.........................  Big Canyon Id..............       853   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
Wallowa-Whitman.........................  Klopton Creek--Corral Creek       854   ..........  ..........          X   ..........  ..........  ..........
                                           Id.
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    Dated: October 7, 2008.
Mark Rey,
Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment.
[FR Doc. E8-24285 Filed 10-8-08; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P