[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 190 (Friday, October 2, 2009)]
[Pages 50986-50987]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-23678]



Bureau of Land Management

[LLOR932000-L16100000-DF0000-LXSS062H0000; HAG 9-0209]

Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
for Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on Bureau of Land Management 
Lands, Oregon

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Vegetation Treatments Using 
Herbicides on BLM Lands in Oregon (Vegetation Treatments DEIS) and by 
this Notice is announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Vegetation Treatments DEIS within 60 days 
following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its 
Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/vegtreatmentseis/
     E-mail: orvegtreatments@blm.gov.
     Mail: Vegetation Treatments EIS Team, P.O. Box 2965, 
Portland, OR 97208-2965.
    Copies of the Vegetation Treatments DEIS are available on the 
Internet at: http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/vegtreatmentseis/. Requests to 
receive printed or CD copies of the DEIS should be sent to one of the 
addresses listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Thompson, EIS Project Manager, by 
mail at Bureau of Land Management--OR932, P.O. Box 2965, Portland, OR 
97208; by telephone at (503) 808-6326; or by email to the EIS Team at 
the address listed above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1984, the BLM was prohibited from using 
herbicides in Oregon by a U.S. District Court injunction issued in 
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, et al. v. Block, et 
al. (Civ. No. 82-6273-E). Following completion of an EIS examining the 
use of four herbicides just on noxious weeds, the injunction was 
modified by the court in November 1987 (Civ. No. 82-6272-BU). For the 
subsequent 22 years, the BLM in Oregon has limited its herbicide use to 
the four herbicides analyzed and limited use of those four herbicides 
to the control and eradication of Federal-, state-, or county-listed 
noxious weeds. In that time, new herbicides have become available that 
can be used in smaller doses, are more target-specific, and are less 
likely to adversely affect people and other non-target organisms. These 
new herbicides are being used by adjacent cooperating agencies and 
landowners to achieve better invasive weed control. Further, there are 
limited additional native vegetation treatment needs that would be more 
feasibly met, and more efficiently accomplished with selected 
    In 2007, the BLM Washington Office (WO220) completed the Vegetation 
Treatments Using Herbicides on Bureau of Land Management Lands in 17 
Western States Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and 
related Record of Decision making 18 herbicides available for a full 
range of non-commodity vegetation treatments in 17 western states 
including Oregon. Oregon cannot implement that decision, however, until 
and unless the District Court injunction is lifted. The DEIS being 
released today, Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on BLM Lands in 
Oregon, tiers to the PEIS, incorporates additional detailed analysis 
regarding the potential for human and environmental risks specific to 
Oregon and addresses the issues in the 1984 District Court decision and 
other information specific to Oregon. The additional analysis is 
similar to that presented in a similar EIS completed by the Forest 
Service in Oregon in 2005. The DEIS is programmatic, addressing all 
15.7 million acres in Oregon and addressing all 18 herbicides approved 
for use by the 2007 Record of Decision for the PEIS and being used in 
the other 16 western states. The DEIS analyzes one ``no action'' 
alternative, one ``no herbicide'' alternative, and 3 action 
alternatives which were shaped in part by the comments received during 
12 public scoping meetings held throughout Oregon in July 2008. No 
projects will be authorized; site-specific projects will be subject to 
additional National Environmental Policy Act analysis.
    The analysis indicates that by using BLM manual section and policy 
standard operating procedures, along with PEIS-adopted mitigation 
measures, human and environmental risk from the use of herbicides is 
both minimized and reduced from current levels. The proposed action 
would also slow the spread of noxious weeds on BLM lands by about 50 
percent and result in 2.2 million fewer infested acres in 15 years than 
under current program capabilities.
    Following the public comment period, the BLM will prepare a Final 
Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision. These are 
planned for release in mid-summer 2010.
    The responsible official for the EIS is the BLM Oregon and 
Washington State Director. No public hearings or meetings are planned 
during the public comment period for the DEIS. Please note that public 
comments and information submitted; including the names, street 
addresses, and email addresses of respondents; will be available for 
public review and disclosure during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 
p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays, at the following 
address: 333 SW. 1st Avenue, Portland, OR 97204.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we

[[Page 50987]]

cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Edward W. Shepard,
State Director, Oregon/Washington BLM.
[FR Doc. E9-23678 Filed 10-1-09; 8:45 am]