[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 199 (Friday, October 14, 2016)]
[Pages 71039-71040]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24854]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.


Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 199 / Friday, October 14, 2016 / 

[[Page 71039]]


Forest Service

Fremont-Winema National Forest; Bly and Chiloquin Ranger 
Districts; Oregon; East Hills Project Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.


SUMMARY: The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and 
non-commercial vegetation management activities, prescribed burning, 
road activities, stream and aquatic habitat improvements, and other 
restoration activities. The project is located on the Bly and Chiloquin 
Ranger Districts, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath County, 

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by November 14, 2016. The draft environmental impact statement is 
expected May 2017 and the final environmental impact statement is 
expected August 2017.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Eric Watrud, Acting Forest 
Supervisor, Fremont-Winema National Forest, c/o Jody Perozzi, PO Box 
25, Bly, OR 97622. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 541-353-

Coordinator Bly Ranger District; PO Box 25, Bly, OR 97622. Phone: 541-
353-2723. Email: [email protected].
    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The East Hills Project area encompasses 
approximately 169,000 acres, including 138,733 acres of National Forest 
System lands managed by the Forest Service, and approximately 30,500 
acres of the Sycan Marsh Preserve owned and managed by The Nature 
Conservancy. The majority of the project is within the Klamath Tribes' 
former 1954 reservation. The project area is located approximately 10 
miles northwest of the town of Bly, OR. The project area crosses two 
Ranger District boundaries: Bly (38%) and Chiloquin (62%), and is 
managed under two National Forest Land and Resource Management Plans 
(LRMP) as amended: the 1990 Winema LRMP and the 1989 Fremont LRMP. The 
Sycan Wild and Scenic River flows through the middle of the project 
area forming the boundary between lands managed under the Fremont LRMP 
and those managed under the Winema LRMP. The legal description of the 
project area includes Townships 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 South, and Ranges 
10, 11, 12, 13, 14 East, Willamette Meridian, Klamath County, Oregon.

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the project is to conduct restoration management 
activities to improve forest resiliency and sustainability, maintain 
and enhance habitat diversity, manage the road system, and restore 
hydrologic functioning, thereby moving the landscape towards the goals, 
objectives, and desired future conditions directed by the Fremont and 
Winema LRMPs, as amended by the Eastside Screens and INFISH. The 
underlying needs for the East Hills Project derive from the differences 
between the current landscape condition, and the goals, objectives, and 
desired future conditions directed by the Fremont and Winema LRMPs, as 
amended by the Eastside Screens and INFISH. To promote an ecologically 
resilient landscape consistent with the desired conditions outlined in 
the Forest Plans there is a need to: (1) Reduce stand densities to 
improve vigor and increase resilience to insects, disease, drought, and 
wildfire; (2) Maintain and promote development of late/old seral (LOS) 
habitat consistent with the historic range of variability (HRV); (3) 
Maintain LOS components, by protecting and releasing large and old 
trees from competition; (4) Restore dominance of ponderosa pine and 
other fire- and drought-tolerant species; (5) Create spatial 
heterogeneity within stands and across the landscape; (6) Create age 
class diversity in climax lodgepole pine stands; (7) Reduce fuel loads 
and reintroduce fire on the landscape; (8) Enhance and restore non-
forested habitat diversity; (9) Conserve, improve, and restore habitat 
for wildlife and botanical species; (10) Improve mule deer habitat; 
(11) Conserve and restore cultural plants; (12) Maintain and restore 
aspen and other hardwoods; (13) Restore and enhance natural stream 
function and associated habitats; (14) Reduce road densities; (15) 
Maintain opportunities for sustainable recreation activities; and (16) 
Provide forest products as a by-product of meeting the above 

Proposed Action

    The Forest proposed action includes restoration activities for the 
following resources: vegetation management, stream and aquatic habitat, 
and road systems to address the purpose and need. These activities 
would occur over approximately the next 10 years.
    Vegetation management will include a combination of commercial 
thinning, small tree thinning, prescribed burning, and other fuels 
treatments. The use of different methods would be determined by site 
conditions, accesibility and specific resource protection needs. The 
proposal includes four different vegetation restoration treatment 
emphasis areas: (1) Mixed conifer; (2) lodgepole pine; (3) meadow/
riparian; (4) ponderosa pine.
    The proposed action contains stream restoration and fish passage 
activities including repair of headcuts and incised stream channels, 
large wood addition, streambank stabilization, and culvert 
    Approximately 19 miles of roads are proposed to be closed and 
approximately 243 miles of roads are proposed for decommissioning post-
implementation. Maintenance level increases are proposed for 
approximately 8 miles of roads to provide through routes of open roads.
    The East Hill Project will also include a variety of project design 
and resource protection measures that serve to mitigate the impact of 
activities to resources, including air quality, cultural and heritage, 
wildlife, aquatic species,

[[Page 71040]]

soils, water, scenic, botanical species and invasive plant species 
prevention. The proposed action may also include project-specific 
amendments to the Fremont and Winema National Forest LRMPs.

Possible Alternatives

    The Forest Service will consider a range of alternatives. One of 
these will be the ``no action'' alternative in which none of the 
proposed actions would be implemented. Additional alternatives may be 
considered in response to issues raised by the public during the 
scoping process or due to additional concerns for resource values 
identified by the interdisciplinary team.

Responsible Official

    The Forest Supervisor of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, 1301 
South G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630, is the Responsible Official. As the 
Responsible Official, I will decide if the proposed action will be 
implemented. I will document the decision and rationale for the 
decision in the Record of Decision. I have delegated the responsibility 
for preparing the draft EIS and final EIS to the District Ranger, Bly 
Ranger District.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Based on the purpose and need, the Responsible Official reviews the 
proposed action, the other alternatives, the environmental 
consequences, and public comments on the analysis in order to make the 
following decision: (1) Whether to implement timber harvest and 
associated fuels treatments, prescribed burning, road management 
activities, and stream improvements, including design features and 
potential mitigation measures to protect resources; and if so, how much 
and at what specific locations; (2) What, if any, project-specific 
Forest Plan Amendments will be necessary to implement the project; (3) 
What, if any, specific project monitoring requirements are needed to 
assure design features and potential mitigation measures are 
implemented and effective, and to evaluate the success of the project 

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the environmental impact statement. The 
interdisciplinary team will continue to seek information, comments, and 
assistance from Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribal governments, 
and other individuals or organizations that may be interested in, or 
affected by, the proposed action.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of 
the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be 
provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly 
articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record 
for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be 
accepted and considered.

    Dated: October 7, 2016.
Eric Watrud,
Acting Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2016-24854 Filed 10-13-16; 8:45 am]