[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 234 (Thursday, December 7, 2017)]
[Page 57703]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-26377]

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Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 234 / Thursday, December 7, 2017 / 

[[Page 57703]]


Forest Service

Malheur National Forest, Blue Mountain Ranger District and 
Umatilla National Forest, North Fork John Day Ranger District; Oregon; 
Ragged Ruby Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice to extend the public scoping period for the Ragged Ruby 
Project for two proposed forest plan amendments.


SUMMARY: The Malheur National Forest is issuing this notice to advise 
the public of a 30-day extension to the public scoping period on the 
project-specific forest plan amendments proposed as part of the Ragged 
Ruby Project. This extension is for two amendments for connectivity and 
harvest in late and old structure stands, which includes identification 
of the applicable planning rule provisions that are likely to be 
directly related to the amendment.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by January 8, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any one of the following 
     Electronic Submissions: Comments can be filed 
electronically at: [email protected]. Electronic comments must be submitted as part 
of the email message or as an attachment in plain text (.txt), 
Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document 
format (.pdf). Emails submitted to addresses other than the one listed 
above, or in formats other than those listed or containing viruses, 
will be rejected.
     Mail: Written, specific comments must be submitted to Dave 
Halemeier, District Ranger, Blue Mountain Ranger District, c/o Sasha 
Fertig, P.O. Box 909, John Day, OR 97845, or FAX at 541-575-3319.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method or to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period 
may not be considered by the Malheur National Forest. All comments 
received are part of the public record and will generally be posted for 
public viewing without change. All personal identifying information 
(e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or 
otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender 
will be publicly accessible.
    This opportunity for comment applies only to the project-specific 
forest plan amendments described below in the Supplementary Information 
section. Previously submitted comments will be considered and should 
not be resubmitted. Previous commenters will have eligibility to object 
under 26 CFR 218.5.

Mountain Ranger District, Malheur National Forest, 541-575-3061 or 
[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. The 
full Ragged Ruby Project Scoping Package and Addendum is available on 
the Malheur National Forest Web site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49392.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The original Ragged Ruby Project Notice of 
Intent (NOI) was published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2017 
(82 FR 15020). The 2012 Planning Rule, as amended, requires 
identification in the initial notice of the amendment of the 
substantive provisions that are likely to be directly related to the 
amendment (36 CFR 219.8 through 219.11). During project development 
following the original NOI, the project's interdisciplinary team 
identified the need for a project-specific forest plan amendment to the 
Malheur National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (forest 
plan), as amended by the Decision Notice for the Revised Continuation 
of Interim Management Direction Establishing Riparian, Ecosystem and 
Wildlife Standards for Timber Sales (Eastside Screens).
    The original NOI did not identify the need for this amendment to 
the Eastside Screens, Standard 6(d)(3)(a), or the applicable 
substantive provisions. The original NOI also did not identify the 
applicable substantive provisions for the project-specific forest plan 
amendment to the Eastside Screens, Standard 6(d) to allow harvest in 
late and old structure stands.
    Standard 6(d)(3)(a) provides direction to maintain or enhance the 
current level of connectivity between late and old structure (LOS) and 
old growth Management Area 13 (MA13) stands by maintaining connections 
between them as described in the Eastside Screens. This amendment is 
being proposed to allow upland restoration activities that would reduce 
stand density, increase tree spatial heterogeneity, protect old trees, 
and shift species composition to a higher proportion of early seral 
species (e.g., western white pine, western larch, and ponderosa pine), 
limiting the ability to connect all LOS and MA13 stands as directed in 
the Eastside Screens. Wildlife corridors would be provided between all 
MA13 stands, some LOS stands, and to adjacent watersheds; however, not 
all LOS stands would be connected due to LOS stand sizes and position 
on the landscape.
    The updated information described in this notice is provided in the 
Ragged Ruby Project Scoping Package Addendum, now available on the 
Forest's Web site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49392.

    Dated: Novmeber 16, 2017.
Chris French,
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-26377 Filed 12-6-17; 8:45 am]