Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Proposed Action would implement silvicultural activities, including thinning of sub-merchantable trees, aspen enhancement, and whitebark pine enhancement, on 2,702 acres. An estimated 9.0 MMbf would be removed using tractor, off-road jammer, skyline, and helicopter yarding systems. The Proposed Action would employ a variety of silvicultural prescriptions including clearcut with reserve trees, commercial thin, improvement cut, irregular shelterwood, individual tree selection, sanitation, thinning of sub-merchantable trees, aspen enhancement, and whitebark pine enhancement.
Road maintenance activities would occur on an estimated 0.4 miles of existing road under this alternative. Specifically, one under-sized culvert along the #402 road would be replaced with a culvert sufficient in size to accommodate a 100-year flow event; a series of drive-through dips would be installed on the #402F1 road to prevent erosion; a culvert would be installed on the #402F road to facilitate silvicultural activities, and; an existing slump on the cutslope along the #498 road would be stabilized.
Roughly 1.1 miles of temporary road would be constructed to facilitate harvest activities and six helicopter landings constructed. Post-implementation management of the existing transportation system within the project area would not change under this alternative. All existing road restrictions would be reinstated upon completion of harvest activities.
An estimated 3,000 acres of the Needles Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA) lie within the Spruce Creek Project Area. With the exception of a portion of the whitebark pine enhancement treatments, none of the activities associated with the Proposed Action would occur within any IRA.
The entire project area drains into the Gold Fork River and, although there are no 303(d)/305(b) listed streams within the project area, that segment of the Gold Fork River immediately downstream of the project area is identified as a water quality limited waterbody. The pollutant of concern is phosphorus. A TMDL is currently in place and addresses the entire length of the Gold Fork River.
The entire project area lies within Management Area 18 (Cascade Reservoir), discussed on pages III-302 through III-315 in the Forest Plan. Several Management Prescription Categories (MPCs) apply within this management area. However, only MPC 4.1c and 5.2 occur within the project area. With the exception of a portion of the whitebark pine enhancement treatments, the Proposed Action includes management activities within MPC 5.2 only.
The comment period on the DEIS will be 45 days from the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the notice of availability in the
The Forest Service believes, at this early stage, it is important to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of the DEIS must structure their participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts an agency to the reviewer's position and contentions.
To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the DEIS should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the draft statement. Reviewers may wish to refer to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act at 40 CFR 1503.3 in addressing these points.