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Administration of the Forest Development Transportation System; Temporary Suspension of Road Construction in Roadless Areas

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Administration of the Forest Development Transportation System; Temporary Suspension of Road Construction in Roadless Areas

Mike Dombeck
February 27, 1998

[Federal Register: February 27, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 39)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 9980-9987]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27fe98-31]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

36 CFR Part 212

RIN 0596-AB67, 0596-AB68

 
Administration of the Forest Development Transportation System; 
Temporary Suspension of Road Construction in Roadless Areas

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Extension of public comment period on proposed interim rule and 
schedule of public meetings on proposed interim rule and advance notice 
of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: On January 28, 1998, the Forest Service published in the 
Federal Register for public review and comment, a proposed interim rule 
that would, if adopted, temporarily suspend road construction and 
reconstruction in most roadless areas of the National Forest System. 
The public comment period was to end February 27, 1998. Several 
organizations have indicated that the 30-day review period is not 
sufficient time to review and analyze the proposed interim rule and its 
potential impacts on matters of interest to their organizations and 
have requested additional time to prepare comments. Additionally, some 
individuals and groups have also expressed a desire for the agency to 
hold public meetings on the proposed interim rule and the Advance 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) which was also published in the 
Federal Register on January 28. Therefore, to facilitate public 
understanding and comment, the Forest Service has decided to extend the 
comment period through March 30, 1998, and to hold public meetings for 
the proposed interim rule and the ANPR.

DATES: Comments must be postmarked by March 30, 1998. Dates, times, and 
locations of the public meetings are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Director, Ecosystem Management 
Coordination Staff, MAIL STOP 1104, Forest Service, USDA, P.O. Box 
96090, Washington, DC 20090-6090. Comments also may be sent via the 
Internet to roads/wo@fs.fed.us.
    All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are 
placed in the record and are available for public inspection and 
copying at the Forest Service National Headquarters Offices, 14th and 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Persons wishing to inspect 
the comments are encouraged to

[[Page 9981]]

call ahead (202-205-0895) to facilitate entrance into the building.
    Addresses for the public meetings are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Gerald (Skip) Coghlan, Engineering Staff, 202-205-1400 or Rhey Solomon, 
Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff, 202-205-0939. Local contacts 
for public meetings are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section 
of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 28, 1998, at 63 FR 4351, the 
Forest Service published for public review and comment a proposed 
interim rule that would temporarily suspend road construction and 
reconstruction in most roadless areas of the National Forest System. 
The proposed interim rule was published in association with an ANPR (63 
FR 4350). In the ANPR, the Forest Service gave notice of its intention 
to revise the regulations concerning the management of the National 
Forest System transportation system to address changes in how the road 
system is developed, used, maintained, and funded.
    Until new and improved analytical tools can be developed and 
implemented to evaluate the positive benefits and adverse impacts of 
roads, the adoption of an interim rule to temporarily suspend road 
construction or reconstruction within National Forest System roadless 
areas is viewed as critical to preserve land and resource management 
options. The temporary suspension of road construction and 
reconstruction would expire upon the application of the new and 
improved analysis tools or 18 months, whichever is sooner.
    In response to the January 28 Federal Register documents, the 
Forest Service has received many requests for information on 
implications and impacts of implementing the proposed interim rule. In 
response to these requests, the agency is publishing, as part of this 
announcement, the timber data and information used to help formulate 
the proposed interim rule. The information available prior to the 
January 28 notices related only to potential affects on timber sales in 
inventoried roadless areas. These data are displayed in Appendix 1 and 
Appendix 2 at the end of this document.
    The preliminary information in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 does not 
account for other types of activities that may involve road 
construction or reconstruction and that might be affected if the 
proposed interim rule were adopted. Data and information are being 
collected on road construction and reconstruction projects proposed for 
such activities as access required for authorized special uses, private 
property, recreation, and mining and for other activities that may 
require construction or reconstruction of roads. In addition, data are 
being analyzed to evaluate the environmental and economic impacts 
including impacts to recreation, wildlife, fish, and watersheds. The 
new information will be used to evaluate and compare alternatives and 
environmental effects for a final interim rule. To the extent feasible, 
the agency will post this new information on the Forest Service 
internet home page at www.fs.fed.us/news/roads/.

Public Meetings

    In addition to the public comment period, the agency will hold 
public meetings across the country for the purpose of adding to the 
record of public comment on the proposed interim rule. Persons who wish 
to comment will be provided opportunity for a brief oral comment for 
the record. Also, written comments may be submitted at the meeting 
sites. At these meetings, the public also will be able to provide 
comments in response to the ANPR concerning the management of the 
National Forest System transportation system to address changes in how 
the road system is developed, used, maintained, and funded. An open 
house format will be used. The public should be aware that, for the 
portion of the open houses during which persons may enter comments into 
the record for the interim rulemaking agency employees will be 
available only to answer questions to clarify the proposed interim 
rule.
    The dates, times, and locations of the public meetings are as 
follows:

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               State                            Date and time                    Location                             Contact person                    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska............................  March 10, 2-7 p.m...................  Ted Ferry Civic        Dave Arrasmith, 907-228-6304.                          
                                                                           Center, 888 Venetia                                                          
                                                                           Avenue, Ketchikan.                                                           
Alaska............................  March 11, 2-7 p.m...................  Spenard Community      Anne Jeffery, 907-271-2508.                            
                                                                           Recreation Center,                                                           
                                                                           2020 West 48th                                                               
                                                                           Avenue, Anchorage.                                                           
California........................  March 21, 9-5 p.m...................  Sacramento Convention  Christie Kalkowski, 415-705-1841.                      
                                                                           Center, 1400 J                                                               
                                                                           Street, Sacramento.                                                          
Colorado..........................  March 17, 2-8 p.m...................  Grand Junction         Matt Glasgow, 970-874-6674.                            
                                                                           Hilton, 743 Horizon                                                          
                                                                           Drive, Grand                                                                 
                                                                           Junction.                                                                    
Colorado..........................  March 17, 2-7 p.m...................  Rocky Mountain         Lynn Young, 303-275-5346.                              
                                                                           Regional Office,                                                             
                                                                           USDA Forest Service,                                                         
                                                                           740 Simms Street,                                                            
                                                                           Golden.                                                                      
Georgia...........................  March 26, 6-9 p.m...................  Sheraton Hotel, 1850   Angela Coleman, 404-347-7226.                          
                                                                           Cotillion Drive,                                                             
                                                                           Atlanta.                                                                     
Idaho.............................  March 19, 1-7 p.m...................  Idaho Panhandle        Brad Gilbert, 208-765-7438.                            
                                                                           National forests,                                                            
                                                                           3815 Schreiber Way,                                                          
                                                                           Coeur d'Alene.                                                               
Idaho.............................  March 21, 10-3 p.m..................  Boise Center on the    Brian Harris, 208-373-4106.                            
                                                                           Grove, 850 West                                                              
                                                                           Front, Boise.                                                                
Minnesota.........................  March 19, 6-9 p.m...................  Earle Brown            Mary Nordeen, 218-335-8658.                            
                                                                           Continuing Education                                                         
                                                                           Center, University                                                           
                                                                           of Minnesota, St.                                                            
                                                                           Paul Campus, 1890                                                            
                                                                           Buford Avenue, Room                                                          
                                                                           280, St. Paul.                                                               
Montana...........................  March 12, 3-8 p.m...................  Helena National        Jerry Adelblue, 406-449-5201, ext. 264.                
                                                                           Forest, 2880 Skyway                                                          
                                                                           Drive, Helena.                                                               
Montana...........................  March 14, 10-5 p.m..................  Ruby's Reserve Street  Barb Beckes, 406-329-3809.                             
                                                                           Inn, 4825 North                                                              
                                                                           Reserve Street,                                                              
                                                                           Missoula.                                                                    
Montana...........................  March 23, 6:30-9:30 p.m.............  Libby City Hall, 952   Joan Dickerson, 406-293-6211.                          
                                                                           East Spruce Street,                                                          
                                                                           Libby.                                                                       

[[Page 9982]]

                                                                                                                                                        
New Hampshire.....................  March 18, 6-9 p.m...................  New Hampshire          Colleen Mainville, 603-528-8796.                       
                                                                           Technical College,                                                           
                                                                           11 Institute Drive,                                                          
                                                                           Concord.                                                                     
New Mexico........................  March 18, 3-7 p.m...................  Holiday Inn Mountain   Al Koschmann, 505-842-3370.                            
                                                                           View, 2020 Menaul                                                            
                                                                           Northeast,                                                                   
                                                                           Albuquerque.                                                                 
North Dakota......................  March 12, 9-3 p.m...................  Expressway Suites,     Steve Williams, 701-250-4443.                          
                                                                           180 East Bismarck                                                            
                                                                           Expressway, Bismarck.                                                        
Oregon............................  March 16, 10-4 p.m..................  Doubletree Hotel       Patty Burel, 503-808-2221.                             
                                                                           Lloyd Center, 1000                                                           
                                                                           Northeast Multnomah,                                                         
                                                                           Portland.                                                                    
Oregon............................  March 17, 10-4 p.m..................  National Guard         Carrie Sammons, 541-383-5536.                          
                                                                           Armory, 875                                                                  
                                                                           Southwest Simpson,                                                           
                                                                           Bend.                                                                        
Oregon............................  March 18, 10:30-4:30 p.m............  Reston Hotel, 2300     Steve Waterman, 541-858-2213.                          
                                                                           Crater Lake Highway,                                                         
                                                                           Medford.                                                                     
South Dakota......................  March 16, 3-8 p.m...................  Pactola District       Glen McNitt, 605-673-3104.                             
                                                                           Office, Black Hills                                                          
                                                                           National Forest, 803                                                         
                                                                           Soo San Drive, Rapid                                                         
                                                                           City.                                                                        
Utah..............................  March 21, 10-3 p.m..................  Provo Park Hotel, 101  Lola Murray, 801-342-5137.                             
                                                                           West, 100 North,                                                             
                                                                           Provo.                                                                       
Virginia..........................  March 24, 6-9 p.m...................  Jefferson/George       Donna Wilson, 540-265-5100.                            
                                                                           Washington, National                                                         
                                                                           Forests, 5162                                                                
                                                                           Valleypointe                                                                 
                                                                           Parkway, Roanoke.                                                            
Washington........................  March 17, 10-4 p.m..................  Ramada Inn at          Lorette Ray, 425-744-3571.                             
                                                                           Northgate, 2140                                                              
                                                                           North Northgate Way,                                                         
                                                                           Seattle.                                                                     
Washington........................  March 18, 10-4 p.m..................  Four Seasons Inn, 11   Paul Hart, 509-662-4314.                               
                                                                           West Grant Road                                                              
                                                                           East, Wenatchee.                                                             
Washington DC.....................  March 19, 2-7 p.m...................  Holiday Inn Capitol,   Alan Polk, 202-205-1134.                               
                                                                           550 C Street                                                                 
                                                                           Southwest,                                                                   
                                                                           Washington, DC.                                                              
Wyoming...........................  March 19, 2-7 p.m...................  Parkway Plaza Hotel,   Stan Sylva, 307-777-6087.                              
                                                                           123 West E Street,                                                           
                                                                           Casper.                                                                      
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    Dated: February 24, 1998.
Mike Dombeck,
Chief, Forest Service.

BILLING CODE 3410-11-M

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[FR Doc. 98-5130 Filed 2-25-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-C



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