The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed High Valley Integrated Restoration Project on the Emmett Ranger District in Valley, Gem, and Boise Counties, Idaho.
The High Valley Integrated Restoration Project has been designed to contribute to the accomplishment of management goals and objectives found in the Boise National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (i.e. Forest Plan, as amended in 2010). This project encompasses approximately 7,735 acres and the Forest Service is considering a wide range of treatments to: manage the forest to accelerate development of large ponderosa pine to support wildlife habitat, increase resilience to uncharacteristic disturbance, reduce hazardous fuels, improve watershed function, and provide wood products to support local economies.
Action is needed in High Valley and the Upper and Lower Little Squaw Creek watersheds to contribute to the achievement of desired conditions set forth in the Forest Plan, as amended in 2010, particularly as it relates to conserving and restoring low- to mid-elevation ponderosa pine forests and the wildlife habitat they provide. Other project objectives include restoration of riparian conservation areas and associated wetland functions in Little Squaw Creek.
Activities being considered within the project area to achieve the desired conditions in High Valley include removal of commercial sawlogs and other miscellaneous wood products, non-commercial tree thinning, fuel reduction by both mechanical removal and prescribed fire, limited road construction (both temporary and permanent), road reconstruction, road maintenance and road decommissioning.
For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the comprehensive proposed action report on the Project webpage: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45790.
This project proposed action was developed from management recommendations provided to the Agency by the Boise Forest Coalition. Please see the project webpage for details about this organization, their mission, and their collaborative role in this project.
How to Comment
The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible. Your comments will help us identify and address issues.
Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the High Valley Integrated Restoration Project webpage. To submit comments using the web form select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.
Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf) and Word (.doc) to: email@example.com Please put “High Valley Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.
Written comments must be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Emmett Ranger District, and Attention: John Riling, 1805 Highway 16, Room 5, and Emmett, ID 83617 or by fax at 208-365-7037. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
When to Comment
This project is not authorized under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act and thus is subject to requirements at 36 CFR 218.7 parts (a) and (b). Instead of a post-decision appeal period, there will be an objection process before the final decision is made (36 CFR 218). In order to be eligible to file an objection, specific written comments related to the project must be submitted during the designated scoping period identified above or other designated public comment period specifically requested per requirements at 36 CFR 218.5 during the environmental analysis process. Individual members of organizations must have submitted their own comments to meet the requirements of eligibility as an individual.
Comments must be posted by March 31, 2015 to be associated with this designated scoping period. The Idaho Statesman is the newspaper of record for the legal notices for this project. This scoping comment period is considered a designated comment period as defined under 36 CFR 218.
For more information on how the objection process works for projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans, please read the regulations under 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B on the National Forest Service web site at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-27/pdf/2013-06857.pdf
Stay Connected to this Project via the Web
To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic comment system that allows all interested parties to receive project material (scoping documents, updates, draft and final NEPA documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This new system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.
To subscribe to this new system, go online to the High Valley Project webpage. On the project website, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates”. When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you request hard copies.
Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.
For further information on the project, please contact John Riling, Team Leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 208-365-7000. The District Ranger for this project is Richard E. Newton, Emmett District Ranger.
Boise National Forest
North Zone NEPA Specialist/Planner