Thursday, October 16, 2008

Federalies post new Idaho new roadless info

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service36 CFR Part 294RIN 0596-AC62 Special Areas; Roadless Area Conservation; Applicability to the National Forests in Idaho AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.ACTION: Final rule and record of decision.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) is adopting a state-specific, final rule establishing management direction for designated roadless areas in the State of Idaho. The final rule designates 250 Idaho Roadless Areas (IRAs) and establishes five management themes that provide prohibitions with exceptions or conditioned permissions governing road construction, timber cutting, and discretionary mineral development.

The final rule takes a balanced approach recognizing both local and national interests for the management of these lands. The Department and Forest Service are committed to the important challenge of protecting roadless areas and their important characteristics. The final rule achieves this through five land classifications that assign various permissions and prohibitions regarding road building, timber cutting, and discretionary mineral activities. The final rule also allows the Forest Service to continue to be a good neighbor and reduce the risk of wild land fires to at-risk communities and municipal water supply systems. The rule does not authorize the building of a single road or the cutting of a single tree; instead it establishes permissions and prohibitions that will govern what types of activities may occur in IRAs.

Any decision to build a road, allow mineral activities, harvest a tree, or conduct any other activity permissible under this final rule will require appropriate site-specific analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable laws. Projects will also be consistent with the applicable land management plan (LMP) components.

This final rule supersedes the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule (2001 roadless rule) for National Forest System (NFS) lands in the State of Idaho. DATES:
Effective Date:
This rule is effective October 16, 2008.

Idaho Roadless Rule Team Leader Brad Gilbert at (208) 765-7438.

Individuals using 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 Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document serves as both notice of final rule and record of decision.

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