Vegetation Management Project Update - US Forest Service
POSTED ON BEHALF OF THE US FOREST SERVICE:
The Saco Ranger District of the White Mountain National Forest welcomes comments on the Sandwich Vegetation Management Project. The project area includes approximately 1,400 acres of National Forest System lands in the Sandwich Habitat Management Unit of the White Mountain National Forest in Carroll County, New Hampshire. We are proposing a combination of silvicultural and fuels treatments to advance goals, objectives, and desired conditions of the White Mountain National Forest Land and Management Plan (Forest Plan) for vegetation, wildlife, and other resources. The project will also implement actions to address transportation system needs.
We have prepared a draft environmental assessment and preliminary finding of no significant impact of the proposed action to provide the public and other stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the proposal. The draft environmental assessment and preliminary finding of no significant impact can be found on our project website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57392.
Comment Process and Timeframes
A comment period was previously conducted from July 31, 2023, through August 30, 2023. Due to commenter difficulties with submitting comments, we are offering this additional comment period. The District is also offering a site visit which will begin at the Ferncroft Trailhead outside Wonalancet Village, New Hampshire, on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The proposed project is an activity implementing a land management plan and subject to the objection process described in 36 CFR 218, subparts A and B. The public is encouraged to provide specific written comments on this proposal, including supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider. Specific written comments are within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider (§218.2).
Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of the legal notice in The New Hampshire Union Leader. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period, and those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The comment period is computed using calendar days, including Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays. When the time period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, the time is extended to the end of the next federal working day. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.
Electronic comments are preferred and may be submitted along with attachments via the Comment Analysis and Response Application web form portal at https://cara.fs2c.usda.gov/Public//CommentInput?Project=57392. Acceptable formats for electronic comments include rich text (rtf), Word (doc or docx), and pdf. Hardcopy written comments will also be accepted and may be submitted to Jim Innes, District Ranger, USDA Forest Service, Saco Ranger District, 33 Kancamagus Highway, Conway, NH 03818. Hardcopy comments may also be hand-delivered at the same address during regular business hours (Monday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday - Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, excluding holidays).
It is the responsibility of persons providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period. Only individuals or organizations who submit timely and specific written comments about this project during designated opportunities for public comments will be eligible to file an objection under §218.5. For objection eligibility, each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments must either sign the comment or verify identity upon request. Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements in §218.25(a)(3). Names and contact information submitted with comments will become part of the public record and may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.
If the agency determines there are no significant impacts, that finding along with the environmental assessment and a draft decision notice will be published for a 45-day objection period. If the environmental assessment concludes there is potential for significant impacts, then an environmental impact statement will need to be prepared.
For More Information
For additional information regarding this project, contact Jim Innes, District Ranger, at 603-447-5448 x5102, or firstname.lastname@example.org.