MONUMENT FIRE RECOVERY PROJECT

FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

RECORD OF DECISION and

Non-Significant Forest Plan Amendment # 57

Malheur National Forest

On April 20, 2004, Malheur National Forest Supervisor, ROGER W. WILLIAMS made a decision to implement the Preferred Alternative, Alternative 4 of the Monument Fire Recovery Project FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT.

This decision will treat approximately 3,344 acres of forested stands in the project area with fuels reduction, salvage harvest, commercial thinning, and reforestation activities to reduce future fuel loading, capture the economic value of the fire-killed trees, increase forest resiliency, and to accelerate reforestation of the area with appropriate native conifers. Activities also include 0.4 miles of temporary road construction, 7.0 miles of gated road closure, and 11.8 miles of road decommissioning. Non-significant Forest Plan Amendment #57 will allow distributing snag patches on a unit basis for better utilization by cavity nesting excavator species and not a 40-acres block basis as required by the Malheur Forest Plan. This amendment will also replace and/or re-locate Dedicated and Replacement Old Growth Areas that were deemed unsuitable due to the fire or forest stand conditions.

The Record of Decision (ROD) and FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (FEIS) are available upon request from the Prairie City Ranger District, P.O. Box 337, Prairie City, OR 97869 (541) 820-3800), either in hard copy or on compact disc, or on the WEB at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/malheur.

The Record of Decision and Malheur Forest Plan Amendment #57 are subject to appeal pursuant to Forest Service regulations at Title 36 CFR Part 215. The 45-day appeal period begins the day following the date the legal notice of this decision is published in the Blue Mountain Eagle, John Day, Oregon, the official newspaper of record. The Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Reviewing Officer at: Appeal Deciding Officer, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service, Attn. 1570 Appeals, 333 S.W. First Avenue, PO Box 3623, Portland, OR 97208-3623.

Appeals can also be filed electronically at: appeals-pacificnorthwest-regionaloffice@fs.fed.us or hand delivered to the above address between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday except legal holidays. The appeal must be postmarked or delivered within 45 days of the date the legal notice for this decision appears in the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper. The publication date of the legal notice in the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an appeal and those wishing to appeal should not rely on dates or timeframes provided by any other source.

Electronic appeals must be submitted as part of the actual e-mail message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf) or portable document format (.pdf) only. E-mails submitted to e-mail addresses other than the one listed above or in other formats than those listed or containing viruses will be rejected. Only individuals or organizations who submitted substantive comments during the comment period may appeal.

It is the responsibility of those who appeal a decision to provide the Regional Forester sufficient written evidence and rationale to show why my decision should be changed or reversed. The appeal must be filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer § 215.8 in writing. At a minimum, an appeal must include the following:

1. Appellant's name and address (§ 215.2), with a telephone number, if available;

2. Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the appeal);

3. When multiple names are listed on an appeal, identification of the lead appellant (§ 215.2) and verification of the identity of the lead appellant upon request;

4. The name of the project or activity for which the decision was made, the name and title of the Responsible Official, and the date of the decision;

5. The regulation under which the appeal is being filed, when there is an option to appeal under either this part or part 251, subpart C (§ 215.11(d));

6. Any specific change(s) in the decision that the appellant seeks and rationale for those changes;

7. Any portion(s) of the decision with which the appellant disagrees, and explanation for the disagreement;

8. Why the appellant believes the Responsible Official's decision failed to consider the substantive comments and;

9. How the appellant believes the decision specifically violates law, regulation, or policy.

On April 9, 2004, Forest Service Regional Forester, Linda Goodman determined the Monument Fire Recovery Project to be an emergency situation and exempted it from stay pursuant to 36 CFR 215.10. This means that my decision may be implemented immediately following publication in the Blue Mountain Eagle, the newspaper of record. This emergency exemption is based on the economic value the government would lose if the project were delayed during the appeal period. The value loss is estimated at over $1,977,000.

For additional information concerning the specific activities authorized with my decision, please contact: Rick Larson, ID Team Leader, or Ryan Falk, District Planner, at (541) 820-3800.

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