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Walton Lake Restoration Project #47019

Commenting on This Project

Walton Lake Restoration Project -  Objection Period

The Ochoco National Forest has completed a Revised Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Decision Notice (DN) for forest management in the Walton Lake Developed Recreation Management Area; these documents are now available for pre-decisional administrative review (objection).  Walton Lake is a developed recreation area located about 31 miles northeast of Prineville Oregon which is popular for fishing camping hiking and generally enjoying the outdoors.  According to the Ochoco Forest Plan the goal for this area is “to provide safe healthful and aesthetic facilities for people to utilize while they are pursuing a variety of recreational experiences within a relatively natural outdoor setting.”  Forest health issues in the area prevent this goal from being fully realized. 

The Draft DN describes the reasons for the Forest’s proposed decision to select Alternative 2 of the EA.  The EA analyzes four alternatives:  Alternative 1 (No Action); Alternative 2 (Proposed Action); Alternative 3 (safety buffer); and Alternative 4 (No treatment of laminated root rot and no removal of large trees).  Shane Jeffries the Ochoco Forest Supervisor is the Responsible Official for the project and is proposing to implement Alternative 2. 

Alternative 2 involves a total of 178 acres of treatment:  35 acres commercial sanitation harvest to remove species susceptible to and infected with laminated root rot followed by reforestation with ponderosa pine and western larch 43 acres commercial thinning and 100 acres of non-commercial thinning to reduce competition stress on residual ponderosa pine plus planting a variety of hardwood species.  Alternative 2 also includes four project-specific Forest Plan Amendments:  1) allowing a net loss of LOS; 2) allowing harvest of trees ≥21” DBH; 3) short-term change to visual quality objective; 4) waiver of patch size.  

Specific actions connected actions and resource protection measures are described in the EA and DN which are available on the project web page:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47019.  If you require a print copy of the EA please contact Beth Peer at 541-416-6463.

How to Object and Timeframe

This project is subject to pre-decisional administrative review pursuant to 36 CFR 218 Subpart B (also called the “objection process”).  The full text of the rule can be found here:  

http://federal.eregulations.us/cfr/title/5/28/2013/title36/chapterII/part218

Only individuals or organizations that submitted specific written or oral comments during a designated opportunity for public participation may object (36 CFR 218.5). Notices of objection must meet the requirements of 36 CFR 218.8. Objections can be submitted in writing either electronically or in hard copy and must be filed with the Reviewing Officer within 45 days from the date of publication of the legal notice announcing the opportunity to object; the legal notice is published in The Bulletin newspaper of Bend Oregon. The legal notice publication date is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection.  Those wishing to file an objection to this decision should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. Mailed objections must be received before the close of the fifth business day after the objection filing period closes.

Incorporation of documents by reference is not allowed except for the following list of items that may be referenced by including date page and section of the cited document along with a description of its content and applicability to the objection: 1) all or any part of a federal law or regulation; 2) Forest Service directives and land management plans; 3) documents referenced by the Forest Service in the subject EIS or EA; or 4) comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during public involvement opportunities for the proposed project where written comments were requested by the responsible official. All other documents must be included with the objection.

Minimum requirements of an objection are described at 36 CFR 218.8(d). An objection must include a description of those aspects of the proposed project addressed by the objection including specific issues related to the proposed project; if applicable how the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates the law regulation or policy; suggested remedies that will resolve the objection; supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider; and a statement that demonstrates the connection between prior specific written comments on the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the designated opportunities for comment.

There are several options for submitting objections.  At this time we strongly encourage you to submit objections electronically. 

Electronically

Electronic objections will be accepted on the form below through the this Forest Service online comment system (CARA).

(Note that once-monthly updates to the system can briefly interfere with the public’s ability to upload objections.)

An alternative method for electronic submission is to this email:  objections-pnw-regional-office@usda.gov  Please put OBJECTION and the project name in the subject line.  

Electronic objections must be submitted as part of an actual e-mail message or as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) rich text format (.rtf) or portable document format (.pdf) only.  For electronically mailed objections the sender should receive an automated electronic acknowledgement from the agency as confirmation of receipt.  If the sender does not receive an automated acknowledgement of receipt of the objection it is the sender’s responsibility to ensure timely receipt by other means.

Postal Mail or Delivery

Objections delivered by mail must be postmarked by the closing day of the objection filing period and received before close of the fifth business day following the end of the objection period.  If you are using postal mail or carrier (UPS/FedEx) please notify Debbie Anderson (debbie.anderson2@usda.gov or 503-808-2286) so that we may ensure your objection has been received.

Regional Forester (Reviewing Officer)

Pacific Northwest Regional Office

Attn: 1570 Objections

P.O. Box 3623

Portland OR 97208-3623

 

For FedEx or UPS deliveries please send to:

Regional Forester (Reviewing Officer)

Pacific Northwest Regional Office

Attn: 1570 Objections

1220 SW Third Avenue

Portland OR 97204

Hand Delivery

Hand-delivery/Fax: Objections can only be hand-delivered or faxed by appointment at this time due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and Executive Order by Governor Brown. Please call Debbie Anderson at 503-808-2286 to make an appointment to hand-deliver your objection or request the fax number.

For more information please contact Beth Peer at (541) 416-6463 or via email at beth.peer@usda.gov

 

Submitting Comments

If you wish to submit a comment, please send it to:

Beth Peer
Ochoco National Forest All Units
3160 N.E. 3rd Street , Prineville, OR, 97754
beth.peer@usda.gov