PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

AGENCY: USDA, Forest Service

ACTION:  SOLICITATION OF 30-DAY COMMENTS and NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

Opportunity to Comment on Project PARTNER on Ava

The Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District (ACWRD) of the Mark Twain National Forest is seeking your comments on project PARTNER (Programmatic Adaptive Restoration of Terrestrial Ecological Resources) on Ava.  The project area encompasses all of the 1.1 and 1.2 management prescription areas on the Ava Unit of the ACWRD (56,739 acres). The primary objective of the project is to restore natural communities to desired condition as defined by the Mark Twain Forest Plan and adaptively maintain desired condition.  The project will also authorize the expansion of existing prescribed fire units to improve efficacy, costs/acre, and safety of burning operations.  The project analysis and subsequent decision will be completed in consideration of relevant environmental effects.  The ACWRD District Ranger is considering public comments on this project before completing an environmental analysis or making a final decision.  The ACWRD District Ranger is the Responsible Official for this project and has determined that this is the most effective time to provide notice of the opportunity to comment under 36 CFR 218.22.  Scoping and 30-day comment periods will run concurrently.  A public meeting for this project will be held on Thursday, October 3rd at 6:00PM at the Ava City Hall, located at: 404 S. Jefferson St., Ava, MO 65608.  Additional information about this proposal is available on our website at:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mtnf/projects.  To obtain more information about this project, please contact William Stasey at (417) 683-4428 ext. 131 or [email protected]  

How to Comment and Timeframe

Comments on this proposal will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of this notice in the Springfield News-Leader.  If the 30th day falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the comment period ends the next business day.  The publication date in this newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this analysis.  Comments become part of the public record.  Submit written comments to District Ranger, Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District, 1006 S. Jefferson, Ava, Missouri  65608.  Fax comments to (417) 683-5722 or email them to [email protected] (subject line:  Project PARTNER on Ava Comments).  Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf) or Word (.doc).  

Appeal Eligibility (36 CFR 218)

The comment and objection process for this project will follow 36 CFR 218 parts A and B.  Only those who submit timely “specific written comments” during any designated opportunity for public participation, specifically this combined scoping period and 30-day comment period, will be eligible to file an objection based on the final analysis and draft decision document.  For the purposes of this rule, “specific written comments” should be 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 (36 CFR 218.2). 

Other eligibility requirements are identified at 36 CFR 218.25(a)(3) and include name, postal address, title of the project, identity of the individual or entity who authored the comments, and signature or other verification of identity upon request.  If you do not wish to provide comments at this time, but wish to receive notification when the Environmental Assessment/Draft Decision Notice is available, please let us know.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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