Environmental statements; availability, etc.: Headwaters Forest and Elk Head Springs Forest, CA; Headwaters Forest acquisition, habitat conservation plan, and sustained yield plan,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: January 22, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 14)]

[Notices]

[Page 3483-3486]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr22ja99-37]

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[I.D. 011399B]

Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report and Habitat Conservation Plan/ Sustained Yield Plan for the Headwaters Forest Project

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce; Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of a joint final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)/Sustained Yield Plan (SYP) relating to several proposed actions by the Secretary of the Interior, FWS, NMFS, California Wildlife Conservation Board, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), and alternatives to those actions intended to achieve the following: to protect, in accordance with the Federal and state Endangered Species Acts (ESAs), species listed as threatened or endangered under one or both of the ESAs; to provide permanent protection for the Headwaters Forest and Elk Head Springs Forest through their transfer into public ownership; to provide for sustained production of timber products, consistent with Federal and state laws, on lands owned by The Pacific Lumber Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Scotia Pacific Company, L.L.C., and Salmon Creek Corporation (hereafter collectively referred to as ``PALCO''); and to reduce public controversy regarding PALCO's management of its timberlands, particularly the Headwaters Forest.

DATES: Decisions on the above actions will occur no sooner than February 22, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the final EIS/EIR or HCP should be addressed to Mr. Bruce Halstead, Field Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1125 16th Street, Room 209, Arcata, CA 95521-5582. Written comments may be sent by facsimile to (707) 822-8411. Comments on the SYP may be mailed to Jon Munn, California Department of

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Forestry and Fire Protection, State Headquarters, P.O. Box 944246, Sacramento, California 94244-2460. Please see Additional addresses in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for additional information on the availability of the final EIS/EIR, HCP, and SYP.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bruce Halstead, FWS, (707) 822-7201, Craig Wingert, NMFS, (562) 980-4020, or Allen Robertson, CDF, (916) 657-0300.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Secretary of the Interior, California Wildlife Conservation Board, FWS, NMFS, CDF, and CDFG propose the following actions: (1) Acquisition by the United States and the State of California from PALCO of the approximately 4,500-acre Headwaters Forest, which includes 2,700 acres of old-growth redwood trees, and the approximately 1,125-acre Elk Head Springs Forest, which includes about 425 acres of old-growth redwood trees; (2) funding by the United States and the State of California of the purchase of approximately 9,600 acres of Elk River Timber Company property, about 7,755 acres of which will be transferred to PALCO as part of the consideration to PALCO for the Headwaters and Elk Head Springs Forests, and 1,845 acres of which will be transferred to the United States and the State of California and preserved as a buffer for the Headwaters Forest. The combined area of the acquired Headwaters and Elk Head Springs Forests, plus the Elk River property to be transferred to the United States and the State of California, is approximately 7,500 acres; (3) payment by the United States and the State of California of $300 million to PALCO as payment for the Headwaters and Elk Head Springs Forest, and up to $80 million to the Elk River Timber Company as payment for the Elk River Property; (4) issuance by FWS and NMFS of Federal incidental take permits under section 10(a) of the Federal ESA covering take of threatened and endangered species on PALCO's timberlands based on an HCP that meets the requirements of the Federal ESA and other applicable laws and regulations; (5) approval by CDF of PALCO's SYP, including measures and plans addressing state-listed and federally listed species; (6) issuance by CDFG of a state incidental take permit that meets the requirements of the California ESA and other applicable laws and regulations; and (7) execution by CDFG of a streambed alteration agreement pursuant to Fish and Game Code, section 1600 to 1607.

On December 27, 1996, a notice was published in the Federal Register (61 FR 68285) announcing the intent to prepare a joint EIS/EIR on actions associated with the Headwaters transaction, including issuance of incidental take permits under the Federal ESA, and inviting comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR. Comments were received and considered and were reflected in the draft EIS/EIR. By a Federal Register notice dated July 14, 1998 (63 FR 39700), NMFS and FWS (the Services) announced the availability for public review and comment of applications for Federal incidental take permits filedby PALCO under section 10(a) of the Federal ESA. The applications include a proposed HCP and a proposed Implementation Agreement (IA) that addressed species conservation and ecosystem management on approximately 211,700 acres of land, primarily in the coastal redwood zone of Humboldt County, California, currently owned by PALCO or to be acquired as part of the Headwaters transaction. PALCO has requested permits to incidentally take six federally listed species: the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus), and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and requested that 30 currently proposed and other unlisted species be included on the permits.

The proposed HCP, among other things, was also intended to satisfy the requirements for a SYP under California state law and the requirements for an incidental take permit under section 2081(b) of the California ESA. In a subsequent September 23, 1998, Federal Register notice (63 FR 50883), the Services announced that the public comment period on PALCO's proposed HCP and SYP, scheduled to close on October 13, 1998, had been extended until November 16, 1998, to coincide with the public comment period on the draft EIS/EIR. The notice also advised the public of several additional provisions being considered by FWS, CDFG, and NMFS for inclusion in the incidental take permits as a result of the enactment of Assembly Bill 1986 by the California State Legislature. By a Federal Register notice dated October 2, 1998 (63 FR 53089), the Services announced the availability of the draft EIS/EIR for public review and comment.

The Services and CDF received approximately 18,000 comments on the HCP, SYP, and draft EIS/EIR. Changes have been made to the documents in response to public comments, agency concerns, and the enactment of AB 1986. Nineteen species proposed for coverage under the HCP initially submitted by PALCO have been dropped, and additional measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of take of the 17 remaining covered species and to improve monitoring and enforcement of the permits have been added. The species identified for permit coverage in the final proposed HCP include the 6 federally listed species named above, 3 of which are also listed under the California ESA, 1 species listed solely under the California ESA, and 10 species which are currently not listed under either Federal or California ESAs.

Other changes made to the HCP submitted by PALCO address mitigation for both terrestrial and aquatic covered species. With respect to the marbled murrelet, the final proposed HCP adds 270 acres to the Owl Creek Marbled Murrelet Conservation Area (MMCA) and 350 acres to the Grizzly Creek tract. The HCP also provides for protection of the Owl Creek MMCA for the life of the incidental take permits (ITPs), prohibits all timber harvest activities in the Grizzly Creek tract for a period of 5 years, and provides for protection of the Grizzly Creek tract as an MMCA for the life of the ITPs if necessary to avoid jeopardy to the marbled murrelet. The final proposed HCP also includes additional daily and seasonal restrictions on timber harvest activities to minimize impacts to the murrelet. Additional provisions to minimize impacts to the northern spotted owl and other terrestrial species have been included in the HCP.

With respect to the coho salmon and other covered aquatic species, the final proposed HCP requires measures including a 100-foot (30.5 meter) no cut buffer on all Class I streams and a 30-foot (9.1 meter) no cut buffer on all Class II streams pending completion of watershed analysis and a minimum 30-foot (9.1 meter) no cut buffer on Class I streams and a maximum 170-foot (51.8 meter) no cut buffer on Class I and Class II streams after watershed analysis has been completed. Additional measures designed to minimize impacts from mass wasting, wet weather road use, road construction and other activities, and to address cumulative impacts have also been included in the HCP.

Detailed monitoring plans have been developed and included in the final HCP that will assist FWS, NMFS, and CDFG in evaluating the effectiveness of the HCP's conservation and management measures and PALCO's

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compliance with terms and conditions of the HCP. The IA also requires that PALCO fund an independent on-site HCP monitor approved by FWS, NMFS, and CDFG to oversee the company's compliance with the terms and conditions of the HCP.

The final EIS/EIR analyzes the environmental impacts of the HCP submitted by PALCO with the added minimization and mitigation measures summarized above and four alternatives to the HCP, including the ``no action'' alternative. The final EIS/EIR also analyses the impacts of the SYP submitted by PALCO.

The final EIS/EIR is intended to accomplish the following: (1) Inform the public of the final proposed action and alternatives; (2) address public comments received during the comment period; (3) disclose the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the final proposed action and each of the alternatives; and (4) indicate any irreversible commitment of resources that would result from implementation of the final proposed action.

This notice is provided pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508).

Additional Addresses

Copies of the final EIS/EIR, HCP, and SYP or portions thereof, can be obtained at the following copy centers for duplication and mailing charges: Sir Speedy, 601 North Market Boulevard, Room 350, Sacramento, California 95834, (916) 927-7171; Kinko's, 2021 Fifth Street, Eureka, California 95501, (707)-445-3334; Kinko's, Stanyan Street and Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, California 94118, (415) 750-1193; and Kinko's, 835 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100, Los Angeles, California 90017, (213) 892-1700. The final EIS/EIR, HCP and SYP will be available at The California Environmental Resources Evaluation System website at http://ceres.ca.gov/ and through the FWS website at http:// www.r1.fws.gov/text/species.html. Copies of the final document can be obtained by contacting FWS, 911 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232, (503) 231-2068. The document will also be available for review at the following Government offices and libraries:

Government Offices

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Humboldt-Del Norte Ranger Unit, 118 South Fortuna Boulevard, Fortuna, California 95540, (707) 725-4413; California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Coast-Cascade Region Headquarters, 135 Ridgeway Avenue, P.O. Box 670, Santa Rosa, California 95401, (707) 576-2959; California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, State Headquarters, P.O. Box 9442446, Sacramento, California 94244-2460, (916) 653- 5843; Fish and Wildlife Service, Coastal California Fish and Wildlife Office, 1125 16th Street, Room 209, Arcata, California 95521-5582, (707) 822-7201; Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 3310 El Camino Avenue, Suite 120, Sacramento, California 95821-6310, (916) 979- 2710; National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, California 95404-6515, (310) 980-4001; and California Department of Fish and Game, 619 Second Street, Eureka, California 95501, (707) 441-5672.

Libraries

Alameda Free Library, 2264 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, California 94501-4506, (510) 748-4669; Alameda County Library, 2450 Stevenson Boulevard, Fremont, California 94538-2326, (510) 505-7001; Anaheim Public Library, 500 W. Broadway, Anaheim, California 92805-3699, (714) 765-1810; Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, California 94704-1491, (510) 644-6100; California State Library, Information and Reference Center, 914 Capitol Mall, Room 301, Sacramento, California 95814, (916) 654-0261; Colusa County Free Library, 738 Market Street, Colusa, California 95932-2398, (530) 458- 7671; Contra Costa County Library, 1750 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, California 94523-4497, (510) 646-6423; Del Norte County Library District, 190 Price Mall, Crescent City, California 95531-4395, (707) 464-9793; Humboldt County Library, 1313 Third Street, Eureka, California 95501-1088, (707) 269-1900; Humboldt State University Library, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California 95521, (707) 826-4939; Lake County Library, 1425 N. High Street, Lakeport, California 95453-3800, (707) 263-8816; Long Beach Public Library, 101 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, California 90822-1097, (562) 570-6291; Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles, California 90071-2097, (213) 228-7515; County of Los Angeles Public Library, 7400 E. Imperial Highway, Downey, California 90242-7011, (562) 940-8462; Marin County Free Library, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, California 94903-4188, (415) 499-6051; Mendocino County Library, 105 N. Main Street, Ukiah, California 95482-4482, (707) 463-4491; Menlo Park Public Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park, California 94025-3460, (650) 858-3460; Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin Street, Mountain View, California 94041-1998, (650) 903-6335; National City Public Library, 200 E. 12th Street, National City, California 91950- 3314, (619) 336-4280; Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, California 92660, (714) 717-3800; Oakland Public Library, 125 14th Street, Oakland, California 94612-4397, (510) 238- 3633; Ontario City Library, 215 E. C Street, Ontario, California 91764- 4198, (909) 988-8481;Orange Public Library (under renovation), El Modena Branch Library (alternative), 380 S. Hewes, Orange, California 92869, (714) 288-2471; Orange County Public Library, 1501 E. St. Andrew Place, Santa Ana, California 92705, (714) 566-3000; Oxnard Public Library, 251 South A Street, Oxnard, California 93030-5750, (805) 385- 7500; Palo Alto City Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto, California 94303-2999, (650) 329-2516; Pasadena Public Library, 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, California 91101-1598, (626) 744-4033; Redwood City Public Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, California 94063- 1868, (650) 780-7061; Sacramento Public Library, 828 In Street, Sacramento, California 95814-2589, (916) 264-2770; San Bruno Public Library, 701 Angus Avenue W., San Bruno, California 94066-3490, (650) 877-8878; San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, California 94102-4796, (415) 557-4400; San Jose Public Library, 180 W. San Carlos Street, San Jose, California 95113-2096, (408) 277-4822; San Mateo Public Library, 55 W. Third Avenue, San Mateo, California 94402-1592, (650) 377-4685; San Mateo County Library, 25 Tower Road, San Mateo, California 94402-4000, (650) 312-5258; San Rafael Public Library, 1100 E Street, San Rafael, California 94901- 1907, (415) 485-3323; Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101, (805) 962-7653; Santa Clara Public Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, California 95051- 5322, (408) 984-3236; Santa Clara County Library, 1095 N. Seventh Street, San Jose, California 95112-4446, (408) 293-2326; Santa Cruz Public Library, 224 Church Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060-3873, (408) 429-3532; Santa Monica Public Library, 1343 Sixth Street, Santa Monica, California 90401-1610, (310) 458-8608; Shasta County Library, 1855 Shasta Street, Redding, California 96001-0460, (530) 225-5769; Siskiyou County Free Library, 719 Fourth Street, Yreka, California 96097-3381, (530) 842-8175; Sonoma County

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Library, Third and E Streets, Santa Rosa, California 95404-4400, (707) 545-0831; South San Francisco Public Library, 840 W. Orange Avenue, South San Francisco, California 94080-3124, (650) 829-3872; Tehama County Library, 645 Madison Street, Red Bluff, California 96080-3383, (530) 527-0607; Trinity County Free Library, 211 N. Main Street, Weaverville, California 96093-1226, (530) 623-1373; Ventura County Library Services, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, California 93009, (805) 662-6756; Central Library, 801 SW. 10th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205, (503) 248-5123; Houston Public Library, 500 McKinney Street, Houston, Texas 77002, (713) 247-2222; National Clearinghouse Library, 624 Ninth Street, NW, 600, Washington, D.C. 20425, (202) 376-8110; and New York Public Library, 455 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10016, (212) 340-0849.

Dated: January 11, 1999. Michael J. Spear, Manager, California Nevada Operation Office, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, Sacramento, California.

Dated: January 15, 1999. Kevin Collins, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[FR Doc. 99-1457Filed1-21-99; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-F