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Wasson and Franklin Creeks Comprehensive River Management Plan

Published March 25th, 2021 in Conservation, UW Blogs

The Siuslaw National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Coos Bay District invite you to provide input as we begin the planning process for the Wasson and Franklin Creeks Comprehensive River Management Plan. Segments of Wasson Creek and Franklin Creek were designated as additions to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 (Public Law 116-9). The designated river segments include 10.1 miles of Wasson Creek and 4.5 miles of Franklin Creek.

 

The project is located in the central Oregon Coast Range, approximately 20 miles east of Reedsport and 70 miles southwest of Eugene. Wasson Creek is located on lands managed by the Coos Bay District of the BLM and the US Forest Service’s (USFS) Siuslaw National Forest. Franklin Creek is exclusively located on lands managed by the Siuslaw National Forest. The Coos Bay District and Siuslaw National Forest are pursuing an interagency strategy for the management of these wild and scenic rivers.

The Siuslaw National Forest and Coos Bay District have been managing these segments and interim corridors as wild rivers since they were designated in 2019. According to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, a comprehensive river management plan shall be completed within three full fiscal years after the date of designation.

We have identified you as an individual, agency, or organization with potential interest in commenting on our proposal. The scoping packet provides background information, purpose and need, and the proposed action, including recreational user capacity, river corridor boundaries, potential management actions, forest plan amendment, and maps. A Rivers Value Report has also been prepared, and this report describes the current conditions within the river corridors and the rationale for the river value determinations.

The scoping packet and other information is also available for review on the Forest Service project website:     https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59324

An online map that utilizes ArcGIS Online software has also been developed to help display some of the information in this scoping packet, including project background and the proposed final boundaries, in an interactive map format. The map can be accessed at: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/270745361b3d4205a1bdb6eff93f6934 The project website and interactive map will be the primary ways the Forest Service and BLM provide information about the project.

 

How to Comment

The purpose of this letter is to invite your participation during our public scoping process. Any comments you may have at this stage of project development are welcome. If you have information you feel the Agencies may not be aware of, or have concerns regarding this proposed action, please send that information in writing to one of the addresses at the end of this letter. We anticipate that the level of review necessary for this proposal will be covered through an Environmental Assessment (EA).

Public involvement is a key element of the land management planning process. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act provide the framework for public participation in the federal decision-making process. Public input at this point will help identify issues associated with this planning process and guide development of possible alternatives to the proposed action. Comments will again be solicited from the public and other federal, state, and local agencies when a preliminary assessment and draft comprehensive river management plan are available.

The Forest Service objection process is outlined below. The BLM appeal process will be provided at the time of decision. We would like your comments by April 23, 2021.

 

Forest Service Objection Process

Only individuals or entities (as defined by 36 CFR 218.2) who submit timely and specific written comments (as defined by 36 CFR 218.2) about this proposed project or activity during this or another public comment period established by the responsible official will be eligible to file an objection. Other eligibility requirements are defined by 36 CFR 218.25 (a)(3) and include name, postal address, title of the project, signature or other verification of identity upon request, and the identity of the individual or entity who authored the comments. Individual members of an entity must submit their own individual comments to have eligibility to object as an individual.

The programmatic amendment to the Siuslaw Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) is subject to 36 CFR 219, Subpart B. Only individuals or entities who have submitted substantive formal comment to the plan amendment during the opportunities for public comment, including this scoping period (36 CFR 219.53) are eligible to object. Other eligibility requirements are defined by 36 CFR 219.54(c) and include name, postal address, title of the project, signature or other verification of identity upon request, and the identity of the individual or entity who authored the comments.

 

Written Comments

Electronic comments including attachments may be submitted electronically in word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), hypertext markup language (.html), or portable document format (.pdf). Specific written comments may also be submitted via mail to the Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor’s Office and the Coos Bay District’s Umpqua Field Office. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Websitehttps://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59324

The link to the comment system is  located on the right side of the project web page.

Mail Delivery:

Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331, Wild and Scenic River Planning Comments, Attn: Trevor Robinson

or

BLM Coos Bay District, Umpqua Field Office, 1300 Airport Lane, North Bend, OR 97459, Wild and Scenic River Planning Comments, Attn: Aimee Hoefs

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will become part of the public record for this proposed action and may be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agencies with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents nor will they provide the respondent with standing to participate in subsequent administrative review.

Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may request the agency to withhold a submission from the public record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be aware that, under the FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The Forest Service will inform the requester of the agency’s decision regarding the request for confidentiality, and where the requester is denied, the agency will return the submission and notify the requestor that the comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within seven days.

 

Project Contact

For questions, please contact Jodi Leingang, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at 509-930-4014 or jodi.leingang@usda.gov

 

Thank you for your interest in this project.

 

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