[Federal Register: January 22, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 14)]
[Page 3483-3486]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


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), 

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

[[Page 3484]]

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) 

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 filed by 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 

[[Page 3485]]

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 

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.


    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

[[Page 3486]]

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. 99-1457 Filed 1-21-99; 8:45 am]