PORTLAND, Ore. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) invites public input in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), which would provide a collaborative strategy to balance forest research and management activities with the conservation of rare species and their habitat on the Elliott State Forest. This announcement opens a 30-day public scoping period.
The Oregon Department of State Lands is preparing the HCP in support of their request for incidental take permits from the Service and NOAA Fisheries, a cooperating agency. Covered species will likely include the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and Oregon Coast coho.
“The public scoping phase provides valuable stakeholder involvement that helps us identify issues and alternatives related to the proposed action,” said Paul Henson, state supervisor for the Service’s Oregon office. “We want input from all interested parties to ensure the planning process is inclusive and has addressed all possible issues and concerns.”
The Service will hold a virtual public meeting on May 16, 2022, from 6 to 8 p.m. (Pacific Time). The meeting will include a presentation followed by questions and discussion on the EIS process. A link and access instructions to the virtual meeting will be posted to http://www.fws.gov/office/oregon-fish-and-wildlife at least one week prior to the public meeting date.
Public comments can be submitted in writing via:
- Internet: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2022–0029.
- U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing; Attn: Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2022–0029; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: PRB/3W; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
Input will be used to prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act. If granted, the incidental take permit would authorize incidental take of the covered species resulting from the covered activities for a proposed period of 80 years.
For more information about habitat conservation plans, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/sites/default/files/documents/habitat-conservation-plan-fact-sheet.pdf
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/office/oregon-fish-and-wildlifeor connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.