Mr. Daniel Dake
Federal Highway Administration
PO Box 11563
Salt Lake City, Utah 84147
Dear Mr. Dake:
Within the past month there has been a considerable amount of discussion concerning several subjects related to the environmental analysis being prepared for the proposed Logan Canyon Highway project. This letter documents the Forest Service position concerning those subjects.
As we both agreed at our April 1, meeting, it is very desirable for us to concur on a preferred alternative. However, the Wasatch-Cache National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, which is a document required by law, provides direction which must be followed until it is amended or revised. This does not mean that the environmental analysis process for Logan Canyon Highway should not address alternatives outside the standards and guides of the Forest Plan. We must remember, however that if the alternative selected in this process does not comply with Forest Plan direction, the Forest Plan will have to be amended prior to Forest Service concurrence with the decision. If the preferred alternative requires a Forest Plan amendment, we will expect this current environmental analysis process to provide the appropriate analysis and NEPA documentation to support that amendment.
Regional Forester, Stan Tixier is the responsible official for the Forest Service and will approve the Decision Notice or Record of Decision. However, as Forest Supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest I will be responsible for insuring that the NEPA process and documentation is adequate to support the Forest Service decision. I also have responsibility for recommending Forest Plan amendments or revisions to the Regional Forester. If the final decision requires an amendment to the Forest Plan, the Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement under preparation must contain documentation of the analysis necessary to make that recommendation. If it doesn't, the Forest Service will have to take the time at a later date to conduct a separate analysis and prepare the appropriate NEPA documents. We sincerely hope that one document will be adequate.
At an April 30 meeting, Rudy Lukez and other concerned citizens expressed some confusion as to the role and position the Forest Service is taking on the ID team which is conducting the environmental analysis for the Logan Canyon Highway project. The following should help clarify that situation. Fred LaBar, Clark Ostergaard, and Don Duff (Don replaced Mark Shaw) are members of the ID team from the Forest Service. Fred LaBar is the official Forest Service spokesperson on the team and also obtains information from Forest Service technical people
for the ID team. Clark Ostergaard and Don Duff are working members of the ID team, they provide technical information but are not the official Forest Service spokesperson. Fred is responsible for insuring that all alternatives are equally treated and consequences and issues are addressed. During the development of the EIS, Fred may call upon Logan District staff as well as staff from the Forest Supervisor's Office such as the Forest Engineer. These people are a resource through Fred to the Logan Canyon ID team.
The Forest Service supports an objective analysis of the Logan Canyon highway issue. The NEPA process provides necessary analysis and data whereby good decisions can be made. Therefore, we will not make a decision nor determine our position until the analysis is completed including adequate public involvement.
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