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45-day Objection Period Begins August 26 on Draft Decision for Apache Leap Special Management Area Management Plan

PHOENIX, August 25, 2017 — 
Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth’s selection of the Proposed Action for the Apache Leap Special Management Area management plan – which recommends approval of the management plan while concurrently amending the forest plan — is subject to the pre-decisional objection procedures identified in 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 219 subpart B.

Objections must be submitted within 45 calendar days following the August 25 publication of a legal notice in the Arizona Capitol Times(link is external). The objection period starts one day later on August 26. However, the publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Note that regulations prohibit extending the time to file an objection.

Those who may file an objection are individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments during opportunities provided for public comment during the planning and environmental review process for this decision. Only those who provided a substantive formal comment will be eligible to object to the proposed decision. Comments are considered substantive when they are within the scope of the proposal, are specific to the proposal, have a direct relationship to the proposal, and include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider.

At a minimum, the objection must include the following (36 CFR 219.54(c)):

  • The objector’s name and address, along with a telephone number or email address if available;
  • Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection);
  • Identification of the lead objector, when multiple names are listed on an objection. Verification of the identity of the lead objector if requested;
  • The name of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision being objected to, and the name and title of the responsible official;
  • A statement of the issues and/or the parts of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision to which the objection applies;
  • A concise statement explaining the objection and suggesting how the proposed plan decision may be improved. If applicable, the objector should identify how the objector believes that the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is inconsistent with law, regulation, or policy; and
  • A statement that demonstrates the link between prior substantive formal comments attributed to the objector and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment.

Incorporation of documents by reference is permitted only as provided in 36 CFR 219.54(b). It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure timely filing of a written objection with the reviewing officer pursuant to 36 CFR 219.56(c). All objections will be available for public inspection during and after the objection process.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, express delivery, or messenger service (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays) to Cal Joyner, Regional Forester, Southwestern Region, at the following addresses.

  • Mail: 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102;
  • FAX: (505) 842-3800;
  • Email: objections-southwestern-regional-office@fs.fed.us(link sends e-mail) with Subject: Apache Leap SMA.
    • Electronically filed objections may be submitted by email in word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), portable document format (.pdf), and hypertext markup language (.html).

Related documents – including the Draft Decision Notice, Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI), a final version of the Management Plan, and the Legal Notice — are available for review on the project Web site at: https://www.apacheleapsma.us/.

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