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U.S. FOREST SERVICE PERMITTING PROCESS

Role and responsibility

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is a cooperating agency on the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H). The USFS has adopted the Final EIS prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the lead agency for the NEPA process. The proposed route submitted by Idaho Power Company crosses federal lands administered by the USFS, and the USFS will issue a separate Record of Decision (ROD) for actions on National Forest System (NFS) lands, based upon the analysis in the Final EIS.

The USFS must determine whether to issue a special use authorization for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the project and, if issued, what terms and conditions should apply.

USFS Record of Decision

The USFS announced availability of its Draft ROD June 6, 2018. The Draft ROD explains the proposed decisions and rationale to authorize B2H Project-related actions affecting National Forest System (NFS) lands and to amend portions of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan). The Agency Preferred Alternative crosses NFS lands for about seven miles, or about two percent, of its total 293-mile length. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor, Tom Montoya, is the responsible official for the USFS decision.

The Draft ROD is available on the USFS project webpage.

Objection process

The Draft ROD and Final EIS are subject to an objection process. Objections are accepted during a 45-day period beginning June 7, 2018, the day after legal notice was published in the newspaper of record, the Baker City Herald.

Filing an objection

The objection process provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to file an objection to a project before the final decision is signed. This allows interested individuals and organizations to advise the Deciding Official about concerns regarding the final decision before the decision is made. Only individuals or organizations that submitted specific written or oral comments during a designated opportunity for public participation (in this case, during scoping in 2008 and 2010, the Applicant’s Community Advisory Process in 2009-20 10, or the 90-day public comment period on the draft EIS in 2014-2015) may object.

Objections may be sent via mail (USPS), email, by hand or fax as follows.

  • Postal delivery (via USPS) to Reviewing Officer, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service, Attn. 1570 Appeals and Objections, P0 Box 3623, Portland, OR 97208-3623.
  • Emailed to objections-pnw-regional-office@fs.fed.us with OBJECTION and “Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project” in the subject line. Electronic objections must be submitted as part of an actual email message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document format (.pdf) only. Emails submitted to addresses other than the ones listed above or in formats other than those listed above or containing viruses will be rejected. It is the responsibility of the objector to confirm receipt of objections submitted by electronic mail. For electronically mailed objections, the sender should normally receive an automated electronic acknowledgement from the agency as confirmation of receipt. If the sender does not receive an automated acknowledgement of receipt, it is the sender’s responsibility to ensure timely receipt by other means;
  • Hand delivered to Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Hand deliveries can occur between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday — Friday, except legal holidays; or
  • Faxed to 503-808-2339, with OBJECTION and “Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project” noted on the cover sheet.

Objections, including names, physical addresses, email addresses, or other personal information provided, will be part of the public record for this proposed action and will be posted to the web.

Please see the “Dear Interested Party” letter from Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya for more information on the Draft ROD and objection process. This and other document related to the USFS process are also available on the USFS project webpage.

For additional information concerning this project, the NEPA documents, or how to participate in the predecisional objection and review process, contact:

Dea Nelson, Environmental Coordinator
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
1550 Dewey Avenue, Suite A
Baker City, Oregon 97814
dnelson09@fs.fed.us
541-523-1216


This website is the joint Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project site. While information contained on this site is approved for posting by the BLM, it is not the official BLM website. For more general BLM information, visit the BLM website.