The Sunny Oaks Project

The objection period for the Sunny Oaks project closed on March 4th. The Forest Service is now reviewing objections that were received.  The Draft Decision notice indicates that District Ranger Tim Slone intended to select updated Alternative 2 for implementation.

A map of areas in Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence counties west of Pedro and north towards Oak Hill

Vicinity map of the project area. Click to view larger version.

 

About the Sunny Oaks Project

This project is intended to create young, brushy forests that are largely composed of oaks and hickories, respond to insect and disease threats, and contribute to local economies through commercial timber harvests. Taking action will provide habitat for wildlife and plants that is lacking in the area.

The Sunny Oaks project is located on the Ironton Ranger District, east of State Route 93, west of State Route 141 in Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence Counties in the Symmes Creek watershed.

We shared our initial proposal for the project on April 1, 2018. We shared the purpose of the project, the proposed action, and maps with the public and asked for initial thoughts from those interested in the project. 

The project analysis was shared with the public for the comment period on the environmental assessment. The comment period was December 13, 2018 - February 14, 2019.

 

Project Presentations

Presentation 1: Introduction

A photo of Tim Slone, Ironton District Ranger

Tim Slone, Ironton District Ranger

Presenter: Tim Slone-Ironton District Ranger

View the Video (Duration: 3:15)

Download a Transcript (95 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Video Summary

This presentation introduces the Sunny Oaks Project and describes the different approach the planning team took in preparing the analysis for public review.

Presentation 2: Project Development Framework

A photo of Rachel Reed, Forest NEPA Planner

Rachel Reed, Forest NEPA Planner

Presenter: Rachel Reed, Forest NEPA Planner

View the Video (Duration: 10:56)

Download a Transcript (97 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation describes the foundation that directs the U.S. Forest Service to manage national forests for multiple benefits to the American public.

Presentation 3: Decision Framework

Presenter: Rachel Reed, Forest NEPA Planner

View the Video (Duration: 9:55)

Download a Transcript (108 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation describes the framework for making decisions to implement projects on the national forest. Brief discussion is included on what types of effects are analyzed and how agency Responsible Officials determine if those effects are significant in terms of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Presentation 4: Purpose & Need, Proposed Action, Alternatives, and Design Criteria

Presenter: Rachel Reed, Forest NEPA Planner

View the Video (Duration: 1:12:59)

Download a Transcript (167 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains why the project is needed, where it would take place if implemented, what activities are included in the Proposed Action and Alternative 2, what design criteria are included to minimize potential adverse effects, and what alternatives to the Proposed Action were considered but not analyzed in detail.

Presentation 5: Watersheds

A photo of Danding Gan, Forest Hydrologist

Danding Gan, Forest Hydrologist

Presenter: Danding Gan, Forest Hydrologist

View the Video (Duration: 40:52)

Download a Transcript (134 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains the consideration of effects related to watershed resources if the Proposed Action or Alternative 2 were implemented.

Presentation 6: Soils

Presenter: Danding Gan, Forest Hydrologist

View the Video (Duration: 23:13)

Download a Transcript (106 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains the consideration of effects related to soils if the Proposed Action or Alternative 2 were implemented.

Presentation 7: Wildlife

A photo of Lynda Andrews, Wildlife Biologist

Lynda Andrews, Wildlife Biologist

Presenter: Lynda Andrews, Wildlife Biologist

View the Video (Duration: 33:20)

Download a Transcript (135 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains the consideration of effects related to plants if the Proposed Action or Alternative 2 were implemented. Wildlife species considered include those listed under the Endangered Species Act as Federally Endangered or Threatened and those that are Regional Forester Sensitive Species.

Presentation 8: Plants

A photo of Trey Scott, Forest Botanist

Trey Scott, Forest Botanist

Presenter: Trey Scott, Forest Botanist

View the Video (Duration: 37:10)

Download a Transcript (164 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains the consideration of effects related to plants if the Proposed Action or Alternative 2 were implemented. Plants considered include those listed under the Endangered Species Act as Federally Endangered or Threatened, those that are Regional Forester Sensitive Species, and non-native invasive plants.

Presentation 9: Heritage

A photo of Chris Euler, Archaeologist

Chris Euler, Archaeologist

Presenter: Chris Euler, Archaeologist

View the Video (Duration: 13:44)

Download a Transcript (108 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains the consideration of effects related to cultural resources if the Proposed Action or Alternative 2 were implemented.

Presentation 10: Recreation & Scenery

A photo of Chad Wilberger, Forest Recreation Manager

Chad Wilberger, Forest Recreation Manager

Presenter: Chad Wilberger, Forest Recreation Manager

View the Video (Duration: 25:44)

Download a Transcript (211 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentations explains the consideration of effects related to recreation and scenery resources present in the project area if the Proposed Action or Alternative 2 were implemented.

Presentation 11: Air Quality

A photo of Dan Anerino, Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer

Dan Anerino, Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer

Presenter: Dan Anerino, Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer

View the Video (Duration: 11:23)

Download a Transcript (113 KB Link opens in a Pdf Document)

Download Slides with Notes (posted 01/17/2020)

Video Summary

This presentation explains the consideration given to potential impacts to air quality from implementing the Proposed Action or Alternative 2.

Updated Alternative 2 Maps 

 

Comment Period Maps

 

How to Submit Ojections During the Objection Period

This DDN/FONSI for the Sunny Oaks Project is subject to the objection process, pursuant to 36 CFR part 218, subparts A and B.  Regulations for the objection process can be found in the Federal Register

Only those that submitted timely, specific written comments during the scoping period, the comment period, or other period designated by me for submission of comments are eligible to submit an objection, unless the objection is based on new information.  Issues raised in an objection must be based on those previously submitted comments, unless based on new information that arose after designated comment periods. The 45-day objection period begins the day following the publication of a legal notice of the availability of the DDN/FONSI in The Ironton Tribune, Ironton, OH. The date the legal notice is published is the exclusive means for calculating the close of the objection period.  Those wishing to object should not rely on timeframes or dates provided by any other source.  If the 45th day falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the next business day marks the close of the objection period.  Timeframes or due dates given from any other source should not be relied upon when determining when objections should be submitted.

  1. The scoping period was April 1 – May 1, 2018, and included a landowner meeting on May 10, 2018.
  2. The comment period was extended due to the partial government shutdown and occurred December 14th, 2018 – February 14th, 2019.
  3. The legal notice announcing the availability of the DDN/FONSI will publish in The Ironton Tribune on or about January 19, 2020.

Objections must include:

  1. Specific issues related to the proposed project;
  2. How the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates law, regulation or policy;
  3. Suggested remedies that would resolve the objection;
  4. Supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider;
  5. A statement that demonstrates the connection between prior specific written comments on the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns new information that arose after designated comment opportunities;
  6. The objector’s name, address and telephone number;
  7. Signature or other verification of authorship of the individual, entity or lead objector;
  8. Identification of the lead objector, when multiple names are listed on an objection; and
  9. Reference to the Sunny Oaks Project, the Ironton District of the Wayne National Forest and Responsible Official Ironton District Ranger Tim Slone. (36 CFR 218.8(d))

Incorporation of documents by reference is not allowed, except for all or any part of a Federal law or regulation, Forest Service directives and land management plans, documents referenced by the Forest Service in the project EA and comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during public involvement.

Objections can be submitted in several forms, but must be postmarked (if mailed) or received by the Objections Reviewing Officer, Forest Supervisor Carrie Gilbert, within 45 days from the date of publication of the legal notice for the Draft DN/FONSI availability in The Ironton Tribune, Ironton, OH. 

Objections may be mailed or hand-delivered to:

USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region
Gaslight Building, Ste 700
ATTN: PAL/LSC Staff
626 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4616

Emailed to:  objections-eastern-region@fs.fed.us   Subject: Sunny Oaks Project

Faxed to: 414-944-3963 Attn: Objections Reviewing Officer, Forest Supervisor Carrie Gilbert; Wayne National Forest

Electronic objections must be submitted as part of an actual e-mail message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document format (.pdf) only.  E-mails 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 an objection 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.

For mailed/shipped objections, objections must be post-marked or have a shipping date by the closing date of the objection period and must be received by the end of the fifth business day following the close of the objection period.

Normal business hours for hand-delivered appeals are Monday - Friday, 7:30-4:00 (Central Time).  E-mailed objections must be submitted by 11:59 Central Time on the closing date of the objection period.

Comment Period Documents





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wayne/landmanagement/projects/?cid=FSEPRD603728