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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 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 and next steps

The Draft ROD and Final EIS are subject to an objection process. Objections were accepted June 7 through July 23, 2018.  

Now that the objection filing period has ended, a 45-day objection review period begins. Objections were received and may be viewed online. The Reviewing Officer will determine if each objection contains the necessary information and if the objector provided specific written comments on the project during scoping, the Community Advisory Process, or in response to the Draft EIS. The Reviewing Officer will accept, partially accept, or set aside the objection in writing. The review period may be extended up to 30 days at the discretion of the Reviewing Officer.

At the end of the objection review period, the Reviewing Officer will issue a written response to all accepted objections. This document will provide a response to objection issues and the rationale for the response and will sometimes include instructions for the Responsible Official to consider before making a final project decision. Objection responses will be made available to the public via the USFS project website (see the link for Objection Responses). The Responsible Official may make a final decision (i.e. sign a Record of Decision) once the Reviewing Officer has responded in writing to all objections, and all concerns and instructions identified by the Reviewing Officer in the objection response have been addressed.

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.