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Deadline to Comment on BHNF Zeppelin Forest Health Project Draft Environmental Assesment

June 10 @ 11:50 pm - 11:59 pm

The Black Hills National Forest, Northern Hills Ranger District (NHRD), has announced the availability of the draft environmental assessment (EA) for the Zeppelin Forest Health Project (Zeppelin Project), located west of Piedmont, SD, north of Dalton Lake, east of Vanocker Canyon Highway, and south of Elk Creek. You can view the draft EA on the project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/blackhills/?project=63845
The Zeppelin Project is being analyzed under the provisions of the Western Firesheds Emergency Action Determination (EAD), which is an authority provided by the 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EAD authorities can be applied to projects that pre-emptively address the potential impacts of natural disturbances, such as wildfire and insect infestation, to nearby communities and National Forest System lands that have been identified as a high-risk fireshed. The Zeppelin project area is within a high-risk fireshed as identified by the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Implementation Plan. Projects with a goal of reducing hazardous fuels and increasing forest resiliency in high-risk firesheds can be authorized under the EAD to expedite implementation of the project by eliminating the pre-decisional objection process under 36 CFR 218. Implementation under the EAD requires approval from the Chief’s Office of the Forest Service. Use of the EAD for the Zeppelin project was approved by the deputy chief of the Forest Service on August 21, 2023.
Comments on the draft EA will be accepted for 30 days beginning the first day after a legal notice is published in the Rapid City Journal. It is expected that the legal notice will be published on May 9th, 2024. Assuming that date was met, the comment period ends on a Saturday, so comments will be accepted until the end of the next Federal working day (Monday). A timely submission will be determined as outlined in 36 CFR 218.25(a)(4). It is the responsibility of the sender to ensure timely receipt of any comments submitted.
All written comments received, including names and addresses of commenters, will be placed in the project file, and will become a matter of public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agency with the ability to provide the commenter with subsequent environmental documents. Comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider.
The most efficient method of submitting comments on this draft EA is by visiting the project website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/blackhills/?project=63845) and clicking the “Comment/Object on Project” link. You may also submit comments to the project leader, Chris Stores, by mail, email, phone, or fax to: Northern Hills Ranger District 2014 North Main Street Spearfish, SD 57783 Telephone: (605) 642-4622 Fax: (605) 642-4156 chris.stores@usda.gov Office hours, for those who wish to hand deliver their comments, are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday (except Federal holidays). Postal mail must be postmarked by deadline day (likely Monday, June 1oth) Any questions regarding this project can be directed to Steve Kozel or  Chris Stores at the phone number listed above.
For a list of management projects generally down load the SOPA:


June 10
11:50 pm - 11:59 pm