LEGAL NOTICE Notice of Opportunity to Comment OCHOCO WILD AND FREE-ROAMING HORSE MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATE AND FOREST PLAN AMENDMENTS OCHOCO NATIONAL FOREST Opportunity to Comment on Environmental Assessment The Ochoco National Forest has completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that contains the Forest Service’s proposal for managing the Ochoco wild horse population that resides on the Big Summit Territory. The Draft EA is available on the Forest Service web site: A hardcopy is available upon request by contacting Beth Peer at The Forest is proposing an update to management of the Ochoco wild horse population because the current plan, written in 1975, is outdated. Changed conditions, new analysis tools, and new management tools need to be taken into account in an updated plan. The EA analyzes three alternatives. Alternative 1 is No Action under which the current plan would not change and the appropriate management level (AML) would be a population of 55 to 65 wild horses. Alternative 2, the agency’s preferred alternative, would incorporate measures to slow population growth, increase genetic variability, and maintain an AML of 12 to 57 wild horses. Alternative 3, is an additional alternative developed at the request of some members of the public to manage at an AML of 150 to 200 wild horses. The EA compares the environmental consequences of these three alternatives. Opportunity to Comment on Forest Plan Amendment The Ochoco Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) was authorized in 1989. The LRMP includes direction for managing wild horses at a specific population level of a maximum of 60 horses. Rather than managing a wild horse herd for specific population number, the LRMP amendment, described in the EA, would allow establishment of a herd size range based on essential habitat components (water, forage, cover, and space) which will provide greater flexibility in management to adjust for annual population growth, drought, climate change impacts, disturbance (such as wildfire), rangeland health, and other resource needs. This is also an opportunity to comment on the amendment to the LRMP. How to Comment and Timeframe You will find the environmental assessment on the project web page: under Project Documents – Analysis. If you prefer a hard copy, contact one of the project leaders listed at the end of this letter to have one mailed or to make an appointment to pick one up. Notice for the opportunity to comment on this EA will be published in The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon), which is the newspaper of record for the Ochoco National Forest. As a courtesy it will also publish in the Central Oregonian (Prineville, Oregon). The comment period ends 30 days following the date of that publication. Do not rely on any other sources for the beginning date of the comment period. The legal notice will be posted to the project web page after it is published. Comments received after the 30-day comment period will be considered but will not provide the commenter with standing for objection. Those wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 218. NOTICE: Documents associated with this project, including public comments, are part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process (40 CFR parts 1500-1509) and may be released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. 552. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will become part of the 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 respondent with subsequent environmental documents or the eligibility to object. How to Provide Comments Electronic, written, and oral comments will be accepted. We strongly encourage you to submit comments electronically. Those wishing to provide electronic comments should use the Forest Service online comment system available at: Comments may be typed into the online form, or uploaded as an attachment in Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf), or portable document format (PDF) only. Comments may also be submitted in writing by mail. Written comments should be sent or delivered to Slater Turner, District Ranger, Lookout Mountain Ranger District, 3106 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR 97754. Hand-delivery/Fax: can be hand-delivered or faxed by appointment only at this time, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and Executive Order by Governor Brown. Please call Beth Peer at 541-416-6463 to make an appointment to hand-deliver your comments or request the fax number. Anyone wishing to obtain additional information on the project or to provide comments over the phone should contact one of the project leaders: Beth Peer (, 541-416-6463) or Tory Kurtz (541-416-6401, Published: April 21, 2020 PCO162096

ad: 162096

Publication: Prineville Legals 2

Section: Legals

Start Date: 2020/04/21

End Date: 2020/04/21

Owner: Ochoco National Forest


County: Crook