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John Stewart

Public Meetings, Comment Period Set for Stirling Energy Solar Two Project Near El Centro

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have announced a CEC staff workshop/BLM public meeting on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS)/staff assessment (SA) for the Stirling Energy Systems Solar Two Project (also known as Imperial Valley Solar Project) on public land in Imperial County, Calif.

The workshop/public meeting will begin at 8 a.m., Monday, March 22, 2010, and if necessary, continue into Tuesday, March 23, 2010.  The meeting will be held at the San Diego Gas & Electric Renewable Center, 1425 W. Main St., El Centro, CA 92243.  In addition, the BLM plans to hold an open house public meeting in El Centro in early May.  The time and location will be announced later.

Stirling Energy Systems has applied for a right-of-way authorization to construct a solar power plant on 6,144 acres of public land about 14 miles west of El Centro.  The proposed 750-megawatt solar plant would provide enough electricity to power about 225,000 average California homes.  The plant would use SunCatcher solar-dish technology designed to automatically track the sun and focus solar energy onto a power conversion unit to generate electricity.  The project also includes a 10.3-mile 230-kilovolt transmission line, substation, water-supply pipeline, and access road.

The BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, and the CEC, as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, have jointly prepared the draft EIS/SA, which is available online at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/nepa/stirling.html or http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solartwo/documents/index.html.  The public may comment on these documents through May 26, 2010.

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John Stewart

Planning Rule Public Meetings Announced

Providing multiple opportunities for public participation ties directly to President Obama’s call for open government that is transparent, participatory and collaborative, and illustrates Forest Service commitment to  engage the public in the development of a new planning rule.

"We encourage broad participation in the creation of our new planning rule,” said  Tidwell. "Through collaboration we will be able to better address the current and future needs of the National Forest System such as restoration, protecting watersheds, addressing climate change, sustaining local economies, improving collaboration, and working across landscapes."

Following the meetings, notes will be posted on the planning rule Web site, http://www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule, to allow for further feedback. Summaries of the presentations and discussions in the science forum and roundtables, along with the individual comments received during the 60-day formal comment period on the Notice of Intent, will be used to develop the proposed rule and a draft environmental impact statement.

The meetings announced today include:

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John Stewart

Mendocino National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Program

The purpose of this notice is to share information and to solicit public input specific to the Mendocino National Forest's 2010 grant application proposals for Grants and Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. The agreements support OHV management activities, with categories including Ground Operations (trail maintenance and facility operation and maintenance), Restoration and Law Enforcement.

"The Mendocino National Forest offers over 241 miles of designated OHV trails providing exciting riding opportunities for a wide range of ability levels and vehicle types. In addition, over 1,300 miles of Forest roads are available for use by Off-Highway Vehicle enthusiasts," said Tricia Christofferson, Mendocino National Forest Recreation Officer. "We appreciate your comments on our 2010 grant requests that will be submitted to the State of California. Your comments will help the State determine the level of funding to provide the Mendocino National Forest for trail maintenance, facility maintenance, law enforcement, and restoration projects."

Preliminary applications will be available for review via a link on the State of California website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov . Comments may be provided between March 2, 2010 and April 5, 2010. Instructions for providing comments will be provided on the State of California website.

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John Stewart

Sierra NF OHV Grants Available

Sierra National Forest Seeks Public Comment Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Application

Clovis, CA - (February 25, 2010). The Sierra National Forest is seeking public comments on a preliminary application to the State of California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) for the 2009/2010 grant cycle.  The 30-day public review and comment period for the State’s Grant and Cooperative Agreements Program begins March 2, 2010 and ends April 5, 2010.

The Sierra National Forest’s application has been submitted to the State and will be available for public review beginning Tuesday, March 2 at the following website:  www.ohv.parks.ca.gov Hard copies of the application are also available by contacting Mosé Jones-Yellin at 559-297-0706 ext. 4858.  Comments on the grant application can be submitted online at the above website or by mailing to Sierra National Forest, Attn. Mosé Jones-Yellin, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis, CA  93611.

The Sierra National Forest will also host an open house Tuesday, March 16th between 6pm and 8pm at the Forest Headquarters, 1600 Tollhouse Road in Clovis.  The purpose of the meeting is to provide copies of the preliminary application and discuss the proposal submitted by the Sierra National Forest.  “Without the State’s assistance, sustaining the critical balance between off highway vehicle recreation opportunities and responsible management of our natural resources would be very difficult,” stated Ed Cole, Forest Supervisor.

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John Stewart

Inyo OHV Grants Available for Public Comment

Public Comments Requested on the 2010 Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Applications Open House to be Held March 23

Bishop, CA (February 26, 2010)...The Inyo National Forest and the Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management have submitted preliminary applications to the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division for the 2010 Grant cycle.  Both agencies are now requesting comments on this year’s applications.  The preliminary applications being submitted this year continue the many important and ongoing efforts between the Inyo National Forest, the BLM, the California State Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, and interested stakeholders, at improving OHV opportunities on the ground.  The focus of these grants includes improvements to OHV routes, facilities, and signing, as well as restoration of impacted areas, law enforcement, and educational programs.

The OHMVR grants provide funding to help protect, maintain, and enhance OHV programs.

The public may view and comment on these applications and all the other grant applications on the OHMVR Division website:  http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/.    Preliminary applications will also be available for review Tuesday March 2 through Monday April 1, 2010 at the BLM and Forest Service offices located at 351 Pacu Lane in Bishop, just behind the DMV office.

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