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                                                  Notices                                                                                                       Federal Register
                                                                                                                                                                Vol. 75, No. 63

                                                                                                                                                                Friday, April 2, 2010

                                                  This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER                       Abstract: The Forest Service is                      Estimate of Annual Burden: 20
                                                  contains documents other than rules or                  proposing to augment the public                       minutes.
                                                  proposed rules that are applicable to the               participation process for revision of                   Type of Respondents: Individuals;
                                                  public. Notices of hearings and investigations,         national forest land management plans                 State, county, and tribal governments; as
                                                  committee meetings, agency decisions and                                                                      well as for-profit and non-profit entities.
                                                                                                          by collecting data about the nature and
                                                  rulings, delegations of authority, filing of                                                                    Estimated Annual Number of
                                                  petitions and applications and agency                   location of landscape values and special
                                                                                                          places recognized by the public on                    Respondents: 3,500 (average of 3 years).
                                                  statements of organization and functions are
                                                  examples of documents appearing in this                 national forest lands. Over the next 3                  Estimated Annual Number of
                                                  section.                                                years, up to 15 national forest units will            Responses per Respondent: 1.
                                                                                                          collect the aforementioned information                  Estimated Total Annual Burden on
                                                                                                          as part of the national forest plan                   Respondents: 1,167 hours (average of 3
                                                  DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE                               revision public participation process.                years).
                                                                                                          The forest plan revision includes                       Comment is Invited: Comment is
                                                  Forest Service                                          determining public desire for use (along              invited on: (1) Whether this collection
                                                                                                          with suitability of areas for different               of information is necessary for the stated
                                                  Information Collection; Forest                          uses), identification of special areas,               purposes and the proper performance of
                                                  Landscape Value and Special Place                       collaboration with the public, and                    the functions of the Agency, including
                                                  Mapping for National Forest Planning                    monitoring for adaptive management.                   whether the information will have
                                                                                                                                                                practical or scientific utility; (2) the
                                                  AGENCY:   Forest Service, USDA.                            Primarily using an Internet-based                  accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the
                                                  ACTION:   Notice; request for comment.                  geographic information system (GIS),                  burden of the collection of information,
                                                                                                          national forests will invite the public to            including the validity of the
                                                  SUMMARY: In accordance with the
                                                                                                          share values regarding specific forest                methodology and assumptions used; (3)
                                                  Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the
                                                                                                          landscapes and special places. A                      ways to enhance the quality, utility, and
                                                  Forest Service is seeking comments
                                                                                                          comparable paper-based option, suitable               clarity of the information to be
                                                  from all interested individuals and
                                                                                                          for use in mail back surveys and focus                collected; and (4) ways to minimize the
                                                  organizations on the new information
                                                                                                          group meetings, may be provided to                    burden of the collection of information
                                                  collection, Forest Landscape Value and
                                                                                                          individuals who do not have access to                 on respondents, including the use of
                                                  Special Place Mapping for National
                                                                                                          the Internet or as an alternative primary             automated, electronic, mechanical, or
                                                  Forest Planning.
                                                                                                          means of collecting data.                             other technological collection
                                                  DATES: Comments must be received in
                                                  writing on or before June 1, 2010 to be                    The information will be used in the                techniques or other forms of information
                                                  assured of consideration. Comments                      revision of specific national forest plans.           technology.
                                                                                                          Forest planners and managers will use                   All comments received in response to
                                                  received after that date will be
                                                                                                          the collected information to develop                  this notice, including names and
                                                  considered to the extent practicable.
                                                                                                          land management plans that are                        addresses when provided, will be a
                                                  ADDRESSES: Comments concerning this
                                                                                                          consistent with public values, while                  matter of public record. Comments will
                                                  notice should be addressed to Dr.                                                                             be summarized and included in the
                                                                                                          working within the regulatory
                                                  Patrick Reed, National Human                                                                                  submission request toward Office of
                                                                                                          framework. The data collected would
                                                  Dimensions Program Social Scientist,                                                                          Management and Budget approval.
                                                                                                          provide Forest Service managers with a
                                                  USDA Forest Service, 3301 C Street,
                                                                                                          new, systematic science-based tool for                  Dated: March 29, 2010.
                                                  Suite 202, Anchorage, AK 99503.
                                                     Comments may also be submitted by                    collecting and analyzing public opinion               Gloria Manning,
                                                  e-mail to                            about desired forest conditions and use               Associate Deputy Chief, NFS.
                                                     The public may inspect comments                      of specific geographic forest locations.
                                                                                                                                                                [FR Doc. 2010–7551 Filed 4–1–10; 8:45 am]
                                                  received at 201 14th St., SW., 3CEN                     Survey results will be useful in gauging
                                                                                                                                                                BILLING CODE 3410–11–P
                                                  during normal business hours. Visitors                  public support for proposed forest
                                                  are encouraged to call ahead to 202–                    management options and in
                                                  205–9969 or 202–360–3486 to facilitate                  collaborative and participatory                       DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                                  entry to the building.                                  approaches to planning. While the
                                                  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr.
                                                                                                          collection is designed to assist with                 Commodity Credit Corporation
                                                  Patrick Reed, USDA Forest Service,                      development of forest land management
                                                  907–743–9571. Individuals who use                       plans under NFMA, the information                     Agricultural Water Enhancement
                                                  telecommunication devices for the deaf                  collected could be used in a variety of               Program
                                                  (TDD) may call the Federal Relay                        forest planning processes (i.e., travel
                                                                                                                                                                AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation
                                                  Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339, 24                     management and recreation facilities
                                                                                                                                                                and Natural Resources Conservation
                                                                                                          planning) and projects.
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                                                  hours a day, every day of the year,                                                                           Service, Department of Agriculture.
                                                  including holidays.                                        The legal authorities supporting the               ACTION: Notice of request for proposals.
                                                  SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:                              collection of this information include
                                                     Title: Forest Landscape Value and                    the National Environmental Policy Act                 SUMMARY: Section 2510 of the Food,
                                                  Special Place Mapping for National                      (NEPA) of 1969, the National Forest                   Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
                                                  Forest Planning.                                        Management Act (NFMA) of 1976, and                    (2008 Act) established the Agricultural
                                                     OMB Number: 0596–NEW.                                the proposed 2008 NFMA Planning Rule                  Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)
                                                     Type of Request: New.                                (36 CFR part 219).                                    by amending section 1240I of the Food

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                                                  16720                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices

                                                  Security Act of 1985. The Secretary of                     • By courier: Gregory K. Johnson,                  resources to help partners apply, and
                                                  Agriculture delegated the authority for                 Director, Financial Assistance Programs               other general improvements. The
                                                  AWEP to the Chief of the Natural                        Division, Department of Agriculture,                  requirements for submission of the
                                                  Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),                  Natural Resources Conservation Service,               proposal are not significantly different
                                                  who is Vice President of the Commodity                  ‘‘AWEP Proposal,’’ 1400 Independence                  from 2009, and pose no additional
                                                  Credit Corporation (CCC). NRCS is an                    Avenue, SW., Room 5239 South                          burden or workload.
                                                  agency of the Department of Agriculture                 Building, Washington, DC 20250,
                                                  (USDA). Effective upon publication of                   Telephone: (202) 720–1845. Proposals                  Availability of Funding
                                                  this notice, NRCS announces the                         will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 4
                                                                                                                                                                   Effective upon publication of this
                                                  availability of approximately $20.7                     p.m., Monday through Friday, except
                                                                                                                                                                notice, NRCS announces the availability
                                                  million in AWEP financial assistance                    Federal Holidays. Please ask the guard
                                                                                                                                                                of approximately $20.7 million in
                                                  during fiscal year (FY) 2010 to support                 at the entrance to the South Building to
                                                                                                          call (202) 720–1845.                                  AWEP financial assistance during FY
                                                  new AWEP projects. The AWEP is a
                                                                                                                                                                2010 to support new AWEP projects.
                                                  voluntary conservation initiative that                    Note: Proposals submitted via fax, e-mail,          NRCS will implement AWEP by
                                                  provides financial and technical                        or after the deadline date listed in this notice
                                                                                                          will not be considered.
                                                                                                                                                                entering into partnership agreements
                                                  assistance to agricultural producers to
                                                                                                                                                                with eligible entities to conserve ground
                                                  implement agricultural water                            FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
                                                  enhancement activities on agricultural                                                                        and surface water or improve water
                                                                                                          Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial               quality, or both, through a regional
                                                  land for the purposes of conserving                     Assistance Programs Division,
                                                  surface and ground water and                                                                                  approach. Eligible partners must submit
                                                                                                          Department of Agriculture, Natural                    complete proposals, as described in this
                                                  improving water quality. As part of the                 Resources Conservation Service, 1400
                                                  Environmental Quality Incentives                                                                              notice, to Gregory K. Johnson, Director,
                                                                                                          Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5239                   Financial Assistance Programs Division.
                                                  Program (EQIP), AWEP operates through                   South Building, Washington, DC 20250,
                                                  program contracts with producers to                                                                           Proposals are submitted by eligible
                                                                                                          Telephone: (202) 720–1845; Fax: (202)                 partners, and project evaluation will be
                                                  plan and implement conservation                         720–4265; or E-mail:
                                                  practices in project areas established                                                                        based upon a competitive process and
                                                                                                 Additional                         the criteria established in this notice.
                                                  through partnership agreements. The                     information regarding AWEP is
                                                  purpose of this notice is to inform                                                                           Once the Chief approves a partner’s
                                                                                                          available at the following NRCS Web                   proposal and announces selection,
                                                  agricultural producers of the potential                 page:
                                                  availability of program funds and to                                                                          agricultural producers within the
                                                  solicit proposals from potential partners                  Persons with disabilities who require              project area may submit an AWEP
                                                  seeking partnership agreements with the                 alternative means for communication                   application directly to their local NRCS
                                                  Chief to promote the conservation of                    (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.)              office. Only specific kinds of entities are
                                                  ground and surface water and the                        should contact the USDA TARGET                        eligible to submit a proposal and enter
                                                  improvement of water quality. This is                   Center at: (202) 720–2600 (voice and                  into partnership agreements with NRCS;
                                                  not a grant program to partners, and all                TDD).                                                 these include federally recognized
                                                  Federal funding offered through this                                                                          Indian tribes, State and local units of
                                                                                                          SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This
                                                  authority will be paid directly to                                                                            government, agricultural or silvicultural
                                                                                                          notice includes significant additions                 associations, and other groups of
                                                  agricultural producers through
                                                                                                          from the 2009 notice issued last fiscal               producers such as an irrigation
                                                  individual contract agreements.
                                                                                                          year. The basic authority, procedures,
                                                  DATES: Effective Date: The notice of
                                                                                                                                                                association, agricultural land trust, or
                                                                                                          and program requirements have not
                                                  request is effective April 2, 2010.                                                                           other nongovernmental organization
                                                                                                          changed. Partners who responded to the
                                                                                                                                                                that has experience working with
                                                     Eligible partners may submit                         2009 notice reported difficulty in
                                                                                                                                                                agricultural producers.
                                                  proposals by mail or via courier.                       understanding where and how to apply,
                                                                                                                                                                Nongovernmental organizations are
                                                     • By mail: proposals must be                         confusion about administration and
                                                                                                          purpose of the new AWEP authority and                 entities as defined by the Internal
                                                  postmarked May 17, 2010.                                                                                      Revenue Service and as cited in the
                                                     • By courier: proposals must be                      requirements of partners,
                                                                                                          misunderstanding that AWEP was not a                  definitions section of this notice. This is
                                                  delivered May 17, 2010.                                                                                       not a grant program, and all Federal
                                                                                                          grant program for partners, lack of
                                                  ADDRESSES: Written proposals should be                  knowledge about NRCS resource                         funds made available through this
                                                  submitted to the addresses identified                   concerns and conservation practices                   request for proposals will be paid
                                                  below, with copies to the appropriate                   that needed to be addressed through the               directly to producers through program
                                                  NRCS State Conservationist whose                        partnership, frustration in NRCS                      contract agreements. Individual
                                                  names and addresses are identified as                   terminology used in the notices, and                  agricultural producers are not AWEP
                                                  an attachment to this notice. If a project              other similar concerns. As the result of              eligible entities and may not submit
                                                  is multi-State in scope, potential                      these concerns, the agency conducted                  AWEP proposals, nor may they apply
                                                  partners must send each State                           an internal examination of AWEP to                    for program benefits through this
                                                  Conservationist in the proposed project                 better clarify the program and                        proposal submission process; however,
                                                  areas the proposal for review.                          requirements for proposal submission.                 once an AWEP project area has been
                                                     • By mail: Gregory K. Johnson,                       In addition to the internal review, the               approved and announced, individual
                                                                                                                                                                producers may apply for program
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                                                  Director, Financial Assistance Programs                 agency also invited suggestions from
                                                  Division, Department of Agriculture,                    legislators, producers, and other                     benefits through their local NRCS office.
                                                  Natural Resources Conservation Service,                 organizations with an interest in AWEP.               No Federal AWEP funding may be used
                                                  ‘‘AWEP Proposal,’’ 1400 Independence                    As a result of the review, this notice                to cover administrative expenses of
                                                  Avenue, SW., Room 5239 South                            includes more explanation of the                      partners. Administrative activities
                                                  Building, Washington, DC 20250. (Note:                  program, added definitions, clarification             include any indirect or direct costs
                                                  Registered or Certified Mail to a Post                  of the requirements and criteria to be                relating to submitting or implementing
                                                  Office will not be accepted.)                           addressed in the proposal, links to                   the project proposal.

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                                                                                    Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices                                           16721

                                                  Definitions                                               (a) Has not operated a farm or ranch,                  Contract as defined in the EQIP
                                                     Activities means conservation                        or who has operated a farm or ranch for               regulation means a legal document that
                                                                                                          not more than 10 consecutive years.                   specifies the rights and obligations of
                                                  systems, practices, or management
                                                                                                          This requirement applies to all members               any participant accepted to participate
                                                  measures needed to address a resource
                                                                                                          of an entity who will materially and                  in the AWEP program. An AWEP
                                                  concern or improve environmental
                                                                                                          substantially participate in the                      contract is a binding agreement for the
                                                  quality through the treatment of natural
                                                                                                          operation of the farm or ranch.                       transfer of assistance from the
                                                  resources, and includes structural,                       (b) In the case of a contract with an               Department of Agriculture (USDA) to
                                                  vegetative, and management practices,                   individual, individually, or with the                 the participant to share in the costs of
                                                  as well as the activity for development                 immediate family, material and                        applying conservation practices.
                                                  of conservation plans, as determined by                 substantial participation requires that               Contracts funded through AWEP are
                                                  NRCS. Activities may also include                       the individual provide substantial day-               subject to requirements of EQIP
                                                  actions associated with an agricultural                 to-day labor and management of the                    regulation (7 CFR 1466.21) (http://
                                                  operation or other activities conducted                 farm or ranch consistent with the           
                                                  by an AWEP partner which may or may                     practices in the county or State where                   Designated Conservationist means an
                                                  not be associated with an NRCS                          the farm is located.                                  NRCS employee whom the State
                                                  conservation practice or program                          (c) In the case of a contract with an               Conservationist has designated as
                                                  support.                                                entity or joint operation, all members                responsible for administration of NRCS
                                                     Agricultural land means cropland,                    must materially and substantially                     programs at the local level.
                                                  grassland, rangeland, pasture, and other                participate in the operation of the farm                 Environmental Quality Incentives
                                                  agricultural land on which agricultural                 or ranch. Material and substantial                    Program means a program administered
                                                  and forest-related products or livestock                participation requires that each of the               by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part
                                                  are produced and resource concerns                      members provide some amount of the                    1466 (
                                                  may be addressed. Other agricultural                    management or labor and management                    programs/eqip), which provides
                                                  lands may include cropped woodland,                     necessary for day-to-day activities, such             technical and financial assistance to
                                                  marshes, incidental areas included in                   that if each of the members did not                   eligible producers for the installation
                                                  the agricultural operation, and other                   provide these inputs, operation of the                and implementation of conservation
                                                  types of agricultural land used for                     farm or ranch would be seriously                      practices and activities on private
                                                  production of livestock.                                impaired.                                             agricultural and nonindustrial forest
                                                     Agricultural water enhancement                         Chief means Chief of the Natural                    land.
                                                  activity means the following, conducted                 Resources Conservation Service, or                       Exceptional Drought (D–4) means, as
                                                  in accordance with State water law:                     designee.                                             defined by the National Oceanic and
                                                     (a) Water quality or water                             Conservation Activity Plan means a                  Atmospheric Administration,
                                                  conservation plan development,                          resource-specific conservation plan                   exceptional widespread crop/pasture
                                                  including resource condition                            prepared by a certified Technical                     losses; exceptional fire risk; and
                                                  assessment and modeling;                                Service Provider (TSP) as authorized by               shortages of water in reservoirs, streams,
                                                     (b) Water conservation restoration or                the 2008 Act for financial assistance                 and wells creating water emergencies.
                                                  enhancement projects, including the                     payment through EQIP for eligible land                   Field Office Technical Guide means
                                                  conversion to the production of less                    of the producer.                                      the official local NRCS source of
                                                  water-intensive agricultural                              Conservation planning means using                   resource information, conservation
                                                  commodities or dryland farming;                         the planning process outlined in the                  practice standards, specifications, and
                                                     (c) Water quality or quantity                        NRCS National Planning Procedures                     interpretation of guidelines, criteria, and
                                                  restoration or enhancement projects;                    Handbook (NPPH). The NPPH is                          requirements for planning and applying
                                                     (d) Irrigation system improvement                    available at: http://                                 conservation practices, activities, and
                                                  and irrigation efficiency enhancements;                                conservation management systems. It
                                                     (e) Activities designed to mitigate the                Conservation practice means one or                  contains natural resource quality criteria
                                                  effects of drought, (e.g., construction,                more conservation improvements and                    to be achieved to provide for the
                                                  improvement, or maintenance of                          planning activities, including structural             conservation and sustainability of soil,
                                                  irrigation ponds, small on-farm                         practices, land management practices,                 water, air, plant, and animal resources
                                                  reservoirs, or other agricultural water                 vegetative practices, forest management               applicable to the geographic area where
                                                  impoundment structures that are                         practices, and other improvements that                resource concerns are addressed. The
                                                  designed to capture surface water                       are planned and applied according to                  FOTG can be accessed online at: http://
                                                  runoff); and                                            standards and specifications contained      
                                                     (f) Related activities that the Chief                in the NRCS Field Office Technical                       Financial Assistance means a
                                                  determines will help achieve water                      Guide (FOTG). Conservation practices                  payment made to the program
                                                  quality or water conservation benefits                  and activities funded through AWEP are                participant.
                                                                                                          subject to requirements of EQIP                          Forest management plan means a site-
                                                  on agricultural land.
                                                                                                          regulation (7 CFR 1466.10) (http://                   specific plan that is prepared by a
                                                    Note: Not all listed activities are currently                     professional resource manager, in
                                                  supported by NRCS practice standards or                                                                       consultation with the participant, and is
                                                                                                          Only EQIP may provide financial
                                                  funded through NRCS programs.
                                                                                                          assistance for support of the activity of             approved by the State Conservationist.
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                                                    Applicant means a person, legal                       conservation planning.                                Forest management plans may include a
                                                  entity, joint operation, or tribe that has                Conservation system means a                         forest stewardship plan, as specified in
                                                  an interest in an agricultural or forestry              combination of conservation practices                 section 5 of the Cooperative Forestry
                                                  operation, as defined in 7 CFR part                     and management measures used to                       Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C.
                                                  1400, who has requested to participate                  address natural resource and                          2103a); another practice plan approved
                                                  in AWEP.                                                environmental concerns in a                           by the State Forester; or another plan
                                                    Beginning Farmer or Rancher means a                   comprehensive, holistic, and integrated               determined appropriate by the State
                                                  person or legal entity who:                             manner.

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                                                  16722                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices

                                                  Conservationist. The plan must comply                   principally for one or more of the                    practices. AWEP payments are only
                                                  with Federal, State, tribal, and local                  conservation purposes specified in                    made to eligible agricultural producers
                                                  laws, regulations, and permit                           clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of section           through program contracts. Payments
                                                  requirements.                                           170(h)(4)(A) of the Internal Revenue                  and payment rates are established by
                                                     Indian land is an inclusive term                     Code of 1986; is an organization                      program rule. Payments are only
                                                  describing all lands held in trust by the               described in section 501(c)(3) or that is             provided to assist with implementation
                                                  United States for individual Indians or                 described in section 509(a)(2) of that                of approved conservation practices and
                                                  tribes, or all lands, titles to which are               Code; or is described in section                      activities listed in the FOTG and must
                                                  held by individual Indians or tribes,                   509(a)(3) of that Code and is controlled              meet other requirements of EQIP
                                                  subject to Federal restrictions against                 by an organization described in section               regulation (7 CFR 1466.23–24) (http://
                                                  alienation or encumbrance, or all lands                 509(a)(2) of that Code.                     
                                                  that are subject to the rights of use,                     Nonindustrial private forest land                     Priority resource concern means a
                                                  occupancy, or benefit of certain tribes.                means rural land, as determined by the                resource concern that is identified by
                                                  For purposes of this notice, the term                   Secretary, that has existing tree cover or            the State Conservationist, with advice
                                                  Indian land also includes land for                      is suitable for growing trees and is                  from the State Technical Committee and
                                                  which the title is held in fee status by                owned by any nonindustrial private                    local work groups, as a priority for a
                                                  Indian tribes and the United States                     individual, group, association,                       State or the specific geographic areas
                                                  Government owned land under the                         corporation, Indian tribe, or other                   within a State.
                                                  Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.                  private legal entity that has definitive                 Producer means a person, legal entity,
                                                     Indian tribe means any Indian tribe,                 decisionmaking authority over the land.               or joint operation who has an interest in
                                                  band, nation, or other organized group                     Participant means a person, legal                  the agricultural operation, according to
                                                  or community, including any Alaska                      entity, joint operation, or tribe that is             7 CFR part 1400, or who is engaged in
                                                  Native village or regional or village                   receiving payment or is responsible for               agricultural production or forestry
                                                  corporation as defined in or established                implementing the terms and conditions                 management.
                                                  pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims                    of an EQIP contract.                                     Projects of Special Environmental
                                                  Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)                    Partner means an entity that enters                Significance means projects, as defined
                                                  that is federally recognized as eligible                into a partnership agreement with NRCS                in 7 CFR 1466(d) and approved by the
                                                  for the special programs and services                   to carry out the approved AWEP project.               Chief, which meet the following criteria:
                                                  provided by the United States to Indians                Eligible partners include federally                      (a) Site-specific evaluations have been
                                                  because of their status as Indians.                     recognized Indian tribes, State and local             completed, documenting that the project
                                                     Joint Agreement means a business                     units of government, agricultural or                  will have substantial positive impacts
                                                  arrangement where two or more                           silvicultural associations, or other such             on critical resources in or near the
                                                  participants cooperate to carry out                     groups of agricultural producers. Note:               project area (e.g., impaired water bodies
                                                  conservation practices that can best be                 Individual agricultural producers are                 or at-risk species);
                                                  accomplished by combining resources.                    not partners under provisions of AWEP                    (b) The project clearly addresses a
                                                  Such agreements must be formally                        and are not eligible to submit proposals              national priority and State, tribal, or
                                                  documented and signed by all                            as outlined in this notice.                           local priorities, as applicable; and
                                                  applicable parties.                                        Partner applicant means an eligible                   (c) The project assists the participant
                                                     Joint Operation means a general                      entity that enters into a partnership                 in complying with Federal, State, and
                                                  partnership, joint venture, or other                    agreement with NRCS to carry out the                  local regulatory requirements.
                                                  similar business arrangement in which                   approved AWEP project.                                   Rangeland means land on which the
                                                  the members are jointly and severally                      Partnership agreement means a multi-               historic climax plant community is
                                                  liable for the obligations of the                       year agreement between NRCS and the                   predominantly grasses, grass-like plants,
                                                  organization.                                           partner. The AWEP partnership                         forbs, or shrubs, and includes lands
                                                     Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher                   agreement describes the activities and                revegetated naturally or artificially
                                                  means:                                                  resources, such as technical or financial             when routine management of that
                                                     (a) A person with direct or indirect                 assistance, that may be provided by                   vegetation is accomplished mainly
                                                  gross farm sales not more than $155,200                 NRCS and the partner to help producers                through manipulation of grazing.
                                                  in each of the previous 2 years (adjusted               meet the objectives of AWEP in an                     Rangelands include natural grasslands,
                                                  for inflation using Prices Paid by Farmer               approved project area. The AWEP                       savannas, shrublands, most deserts,
                                                  Index as compiled by the National                       partnership agreement does not transfer               tundra, alpine communities, coastal
                                                  Agricultural Statistical Service); and                  financial or technical assistance funding             marshes, and wet meadows.
                                                     (b) Has a total household income at or               to a partner, nor provide for the                        Resource concern means a specific
                                                  below the national poverty level for a                  administrative expenses of the partner.               natural resource problem that represents
                                                  family of four, or less than 50 percent                 Individual producers may not enter into               a significant concern in a State or
                                                  of county median household income in                    partnership agreements under AWEP                     region, and is likely to be addressed
                                                  each of the previous 2 years (to be                     authority.                                            successfully through the
                                                  determined annually using Department                       Payment means financial assistance                 implementation of conservation
                                                  of Commerce data).                                      provided to a contract participant under              activities by producers. The two natural
                                                     Local working group means the                        the terms of the program contract. The                resource concerns that may be
                                                  advisory body pursuant to 16 U.S.C.                     payment is based upon the estimated                   addressed through AWEP are water
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                                                  3861 and described in 7 CFR part 610.                   costs incurred for performing or                      conservation or water quality and
                                                  Information regarding these groups can                  implementing conservation practices                   include the following sub categories:
                                                  be found at:                  and activities, including costs for                      Water Quantity (Water Conservation):
                                                  programs/StateTech/.                                    planning, materials, equipment, labor,                   • Aquifer Overdraft
                                                     Nongovernmental organization is any                  design and installation, maintenance,                    • Excessive Runoff, Flooding, or
                                                  legal entity that is organized for, and at              management, or training, as well as the               Ponding
                                                  all times since, the formation of the                   estimated income foregone by the                         • Excessive Seepage
                                                  organization has been operated                          producer for designated conservation                     • Excessive Subsurface Water

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                                                                                    Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices                                          16723

                                                     • Inadequate Outlets                                 with the design and implementation of                 modeling). The partner is not required
                                                     • Inefficient Water Use on Irrigated                 conservation practices; and (2) technical             to provide financial or technical
                                                  Land                                                    infrastructure including activities,                  resources towards the project (match);
                                                     • Inefficient Water Use on                           processes, tools, and agency functions                however, proposals that include or offer
                                                  Nonirrigated Land                                       needed to support delivery of technical               partner provided resources will be given
                                                     • Insufficient Flows in Water Courses                services, such as technical standards,                higher priority consideration in the
                                                     • Rangeland Hydrologic Cycle                         resource inventories, training, data,                 evaluation process. AWEP financial
                                                     • Reduced Capacity of Conveyances                    technology, monitoring, and effects                   assistance is delivered directly to
                                                  by Sediment Deposition                                  analyses. Information regarding                       producers in approved project areas
                                                     • Reduced Storage of Water Bodies by                 technical assistance can be found at:                 through contract agreements. No
                                                  Sediment Accumulation                                             technical or financial assistance funding
                                                     Water Quality:                                       cta/.                                                 may be provided to a partner through
                                                     • Excessive Nutrients and Organics in                  Technical Service Provider means an                 the AWEP partner agreement. However,
                                                  Groundwater                                             individual, private-sector entity, or                 if requested by a partner, the State
                                                     • Excessive Nutrients and Organics in                public agency certified by NRCS, in                   Conservationist or Chief may consider
                                                  Surface Water                                           accordance with 7 CFR part 652, to                    development of a separate funding
                                                     • Excessive Salinity in Groundwater                  provide technical services to program                 agreement with a qualified partner for
                                                     • Excessive Salinity in Surface Water                participants in lieu of or on behalf of               delivery of technical services to
                                                     • Excessive Suspended Sediment and                   NRCS. Information regarding TSP                       producers participating in an approved
                                                  Turbidity in Surface Water                              services available through AWEP is                    AWEP project.
                                                     • Harmful Levels of Pathogens in                     found in the EQIP regulation (7 CFR
                                                  Groundwater                                                                                                   Submitting Proposals
                                                                                                          1466.11) (
                                                     • Harmful Levels of Pathogens in                                                                              Potential partners must submit a
                                                  Surface Water                                                                                                 complete proposal to Gregory K.
                                                     • Harmful Levels of Pesticides in                    Overview of the Agricultural Water                    Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance
                                                  Groundwater                                             Enhancement Program                                   Programs Division, addressing all
                                                     • Harmful Levels of Pesticides in                                                                          questions and items listed in the
                                                  Surface Water                                                                                                 ‘‘Proposal Requirements’’ section of this
                                                     • Harmful Temperatures of Surface                       The AWEP is a voluntary                            notice. The proposal must include
                                                  Water                                                   conservation program that provides                    sufficient detail to allow NRCS to
                                                     Resource concerns used by NRCS are                   financial and technical assistance to                 understand the partner’s priority
                                                  found in section III of each State or local             agricultural producers to implement                   resource concerns, objectives, and
                                                  FOTG which can be found at: http://                     agricultural water enhancement                        expected outcomes. Incomplete
                                                             activities using conservation practices               proposals and those that do not meet the
                                                     Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or                     on eligible land for the purposes of                  requirements set forth in this notice will
                                                  Rancher means a farmer or rancher who                   conserving surface and ground water                   not be considered, and notification of
                                                  has been subjected to racial or ethnic                  and improving water quality. As part of               elimination will be mailed to the
                                                  prejudices because of their identity as a               EQIP, AWEP operates through contracts                 applicant. The proposal must also be
                                                  member of a group without regard to                     with eligible producers to plan and                   accompanied by letters of review from
                                                  their individual qualities. Those groups                implement approved conservation                       the appropriate State Conservationists to
                                                  include African Americans, American                     practices and activities to conserve                  the Director, Financial Assistance
                                                  Indians or Alaskan natives, Hispanics,                  ground and surface water and improve                  Programs Division as specified in this
                                                  Asians, and native Hawaiians or other                   water quality in project areas                        notice. The Chief or designee will
                                                  Pacific Islanders.                                      established through partnership                       review, prioritize, and evaluate the
                                                     State Conservationist means the                      agreements. Producers located in                      proposals based on the criteria provided
                                                  NRCS employee who is authorized to                      approved AWEP project areas,                          in this notice. State Conservationists
                                                  implement conservation programs                         announced by partners and NRCS, may                   will provide guidance to potential
                                                  administered by NRCS, and who directs                   submit an application for program                     partners regarding resource concerns
                                                  and supervises NRCS activities in a                     assistance at their local NRCS service                that may be addressed in the proposed
                                                  State, the Caribbean Area, or the Pacific               center or field office. As part of the                project area, local working group and
                                                  Islands Area.                                           partnership agreement, approved                       State Technical Committee natural
                                                     State Technical Committee means a                    partners may also help facilitate the                 resource priorities, approved
                                                  committee established by the USDA                       submission of producers’ applications,                conservation practices and activities,
                                                  Secretary in a State pursuant to 16                     or they may provide additional                        and other program requirements the
                                                  U.S.C. 3861 and described in 7 CFR part                 technical or financial assistance to                  partner should consider when
                                                  610. Information regarding these                        participating agricultural producers, or              developing a proposal.
                                                  committees can be found at: http://                     provide other resources as defined in
                                                                     the agreement. A primary intent of                    Partner Entity Eligibility
                                                  StateTech/.                                             AWEP is to leverage other non-Federal                    Potential partner entities that are
                                                     Technical assistance means technical                 resources along with NRCS program                     eligible to participate as partners
                                                  expertise, information, and tools                       resources to achieve program objectives.              include federally recognized Indian
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                                                  necessary for the conservation of natural               Partners are encouraged to include in                 tribes, States and local units of
                                                  resources on land active in agricultural,               their proposals resources to help                     government, agricultural or silvicultural
                                                  forestry, or related uses. The term                     producers implement approved                          associations, or other groups of
                                                  includes the following: (1) Technical                   conservation practices and activities                 producers, such as an irrigation
                                                  services provided directly to farmers,                  and provisions to address those AWEP                  association, agricultural land trust, or
                                                  ranchers, and other eligible entities,                  priority activities that NRCS does not                other nongovernmental organization
                                                  such as conservation planning,                          have the authority to implement (e.g.                 that has experience working with
                                                  technical consultation, and assistance                  resource condition assessment and                     agricultural producers. Individual

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                                                  16724                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices

                                                  producers are not eligible to submit                    receiving assistance through AWEP                     electronic copy for single-State or multi-
                                                  proposals under this notice.                            must meet EQIP program eligibility                    State projects that do not exceed 5 years
                                                                                                          requirements and will be subject to                   in length. The proposal must be in the
                                                  Producer Eligibility
                                                                                                          EQIP payment limitations and other                    following format and contain the
                                                    Individual producers are eligible to                  requirements. Producers applying for                  information set forth below:
                                                  apply for program benefits as part of an                AWEP are not required to have an                        Proposal Format: Five copies of the
                                                  approved AWEP project as determined                     existing EQIP contract. However, they                 proposal should be typewritten or
                                                  by the requirements of this notice and                  must be determined eligible for EQIP                  printed on 81⁄2″ × 11″ white paper. The
                                                  EQIP regulation found in 7 CFR 1466.8                   assistance prior to entering into an                  text of the application should be in a
                                                  (                     AWEP contract. Information about                      font no smaller than 12-point, with one-
                                                  eqip). Producers seeking to participate                 limitations and benefits that apply to                inch margins. One additional copy of
                                                  in an approved AWEP project must                        land and agricultural producers enrolled              the proposal must be in a format such
                                                  meet all EQIP program eligibility                       in the AWEP program are found in the                  as Microsoft Word or PDF on one CD
                                                  requirements.                                           EQIP authorizing legislation (16 U.S.C.               ROM. If submitting more than one
                                                  Producer Applications and Contracts                     3839aa) and regulation (7 CFR part                    proposal, submit a separate proposal for
                                                                                                          1466) (                      each project. Consult the NRCS national
                                                     Agricultural producers in approved                                                                         AWEP Web site for an example of an
                                                  project areas may apply for available                                                                         acceptable AWEP proposal document at:
                                                  AWEP funds at their local USDA service                  Land Eligibility                            
                                                  center or NRCS field office (http://                       The following land is eligible for                 awep/. The entire proposal may not
                                                               enrollment in the AWEP through                        exceed 12 pages in length including
                                                  app?agency=nrcs). Once an application                   program contracts with producers:                     summary, maps, reference materials,
                                                  is selected, an eligible agricultural
                                                  producer will enter into a contract with                • Private agricultural land.                          and related reports.
                                                  NRCS to implement approved                              • Indian land.                                        Proposal Summary
                                                  conservation practices that address the                 • Publicly owned land where:
                                                                                                             Æ The conservation practices to be                    The basic format for the AWEP
                                                  water conservation and water quality                                                                          proposal is a narrative written response
                                                  resource concerns identified in the                          implemented on the public land are
                                                                                                               necessary and will contribute to an              to the questions and information
                                                  partnership proposal and agreement.                                                                           requested in this notice. There are no
                                                  Through these contracts, NRCS provides                       improvement in the identified
                                                                                                               resource concern;                                forms required or associated with the
                                                  payments to agricultural producers for                                                                        proposal submission process; however,
                                                  implementing conservation practices                        Æ The land is a working component
                                                                                                               of the participant’s agricultural or             the proposal must include the
                                                  that meet the agricultural water                                                                              following:
                                                  enhancement activities and goals of the                      forestry operation; and
                                                                                                             Æ The participant has control of the                  (1) Proposal Cover Sheet and
                                                  project. The term of the contract                                                                             Summary: The first two pages of the
                                                  agreement with a producer will be for a                      land for the term of the contract.
                                                                                                                                                                proposal summary must include:
                                                  minimum duration of one year after                         For producer contracts that address                   (a) Project Title.
                                                  completion of the last practice, but not                water conservation and irrigation                        (b) Project director/manager name,
                                                  more than 10 years.                                     related conservation practices, EQIP                  telephone number, and e-mail address.
                                                     In States with water quantity                        regulation requires that land must be                    (c) Name of lead partner entity
                                                  concerns, where the partner proposal                    irrigated 2 of the previous 5 years prior             submitting proposal and other
                                                  includes conservation management                        to application for assistance (7 CFR                  collaborating partners.
                                                  practices that assist producers with the                1466.10(d)). AWEP projects that include                  (d) Mailing address and phone
                                                  conversion of agricultural land from                    agricultural lands not irrigated for 2 of             numbers for lead partner submitting
                                                  irrigated farming to dryland farming,                   the previous 5 years, the construction,               proposal.
                                                  NRCS may enter into contracts that                      improvement, or maintenance of                           (e) Short general description/
                                                  provide a producer payments for                         irrigation ponds, small on-farm                       summary of project; describe whether
                                                  applicable practices for up to 5 years as               reservoirs, or other agricultural water               proposal will address water
                                                  needed to complete the conversion                       impoundment structures that are                       conservation resource issues, water
                                                  when the conversion activity is                         designed to capture surface water                     quality resource issues, or both. Identify
                                                  consistent with State law. Conversion                   runoff, are eligible only in an area that             the specific natural resource concerns to
                                                  activities are supported through AWEP                   is experiencing or has experienced                    be addressed, and describe the approved
                                                  by implementation of approved                           exceptional drought conditions between                FOTG conservation practices and
                                                  conservation practices.                                 June 18, 2006, and June 18, 2008. A list              activities that will be used to address
                                                     An agricultural producer may elect to                of States and counties that are                       those resource concerns, including
                                                  use a TSP for technical assistance                      designated exceptional drought areas is               practices that will be used to help
                                                  associated with conservation planning                   found on the AWEP Web site at: http://                producers in the conversion of irrigated
                                                  or practice design and implementation.                             farming to dryland farming.
                                                  A participant may not receive payments                     Additional information regarding land                 (f) Specify the geographic location:
                                                  that exceed an aggregate of $300,000,                   eligibility to meet EQIP requirements                 State(s), County(s), congressional
                                                  directly or indirectly, for all EQIP and                are found in 7 CFR 1466.8 and available               district(s), and whether proposal is a
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                                                  AWEP contracts, including prior year                    at:                multi-State proposal or within-State
                                                  contracts entered into during any 6-year                eqip.                                                 proposal. Include a general location
                                                  period. The Chief may waive this                                                                              map that shows if the location of the
                                                  limitation allowing up to $450,000 for                  Proposal Requirements
                                                                                                                                                                project area is within an AWEP national
                                                  projects of special environmental                         For consideration of a proposal, a                  priority area, which are:
                                                  significance as defined in this notice                  potential partner must submit five                       • Eastern Snake Plains Aquifer.
                                                  and EQIP regulation in section                          copies of the written proposal and one                   • Everglades.
                                                  § 1466.21(d). All agricultural producers                                                                         • Ogallala Aquifer.

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                                                                                    Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices                                          16725

                                                     • Puget Sound.                                       program resources to achieve program                  resources from other than the submitter
                                                     • Sacramento River Basin.                            objectives. The partner is not required to            must include a letter or other
                                                     • Red River.                                         provide financial or technical resources              documentation from the other partner
                                                     • Upper Mississippi River Basin.                     towards the project (match); however,                 confirming this commitment of
                                                     Additional information, maps, and a                  proposals that include or offer partner               resources. Proposals that demonstrate
                                                  list of States and counties located in                  provided resources will be given higher               efforts to collaborate with other partners
                                                  AWEP priority areas can be found at:                    priority through the evaluation process.              and producers are likely to provide
                                                              The partner needs to clearly state, by                increased environmental benefits, meet
                                                  awep/.                                                  project objective, how they intend to                 the objectives of AWEP, and may
                                                     (g) Proposed project start and end                   leverage Federal funds along with                     receive higher ranking consideration in
                                                  dates (not to exceed a period of 5 years).              partner resources to address water                    the evaluation process.
                                                     (h) Total amount of AWEP financial                   quantity or water quality resource                       (h) A description of the proposed
                                                  assistance being requested for entire                   issues. Note: The funding and time                    agricultural water enhancement
                                                  project.                                                contribution by agricultural producers                activities and approved NRCS
                                                     (2) Project Natural Resource                         to implement agreed-to conservation                   conservation practices and activities to
                                                  Objectives and Actions:                                 practices in program contracts may not                be applied within the designated 5-year
                                                     The proposal must include project                    be considered any part of a match from                timeframe allowed for AWEP projects
                                                  objectives that address water quality or                the potential partner for purposes of                 and the general sequence of
                                                  water quantity resource concerns.                       AWEP. One purpose of AWEP is to                       implementation of the project.
                                                     (a) Identify and provide detail about                leverage new resources from partners                  Enhancement activities include efforts
                                                  the natural resource concern(s) to be                   above and beyond those contributions                  undertaken by the partner and those
                                                  addressed and how the proposals                         made by individual producers.                         that the partner requests NRCS to
                                                  objectives will address those concerns.                    (d) Demonstrate the ability to monitor             address through financial support to
                                                  Objectives should be specific,                          and evaluate project effects on natural               implement eligible approved
                                                  measurable, achievable, results-                        resources. Priority will be given to                  conservation practices and activities. In
                                                  oriented, and include a timeline for                    projects where the partner can provide                this section, list all the NRCS
                                                  completion.                                             resources, services, or conduct activities            conservation practices the partner
                                                     (b) For each objective, identify the                 to monitor and evaluate effects of                    wishes NRCS to offer to producers
                                                  actions to be completed to achieve the                  conservation practices and activities                 through the AWEP project. Information
                                                  objective and to address the identified                 implemented through the project.                      about NRCS practices can be found in
                                                  natural resource concern using AWEP                        (e) Provide evidence the partner has               the FOTG at:
                                                  assistance or the actions being                         the capacity to deliver a final project               technical/efotg/ and descriptions of
                                                  addressed using alternate non-Federal                   performance report. If a proposal is                  practices at:
                                                  resources or fund sources.                              approved, the partnership agreement                   technical/standards/. For each
                                                     (c) Identify the total number of acres               will provide additional details and                   conservation practice, estimate the
                                                  that need conservation treatment along                  requirements for reporting performance                extent (feet, acres, number, etc.) the
                                                  with the kinds of conservation practices                of the project effort.                                partner expects producers to implement
                                                  and activities needed to treat priority                    (f) Identify potential criteria to be              each fiscal year during the life of the
                                                  resource concerns in the project area.                  used by NRCS to prioritize and rank                   project and the amount of financial
                                                  Identify specific priorities within the                 agricultural producers’ AWEP                          assistance requested to support
                                                  project area that need to be addressed                  applications in the project area.                     implementation of each practice
                                                  first.                                                  Potential partners should collaborate                 through producer contracts. Provide
                                                     (d) The proposed agricultural water                  with NRCS in the State where the                      detail if the project will address
                                                  enhancement activities that may be                      project is proposed to develop                        regulatory compliance and any other
                                                  implemented through partner efforts                     meaningful criteria that NRCS can use                 outcomes the partner expects to
                                                  alone and those to be implemented                       to evaluate and rank producer program                 complete during the project period.
                                                  using AWEP financial support.                           applications. For approved projects, this                (i) A description of the resources
                                                     (3) Partnership Capacity:                            joint effort will help NRCS select                    (financial or technical assistance)
                                                     Potential partners must fully describe               producer applications which will best                 requested annually from AWEP for
                                                  their project and demonstrate their                     accomplish the projects intended                      producer contracts and the non-Federal
                                                  history of working with agricultural                    conservation goals and address priority               resources provided by the partner that
                                                  producers to address water quality and                  resource issues identified by the partner             will be leveraged by the Federal
                                                  quantity issues. Information provided in                in the proposal. Additional information               contribution. From the estimated
                                                  the proposal must:                                      regarding the process NRCS uses to                    amount of financial assistance needed to
                                                     (a) Demonstrate the commitment and                   evaluate and rank individual producer                 implement the conservation practices
                                                  experience of the partner to accomplish                 applications is found in EQIP regulation              identified in the previous section,
                                                  the long-term conservation of surface                   7 CFR 1466.20. Proposals which include                include the total amount of financial
                                                  and ground water or water quality                       specific ranking criteria developed in                assistance funds requested for each
                                                  improvement and related historical                      collaboration with NRCS may receive                   fiscal year of the project to be made
                                                  activities that show this experience.                   higher consideration in the evaluation                available for producer contracts. If
                                                     (b) Demonstrate the ability and                      process. Additional guidance and                      resources other than funding are being
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                                                  history of the partner to coordinate                    assistance to develop appropriate                     offered by the partner, describe the kind
                                                  water quality and quantity efforts among                criteria may be obtained from the State               of resources and services that will be
                                                  agricultural producers.                                 office where the project will be located.             made available to producers to help
                                                     (c) Demonstrate the availability of                     (g) A description of how the partners              implement conservation practices and
                                                  non-Federal matching funds or other                     and entities will collaborate to achieve              activities. Note: The funding and time
                                                  resources being contributed. A primary                  the project objectives and the roles,                 contribution by agricultural producers
                                                  intent of AWEP is to leverage other non-                responsibilities, and capabilities of each            to implement agreed-to conservation
                                                  Federal resources along with NRCS                       partner. Proposals that include                       practices in the program contracts may

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                                                  16726                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices

                                                  not be considered as part of a match                    conservation practices and activities                    (d) Other issues or concerns the State
                                                  from the potential partner. All funding                 that are needed to treat significant                  Conservationist is aware of that should
                                                  requests and information regarding                      resource concerns in the project area.                be considered by the Chief.
                                                  partner resources may be included in                    Identify specific priorities within the                  (e) A general recommendation for
                                                  the form of a budget narrative. If                      project area that need to be addressed                support or denial of project approval.
                                                  financial assistance is approved and                    first.
                                                  available, these funds must be obligated                                                                         State Conservationist(s) must submit
                                                                                                             (5) Producer Information:
                                                  in individual producer contracts that                                                                         letters of review to Gregory K. Johnson,
                                                                                                             The partner must identify in the
                                                  may be from 2 to 10 years in length.                                                                          Director, Financial Assistance Programs
                                                     (4) Lands to be Treated:                                                                                   Division no later than 10 calendar days
                                                                                                             An estimate of the number of eligible              after the deadline for proposal
                                                     The proposal should describe the                     agricultural producers the partner
                                                  geographic area to be covered by the                                                                          submission. A list of NRCS State
                                                                                                          expects to participate in the project                 Conservationists, addresses, and phone
                                                  partnership agreement. Specifically, the                compared with the estimated total
                                                  proposal should include:                                                                                      numbers is included as an attachment at
                                                                                                          number of producers in the project area               the end of this notice. Prior to
                                                     (a) A map showing the proposed                       (estimate the percentage of
                                                  project area. Describe the location and                                                                       submission of the proposal, potential
                                                                                                          participation). Producer participation is             partners are strongly encouraged to
                                                  size of the proposed project area. Are                  a requirement for delivery of AWEP
                                                  the size and scope of the project area                                                                        consult with the appropriate State
                                                                                                          program benefits. How will the partner                Conservationist(s) during proposal
                                                  and proposed practices to address                       encourage participation to guarantee
                                                  resource concerns reasonable and                                                                              development to obtain guidance as to
                                                                                                          success of the project? Does the project              appropriate resource concerns to
                                                  achievable? What kinds of agricultural
                                                                                                          include socially disadvantaged farmers                address needed water quality or water
                                                  operations are in the project area? Is the
                                                                                                          or ranchers, beginning farmers or                     conservation enhancements, needed
                                                  project located in a water conservation
                                                                                                          ranchers, limited resource farmers or                 conservation practices and activities,
                                                  priority area or include any Indian land?
                                                     (b) A description of the agricultural                ranchers, or Indian tribes? Are there                 and other details of the project proposal.
                                                  water quality or water conservation                     groups of producers who may submit                    All AWEP proposals become the
                                                  issues to be addressed by the                           joint program applications to address                 property of NRCS for use in the
                                                  partnership agreement. Provide                          resource issues of common interest and                administration of the program, may be
                                                  information about the extent and kinds                  need?                                                 filed or disposed of by the agency, and
                                                  of water quality issues to be addressed                    (6) Proposal Implementation Plan and               will not be returned to the potential
                                                  such as pollutants, designated priority                 Schedule:                                             partner. Once proposals have been
                                                  areas, groundwater overdraft, surface                      Potential partners must submit project             submitted to the agency for review and
                                                  water deficiencies, etc.                                action plans and schedules, not to                    ranking, there will be no further
                                                     (c) A description of the agricultural                exceed 5 years, detailing activities,                 opportunity to change or re-submit the
                                                  water enhancement objectives to be                      including timeframes related to project               proposal document.
                                                  achieved through the partnership and                    milestones and monitoring and
                                                  the NRCS practices expected to be                       evaluation activities that will likely be             Acknowledgement of Submission and
                                                  implemented. What are the primary                       documented in the partnership                         Notifications
                                                  objectives to be accomplished in the                    agreement. A project action plan should
                                                                                                                                                                   Partners whose proposals have been
                                                  project by the partner and expected                     describe how often the potential partner
                                                                                                                                                                selected will receive a letter of official
                                                  environmental improvements from                         plans to monitor and evaluate the
                                                                                                                                                                notification. Upon notification of
                                                  producer implementation of AWEP                         project and how it plans to quantify the
                                                                                                                                                                selection, the partner should contact the
                                                  funded conservation practices and                       results or performance of the project for
                                                                                                                                                                State Conservationist listed in the letter
                                                  activities? How will progress toward                    the final project performance report.
                                                                                                                                                                to develop the required partnership
                                                  achieving environmental benefits be                     Indicate the practices the partner
                                                                                                                                                                agreement and other project
                                                  measured? What kinds of water                           expects to implement during the project
                                                                                                                                                                implementation requirements. Potential
                                                  conservation plans, assessments, or                     timeframe and general sequence of
                                                                                                                                                                partners should note that depending
                                                  modeling will be done to help achieve                   implementation.
                                                                                                                                                                upon available funding, NRCS may offer
                                                  project objectives or encourage practice                   (7) Letter of Review:
                                                                                                                                                                a reduced amount of program financial
                                                  implementation? Will the project                           Potential partners must include a
                                                                                                                                                                assistance from what was requested in
                                                  include specific efforts to encourage                   copy of the letter showing that the
                                                                                                                                                                the proposal. Partner submissions of
                                                  producers to convert irrigated land to                  written proposal was sent to the
                                                                                                                                                                proposals that were not selected will be
                                                  less water-intensive operations or                      appropriate State Conservationist(s). If a
                                                                                                                                                                notified by official letter.
                                                  dryland farming? What percentage of                     project is multi-State in scope, all State
                                                  the project area is expected to be                      Conservationists in the proposed project              Withdrawal of Proposals
                                                  converted to dryland farming? Will the                  area must be sent the proposal for
                                                                                                          review. The State Conservationist(s) will                Partner proposals may be withdrawn
                                                  proposal restore or enhance water
                                                                                                          review the proposal to address:                       by written notice to the Director,
                                                  quantity or quality in the project area or
                                                                                                             (a) Potential duplication of efforts               Financial Assistance Programs Division
                                                  reduce the impacts of drought? What
                                                                                                          with other projects or existing programs.             at any time prior to selection.
                                                  kinds of irrigation system improvements
                                                  will be implemented? Will the planned                      (b) Adherence to, and consistency                  Ranking Considerations
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                                                  activities significantly solve or improve               with, overall EQIP regulation including
                                                  the resource issues being addressed?                    requirements related to land and                        The Chief or designee will evaluate
                                                  Describe any activities that are                        producer eligibility and use of approved              the proposals using a competitive
                                                  innovative or include outcome-based                     NRCS resource concerns and                            process. Higher priority may be given to
                                                  performance measures implemented by                     conservation practices and other                      proposals that:
                                                  the partner.                                            program requirements.                                   (a) Include high percentages of
                                                     (d) Include the total acres that need                   (c) Expected benefits for project                  agricultural land and producers in a
                                                  conservation treatment and the priority                 implementation in their State(s).                     region or other appropriate area;

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                                                                                    Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices                                       16727

                                                    (b) Result in high levels of applied                  participating in the project and located                19904–8713, Phone: 302/678–4160,
                                                  agricultural water quality and water                    in the approved geographic area.                        Fax: 302/678–0843, (V) 9060–199, (E)
                                                  conservation activities;                                Participating producers must meet all         
                                                    (c) Significantly enhance agricultural                EQIP eligibility requirements (7 CFR                  FL—Carlos Suarez, 2614 N.W. 43rd
                                                  activity;                                               1466.8).                                                Street, Gainesville, Florida 32606–
                                                    (d) Allow for monitoring and                                                                                  6611 or P.O. Box 141510, Gainesville,
                                                                                                          Waiver Authority
                                                  evaluation by the partner;                                                                                      FL 32614, Phone: 352/338–9500, Fax:
                                                    (e) Assist agricultural producers in                    To assist in the implementation of                    352/338–9574, (V) 9012–3501, (E)
                                                  meeting a regulatory requirement that                   agricultural water enhancement                
                                                  reduces the economic scope of the                       activities under the program, the Chief               GA—James Tillman, Federal Building,
                                                  producer’s operation; and                               may waive the applicability of the                      Stop 200, 355 East Hancock Avenue,
                                                    (f) Achieve the project’s land and                    Adjusted Gross Income Limitation, on a                  Athens, Georgia 30601–2769, Phone:
                                                  water treatment objectives within 5                     case-by-case basis, in accordance with                  706/546–2272, Fax: 706/546–2120,
                                                  years or less.                                          policy and processes promulgated in 7                   (V) 9021–2082, (E)
                                                    For proposals from States with water                  CFR part 1400. Such waiver requests           
                                                  quantity concerns, the Chief will give                  must be submitted in writing from the                 GU—Lawrence T. Yamamoto, Director,
                                                  higher priority to projects from States                 program applicant, addressed to the                     Pacific Basin Area, FHB Building,
                                                  where the proposal will:                                Chief, and submitted through the local                  Suite 301, 400 Route 8, Mongmong,
                                                    (a) Include conservation practices that               NRCS designated conservationist.                        Guam 96910, Phone: 671/472–7490,
                                                  support the conversion of agricultural                    Signed March 29, 2010, in Washington,                 Fax: 671/472–7288, (V) 9000–822–
                                                  land from irrigated farming to dryland                  DC.                                                     1265, (E)
                                                  farming;                                                Dave White,                                   
                                                    (b) Leverage Federal funds provided                   Vice President, Commodity Credit                      HI—Lawrence T. Yamamoto, 300 Ala
                                                  under the program with funds provided                   Corporation and Chief, Natural Resources                Moana Blvd., Room 4–118, P.O. Box
                                                  by partners; and                                        Conservation Service.                                   50004, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850–0002,
                                                    (c) Assist producers in States with                                                                           Phone: 808/541–2600 x107, Fax: 808/
                                                  high priority water quantity concerns, as                                                                       541–1335, (V) 9042–108, (E)
                                                  determined by the Chief. The high                       State Conservationists                        
                                                  priority areas are located in the                       AL—William E. Puckett, 3381 Skyway                    ID—Jeffrey B. Burwell, 9173 West
                                                  following regions: Eastern Snake Plain                    Drive, P.O. Box 311, Auburn,                          Barnes Drive, Suite C, Boise, Idaho
                                                  Aquifer, Everglades, Ogallala Aquifer,                    Alabama 36830, Phone: 334/887–                        83709, Phone: 208/378–5700, Fax:
                                                  Puget Sound, Sacramento River Basin,                      4500, Fax: 334/887–4552, (V) 9027–                    208/378–5735, (V) 9000–291–4551,
                                                  Red River, and Upper Mississippi River                    4557, (E)                                             (E)
                                                  Basin.                                                                  IL—William J. Gradle, 2118 W. Park
                                                    The Chief may include other factors                   AK—Robert Jones, 800 West Evergreen,                    Court, Champaign, Illinois 61821,
                                                  and criteria which help identify those                    Atrium Building, Suite 100, Palmer,                   Phone: 217/353–6601, Fax: 217/353–
                                                  proposals which best achieve the                          Alaska 99645–6539, Phone: 907/761–                    6676, (V) 9057–6601, (E)
                                                  purposes of AWEP.                                         7760, Fax: 907/761–7790, (V) 9035–          
                                                  Partnership Agreements                                    2227, (E)                                           IN—Jane E. Hardisty, 6013 Lakeside
                                                                                                                          Blvd., Indianapolis, Indiana 46278–
                                                    Upon selection and approval by the                    AZ—David L. McKay, 230 North First
                                                  Chief, the agency will enter into a                                                                             2933, Phone: 317/290–3200, Fax: 317/
                                                                                                            Avenue, Suite 509, Phoenix, Arizona                   290–3225, (V) 9029–301, (E)
                                                  partnership agreement with the partner.                   85003–1706, Phone: 602/280–8801,
                                                    The partnership agreement will not                                                                  
                                                                                                            Fax: 602/280–8809 or 8805, (V) 9011–                IA—Richard Sims, 693 Federal
                                                  obligate funds, but will address:                         8810, (E)
                                                    (a) Agricultural water enhancement                                                                            Building, 210 Walnut Street, Suite
                                                                                                                           693, Des Moines, Iowa 50309–2180,
                                                  activities anticipated to be addressed                  AR—Michael E. Sullivan, Federal
                                                  and conservation practices to be                                                                                Phone: 515/284–6655, Fax: 515/284–
                                                                                                            Building, Room 3416, 700 West
                                                  implemented;                                                                                                    4394, (V) 9000–945–1065, (E)
                                                                                                            Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas
                                                    (b) The role of NRCS;                                                                               
                                                                                                            72201–3228, Phone: 501/301–3100,
                                                    (c) The responsibilities of the partner                 Fax: 501/301–3194, (V) 9044–3110,                   KS—Kasey Taylor, Acting, Eric B.
                                                  related to the monitoring and evaluation                  (E)                     Banks, 760 South Broadway, Salina,
                                                  of project performance;                                 CA—Lincoln E. (Ed) Burton, 430 G                        Kansas 67401–4642, Phone: 785/823–
                                                    (d) The frequency and duration of the                   Street, Suite 4164, Davis, California                 4565, Fax: 785/452–3369, (V) 9000–
                                                  monitoring and evaluation of project                      95616–4164, Phone: 530/792–5600,                      345–8770, (E)
                                                  performance;                                              Fax: 530/792–5790, (V) 9040–5601,                   KY—Tom Perrin, 771 Corporate Drive,
                                                    (e) The content and format of the final                 (E)                            Suite 110, Lexington, Kentucky
                                                  project performance report that is                      CO—Allen Green, 655 Parfet Street,                      40503–5479, Phone: 859/224–7350,
                                                  required as a condition of the                            Room E200C, Lakewood, Colorado                        Fax: 859/224–7399, (V) 9032–7390,
                                                  agreement;                                                80215–5521, Phone: 720–544–2810,                      (E)
                                                    (f) The specified project schedule and                  Fax: 720–544–2965, (V) 9059–2802,                   LA—Kevin D. Norton, 3737 Government
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                                                  timeframe; and                                            (E)                          Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302,
                                                    (g) Other requirements deemed                         CT—Douglas Zehner, 344 Merrow Road,                     Phone: 318/473–7751, Fax: 318/473–
                                                  necessary by NRCS to achieve the                          Suite A, Tolland, Connecticut 06084,                  7626, (V) 9000–965–1635, (E)
                                                  purposes of AWEP.                                         Phone: 860/871–4011, Fax: 860/871–          
                                                    Once the Chief or designee has                          4054, (V) 9013–114, (E)                             ME—Juan Hernandez, 967 Illinois
                                                  entered into a partnership agreement,                                      Avenue, Suite #3, Bangor, Maine
                                                  NRCS may enter into contracts directly                  DE—Russell Morgan, 1221 College Park                    04401, Phone: 207/990–9100, ext. #3,
                                                  with eligible agricultural producers                      Drive, Suite 100, Dover, Delaware                     Fax: 207/990–9599, (V) 9000–757–

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                                                  16728                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices

                                                    1028, (E)                                               Fax: 505/761–4481, (V) 9016–4401,                    277–2531, Fax: 615/277–2578, (V) 90
                                                                       (E)                    58–2530, (E)
                                                  MD—Jon F. Hall, John Hanson Business                    NY—Astor Boozer, 441 South Salina            
                                                    Center, 339 Busch’s Frontage Road,                      Street, Suite 354, Syracuse, New York               TX—Donald W. Gohmert, W.R. Poage
                                                    Suite 301, Annapolis, Maryland                          13202–2450, Phone: 315/477–6504,                     Federal Building, 10l South Main
                                                    21401–5534, Phone: 410/757–0861                         Fax: 315/477–6550, (V) 9015–6501,                    Street, Temple, Texas 76501–7602,
                                                    x315, Fax: 410/757–0687, (V) 9053–                      (E)                        Phone: 254/742–9800, Fax: 254/742–
                                                    315, (E)                        NC—J. B. Martin, Acting, 4405 Bland                    9819, (V) 9038–9803, (E)
                                                  MA—Christine Clarke, 451 West Street,                     Road, Suite 205, Raleigh, North            
                                                    Amherst, Massachusetts 01002–2995,                      Carolina 27609–6293, Phone: 919/                    UT—Sylvia A. Gillen, W.F. Bennett
                                                    Phone: 413/253–4351, Fax: 413/253–                      873–2102, Fax: 919/873–2156, (V)                     Federal Building, 125 South State
                                                    4375, (V) 9047–4352, (E)                                9025–2101, (E)                                       Street, Room 4402, Salt Lake City,
                                                                                          Utah 84111, Phone: 801/524–4555,
                                                  MI—Garry D. Lee, 3001 Coolidge Road,                    ND—Paul Sweeney, 220 E. Rosser                         Fax: 801/524–4403, (V) 9000–625–
                                                    Suite 250, East Lansing, Michigan                       Avenue, Room 278, P.O. Box 1458,                     1550, (E)
                                                    48823–6350, Phone: 517/324–5270,                        Bismarck, North Dakota 58502–1458,                  VT—Judith M. Doerner, 356 Mountain
                                                    Fax: 517/324–5171, (V) 9048–5277,                       Phone: 701/530–2000, Fax: 701/530–                   View Drive, Suite 105, Colchester,
                                                    (E)                              2110, (V) 9051–2003, (E)                             Vermont 05446, Phone: 802/951–
                                                  MN—Jennifer Heglund, Acting, 375                                            6795, Fax: 802/951–6327, (V) 9000–
                                                    Jackson Street, Suite 600, St. Paul,                  OH—Terry J. Cosby, 200 North High                      768–1240, (E)
                                                    Minnesota 55101–1854, Phone: 651/                       Street, Room 522, Columbus, Ohio           
                                                    602–7900, Fax: 651/602–7913 or                          43215–2478, Phone: 614/255–2472,                    VA—Vicky Drew, Acting, Jack Bricker,
                                                    7914, (V) 9041–7854, (E)                                Fax: 614/255–2548, (V) 9000–881–                     Culpeper Building, Suite 209, 1606
                                                                     1870, (E)                   Santa Rosa Road, Richmond, Virginia
                                                  MS—Homer Wilkes, Suite 1321, Federal                    OK—Ronald L. Hilliard, 100 USDA,                       23229–5014, Phone: 804/287–1691,
                                                    Building, 100 West Capitol Street,                      Suite 206, Stillwater, Oklahoma                      Fax: 804/287–1737, (V) 9003–1682,
                                                    Jackson, Mississippi 39269–1399,                        74074–2655, Phone: 405/742–1204,                     (E)
                                                    Phone: 601/965–5205, Fax: 601/965–                      Fax: 405/742–1126, (V) 9037–1280,                   WA—Roylene Rides at the Door, Rock
                                                    4940, (V) 9000–965–2065, (E)                            (E)                         Pointe Tower II, W. 316 Boone
                                                                  OR—Ron Alvarado, 101 SW Main                           Avenue, Suite 450, Spokane,
                                                  MO—J.R. Flores, Parkade Center, Suite                     Street, Suite 1300, Portland, Oregon                 Washington 99201–2348, Phone: 509/
                                                    250, 601 Business Loop 70 West,                         97204–3221, Phone: 503/414–3200,                     323–2900, Fax: 509/323–2909, (V)
                                                    Columbia, Missouri 65203–2546,                          Fax: 503/414–3103, (V) 9019–3201,                    9035–2901, (E)
                                                    Phone: 573/876–0901, Fax: 573/876–                      (E)                       WV—Kevin Wickey, 75 High Street,
                                                    9439, (V) 9034–1367, (E)                              PA—Dave Brown, Acting, 1 Credit                        Room 301, Morgantown, West
                                                                            Union Place, Suite 340, Harrisburg,                  Virginia 26505, Phone: 304/284–7540,
                                                  MT—Joyce Swartzendruber, Federal                          Pennsylvania 17110–2993, Phone:                      Fax: 304/284–4839, (V) 9049–7542,
                                                    Building, Room 443, 10 East Babcock                     717/237–2203, Fax: 717/237–2238,                     (E)
                                                    Street, Bozeman, Montana 59715–                         (V) 9039–2203, (E)                                  WI—Patricia Leavenworth, 8030
                                                    4704, Phone: 406/587–6813, Fax: 406/                                        Excelsior Drive, Suite 200, Madison,
                                                    587–6761, (V) 9056–6813, (E)                          PR—Angel Figueroa, Acting, Director,
                                                                                                                                                                 Wisconsin 53717, Phone: 608/662–
                                                                 Caribbean Area, IBM Building, Suite
                                                                                                                                                                 4422, Fax: 608/662–4430, (V) 9018–
                                                  NE—Stephen K. Chick, Federal                              604, 654 Munoz Rivera Avenue, Hato
                                                                                                                                                                 222, (E)
                                                    Building, Room 152, 100 Centennial                      Rey, Puerto Rico 00918–4123, Phone:
                                                                                                                                                                WY—J. Xavier Montoya, Federal
                                                    Mall, North, Lincoln, Nebraska                          787/766–5206, ext. 237, Fax: 787/
                                                                                                                                                                 Building, Room 3124, 100 East B
                                                    68508–3866, Phone: 402/437–5300,                        766–5987, (V) 9000–769–1030, (E)
                                                                                                                                                                 Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601–1911,
                                                    Fax: 402/437–5327, (V) 9026–4103,             
                                                                                                          RI—Richard ‘‘Pooh’’ Vongkhamdy, 60                     Phone: 307/233–6750, Fax: 307/233–
                                                  NV—Bruce Petersen, 5301 Longley                           Quaker Lane, Suite 46, Warwick,                      6753, (V) 9000–951–1015, (E)
                                                    Lane, Building F, Suite 201, Reno,                      Rhode Island 02886–0111, Phone:            
                                                    Nevada 89511–1805, Phone: 775/857–                      401/828–1300, Fax: 401/828–0433,                    [FR Doc. 2010–7515 Filed 4–1–10; 8:45 am]
                                                    8500, Fax: 775/857–8524, (V) 9000–                      (V) 9023–115, (E)                                   BILLING CODE 3410–16–P
                                                    784–1390, (E)                                 
                                                                     SC—Keisha Brown, Acting, Strom
                                                  NH—George Cleek, Federal Building, 2                      Thurmond Federal Building, 1835                     DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                                    Madbury Road, Durham, New                               Assembly Street, Room 950,
                                                    Hampshire 03824–2043, Phone: 603/                       Columbia, South Carolina 29201–                     Forest Service
                                                    868–7581 ext. 125, Fax: 603/868–                        2489, Phone: 803/253–3935, Fax: 803/                Beaver Creek Landscape Management
                                                    5301, (V) 9000–868–8035, (E)                            253–3670, (V) 9031–3940, (E)                        Project, Ashland Ranger District,
                                                                                          Custer National Forest; Powder River
                                                  NJ—Thomas Drewes, 220 Davidson                          SD—Janet L. Oertly, Federal Building,                 County, MT
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                                                    Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey 08873,                     Room 203, 200 Fourth Street, S.W.,
                                                    Phone: 732/537–6040, Fax: 732/537–                      Huron, South Dakota 57350–2475,                     AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
                                                    6095, (V) 9000–767–1000, (E)                            Phone: 605/352–1200, Fax: 605/352–                  ACTION:Notice; intent to prepare
                                                                           1288, (V) 9036–1201, (E)                            environmental impact statement.
                                                  NM—Dennis L. Alexander, 6200                    
                                                    Jefferson Street, N.E., Suite 305,                    TN—Kevin Brown, 675 U.S.                              SUMMARY: The Forest Service will
                                                    Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109–                          Courthouse, 801 Broadway, Nashville,                prepare an Environmental Impact
                                                    3734, Phone: 505/761–4402 (Rita),                       Tennessee 37203–3878, Phone: 615/                   Statement (EIS) to disclose the effects of

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