United States Forest Washington 14th & Independence SW
Department of Service Office P.O. Box 96090
Agriculture Washington, DC 20090-6090
File Code: 1570-1(L)
Date: April 21, 1997
Natural Heritage Institute
114 Sansome Street, Suite 1200
San Francisco, CA 94104 CERTIFIED MAIL - R.R.R.
Dear Mr. Roos-Collins:
I have completed review of your appeal filed on March 7, 1997, of Regional Forester (RF) G. Lynn Sprague's January 15, 1997, decision notice concerning the section 4(e) conditions for relicensing the Haas-Kings River Hydroelectric project (FERC No. 1988). This review was conducted in accordance with 36 CFR 215 of the Secretary's Appeal Procedure Regulations.
The Haas-Kings River Hydroelectric Project occupies federal land managed by the USDA Forest Service (USFS) (Sierra National Forest), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Land Management. The RF is adopting the EA that was prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and made available on November 6, 1996. The RF is providing the 4(e) conditions to FERC to be included in the license for the protection and utilization of National Forest System (NFS) lands. This decision was in response to a request by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a new license for the continued regulation of water for the operation of the Haas-Kings River hydroelectric project.
The Natural Heritage Institute (NHI), on behalf of American Whitewater Affiliation (AWA) and Friends of the River (FOR), is appealing the RF's decision on the grounds that:
A. The RF did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives.
B. The RF did not complete essential studies before issuance of the section 4(e) letter. Specifically, the RF failed to:
1. determine project impacts under the no-action alternative;
2. demonstrate the effectiveness of mitigation; and
3. follow National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) specific procedures.
C. The section 4(e) letter is not supported by substantial evidence required by the Federal Power Act (FPA). Specifically, the RF failed to:
1. evaluate PG&E's information, and
2. integrate monitoring results into the record.
D. The section 4(e) letter does not assure adequate protection of the Sierra National Forest because it fails to:
1. show how the project is consistent with the Forest Plan, and
2. mitigate impacts to the extent practicable,
Based on the above assertions, NHI also appeals the following specific 4(e) conditions: 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, and 18.
In regard to Condition 6, NHI also bases its appeal on the grounds that the RF did not timely address cumulative impacts or impacts on threatened and endangered species.
In accordance with 36 CFR 215.19, the Appeal Reviewing Officer (ARO) has reviewed the appeal record and has provided a written recommendation on the disposition of the appeal. I have enclosed a copy of the ARO's recommendation.
In accordance with 36 CFR 215.16, an informal disposition meeting was held with NHI. The initial meeting was held on March 27, 1997. On April 17, 1997, the RF provided results from continued discussions with the appellants. The RF has made minor corrections or clarifications in the language of a number of 4(e) conditions. The RF will also issue a new Decision Notice to add flow requirements below Balch Afterbay and at Dinkey Creek Siphon. Flow requirements for these sections were not included in the Decision Notice now under appeal.
A. The RF did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives.
NHI states that the section 4(e) letter, including the incorporated Environmental Assessment (EA), analyzes only one alternative to the original license for PG&E's continued operation of the project. The EA fails to identify or evaluate any other operational alternatives, such as AWA/FOR's proposed whitewater flow schedule.
The EA (pp. 1-3) discusses the purpose and need for action. The purpose of this action is in response to PG&E's application for a new license to continue to operate the Haas-Kings River Project. The need is to continue providing hydroelectric power. The EA (pp. 10-13) discusses alternatives considered, including those eliminated from detailed study.
The record adequately supports the range of alternatives considered. The response to comments appendix (pp. A.3-10, A.3-49 thru A.3-57) provides rationale for not including the whitewater flow alternatives suggested by AWA and FOR. Whitewater boating recreation opportunities were considered (EA, pp. 75-78). The appendix (p. A.3-56) recognizes that flushing flows can be used to enhance recreation. However, the alternative you suggest of increasing flows to enhance recreation does not meet the stated purpose and need for action.
B. The RF did not complete essential studies before issuance of the section 4(e) letter.
1. The RF failed to determine project impacts under the no-action alternative.The EA (pp. 4-12) includes a discussion of the no-action alternative. Under the scope of this project, the definition of the no-action alternative is the continuation of the existing project operation (i.e. no change in existing operation.)
2. The RF failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of mitigation. The section 4(e) letter violates the RF's related duty to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation, after determining what project impacts are under the no-action alternative, and before making his final decision.
Mitigation measures were determined after evaluating PG&E's proposal and reviewing recommendations and terms and conditions from resource agencies. While I believe that mitigation is effective, monitoring studies will determine the effectiveness over time. Monitoring is appropriate to ensure continued protection over the term of the license since environmental conditions can change over time (e.g., new listing of T&E species, floods, drought).
3. The RF failed to follow NEPA's specific procedures. The section 4(e) letter does not identify with specificity missing information on project impacts and mitigation. It does not discuss the relevancy of missing information.
Post-licensing monitoring studies are intended to confirm evaluations, to define effectiveness of proposed mitigating measures, and to ensure that adequate mitigation identified in the license order is implemented. Also as stated above, environmental conditions may change over the license term (30 to 50 years) and monitoring will ensure that the required mitigation is effective over time. The 4(e) conditions contain provisions of flexibility in order to adjust mitigation, if needed, as on-the-ground conditions change over time. Monitoring needs are discussed in the EA (pp. 10-12) and specifically in conditions 5, 6(1), and 6(2).
C. The section 4(e) letter is not supported by substantial evidence required by the FPA.
NHI states the RF may not rely on conclusory assertions but must instead provide substantial evidence in support of those conditions. NHI further states that the section 4(e) letter is not supported by such substantial evidence in the record.
The EA was developed using studies contained in the Project Application, information gathered during scoping, and comments on the EA. The USFS submitted specialist reports to FERC during FERC preparation of the EA. All of this information is contained in the FERC record. The RF adopted the FERC record as the environmental documentation for the 4(e) report.
The USFS also provided "Comments of the Application for License" (Enclosure I), "License Conditions Necessary for Protection and Utilization of the Sierra National Forest" (Enclosure II), and the records referenced on the administrative index submitted to FERC on January 15, 1997.
The information contained in these documents provides substantial evidence to support the RF's decision. This is addressed in more detail in the response to your appeal of the specific 4(e) conditions.
1. The RF failed to evaluate PG&E's information. NHI states that with a few exceptions, the EA and section 4(e) letter do not cite to any other person or source (except PG&E) information in the discussion of specific impacts or mitigation
In preparation of the EA, agencies, organizations, and individuals can respond to the application for license. The names of these agencies, organizations, and individuals and their comments are listed in the EA (pp. 13-15, 100, and 103) and in Appendix 3. All comments become part of the record and are considered during analysis of the project.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDF&G) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have had an opportunity to make comments and recommendations. A Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis was issued by FERC on June 5, 1995. Both CDFG and the USFWS provided information prior to FERC's Notice of Ready. These agencies did not provide specific section 10(j) recommendations.
The USFS and CDFG undertook a separate analysis of PG&E's IFIM results. These results are cited in the discussion of specific impacts and mitigation.
2. The record fails to integrate monitoring results.
NHI states that the section 4(e) letter does not cite any annual evaluation report published since 1991 or any monitoring results for the resources impacted by the Haas-Kings Project. It does not cite to any pre-Forest Plan documents which the Sierra National Forest may have prepared regarding the conditions of these resources. It does not explain this failure to evaluate PG&E's application in the context of such monitoring results.
The letter to FERC from the RF submitting the 4(e) conditions refers to and includes the administrative record index as an attachment. Copies of records, including monitoring reports, are available for public review. The following monitoring reports are listed in the record index:
HKRP, Study of the Effects of Traffic and Recreation on Wildlife, 6/85.
PG&E's letter to FERC submitting additional information which includes an "Evaluation of the Effects of the Operation of Lake Wishon and Courtright Lake on Mule Deer Migration," 4/29/86.
The 4(e) letter does include references to monitoring reports. The RF based his 4(e) conditions on information contained in the administrative record which includes these monitoring reports.
D. The section 4(e) letter does not assure adequate protection of the Sierra National Forest.
1. Inconsistency with the Forest Plan.
NHI states the section 4(e) letter fails to demonstrate its consistency with the standards, guidelines, and other management prescriptions in the Forest Plan.As stated previously, the purpose of the section 4(e) letter to FERC is to provide conditions to be included in the FERC license necessary for the adequate protection and utilization of NFS lands and resources. The protection and utilization of NFS resources is directly linked to meeting Forest Plan standards and guidelines. Development of the 4(e) conditions was guided by Forest Plan direction. The record shows that the 4(e) conditions are consistent with the Sierra National Forest Plan direction.
For example, the plan makes it clear that hydropower is a valid use of NFS lands. Appendix O of the Sierra Forest Plan states: "The Forest Service recognizes the hydroelectric potential of National Forest land as a valid and important resource. It is our intent to balance that use with other uses and resources of the National Forest System that are also valid and important. The Forest recognizes that hydroelectric projects cannot be developed just anywhere; special geophysical conditions are necessary to make a feasible hydroelectric site."
"In recognition of, and in response to our National direction and congressional mandate, we will continue to regard energy potential as a National Forest resource and our Forest management decisions will be directed accordingly."
Page 3-14 of the Forest Plan states: "The Forest contains ideal terrain and climatic conditions for development of hydroelectric resources and therefore, ranks high in planning considerations of future developments by power companies."
The USFS is able to require license conditions which are deemed necessary for the adequate protection and utilization of NFS lands. Under this authority the USFS is obligated to assure that the project impacts are adequately mitigated to protect NFS resources.
As discussed in response to your appeal of condition 4, the record describes how minimum flows required by condition 4 are consistent with Forest Plan direction to protect and restore the fishery resource.
The Decision Notice also discusses consistency with Forest Plan direction for recreation (p. 4) and visuals (p. 5).
2. Failure to mitigate impacts to the extent practicable.
NHI states the RF has a plain duty to mitigate the project's past impacts which contribute to the current conditions.
The USFS has adopted FERC policy relative to the No-action Alternative. The USFS has followed proper procedure, i.e. by adopting the FERC EA and participating as a Cooperating Agency. The USFS has also followed NEPA procedure and Forest Plan direction by considering the impacts of relicensing of hydroelectric projects on the National Forest.
The EA assesses the impact of continuing operation of the Haas-Kings Project and uses existing conditions as the baseline. Projects undergoing relicensing are evaluated in the context of the existing environment, not the pre-project environment (Forest Plan, p. 4-15). The goal of the evaluation, however, is to protect and rehabilitate environmental resources, to the extent practical, that will continue to be impacted by project operation. Required monitoring reports will ensure that prescribed mitigation measures are effective.
Condition 4 - Minimum streamflow requirements
NHI states that this condition does not adequately protect the fishery of the North Fork of the main stem above Kings Powerhouse.
On April 17, 1997, the RF, as a result of continued discussions, changed condition 4 and reduced the required flow from 15 cfs to 10 cfs with the caveat that water temperature at a specified gage will be monitored. If the temperature exceeds 21 degrees centigrade, flow will be increased to 15 cfs until the temperature stabilizes at 21 degrees centigrade.
The minimum instream flow regime identified in condition 4 as originally designed was to protect fisheries and riparian vegetation affected by the Haas-Kings River project. The Sierra National Forest Plan (p. 4-15) identifies fisheries objectives relating to hydroelectric projects. Specifically, standard 42 states that during relicensing, seek flows and habitat more favorable to fish and wildlife on projects where they have obviously been degraded by the project. Adequate flow and habitat conditions will be defined in the 4(e) letter to FERC. Fishery management goals and objectives are described in Enclosure I (pp. 1-3) and Enclosure III (p. 2) of the January 15, 1997, RF letter transmitting section 4(e) conditions to FERC.
The management objective for the reach of stream downstream from Wishon Dam is to maintain flows that provide brown trout and rainbow trout habitat. Trout survival depends on maintaining the water temperature within their thermal tolerance range (21 degrees centigrade). Under the existing license minimum flow releases are 7.5 cfs year-round during dry years. The EA (pp. 24, 26, and 32-33) shows that although PG&E did not record any temperature exceeding the 21 degree centigrade criterion in 5 years of monitoring, flow models predicted the likelihood of exceedence during dry years. The increase to 10 cfs along with monitoring should prevent water temperature from exceeding 21 degrees centigrade in the
Condition 5 - Fisheries monitoring plan
bypassed reach. The USFS relied on an independent analysis done by the CDFG (7/22/87) of PG&E's IFIM study results, fish population sampling, temperature considerations, and natural stream hydrology in determining instream flow releases.
On February 27, 1996, the CDFG, in a letter to FERC, revised their recommendation for instream flow releases to 10 cfs. Their revised recommendation was based on the fact that PG&E had revised their proposed project and eliminated the diversions from Teakettle and Rancheria Creeks.
Based on the information contained in the record, fisheries management objectives will be met by providing the flow scenario in revised condition 4. NHI objects to the RF's failure to evaluate such impacts before issuance of the section 4(e) letter.
As mentioned previously, post-licensing studies are intended to confirm evaluations, to define effectiveness of proposed mitigating measures, and to ensure that adequate mitigation identified in the license order is implemented. Therefore, while I believe the RF adequately assessed impacts on fisheries prior to licensing and determined appropriate protection measures, the USFS must ensure continued protection of NFS resources through monitoring to ensure that Forest Plan goals continue to be met.
Condition 6 - Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Plan
1. The RF failed to timely address cumulative impacts.
NHI objects to the RF's failure to evaluate cumulative impacts mitigation effectiveness before issuance of the section 4(e) letter.
See the response to condition 5 above regarding the reasons for requiring post-licensing monitoring plans. Monitoring plan requirements for the relicensing of this project will consider additive and continuing effects upon the resources, such as wildlife (EA, p. 97). The EA (pp. 43-48) does include a discussion of effects related to wildlife.
2. The RF failed to timely address impacts on threatened and endangered species.
NHI objects to the RF's failure to issue the section 4(e) letter before FERC or the RF undertook formal consultation with the USFWS under ESA.
The Decision Notice (p. 4) and the EA (pp. 48-49) disclose that the currently proposed project would not have an adverse impact on any known threatened, endangered, or sensitive species. Formal consultation with the USFWS is not required in this instance.
However, the USFS recognizes that the term of the license may be from 30 to 50 years. Condition 6(3) requires, that if, in the course of project construction or operation, a federally listed threatened or endangered species or a Region 5 sensitive species is discovered on NFS lands, the applicant would evaluate the species and the potential impacts on it from the activity(ies).
The USFWS did have an opportunity to make comments and recommendations in response to the Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis issued on June 5, 1995. They did not submit specific section 10(j) recommendations. However, they did provide information prior to the June 5, 1995, Notice of Ready.
Condition 7 - Project recreation plan and recreation survey
NHI objects to the RF's failure to consider any operational alternatives involving greater releases for recreational benefits, before issuing the section 4(e) letter. They further indicate that the section 4(e) letter constrains river recreation to those unpredictable circumstances when the project spills or releases more than the minimum instream flow scenario (MIFS) on the basis of other operational considerations.
NHI further states "the EA finds that our proposal would consume unimpaired flows in certain months, and that we [NHI] did not present 'substantial evidence of specific environmental benefits.' Under the original license and annual extensions thereto, the Haas-Kings Project has diverted virtually all of the unimpaired flows of the North Fork in most months. The required minimum flows have not been suitable for any form of boating. We [NHI] cannot demonstrate the benefits of our proposal, which involves scheduled release that the project has not made."
On April 17, 1997, the RF agreed to analyze new information provided by AWA and FOR on recreation relative to condition 4. On April 18, 1997, you requested that I defer a formal decision pending the RF's reconsideration. The RF may issue a new decision or confirm his original decision based on his analysis. However, as previously discussed under Item A and condition 4, the record provides sufficient rationale to support the RF's decision with respect to minimum flows for recreation.
Condition 11 - Visual Resource Plan
NHI objects to the RF's failure to consider such impacts of project diversion of the North Fork's flows. Specifically, the RF did not attempt to demonstrate that the MIFS established by condition 4 is consistent with the Visual Quality Objectives for the North Fork.
The proposed project is to continue operations of the Haas-Kings River hydroelectric project. The 4(e) conditions, in some instances, require higher minimum flows than in the existing operation. The EA (pp. 51-65) discusses the visual impact of the project. The USFS 4(e) condition 11, requires that PG&E produce a visual resource plan addressing the effects
of the projects facilities on aesthetic resources, proposed mitigation enhancements, and an implementation schedule. This plan is to be submitted to the USFS within 1 year of relicensing for approval. The goal (EA, p. 58) of the plan is to have project facilities brought into compliance with visual resource guidelines as stated in the Forest Plan.
Condition 18 - Water pollution
NHI states that the MIFS established by condition 4 will violate the water quality standards based on the following assertions:
Dissolved oxygen levels (DO) of project waters exceed standards. DO levels are important to assure attainment of designated beneficial use, such as power and recreation use (based on a report by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB)).
The EA does not evaluate whether operational alternatives involving greater releases would meet the DO standard.
The RF failed to demonstrate that the MIFS is adequate, throughout the project reach and on a continuous basis, to comply with the 70 degrees Fahrenheit limit.
The EA (p. 21-27) assesses the impact of continuing operation of the project and uses existing conditions as a baseline. The EA (p. 24) recognizes that CVRWQCB criteria frequently were not met; however, EPA standards were almost always met. The EA (p. 26) further recognizes that water resource issues are primarily related to water temperature. The value of temperature-based flow release criterion is discussed. The 70 degree (21 degree centigrade) limit would be met by the instream flow requirement mentioned earlier in this letter.
Condition 5 directs the Licensee to file a plan approved by the USFS for the monitoring of fisheries in streams diverted by the project. The purpose of the monitoring plan is to determine effects of the instream flow on the fisheries and temperature levels within the affected reaches.
Based on the above discussion and with respect to the items raised in your appeal, I am affirming the Regional Forester's decision. As previously noted, the Regional Forester will issue a new decision to establish minimum instream flows for Dinkey Creek Siphon and Balch Powerhouse. The Regional Forester's decision establishing instream flows will be subject to appeal under the Secretary's Appeal Procedure Regulations.
This constitutes the final administrative determination of the Department of Agriculture (36 CFR 215.18) with respect to the items of appeal.
/s/ Jack Blackwell
Appeal Deciding Officer
United States Forest Washington 14th & Independence SW
Department of Service Office P.O. Box 96090
Agriculture Washington, DC 20090-6090
File Code: 1570-1 Date: April 21, 1997
Route To : *
Subject: Appeal Reviewing Officer Recommendation
(Appeal # 97-13-00-0053-A215)
To: Appeal Deciding Officer
This is my review of the substantive quality of the January 15, 1997 decision made by Regional Forester G. Lynn Sprauge (RF) concerning the Section 4(e) conditions for relicensing the Haas-Kings River Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 1988) on the Sierra National Forest. The decision was based on a Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) prepared by FERC, in cooperation with the Forest Service (FS), for the project which includes the Section 4(e) conditions.
I have considered the arguments presented in the March 7, 1997 appeal filed by Richard Roos-Collins, Natural Heritage Institute, Attorney for American Whitewater Affiliation (AWA) and Friends of the River (FOR). I have also reviewed the decision document, Final Environmental Assessment (FEA), and other documents in the project record.
Natural Heritage Institute (NHI) is appealing the RF's decision on the grounds that (1) the RF did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives, (2) the RF did not complete essential studies before issuance of the Section 4(e) letter, (3) the Section 4(e) letter is not supported by substantial evidence required by the Federal Power Act, and (4) the Section 4(e) letter does not assure adequate protection of the Sierra National Forest. (5) Based on these assertions, NHI also appeals Section 4(e) conditions 4 through 7, 11, and 18.
The Appellant requests the RF undertake informal disposition of this appeal, or absent success in informal disposition, vacate and remand the Section 4(e) letter for further proceeding.
(a) Clarity of the decision and rationale.
I find the clarity of the decision and rationale meets Agency standards. The proposed action is clearly summarized in the Decision Notice (DN) and specifically described in the FEA. The basis for finding of no significant impact on the human environment is clearly stated. The Regional Forester disclosed that the project is consistent with the Sierra National Forest Land and Resource Management Plans. The issues raised by both the public and by agencies/organizations are identified, with the relationship between each issue and the considered alternatives clearly shown. Environmental consequences and mitigation measures are clearly present in the documentation. The DN delineates a final set of Federal Power Act (FPA) Section 4(e) conditions developed by the Forest Service for adequate protection and use of the affected National Forest System lands and resources.
(b) Comprehension of benefits and purpose of the proposal.
The decision clearly documents that the relicensing action will benefit the Forest by providing opportunities to address concerns of environmental effects and associated project-induced recreation use of National Forest System land. These concerns have been disclosed.
(c) Consistency of the decision with policy, direction, and supporting information.
I find the decision to develop and adopt the Section 4(e) conditions based on the FERC FEA to be consistent with Agency policy, goals of the Forest Plan direction, and supporting information in the record. Further, I find the principles and processes of ecosystem management are reflected, where appropriate, in the design of the Section 4(e) conditions. The Conditions reflect the Regional Forester's intent for the relicensing action to include a balanced mix of recreation enhancements and measures necessary for the adequate protection and utilization of National Forest System resources while maintaining benefits for hydroelectric power generation.
(d) Effectiveness of public participation and use of comments.
The decision clearly states that FERC issued two Scoping Documents, and held two public scoping meetings in March 1995. The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Department of Interior had opportunity to make comments and recommendations, but none of these agencies submitted specific recommendations. The FEA includes all written comments that were received, and the responses to those comments.
(e) Requested changes and objections of the Appellant.
1. Natural Heritage Institute (NHI) is appealing the RF's decision on the grounds that the RF did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives. The FEA identifies and evaluates several alternatives. These include specific consideration of the AWA's and FOR's written comments, with responses to those comments. The FEA specifically discusses and recommend minimum flows based on recommendations of CDFG, FS, and PG&E.
2. NHI is appealing on the grounds that the RF did not complete essential studies before issuance of the Section 4(e) letter. Within the scope of this project, the no action alternative is continuation of the existing project operation. The FEA evaluates these existing operations. Based on analysis of the PG&E proposals and agency recommendations, the FEA identifies mitigation measures. Post licensing monitoring studies were included to determine the effectiveness of the mitigating measures.
3. NHI is appealing on the grounds that the Section 4(e) letter is not supported by substantial evidence required by the Federal Power Act. The FS submitted specialist reports to FERC in support of the specific Conditions and for preparation of the FEA. Comments on the FEA are contained in an Appendix. Additional reports by PG&E and others are included in the administrative record and available for public review. These documents provide substantial evidence to support the RF's decision.
4. NHI is appealing on the grounds that the Section 4(e) letter does not assure adequate protection of the Sierra National Forest. The Section 4(e) conditions specifically relate to protection and utilization of the National Forest System lands and resources, which is directly linked to, and consistent with, meeting Forest Plan standards and guidelines.
5. Based on these assertions, NHI also appeals Section 4(e) conditions 4 through 7, 11, and 18.
-Condition 4--Minimum streamflow requirements. Instream flow recommendations were developed by CDFG in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the FS.
-Condition 5--Fisheries monitoring plan. Post licensing monitoring studies are included to ensure adequate mitigation and protection are provided.
-Condition 6--Fish and Wildlife mitigation plan. Monitoring plan requirements for relicensing will consider additive and continuing effects, such as upon wildlife. Analysis documented in the FEA demonstrates that the existing project does not impact sensitive or Threatened and Endangered Species.
-Condition 7--Project recreation plan and recreation survey. The FEA identifies and evaluates AWA's and FOR's proposed whitewater flows, but dismiss them as not a viable alternative.
-Condition 11-- Visual Resource Plan. This Condition requires PG&E to produce a visual resource plan addressing the effects on aesthetic resources, proposed mitigation enhancements and an implementation schedule. Visual impact of instream flows was not identified as an issue in the environmental assessment.
-Condition 18--Water pollution. Based on assessment of the existing conditions, dissolved oxygen may exceed standards, but temperature limitations would be met. Monitoring plans will identify effects of instream flow on fisheries within the effected reaches.
As a result of my review, I find the Forest Service was an active cooperating agency in the development of the FEA. There were sound reasons for the Section 4(e) conditions in the FERC FEA and the record. The Regional Forester's decision was within the authority of the Forest Service, the conditions conform to the purposes of the National Forest, there was substantial public participation addressing the issues, and the identified measures are appropriate for addressing environmental concerns and project-induced recreation use while meeting the purpose and need of the project. Furthermore, I find the issues raised by the Appellants were adequately addressed in either the decision or in supporting documents.
I recommend the Regional Forester's decision be affirmed.
/s/ Gerald Coghlan
GERALD T. COGHLAN
Acting Director, Engineering