Raystown Lake Project Forest Management Activities for Huntingdon and Bedford Counties, Pennsylvania

Published Aug. 17, 2020
Expiration date: 9/18/2020

All interested parties: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE) has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for proposed forest management activities at Raystown Lake Project on approximately 500 acres per year. Raystown Lake is a multipurpose water resources project constructed and operated by USACE, located in south central Pennsylvania. Project lands and waters provide flood-risk management, outdoor recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, plant habitat, timber, and hydropower. Project lands are primarily forested and managed to ensure long-term sustainability of the forest as well as maintain forest values to the project.

USACE prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2011 evaluating forest management on approximately 250 acres per year through 2020. This 2020 EA provides updates on existing conditions, forestry management activities, and environmental effects over the period 2011-2020, as well as addressing impacts of future increased acreage of forestry activities. Even-age and uneven-age forestry practices would be utilized, both of which could include timber harvesting, prescribed burning, herbicide treatments, and reforestation. The proposed sustainable forest management activities would be optimized in accordance with the most recent Operational Management Plan and 2020 Master Plan. Forest management activities would be conducted using sound silvicultural practices, and implemented after appropriate forest stand analysis is conducted that considers access, forest regeneration, soils, erosion and sedimentation, wildlife considerations, threatened and endangered species, and cultural resources. The locations and boundaries of forest management activities will be delineated to insure protection of infrastructure, recreation features, and sensitive resources and to maximize ecological benefits.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), USACE has prepared this draft EA and evaluated potential effects on the human environment. Resource agency and public input was undertaken to prepare the 2011 EA. Input from the US Fish and Wildlife Service was incorporated through Endangered Species Act consultation in 2015 and 2016. All applicable environmental laws have been considered. Changes in impacts from what was described in the 2011 EA would be minor and not result in significant effects.

USACE requests comments regarding the draft EA and FONSI within thirty days of the date of this notice. For federal and state agencies receiving a copy of this notice, we request that you provide comments concerning your responsibilities. The draft EA and FONSI are available at the USACE website: www.nab.usace.army.mil/Raystown

Comments can be submitted via telephone at (410) 962-6010 or electronically to Phil.Cwiek@usace.army.mil.