DATE: August 27, 2004

SUBJECT: Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulation (DIAR); Woody Biomass Utilization

SOURCE: Federal Register, August 27, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 166, page 52607

AGENCIES: Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, Department of the Interior (DOI)

ACTION: Interim Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: DOI is adding DIAR Part 1437, Utilization of Woody Biomass, to provide contractors the option of removing woody biomass by-products from DOI land management activities wherever ecologically appropriate and in accordance with the law.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The DIAR is Chapter 14 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It is available on the Internet at http://www.doi.gov/pam/aindex.html.

DATES: This interim final rule is effective August 27, 2004. Comments on the rule must be received by October 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, identified by "1084-AA00," to: (1) http://www.regulations.gov; (2) e-mail: John_Stewart@ios.doi.gov; (3) fax: 202-606-3150; (4) mail: Office of Wildland Fire Coordination, Department of the Interior, MS-3060 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240; or (5) hand delivery: Office of Wildland Fire Coordination, MS-3060, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wiley Horsley, Office of Acquisition and Property Management, DOI, at 202-208-3347, or by e-mail at Wiley_Horsley@ios.doi.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Woody biomass consists of "trees and woody plants, including limbs, tops, needles, leaves, and other woody parts, grown in a forest, woodland, or rangeland environment, that are the by-products of management, restoration and/or hazardous fuel reduction treatment." This rule establishes procedures allowing contractors to remove woody biomass by-products from DOI land management activities when ecologically appropriate ("for example, it may be necessary to retain snags or small woody debris to meet wildlife habitat objectives, or to create specific prescribed burning conditions to stimulate native plant development"). Removal or use of woody biomass will reduce smoke and emissions from prescribed and natural fires; preserve landfill capacities; reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires to communities and public/private utilities; improve watershed and wildlife habitat protection; and improve forest, woodland, and rangeland health by reducing insects, disease, and invasive plant and animal species. The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture has provisions in timber sale, service, and stewardship contracts that provide opportunities to utilize the type of materials included in this rule.

The following are the key provisions of new DIAR Part 1437:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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