• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Abstract
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Summary
 Purpose and need
 Comparison of alternatives
 Affected environment and environmental...
 Preparers
 Distribution list of DIES
 Glossary
 References
 Appendix A: Summary of public...
 Appendix B: Analysis process
 Appendix C: Evaluation of RARE...
 Appendix D: Wild and scenic...
 Appendix E: Proposed, endangered,...
 Appendix F: Old growth
 Index
 Back Cover






Group Title: Management bulletin R8 ;
Title: Draft environmental impact statement for the revised land and resource management plan
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096121/00001
 Material Information
Title: Draft environmental impact statement for the revised land and resource management plan National Forests in Florida : Baker, Columbia, Franklin, Lake, Leon, Liberty, Marion, Okaloosa, Putnam, and Wakulla Counties
Series Title: Management bulletin R8 ;
Physical Description: 1 v. (various pagings) : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Forest Service. -- Southern Region
National Forests in Florida
Publisher: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region
Place of Publication: Atlanta GA
Atlanta GA
Publication Date: 1997
Copyright Date: 1997
 Subjects
Subject: Environmental impact statements   ( lcsh )
Forest policy -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Management -- Apalachicola National Forest (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Management -- Ocala National Forest (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Management -- Osceola National Forest (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Forest management -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Baker County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Columbia County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Franklin County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Lake County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Leon County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Liberty County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Marion County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Okaloosa County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Putnam County   ( lcsh )
Environmental impact statements -- Florida -- Wakulla County   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index.
General Note: "January 1997."
General Note: Management bulletin R8-MB 77B ; Forest Service, Southern Region ; United States Department of Agriculture
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096121
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 36439292

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Abstract
        Abstract 1
        Abstract 2
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    List of Illustrations
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Summary
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    Purpose and need
        Page 1-1
        Page 1-2
        Page 1-3
        Page 1-4
        Page 1-5
        Page 1-6
        Page 1-7
        Page 1-8
    Comparison of alternatives
        Page 2-1
        Page 2-2
        Page 2-3
        Page 2-4
        Page 2-5
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    Affected environment and environmental consequences
        Page 3-1
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    Preparers
        Page 4-1
        Page 4-2
        Page 4-3
        Page 4-4
        Page 4-5
        Page 4-6
    Distribution list of DIES
        Page 5-1
        Page 5-2
        Page 5-3
        Page 5-4
    Glossary
        Page 6-1
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    References
        Page Ref-1
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    Appendix A: Summary of public involvement
        Page A-1
        Page A-2
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    Appendix B: Analysis process
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    Appendix C: Evaluation of RARE II areas
        Page C-1
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    Appendix D: Wild and scenic rivers
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    Appendix E: Proposed, endangered, threatened, and sensitive species
        Page E-1
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    Appendix F: Old growth
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    Index
        Index 1
        Index 2
        Index 3
        Index 4
        Index 5
        Index 6
        Index 7
        Index 8
        Index 9
        Index 10
        Index 11
        Index 12
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

United States
Department of
Agriculture
Forest Service
Southern Region

S


Draft Environmental Impact Statement
for the Revised Land and
Resource Management Plan


%atio-/ woestC in 7&Lz&


Management Bulletin R8-MB 77B


January 1997





















Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the

Revised Land and Resource Management Plan

National Forests in Florida

Baker, Columbia, Franklin, Lake, Leon, Liberty,
Marion, Okaloosa, Putnam, and Wakulla Counties

Responsible Agency: USDA Forest Service
Responsible Official: Robert C. Joslin, Regional Forester
USDA Forest Service, Southern Region
1720 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta GA 33067-9102
For Information Contact: Karl P. Siderits, Forest Supervisor
National Forests in Florida
325 John Knox Road, Suite F-100
Tallahassee FL 32303-4160
Telephone: (904) 942-9300
Abstract:
Five alternatives for revision of the Land and Resource Management Plan for National
Forests in Florida (Forest Plan) are described and compared in this Draft Environmen-
tal Impact Statement. The alternatives are labeled A, B, C, D, and E. Alternative E is
the alternative preferred by the Forest Service.

Comments must be received by May 10, 1997.

Reviewers should provide the Forest Service with their comments during the review
period of the draft environmental impact statement. This will enable the Forest Service
to analyze and respond to the comments at one time and to use information acquired in
the preparation of the final environmental impact statement, thus avoiding undue delay
in the decision-making process. Reviewers have an obligation to structure their partici-
pation in the National Environmental Policy Act process so that it is meaningful and
alerts the agency to the reviewer's position and contentions. Vermont Yankee Nuclear
Power Corp. v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519, 553 (1978). Environmental objections that could
have been raised at the draft stage may be waived if not raised until after completion of
the Final Environmental Impact Statement. City of Angoon v. Hodel (9th Circuit,
1986) and Wisconsin Heritages. Inc. v. Harris, 490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D. Wis.
1980). Comments on the draft environmental impact statement should be specific and
should address the adequacy of the statement and the merits of the alternatives dis-
cussed (40 CFR 1503.3).

January 1997








CONTENTS


Chapter Page

SUMMARY .. ......................... v
Reason for Revision ........... ............. v
Forest Plan Decisions. .......... ............ v
Planning Process ........ ............. v
Issues .... . ....... ............... .. vi
Alternative Development. .................. ..vii
Alternatives Considered in Detail ........... . vii
Alternative Descriptions ........ . . . . ......... vii
Comparison of Alternatives ................ xv

1 PURPOSE AND NEED ................. ...... ..1-1
Forest Plan Decisions. .. .... .............. 1-1
Forest Profile. ................. ......... 1-3
Reason for Revision .................. ..... ..1-3
Planning Process .............. ......... ..1-4
Issues. ................... ............ 1-5
Planning Process Records .......... . . . 1-7

2 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES ............... .2-1
Alternatives Not Considered in Detail ........ ..... ..2-1
Alternatives Considered in Detail . .......... .. ..2-2
Alternative Descriptions ... . ....... ...... ..2-7

3 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES . . . ... . 3-1
Physical and Biological Environment . . . . ...... 3-3
A ir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3-5
Soil and Water. . . ......... .. . . .3-6
Vegetation .................. ....... ..3-15
Wildlife and Fish .......... ....... ... ..3-49
Resource Management Programs . . . . . . .... 3-65
Heritage Program ....... . . . . . .... 3-67
Infrastructure. ...... . . . . . ....... 3-71
Interpretive Services. ... . ............... ..3-76
Lands. ............. ........... . 3-77
Minerals .. . .... ................ ..3-80
Protection .................. ......... ..3-85
Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-96
Recreation .................. .. ....... ..3-98
Roadless Areas. .................. ... ..3-107
Scenery. .................. ....... ..3-116







Chapter


Timber ....... .. ......... ..... ........
Wild and Scenic Rivers . . . . . .
Wilderness. ................... .......
Socioeconomic Environment. ........ . . .....

4 PREPARERS. ...........................

5 DISTRIBUTION LIST OF DEIS .............. .

6 GLOSSARY ............................

REFERENCES. ..........................


Summary of Public Involvement ...............
Analysis Process ........ ......... .......
Evaluation of RARE II Areas .................
Wild and Scenic Rivers. ....................
Proposed, Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive Species ..
O ld Grow th . . . . . . . . . . . . ... .


ILLUSTRATIONS


3.1 Generalized Reverse-J Curve ...................
3.2 Current Age Class Distribution of Longleaf and Slash Pine . .
3.3 Current Distribution of Opening Sizes for Longleaf/Slash Pine
< 40 Years Old . . . . . . .... .........
3.4 Current Age Class Distribution of Sand Pine . . . . . ..
3.5 Current Age Class Distribution of Upland Hardwood . . . .
3.6 Current Age Class Distribution for Forested Wetland
Com m unities ................. .... ...
3.7 Age Class Distributions of Pine Forest Types at the End of
50 Years .......... .......... ..........
3.8 Age Class Distributions of Forested Wetlands at the End of
50 Years........ ........... ..........
3.9 Age Class Distributions of Upland Hardwoods at the End of
50 Y ears . . . . . . . . . ... .. .... .
3.10 W wildlife Habitat Indices . . . . . . . . . ...
3.11 Probable Disposition of Current Road System by Alternatives . .
3.12 Clearcut Method. ..... . . . . . . . . .
3.13 Shelterwood/Seed-Tree Method. ..................
3.14 Irregular Shelterwood Method. ...... . . . . . ...


Page
3-123
3-136
3-138
3-143


Ref-1


Appendix


A-i
B-1
C-1
D-1


Figure


3-17
3-18

3-20
3-22
3-23

3-25

3-32-3-37

3-37-3-38

3-39
3-54-3-58
3-75
3-132
3-132
3-133







Figure


3.15 Group Selection Method. . ... .. . ...........
3.16 National Forests in Florida Budget Allocation . . . . ..
Table
i-1 Summary of Outputs and Allocations, First 10-Year Period . .
2.1 Percent of Land Allocated to Desired Future Condition. . . .
2.2 Common Practices by Desired Future Condition . . . .
3.1 Administrative Watershed within the South Atlantic
Gulf Water Resource Region ..................
3.2 Water Resource within Three of the National Forests in Florida ..
3.3 Average Discharge of Springs within the National Forests
in F lorida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.4 Sediment Yield... . . . . . .....
3.5 Water Yield.. ...... . . . . . . . ......
3.6 Natural Communities' Occurrence by Forest and Ranking of
Imperilment .... ....... ...............
3.7 Estimated Harvest Acres per Period by Forest . . . . . .
3.8 Estimated Road Reconstruction by Alternative . . . . .
3.9 Status of Land-Use Activities ... ............. .
3.10 Number of Leases and Affected Acres Since 1987 on National
Forests in Florida.. ........... ... .........
3.11 Acres Unavailable/Withdrawn from Mineral Leasing. . . . .
3.12 Law Enforcement Violations..... . . .....
3.13 Fire Intensity... .. . . . . ........ .........
3.14 Prescribed Burning, 1990-94, National Forests in Florida . . .
3.15 Current Range Allotments. . .... .............
3.16 Percentage of ROS Settings by Alternative . .. .....
3.17 Recreation Outputs....... . . . . .....
318. Roadless Areas and Their Acres. ..... . . . . . . ...
3.19 Roadless Area/Wilderness Study Area Allocations by
Alternatives. . . . . . . . . .
3.20 DFC Allocation of RARE II Areas by Alternatives . . . ..
3.21 Percent of Acres in Each VQO as Determined by DFC . . .
3.22 Land Suitability for Timber Production (1986) . . . . ..
3.23 Average Pine Stumpage Prices, 1991-94 ..... . . . . ...
3.24 Forestwide Harvest Volumes, 1990-94 .. . . . . ...
3.25 Commercial Timberland Distribution . .............
3.26 Percent of Forest Classified as Suitable for Timber
Production by Alternative ...... .. ............
3.27 Long-Term Sustained-Yield Capacity by Alternative . . . ..
3.28 Estimated Timber Yields by Alternative, by Period. . . . .
3.29 Summary of Wild and Scenic River Eligibility and
Classification Determination Length ..... . . . . ...
3.30 Wilderness Acres ............. . . . . . .....
3.31 National Forests in Florida Receipts. . . . . . . . ..
3.32 Annual 25 Percent Fund Payment to Counties, 1986-1995 .....


3-133
3-155


xv
2-38-2-41
2-42

3-7
3-8

3-8
3-10-3-11
3-11-3-12

3-15
3-29-3-31
3-73
3-78

3-81
3-84
3-85
3-87
3-89
3-96
3-99
3-99
3-107

3-108
3-115
3-119
3-124
3-125
3-125
3-127

3-128
3-129
3-129-3-131

3-137
3-138
3-155
3-155









3.33
3.34
3.35

B.1
B.2
B.3

B.4
B.5
B.6
B.7
B.8
B.9
B.10
B.10
F.1


Annual Payment in Lieu of Taxes to Counties, 1986-1995.
Socioeconomic Factors . . . . . . . . . .
Estimated Benefits, Costs, Net Benefits, Benefit/Cost Ratio
and Present Net Worth by Alternative . . . . .
Unit Costs and Revenues . . . . . . . . .
Acres Tentatively Suitable for Timber Production . . .
Land Classified as Suitable for Timber Production by
A alternative . . . . . . . . . . . .
Highest Present Net Worth by Prescription . . . . .
Benchm arks .........................
Im pact Areas . .. .. .. .. ... . .. . ..
IMPLAN Response Coefficients . . . . . . .
Timber Processing Impacts . . . . . . . . .
25 Percent Fund Impacts . . . . . . . . .
Recreation Impacts . . . . . . . . . . .
Summary of Jobs and Income by Alternative . . . .
Apalachicola National Forest, Potential Old Growth and
Future Potential Old Growth . . . . . . . .


INDEX .. ..........


MAPS


Public Lands in Florida . .
Apalachicola NF Alternative A
Apalachicola NF Alternative B
Apalachicola NF Alternative C
Apalachicola NF Alternative D
Apalachicola NF Alternative E
Ocala NF Alternative A. . .
Ocala NF Alternative B . .
Ocala NF Alternative C . .
Ocala NF Alternative D . .
Ocala NF Alternative E . .
Osceola NF Alternative A ..
Osceola NF Alternative B . .
Osceola NF Alternative C . .
Osceola NF Alternative D. .
Osceola NF Alternative E . .
Previous/Revised Roadless Are


a Inventory.


xvi
2-8
2-10
2-12
2-14
2-16
2-18
2-20
2-22
2-24
2-26
2-28
2-30
2-32
2-34
2-36
3-109-3-114
B-6
B-8
B-10
D-10
D-22
D-34
D-54


Apalachicola NF Landtype Associations .
Ocala NF Landtype Associations . . .
Osceola NF Landtype Associations . . .
Alexander Springs. . . . . . . .
Juniper Creek ................
New River ..................
Ochlockonee River . . . . . . .


Table


3-156
3-157-158

3-158
B-50
B-55

B-55-B-56
B-57-B-58
B-60-B-62
B-63
B-65
B-66-B-67
B-67-B-68
B-69-B-70
B-70-B-71

F-7-F-8








SUMMARY


This Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) describes the analysis of several al-
ternatives for revising the Land and Resource Management Plan for National Forests in
Florida (Forest Plan) and discloses the environmental effects of these alternatives. The
companion document to this DEIS is the draft version of the revised Forest Plan, a de-
tailed presentation of the alternative the Forest Service is proposing to implement. Final
versions of these documents will be published after public review and comment.

Reason for Revision

The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA), as amended by the
National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), requires that each national forest be
managed under a forest plan. Regulations require that forest plans be revised on a 10-to-
15-year cycle, or sooner if conditions or the areas covered by the plan change signifi-
cantly. The Land and Resource Management Plan for National Forests in Florida was
approved on January 6, 1986. We are revising this plan to be within the 10-to-15-year
cycle.

Forest Plan Decisions

A forest plan provides programmatic, strategic direction on a forestwide basis. Forest
plans establish overall goals and objectives, identify the amount of land to be managed
for different uses, describe the probable management practices including standards and
guidelines, estimate the amounts of products and services provided, recommend areas for
wilderness, determine mineral leasing availability, and determine monitoring and evalu-
ation requirements. Plans are not a collection of projects to implement and make no site-
specific decisions, such as where timber is harvested or where trails are located.

Planning Process

Forest planning occurs within the overall framework provided by implementing the regu-
lations of NFMA and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Planning actions used
in this planning process are:

1. Identification of issues, concerns, and opportunities

2. Development of planning criteria

3. Inventory of resources and data collection

4. Analysis of the management situation





DRAFT EIS


5. Formulation of alternatives

6. Estimated effects of alternatives

7. Evaluation of alternatives

8. Recommendation of preferred alternative

9. Approval and implementation

10. Monitoring and evaluation

The results of planning steps 1-8 are described in this document. Refer to Appendix A,
"Summary of Public Involvement," and Appendix B, "Analysis Process," for more detail
on the results of these steps.

Issues

Public involvement is a key part of the planning process. Issues submitted by the public,
as well as from within the Forest Service, guided the need to change current management
strategies. In addition to the emerging issues, the need for change was identified through
an analysis of the management situation. A detailed account of the public involvement
process is found in Appendix A. A summary of the analysis of the management situation
is found in Appendix B.

The issues and planning questions are summarized in the following questions used to de-
velop alternatives for the Forest Plan revision.

How much of the longleaf pine-wiregrass community should be restored and
maintained and by what methods?

How should we maintain the sand pine-scrub oak community?

How should we manage and protect riparian and wetland areas?

How should special aquatic, botanic, geologic, historic, paleontologic, and scenic
areas be protected and managed?

What lands should be designated as wilderness, and what practices should be per-
mitted in these areas?

What types, amounts, and mix of recreational opportunities should be provided,
and what consideration should be given to compatibility of users?

What should be the access policy for motorized vehicles?

What is the proper combination of opened and closed roads to meet public needs?





SUMMARY


How should we manage habitat to enhance certain wildlife populations-such as
game, proposed, endangered, threatened, and sensitive species?

What will be the level of timber harvest, and what silviculture systems will be
used?

What other types of forests products and uses will be permitted on the national
forests'?

Alternative Development

Alternatives were developed using a set of desired future conditions that provides dif-
ferent ways of responding to the issues. The desired future conditions were applied on the
ground-using ecological units or administrative boundaries (see Appendix B). Each de-
sired future condition contained a set of goals and a list of management practices that
would contribute to the desired future condition. After listing the management practices
associated with each desired future condition, standards and guidelines necessary to attain
them were developed.

There are countless possible alternatives. However, we can only study a small portion of
those alternatives. It is important that those we study be implementable and span a full
range of possibilities. Alternatives must be compatible with current laws and regulations
governing national forest land management. We received many comments and sugges-
tions during our scoping process. All suggestions were discussed and influenced the de-
velopment of the alternatives.

Alternatives Considered in Detail

Four preliminary alternatives were developed in detail using a combination of desired fu-
ture conditions: Alternatives A, B, C, and D. These alternatives were described in a news-
letter that was provided to the public in January 1995. In addition, public workshops were
conducted in February 1995 at various locations in Florida to gather public comments
(see Appendix A). After these meetings, an additional alternative was developed, Alter-
native E. The original alternatives were adjusted based on public comment and Forest
Service review. Alternative E is the preferred alternative.

Alternative Descriptions

The five alternatives considered in detail are described below with significant manage-
ment highlights of each.

Alternative A

Alternative A reflects the current plan and is the "no action" or "no revision" alternative.
Management would continue as directed in the 1986 Forest Plan, as amended.





DRAFT EIS


Alternative B

Apalachicola National Forest

Clear Lake would be recommended as wilderness.

Ochlockonee River and New River would be recommended as wild and scenic rivers.

Savannah Research Natural Area (RNA) would be expanded to include all of the savan-
nahs between Wilma and Sumatra as well as the surrounding pine forest.

All of the savannahs that are not in the RNA, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock, River
Sinks, and Leon Sinks would be managed as special interest areas.

Munson Hills and Fisher Creek areas would be managed for low recreational develop-
ment.

Bradwell Tract and the river bottomlands of the Ochlockonee River and Apalachicola
River would be managed for moderate recreational development.

The entire forest would be within red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW HMAs) habitat
management areas. Foraging habitat requirements would be reduced by one-third on the
Apalachicola Ranger District.

Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola Ranger District.

Ocala National Forest

Juniper Prairie Wilderness would be extended to State Highway 19 in the northeast cor-
ner.

Juniper Creek and Alexander Springs Creek would be recommended as wild and scenic
rivers.

Mud Lake, Mormon Branch, and Ancient Island would be managed as research natural
areas.

North Prairie, Zay Prairie, Redwater Lake (enlarged), Lake Charles, Davenport Landing,
Silver Glen Springs, Farles Prairie, Sellers Lake, Bowers Bluff, Alexander Springs Sce-
nic Area, Disappearing Creek, and Blackwater Swamp would be managed as special in-
terest areas.

Hopkins Prairie and the area north of River Forest would be managed for minimum de-
velopment, motorized use.

Silver Glen Springs would be converted from a developed recreation area to a special in-
terest area.

RCW HMAs would include Salt Springs, Kerr Island, Riverside Island, and the Paisley
area.





SUMMARY


Maximum clearcut size would be 160 acres in sand pine. Natural regeneration would be
encouraged.

Osceola National Forest

Impassable Bay and a portion of Pinhook would be managed as remote wetlands.

Natural Area and Fanny Bay would be managed as RNAs.

Deep Creek, the Middle Prong of the St. Mary's River (including the headwaters), Drew
Grade Oak Hammock, and Otter Bay would be managed as special interest areas.

Olustee Battlefield would be managed for moderate recreational development.

The forest would be within an RCW HMA, except Pinhook purchase unit.

Cattle grazing would be permitted north of I-10 and east of State Highway 250.

All Three Forests

The forests would move toward a diverse patch size structure in longleaf and slash pine.

Off-site slash pine and sand pine would be restored to the appropriate species, usually
longleaf pine.

Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.

Alternative C

Apalachicola National Forest

Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness would be managed as a trailless wilderness and
Bradwell Bay Wilderness would be managed as a wilderness with trails.

Some of the savannahs, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock, River Sinks, and Leon Sinks
would be managed as special interest areas.

The entire forest would be within RCW HMAs. Foraging habitat requirements would be
reduced by one-third on the Apalachicola Ranger District.

Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola Ranger District.

An area near Tallahassee would be managed to provide wood fiber for energy production.





DRAFT EIS


Ocala National Forest

Juniper Prairie Wilderness and Alexander Springs Wilderness would be managed as wil-
derness with trails and Little Lake George Wilderness and Billies Bay Wilderness would
be managed as trailless wilderness.

Redwater Lake, Lake Charles, Mud Lake, Davenport Landing, Cat Head Pond, Mormon
Branch, Bowers Bluff, Alexander Springs Scenic Area, and Blackwater Swamp would be
managed as special interest areas.

The area surrounding Sellers Lake and Farles Prairie would be managed for minimum de-
velopment, motorized use.

RCW HMAs would be the same as Alternative B.

Shorter timber rotations would occur outside RCW HMAs.

Maximum clearcut size would be 160 acres in sand pine. Natural regeneration would be
encouraged.

Osceola National Forest

Wilderness and research natural areas would be managed the same as Alternative A.

Fanny Bay would be managed as a special interest area.

Olustee Battlefield would be managed for moderate recreational development.

The RCW HMA would be the same as Alternative B.

Cattle grazing would be permitted north of I-10 and east of State Highway 250.

All Three Forests

The forests would continue to have the current patch size structure.

Off-site slash pine and sand pine would be restored to the appropriate species, usually
longleaf pine.

Most hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber production.

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on an unmarked travelway in an open area.

No roads would be scheduled for obliteration.





SUMMARY


Alternative D

Apalachicola National Forest

Clear Lake would be recommended for wilderness.

Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness would be managed as wilderness with trails and
Bradwell Bay would be managed as a trailless wilderness.

Ochlockonee River and New River would be recommended as wild and scenic rivers.

Savannah RNA would be slightly expanded.

An area of mixed savannahs and pine forest between Wilma and Sumatra, all other sa-
vannahs, Bradwell Tract, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock, River Sinks, Leon Sinks,
and Wallace Tract would be managed as special interest areas.

Ditch Bay would be managed for minimum development, nonmotorized use.

Juniper Creek Islands/Gum Bay/Long Bay area would be managed for minimum devel-
opment, motorized use.

The newly acquired tract along New River would be managed for low recreational de-
velopment.

River bottomlands of Ochlockonee River, Apalachicola River, and Lake Bradford tract
would be managed for moderate recreational development.

The entire forest is within RCW HMAs.

On the Wakulla Ranger District, the forest would continue to have the current patch size
structure. On the Apalachicola Ranger District, the Forest would move toward a diverse
patch size structure.

Ocala National Forest

Little Lake George Wilderness would be expanded to the Ocklawaha River and managed
as trailless wilderness. Juniper Prairie would be altered by excluding Pats Island and in-
cluding Sweetwater Cabin, expanding the boundary to State Highway 19, and extending
an additional area to State Highway 40. Juniper Prairie and Alexander Springs Wilder-
ness would be managed with trails. Billies Bay Wilderness would be managed as trailless
wilderness.

Juniper Creek and Alexander Springs Creek would be recommended as wild and scenic
rivers.

North Prairie, Zay Prairie, Redwater Lake (expanded slightly), Lake Charles, Mud Lake,
Penner Ponds, Davenport Landing, Cat Head Pond, Mormon Branch, Farles Prairie, Sel-
lers Lake, Bowers Bluff, Alexander Springs Scenic Area, Disappearing Creek, and
Blackwater Swamp would be managed as special interest areas.





DRAFT EIS


Hopkins Prairie would be managed for minimum development, nonmotorized use.

Hardwood and pine bottomlands along the Ocklawaha River and north of Salt Springs
Run along the St. Johns River would be managed for minimum development, motorized
use.

The area from Lake Eaton to State Highway 40 and bottomlands along the eastern bound-
ary of the forest from Silver Glen Springs to Alexander Springs Wilderness would be
managed for low recreational development.

RCW HMAs would be the same as Alternative B.

Ancient Island would be managed with a maximum clearcut of 320 acres and natural re-
generation would be emphasized.

Most of the forest would be managed with a maximum clearcut of 160 acres and natural
regeneration would be encouraged.

Three areas would be managed as oak scrub primarily for the use of scrub jays.

Osceola National Forest

Natural Area Wilderness Study Area and a portion of Pinhook would be recommended as
wilderness.

Fanny Bay and the Middle Prong of the St. Mary's River (below the Natural Area Wil-
derness Study Area) would be managed as special interest areas.

Impassable Bay and Otter Bay would be managed for minimum development, non-
motorized use.

Olustee Battlefield would be enlarged and managed for a moderate level of recreational
development.

The entire area surrounding Ocean Pond would be managed for developed recreation em-
phasis.

The RCW HMA would be the same as Alternative B.

A portion of the forest would move toward a diverse patch size structure and a portion
would continue with the current patch size structure.

All Three Forests

Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Off-site slash pine and sand pine would be restored to the appropriate species, usually
longleaf pine.

Cattle grazing would not be permitted.





SUMMARY


Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.

This alternative would designate a higher density of motorized trails than Alternatives B
and E. Some trails may be only open during hunting season.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


Alternative E

Apalachicola National Forest

Clear Lake would be recommended for wilderness.

Bradwell Bay Wilderness would be managed as wilderness with trails, and Mud Swamp/
New River Wilderness would be managed as a trailless wilderness.

Ochlockonee River and New River would be recommended as wild and scenic rivers.

Savannah RNA would be expanded to include all the savannahs west of State Highway
65 and south of Forest Road 113.

All savannahs outside the Savannah RNA, Bradwell Tract, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Ham-
mock, River Sinks, and Leon Sinks would be managed as special interest areas.

River bottomlands of Ochlockonee and Apalachicola Rivers would be managed for mod-
erate recreational development.

The entire forest is within RCW HMAs. Foraging requirements would be reduced by
one-third on the Apalachicola Ranger District.

Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola Ranger District.

An urban interface area would be designated on the east side of the forest. This area
would have a higher density of trails and increased law enforcement.

Ocala National Forest

Little Lake George Wilderness and Billies Bay Wilderness would be managed as trailless
wilderness. Juniper Prairie Wilderness and Alexander Springs Wilderness would remain
as wilderness with trails. Juniper Prairie Wilderness would expand along the eastern
boundary to State Highway 19, but a narrow corridor that includes Sweetwater Cabin
would be excluded.

Juniper Creek and Alexander Springs Creek would be recommended as wild and scenic
rivers.





DRAFT EIS


North Prairie, Redwater Lake (expanded), Lake Charles, Mud Lake, Davenport Landing,
Mormon Branch (with the eastern part removed), Bowers Bluff, and Disappearing Creek
would be managed as special interest areas.

Hopkins Prairie, Zay Prairie, the area between Lake Jumper and North Prairie, Farles
Prairie, and the bottomland hardwoods along the St. Johns River on the Seminole Ranger
District (outside the wilderness area) would be managed for minimum development, mo-
torized use.

Blackwater Swamp would be managed for low development, motorized use.

Sellers Lake and Alexander Springs Scenic Area would be managed for moderate rec-
reational development.

RCW HMAs would be the same as Alternative B.

Ancient Island would be managed with a maximum clearcut of 320 acres and natural re-
generation would be emphasized.

Most of the forest would be managed with a maximum clearcut of 160 acres and natural
regeneration would be encouraged.

Two areas would be managed as oak scrub for the primary use of the scrub jay.

Osceola National Forest

Natural Area would be released as a wilderness study area.

A portion of Pinhook would be managed as a remote wetland.

Fanny Bay, Drew Grade Oak Hammock, and the lower part of the Middle Prong of the
St. Mary's River would be managed as special interest areas.

Otter Bay would be managed for minimum development, nonmotorized use.

Impassable Bay would be managed for minimum development, motorized use.

Olustee Battlefield would be enlarged and managed for a moderate level of recreational
development.

Ocean Pond campground would be enlarged.

The RCW HMA would be the same as Alternative B.

Cattle grazing would be permitted north of 1-10 and east of State Highway 250.

All Three Forests

The forests would move toward a diverse patch size structure in longleaf and slash pine.





SUMMARY


Off-site slash pine and sand pine would be restored to the appropriate species, usually
longleaf pine.

Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Interim direction would be established until a system of trails is designated (approxi-
mately 2 years after Forest Plan approval). After these trails are designated, bicycles and
motorized vehicles must stay on an open numbered road, designated trail or within a des-
ignated area.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


Comparison of Alternatives

Table i. 1 shows a comparison of allocations and outputs by alternative.


TABLE i.1

Summary of Outputs and Allocations
First 10-Year Period

Alternatives
Allocation/Output Unit A B C D E
Land Suitable for Timber Production Percent 56 53 71 50 56
Allowable Sale Quantity MMCF 84.0 69.1 112.8 62.5 86.1
Long-Term Sustained-Yield Capacity MMCF 116 126 135 107 153
Wildlife and Fish User-Days MWFUD 2,800 2,800 2,700 2,700 2,800
Recreation Visitor-Days MMRVD 31.6 31.7 31.2 32.2 31.6
Road Reconstruction Mile 320 349 402 377 350
Estimated Budget MM$ 14.4 16.6 19.3 16.4 18.3
Present Net Worth MM$ 355 362 373 373 384
Thinning Harvest Acre 55,732 43,644 52,125 28,079 50,527
Longleaf Pine Group Selection Harvest Acre 0 19,192 0 5,783 37,500
Longleaf Pine Even-aged Harvest Acre 2,097 0 3,766 1,384 81
Longleaf Pine Restoration Acre 1,860 9,419 12,813 9,581 11,876
Hardwood Clearcut Acre 2,080 0 15,421 0 0
Sand Pine Harvest Acre 48,629 33,910 34,662 28,661 41,000

M =thousand
MM$ = million dollars
MMCF = million cubic feet
MWFUD = thousand wildlife and fish user-days
MMRVD = million recreation visitor-days










Public Lands in Florida
National Forest and Other Public Lands


Osceola National Forest



Ocala National Forest


Choctawhitchee National Forest Tra


Apalachlcola Natlonal Forest


i National Forets
' Other Public Lands


0


.4 t: 1-









CHAPTER 1



PURPOSE AND NEED

This Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) describes the analysis of several al-
ternatives for revising the Land and Resource Management Plan for National Forests in
Florida (Forest Plan) and discloses the environmental effects of these alternatives. The
DEIS is guided by the implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA) found in the Council of Environmental Quality Regulations, Title 40, Code
of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1500. The companion document to this DEIS is the
draft version of the revised Forest Plan, a detailed presentation of the alternative the For-
est Service is proposing to implement. Final versions of these documents will be pub-
lished after public review and comment. A Record of Decision will be issued with the fi-
nal documents. The Regional Forester makes the final decision on the alternative that be-
comes the revised Forest Plan.

Forest Plan Decisions

This Forest Plan provides programmatic, strategic direction on a forestwide basis. It is
not a simple collection of projects to implement and makes no site-specific decisions. De-
cisions made in this Forest Plan are:

A determination of the multiple-use goals, objectives, and desired future condition
for National Forest in Florida, including estimates of the goods and services ex-
pected.

A determination of multiple-use prescriptions (including associated standards) for
each management area, including probable and proposed practices.

An identification of land that is suitable for timber production.

A determination of the allowable sale quantity for timber and the associated sale
schedule.

A recommendation of wilderness areas.

A recommendation for wild and scenic rivers.

A determination of monitoring and evaluation requirements.





DRAFT EIS


National forest management is directed by decisions in addition to this Forest Plan. Other
decisions that provide management direction are the records of decision for the following
environmental impact statements:

Record of Decision. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Suppression of
the Southern Pine Beetle (USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, April 1987).

Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement for Vegetation
Management in the Coastal Plain/Piedmont (USDA Forest Service, Southern Re-
gion, February 1989).

Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statementfor the Management
of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and its Habitat on National Forests in the
Southern Region (RCW EIS) (USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, June
1995).

Regional Guide for the South (USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, June
1984).

Several exceptions to these Regional directions that are proposed for National Forests in
Florida are as follows.

Regional Guides for the South:

In Alternatives B, D, and E, the Regional Stocking Guides would be varied to in-
clude a wider range of stocking levels for longleaf, slash, and sand pine.

In Alternatives B, C, D, and E, the maximum regeneration harvest opening would
be increased for sand pine.

Record of Decision. Final Environmental Impact Statement for Vegetation Manage-
ment in the Coastal Plain/Piedmont:

In Alternatives B, C, D, and E, growing-season burns would be allowed on the
same site without timing restrictions.

Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Management of
the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and its Habitat on National Forests in the Southern
Region (RCW EIS):

In Alternatives B, C, and E, foraging requirements would be reduce on the
Apalachicola Ranger District (RD). On all other ranger districts, thinning within
foraging habitat would be permitted below minimal levels established in the RCW
EIS, when supported by a biological evaluation.





PURPOSE & NEED


Forest Profile

National Forests in Florida extends from central Florida to the panhandle and includes the
Apalachicola, Choctawhatchee, Ocala, and Osceola National Forests.

Apalachicola National Forest (575,489 acres) is in Franklin, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla
Counties. Its terrain is flat to gently rolling and pocked by many sinkholes, bays, and
swamps. Soils range from excessively drained to very poorly drained. Natural fertility is
low, but in specific locations it may run high. The primary vegetation is longleaf pine and
slash pine with an understory of palmetto and gallberry. Apalachicola National Forest
(NF) has two Ranger Districts: Wakulla RD (based near Crawfordville) covers land east
of the Ochlockonee River, and Apalachicola RD (based in Bristol) covers land west of
the river.

Choctawhatchee National Forest is located in Okaloosa County. This land was managed
by the Forest Service until 1940, when all the lands were transferred to the War Depart-
ment. Most of this land is now Eglin Air Force Base. In June 1980, 1,153 acres were re-
stored to national forest status when it was declared excess and transferred to the Forest
Service. The majority of this land is under special-use permit to State and county govern-
ments. This forest is administered by the Apalachicola District Ranger.

Ocala National Forest (383,362) is located in Lake, Marion, and Putnam Counties. Its ter-
rain is gently rolling. Soils range from poorly drained to excessively drained with low
natural fertility. There are 30,857 acres of lakes and ponds scattered throughout the for-
est. Ocala NF offers many popular recreation areas. A wide variety of vegetation thrives
on the forest-including sand pine, longleaf pine, cypress, and hardwoods. Ocala NF has
two Ranger Districts: Lake George RD (based near Silver Springs) covers land north of
State Highway 40, and Seminole RD (based in Umatilla) covers land south of State High-
way 40.

Osceola National Forest (194,732 acres) is located in Baker and Columbia Counties. Its
terrain is flat. Soils are poorly drained and low in natural fertility. Longleafpine predomi-
nates on the higher, drier ground, and the poorly drained swampland features cypress,
pine, and a variety of southern hardwood. Osceola NF is based in Olustee.

Reason for Revision

The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA), as amended by the
National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), requires that each national forest be
managed under a forest plan. The regulations governing preparation of forest plans are
found in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 219. The purpose of a forest plan is
to provide an integrated framework for analyzing and approving future site-specific
projects and programs. Regulations require that forest plans be revised on a 10-to-15-year
cycle, or sooner if conditions or the areas covered by the plan change significantly.

The Land and Resource Management Plan for National Forests in Florida was approved
on January 6, 1986. There were three administrative appeals. One appeal was dismissed.





DRAFT EIS


The Regional Forester entered into a period of negotiation with the other two appellants
in an effort to resolve the differences.

In February 1990, after 4 years of negotiations, it became clear that an agreement on all
issues would not be reached. As a result, in March 1990, the Forest Service filed a notice
of intent in the Federal Register stating that the agency would be developing a significant
amendment to the Forest Plan with the intent of resolving the unsettled issues.

In 1990, while the Forest process was under way, the Regional Forester began a process
to develop long-term direction for management of the red-cockaded woodpecker. It be-
came apparent that the results of the latter process would have a major impact on man-
agement of large parts of National Forests in Florida. Since one of the issues being ad-
dressed in the Florida amendment was RCW management, the Florida planning process
was synchronized with the Regional RCW EIS process to avoid preemption of the deci-
sions.

National Forests in Florida was scheduled to begin review and revision of the Forest Plan
in 1993, with the goal of completing the revision process within 10 years of the date of
the current Forest Plan (1986). Because completion of the amendment would occur near
the scheduled initiation of the revision, the Regional Forester concluded that the Forest
Plan amendment process then under way should be conducted within the context of a re-
vision rather than an amendment. Doing this would make better use of the public involve-
ment and reassessment accomplished up to that point. Accordingly, in April 1992, the
Chief of the Forest Service authorized National Forests in Florida to revise the Forest
Plan.

Planning Process
Forest planning occurs within the overall framework provided by implementing the regu-
lations of NFMA and NEPA. National, Regional, and Forest planning form an integrated
three-level process. This process requires a continuous flow of information and man-
agement direction among three Forest Service administrative levels. Information from
forest planning flows upward to the National level for use in the RPA program where, in
turn, information flows back to the Forest level. In this structure, Regional planning is the
principal process for conveying information between Forest and National levels.

Planning actions used in this planning process are:

1. Identification of issues, concerns, and opportunities
2. Development of planning criteria
3. Inventory of resources and data collection
4. Analysis of the management situation
5. Formulation of alternatives
6. Estimation of effects of alternatives
7. Evaluation of alternatives





PURPOSE & NEED


8. Recommendation of preferred alternative
9. Approval and implementation
10. Monitoring and evaluation

The results of planning steps 1-8, above, are described in this document. Refer to Ap-
pendix A, "Summary of Public Involvement," and Appendix B, "Analysis Process," for
more detail on the results of these steps.

This document will be used in future environmental analyses through tiering. Tiering
means that environmental analyses and documents prepared for projects arising from the
Forest Plan will refer to the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Forest Plan.

Issues

Public involvement is a key part of the planning process. Providing for public comment
helps identify what people want from the national forests in the form of goods, services,
and environmental conditions. Issues submitted by the public, as well as from within the
Forest Service, guided the need to change current management strategies. Many of the is-
sues listed below were obtained from appeals of the Forest Plan. Other issues were sub-
mitted by the public during scoping efforts conducted by Forest Service personnel over
the past 4 years.

In addition to the emerging issues, the need for change was identified through an analysis
of the management situation. This analysis also provides a basis for formulating a broad
range of reasonable alternatives. A detailed account of the public involvement process is
found in Appendix A. A summary of the "Analysis of the Management Situation" is
found in Appendix B.

On March 27, 1990, a scoping letter was sent to interested and affected publics, asking
for comments on 10 preliminary issues to be addressed in the significant amendment of
the Forest Plan. The following are the preliminary issues.

1. Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass Management. Issues concern the restoration and
maintenance of pine-wiregrass communities, the conversion of off-site slash pine
to longleaf pine, techniques to be used to restore and maintain these communities,
types of timber management allowed on national forest lands, types of natural re-
generation techniques used, stocking rates to be applied, types of prescribed burn-
ing to be used, and frequency of burning.

2. Red-cockaded Woodpecker Habitat Management. Issues concern the level of
timber harvested under the Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact
Statement for the Management of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and its Habitat
on National Forests in the Southern Region constraints, not using clearcutting as a
regeneration method, old-growth conditions, alternative methods of RCW man-
agement, prescribed burning methods to improve RCW habitat, the protection of
cavity trees during prescribed burning, snag retention, and socioeconomic impacts
due to reduced timber harvest levels.





DRAFT EIS


3. Hardwood Mast Production. Issues concern providing for mast production by
using protected stands, or by using natural burning.

4. Pine Restoration of Titi. Issues concern the use of site preparation to reclaim en-
croached areas, rate of pine restoration, preservation of titi communities, use of
fire, monitoring, and use of heavy equipment in pine restoration work.

5. Management of Wilderness Study Areas. Issues concern the management of
wilderness study areas (WSAs) and the preservation and maintenance of the wil-
derness values for the Clear Lake WSA on the Wakulla RD and Natural Area on
the Osceola NF.

6. Savannah Management. Issues concern the protection of savannahs, main-
tenance of their natural state through the use of fire, use of firelines, and protec-
tion of rare and endangered species.

7. Fire Plowing Methods and Procedures. Issues concern the adverse effects of
fireline use, reduction in the use of firelines or stopping the use of firelines, reduc-
ing fireline impacts, alternatives to fireline construction, and rehabilitation of fire-
lines.

8. Use of Off-Highway Vehicles. Issues concern resource damage caused by off-
highway vehicles and what OHV restrictions should apply.

9. Management Areas and Desired Future Conditions. Issues concern how de-
sired future conditions are allocated across the forests.

10. Potential Wild and Scenic Rivers Management. Issues concern the designation
of waterways, and the protection of proposed areas.

On January 2, 1991, another letter was sent to the public, listing the desired future condi-
tions that were proposed for the significant amendment. When the decision was made to
revise the Forest Plan, an additional letter was sent on July 14, 1992, asking for com-
ments on issues for the Forest Plan revision.

Based on previous public comments, four preliminary alternatives were developed and
descriptions mailed to the public in January 1995. Public meetings were held throughout
the state, and comments were solicited on the preliminary alternatives. Written comments
were entered into a data base and reviewed for additional issues to address in the Forest
Plan.

Preliminary issues and the additional issues identified through public involvement were
stated in the form of planning questions to be addressed in the planning process. The en-
tire list of planning questions can be found in Appendix A. The issues and planning ques-
tions are summarized in the following questions, which were used to develop alternatives
for the Forest Plan revision.

How much and by what methods should the pine-wiregrass community be re-
stored and maintained?





PURPOSE & NEED


How should we maintain the sand pine-scrub oak community?

How should we manage and protect riparian and wetland areas?

How should special aquatic, botanic, geologic, historic, paleontologic, and scenic
areas be protected and managed?

What lands should be designated as wilderness, and what practices should be per-
mitted in these areas?

What types, amounts, and mix of recreational opportunities should be provided,
and what consideration should be given to compatibility of users?

What should be the access policy for motorized vehicles?

What is the proper combination of opened and closed roads to meet public needs?

How should we manage habitat to enhance certain wildlife populations such as
game and proposed, endangered, threatened, and sensitive species?

What will be the level of timber harvest, and what silvicultural systems will be
used to manage the forests?

What other types of forest products will be gathered and uses will be permitted on
the national forests?

Planning Process Records

National Forests in Florida's interdisciplinary team is responsible for developing the re-
vised Forest Plan. Efforts were made to provide detailed explanations of each step of the
revision in the form of process (or planning) records. This DEIS contains summaries of
the process records and includes references to the parent records. Process records are on
file in the Forest Supervisor's Office in Tallahassee, Florida. To review these records,
contact:

Forest Supervisor
National Forests in Florida
Woodcrest Office Park
325 John Knox Road, Suite F-100
Tallahassee, Florida 32303-4160
Telephone: (904) 942-9300









CHAPTER 2




COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES

This chapter summarizes and compares the alternatives that were developed as potential
management strategies for National Forests in Florida. It describes the alternative devel-
opment process, considers alternatives in detail, and compares alternatives.

Needs identified through monitoring, evaluation, analysis of the management situation,
and public comments were instrumental in developing alternatives. These alternatives
represent ways of revising a forest plan that address both these needs and the purpose of a
forest plan as directed by National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA).

There are countless possible alternatives. However, we can only study a small portion of
those alternatives. It is important that those we study be implementable and span a full
range of possibilities. Alternatives must be compatible with current laws and regulations
governing national forest land management. All alternatives must be within NFMA (36
CFR 219.27) requirements for resource protection, soil and water protection, vegetation
manipulation, silvicultural practices, even-aged management, riparian area protection,
and diversity. Many of these requirements are met by standards and guidelines that apply
forestwide in all alternatives. A detailed list of these standards and guidelines is found in
Chapter 3 of the proposed revised Forest Plan.

Alternatives Not Considered in Detail

We received many comments and suggestions during our scoping process. All sugges-
tions were discussed and influenced the development of the alternatives. Alternatives not
considered in detail included:

1. A suggestion was made to change the rotation age in pine management within
red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) habitat management areas (HMAs) where 80-
year rotations would be common. This is not consistent with the Record of Deci-
sion, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Management of the Red-
cockaded Woodpecker and its Habitat on National Forests in the Southern Region
(June 1995).

2. One suggestion proposed a significant increase in roadless areas. Although parts
of this proposal are reflected in Alternatives B and D, this suggestion was not
studied in detail because a roadless area review (see Appendix C, "Evaluation of
RARE II Areas") indicated that few areas met roadless area criteria.





DRAFT EIS


3. Another suggestion was to leave the forests uncontrolled or to mimic natural pro-
cesses as closely as possible. This suggestion was either too risky in an urban in-
terface or was outweighed by resource values that would be lost if implemented.

4. Responses from the public from scoping efforts and public workshops included
the suggestion to stop all timber cutting on National Forests in Florida. This is
outside the purpose of the national forests as determined by the Multiple-Use
Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 and the Organic Act of 1897.

5. Many people were concerned about the Pinecastle Bombing Range on the Ocala
National Forest. A Interagency Agreement between the Forest Service and the
U.S. Navy for use of the area expires in 1999. An alternative was considered that
would not allow for the renewal of this agreement. After careful consideration,
this decision was determined more appropriate to consider after conducting a site-
specific analysis instead of a programmatic analysis in this DEIS. A separate en-
vironmental impact statement to address use of this area will be prepared by the
Department of Navy and the Forest Service.

Alternatives Considered in Detail

Four preliminary alternatives were developed using a combination of desired future con-
ditions (DFCs): Alternatives A, B, C, and D. These alternatives were described in a news-
letter that was provided to the public in January 1995. In addition, public workshops were
conducted in February 1995 at various locations in Florida to gather public comments
(see Appendix A, "Summary of Public Involvement"). After these meetings, an additional
alternative was developed, Alternative E, the preferred alternative. The original alterna-
tives were adjusted based on public comment and Forest Service review. All alternatives
meet the recommended 1990 Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act
(RPA) program. Recommended program themes include:

Continue to implement multiple-use management of National Forest System
lands, while rounding out the balance among the resources.

Enhance the recreation, wildlife, fisheries, soil, and water resource programs.

Increase the emphasis on the quality, as well as the quantity, of resource out-
puts-such as high-quality water, recreation, and timber products.

Continue to ensure the sustainability of resource outputs, resource conditions, and
resource values.

Increase contributions to the economic well-being of rural communities, espe-
cially by diversifying the resource base on which these economies depend.

Alternatives were developed using a set of desired future conditions that provided differ-
ent ways of responding to the issues. The desired future conditions were applied on the
ground using ecological units or administrative boundaries (see Appendix B, "Analysis
Process"). Each desired future condition contained a set of goals and a list of manage-





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


ment practices that would contribute to the desired future condition. After listing the
management practices associated with each desired future condition, standards and guide-
lines necessary to attain them were developed. The interdisciplinary team originally de-
veloped 14 desired future conditions. As a result of public input, the list was expanded to
31.

The original desired future conditions were renumbered and allocated throughout the al-
ternatives. A detailed explanation of desired future conditions is found in Appendix B.
The following desired future conditions apply to the alternative maps.

0.0 Congressionally Designated Lands

DFC 0.1: Trailless Wilderness

An area where native species respond to natural forces with little or no human in-
tervention. Some ecological restoration may occur. Opportunities for solitude and
wildland orienteering are found here. There are no trails or facilities.

DFC 0.2: Wilderness with Trails

An area where native species inhabit an unmodified environment. Some ecologi-
cal restoration may occur. Isolation from most human activity is possible. Travel
is primitive but may occur on improved trails. Other primitive-level recreation fa-
cilities also may be found.

DFC 0.3: Wild and Scenic River

An area through which flows an unimpeded and unpolluted river with a watershed
and shoreline that is mostly undeveloped. The area is noted for its scenic and rec-
reational value.

DFC 0.4: Wilderness Study Area

An area under consideration for wilderness status.

1.0 Remote Areas

DFC 1.1: Remote Wetland

A remote undisturbed area that is suitable for the recovery of proposed, endan-
gered, threatened, and sensitive species native to wetlands. Access is very limited.
There are no facilities. The area is unsuitable for timber production.

2.0 Research Areas

DFC 2.1: Research Natural Area

An area that typifies botanic, aquatic, geologic, or similar natural situations in a
pristine condition and, as a result, provides unique opportunities for scientific
study.





DRAFT EIS


DFC 2.2: Experimental Forest

An area where research concerning the effects of forest management practices is
conducted by the Southern Research Station.

DFC 2.3: Genetic Resource Management Area

An area devoted to the study, conservation, and propagation of sand pine, where
threatened, endangered, and sensitive plants are propagated to conserve their gene
resources.


3.0 Special Interest Area

DFC 3.1: Special Interest Area

An area with special scenic, historic, biotic, aquatic, geologic, or paleontologic
values. It is managed for preservation and public study, use, and enjoyment.


4.0 Recreation Emphasis Areas

DFC 4.1: Minimum Development, Nonmotorized

An area with a natural landscape where opportunities exist to practice wildland
skills. Only administrative motor vehicles are allowed. Area is unsuitable for tim-
ber production.

DFC 4.2: Minimum Development, Motorized

An area with a natural landscape were opportunities exist to practice wildland
skills. Motorized access is permitted. Area is unsuitable for timber production.

DFC 4.3: Low Recreational Development

An area with a natural-appearing landscape where recreational facilities have a
low level of development. There is a moderate density of roads. Area is unsuitable
for timber production.

DFC 4.4: Moderate Recreational Development

An area with a natural-appearing landscape where there is an emphasis on dis-
persed recreation with facilities at a moderate level of development. There is a
moderate density of roads. Area is unsuitable for timber production.

DFC 4.5: Developed Recreation Area

An area where recreation facilities are highly developed and designed for use by a
large number of people.





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


5.0 Hardwood/Cypress Forests

DFC 5.1: Hardwood/Cypress, No Timber Production

An area of bottomland hardwoods interspersed with small pine uplands. Bot-
tomlands are unsuitable for timber production, but pine uplands are suitable for
timber production.

DFC 5.2: Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production

An area of bottomland hardwoods interspersed with small pine uplands. Both bot-
tomlands and uplands are suitable for timber production.


6.0 Longleaf and Slash Pine

DFC 6.1: Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is primarily large
patches. This area is within an RCW HMA. Rotation ages are 120 years for
longleaf pine and 100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25
acres. Cattle grazing is not permitted.

DFC 6.2: Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management, Cattle

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is primarily large
patches. This area is within an RCW HMA. Rotation ages are 120 years for
longleaf pine and 100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25
acres. Cattle grazing is permitted.

DFC 6.3: Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Management

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is primarily large
patches. Rotation ages are 120 years for longleaf pine and 100 years for slash
pine, with a maximum opening size of 40 acres. This area is not within an RCW
HMA. Cattle grazing is not permitted.

DFC 6.4: LongleafSlash Pine, No RCW Management, Short Rotation

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is primarily large
patches. Rotation ages are 80 years for longleaf pine and 60 years for slash pine,
with a maximum opening size of 80 acres. This area is not be within an RCW
HMA. Cattle grazing is not permitted.

DFC 6.5: Energy Wood

An area where wood fiber is rapidly produced by growing trees at very high den-
sity on a rotation of less than 10 years. Fertilization using sewage effluent is per-
mitted. The wood fiber is burned to produce electricity.





DRAFT EIS


7.0 Longleaf and Slash Pine, Adaptive Management

DFC 7.1: Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Management, RCW Management

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is moved toward a di-
verse patch size structure. Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf
pine restoration, regeneration patches are usually small (4-2 acres) in the next 20
years. This area is within an RCW HMA. Cattle grazing is not permitted.

DFC 7.2: Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Management, RCW Management,
Cattle

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is moved toward a di-
verse patch size structure. Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf
pine restoration, regeneration patches are usually small (4-2 acres) in the next 20
years. This area is within an RCW HMA. Cattle grazing is permitted.

DFC 7.3: Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Management, No RCW Management

An area with longleaf or slash pine where stand structure is moved toward a di-
verse patch size structure. Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf
pine restoration, regeneration patches are usually small (4-2 acres) in the next 20
years. This area is not within an RCW HMA. Cattle grazing is not permitted.

8.0 Sand Pine/Oak Scrub

DFC 8.1: Sand Pine, Natural Regeneration, Large Openings

An area with natural sand pine scrub where clearcuts up to 320 acres mimic the
natural mortality patterns caused by wildfires and provide the large openings pre-
ferred by scrub jays. Natural regeneration of sand pine, natural densities of trees,
and the use of prescribed fire for site preparation are emphasized. Some old-
growth acres are maintained.

DFC 8.2: Sand Pine, Mixed Regeneration, Moderate Openings

An area with a natural sand pine scrub with clearcuts up to 160 acres that provide
the large openings preferred by the scrub jay. Both natural and artificial regenera-
tion are practiced. Natural densities of trees and the use of prescribed fire for site
preparation are emphasized. Some old-growth acres are maintained.

DFC 8.3: Sand Pine, Artificial Regeneration, Small Openings

An area of sand pine scrub that is managed on a 50-year rotation with clearcuts up
to 120 acres. Artificial regeneration using genetically improved seed is encour-
aged, as is a stocking density that maximizes the production of high-quality wood
fiber.





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


DFC 8.4: Scrub Jay Management Area
An area managed to exclude sand pine and to create an oak scrub habitat that is
kept in the stage most useful to the threatened Florida scrub jay by burning the
area on a 15-year rotation.

9.0 Special Administration

DFC 9.1: Pinecastle Bombing Range

An area of sand pine scrub used by the U.S. Navy to train air squadrons in air-to-
ground warfare.

DFC 9.2: Forest/Urban Interface

An area characterized by an interface between commercial and residential private
lands and National Forest System lands. The forest communities are a mixture of
forest types and conditions. Day-use recreation is emphasized by the development
of a moderately dense system of trails for various uses, both motorized and non-
motorized.

DFC 9.3: Choctawhatchee Lands

An area consisting of isolated and small parcels of Eglin Air Force Base that are
being returned to the National Forest System. Parcels are managed at a basic
maintenance level. Projects do not occur within them that would change their
character. Parcels may be considered for exchange.

Alternative Descriptions

The five alternatives considered in detail are described using a map displaying the desired
future condition allocations and a narrative describing the significant management high-
lights of each alternative.

All alternatives permit the use of any silvicultural system and regeneration method based
on sited-specific requirements. However, the emphasis and mixture of harvest methods
depend on the desired future conditions of the alternative.





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Apalachicola National Forest

Alternative A


I-


I
~~~~1


S 1- -I .11 v I L ,, I


SWild and Scenic River- DFC 0.3
I Wilderness Study Area- DFC 0.4
SResearch Natural Area- DFC 2.1
SSpecial Interest Area DFC 3.1


I -1 ,l- 1 h I'

Longleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt. DFC 6.1
Longleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt., Cattle- DFC 6.2

SRiver Corridor in Wilderness





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Apalachicola National Forest
Alternative A
Management Highlights


Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Mud Swamp/New River and Bradwell Bay-managed as wilder-
ness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Wild and Scenic River: Sopchoppy River (DFC 0.3).

Wilderness Study Area: Clear Lake (DFC 0.4).

Research Area: Savannah Research Natural Area (DFC 2.1).

Special Interest Areas: Some of the savannahs, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock,
River Sinks, and Leon Sinks (DFC 3.1).

Hardwood/Cypress: Most hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber production
(DFC 5.2).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: The entire forest would be within an RCW HMA (DFCs
6.1 and 6.2).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. RCW guidelines would set the parameters (DFCs 6.1 and 6.2).

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola Ranger Dis-
trict (RD) (DFC 6.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on unmarked travelways in an open area.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.






DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Apalachicola National Forest

Alternative B


1..L


Wilderness with Trails DC 0.2

Wild and Scenic River DFC 0.3

SResearch Natural Area DFC 2.1

SSpecial Interest Area- DFC 3.1

Low Recreational Development- DFC 4.3

Moderate Recreational Development- DFC 4,4


Developed Recreation Area- DFC 4.5

W Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCWMgmt.- DFC 7.1

Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt., Cattle- DFC 7.2
River Corridor in Wilderness


2-10





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Apalachicola National Forest
Alternative B
Management Highlights


Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Clear Lake, Mud Swamp/New River, and Bradwell Bay-managed
as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Wild and Scenic Rivers: Sopchoppy, Ochlockonee, and New Rivers (DFC 0.3).

Research Area: Savannah Research Natural Area (RNA) would be expanded to include
all of the savannahs between Wilma and Sumatra, as well as the surrounding pine forest
(DFC 2.1).

Special Interest Areas: All of the savannahs that would not be in the RNA, Rocky Bluff,
Morrison Hammock, River Sinks, and Leon Sinks (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas:

Munson Hills and Fisher Creek areas would be managed for low recreational devel-
opment (DFC 4.3).

Bradwell Tract and river bottomlands of the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola Rivers
would be managed for moderate recreational development (DFC 4.4).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: The entire forest would be within RCW HMAs (DFCs 7.1
and 7.2). Foraging habitat requirements would be reduced by one-third on the Apalachi-
cola RD.

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would move toward a diverse patch size
structure (DFCs 7.1 and 7.2). Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf pine
restoration, regeneration patches usually would be small (-2 acres) in the next 20 years.

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola RD (DFC
7.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Apalachicola National Forest

Alternative C


iL


I-,




| Wild and Scenic River- DFC 0.3
SResearch Natural Area DFC 2.1
SSpecial Interest Area DFC 3.1
1 Developed Recreation Area- DFC 4.5


I . . . .. . .. . .
SLongleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt., Cattle- DFC 6.2
Energy Wood DFC 6.5
River Corridor in Wilderness


2-12





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Apalachicola National Forest
Alternative C
Management Highlights


Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Mud Swamp/New River would be managed as a trailless wilder-
ness (DFC 0.1). Bradwell Bay would be managed as a wilderness with trails (DFC
0.2).

Wild and Scenic River: Sopchoppy River (DFC 0.3).

Research Area: Savannah Research Natural Area (DFC 2.1).

Special Interest Areas: Some of the savannahs, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock,
River Sinks, and Leon Sinks (DFC 3.1).

Hardwood/Cypress: Most hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber production
(DFC 5.2).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: The entire forest would be within RCW HMAs (DFCs 6.1
and 6.2). Foraging requirements would be reduced by one-third on the Apalachicola RD.

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. Rotation ages would be 120 years for longleaf pine and 100 years for slash
pine. Maximum opening size would be 40 acres on the Apalachicola RD and 25 acres on
the Wakulla RD (DFCs 6.1 and 6.2).

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola RD (DFC
6.2).

Energy Wood: An area near Tallahassee would be managed to provide wood fiber for
energy production (DFC 6.5).

Motorized Access Policy:

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on unmarked travelways in an open area.

No roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-13





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Apalachicola National Forest

Alternative D


t -


Wild and Scenic River- DFC 0.3
] Research Natural Area DFC 2.1

Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
Minimum Development, Nonmotorized DFC 4.1


zz.


1: I i''. 1 1 ... 1' 4

Moderate Recreational Development- DFC 4.4
Developed Recreation Area- DFC 4.5
Longleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt. DFC 6.1
Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.1


2-14





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Apalachicola National Forest
Alternative D
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:
Wilderness Areas: Clear Lake and Mud Swamp/New River would be managed as wil-
derness with trails (DFC 0.2). Bradwell Bay would be managed as a trailless wilder-
ness (DFC 0.1).

Wild and Scenic Rivers: Sopchoppy, Ochlockonee, and New Rivers (DFC 0.3).

Research Area: Savannah Research Natural Area would be slightly expanded (DFC 2.1).

Special Interest Areas: An area of mixed savannahs and pine forest between Wilma and
Sumatra, all other savannahs, Bradwell Tract, Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock, River
Sinks, Leon Sinks, and Wallace Tract (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas:
Ditch Bay would be managed for minimum development, nonmotorized use (DFC
4.1). In this area, roads would be closed.
Juniper Creek Islands/Gum Bay/Long Bay area would be managed for minimum de-
velopment, motorized use (DFC 4.2). In this area, some roads would be closed.
A newly acquired tract along New River would be managed for low recreational de-
velopment (DFC 4.3).
River bottomlands of the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola Rivers would be managed
for moderate recreational development, as would the Lake Bradford Tract (DFC 4.4).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: The entire forest would be within RCW HMAs (DFCs 6.1
and 7.1).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: On the Wakulla RD, the forest would continue to
have the current patch size structure. Rotation ages would be 120 years for longleaf and
100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25 acres (DFC 6.1). On the
Apalachicola RD, the forest would move toward a more diverse patch size structure
(DFC 7.1).

Range: Cattle grazing would not be permitted on the forest.

Motorized Access Policy:

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.
Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.
This alternative would designate a higher density of motorized trails than Alternatives
B and E. Some trails may be only open during hunting season.
Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-15






DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Apalachicola National Forest

Alternative E


,11 .... Ii i,, i ,

Wild and Scenic River- DFC 0.3

Research Natural Area DFC 2.1

Special Interest Area- DFC 3.1

Moderate Recreational Development- DFC4.4


SDeveloped Recreation Area DFC 4.5

Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.1

Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt, Cattle- DFC 7.2

Forest/Urban Interface- DFC 9.2

River Corridor in Wilderness


2-16





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Apalachicola National Forest
Alternative E
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Clear Lake and Bradwell Bay would be managed as wilderness
with trails (DFC 0.2). Mud Swamp/New River would be managed as a trailless wil-
derness (DFC 0.1).

Wild and Scenic Rivers: Sopchoppy, Ochlockonee, and New Rivers (DFC 0.3).

Research Areas: Savannah Research Natural Area would be expanded to include all the
savannahs west of State Highway 65 and south of Forest Road 113 (DFC 2.1).

Special Interest Areas: All savannahs outside the Savannah RNA, Bradwell Tract,
Rocky Bluff, Morrison Hammock, River Sinks, and Leon Sinks (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas: River bottomlands of the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola Rivers
would be managed for moderate recreational development (DFC 4.4).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: The entire forest would be within RCW HMAs (DFCs 7.1,
7.2, and 9.2). Foraging requirements would be reduced by one-third on the Apalachicola
RD.

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would move toward a diverse patch size
structure (DFCs 7.1, 7.2, and 9.2). Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf
pine restoration, regeneration patches usually would be small (V-2 acres) in the next 20
years.

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted on a portion of the Apalachicola RD (DFC
7.2).

Urban Interface: An urban interface area would be designated on the east side of the
forest (DFC 9.2). This area would have a higher density of trails and increased law en-
forcement.

Motorized Access Policy:

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.

Interim direction would be established on each forest (see Forest Plan, page 3-2 and
Appendix A).

Within approximately 2 years of Forest Plan approval, a system of trails would be
designated. After these trails are designated, bicycles and motorized vehicles must
stay on an open numbered road, on a designated trail, or in a designated area.


2-17





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Ocala National Forest

Alternative A


WVi'~erP~ \'th Trsi -. OFF f l
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. O DFC 2.3

i, .1.1 I PI I,. 4,
I ,ijn-DFCS2

tRot.- FC6.4
.1'' ~ 1 I I-: ~.1 ,, 'IamlOpenings-DFC8.


2-18





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Ocala National Forest
Alternative A
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Little Lake George, Juniper Prairie, Billies Bay, and Alexander
Springs-managed as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Research Area: Genetic Resource Management Area (DFC 2.3).

Special Interest Areas: Redwater Lake, Lake Charles, Mud Lake, Davenport Landing,
Cat Head Pond, Mormon Branch, Bowers Bluff, Alexander Springs Scenic Area, and
Blackwater Swamp (DFC 3.1).

Hardwood/Cypress: Most of the hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber produc-
tion (DFC 5.2).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: There will be three RCW HMAs (DFC 6.1). In the north,
the area would include Salt Springs, Kerr Island, Riverside Island, and Norwalk Island. In
the west, the entire western portion of the longleaf/slash pine forest would be included. In
the south, the area includes the Paisley area.

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. Inside an HMA (DFCs 6.1), rotation ages would be 120 years for longleaf
pine and 100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25 acres. Outside an
HMA (DFC 6.4), rotation ages would be 60 to 80 years in longleaf and slash pine, with a
maximum opening size of 80 acres.

Sand Pine Management: In sand pine (DFC 8.3), maximum clearcut would be 120
acres. Artificial regeneration, especially using genetically improved seed, would be en-
couraged.

Motorized Access Policy:

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on unmarked travelways in an open area.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-19





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Ocala National Forest

Alternative B

Wilderness with Trails DFC 0.2
l Wild and Scenic River- DFC 0.3
SResearch Natural Area DFC 2.1
SGenetic ResourceManagementArea DFC 2.3
Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
', I. ,M mMinimum Development, Motorized DFC 4.2
.** |Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5
SHardwood/Cypress, No Timber Production DFC 5.1
IJ I LongleaflSlash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCWMgmt.- DFC 7.1
I I Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., No RCW Mgmt DFC 7.3
Sand Pine, Mixed Regeneration, Moderate Openings DFC 8.
SPinecastle Bombing Range- DFC 9.1
a River Corridor in Wilderness


2-20





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Ocala National Forest
Alternative B
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Little Lake George, Juniper Prairie (extended to State Highway 19
in the northeast corner), Billies Bay, and Alexander Springs (DFC 0.2).

Wild and Scenic Rivers: Juniper Creek and Alexander Springs Creek (DFC 0.3).

Research Areas:

Mud Lake, Mormon Branch, and Ancient Island would be managed as research natu-
ral areas (DFC 2.1).

Genetic Resource Management Area (DFC 2.3).

Special Interest Areas: North Prairie, Zay Prairie, Redwater Lake (enlarged), Lake
Charles, Davenport Landing, Silver Glen Springs, Farles Prairie, Sellers Lake, Bowers
Bluff, Alexander Springs Scenic Area, Disappearing Creek, and Blackwater Swamp
(DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas:

Hopkins Prairie and the area north of River Forest would be managed for minimum
development, motorized use (DFC 4.2).

Silver Glen Springs would be converted from a developed recreation site to a special
interest area (DFC 3.1).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production
(DFC 5.1).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: RCW HMAs (DFC 7.1) would include Salt Springs, Kerr
Island, Riverside Island, and the Paisley area.

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would move toward a diverse patch size
structure (DFCs 7.1 and 7.3). Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf pine
restoration, regeneration patches usually would be small (V-2 acres) in the next 20 years.

Sand Pine Management: Maximum clearcut would be 160 acres. Natural regeneration
would be encouraged (DFC 8.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Ocala National Forest

Alternative C






STrailless Wilderness DFC .1
SWilderness with Trails DFC 0.2
Genetic Resource Management Area DFC 2.3
Special Interest Area- DFC 3.1
Minimum Development, Motorized DFC 4.2
Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5
Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production DFC 5.2
t' ,:" Longleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt.- DFC 6.1
SLongleaf/Slash, No RCW Mgmt., Short Rot. DFC 64
[ [_[_ Sand Pine, Mixed Regeneration, Moderate Openings- DFC 8.2
Sf-- Pinecastle Bombing Range- DFC 9.1





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Ocala National Forest
Alternative C
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Juniper Prairie and Alexander Springs would be managed as wil-
derness with trails (DFC 0.2). Little Lake George and Billies Bay would be managed
as trailless wilderness (DFC 0.1).

Research Areas: Genetic Resource Management Area (DFC 2.3).

Special Interest Areas: Redwater Lake, Lake Charles, Mud Lake, Davenport Landing,
Cat Head Pond, Mormon Branch, Bowers Bluff, Alexander Springs Scenic Area, and
Blackwater Swamp (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas: The area surrounding Sellers Lake and Farles Prairie would be
managed for minimum development, motorized use (DFC 4.2).

Hardwood/Cypress: Most hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber production
(DFC 5.2).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: RCW HMAs (DFC 6.1) would include Salt Springs, Kerr
Island, Riverside Island, and the Paisley area.

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. Inside an HMA (DFC 6.1), rotation ages would be 120 years for longleaf
pine and 100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25 acres. Outside an
HMA (DFC 6.4), rotation ages would be 60 to 80 years for longleaf pine and slash pine,
with a maximum opening size of 80 acres.

Sand Pine Management: Maximum clearcut would be 160 acres. Natural regeneration
would be encouraged (DFC 8.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on unmarked travelways in an open area.

No roads would be scheduled for obliteration.






DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives


Ocala National Forest


Alternative D

Trailless Wilderness DFC 0.1
Wilderness with Trails DFC 0.2
.,1 r ... <. DFC 0.3
S1 .. I .. i. i gement Area- DFC 2.3
.i ,.I r 1 FC 3,1
.' ,,,- ...... I ,, .t, Nonmotorized DFC 4.1
M Ir,,,,,; I I I... ..t, Motorized DFC 4.2
I 1- r. .. II I- -lopment- DFC 4.3
I .... r FC 4,5
S 1 I Igmt.-DFC6.1
IgV I .. Vh gmt.-DFC63
i ,,i. I. ii 2 : generation, Large Openings DFC 8.1
SI ... -a i 1 :.i generation, Small Openings DFC 8.3
S: I ; ... rArea-DFC8.4
... ... ge DFC9.1
,-'"'ess








0',,,-&. A.


2-24





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Ocala National Forest
Alternative D
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:
Wilderness Areas: Little Lake George would be expanded and managed as trailless
wilderness (DFC 0.1). Juniper Prairie and Alexander Springs would be expanded and
managed as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2). Billies Bay would be managed as trail-
less wilderness (DFC 0.1).
Wild and Scenic Rivers: Juniper Creek and Alexander Springs Creek (DFC 0.3).
Research Area: Genetic Resource Management Area (DFC 2.3).
Special Interest Areas: North Prairie, Zay Prairie, Redwater Lake, Lake Charles, Mud
Lake, Penner Ponds, Davenport Landing, Cat Head Pond, Mormon Branch, Farles Prai-
rie, Sellers Lake, Bowers Bluff, Alexander Springs Scenic Area, Disappearing Creek, and
Blackwater Swamp (DFC 3.1).
Recreational Areas:
Hopkins Prairie would be managed for minimum development, nonmotorized use
(DFC 4.1).
Hardwood and pine bottomlands along major rivers would be managed for minimum
development, motorized use (DFC 4.2), as would the area north of River Forest.
An area near the western boundary and an area near the eastern boundary would be
managed for low recreational development (DFC 4.3).
Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.
Red-cockaded Woodpecker: RCW HMAs (DFC 6.1) would include Salt Springs, Kerr
Island, Riverside Island, and the Paisley area.
Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. Inside the HMA (DFC 6.1), rotation ages would be 120 years for longleaf
and 100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25 acres. Outside the
HMA (DFC 6.3), rotation ages would remain the same, but maximum opening size would
be 40 acres.
Sand Pine Management: Ancient Island would be managed with a maximum clearcut of
320 acres and natural regeneration would be emphasized (DFC 8.1). Most of the forest
would be managed with a maximum clearcut of 120 acres and artificial regeneration
would be encouraged (DFC 8.3). Three scrub jay management areas would be managed
as oak scrub, primarily for the use of scrub jays (DFC 8.4).
Motorized Access Policy:
Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.
Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.
This alternative would designate a higher density of motorized trails than Alternatives B
and E. Some trails may only be open during hunting season.
Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-25






DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Ocala National Forest


Alternative E

















a I
IbI -

NN


Trailless Wilderness DFC 0.1
Wilderness with Trails DFC 0.2
Wild and Scenic River DFC 0.3
Genetic Resource Management Area DFC 2.3
Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
Minimum Development, Motorized DFC 4.2
Low Recreational Development- DFC4.3
Moderate Recreational Development- DFC 4.4
Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5
Hardwood/Cypress, No Timber Production DFC 5.1
Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt DFC 7.1
Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., No RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.3
Sand Pine, Natural Regeneration, Large Openings DFC 8.1
Sand Pine, Mixed Regeneration, Moderate Openings DFC 8.2
Scrub lay Management Area DFC 8.4
Pinecastle Bombing Range DFC 9.1
River Corridor in Wilderness


2-26





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Ocala National Forest
Alternative E
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:
Wilderness Areas: Little Lake George and Billies Bay would be managed as trailless
wilderness (DFC 0.1). Juniper Prairie and Alexander Springs would remain as wilder-
ness with trails (DFC 0.2). Juniper Prairie would be expanded along the eastern
boundary to State Highway 19. Sweetwater Cabin would be out of the wilderness.
Wild and Scenic Rivers: Juniper Creek and Alexander Springs Creek (DFC 0.3)
Research Area: Genetic Resource Management Area (DFC 2.3).

Special Interest Areas: North Prairie, Redwater Lake, Lake Charles, Mud Lake, Daven-
port Landing, Mormon Branch, Bowers Bluff, and Disappearing Creek (DFC 3.1).
Recreational Areas:
Hopkins Prairie, Zay Prairie, an area near Lake Jumper, Farles Prairie, and an area
along the St. Johns River would be managed for minimum development, motorized
use (DFC 4.2).
Blackwater Swamp would be managed for low development (DFC 4.3).
Sellers Lake and Alexander Springs Scenic Area would be managed for moderate rec-
reational development (DFC 4.4).
Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production
(DFC 5.1).
Red-cockaded Woodpecker: RCW HMAs (DFC 7.1) would include Salt Springs, Kerr
Island, Riverside Island, and the Paisley area.
Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would move toward a diverse patch size
structure (DFCs 7.1 and 7.3). Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleafpine
restoration, regeneration patches usually would be small (4-2 acres) in the next 20 years.
Sand Pine Management: Ancient Island would be managed with a maximum clearcut of
320 acres and natural regeneration would be emphasized (DFC 8.1). Most of the forest
would be managed with a maximum clearcut of 160 acres using artificial and natural re-
generation (DFC 8.2). Two scrub jay management areas would be managed as oak scrub
for the primary use of the scrub jay (DFC 8.4).
Motorized Access Policy:
Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.
Interim direction would be established on each forest (see Forest Plan, page 3-2 and Ap-
pendix A).
Within approximately 2 years of Forest Plan approval, a system of trails would be desig-
nated. After these trails are designated, bicycles and motorized vehicles must stay on an
open numbered road, on a designated trail, or in a designated area.


2-27





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Osceola National Forest

Alternative A



d 4
*-i -^^i^
i^^f^


Recently Acquired Lands
Wilderness with Trails DFC 0.2
Wilderness Study Area DFC 0.4
Research Natural Area DFC 2.1
Experimental Forest- DFC 2.2
Minimum Development, Motorized DFC 4.2
Moderate Recreational Development DFC 4.4
Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5


Longleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt. DFC 6.1
SLongleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt., Cattle- DFC 6.2


Ez


zz


2-28





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Osceola National Forest
Alternative A
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Area: Big Gum Swamp-managed as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Wilderness Study Area: Natural Area (DFC 0.4).

Research Areas:

Natural Area Research Natural Area (DFC 2.1).

Experimental Forest (DFC 2.2).

Recreational Areas:

Impassable Bay would be managed for minimum development, motorized use (DFC
4.2).

Olustee Battlefield would be managed for moderate recreational development (DFC
4.4).

Hardwood/Cypress: Most hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber production
(DFC 5.2).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: The entire forest would be within the RCW HMA (DFCs
6.1 and 6.2).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. The RCW guidelines would set the parameters (DFCs 6.1 and 6.2).

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted on most of the forest (DFC 6.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on unmarked travelways in an open area.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-29





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Osceola National Forest

Alternative B


SL.


P~j7


Wilderness with Trails DFC 0.2
SRemote Wetland DFC 1.1
| Research Natural Area- DFC 2.1
Experimental Forest- DFC 2.2
Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
Moderate Recreational Development DFC 4.4


I Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5
SLongleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.1

Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt., Cattle- DFC 7.2
Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., No RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.3


~ ~





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Osceola National Forest
Alternative B
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Area:

Wilderness Area: Big Gum Swamp-managed as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Remote Wetlands: Impassable Bay and the central swamp of the Pinhook would be
managed as remote wetlands (DFC 1.1).

Research Areas:

Natural Area and Fanny Bay would be managed as research natural areas (DFC 2.1).

Experimental Forest (DFC 2.2).

Special Interest Areas: Deep Creek, the Middle Prong of the St. Mary's River (includ-
ing the headwaters), Drew Grade Oak Hammock, and Otter Bay (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Area: Olustee Battlefield would be managed for moderate recreational de-
velopment (DFC 4.4).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Most of the forest would be within the RCW HMA (DFCs
7.1 and 7.2), except Pinhook Swamp (DFC 7.3).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would move toward a diverse patch size
structure (DFCs 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3). Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf
pine restoration, regeneration patches usually would be small (4-2 acres) in the next 20
years.

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted north of 1-10 and east of State Highway 250
(DFC 7.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Osceola National Forest

Alternative C


Wilderness with Trails DFC 0.2

SResearch Natural Area DFC 2.1

Experimental Forest- DFC 2.2

Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
Moderate Recreational Development- DFC 4.4

Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5


Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production DFC 5.2

Longleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt. DFC 6.1
. ..:i. i I RCW Mgmt., Cattle DFC 6.2

Longleaf/Slash, No RCW Mgmt., Short Rot. DFC 6.4


2-32





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Osceola National Forest
Alternative C
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Area:

Wilderness Areas: Big Gum Swamp-managed as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Research Areas:

Natural Area Research Natural Area (DFC 2.1).

Experimental Forest (DFC 2.2).

Special Interest Area: Fanny Bay (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Area: Olustee Battlefield would be managed for moderate recreational de-
velopment (DFC 4.4).

Hardwood/Cypress: Most hardwood/cypress would be suitable for timber production
(DFC 5.2).

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Most of the forest would be within the RCW HMA (DFCs
6.1 and 6.2), except Pinhook Swamp (DFC 6.4).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would continue to have the current patch
size structure. Within the HMA (DFCs 6.1 and 6.2), rotation ages would be 120 years for
longleaf and 100 years for slash pine, with a maximum opening size of 25 acres. Outside
the HMA (DFC 6.4), rotation ages would be 60 to 80 years for longleaf and slash pine,
with a maximum opening size of 80 acres.

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted north of I-10 and east of State Highway 250
(DFC 6.2).

Motorized Access Policy:

Motorized vehicles may travel cross-country in an open area.

Motorized vehicles may travel on an unmarked travelway in an open area.

No roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-33





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Osceola National Forest

Alternative D






*uaE-2


Trailless Wilderness- DFC .1
, 'T. Wilderness with Trails- DFC 0.2
S| Research Natural Area DFC 2.1
Experimental Forest- DFC 2.2
Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
SMinimum Development, Nonmotorized DFC 4.1


Moderate Recreational Development DFC 4.4
SDeveloped Recreation Area DFC 4.5
SLongleaf/Slash, RCW Mgmt. DFC 6.1
SLongleaf/Slash, No RCW Mgmt. DFC 6.3
S| Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.1





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Osceola National Forest
Alternative D
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Areas:

Wilderness Areas: Big Gum Swamp and Natural Area would be managed as wilder-
ness with trails (DFC 0.2). Pinhook Swamp would be managed as trailless wilderness
(DFC 0.1).

Research Areas:

Natural Area Research Natural Area (DFC 2.1).

Experimental Forest (DFC 2.2).

Special Interest Areas: Fanny Bay and the Middle Prong of the St. Mary's River (below
the Natural Area Wilderness Study Area) (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas:

Impassable Bay and Otter Bay would be managed for minimum development, non-
motorized use (DFC 4.1). Roads in these areas would be closed to the public.

Olustee Battlefield would be enlarged and managed for a moderate level of recre-
ational development (DFC 4.4).

The entire area surrounding Ocean Pond would be managed for developed recreation
emphasis (DFC 4.5).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Most of the forest would be within the RCW HMA (DFCs
6.1 and 7.1), except Pinhook Swamp (DFC 6.3).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: A portion of the forest would continue to have to the
current patch size structure (DFC 7.1). The rest of the forest move toward a diverse patch
size structure. Rotation ages would be 120 years for longleaf and 100 years for slash pine,
with a maximum opening size of 25 acres (DFCs 6.1 and 6.3).

Range: Cattle grazing would not be permitted.

Motorized Access Policy:

Cross-country motorized travel would not be permitted.

Motorized vehicles may travel on marked trails that are designated for their use.

This alternative would designate a higher density of motorized trails than Alternatives
B and E. Some trails may be only open during hunting season.

Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.


2-35





DRAFT EIS


Planning Alternatives

Osceola National Forest

Alternative E







*si-.i2


Wilderness with Trails- DFC 0.2
Remote Wetland DFC 1.1
i Research Natural Area DFC 2.1
jl Experimental Forest- DFC 2.2
Special Interest Area DFC 3.1
SMinimum Development, Nonmotorized DFC 4.1


SMinimum Development, Motorized DFC 4.2
Moderate Recreational Development DFC 4.4
Developed Recreation Area DFC 4.5
SLongleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.1
Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., RCW Mgmt., Cattle DFC 7.2
Longleaf/Slash, Adaptive Mgmt., No RCW Mgmt. DFC 7.3


2-36





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


Osceola National Forest
Alternative E
Management Highlights

Congressionally Designated Area:
Wilderness Areas: Big Gum Swamp-managed as wilderness with trails (DFC 0.2).

Remote Wetlands: The central swamp of Pinhook (DFC 1.1).

Research Areas:
Natural Area Research Natural Area (DFC 2.1).
Experimental Forest (DFC 2.2).

Special Interest Areas: Fanny Bay, Drew Grade Oak Hammock, and the lower part of
the Middle Prong of the St. Mary's River (DFC 3.1).

Recreational Areas:
Otter Bay would be managed for minimum development, nonmotorized use (DFC
4.1).

Impassable Bay would be managed for minimum development, motorized use (DFC
4.2).

Olustee Battlefield would be enlarged and managed for a moderate level of recre-
ational development (DFC 4.4).
Ocean Pond campground would be enlarged (DFC 4.5).

Hardwood/Cypress: Hardwood/cypress would be unsuitable for timber production.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Most of the forest would be within the RCW HMA (DFCs
7.1 and 7.2), except Pinhook Swamp (DFC 7.3).

Longleaf/Slash Pine Management: The forest would move toward a diverse patch size
structure (DFCs 7.1, 7.2, 7.3). Except for on-site slash pine regeneration and longleaf
pine restoration, regeneration patches usually would be small (%-2 acres) in the next 20
years.

Range: Cattle grazing would be permitted north of 1-10 and east of State Highway 250
(DFC 7.2).
Motorized Access Policy:
Some roads would be scheduled for obliteration.
Interim direction would be established on each forest (see Forest Plan, page 3-2 and
Appendix A).
Within approximately 2 years of Forest Plan approval, a system of trails would be
designated. After these trails are designated, bicycles and motorized vehicles must
stay on an open numbered road, on a designated trail, or in a designated area.


2-37





DRAFT EIS


Table 2.1 shows the percent of land allocated to each DFC by alternative and Table 2.2
shows common practices by DFC. The practices listed in Table 2.2 are not intended to in-
clude all possible practices. They are listed to give a comparison of how certain common
practices apply to each DFC.


TABLE 2.1

Percent of Land Allocated to Desired Future Condition

Apalachicola National Forest
Alternatives


A B C D E


Recently Purchased
0.1 Trailless Wilderness
0.2 Wilderness with Trails
0.3 Wild and Scenic River
0.4 Wilderness Study Area
2.1 Research Natural Area
3.1 Special Interest Area
4.1 Minimum Development, Nonmotorized
4.2 Minimum Development, Motorized
4.3 Low Recreational Development
4.4 Moderate Recreational Development
4.5 Developed Recreation Area
5.2 Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production
6.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management
6.2 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management,
Cattle
6.5 Energy Wood
7.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment, RCW Management
7.2 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment, RCW Management, Cattle
9.2 Forest/Urban Interface


5.70
1.17
.97
.09
.81


1.43 4.25 1.43
6.65 4.25 2.40 5.22
3.22 1.17 3.22 3.22


4.04
.45


2.41
3.12
.13 .13
3.97 -
78.39


.09 .34
.85 4.82
- 1.80
- 5.60
- .40
- 2.94
.13 .13


3.97
80.05


2.88
.13


37.36


7.72


- .37


- 72.30

7.68


- 36.74 65.60

- 7.68

- 12.68


2-38


TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


TABLE 2.1 (Continued)


Ocala National Forest


Alternatives
A B C


D E


0.1 Trailless Wilderness
0.2 Wilderness with Trails
0.3 Wild and Scenic River
2.1 Research Natural Area
2.3 Genetic Resource Management Area
3.1 Special Interest Area
4.1 Minimum Development, Nonmotorized
4.2 Minimum Development, Motorized
4.3 Low Recreational Development
4.4 Moderate Recreational Development
4.5 Developed Recreation Area
5.1 Hardwood/Cypress, No Timber Production
5.2 Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production
6.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management
6.3 Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Manage-
ment
6.4 Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Manage-
ment Short Rotation
7.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment RCW Management
7.3 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment No RCW Management
8.1 Sand Pine, Natural Regeneration
Large Openings
8.2 Sand Pine, Mixed Regeneration
Moderate Openings
8.3 Sand Pine, Artificial Regeneration
Small Openings
8.4 Scrub Jay Management Area
9.1 Pinecastle Bombing Range


1.
5.


7.41 7.41
.61
5.07
.02 .02
3.16 2.45


.83



.36 .33
4.74


4.57


20.


3.


1.


61 1.77
80 5.96
- .61


02 .02
16 3.46
- .36
32 3.68
6.37


.36 .36


1.61
5.89
.61


.02
1.42


1.45
.36
1.04
.37
4.47


- 4.55


26 9.35 9.32
10.62


5.98


- 16.23


9.33


9.34

15.28


- 15.16


4.53 3.87


52.56 56.11


56.75


- 49.47


2.14
1.49 1.49 1.49 1.33


TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100


2-39


52.29


.49
1.49


-


-





DRAFT EIS


TABLE 2.1 (Continued)



Osceola National Forest
Alternatives
A B C D E


Recently Purchased
0.1 Trailless Wilderness
0.2 Wilderness with Trails
0.4 Wilderness Study Area
1.1 Remote Wetland
2.1 Research Natural Area
2.2 Experimental Forest
3.1 Special Interest Area
4.1 Minimum Development, Nonmotorized
4.2 Minimum Development, Motorized
4.4 Moderate Recreational Development
4.5 Developed Recreation Area
5.2 Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production
6.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management
6.2 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management,
Cattle
6.3 Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Manage-
ment
6.4 Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Manage-
ment, Short Rotation
7.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment, RCW Management
7.2 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment, RCW Management, Cattle
7.3 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Manage-
ment, No RCW Management


8.87


7.19
2.28


8.87
7.19 7.19 9.47


11.54
.20 .34
1.45 1.45
1.71


2.66
.15 .15
.05 .05

11.56
65.59


.20 .20
1.45 1.45
.14 .48
- 4.89


.15
.05
12.20
51.96
18.11


.36
1.75


39.20



8.55


- 8.55


50.89


24.78 51.31


- 18.11


15.16


- 15.28


TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100


2-40


7.19

8.87
.20
1.45
.50
.66
2.66
.36
.14


18.11





COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES


TABLE 2.1 (Continued)

All Three Forests
Alternatives
A B C D E


Recently Purchased
0.1 Trailless Wilderness
0.2 Wilderness with Trails
0.3 Wild and Scenic River
0.4 Wilderness Study Area
1.1 Remote Wetland
2.1 Research Natural Area
2.2 Experimental Forest
2.3 Genetic Resource Management Area
3.1 Special Interest Area
4.1 Minimum Development, Nonmotorized
4.2 Minimum Development, Motorized
4.3 Low Recreational Development
4.4 Moderate Recreational Development
4.5 Developed Recreation Area
5.1 Hardwood/Cypress, No Timber Production
5.2 Hardwood/Cypress, Timber Production
6.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management
6.2 Longleaf/Slash Pine, RCW Management, Cattle
6.3 Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Management
6.4 Longleaf/Slash Pine, No RCW Management
Short Rotation
6.5 Energy Wood
7.1 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Management,
RCW Management
7.2 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Management,
RCW Management, Cattle
7.3 Longleaf/Slash Pine, Adaptive Management, N
RCW Management
8.1 Sand Pine, Natural Regeneration Large
Openings
8.2 Sand Pine, Mixed Regeneration Moderate
Openings
8.3 Sand Pine, Artificial Regeneration Small
Openings
8.4 Scrub Jay Management Area
9.1 Pinecastle Bombing Range
9.2 Forest/Urban Interface


2.03


6.51
.59
.87


.07
.25
.01
1.45


.44


.03
.19


3.50
47.87
14.81


1.98


6.98
1.81


1.93
3.77
.25
.01
1.33


.28
1.21
1.59
.18
1.57


1.25
5.25
.59



.07
.25
.01
1.49


.44


.03
19


- 5.54
- 51.82
- 6.87


- 6.83


- 47.75

- 6.86

- 6.48


4.20
4.75
1.81



.20
.25
.01
3.64
1.84
4.03
2.32
1.53
.47


1.26
5.76
1.81


1.48
.32
.25
.01
.84
.11
.92
.12
1.85
.20
1.49


28.33


4.98


- 22.51 44.50

- 6.86

- 6.52


- 1.51 1.29


- 17.50 18.68


18.90



.50


- 17.41


- 16.47


.71 .16
.50 .50
- 6.34


TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100


"


-


TOTAL


100 100 100 100 100







DRAFT EIS


RECREATION
Open to Public
Trails
Trail Use
Hiking
Canoe
Horse
Pedal Bicycle
Motor Vehicle
Trailheads
Minor
Major
Recreation Facilities
Picnic Areas
Swimming Areas
Rifle Ranges
Fishing Piers
Shoreline Improvements
Boat Access Stes
Primtive
Rustic
Developed
Camping in Undesignated Sites
Camping Areas
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Interpretive Facilities

WILDLIFE AND FISH
PETS Species Management
Wildlife Openings
Noncultivated Wildlife Opening
Cultivated Wildlife Opening
Artificial Structures for Non-
PETS Species
Fishery Management
Primitive Lakes
Native Lakes
Fishery-Enhanced Lakes
Developed Lakes
Exotic Species Control

RANGE
Grazing
Fertilizing and Seeding
Corrals. Troughs, etc.

PROTECTION
Cut and Remove for IPM"

VEGETATION
Exotic Species Control
Special Products
Salvage
Maintain/Restore
Natural Vegetation
Timber Production
Hardwood Production
Rotation Age in Slash Pine
Rotation Age in Longleaf Pine
Emphasize Natural
Regeneration
Maximum Opening in Sand
Pine


Y = Yes N = No


TABLE 2.2


Common Practices by Desired Future Condition

DFC
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 1.1 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 5.1 5.2 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 7.1 7.2 7.3 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 9.1 9.2 9.3


Y Y Y Y
Y V Y Y
YYYY
YVYY

Y YY
Y YY
Y *Y Y
N Y Y
N Y Y
N*YY

N NYY
N NY

Y V Y Y
N V N N
N V N N
NN NN


N V N N
YVYY
NVNN


N VN N



Y V Y Y
NNNN


NVNN


N V N N
Y Y Y Y
Y V Y N
Y V Y *
N V N *
N V N *
N N N *
N N N *
N V N N


Y Y Y Y
N V N Y
NVNN

YVYY
NVNN
NVNN
YYYY
YVYN



NNN

NVNN


YYYY


V Y
V N


Y Y Y
Y Y Y
Y Y Y
V N N
VNN


NN V N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N


Y Y Y Y
YYYY
N VN N
N V N N
NVNN
N VN N
Y Y Y Y


N N V N N Y N N Y N N N N N N N N Y N N N N Y N N N N N N N N
NNVNNYNNYNNNNNNNNYNNNNYNNNNNNNN
* N N Y Y
V N N . . . .Y *Y ** Y Y .


Y Y Y Y
N V N N
V NYYYY
NVNN
NVNN


YYVYY
N N V N N
NNVNN

V*
V



V*


Y Y Y
N Y Y
N N N
NNN


YYYYYYYYYY
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
N N N N N N N N N Y
N
V


Y


V = Varies from Site to Site


YYYYYYY
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Y N N N N Y N
YYYYYYY
YNNNNYN

V 120120120 80 *

YYYYYYY


YYYYY
Y Y Y Y N
N N N N *



Y Y Y N *
YYYYN
NNNN



YYYN

320160120


Y Y Y
YYY
N Y N
N *



Y *


* = Not Applicable IPM = integrated pest management


2-42









CHAPTER 3




AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES

Affected environment is the physical, biological, and socioeconomical components of the
human environment that forest management may change. This chapter describes the cur-
rent condition of these components and how they may be affected by implementing the
various alternatives.

To achieve desired conditions of the alternatives, certain probable activities may occur.
Location, design, and extent of such activities are not generally known or described in a
forest plan. That is a site-specific (project-by-project) decision. Before implementing any
of these activities, a site-specific environmental analysis will be conducted. The discus-
sion in this chapter refers to the programmatic plan decisions affect on the environment.

Irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources are not usually made at the pro-
grammatic level of a forest plan. Irreversible commitments are decisions affecting non-
renewable resources-such as soils, minerals, and heritage resources. Such commitments
of resources are considered irreversible because the resource has been destroyed, has
been removed, or has deteriorated to the point that renewal can occur only over a long pe-
riod or at great expense. Actual commitment to develop, use, or affect nonrenewable re-
sources is made at the project level.

Irretrievable commitments represent resource uses or opportunities that are foregone or
cannot be realized during the planning period. These decisions are reversible, but produc-
tion opportunities foregone are irretrievable. An example is the allocation of management
prescriptions that do not allow timber harvests where trees could have been managed for
timber production. For the period these allocations are made, the opportunity to produce
timber from these areas is foregone. Irreversible and irretrievable commitments are not
specifically identified in the discussions in this chapter.

Forest Plan implementing activities will be conducted in compliance with all laws, regu-
lations, and policies governing activities on national forest (NF) land. Most of these regu-
lations and policies contain direction for mitigation of environmental effects. Examples
include the Clean Air Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Na-
tional Historic Preservation Act, and Wilderness Act. Many of the standards and guide-
lines for the preferred alternative-outlined in the proposed revised Forest Plan, Chapter
3, "Forestwide Standards and Guidelines," and Chapter 4, "Management Area Goals, De-
sired Future Conditions, Standards, and Guidelines"-serve to mitigate effects of manage-
ment.





DRAFT EIS


This chapter contains descriptions of the major resource components that reflect the issue
areas listed in Chapter 1, "Purpose and Need," and Appendix A, "Summary of Public In-
volvement." This chapter is organized under three main sections. The "Physical and Bio-
logical Environment" section contains descriptions and effects on forest resources-such
as air, soil, water, vegetation, wildlife, and fish. The "Resource Management Programs"
section describes the current status and effects on resource uses and services
provided-such as heritage, infrastructure, interpretive services, lands, minerals, protec-
tion, range, recreation, roadless areas, scenery, timber, wild and scenic rivers, and wilder-
ness. The "Socioeconomical Environment" section describes the affected socioeconomic
aspects of the forest environment-such as life-styles, employment, income, economic
dependency, and diversity.


















Physical and
Biological Environment





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES



Air

Affected Environment

National Air Quality Standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency to pro-
mote a level of air quality sufficient to protect public health and public welfare issues.
Public welfare issues include forest and agricultural productivity, capital improvement
protection, and maintenance of recreational opportunity. Florida Department of Environ-
mental Protection is responsible for inventory, monitoring, and regulation of air quality.

Areas that are known, or can be assumed, to meet air quality standards are divided into
air quality classes. In Class I areas, very little additional air pollution is allowed. Bradwell
Bay Wilderness (Apalachicola NF) is a Class I area, as are the designated wildernesses of
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Class II
areas allow a moderate level of additional air pollution to accommodate industrial/urban
development. All other National Forests in Florida lands are Class II. National Forests in
Florida lands have consistently met the standards for the six possible pollutants moni-
tored: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, and
lead. Specific air quality-related values have been identified for the Bradwell Bay Class I
area. They are: fresh air (lack of unnatural odor) and terrestrial ecosystem (vegetation).

Annual acid deposition in the form of sulfur compounds varies from 6 to 10 pounds per
acre across National Forests in Florida. Acid deposition from nitrogen compounds varies
from 2 to 4 pounds per acre across the area. The National Stream Survey, conducted in
1986, showed that many sites within the Apalachicola and Ocala NFs had poor buffering
capacity with a high risk of acidification of streams and lakes. A project for monitoring
plant injury from tropospheric ozone on National Forests in Florida will be completed in
1996.

To date, prescribed burning has not been limited by air quality standards for particulate
matter. There are no documented areas in rural Florida that do not meet air quality stan-
dards for particulate matters.

It is estimated that the average natural background visual range for the eastern United
States varies from 65 miles to 121 miles. Average background visual range across Na-
tional Forests in Florida is estimated to vary from 16 miles to 19 miles. The bulk of this
visibility degradation is due to sulfur emissions.

Environmental Consequences

Effects on air quality would be similar in all alternatives. Fire has far more effect on air
quality than any other phenomenon that is apt to occur on National Forests in Florida.
Smoke from wildfires can affect human health and visibility along highways and at air-
ports. The most effective way to reduce these hazards is to prescribe burn the forest, al-
lowing smoke emissions to be spread out on a planned basis. All alternatives are equally
subject to wildfires. They all propose the same regime of prescribed burning, an average
of 158,000 acres each year. The greatest air quality concerns are particulate matter and





DRAFT EIS


carbon monoxide. During the first few years of prescribed burnings, 9,000-13,000 tons
per year of particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM<10) likely would be
produced. This would decrease to 6,000-9,000 tons per year as brushy understory is re-
placed by grasses. Similarly, 65,000-95,000 tons per year of carbon monoxide could be
expected initially, falling to 45,000-65,000 tons per year. Fuel conditions and weather
vary, so actual emissions may vary from these estimates. Prescribed burning would not
cause violation of any current Federal air quality standard.

Prescribed burning would have the same effect on visibility in all alternatives. Visibility
on the Class I airsheds of Bradwell Bay, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge could be affected by prescribed burning, but the ef-
fect would be minimal and brief. Where reduced visibility could create a safety hazard
(e.g., along roads), prescribed burns would be designed to minimize this. Similarly, pre-
scribed burning should have no affect on commercial air traffic. On rare occasions, air
traffic under Visual Flight Rules may be halted at Tallahassee Regional Airport.

Other activities within the alternatives would have minor effects on air quality. Timber
harvest, recreational motorized access, construction and reconstruction of roads, and
maintenance of roads and wildlife openings would add exhaust gases from equipment and
vehicles, as well as dust from physical disturbance of soil. The gases and dust added
would be of short duration and would add a very small portion to the cumulative emis-
sions in the area. Harvesting would temporarily reduce the photosynthesis rate in the har-
vested area, briefly reducing the storage rate for atmospheric carbon. Cattle grazing
would have a minor effect on the amount of methane in the immediate area.


Soil and Water

Affected Environment

Soil

An Order 2 soil survey has been completed on National Forests in Florida. About 70 dif-
ferent soil mapping units representing 57 soil series were identified. Soils range from
deep sands with water tables below 80 inches to muck with water tables near the surface
for most of the year. About 35 percent of the soils have water tables at or near the surface
at some time during the year. Soil productivity ranges from 20 cubic feet of wood growth
per acre per year on poorly drained flatwoods to 80 cubic feet per acre per year on deep,
well-drained sands.

Soil productivity is maintained by minimizing erosion, compaction, and rutting. The lat-
ter is done by keeping heavy equipment off soils during wet conditions. Tolerable soil
loss rates have been developed using the Region 8 Guide for Calculating Accelerated Soil
Loss for Forest Soils in the Southern Region. A comparison of soil loss and sediment
yield rates with tolerable soil loss rates shows that soil loss from National Forests in
Florida falls within acceptable limits.





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES



Affected Environment

Water

The South Atlantic Gulf water resource region is subdivided into Administrative Water-
sheds, 13 are partially contained within National Forests in Florida (Table 3.1). Segments
of 10 primary streams within these watersheds have been designated Outstanding Florida
Waters (OFWs). This classification affords them the State's highest protection (see Table
3.1).
TABLE 3.1

Administrative Watershed within the South
Atlantic Gulf Water Resource Region

National Administrative Major and Classification
Forest Watershed Subwatersheds Forest Service State of Florida
Apalachicola Apalachicola River Apalachicola River Multiple Use OFW*
Lost Creek Lost Creek Multiple Use Class III
New River New River Multiple Use Class III
Ochlockonee River Ochlockonee River Multiple Use OFW*
Sopchoppy River Sopchoppy River Multiple Use OFW**
Wakulla River Wakulla River Multiple Use OFW

Ocala St. Johns River Alexander Springs Multiple Use OFW**
St. Johns River Juniper Springs Wilderness OFW**
St. Johns River Lake Dorr Multiple Use OFW
St. Johns River Lake Kerr Multiple Use OFW
St. Johns River Nine Mile Creek Multiple Use OFW
St. Johns River Ocklawaha River Multiple Use OFW*
St. Johns River St. Johns River Multiple Use OFW*
St. Johns River Salt Springs Multiple Use OFW

Osceola Cedar Creek Cedar Creek Multiple Use Class III
Deep Creek Deep Creek Multiple Use OFW**
Falling Creek Falling Creek Multiple Use OFW**
Olustee Creek Olustee Creek Multiple Use Class III
Robinson Creek Robinson Creek Multiple Use OFW**
St. Mary's River Middle Prong-St. Multiple Use OFW**
Mary's River
St. Mary's River St. Mary's River Multiple Use OFW
*OFW designation effective within Forest Service boundaries as well as outside them, but not for entire stream.
**OFW designation effective only where stream occurs within Forest Service boundaries.
Note: Class III waters are for recreation and propagation of fish and wildlife.

The extent and type of surface water vary among Florida's national forests (Table 3.2).
For example, Apalachicola NF has 79 percent of the 854 miles of perennial streams and
Ocala NF has 85 percent of the 36,420 acres of lakes. Ocala NF also contains six springs
that exude from the Floridan aquifer and flow into the St. Johns River (Table 3.3).





DRAFT EIS


TABLE 3.2

Water Resource within Three of the National Forests in Florida


National Perennial Stream Lakes Wetlands other Riparian Areas
Forest Miles % of Acres % of Acres % of Acres % of
Total Total Total Total
Apalachicola 671 79 2,735 7 280,017 64 17,436 59
Ocala 113 13 30,857 85 77,987 18 10,322 34
Osceola 70 8 2,828 8 79,798 18 2,033 7
TOTAL 854 100 36,420 100 437,802 100 29,791 100


All streams and lakes on National Forests in Florida that have been monitored meet State
and Federal water quality standards. They are usually clear (secchi disk > 2 meters), very
soft (total hardness 5-15 mg/1 and total alkalinity < 20 mg/1), acidic (pH 4-6), and low
in phosphorus (total phosphorus 5-20 mg/m3). Many are stained by tannic acids leached
from the surrounding watersheds. Notable exceptions to this are springs whose waters ex-
ude from the Floridan aquifer. They are clear, colorless, hard, slightly basic, low in nutri-
ents, and sometimes highly mineralized. The Sopchoppy River, considered representative
of unaltered conditions, is used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as a hydrologic
benchmark station.

TABLE 3.3

Average Discharge of Springs within the National Forests in Florida

Average Discharge
Springs CFS* Million Gallons per Day Magnitude**
Alexander 120 77.4 First
Fern Hammock 16 10.3 Second
Juniper 13 8.4 Second
Salt 83 53.6 Second
Silver Glen 100 72.0 First
Sweetwater Not Measured Not Measured Second (Probable)
Cubic feet per second.
**First-magnitude springs discharge an average of more than 100 CFS;
second-magnitude springs discharge an average of 10-100 CFS.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey.

Wetlands, Riparian Areas, and Floodplains. Florida's national forests contain more
than 437,712 acres of potential wetlands-as defined in FSM 2527, Floodplain Manage-
ment and Wetland Protection-and almost 30,000 acres of riparian areas, as defined in
FSM 2526, Riparian Area Management (see Table 3.2). By definition, wetland and ripar-
ian areas often overlap, distorting the totals in Table 3.2. Floodplain acres (100-year fre-
quency) have not been estimated, a reliable resource base for doing this does not cur-
rently exist, but these would include many of the acres identified as potential wetland.





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


Site-specific determinations of wetland, riparian, and flood-prone status are made when
and where activities are proposed in an area.

Water Yield. Based on runoff models, USGS gauge records, and literature applicable to
the area, total yield of water from National Forests in Florida (both surface and ground-
water) is estimated at 1.86 million acre feet per year. Of the 54 inches of annual pre-
cipitation, it is estimated that 25-35 percent (15 inches) is aquifer recharge on the Ocala
NF and 65-75 percent (38 inches) is surface flow on the Apalachicola NF. The Osceola
NF yields the least (13 inches), and most of this exits as streamflow.

Water Uses. Consumptive water use at national forest administrative sites, recreation ar-
eas, and special-use sites (summer homes, organization camps, and hunt clubs) is esti-
mated at 25.6 million gallons or 78.6 acre feet per year. These sites, except one (Sweet-
water Cabin on Ocala NF), use groundwater as the drinking water source. The highly pro-
ductive Floridan aquifer underlies Florida's national forests, so present and future water
supplies are expected to be easily met.

Nonconsumptive instream water uses within Florida's national forests include recre-
ational activities such as boating, swimming, and fishing. Inseparable from these are fish
and wildlife habitat needs.

Water Management Districts set the consumptive-use and minimum instream flow re-
quirements.

Groundwater. Groundwater from the Floridan aquifer provides most of the drinking wa-
ter on Florida's national forests. This water meets State and Federal drinking water stan-
dards without treatment. Future demands on Florida's national forests are expected to be
easily met. Continued growth of Florida's population will begin to tax these water re-
sources, possibly resulting in impacts to riparian ecosystems.

Environmental Consequences

Water and Soil

All alternatives envision increased levels of developed and dispersed recreation with re-
sultant impacts to the water resources. Bacteria counts will increase at popular swimming
beach sites. Construction of new roads, campgrounds, boat ramps, and other recreation
facilities could cause increases in sedimentation to streams, lakes, and springs. Increased
motorized boat traffic would cause increased lake and stream bank erosion. Water quality
contamination would increase from vehicles, boats, and human waste. Lead leaching
from rifle ranges may affect groundwater.

Impacts of the Fishery Management Program on streams and lakes could result from
aquatic vegetation and exotic fish control, fish population manipulation, and nutrient en-
richment. These activities would be done on a site-specific basis and would not vary with
alternative. Any toxicants used for vegetation or fish control would be short-lived, target
only specific species, and be used under controlled conditions. Impacts from nutrient en-
richment, normally done in man-made ponds with no inflow or outflow, would be limited
to those water bodies receiving treatment.





DRAFT EIS


Prescribed burning would increase in all alternatives. Fire could have adverse effects on
soil and water by increasing surface erosion and decreasing infiltration following removal
of the surface organic layer. Burning may cause short-term changes in soil chemistry in
the surface layers (top 4 inches of mineral soil) due to release of nutrients from the
litter/humus as it is converted to ash. Some loss of nutrients by volatilization would occur
but would be offset by increased availability in the surface ash. Loss of nutrients through
surface runoff or increased leaching of soluble material may occur, temporarily altering
water chemistry. Effects of fire are rarely cumulative, returning to preburn conditions
within 1-2 years. Groundwater is rarely affected by fire.

Other impacts to soil and water result from management measures used to control fire.
Plowed firelines can collect water from long distances, discharging it and sediment into
streams or wetlands. Firelines also can interrupt overland flow in riparian areas and tran-
sition zones, significantly altering hydrology of these areas.

Cattle grazing may affect both soil and water. Heavy grazing can reduce infiltration rates
in some soils by more than 50 percent, increasing surface runoff, causing sedimentation
in streams and lakes. Livestock with free access to water bodies can damage lake and
stream banks and raise harmful bacteria levels, if animal wastes are dropped in or near
the water's edge.

Exploration and extraction of minerals could cause significant impacts to soil and water.
Any permit application for extraction of minerals on National Forests in Florida would
result in development of site-specific mitigation measures for protection of soil and wa-
ter. This process would be the same for all alternatives. Sediment yield by alternative, by
period is displayed in Table 3.4. Table 3.5 shows water yield by alternative, by period.


TABLE 3.4

Sediment Yield
(thousand tons)

Alternatives
Period A B C D E
Apalachicola NF
1 145 681 664 497 897
2 373 595 572 472 802
3 908 665 879 792 1,297
4 1,033 823 756 651 1,472
5 666 713 665 546 1,281
Ocala NF
1 945 752 723 586 905
2 928 830 665 656 869
3 968 822 760 682 903
4 1,000 757 719 633 816
5 948 803 668 633 837





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


TABLE 3.4 (continued)

Alternatives
Period A B C D E
Osceola NF
1 13 44 252 86 379
2 82 51 277 160 323
3 205 117 567 476 514
4 237 250 400 590 480
5 245 400 441 770 695
Combined Forest Totals
1 1,103 1,477 1,639 1,169 2,181
2 1,383 1,476 1,514 1,288 1,994
3 2,081 1,604 2,206 1,950 2,714
4 2,270 1,830 1,875 1,874 2,768
5 1,859 1,916 1,774 1,949 2,813


TABLE 3.5

Water Yield
(thousand acre-feet)

Alternatives
Period A B C D E
Apalachicola NF
1 65 82 131 63 111
2 86 77 123 61 103
3 137 84 152 104 159
4 120 88 123 92 167
5 95 76 119 80 138
Ocala NF
1 239 172 192 148 199
2 239 173 181 165 189
3 249 165 200 174 183
4 259 156 190 164 177
5 245 158 180 162 169
Osceola NF
1 7 4 34 7 19
2 18 14 48 23 29
3 20 16 66 42 41
4 23 16 56 46 33
5 26 16 52 41 30





DRAFT EIS


TABLE 3.5 (continued)

Alternatives
Period A B C D E
Combined Forest Totals
1 311 258 357 218 329
2 343 264 352 249 321
3 406 265 418 320 383
4 402 260 369 302 377
5 366 250 351 283 337


Alternative A. This alternative ranks third in the amount of road reconstruction and
ranks second in the amount of open roads. Road reconstruction and maintenance can be
expected to cause some soil compaction, erosion, and sedimentation. Impacts to water re-
sources could occur when construction is near lakes, streams, or springs. Borrow pit de-
velopment for fill or clay material used in road construction and maintenance would re-
sult in areas of exposed soil several acres in size. Under most cases, there would be little
or no off-site damage.

Motorized vehicles and bicycles would be permitted to travel cross-country, creating
more chances for soil compaction, erosion, and rutting and sedimentation in streams and
lakes than in alternatives restricting travel to designated roads and trails. Impacts would
be greatest in areas with soils of high clay or organic content and in riparian areas around
lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands.

Timber harvesting activities-including log skidding and decking and construction of
temporary roads-may cause soil compaction and rutting that could change soil properties
and alter surface hydrology. Soil physical properties may change depending on the type
and weight of machinery used, tire size, soil type, number of times machinery passes over
the same ground, soil moisture content, and vegetative material or amount of debris on
the site during harvest. Harvesting activities also may create temporary increases in ero-
sion and displace nutrients. The highest potential for adverse effects to the soil and water
resources would be on hydric soils. This alternative would allow harvesting of cypress
and hardwoods that have a high potential for adverse effects related to hydric soils. Tim-
ber harvesting causes an increase in water yield. This increase would be minimal and last
only a few years. This alternative would result in the harvest of about 84,049 MCF of
timber on 110,398 acres in the first 10-year period (see Tables 3.7 and 3.28).

The primary effects on soil productivity and water quality from establishing regeneration
occur during site preparation activities. In general, mechanical site preparation methods
have a greater chance of causing negative effects on soil and water than other methods
due to the amount of soil disturbance. The risk of compaction depends on the same vari-
ables as for harvesting trees. Additional risks from nutrient displacement, erosion, sedi-
mentation, soil heating, and nutrient leaching depend on the type of site preparation and
the amount of area exposed. Nutrient displacement, soil compaction, and impacts to sur-
face water and groundwater movement may result when areas are bedded, disked, raked,
piled, or windrowed.


3-12





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


Herbicides and prescribed burning could be used as site preparation tools. When used
properly, both methods would cause few impacts to soil physical properties. Impacts of
herbicides on water quality would vary between type of herbicide used, application rate,
distance to water, and type of soil involved. For a detailed discussion on the effects of site
preparation on soil and water, see Region 8 Final Environmental Impact Statement for
Vegetation Management in the Coastal Plain/Piedmont, Vol. I, Chapter IV, pp. 80-106.

Alternative A would allow the most cattle grazing on both the Apalachicola Ranger Dis-
trict (RD) and Osceola NF (see Table 2.1). Cattle grazing may affect both soil and water.
It can reduce infiltration rates in some soils by more than 50 percent, increasing surface
runoff into and sedimentation in streams and lakes. Livestock with free access to water
bodies can raise harmful bacteria levels, even after removal, if animal wastes are dropped
in or near the water's edge. Alternative A would cause the most impact on soil and water
due to cattle grazing.

Alternative B. This alternative ranks fourth in road reconstruction and ranks fourth in the
amount of open roads. Impacts from reconstruction and maintenance would be similar to
Alternative A.

Changes in national forest access policy would have impacts on soil and water, especially
in areas with soils of high clay or organic content. Alternative B restricts motorized ac-
cess to designated travelways, limiting erosion, compaction, and rutting of soils and sedi-
mentation in streams and lakes. Proper design, location, and maintenance of roads and
trails would reduce these impacts in sensitive riparian areas around lakes, ponds, streams,
and wetlands. This alternative would increase the acres of wilderness and research natural
areas that limit use of motorized vehicles and reduce potential for damage to soil and wa-
ter resources from motorized-vehicle-related activities. This alternative has the least
chance of causing damage to soil and water resources from motorized access.

This alternative would result in harvesting about 69,139 MCF of timber on 106,165 acres
in the first 10-year period (see Tables 3.7 and 3.28). Effects would be similar to Alterna-
tive A, except more emphasis on group selection harvest would result in more small
openings. Stands would be entered for harvest more often in group selection cuts.

Soil compaction and rutting would not be as extensive per entry in group selection har-
vests, but could increase over time as stands are entered more often. Alternative B em-
phasizes prescribed burning and herbicides for site preparation followed by natural regen-
eration. Cypress and hardwoods would be unsuitable for timber production resulting in
less chance of damage on hydric soils.

Cattle grazing would be permitted on the Apalachicola RD and the Osceola NF (see
Table 2.1). The area where grazing would be permitted is smaller than in Alternative A,
with similar effects.

Alternative C. This alternative ranks second in the amount of road reconstruction and
ranks first in the amount of open roads. Impacts would be similar to Alternative A.

This alternative permits travel on both unmarked travelways and cross-country in addi-
tion to numbered roads and trails. Because this alternative would have the least restrictive


3-13





DRAFT EIS


access policy, it would have the most potential for damage to soil and water resources
from motorized-vehicle-related activities.

This alternative would result in harvesting about 112,830 MCF of timber on 118,787
acres in the first 10-year period (see Tables 3.7 and 3.28). Harvest and site preparation
methods used would be the same as Alternative A, but the rotation age outside the red-
cockaded woodpecker habitat management area (RCW HMA) would be shorter. There-
fore, impacts on soil and water would be very similar to, but more frequent than, Alterna-
tive A.

Cattle would be permitted on the Apalachicola RD and the Osceola NF (see Table 2.1).
Effects would be similar to Alternative B.

Alternative D. This alternative ranks fifth in road reconstruction and ranks fifth in the
amount of open roads. Impacts from reconstruction and maintenance would be similar to
Alternative A.

Alternative D would restrict motorized access to designated roads and trails but would in-
crease the number and miles of these trails compared to other alternatives, with effects
similar to Alternative B. This alternative would have the largest amount of wilderness
and other nonmotorized areas. Therefore, it would have the least chance of damage to
soils and water resources from motorized-vehicle-related activities (see Table 2.1).

This alternative would result in harvesting about 62,513 MCF of timber on 73,488 acres
in the first 10-year period (see Tables 3.7 and 3.28). Cypress and hardwoods would be
unsuitable for timber production, so there would be little chance of damage on hydric
soils.

Cattle grazing would not be permitted.

Alternative E. This alternative ranks first in road reconstruction and ranks third in the
amount of open roads. Impacts from reconstruction and maintenance would be similar to
Alternative A.

Motorized access would be restricted to existing roads, designated trails, and unmarked
travelways in certain areas reducing the potential for erosion, compaction, and rutting of
soils and sedimentation in streams and lakes. Acres of wilderness and research natural ar-
eas would increase, thereby limiting motorized-vehicle use and reducing the number of
acres where damage could occur. Access policy would be similar to Alternatives B and
D, with similar effects.

This alternative would result in harvesting about 86,110 MCF of timber on 140,984 acres
in the first 10-year period (see Tables 3.7 and 3.28). Effects would be similar to Alterna-
tive B. Cypress and hardwoods would be unsuitable for timber production; thus, there
would be less chance of damage on hydric soils. Effects of no cypress or hardwood har-
vesting would be similar to Alternative B.

Cattle grazing would be permitted on the Apalachicola RD and Osceola NF (see Table
2.1). Effects would be similar to Alternatives B and C.


3-14





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES



Vegetation

Affected Environment

The Forest Service manages about 4 percent of the land area of the State of Florida. The
natural communities found on the Apalachicola, Osceola, and Ocala NFs are listed in
Table A, along with the global and state rankings of each, as derived from the Guide to
the Natural Communities of Florida (1990). The Forest Service is now engaged in a sys-
tematic survey to identify all natural communities on all the National Forests in the
Southeast. This study has not yet reached Florida, so the list in Table 3.6 should be con-
sidered preliminary.

TABLE 3.6

Natural Communities' Occurrence by Forest and
Ranking of Imperilment

Community Global Rank State Rank ANF* Osceola NF Ocala NF
Sandhill Unknown Imperiled X X X
Scrubby Flatwoods Rare Rare X
Mesic Flalwoods Unknown Secure X X X
Wet Flatwoods Unknown Secure X X X
Scrub Imperiled Imperiled X
Xeric Hammock Unknown Rare X X X
Upland Hardwood Forest Unknown Rare X
Slope Forest Rare Imperiled X
Hydric Hammock Unknown Secure X
Baygall Secure Secure X X X
Seepage Slope Rare Imperiled X X X
Bottomland Forest Secure Secure X X X
Floodplain Swamp Unknown Secure X X X
Strand Swamp Secure Secure X X X
Basin Swamp Unknown Secure X X X
Dome Swamp Secure Rare X X X
Wet Prairie Unknown Secure X X
Depression Marsh Secure Rare X
Bog Unknown Rare X X
Sinkhole Unknown Imperiled X X
Aquatic Cave Rare Imperiled X X
Flatwoods Lake Secure Rare X X X
Swamp Lake Secure Imperiled X X X
Sandhill Lake Rare Imperiled X X X
Sinkhole Lake Rare Rare X X
Alluvial Stream Secure Imperiled X X
Blackwater Stream Secure Imperiled X X X
Seepage Stream Secure Imperiled X X X
Spring-run Stream Imperiled Imperiled X X
*Apalachicola NF
Note: X shows where these occur.

Sandhill/Scrubby Flatwoods/Mesic Flatwoods/Wet Flatwoods. These four communi-
ties are all dominated by longleaf pine. They form a continuum across a moisture gradi-
ent from very dry sandhills through scrubby and mesic flatwoods to wet flatwoods. The
different communities are identified by the plants and animals associated with the long-


3-15





DRAFT EIS


leaf pine forest. However, since longleaf pine and its associated fire regime (growing-
season fires with a return interval of 2-5 years) impose certain similarities on the com-
munities, they are considered together here. These communities have been strongly modi-
fied by human activities in the last century, so estimations of the "natural" conditions de-
pend on historical records. Different interpretations exist concerning these records, espe-
cially relating to the "natural" condition. There is no scientific consensus on this condi-
tion and there are still many unknowns. Such records include reports from Bartram
(1791), Nash (1895), Schwarz (1907), Harper (1911), Chapman (1923), and Wahlenberg
(1946). Together, these sources paint a picture of an open, airy pine forest with an under-
story of grasses, herbs, and subshrubs. The understory can be remarkably diverse despite
an initial impression of uniformity. Schwarz takes the reader for a walk through a virgin
longleaf pine forests as follows:

Ordinarily the stand of trees does not maintain its uniformity over more than a
few hundred acres; often it changes abruptly even within fifty acres. We may en-
ter a stand of mature timber, with trees from 90 to 120 feet in height and with
ample spaces here and there in the crown cover, giving entrance to the light from
overhead. After walking only a few hundred paces, we may find the trees sud-
denly beginning to close up their crown spaces. They grow smaller and more nu-
merous, until presently they form a tolerably dense grove; and then they open up
once more into the original stand of mature, tall trees .. dense groves of poles
and tall saplings, though of constant occurrence in the virgin longleaf forest, are
usually not over half an acre in extent, and in the aggregate form but a small part
of the total area. (Schwarz, 1907, p. 9)

The forest described here differs from the longleaf forests currently found on National
Forests in Florida in several significant ways. First, about 25 percent of the acres that
would have grown the fire-resistant longleaf pine are now growing slash pine. Slash pine
is another native species, but historically it would been more restricted to wet areas,
where it could escape fire during its fire-sensitive first decade of life. Slash pine would
normally mix with longleaf pine in wet flatwoods, but fire suppression has allowed it to
dominate this as well as some of the drier communities. The process of removing the
slash pine and regenerating longleaf pine (called longleafpine restoration) has begun, but
it can be expected to take many years to complete. Fire suppression also has allowed the
understory to gain stature. Instead of "low and parklike," it can be 5-30 feet tall, even
forming a midstory dominated by woody shrubs and small trees-such as titi and turkey
oak.

National Forests in Florida now has an active prescribed burning program. Indeed, be-
cause of this it has won national recognition. The understory-opening effects are becom-
ing apparent, though several more decades of it will be required to make the longleaf pine
forest look familiar to Schwarz. A third difference in the understory is that much of it has
been mechanically disturbed since Schwarz's time. Much of the fire suppression was ac-
complished using plowed firelines and much of the slash pine regeneration was accom-
plished by plowing up raised beds on which to grow the seedlings. The native understory
is sensitive to such soil disturbance, because it is slow-growing, long-lived perennials that
rarely reproduce from seed (Evans et al., 1993). Recolonization of disturbed areas must
occur by slow ingrowth from undisturbed areas. Data on the status of the understory has


3-16





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


not been collected routinely. Therefore, it is not possible to quantify the number of acres
so disturbed. Public concern makes it an important issue in the revision of the Forest Plan
for National Forests in Florida.

The age distribution of the overstory pines is another way that the current forest differs
from the historical forest. Schwarz described forests where longleaf pines 120-250 years
old were common. The few remaining patches of such forests confirm this (Chapman,
1923; Platt et al., 1988). Figure 3.1 illustrates in graph form the biological situation of
large numbers of seedlings becoming established and then dying off at a more-or-less
constant rate throughout the next 200-300 years. At any one time, one finds many small
trees and ever-fewer larger Irees, and a few very large, old trees. The current age distribu-
tions of longleaf and slash pine are shown in Figure 3.2. The most striking difference is
the virtual absence of trees older than 100 years; that is, half the age range found histori-
cally is gone, making the current forests almost adolescent in character. It is safe to as-
sume that all those community members who especially use the older age classes must be
rather stressed. The red-cockaded woodpecker provides a well-studied example of this.
By contrast, community members who specialize on the sapling and early mature stages
may currently be more abundant than they would have been in the historical forests. On
the Apalachicola and Wakulla RDs (these make up the Apalachicola NF) and Osceola
NF, the age distribution is also distinctly two-peaked. Trees 50 to 80 years old are com-
mon, as are trees 5 to 30 years old (trees 5-30 years old make up about 40 percent of the
forest on these ranger districts), but the middle age range of 30 to 50 is uncommon. This
directly reflects historical peaks and valleys in harvesting and planting.














Young/Small Old/Large
Age/Size Category
Figure 3.1. Generalized Reverse-J Curve.

Yet another difference between the current longleaf pine forests on National Forests in
Florida and the historical forests is that of the spatial patterning. Wahlenberg (1946) de-
scribed the pattern of the longleaf pine forest this way:

(Longleaf pine) reproduced itself only where openings in the overwood permitted
young stands to develop. (The resulting forest) ... was characterized by scattered
even-aged stands of trees, each usually covering an area ranging from a few hun-
dred square feet to several or many acres.






DRAFT EIS


Apalachicola NF
80000



60000



40000 i-"



20000 -,

I _

10-Year Age Classes

Ocala NF
20000


0-10
16000 7180


12000 8190




011-20

4000


I 91+ iii
10-Year Age Classes

Osceola NF
50000


40000

61-70
30000


20000
0-10 71-80
11-20 51-60 7-0
10000 21-30


41-50 81-90
0 a 91+
10-Year Age Classes


Figure 3.2. Current Age Class Distribution of Longleaf and Slash Pine.





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


As Wahlenberg notes, it is the spatial pattern of overstory mortality-size distribution of
openings-that determines the size distribution of longleaf pine groves of the next genera-
tion. Detailed historical descriptions (e.g., Schwarz, 1907) and more recent long-term
studies (e.g., Platt and Rathbun, 1993) agree with the foresters' common experience that
there are generally two important sources of natural mortality to longleaf pine. These are
lightning/insect infestations and damage from windstorms. Platt and Rathbun (1993) esti-
mate that the former accounts for about a third of the mortality and the latter about half.
Lightning/insect infestations are localized deadenings, rarely more than an acre or two in
size, where beetles kill trees that have been weakened by a lightning strike.
The openings created by windstorms are much more variable in size, ranging from the
windthrow of a single tree to the hundreds of acres thrown by the eye wall of category 4
Hurricane Hugo. This event was dramatic but also very unusual. Hooper and McAdie's
(1993) review of wind damage to longleaf pine forests makes it clear that most hurricane
damage is caused by 2-4 second high-energy bursts of wind that leave windthrown trees
very patchily distributed across the forest (see also Bray, 1901; Curtis, 1943; Derr and
Enghardt, 1957; Flory, 1960; Hurst, 1965; Wilkinson et al., 1978; and Sheffield and
Thompson, 1992). For example, the eye wall of category 1 Hurricane Kate passed over
the Apalachicola NF and acted like a large thinning. Only one of the openings it created
was greater than 1 acre; it was 25 acres (J. Ferguson, pers. comm.). Together, these
sources suggest that the reverse-J shaped curve could also approximate the size distribu-
tion of even-aged patches in the historical longleaf pine forest, with patches an acre or
less common and larger patches becoming less common as their sizes increase. By con-
trast, the current patch structure on National Forests in Florida has been shifted by the
practice of creating harvest openings usually more than 30 acres.
Figure 3.3 shows the current distribution of opening sizes of longleaf and slash pine
stands. It shows that about 60 percent of the even-aged patches (stands) are larger than 30
acres, these may have been rare in the historic forests. The patch size distribution is im-
portant to the natural community, because most community members use forest patches
of certain ages but not other ages. As a forest patch grows, those species invade and use it
for a time and are then eliminated as the patch grows beyond the age of usefulness to
them. Every time one of these species dies in one patch, its dispersing units need to find
another patch that is at the right stage. Distance to the next appropriate patch can then be-
come critical to the success of that species.

Many species native to longleaf pine communities-including the several salamander spe-
cies found in flatwoods and such perennial plants as Macbridea, Genetiana, Lilium, and
Linum (and others)-do not have the pronounced dispersive phases found in organisms
adapted to move easily from one temporary patch to another some distance away. In-
stead, their relative nondispersiveness is more characteristic of species adapted to life in a
habitat where, for thousands of years, the scale of disturbance has been small. This is
consistent with the typically small patch structure described in the historical literature.
The current larger scale of patch structure can be expected to stress such organisms (Ber-
gon, Harper, and Townsend, 1986; Means. per. comm.). This change in spatial scale is
what ecologists call fragmentation. The current predominance of larger patches have
fragmented the forest (Reinman et al., 1993).


3-19






DRAFT EIS


Apalachicola NF


Opening Size


Ocala NF


150


10-19
120
20-29

30-39
90

40-49

60



30


50-59 60-69

79-79 12n,
80-89

90-99
100-109110-119
;::;: J I;:;;:;;'; p $r


Opening Size


Osceola NF


Opening Size


Figure 3.3. Current Distribution of Opening Sizes for
Longleaf/Slash Pine < 40 Years Old.


3-20





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


Scrub. The 212,000-acre Big Scrub on Ocala NF is the largest remaining parcel in the
world of the imperiled scrub community. This community has a canopy of sand pine over
a shrub understory. Shrubs include several species of oaks, rosemary, rusty lyonia, and
palmetto. Scrub is a high-disturbance system that depends on catastrophic events for its
continued existence (Myers and Ewel, 1990). Under natural conditions, any given acre of
scrub would burn to the ground every 20-80 years. Such wildfires would often have been
hundreds to thousands of acres in size. When the fire passed, the sand pine would quickly
regenerate from seeds and the shrubs resprout from the roots. Most other members of the
community specialize on using patches in certain age ranges of this cycle. Several herba-
ceous species, for example, would germinate and bloom in the first decade after the fire,
then get shaded out as the woody plants close a canopy above them. The herbs would
then either disperse seeds into other newly burned patches or lay as dormant seeds or
roots for the next several decades until this patch burns again (Hartnett and Richardson,
1989). Similarly, there are mosses and liverworts that live only in the older (more than 50
years old) sand pine trees. They would be killed by the fire, so their long-term survival
depended on dispersing spores into other patches as those patches age (Equihua, 1989).
The Forest Service suppresses wildfires in the scrub because of the catastrophic nature of
these fires. That mechanism for generating the natural cycle has been much altered. The
Forest Service has replaced it with clearcuts, which have a rather similar effect. Most of
the above-ground vegetation is harvest or broken, which then quickly regenerates by seed
and sprouts. The species composition of the scrub community appears to have remained
intact despite this switch from wildfire to clearcuts as the source of regenerating patches.
Indeed, it is the lack of catastrophic events that would destroy this community.

The current age class distribution of the sand pine is shown in Figure 3.4. There are no
stands older than 80 years, which is appropriate for this species. By that age, sand pine is
dying of old age. The current age class distribution is probably a reasonable approxima-
tion of historic scrub, since such a reverse-J shape would result from wildfires and storms
occurring at a more-or-less constant but low rate. The peaks in the 50-70 year age classes
are the result of several large fires in the 1930s, including a world-record fire that burned
50,000 acres in a few hours. There are, however, several aspects of Forest Service sand
pine management that may be subtly altering the community compared to its historic con-
dition. They are the removal of trees from the site, importing (from other parts of the
same forest) of extra sand pine seeds to encourage sand pine regeneration on a clearcut
site, and choice of sizes/shapes of clearcut openings. The removal of trees from the site
removes some nutrients as well as the structure that the fire-killed tree trunks would have
provided.
A study of the possible nutrient-depleting effects of this practice indicated that as long as
the smaller branches and leaves were left behind, little depletion should occur, since that
is where the bulk of the nutrients in the plant body occur (Outcalt, 1988). The structural
role the deadwood plays is under study on an experimental burn site on the Ocala NF.
The artificial seeding of clearcuts can be expected to have had little genetic effect, except
to somewhat homogenize the genetic structure of the forest. Of more concern is whether
the resulting sand pine stands are denser than natural stands, since the sand pine density
strongly influences the vigor of the other, competing plants. It is clear that naturally re-
generated sand pine stands can range in density from very sparse to dog-hair thick. Tim-
ber management practices will have tended to prevent the sparse stands, so the com-
munity members who use the most open stages of the cycle will have been pushed out a





DRAFT EIS


little sooner than they might have. Finally, the size and shape of the clearcuts, and thus
the patch structure of the forest, have often not matched the natural pattern of patches that
are hundreds to thousands of acres in size.


Ocala NF
60000 -
0-10


40000 -


20000 -


0
10-Year Age Classes


Figure 3.4. Current Age Class Distribution of Sand Pine.


When the Forest Servcie began clearcutting, clearcut sizes were 200 acres or more. Nega-
tive public comment about the appearance of clearcuts drove the average size down to
less than 40 acres for a time, but ecologists' concern for the threatened Florida scrub jay,
a species that requires larger patch sizes (Woolfenden and Fitzpatrick, 1984; Fitzpatrick
et al., 1991), has raised the average in recent years. Hannah (1992) studied the patch
structure of the Lake George RD and reported that patches currently in the stage that can
be used by Florida scrub jays average about 80 acres, which would support about 3 ter-
ritories each. He interprets this as less than optimal, since Fitzpatrick et al. (1991) recom-
mend that patches for scrub jays should maximize the number of adjoining territories.
Eighty acres (3 territories) would leave little room for the budding of territories, a com-
mon way that new territories are established in this species. Instead, establishing a new
territory under current conditions would often require a dispersal event into a different
patch.

Dry-to-Moist Hardwood Communities: Xeric Hammock/Upland Hardwood Forest/
Slope Forest. Xeric hammocks are patches of live oak and other hardwoods that occur as
inclusions in sandhill and scrub communities. If fire were excluded from the latter com-
munities, succession would convert them to xeric hammock communities. Xeric ham-
mocks on National Forests in Florida are unsuitable for timber production. They have
been protected and promoted for the contribution they make to wildlife habitat. The more
mesic upland hardwood communities and slope forest communities are only slightly rep-
resented on National Forests in Florida. Like xeric hammocks, they have not been har-
vested and have been actively protected. The upland hardwood forest age class distribu-
tions are shown in Figure 3.5.






AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


I B' -


-. P1
T


10-Year Age Classes


Ocala NF


0Year Age Classes




10-Year Age Classes


S .
22 '""


I.) I 1 i,, I I i'0


Osceola NF


71-80
510-Year Age Classes61
10-Year Age Classes


Figure 3.5. Current Age Class Distribution of Upland Hardwood.


3-23


3000




2000


Apalachicola NF







61-70


1000




0


3000


2000


0-10



_[


I"- I I I I ','


3000




2000




1000


-lji~



n





DRAFT EIS


Forested Wetland Communities: Hydric Hammock/Baygall/Seepage Slope/Bottom-
land Forest/Floodplain Swamp/Strand Swamp/Basin Swamp/Dome Swamp. Most of
these communities are dominated by tree species other than pine. They rarely have been
subject to timber activity on National Forests in Florida. Most of the wilderness area
acres on National Forests in Florida contain these wetland communities. Rather than
themselves being disturbed by management activities, some of their members are disturb-
ing other communities. The wetland shrubs collectively called titi have greatly expanded
their range in response to wildfire suppression. Hot, summer wildfires would have made
drier areas uninhabitable for titi, but fire suppression has allowed them to encroach into
many acres of adjacent seepage slope and wet flatwoods communities. There are cur-
rently 135,900 acres of this type on the Apalachicola NF.

The one community of particular concern in this group is the seepage slope. It occurs on
the (almost imperceptible) slope between the flatwoods and the swamp (i.e., along the
margins of swamps). One of its common members is pond pine, a species of little com-
mercial value. Efforts to expand the acreage with higher timber value have led to removal
of much pond pine and the creation of plowed beds on which some slash pine is grown.
Further disturbance to this community has come from the practice of plowing firelines
along swamp margins to prevent wildfires from entering the swamps. The impact on this
community has been one of the causes of public concern about mechanical soil distur-
bance on National Forests in Florida.

There is some concern for the canebreak community found in some ecosystems in the
Southeastern United States. Few canebreaks are known to exist on National Forests in
Florida. The forested wetland community age class distributions are shown in Figure 3.6.

Nonforested Wetlands: Wet Prairie/Depression Marsh/Bog. Wet Prairies on the
Apalachicola NF (locally called savannahs) are openings up to several hundred acres in
size in flatwood forests. They are botanically notable for their extremely high plant spe-
cies diversity. Their composition can be similar to the understory in the adjacent flat-
woods. Indeed, that type of longleaf pine forest has been called a savannah that happens
to have trees on it. Woody species are excluded from the open savannahs by the interact-
ing effects of soil (clay lenses) and fire, bul without fire, shrubs and trees will encroach.
A number of savannahs were ditched and planted to slash pine several decades ago. This
has markedly affected their composition. Others have ditches and plowed firelines across
them, which has altered their hydrology. Many savannahs have experienced some shrub
encroachment from fire suppression, though the more recent prescribed burns have re-
duced encroachment.

Depression marshes and bogs have not been as disturbed by human activity as savannahs,
though the general effects of fire suppression allowing some species to become more
common and other species to be outcompeted have undoubtedly affected them as well.
Again, prescribed burning is reversing this effect.

Sinkholes and Caves. The longest aquatic cave yet mapped runs under the Apalachicola
NF and both the Apalachicola NF and the Ocala NF have examples of sinkhole com-
munities. These have suffered some recreational disturbance but are currently protected
by Special interest area designation.


3-24






AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


Apalachicola NF


61-70






51-60

31-40 41-50
10-Year Age Classes


71-80







81-90

91-100 101+


Ocala NF


71-80 1-



11-20 21-30 31-40 "


' ic 11'p, :I" I'


10-Year Age Classes


Osceola NF


30000




20000


51-60


10000




0


10-Year Age Classes


Figure 3.6. Current Age Class Distribution for Forested Wetland Communities.


3-25


30000




20000


10000




0


30000




20000




10000





DRAFT EIS


Lakes and Streams. Lakes and streams on National Forests in Florida are protected in
several ways. They are protected from the pollution of development by being on public
rather than private land. Every activity, whether timber harvest, road reconstruction,
special-use permit, or recreational development must meet water protection standards.
Meanwhile, the Forest Service has rarely engaged in activities that directly affect the wa-
ters. A few ponds and lakes have received some game-fish improvement treatments in-
volving fertilization and liming. This is normally restricted to the artificial ponds (borrow
pits) created by road construction activities, though several of the hundreds of lakes on
Ocala NF also have been limed and fertilized. There is little or no recognized concern
that the waters on National Forests in Florida are being compromised by Forest Service
management activities. Indeed, several are designated Outstanding Florida Waters.

Environmental Consequences

Vegetation on National Forests in Florida is shaped by many processes acting together.
These can be grouped into natural processes, indirect activities, and direct activities.
Natural processes are wildfires, windstorms, floods, and insect outbreaks. Indirect activi-
ties are human activities that occur outside the forest but affect it. A road near the forest,
for example, stops wildfires from crossing into the forest, thus reduces the natural fire
frequency inside the forest. Direct activities are those carried out or regulated directly by
the Forest Service on National Forest land. These include timber harvests, trail construc-
tion, road maintenance, prescribed burning, and so forth. The Forest Plan primarily fo-
cuses on direct activities.

In the longleaf and slash pine parts of the forest, all the alternatives share an emphasis on
several direct activities. Among these are prescribed burning, thinning of young stands, a
light-on-the-land approach to site preparation and wildfire suppression, type conversion
from the existing (off-site) species to the appropriate on-site species, and a timber sched-
ule that allows much of the forest to grow older than is currently the case. Furthermore,
most of these acres comprise habitat management areas for the endangered red-cockaded
woodpecker. The RCW needs constrain the amount and type of timber harvesting activi-
ties that may occur. These constraints differ somewhat between alternatives. Below they
are discussed by alternative.

All alternatives propose a prescribed burning schedule under which all longleaf and slash
pine acres would burn once every 3 years on average, with increasing emphasis on sum-
mer burning as the fuel load declines under winter burs. Such a schedule may mimic the
natural wildfire's frequency and timing. Robbins and Myers (1992) have reviewed the ef-
fect of prescribed burning in Florida. Their monograph can be briefly summarized as fol-
lows. Prescribed burning that emphasizes summer burning can be expected, over several
burning events, to return the structure of the understory to that described by early
travelers-namely open and parklike with a predominance of grasses and herbs. Woody
shrubs would be present as subshrubs and oak hammocks would occur here and there, but
not as abundantly as under fire suppression. Fire-intolerant wetland species, such as the
titi shrubs, would disappear from drier areas where they have encroached during the last
century. Burning, especially summer burning, not only tends to increase the abundance of
grasses and herbs but also encourages flowering. Wiregrass, one of the dominant grasses
in the longleaf pine forest communities, actually depends on growing-season fires to


3-26





AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


trigger it to bloom. Palmetto blooms significantly more abundantly in the second year af-
ter a fire than in unburned areas (W. Abrahamson, pers. comm.).

All alternatives propose the thinning of dense, young stands of longleaf and slash pine.
Thinning allows the trees that remain to grow into large-diameter specimens more
quickly. It also lets more light reach the forest floor, benefitting the understory plants.
Such thinning is cited by Kral (1983) as important for the survival of the rare, threatened,
and endangered grasses and herbs found in the longleaf pine forest. Kral also cites the
harmful effect of soil disturbance. This is not surprising since these longleaf pine forest
species are long-lived perennials that are not adapted to disturbed sites. The proposed
light-on-the-land approach to site preparation and fire suppression therefore can be ex-
pected to benefit these plants. All alternatives call for using the least ground-disturbing
site preparation technique that will allow establishment of pine seedlings on a site and the
last-resort-only use of plowed firelines in wildfire suppression. If a plowed fireline
proved necessary to protect a critical resource, the line would be rehabilitated after the
fire.

In all alternatives, existing slash pine stands identified as off-site would be scheduled for
type conversion to longleaf pine. The rate and amount of acres restored to longleaf pine
would vary by alternative. Additionally, several thousand acres of longleaf have become
encroached by sand pine. Off-site pine would be removed by clearcutting, and longleaf
pine seedlings replanted. This would work hand-in-glove with the prescribed burning
program, since the fire would promote fire-tolerant longleaf pine seedlings at the expense
of less tolerant slash and sand pine seedlings that may become established on their own.

There are many stands on the Osceola NF that are mixed longleaf and slash pine forest
types. Some of these stands will be gradually restored to longleaf through thinning, group
selection, seed tree, or shelterwood harvest.

Longleaf/slash pine forests would become older (and trees larger) in all alternatives. Al-
ternatives that emphasize the even-aged system of shelterwood management would put
stands on 120-year rotations for longleaf pine and 100-year rotations for slash pine. Trees
from the previous generation also would be retained on the site until they die. The un-
even-aged system of selection cutting would follow the rule that 6 trees per acre larger
than 18 inches would always be retained. Of course, these would gradually die out from
natural mortality, but there would be a continuous flow into these larger size categories as
each remaining live tree on the site continued to grow. On National Forests in Florida,
trees 18 inches in diameter are rarely as young as 120 years, so a substantial number of
trees significantly older than 120 years would be present. Whether a shelterwood or a se-
lection system of management is used, more snags and deadwood (and the organisms that
use these) would be present than is currently the case.

Harvesting of nontimber products would be allowed in all alternatives, but the area avail-
able would vary by DFC. The three most collected products on National Forests in
Florida are firewood, crookedwood, and palmetto berries. The use of firewood collection
as a tool to remove encroaching oak midstory in longleaf pine areas is encouraged in all
alternatives as part of the restoration of the sandhill community. (Mature oak hammocks
would not be removed.) Crookedwood collection (i.e., collection of rusty lyonia and wax
myrtle branches) would continue to be restricted to either roadside ditches or to areas


3-27





DRAFT EIS


scheduled for timber harvest, where these branches would be crushed anyway. These
shrubs resprout readily. Removal of part of the current crop of branches is not likely to
have any lasting effect. The collection of palmetto berries does remove both palmetto
seeds and potential wildlife food from the forest. Palmettos are long-lived plants that
rarely reproduce from seed; therefore, removal of part of the seed crop is unlikely to have
a measurable effect. Collection areas will continue to be chosen to minimize the impact
of food loss on wildlife.

Any given activity has more than one effect-roads support both timber harvesting and
prescribed burning, thinning both increases the value of timber crops and enhances
growth conditions for understory plants. Some effects are disruptive to natural communi-
ties and some are supportive of their integrity. All alternatives include management areas
in which some direct activities are prohibited or limited in extent. The extreme case is
wilderness areas, where all motorized activities are prohibited in order to provide a recre-
ational area free of the sound of motors and the sight of their impact. The more restricted
the activities, the more vegetation will be shaped by natural processes and indirect activi-
ties, rather than by direct activities, even those that restore communities. The vegetation
may not return to its pristine condition before European influence. Instead, the long-term
state of the vegetation is unpredictable. What is predictable is that the vegetation will re-
ceive less direct mechanical disturbance than in the past. Other activities known to pro-
tect natural communities (erosion control, prescribed burning, and eradication of invading
nonnatives) will occur to some extent within the restrictions of the management area and
the budget. All alternatives would prohibit timber production within the primary zone of
water bodies and would expand the definition of primary zones to include sinkholes and
temporary ponds. These waterside zones would then be included in the areas of little di-
rect activity.

All alternatives impose restrictions on activities that occur in the foreground of major
roads and trails to provide pleasing scenery. Pleasing scenery is scenery that does not
show the effects of recent disturbance. Since some of the natural communities, most nota-
bly scrub, actually depend on cycles of disturbance for their integrity, suppression of such
disturbance along roads and trails can be expected to create narrow corridors of altered
communities. For example, woody understory shrubs, such as oaks, can be expected to
gain roadside/trailside dominance. In some cases, the scenery would be protected by plac-
ing a disturbance (e.g., a borrow pit or a sanitary station) some distance off the main road.
This would increase the total amount of disturbance to the vegetation, because a longer
access road would be necessary.

All alternatives include the existing Pinecastle Bombing Range on Ocala NF. The future
of this bombing range will depend on biological and needs assessments that have been
initiated. Occasionally live bombs are used here, but rarely have they ignited fires. The
natural community involved is scrub, which is a high-disturbance system adapted to fire.
No long-term damage is expected to the community. Individual species will be displaced
when the site goes through the part of the age cycle that is inhospitable to them, just as
they are displaced under either a natural fire regime or the clearcutting regime outside the
bombing range. Fires may be more frequent here than they are in the clearcuts elsewhere.
Species adapted to the early ages of the cycle (e.g., Florida scrub jays) may be more fre-
quent here, and those adapted to older ages (e.g., liverworts) may be less frequent.


3-28






AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES




An inventory of potential old growth and effects of the alternatives on old growth is
found in Appendix F, "Old Growth."

Table 3.7 shows the estimated acres harvested by method for each forest by alternative. A
discussion of these harvest methods is found in the "Timber" section of this chapter.



TABLE 3.7

Estimated Harvest Acres per Period by Forest


Alternative A
Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Period 4 Period 5


Irregular Shelterwood
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal

Overwood Removal
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal

Pine Thinnings
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal

Hardwood Clearcut
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal

Longleaf Pine Restoration
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal

Sand Pine Clearcut
Ocala NF

Shelterwood/Seed Tree/Cle;
Ocala NF
TOTAL


1,690
173
0
1,863


43,249
8,635
3,848
55,732


1,000
500
580
2,080


1,280
580


7,721
3,288
1,156
12,165


1,690
173
0
1,863


34,584
10,355
8,941
53,880


1,000
500
580
2,080


3,464
976


12,969
1,752
55
14,776


7,721
3,288
108
11,117


26,586
12,827
9,011
48,424


1,000
0
580
1,580


12,016
3.179


7,952
4,559
0
12,511


12,969
1,752
0
14,721


8,469
13,904
11,349
33,722


1,000
0
580
1,580


16,634
322


16,759
3,954
2,679
23,392


7,952
4,559
0
12,511


9,268
10,416
7,558
27,242


1,000
0
580
1,580


5,972
368


0 43 1,396 1,625 780
1,860 4,483 16,591 18,581 7,120


48,629 45,719 44,184 47,169 44,965

arcut
234 182 2,619 2,838 2,796
110,398 120,372 139,291 131,122 119,606


I






DRAFT EIS


TABLE 3.7 (continued)


Alternative B
Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Period 4


Group Selection
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Pine Thinnings
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Sand Pine Clearcut
Ocala NF
TOTAL


16,504
1,656
1,032
19,192

25,719
12,954
4,971
43,644

7,653
1,766
0
9,419


10,330 19,552 27,184
4,316 5,831 8,425
750 1,032 1,932
15,396 26,415 37,541

32,230 39,151 29,671
15,408 14,639 12,390
13,357 10,982 10,768
60,995 64,772 52,829


7,916
2,824
10,740
10,740


6,299
3,163
446
9,908"


7,062
1,234
1,286
9,582


33,910 32,102 32,402 31,997
106,165 119,233 133,497 131,949


Alternative C
Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Period 4


Irregular Shelterwood
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Overwood Removal
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Pine Thinnings
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Hardwood Clearcut
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Sand Pine Clearcut
Ocala NF
Shelterwood/Seed Tree/CI
Ocala NF
TOTAL


0
2,502
0
2,502

0
0
0
0

38,826
8,326
4,973
52,125

8,000
2,811
4,610
15,421

10,788
486
1,539
12,813


0
2,895
0
2,895

0
2,502'
0
2,502

39,169
11,425
17,291
67,885

8,000
2,471
4,610
15,081

8,991
486
1,539
11,016


11,653 17,367
2,654 3,443
6,378 7,400
20,685 28,210

0 11,653
2,895 2,654
0 6,378
2,895 20,685

34,108 22,460
12,782 13,106
15,294 16,825
62,184 52,391


3,900
0
3,423
7,323

11,195
145
1,625
12,965


1,039
0
1,778
2,817

5,480
139
52
5,671


34,662 30,703 36,513 37,405
earcut
1,264 1,221 1,824 1,392
118,787 131,303 144,389 148,571


Period 5

33,453
7,961
5,348
46,762

23,898
13,392
2,003
39,293

2,944
2,720
1,548
7,212

30,745
124,012


Period 5

16,658
4,038
7,400
28,096

17,367
3,443
7,400
28,210

22,269
14,410
6,508
43,187

2,638
0
3,146
5,784

5,480
0
433
5,913

34,634

1,330
147,154


3-30






AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT &
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES


TABLE 3.7 (continued)


Irregular Shelterwood
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Overwood Removal
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Pine Thinnings
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Group Selection
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Sand Pine Clearcut
Ocala NF
TOTAL


Alternative D
Period 1 Period 2 Period 3


0
1,384
0
1,384

0
0
0
0

18,722
5,438
3,919
28079

4,783
0
1,000
5,783

7,873
1,386
322
9,581


0 4,943
1,601 2,607
0 3,379
1,601 10,929


0
1,384
0
1,384


0
1,601
0
1,601


20,313 27,425
5,234 6,503
16,114 15,828
41661 49756


3,003
0
1,000
4,003


5,504
0
1,000
6,504


7,951 11,323
1,787 1,746
710 1,959
10,448 15,028


28,661 32.126 32,935
73,488 91,223 116,753


Period 4

8,382
4,383
3,142
15,907


4,943
2,607
3,379
10,929

25,012
7,906
17,675
50593

5,201
0
9,564
14,765

7,356
1,276
445
9,077


Period 5

7,980
3,197
4,248
15,425

8,382
4,383
3,142
15,907

21,164
6,698
6,438
34300

10,047
0
11,415
21,462

3,936
1,241
1,091
6,268


30,086 30,688
131,357 124,050


Irregular Shelterwood
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Overwood Removal
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Pine Thinnings
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Group Selection
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Apalachicola NF
Ocala NF
Osceola NF
Subtotal
Sand Pine Clearcut
Ocala NF
TOTAL


Alternative E
Period 1 Period 2


40,099 44,889
2,123 3,272
8,305 17,669
50,527 65,830

28,000 26,244
2,500 3,925
7,000 7,000
37,500 37,169


8,021
3,005
850
11,876


6,717
2,504
229
9,450


Period 3 Period 4

2,355 2,355
762 215
2,779 389
5,896 2,959


0
215
0
215

56,475
4,306
15,780
76,561

37,830
9,840
7,000
54,670

11,601
1,288
754
13,643


2,355
762
2,779
5,896

45,486
5,442
15,438
66,366

42,735
7,990
11,679
62,404

13,532
110
0
13,642


Period 5

2,355
215
810
3,380

2,355
215
389
2,959

37,192
5,598
5,069
47,859

49,061
11,998
13.205
74,264

7,954
603
1,253
9,810


34,703 35,447 31,689
185,688 186,714 169,961


41,000 41,000
140,984 153,745




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