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29288 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No.

98 / Monday, May 22, 2006 / Notices

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE and copying at the office of the Director, the Reg Neg Committee’s draft
Recreation and Heritage Resources Staff, guidelines, meet the agency’s need to
Forest Service USDA Forest Service, 4th Floor Central, integrate accessibility into the
Sidney R. Yates Federal Building, 1400 development of outdoor recreation
RIN 0596–AB93
Independence Avenue, SW., facilities and trails. The Forest Service’s
Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 guidelines incorporate universal design
Accessibility Guidelines and p.m., Monday through Friday, except and agency terminology and processes
Integration of Direction on holidays. Those wishing to inspect the and in some respects establish higher
Accessibility Into Forest Service administrative record are encouraged to accessibility standards than the Reg Neg
Manual 2330 call Janet Zeller at (202) 205–9597 Committee’s draft guidelines. The Forest
beforehand to facilitate access to the Service’s guidelines are in two parts, the
AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. building. FSORAG and the Forest Service Trail
ACTION: Notice of issuance of final FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG), both
directive. Janet Zeller, Recreation and Heritage of which are available at http://
Resources Staff, USDA Forest Service, www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/
SUMMARY: The Forest Service is issuing accessibility.
a final directive as an amendment to (202) 205–9597.
The Forest Service is issuing an
Forest Service Manual 2330, Publicly 1. Background amendment to Forest Service Manual
Managed Recreation Opportunities to (FSM) 2330, ‘‘Publicly Managed
Although the Forest Service is
ensure that new or reconstructed Recreation Opportunities,’’ to require
committed to ensuring accessibility of
developed outdoor recreation areas on compliance with the FSORAG. The
agency facilities and programs to serve
National Forest System lands are Forest Service published this policy for
all employees and visitors, as well as
developed to maximize accessibility, public notice and comment as a
complying with the Architectural
while recognizing and protecting the proposed amendment. Since this policy
Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA) and Section
unique characteristics of the natural has been subjected to public notice and
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
setting. The amendment guides Forest comment through publication in the
agency accessibility requirements for
Service employees regarding Federal Register, the agency has
outdoor developed recreation areas have
compliance with the Forest Service decided to issue the final policy as an
not been integrated into the Forest
Outdoor Recreation Accessibility amendment to the FSM.
Service Directives System.
Guidelines (FSORAG). The amendment The ABA requires facilities that are The FSORAG will apply to newly
directs that new or reconstructed designed, constructed, altered, or leased constructed or altered camping
outdoor developed recreation areas in by, for, or on behalf of a Federal agency facilities, picnic areas, beach access
the National Forest System, including to be accessible, as well as those funded routes, outdoor recreation access routes,
campgrounds, picnic areas, beach access in whole or in part by a Federal agency. and other constructed features,
routes, and outdoor recreation access To emphasize the need for accessibility including benches, trash, recycling, and
routes, comply with these agency guidelines for outdoor recreation areas, other essential containers, viewing areas
guidelines and applicable Federal in 1993 the Forest Service developed at overlooks, telescopes and periscopes,
accessibility laws, regulations, and Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation: mobility device storage, pit toilets,
guidelines. The FSORAG is linked to A Design Guide. This guidebook warming huts, and outdoor rinsing
and referenced in this amendment. blended accessibility into the recreation showers in the National Forest System.
The Architectural and Transportation opportunity spectrum, ranging from The FSORAG is linked to and
Barriers Compliance Board (Access urban areas in full compliance with the referenced in this amendment.
Board) is preparing to publish for public Uniform Federal Accessibility The FSORAG maximizes the
notice and comment proposed Standards, the ABA accessibility accessibility of outdoor developed
accessibility guidelines for outdoor standards in place at that time, to recreation areas for all people, while
developed areas that would apply to primitive and wilderness areas. recognizing and protecting the unique
Federal agencies subject to the The Access Board is the federal characteristics of the natural setting of
Architectural Barriers Act. When the agency responsible for issuing each outdoor developed recreation area
Access Board finalizes its accessibility accessibility guidelines for newly within the National Forest System. The
guidelines for outdoor developed areas, constructed and altered facilities subject FSORAG integrates the Forest Service
the Forest Service will revise the to the ABA. The Forest Service served policy of universal design to ensure the
FSORAG to incorporate the Access on the Access Board’s Regulatory development of programs and facilities
Board’s standards where those Negotiation Committee on Outdoor to serve all people, to the greatest extent
provisions are a higher standard, as Developed Areas (Reg Neg Committee). possible. Universal design requires that
supplemented by the Forest Service. In 1999, the Reg Neg Committee all new or reconstructed facilities and
The supplementation will ensure the completed draft accessibility guidelines associated constructed features, rather
agency’s application of equivalent or for outdoor recreation facilities and than only a certain percentage of those
higher guidelines and universal design, trails. However, the Access Board was facilities, be accessible to all people.
as well as consistent use of agency not able to complete the rulemaking Universal design provides for the
terminology and processes. process for the guidelines at that time. integration of all people in outdoor
DATES: This final amendment is While awaiting completion of the developed recreation areas, without
effective May 22, 2006. rulemaking process for those guidelines, separate or segregated access for people
ADDRESSES: The full text of the final the Forest Service determined that it with disabilities. In addition, the final
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amendment to FSM 2330 is available needed accessibility guidelines that amendment clarifies internal agency
electronically on the World Wide Web would comply with the public notice procedures and policies related to the
at http://www.fs.fed.us/im/directives. and comment process for Forest Service accessibility of outdoor developed
The administrative record for this final directives pursuant to 36 CFR part 216. recreation areas, including compliance
amendment is available for inspection These guidelines, which are based on with the FSORAG.

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Like the proposed accessibility http://www.fs.fed.us/programs/ accessible, rather than only a certain
guidelines developed by the Reg Neg recreation/accessibility. The Forest percentage of those facilities, with few
Committee, the FSORAG establishes Service received 37 letters or electronic exceptions.
only one level of accessibility for all messages in response to the proposed In the Forest Service’s accessibility
outdoor developed recreation areas and interim directive. Each respondent was guidelines, the policy of universal
provides for application of conditions grouped in one of the following design is applied by starting with the
for departure and exceptions when categories: assumption that all areas and
necessary to preserve the uniqueness of Business: 1 constructed features will be accessible
each recreation area and when Federal Agencies: 6 to the extent provided in the guidelines.
application of the FSORAG would cause Federal Agency Employees: 25 In contrast to application of universal
a change in an area’s setting. Individuals (unaffiliated or design to picnic tables and toilet
Compliance with the FSORAG will not unidentifiable): 5 structures, which occupy a small area,
always result in facilities that are application of universal design to
Most respondents supported the
accessible to all persons with camping units and their connecting
FSORAG. A few respondents were not
disabilities because at some locations routes (called ‘‘outdoor recreation
supportive. One respondent opposed access routes’’ or ‘‘ORARs) raises a
the natural environment might prevent
access by people with disabilities on potential concern of over-development.
application of some of the FSORAG’s
Federally managed lands. Another However, under the FSORAG, the
technical provisions.
The Access Board plans to publish a respondent opposed any improved uniqueness of the site is preserved
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) access and was concerned that because departure from the guidelines is
seeking public comment on proposed improved access would lead to more permitted when certain conditions exist
accessibility guidelines for outdoor hunting. Many respondents commented at a site. Therefore, not all camping
developed areas. The NPRM will on specific sections of the FSORAG. The units and ORARs may have to meet the
contain the Reg Neg Committee’s draft agency appreciates the spelling, guidelines. The intent of universal
guidelines and will apply to Federal pagination, and other similar design is met by maximizing
agencies subject to the ABA. The Forest nonsubstantive comments and has accessibility while maintaining the
Service will work with the Access Board incorporated them into the FSORAG character and experience of the setting,
and the other federal land management posted on the Forest Service’s given the natural constraints of a site
agencies as the Access Board develops accessibility Web page at http:// and its level of development.
final accessibility guidelines for outdoor www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ Page 16 of the Forest Service’s Built
developed areas. When the Access accessibility. Environment Image Guide states:
Board finalizes its accessibility General Comments ‘‘Under the ABA and other mandates,
guidelines for outdoor developed areas, universal design requires complete
the Forest Service will revise the Many respondents appreciated that integration of accessibility within our
FSORAG to incorporate the Access application of the FSORAG would result facilities. As with sustainable design
Board’s standards, as supplemented by in the natural setting being maintained. elements, universal design principles
the Forest Service. The supplementation All respondents who commented on applied to the site or facility from the
will ensure the agency’s application of format supported addressing outdoor outset seldom, if ever, have any obvious
equivalent or higher guidelines and developed recreation areas in a separate effect on the architectural character.
universal design, as well as consistent document from trails, as well as When skillfully executed, universally
use of agency terminology and integration of the scoping and technical designed facilities fit seamlessly within
processes. provisions in each document. Several the natural and social environments.’’
In a related notice published respondents also expressed appreciation Comment. One respondent expressed
elsewhere in this part of today’s Federal for revisions in the order of the confusion concerning turning radius,
Register, the agency is publishing notice technical provisions in the Reg Neg clear floor or ground space, and other
of a final directive to require Committee’s draft guidelines. technical aspects of the guidelines.
compliance with the FSTAG, which will Comment. Most respondents Response. Graphics will be included
apply to trails that are designed for supported the Forest Service’s policy of in the final FSORAG and in the Forest
hiker/pedestrian use. The FSORAG and universal design. However, several Service Accessibility Guidebook for
the FSTAG are both available respondents expressed concern that Outdoor Recreation and Trails, which
electronically on the World Wide Web under this policy, developed recreation will be available by the spring of 2006
at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/ areas would be forced into a higher level at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/
programs/accessibility. of development or would all look alike, programs/accessibility. This guidebook
Copies also may be obtained by resulting in a change to their setting. will provide a clear explanation of the
writing to USDA, Forest Service, Attn: Response. The Forest Service policy accessibility guidelines, with examples
Accessibility Program Manager, on universal design is defined in FSM of best practices and illustrative
Recreation and Heritage Resources Staff, 2330.5 as ‘‘the design of programs and photographs, graphics, and design tips.
Stop 1125, 1400 Independence Avenue, facilities to be usable by all people, to Comment. One respondent requested
SW., Washington, DC 20250–0003. the greatest extent possible, while that technical provisions for parking lots
maintaining the natural setting, be included in the FSORAG.
2. Public Comments on the Proposed providing access to programs and Response. The FSORAG covers only
Interim Directive facilities for all, without separate or the developed recreation elements that
On February 17, 2005, the Forest segregated access for people with are not addressed in other accessibility
Service published the proposed interim disabilities. New or reconstructed guidelines. Parking lots are already
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directive in the Federal Register (70 FR buildings, developed recreation sites, addressed in the Architectural Barriers
8060) for public notice and comment. associated constructed features and Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS).
The proposed interim directive was also alterations are to comply with the Comment. One respondent requested
posted electronically on the World Wide accessibility guidelines.’’ Therefore, all that the text of all ABAAS provisions
Web on the Federal Register site at constructed features are required to be cited in the technical provisions of the

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FSORAG be integrated into the Response. The Forest Service uses the Response. A significant natural
FSORAG, rather than appearing in an Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) feature generally has some special
appendix. to characterize a recreation site. The meaning and is held in some esteem in
Response. The Forest Service has ROS was developed to identify more its locale. That meaning may be based
decided not to accept this clearly the relationships among a site’s on its uniqueness, rarity, beauty,
recommendation because many ABAAS physical characteristics and the historical significance, or other factors.
provisions are cited repeatedly in the recreation activities and experience that The FSORAG includes a discussion of
FSORAG. For example, the reference to the public expects at the site. More significant natural features. A
controls (ABAAS 308 and 309) are information about the ROS is available significant natural feature may include
referenced ten times in the FSORAG at http://roadless.fs.fed.us/data/ a large rock, outcrop, tree, or body of
and appear multiple times on the same pdfdocs/rosguide.pdf. water that would block or interfere with
page in several instances. If these Determination of a substantial change or would directly or indirectly be
provisions were included each time to the characteristics of a site from altered or destroyed by construction of
they were cited, the FSORAG would compliance with the FSORAG cannot be the outdoor recreation facility or
become unwieldy, as well as difficult to standardized or quantified because the element at that point. Significant natural
follow. Once a designer has consulted determination will vary greatly features also could include areas
the same ABAAS citation several times depending on the specific protected under Federal or State laws,
in the FSORAG appendix, the designer circumstances and because recreational such as areas with threatened or
should become familiar with the experience is perception-based. endangered species or wetlands that
ABAAS requirement and not have to ‘‘Managing for recreation requires could be threatened or destroyed by full
reference the appendix as frequently. different kinds of data and management compliance with the technical
Comment. One respondent believed concepts than does most other activities. provisions in the FSORAG or areas
that the FSORAG is not needed because While recreation must have a physical where compliance would, directly or
there are enough laws and guidelines base of land or water, the product— indirectly, substantially harm natural
dealing with accessibility, such as the recreation experience—is a personal or habitat or vegetation.
Americans With Disabilities Act, social phenomenon. Although the Significant cultural features include
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, management is resource based, the areas such as archaeological sites,
the ADAAG, and the new ABAAS. actual recreational activities are a result sacred lands, burial grounds and
Response. The FSORAG is needed of people, their perceptions, wants, and cemeteries, and tribal protected sites.
because no other accessibility behavior’’ (Final Report of the Significant historical features include
guidelines that address outdoor Committee of Scientists for properties listed or eligible for listing in
developed recreation areas have Implementation of Section 6 of the the National Register of Historic Places
completed the rulemaking process. National Forest Management Act of and other places of recognized historic
1976, February 22, 1979, 44 FR 26628, value. Significant religious features
Comments on Specific Sections of the
May 4, 1979). Since people’s include tribal sacred sites and other
FSORAG
expectations differ depending on the properties held sacred by an organized
Section 1.1 Conditions for setting, it is impossible to quantify religion.
Departure. This section contains the change, for example, by saying that Comment. One respondent requested
conditions that would permit departure removing a certain number of trees per a definition for ‘‘significant harm.’’
from a technical provision. acre constitutes substantial change. Response. The FSORAG and the Reg
Comment. All but one respondent The ROS assists landscape architects Neg Committee’s draft guidelines utilize
who commented on the phrase ‘‘or and recreation managers in evaluating the term ‘‘substantial harm,’’ not
would not be consistent with the all the factors that affect recreational ‘‘significant harm.’’ The term
applicable forest land and resource experiences, including changes to the ‘‘substantial harm’’ is used in the
management plan’’ in the second setting. For example, far more change guidelines in conjunction with the term
condition for departure were can occur at a developed site before the ‘‘significant feature’’ in the first
supportive. effect would be substantial than at a site condition for departing from the
Response. The National Forest that has never been developed. technical provisions. Therefore, this
Management Act requires each national Similarly, the surface at a site that has measure of the substance of the change
forest and national grassland to develop been worn down from heavy use may and the harm that change would cause
a land management plan. These plans need to be hardened to accommodate is not to be taken lightly. In this context,
are developed through extensive public the public’s desire to recreate there and to cause ‘‘substantial harm,’’ the
participation and generally are in effect to protect the surrounding environment, proposed change would have to have a
for 10 to 15 years. These plans guide and a significant amount of change may considerable negative effect on the
forest management, and the Forest occur without substantially affecting the feature that has been identified as
Service is prohibited from authorizing setting. However, at a site with a worn- ‘‘significant’’ in that locale.
actions that are inconsistent with the down surface that is located in an Comment. A number of respondents
plans. The language regarding environmentally sensitive area, the requested that ‘‘infeasible’’ be replaced
consistency with the plan was included threshold of substantial change may be with ‘‘impractical’’ in the fourth
in the second condition for departure lower, and different measures may need condition for departure.
because of this legal constraint. to be taken, such as precluding public Response. The American Heritage
Comment. One respondent requested use of parts of the site or site Dictionary of the English Language, 4th
a definition of the character, setting, and rehabilitation instead of hardening. Any edition (2000), cites ‘‘impractical’’ as the
experience of a recreation site. This design solution needs to consider the definition for ‘‘infeasible.’’ Since the
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respondent also requested a full range of managerial and words are interchangeable and
quantifiable, formula-based method to environmental needs. ‘‘impractical’’ is used more commonly,
determine whether compliance with the Comment. One respondent requested the Forest Service has changed ‘‘would
guidelines would result in a substantial a definition for ‘‘significant natural not be feasible’’ to ‘‘would be
change to these characteristics. feature.’’ impractical’’ in the section-by-section

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analysis for the fourth condition for protection rather than visitor requirement for ORARs supported the
departure and in the fourth condition convenience. Any constructed features exception.
for departure. in general forest areas must be designed Response. The FSORAG states that
Section 1.2 Definitions. This section appropriately for the setting and must ORARs are not required in general forest
includes definitions of terms used in the comply with the FSORAG’s accessibility areas. In general forest areas, a path
FSORAG, including terminology used requirements. connecting associated constructed
by the Forest Service. It is important to the recreating public facilities, as well as a path connecting
that not all National Forest System them to a trail, must comply with the
Camp Living Area and Parking Spur
lands be developed to the same extent, technical provisions for a trail
Comment. All respondents who level, or intensity. enumerated in section 7.0 of the
commented on the terminology used to The FSORAG requires that any FSTAG. These paths are not ORARs and
designate specific areas within a constructed feature (such as a picnic are not required to meet the technical
camping unit supported the use of that table, fire ring, or bench) in a general provisions for ORARs in the FSORAG.
terminology. forest area meet the applicable technical ORARs are not required in general forest
Response. For clarity, the FSORAG areas because the resulting additional
provisions. However, a connection to an
distinguishes between a camp living construction and site modification
ORAR is not required in general forest
area and a parking spur. A parking spur would substantially alter the nature of
areas to ensure that these areas are not
is divided into a vehicle parking area the setting.
developed beyond what is desirable
and a driveway, each of which has its While some constructed features
from managers’ and visitors’
own technical provisions. This (such as picnic tables, fire rings, and
perspectives. As a result, accessibility is
differentiation allows the designer to toilet buildings) may be provided in
maximized within the constraints of the
integrate a parking spur into the terrain. general forest areas, these constructed
outdoor environment, without requiring
In many cases, designers need the features are usually for resource
a fundamental change in the nature of
flexibility to work with each component protection rather than visitor
the program.
separately to accommodate a camp convenience. Any constructed features
Section 2.0 Outdoor Recreation
living area near a parking spur in a way in general forest areas must be designed
Access Routes (ORARs). This section of
that respects the lay of the land. In some appropriately for the setting and must
the FSORAG includes the technical
cases, the camp living space may not be comply with the FSORAG so that the
specifications for the pathways that
located immediately next to the parking facilities can be used by persons with a
connect constructed features in a picnic
spur because the terrain will not permit disability.
or camping area or at a trailhead. Comment. Two respondents believed
it.
Comment. All respondents who that handrails on ORARs are not
Developed Recreation Site and General commented on this provision supported appropriate in a recreation setting.
Forest Area the exception for slope, which is Response. The agency agrees.
Comment. All respondents who permitted for alterations only, not new References to handrails on ORARs have
commented on the distinction between construction. One respondent been deleted from the FSORAG, just as
a developed recreation site and a recommended that the same exception handrails on ORARs are not included in
general forest area were supportive. for slope permitted in alteration of the Reg Neg Committee’s draft
Response. The Forest Service ORARs should also be permitted in guidelines.
distinguishes in its management alteration of beach access routes. Comment. One respondent believed
between developed recreation sites and Response. Due to the terrain where a that because all picnic tables in a picnic
general forest areas. The Forest Service’s campground or picnic area was area must be accessible, each picnic
Infrastructure database defines a constructed, it may not be possible to table would have to be located along an
developed site as ‘‘a discrete place meet the running slope requirements of ORAR, which would result in numerous
containing a concentration of facilities an ORAR during alteration of the site pathways through picnic areas. One
and services used to provide recreation without substantially changing the respondent believed that the Reg Neg
opportunities to the public and natural setting. Therefore, exceptions to Committee’s draft guidelines would
evidencing a significant investment in slope requirements for alteration of require fewer picnic tables to be located
facilities and management under the ORARs are necessary. along an ORAR than the FSORAG.
direction of an administrative unit in The FSORAG permits exceptions to Response. The FSORAG does not
the National Forest System.’’ Developed slope requirements only when an area is require all picnic tables to be located
recreation sites provide visitor being reconstructed or altered. These along an ORAR. Rather, the FSORAG
convenience and comfort while exceptions are not permitted in new requires that 20 percent of all picnic
protecting natural resources. Most of the construction because selection of the tables at a site be located along an
agency’s recreational improvements are most appropriate site is part of the new ORAR. This requirement yields the
located at developed recreation sites. construction process. same density of picnic tables located
The Forest Service defines general While a campground may have been along ORARs as the Reg Neg
forest areas as ‘‘all lands available for constructed some years ago at a location Committee’s draft guidelines. The Reg
recreation use and outside of that would not now be considered Neg Committee’s draft guidelines
Wilderness, developed sites, trails and appropriate because of its terrain, the require that 50 percent of all picnic
administrative sites. Amenities or location of a beach is generally tables at a site, but no fewer than two,
constructed features inside general determined by the best location for be accessible, and that 40 percent of
forest areas are primarily for resource accessing the water. Therefore, these accessible picnic tables be located
protection rather than for visitor exceptions to slope requirements for along an ORAR. The FSORAG
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comfort.’’ While some constructed alteration of beach access routes are not requirement of 20 percent of 100
features (such as picnic tables, fire rings, appropriate. percent of the picnic tables at a site
and toilet buildings) may be provided in Comment. All except one respondent equates to the requirement in the Reg
general forest areas, these constructed who commented on the provision Neg Committee’s draft guidelines of 40
features are usually for resource exempting general forest areas from the percent of 50 percent of the picnic

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tables at a site. For example, under the Comment. Many respondents agreed Reg Neg Committee’s draft guidelines
FSORAG, if a site has 8 picnic tables, 8 that the width of an accessible parking require that all tent platforms have 3-
× .20 or 1.6 (rounded up to 2) of them spur may have an impact on the natural inch edge protection. The FSORAG
must be located along an ORAR. Under setting. allows the designer to determine where
the Reg Neg Committee’s draft Response. The FSORAG requires the edge protection should be provided for
guidelines, if a site has 8 picnic tables, same number of 20-foot-wide parking safety and where edge protection is not
8 × .50 or 4 must be accessible, and 4 areas for recreational vehicles that are needed due to the design or location of
× .40 or 1.6 (rounded up to 2) of those required under the Reg Neg Committee’s a tent platform or absence of a drop-off
4 must be located along an ORAR. draft guidelines. The rest of the parking that would preclude access. Thus, the
Section 2.7 Protruding Objects. This spurs in a campground must be 16 feet FSORAG requires edge protection only
section includes the requirements for wide, where that width would not where it is necessary.
clear headroom on a trail. substantially change the nature of the Comment. All respondents who
Comment. All respondents who setting. If that width is not feasible commented on the tent pad and
commented on protruding objects because of the presence of a condition platform provisions supported them as
supported the exception to the for departure, the width may be reduced they appear in the FSORAG.
requirement for clear headroom or a to13 feet. If the 13-foot width would not Response. The FSORAG requires that
warning barrier. be possible without substantially at least 20 percent of the tent pads or
Response. The FSORAG provides an changing the nature of the setting, the platforms provided at a developed
exception to the requirement for 80 parking spur is exempt from the recreation site meet the FSORAG’s
inches of clear headroom if a warning technical provisions. technical provisions and be connected
barrier is installed. However, on a This technical provision provides the to an ORAR. The FSORAG requires 5
narrow pathway through a cave or flexibility to design accessible parking percent of the tent pads or platforms in
through certain types of trees, such as spurs, while taking into account varying a general forest area to meet the
the walkway through the historic cherry terrain. This flexibility in design results technical provisions, but does not
trees around the Tidal Basin in in facilities that are not only universally require connection to an ORAR in a
usable, but also respectful of the natural general forest area. This difference in
Washington, DC, conditions may make
environment, which is a primary reason scoping and the requirement for
it impossible to place a warning barrier
people recreate outdoors. connection to an ORAR reflects the
and permit passage. In those types of
Unlike the Reg Neg Committee’s draft differences between developed
situations, the FSORAG permits an
guidelines, the FSORAG includes recreation sites and general forest areas.
exception to the requirement for 80
technical provisions for parking spur The agency agrees with the respondent
inches of clear headroom and
driveways. Because parking spur who stated that this distinction gives the
installation of a warning barrier. This
driveways are not required to be as wide designer a realistic and reasonable
exception must be retained to address
as parking spurs at the end of the ability to comply with accessibility
unusual situations in the natural
driveways that are adjacent to the living requirements. Where an area’s natural
environment. terrain permits, 100 percent of the tent
area, parking spur driveways have less
Section 3.0 Beach Access Routes. pads or platforms may be accessible and
visual impact on the natural setting than
This section includes technical connected to an ORAR.
parking spurs. The FSORAG takes this
specifications for pedestrian routes that Section 5.3 Fire Rings. This section
difference into account, thus
access beaches. includes the technical specifications for
maximizing accessibility while ensuring
No comments were received on this fire rings.
the best environmental fit on the
section. Comment. All except one respondent
ground.
Section 4.0 Constructed Features for Comment. Several respondents who commented on this section
Developed Picnic Areas. This section thought the parking chart in Figure 5.1 supported the exception in general
includes technical specifications for of the February 2005 draft of the forest areas to the requirement for the
picnic units in developed recreation FSORAG was confusing. height of the fire-building surface. The
areas. Response. The Forest Service agrees. dissenting respondent suggested that
No comments were received on this That chart has been removed from the rock circles in general forest areas be
section. FSORAG. The only parking chart that piled higher and that soil be added
Section 5.1 Parking Spurs. This appears in the current version of the inside the rocks to achieve the height
section includes technical specifications FSORAG addresses the minimum required for the fire-building surface at
for parking spurs in camping units. number of 20-foot-wide parking spurs developed recreation sites.
Comment. All respondents who for recreational vehicles that is required. Response. To permit the use of a
commented on the distinction between The FSORAG requires the same circle of rocks or other low-profile
a camping unit and a parking spur and percentage of 20-foot-wide parking campfires in remote or wilderness
the further breakdown of a parking spur spurs for recreational vehicles as the settings, the FSORAG provides an
into parking and driveway areas were Reg Neg Committee’s draft guidelines. exception in general forest areas to the
supportive of those distinctions. Section 5.2 Tent pads and height of the fire-building surface if one
Response. The FSORAG identifies platforms. This section includes the or more conditions for departure exist.
two typical components of a camping technical specifications for tent pads Without this exception, the fire-building
unit: (1) A camp living area and (2) a and platforms. surface in a fire ring would have to be
parking spur. A parking spur is further Comment. All respondents who at least 9 inches above the ground,
divided into a vehicle parking area and commented on this provision supported which could have a substantial negative
a driveway. These distinct components the flexibility in the FSORAG to impact in a wilderness setting. The
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are identified to facilitate application of determine whether edge protection Forest Service is not accepting the
the scoping requirements and to should be required. suggestion to provide for rock circles in
integrate parking spurs into camping Response. The FSORAG states that general forest areas to be piled higher
units in an environmentally sensitive edge protection, where provided, is to and for soil to be added inside the rocks
manner that maximizes accessibility. be at least 3 inches high, whereas the to achieve a 9-inch height for the fire-

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Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 98 / Monday, May 22, 2006 / Notices 29293

building surface because the agency is technical specifications for telescopes the presence of one or more conditions
concerned about the safety of such a and periscopes. for departure, transfer steps meeting
structure. Comment. All respondents who specifications similar to those for play
Comment. Several respondents commented on this section supported areas in Chapter 10 of ABAAS may be
expressed concern that the design for the provision that does not appear in the provided. These exceptions allow trail
accessible fire rings is unsightly and Reg Neg Committee’s draft guidelines planners and facility designers to work
therefore unpopular. for telescopes and periscopes. with an area’s topography and other
Response. The primary accessibility Response. Unlike the Reg Neg physical characteristics, rather than
requirement for fire rings is that the fire- Committee’s draft guidelines, the forcing planners and designers to alter
building surface be at least 9 inches FSORAG requires maneuvering space at the natural setting unreasonably.
above the ground. This requirement each accessible telescope and periscope. Section 6.7 Warming Huts. This
does not preclude fire ring designs that Maneuvering space is needed to ensure section includes technical specifications
are innovative, attractive, and that telescopes and periscopes are for warming huts at developed
appropriate in developed recreation accessible to a person who uses a recreation sites.
settings. Fifteen years ago, the most wheelchair. No comments were received on this
common fire ring design that Section 6.5 Mobility Device Storage. section.
supposedly was accessible looked like a This section includes technical Section 6.8 Outdoor Rinsing
barrel. Today the most common specifications for storage facilities for Showers. This section includes
accessible fire ring design is not mobility devices at developed recreation technical specifications for outdoor
unattractive. Designers can be creative sites. rinsing showers at developed recreation
and check other sources for appropriate No comments were received on this sites.
designs that fit the developed recreation section. No comments were received on this
setting and that are accessible. Section 6.6 Pit Toilets. This section
section.
Section 5.4 Wood Stoves and includes technical specifications for pit
Fireplaces. This section includes toilets. 3. Regulatory Certifications
technical specifications for wood stoves Comment. All except one respondent
who commented on this section Environmental Impact
and fireplaces at developed recreation
sites. supported the specifications in the Section 31.12, paragraph 2, of Forest
No comments were received on this FSORAG, including the exception to the Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.15 (67 FR
section. requirement for a level entrance into a 54622, August 23, 2002) excludes from
Section 5.5 Utilities. This section pit toilet. One respondent believed that documentation in an environmental
includes technical specifications for there should never be an exception to assessment or environmental impact
utilities at developed recreation sites. the requirement for a level entrance to statement ‘‘rules, regulations, or policies
No comments were received on this a pit toilet, regardless of the difficulties to establish Service-wide administrative
section. presented by the structure or location of procedures, program processes, or
Section 5.6 Utility Sinks. This a pit toilet’s waste disposal system. instructions.’’ The agency concludes
section includes technical specifications Response. The FSORAG requires that that this amendment falls within this
for utility sinks at developed recreation the clear floor or ground space adjacent category of actions and that no
sites. to a pit toilet comply with ABAAS extraordinary circumstances exist which
No comments were received on this requirements for toilets. The FSORAG would require preparation of an
section. clarifies that pit toilets are permitted environmental assessment or
Section 6.1 Benches. This section only in general forest areas and that environmental impact statement.
includes technical specifications for privacy screens rather than walls are
benches at developed recreation sites. Regulatory Impact
commonly used for pit toilets in remote
No comments were received on this areas. To address safety concerns, the This amendment has been reviewed
section. agency clarified the FSORAG to provide under USDA procedures and Executive
Section 6.2 Trash and Recycling Order 12866 on regulatory planning and
that grab bars are to be installed only on
Containers. This section includes review. The Office of Management and
walls that will withstand 250 pounds of
technical specifications for trash and
force, in accordance with ABAAS. In Budget (OMB) has determined that the
recycling containers.
addition, the FSORAG now specifies the amendment is significant because of its
Comment. One respondent
recommended that bear-proof storage orientation of the riser inside the pit relationship to the accessibility
containers be addressed in the FSORAG toilet structure to maximize accessibility guidelines to be established by the
because none with accessible controls of the toilet’s interior. These additions Access Board. Accordingly, this
are readily available. will ensure that pit toilets are designed amendment has been reviewed by OMB
Response. The Forest Service agrees. and installed to be accessible for people pursuant to Executive Order 12866. A
The phrase, ‘‘other essential containers’’ with disabilities. cost and benefits analysis of this action
has been added to the heading and text The FSORAG permits exceptions to was developed and is available at http://
of section 6.2. ‘‘Other essential the requirement for a level entrance into www.fs.fed.us/programs/recreation/
containers’’ includes trash, recycling, a pit toilet. Providing for exceptions is accessibility. The remaining portions of
food storage, and other animal-resistant necessary because some pit toilet floors the proposed amendment, which
containers. have to be located above the ground due addressed other aspects of the agency’s
Section 6.3 Viewing Areas at to operation and maintenance accessibility program not related to the
Overlooks. This section includes requirements of the toilet’s waste accessibility guidelines, were not
technical specifications for viewing disposal system. Where the entrance deemed significant by OMB and were
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areas at overlooks. cannot be located at ground level, a trail issued as a final interim directive on
No comments were received on this or ramp, if feasible, must be provided July 13, 2005.
section. from the ground to the entrance. Where Moreover, this amendment has been
Section 6.4 Telescopes and a trail or ramp is not feasible and no considered in light of the Regulatory
Periscopes. This section includes other alternative is possible because of Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 602 et seq.). It

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29294 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 98 / Monday, May 22, 2006 / Notices

has been determined that this relationship between the Federal while recognizing and protecting the
amendment will not have a significant government and the States, or the unique characteristics of the natural
economic impact on a substantial distribution of power and setting of each trail. The amendment
number of small entities as defined by responsibilities among the various guides Forest Service employees
the act because the amendment will not levels of government. Therefore, the regarding compliance with the Forest
impose record-keeping requirements on agency has determined that no further Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines
them; it will not affect their competitive assessment of federalism implications is (FSTAG) and directs that these trails
position in relation to large entities; and necessary. comply with the FSTAG and applicable
it will not affect their cash flow, Moreover, this amendment does not Federal laws, regulations, and
liquidity, or ability to remain in the have Tribal implications as defined by guidelines. In addition, the amendment
market. The amendment will establish Executive Order 13175, ‘‘Consultation clarifies agency procedures and policies
accessibility guidelines that will apply and Coordination with Indian Tribal related to the accessibility of trails. The
internally to the Forest Service and that Governments,’’ and therefore advance FSTAG is linked to and referenced in
will have no direct effect on small consultation with Tribes is not required. this amendment.
businesses. No small businesses have The Architectural and Transportation
Energy Effects Barriers Compliance Board (Access
been awarded contracts for construction
or reconstruction of recreation facilities This amendment has been reviewed Board) is preparing to publish for public
covered by these accessibility under Executive Order 13211 of May 18, notice and comment proposed
guidelines. 2001, ‘‘Actions Concerning Regulations accessibility guidelines for outdoor
That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, developed areas that would apply to
No Takings Implications Distribution, or Use.’’ It has been Federal agencies subject to the
This amendment has been analyzed in determined that this amendment does Architectural Barriers Act. When the
accordance with the principles and not constitute a significant energy action Access Board finalizes its accessibility
criteria contained in Executive Order as defined in the Executive Order. guidelines for outdoor developed areas,
12630. It has been determined that this the Forest Service will revise the
Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the
amendment does not pose the risk of a FSTAG to incorporate the Access
Public
taking of private property. Board’s standards where those
This amendment does not contain any provisions are a higher standard, as
Civil Justice Reform record-keeping or reporting supplemented by the Forest Service.
This amendment has been reviewed requirements or other information The supplementation will ensure the
under Executive Order 12988 on civil collection requirements as defined in 5 agency’s application of equivalent or
justice reform. After adoption of this CFR part 1320 that are not already higher guidelines and universal design,
amendment, (1) All State and local laws required by law or not already approved as well as consistent use of agency
and regulations that conflict with this for use. Accordingly, the review terminology and processes.
amendment or that impede its full provisions of the Paperwork Reduction DATES: This final directive is effective
implementation will be preempted; (2) Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and May 22, 2006.
no retroactive effect will be given to this its implementing regulations at 5 CFR
ADDRESSES: The full text of the
amendment; and (3) it will not require part 1320 do not apply.
amendment is available electronically
administrative proceedings before Dated: April 10, 2006 on the World Wide Web at http://
parties may file suit in court challenging Dale N. Bosworth, www.fs.fed.us/im/directives. The
its provisions. Chief, Forest Service. administrative record for this final
Unfunded Mandates [FR Doc. E6–7775 Filed 5–19–06; 8:45 am] amendment is available for inspection
Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded BILLING CODE 3410–11–P and copying at the office of the Director,
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. Recreation and Heritage Resources Staff,
1531–1538), which the President signed USDA Forest Service, 4th Floor Central,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Sidney R. Yates Federal Building, 1400
into law on March 22, 1995, the agency
has assessed the effects of this Independence Avenue, SW.,
Forest Service Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. to 4
amendment on State, local, and Tribal
governments and the private sector. RIN 0596–AB92 p.m., Monday through Friday, except
This amendment will not compel the holidays. Those wishing to inspect the
Forest Service Trail Accessibility administrative record are encouraged to
expenditure of $100 million or more by
Guidelines and Integration of Direction call Janet Zeller at (202) 205–9597
any State, local, or Tribal government or
on Accessibility Into Forest Service beforehand to facilitate access to the
anyone in the private sector. Therefore,
Manual 2350 building.
a statement under section 202 of the act
is not required. AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
ACTION: Notice of issuance of final Janet Zeller, Recreation and Heritage
Federalism and Consultation and Resources Staff, USDA Forest Service,
Coordination With Indian Tribal directive.
(202) 205–9597.
Governments SUMMARY: The Forest Service is issuing SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
The agency has considered this a final directive as an amendment to
amendment under the requirements of Forest Service Manual 2350, Trail, 1. Background
Executive Order 13132 on federalism River, and Similar Recreation Although the Forest Service is
and has determined that the amendment Opportunities to ensure that new or committed to ensuring accessibility of
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conforms with the federalism principles altered trails designed for hiker/ agency facilities and programs to serve
set out in this Executive Order; will not pedestrian use on National Forest all employees and visitors, as well as to
impose any compliance costs on the System lands are developed to comply with the Architectural Barriers
States; and will not have substantial maximize accessibility for all people, Act of 1968 and section 504 of the
direct effects on the States, the including people with disabilities, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, agency

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