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Notice

USDA Policy Advisory Committee on Farmland; Public Forums

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Forest Service.

ACTION:

Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY:

Maintaining Agriculture and Forestry in Rapidly Growing Areas Listening Forums hosted by members of the USDA Policy Advisory Committee on Farmland Protection. The USDA Policy Advisory Committee on Farm and Forest Lands Protection is holding listening forums this summer to solicit policy feedback and anecdotal information on what works and what doesn't from a community's perspective in working with federal tools designed to maintain land as farmland and forest land. The input received from these forums will be synthesized into a report that USDA will issue on this subject later this year.

Specifically, the forums will ask for public comment on the following questions:

1. What are the economic, environmental and social benefits of farms and forested lands for communities, especially those in rapidly growing regions?

2. What are the challenges that communities and individuals face in trying to maintain farms and forested lands, especially in rapidly growing areas?

3. What sorts of opportunities exist to capitalize on market opportunities (e.g., direct marketing and agri-tourism) to encourage maintenance of farmland and forestland?

4. What role could the federal government play to better support farmers and forest operators in taking advantage of these opportunities?

DATES:

The first forum will convene on Thursday morning, July 13 at the Dekalb County Farm Bureau Center for Agriculture, 1350 West Prairie Drive, Sycamore, Illinois 60178. The second forum is scheduled for Friday, July 21, 2000, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 12 p.m., at the University of California, Davis, Alumni and Visitors Center, in Room AGR, located on Old Davis Road and Mark Hall Drive, Davis, California. The third forum will be held on Monday, July 31, 2000, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., at the Yale Street Landing, 1001 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98109. The fourth forum will take place on Wednesday, August 9, 2000, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 53 East Hanover Avenue, Morristown, New Jersey 07962-1295. An additional meeting will be scheduled for Atlanta, Georgia in early August.

ADDRESSES:

Are included in the above information under DATES.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Notice of these forums is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2. Additional information about the USDA Policy Advisory Committee, including any revised agendas for the forums may appear after this Federal Register Notice is published, may be found on the World Wide Web at ­http://www.usda.gov.

Draft Agenda for the Forums

A. Opening remarks.

B. Panel presentations.

C. Public participation: oral statements, questions and answer period.

D. Closing remarks.

Procedural

The forums are open to the general public. Members of the general public will have an opportunity to present their ideas and opinions during each forum. Persons wishing to make oral statements must pre-register by contacting Ms. Mary Lou Flores at (202) 720-4525. Those who wish to submit written statements can do so by submitting 25 copies of their statements on or before July 17, 2000, for the UC Davis, CA forum, July 26, 2000, for the Seattle, WA forum, and August 4, 2000, for the Morristown, NJ forum. Please send them to Ms. Stacie Kornegay, Natural Resources Conservation Service, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, D.C. 20013, Room 6013. The written form of the oral statements must not exceed 5 pages in 12 point pitch. At each forum, reasonable provisions will be made for oral presentations of no more than three minutes each in duration.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Requests for special accommodations due to disability, questions or comments should be directed to Rosann Durrah, Designated Federal Official, telephone (202) 720-4072, fax (202) 690-0639, email rosann.durrah@usda.gov.

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Dated: July 13, 2000.

James R. Lyons,

Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, USDA.

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[FR Doc. 00-18255 Filed 7-14-00; 4:23 pm]

BILLING CODE 3410-16-M