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Notice of Release of Draft Strategic Plan for U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System; Request for Public Comment

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ACTION:

Notice of release of Draft Strategic Plan for U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System and request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces the release of the Draft Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System and Request for Public Comment by the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations (IWGEO). This draft plan was prepared to address the effective use of Earth observation systems to benefit humankind.

DATES:

The Draft Strategic Plan will be available for public review on Wednesday, September 8, 2004, and can be accessed electronically at http://iwgeo.ssc.nasa.gov/​draftstrategicplan. Comments on the Draft Strategic Plan must be received by the Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations no later that the close of business on Monday, November 8, 2004 (60 days).

Address for Comments: Only electronic (e-mail) comments will be accepted, and should be sent to: IWGEOcomments@noaa.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

CENR Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations, Carla Sullivan, Executive Secretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 5810, Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-5921, e-mail: Carla.Sullivan@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations (IWGEO) of the NSTC Committee on Environment and Natural Resources was established after the Earth Observation Summit for a two-fold purpose:

(1) To develop and begin implementation of the U.S. framework and ten-year plan for an integrated, comprehensive Earth observation system to answer environmental and societal needs, including a U.S. assessment of current observational capabilities, evaluation of requirements to sustain and evolve these capabilities considering both remote and in situ instruments, assessment of how to integrate current observational capabilities across scales, and evaluation and addressing of data gaps; and

(2) To formulate the U.S. position and input to the international ad hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) as formed at the Earth Observation Summit on July 31, 2003.

In response to the first goal, the IWGEO has prepared a Draft Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System. The draft was prepared after a year of coordination among the over 15 agencies represented. In addition, a public workshop was held on June 16-17, 2004, for the purpose of allowing representatives of the communities-of-practice to contribute information and facts on the nine societal benefits areas, which provide the focus of the plan. These strategic social/economic areas include the following:

1. Improve Weather Forecasting;

2. Reducing Loss of Life and Property From Disasters;

3. Protecting and Monitoring Ocean Resources;

4. Understanding Climate, and Assessing, Mitigating, and Adapting to Climate Change Impacts;

5. Supporting Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, and Combating Land Degradation;

6. Understanding the Effect of Environmental Factors on Human Health and Well-Being;

7. Developing the Capacity To Make Ecological Forecasts;

8. Protecting and Monitoring Water Resources; and

9. Monitoring and Managing Energy Resources.

Associated Technical Reports referenced as Appendix 3 of the Draft Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System are currently being updated based on comments received at the June IWGEO public meeting. When completed, these Technical Reports, along with additional background information may be found at http://iwgeo.ssc.nasa.gov/​documents.asp?​s=​review, or by contacting the IWGEO Secretariat office: Carla Sullivan, Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations (IWGEO), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-5921, telefax: (202) 408-9674. E-mail: Carla.Sullivan@noaa.gov. Subject: Draft Strategic Plan for U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System.

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was established by Executive Order 12881. The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) is chartered as one of four standing committees of the NSTC for the purpose of advising and assisting the Council on those federally supported efforts that develop new knowledge related to improving our understanding of the environment and natural resources.

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Ann F. Mazur,

Assistant Director for Budget and Administration.

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[FR Doc. 04-20485 Filed 9-8-04; 8:45 am]

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