Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States, Including Proposed Amendments to Selected Land Use Plans, 36651-36653 [05-12475]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 121 / Friday, June 24, 2005 / Notices direction for conserving wildlife and their habitats, the CCPs identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update these CCPs at least every 15 years in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370d). The major focus of the Refuge for the next 15 years will be building a refuge land base, programs, and staff primarily through partnerships and cooperative agreements with landowners and local non-government organizations. The Refuge’s key biological focus will be conserving and enhancing remnant coastal wetlands and island habitats for the benefit of the migratory birds, especially diving waterfowl. A modest visitor services program is proposed on existing Refuge lands. Grassy Island is closed due to safety concerns and Mud and Calf Islands can only be reached using watercraft. However, public programs could expand if a shared visitor center is built adjacent to the Refuge’s Humbug Marsh. on June 1, 2005. This notice will continue the closure for another year, to remain in effect through June 1, 2006. Effective Dates: This extension of closure is effective June 1, 2005, and shall remain effective until June 1, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Thompson, Burley Field Office, 200 South 15 East, Burley, ID 83318. Telephone (208) 677–6641. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The public lands affected by this closure are all lands administered by the BLM within T. 15 S., R. 24 E., Sec. 8, Boise Meridian. This area is known as Castle Rocks State Park and Castle Rocks InterAgency Recreation Area. A closure notice including time periods will be posted near the entry point at the Castle Rocks Ranch House. Dated: December 2, 2004. Charles M. Wooley, Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ft. Snelling, Minnesota. [FR Doc. 05–12501 Filed 6–23–05; 8:45 am] Dated: May 18, 2005. Wendy Reynolds, Burley Field Manager. [FR Doc. 05–12476 Filed 6–23–05; 8:45 am] Authority: This notice is issued under the authority of the 43 CFR 8364.1. Violations of this closure are punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months. Persons who are administratively exempt from the closure contained in this notice include: any Federal, State or local officer or employee acting within the scope of their duties, members of any organized rescue or fire-fighting force in the performance of an official duty, and any person holding written authorization from the BLM. BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 36651 The application will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended (30 U.S.C. 181, et seq.), and the implementing regulations at 43 CFR part 3400. A decision to allow leasing of the coal reserves in said tract will result in a competitive lease sale to be held at a time and place to be announced through publication pursuant to 43 CFR part 3422. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca Sprugin, Coal Coordinator, at telephone 406–896–5080, Bureau of Land Management, Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, P.O. Box 36800, Billings, Montana 59107–6800. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Decker Coal Company is the operator of the West Decker Mine. The entire area included within this lease application lies within the West Decker Mine SMP87001C permit area. The area applied for would be mined as an extension of the West Decker Mine and would utilize the same methods as those currently being used. The lease being applied for can extend the life of the mine by about 1 year and enable recovery of coal that might never be mined if not mined as a logical extension of current pits. Notice of Availability: The application is available for review between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Bureau of Land Management, Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101, and at the Bureau of Land Management, Miles City Field Office, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana, 59301–0940, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. March 30, 2005. Randy D. Heuscher, Chief, Branch of Solid Minerals. [FR Doc. 05–12474 Filed 6–23–05; 8:45 am] Bureau of Land Management [MT–921–05–1320–EL–P; MTM 94393] [ID–220–1220–MA] Notice of Coal Lease Application— MTM 94393—Decker Coal Company BILLING CODE 4310–88–M Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Notice of Continuation of Temporary Closure of Castle Rocks State Park and Castle Rocks Inter-Agency Recreation Area near Almo, ID Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management announces the continuation of temporary closure of certain public lands in Cassia County. This closure prohibits bolting and placement of fixed anchors to rocks, and overnight camping. This is to allow further time for analysis of a fixed anchor management plan. DATES: A temporary closure in this area is now in place, currently set to expire VerDate jul<14>2003 19:06 Jun 23, 2005 Jkt 205001 AGENCY: Notice of Decker Coal Company’s Coal Lease Application MTM 94393 for certain coal resources within the Powder River Coal Region. The land included in Coal Lease Application MTM 94393 is located in Big Horn County, Montana, and is described as follows: Bureau of Land Management [WO–350–1430–PN] SUMMARY: T. 9 S., R. 40 E., P.M.M. Sec. 5: SE1⁄4SE1⁄4 Sec. 8: NW1⁄4NE1⁄4NE1⁄4 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Bureau of Land Management. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has AGENCY: SUMMARY: The 49.60-acre tract contains an estimated 4 million tons of recoverable coal reserves. PO 00000 Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States, Including Proposed Amendments to Selected Land Use Plans E:\FR\FM\24JNN1.SGM 24JNN1 36652 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 121 / Friday, June 24, 2005 / Notices prepared a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for wind energy development in eleven western states, excluding Alaska, that also proposes to amend 52 land use plans. DATES: BLM land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.5–2) state that any person who participated in the planning process, and has an interest that may be adversely affected, may protest. The protest must be filed within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes this notice in the Federal Register. Instructions for filing of protests are described in the ‘‘Dear Reader’’ letter in the front of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States and are included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ray Brady, Group Manager, Lands and Realty (WO–350), Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C St., NW., Mail Stop 1000 LS, Washington, DC 20240. Ph: 202–452–7773. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM prepared the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLMAdministered Lands in the Western United States to (1) assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with wind energy development on public lands in eleven western states (excluding Alaska) and (2) evaluate a number of alternatives to determine the best management approach to mitigating potential impacts and facilitating wind energy development. The Final PEIS analyzes three alternatives for managing wind energy development on BLMadministered lands. The alternatives are: (1) The proposed action, which would implement a Wind Energy Development Program, establish policies and best management practices (BMPs) for wind energy right-of-way (ROW) authorizations, and amend 52 BLM land use plans; (2) the no action alternative, which would allow continued wind energy development under the terms and conditions of the BLM Interim Wind Energy Development Policy, and (3) a limited wind energy development alternative, which would allow wind energy development only in selected locations. The proposed action to implement a Wind Energy Development Program is the BLM’s preferred alternative. As stated above, the proposed action would establish a comprehensive VerDate jul<14>2003 19:06 Jun 23, 2005 Jkt 205001 program to address wind energy development on BLM-administered lands. The policies and BMPs developed under the proposed Wind Energy Development Program would establish minimum requirements for management of individual wind energy projects. The proposed policies identify management objectives and address the administration of wind energy development activities. The proposed BMPs identify required mitigation measures that would need to be incorporated into project-specific wind energy development proposals. In addition, the proposed action would amend 52 BLM land use plans. The proposed land use plan amendments include: (1) the adoption of programmatic wind energy development policies and BMPs and (2) identification of specific areas where wind energy development would not be allowed. The purpose of the proposed land use plan amendments is to facilitate preparation and consideration of potential wind energy development ROW applications on BLM-administered lands, but not to eliminate the need for site-specific analysis of individual development proposals. The following Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Management Framework Plan (MFP) land use plans, itemized in Appendix C of the Final PEIS, are proposed for amendment: Colorado: Royal Gorge RMP and San Luis RMP; Idaho: Cascade RMP, Challis RMP, Jarbridge RMP, Kuna MFP, Lemhi RMP, Owyhee RMP, and Twin Falls MFP; Montana: Billings RMP, Garnet RMP, Headwaters RMP, Judith-ValleyPhillips RMP, and West HiLine RMP; Nevada: Elko RMP, Las Vegas RMP, Paradise-Denio MFP, Shoshone-Eureka RMP, Sonoma-Gerlach MFP, Tonopah RMP, and Wells RMP; New Mexico: Carlsbad RMP, Mimbres RMP, Roswell RMP, and White Sands RMP; Oregon: Andrews/Steens RMP (currently being revised to replace the Andrews MFP and revise part of the Three Rivers RMP), Brothers/La Pine RMP, Coos Bay RMP, Eugene RMP, John Day RMP, Medford RMP, Salem RMP, Southeast Oregon RMP, Three Rivers RMP, Two Rivers RMP, and Upper Deschutes RMP (currently being revised to replace a portion of the Brothers/LaPine RMP); Utah: Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony RMP, Escalante MFP, Paria MFP, Pinyon MFP, Randolf MFP, St. George RMP, Vermillion MFP, and Zion MFP; Washington: Spokane RMP; Wyoming: Buffalo RMP, Cody RMP, Grass Creek RMP, Green River RMP, Lander RMP, New Castle RMP, and Washakie RMP. No land use plans are proposed for PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 amendment in Arizona or California as part of the Final PEIS; ongoing and future land use plan amendments in these states will address wind energy development where developable wind resources are present. The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLMAdministered Lands in the Western United States was made available for public review and comment from September 10, 2004, to December 10, 2004. The Draft PEIS was posted on the project Web site at http:// windeis.anl.gov and provided on request as a CD or printed document. More than 120 individuals and organizations participated in the public comment process, including more than 60 recognized organizations (public and private). About 77% of the documents were received via the project Web site and 23% were received via regular mail. On the basis of comment categorization, approximately 718 individual comments were identified. Volume 3 of the Final PEIS contains the public comments on the Draft PEIS and the BLM’s responses. Public comments addressed a broad range of issues. About 31% of the comments were categorized as addressing ecological issues, including monitoring and mitigation; 21% addressed policy issues; 17% addressed avian issues, 10% addressed bat issues; 8% addressed issues related to the scope of the PEIS and the alternatives evaluated; 6% addressed sage-grouse issues; 6% addressed transmission issues; and 4% of the comments addressed land use issues. The remainder of the issues were divided across a number of topics (each comprising less than 3% of the total), including engineering, cumulative impacts, cultural resources, economics, visual impacts, wind resource modeling approach, noise, regulatory issues, water, waste, air quality, geology, and transportation issues. (The percentages total more than 100% because many of the comments can be categorized under more than one key issue). Public comments on the Draft PEIS, including the proposed land use plan amendments, and internal BLM review comments were incorporated into the Final PEIS. Public comments resulted in the addition of clarifying text, but did not significantly change the proposed action or proposed land use plan amendments. Government-to-Government consultation regarding potential wind energy development and land use plan amendments on BLM-administered lands was conducted with Tribal entities whose interests might be E:\FR\FM\24JNN1.SGM 24JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 121 / Friday, June 24, 2005 / Notices directly and substantially affected. The Tribal entities contacted are listed in Chapter 7 in the Final PEIS. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cooperated with the BLM in preparation of the PEIS. In addition, the BLM consulted with other federal agencies during preparation of the Draft and Final PEIS, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Air Force, and agency representatives to the Federal Energy Resources Network. In accordance with a memorandum of agreement between the BLM and the USFWS, the BLM is consulting with the USFWS regarding the proposed land use plan amendments. These consultations will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1536) and are expected to result in the issuance of a programmatic biological assessment and biological opinion. In addition, the BLM initiated activities to coordinate and consult with the governors of each of the eleven western states addressed in the PEIS and with state agencies. Prior to the issuance of a record of decision and approval of proposed land use plan amendments, the governor of each state will be given the opportunity to identify any inconsistencies between the proposed land use plan amendments and state or local plans and to provide recommendations in writing during the 60-day consistency review period required by the BLM land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.3–2). Copies of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLMAdministered Lands in the Western United States, including the proposed land use plan amendments (Appendix C), have been sent to the Environmental Protection Agency, DOI Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, DOI Library, and the governors office in each of the eleven western states. Copies of the Final PEIS are available at the BLM State Offices in the eleven western states and the BLM Washington Office, Public Affairs Office. Interested persons may also review the Final PEIS and proposed land use plan amendments on the Internet at http://windeis.anl.gov. Instructions for filing a protest regarding the proposed land use plan amendments may be found at 43 CFR 1610.5. A protest may only raise those issues which were submitted for the record during the NEPA/planning process. E-mail and faxed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these VerDate jul<14>2003 19:06 Jun 23, 2005 Jkt 205001 conditions, the e-mail or faxed protest will be considered as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to provide such advance notification, please direct faxed protests to the attention of the BLM protest coordinator at 202–452–5112, and emails to Brenda_HudgensWilliams@blm.gov. Please direct the follow-up letter to the appropriate address provided below. The protest must contain: a. The name, mailing address, telephone number, and interest of the person filing the protest. b. A statement of the specific land use plan(s) by name and the amendment(s) being protested. c. A copy of all documents addressing the issue(s) that the protesting party submitted during the NEPA/planning process or a statement of the date they were discussed for the record. d. A concise statement explaining why the protestor believes the proposed land use plan amendment(s) is wrong. All protests must be in writing and mailed to the following address: Regular Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, P.O. Box 66538, Washington, DC 20035. Overnight Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, 1620 L Street, NW., Suite 1075, Washington, DC 20036. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. If you wish to withhold your name or street address from public review or from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your written comment. Such requests will be honored to the extent allowed by law. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety. A decision shall be rendered promptly on the protest. The decision will be in writing and will be sent to the protesting party by certified mail, return receipt requested. Dated: May 13, 2005. Ray Brady, Group Manager, Lands and Realty. [FR Doc. 05–12475 Filed 6–23–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P PO 00000 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [MT–020–1020–PK] Notice of Public Meeting, Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council Meeting AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council will meet as indicated below. A meeting will be held July 20, 2005, at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 700 Valley View Drive, Sheridan, Wyoming, beginning at 8 a.m. The public comment period will begin at 11:30 a.m. DATES: The 15member Council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in eastern Montana. All meetings are open to the public. The public may present written comments to the Council. Each formal Council meeting will also have time allocated for hearing public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation, or other reasonable accommodations, should contact the BLM as provided below. The Council will hear updates on the Miles City Resource Management Plan, coalbed natural gas, and other issues. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Apple, Resource Advisory Council Coordinator, Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana, 59101, telephone 406–896–5258 or Sandra S. Brooks, Field Manager, Billings Field Office, telephone 406– 896–5013. Dated: June 20, 2005. Sandra S. Brooks, Field Manager. [FR Doc. 05–12634 Filed 6–23–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–$$–P Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36653 E:\FR\FM\24JNN1.SGM 24JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 121 (Friday, June 24, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36651-36653]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-12475]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[WO-350-1430-PN]


Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands 
in the Western United States, Including Proposed Amendments to Selected 
Land Use Plans

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management.

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has

[[Page 36652]]

prepared a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for 
wind energy development in eleven western states, excluding Alaska, 
that also proposes to amend 52 land use plans.

DATES: BLM land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-2) state that 
any person who participated in the planning process, and has an 
interest that may be adversely affected, may protest. The protest must 
be filed within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection 
Agency publishes this notice in the Federal Register. Instructions for 
filing of protests are described in the ``Dear Reader'' letter in the 
front of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind 
Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United 
States and are included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ray Brady, Group Manager, Lands and 
Realty (WO-350), Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C St., NW., Mail Stop 
1000 LS, Washington, DC 20240. Ph: 202-452-7773.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM prepared the Final Programmatic 
Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-
Administered Lands in the Western United States to (1) assess the 
environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with wind energy 
development on public lands in eleven western states (excluding Alaska) 
and (2) evaluate a number of alternatives to determine the best 
management approach to mitigating potential impacts and facilitating 
wind energy development. The Final PEIS analyzes three alternatives for 
managing wind energy development on BLM-administered lands. The 
alternatives are: (1) The proposed action, which would implement a Wind 
Energy Development Program, establish policies and best management 
practices (BMPs) for wind energy right-of-way (ROW) authorizations, and 
amend 52 BLM land use plans; (2) the no action alternative, which would 
allow continued wind energy development under the terms and conditions 
of the BLM Interim Wind Energy Development Policy, and (3) a limited 
wind energy development alternative, which would allow wind energy 
development only in selected locations. The proposed action to 
implement a Wind Energy Development Program is the BLM's preferred 
alternative.
    As stated above, the proposed action would establish a 
comprehensive program to address wind energy development on BLM-
administered lands. The policies and BMPs developed under the proposed 
Wind Energy Development Program would establish minimum requirements 
for management of individual wind energy projects. The proposed 
policies identify management objectives and address the administration 
of wind energy development activities. The proposed BMPs identify 
required mitigation measures that would need to be incorporated into 
project-specific wind energy development proposals. In addition, the 
proposed action would amend 52 BLM land use plans. The proposed land 
use plan amendments include: (1) the adoption of programmatic wind 
energy development policies and BMPs and (2) identification of specific 
areas where wind energy development would not be allowed. The purpose 
of the proposed land use plan amendments is to facilitate preparation 
and consideration of potential wind energy development ROW applications 
on BLM-administered lands, but not to eliminate the need for site-
specific analysis of individual development proposals.
    The following Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Management 
Framework Plan (MFP) land use plans, itemized in Appendix C of the 
Final PEIS, are proposed for amendment: Colorado: Royal Gorge RMP and 
San Luis RMP; Idaho: Cascade RMP, Challis RMP, Jarbridge RMP, Kuna MFP, 
Lemhi RMP, Owyhee RMP, and Twin Falls MFP; Montana: Billings RMP, 
Garnet RMP, Headwaters RMP, Judith-Valley-Phillips RMP, and West HiLine 
RMP; Nevada: Elko RMP, Las Vegas RMP, Paradise-Denio MFP, Shoshone-
Eureka RMP, Sonoma-Gerlach MFP, Tonopah RMP, and Wells RMP; New Mexico: 
Carlsbad RMP, Mimbres RMP, Roswell RMP, and White Sands RMP; Oregon: 
Andrews/Steens RMP (currently being revised to replace the Andrews MFP 
and revise part of the Three Rivers RMP), Brothers/La Pine RMP, Coos 
Bay RMP, Eugene RMP, John Day RMP, Medford RMP, Salem RMP, Southeast 
Oregon RMP, Three Rivers RMP, Two Rivers RMP, and Upper Deschutes RMP 
(currently being revised to replace a portion of the Brothers/LaPine 
RMP); Utah: Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony RMP, Escalante MFP, Paria 
MFP, Pinyon MFP, Randolf MFP, St. George RMP, Vermillion MFP, and Zion 
MFP; Washington: Spokane RMP; Wyoming: Buffalo RMP, Cody RMP, Grass 
Creek RMP, Green River RMP, Lander RMP, New Castle RMP, and Washakie 
RMP. No land use plans are proposed for amendment in Arizona or 
California as part of the Final PEIS; ongoing and future land use plan 
amendments in these states will address wind energy development where 
developable wind resources are present.
    The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind 
Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United 
States was made available for public review and comment from September 
10, 2004, to December 10, 2004. The Draft PEIS was posted on the 
project Web site at http://windeis.anl.gov and provided on request as a 
CD or printed document. More than 120 individuals and organizations 
participated in the public comment process, including more than 60 
recognized organizations (public and private). About 77% of the 
documents were received via the project Web site and 23% were received 
via regular mail. On the basis of comment categorization, approximately 
718 individual comments were identified.
    Volume 3 of the Final PEIS contains the public comments on the 
Draft PEIS and the BLM's responses. Public comments addressed a broad 
range of issues. About 31% of the comments were categorized as 
addressing ecological issues, including monitoring and mitigation; 21% 
addressed policy issues; 17% addressed avian issues, 10% addressed bat 
issues; 8% addressed issues related to the scope of the PEIS and the 
alternatives evaluated; 6% addressed sage-grouse issues; 6% addressed 
transmission issues; and 4% of the comments addressed land use issues. 
The remainder of the issues were divided across a number of topics 
(each comprising less than 3% of the total), including engineering, 
cumulative impacts, cultural resources, economics, visual impacts, wind 
resource modeling approach, noise, regulatory issues, water, waste, air 
quality, geology, and transportation issues. (The percentages total 
more than 100% because many of the comments can be categorized under 
more than one key issue). Public comments on the Draft PEIS, including 
the proposed land use plan amendments, and internal BLM review comments 
were incorporated into the Final PEIS. Public comments resulted in the 
addition of clarifying text, but did not significantly change the 
proposed action or proposed land use plan amendments.
    Government-to-Government consultation regarding potential wind 
energy development and land use plan amendments on BLM-administered 
lands was conducted with Tribal entities whose interests might be

[[Page 36653]]

directly and substantially affected. The Tribal entities contacted are 
listed in Chapter 7 in the Final PEIS.
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cooperated with the BLM in 
preparation of the PEIS. In addition, the BLM consulted with other 
federal agencies during preparation of the Draft and Final PEIS, 
including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Air Force, 
and agency representatives to the Federal Energy Resources Network. In 
accordance with a memorandum of agreement between the BLM and the 
USFWS, the BLM is consulting with the USFWS regarding the proposed land 
use plan amendments. These consultations will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of Section 7 of the Endangered Species 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1536) and are expected to result in the issuance of a 
programmatic biological assessment and biological opinion.
    In addition, the BLM initiated activities to coordinate and consult 
with the governors of each of the eleven western states addressed in 
the PEIS and with state agencies. Prior to the issuance of a record of 
decision and approval of proposed land use plan amendments, the 
governor of each state will be given the opportunity to identify any 
inconsistencies between the proposed land use plan amendments and state 
or local plans and to provide recommendations in writing during the 60-
day consistency review period required by the BLM land use planning 
regulations (43 CFR 1610.3-2).
    Copies of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on 
Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United 
States, including the proposed land use plan amendments (Appendix C), 
have been sent to the Environmental Protection Agency, DOI Office of 
Environmental Policy and Compliance, DOI Library, and the governors 
office in each of the eleven western states. Copies of the Final PEIS 
are available at the BLM State Offices in the eleven western states and 
the BLM Washington Office, Public Affairs Office. Interested persons 
may also review the Final PEIS and proposed land use plan amendments on 
the Internet at http://windeis.anl.gov.
    Instructions for filing a protest regarding the proposed land use 
plan amendments may be found at 43 CFR 1610.5. A protest may only raise 
those issues which were submitted for the record during the NEPA/
planning process. E-mail and faxed protests will not be accepted as 
valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original 
letter by either regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of 
the protest period. Under these conditions, the e-mail or faxed protest 
will be considered as an advance copy and it will receive full 
consideration. If you wish to provide such advance notification, please 
direct faxed protests to the attention of the BLM protest coordinator 
at 202-452-5112, and e-mails to Brenda--Hudgens-Williams@blm.gov.
    Please direct the follow-up letter to the appropriate address 
provided below.
    The protest must contain:
    a. The name, mailing address, telephone number, and interest of the 
person filing the protest.
    b. A statement of the specific land use plan(s) by name and the 
amendment(s) being protested.
    c. A copy of all documents addressing the issue(s) that the 
protesting party submitted during the NEPA/planning process or a 
statement of the date they were discussed for the record.
    d. A concise statement explaining why the protestor believes the 
proposed land use plan amendment(s) is wrong.
    All protests must be in writing and mailed to the following 
address:
    Regular Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Director (210), Attention: 
Brenda Williams, P.O. Box 66538, Washington, DC 20035.
    Overnight Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Director (210), 
Attention: Brenda Williams, 1620 L Street, NW., Suite 1075, Washington, 
DC 20036.
    Individual respondents may request confidentiality. If you wish to 
withhold your name or street address from public review or from 
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must state this 
prominently at the beginning of your written comment. Such requests 
will be honored to the extent allowed by law. All submissions from 
organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.
    A decision shall be rendered promptly on the protest. The decision 
will be in writing and will be sent to the protesting party by 
certified mail, return receipt requested.

    Dated: May 13, 2005.
Ray Brady,
Group Manager, Lands and Realty.
[FR Doc. 05-12475 Filed 6-23-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-JB-P