Final General Management Plan and Comprehensive River Management Plan/Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and North Fork of the Kern River; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Tulare and Fresno Counties, California; Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement, 67158-67159 [06-9279]

Download as PDF 67158 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 223 / Monday, November 20, 2006 / Notices not be considered. There may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent’s identity, as allowable by the law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure ‘‘would constitute an unwarranted invasion of primary.’’ Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exception, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public inspection in their entirety. MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz, (202) 208–7744. Dated: September 12, 2006. E.P. Danenberger, Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs. [FR Doc. E6–19514 Filed 11–17–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Final General Management Plan and Comprehensive River Management Plan/Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and North Fork of the Kern River; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Tulare and Fresno Counties, California; Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement Summary: Pursuant to § 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91–190, as amended), and the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR part 1500– 1508), the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the General Management Plan (GMP) and Comprehensive River Management for the Middle and South Forks Kings River and the North Fork Kern River and for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks located in California. The purpose and need for the plans is to establish a park vision for the next 15–20 years, provide direction for the management of wild and scenic rivers, replace an outdated master plan, guide management of cultural and natural resources, address unresolved issues in specific areas, and address the VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Nov 17, 2006 Jkt 211001 changing context of the parks within the regional ecosystem. Proposed Plan and Alternatives: The final EIS describes and analyzes five alternatives which respond to both NPS planning requirements and to the issues identified during the public scoping process. The No-Action alternative would continue current management direction, and it is the baseline for comparing the other alternatives (it was originally Alternative B when the alternatives were first presented to the public in the winter of 2000). The Preferred Alternative would accommodate sustainable growth and visitor enjoyment, protect ecosystem diversity, and preserve basic character while adapting to changing user groups (this was also determined to be ‘‘environmentally preferred’’). Alternative A would emphasize natural ecosystems and biodiversity, with reduced use and development; Alternative C would preserve the parks’ traditional character and retain the feel of yesteryear, with guided growth; and Alternative D would preserve the basic character and adapt to changing user groups. Also included is a comprehensive river management plan for the portions of the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and the North Fork of the Kern River, which have been designated by Congress as components of the national wild and scenic rivers system. The purpose of the river management plan is to provide direction and overall guidance on the management of lands and uses within the river corridors. Regarding wilderness, although the GMP does address compatibility of the alternatives with the park’s backcountry and wilderness values, there is no new wilderness designation proposed under any of the alternatives. The foreseeable environmental consequences of each alternative, and appropriate mitigation strategies, are identified and analyzed in the EIS. Public Review and Changes in the Final Document: Prior to development of the Draft EIS, nine scoping meetings were held, seven planning newsletters issued; alternatives planning workshops were held in seven cities; and the parks regularly communicated with the cooperating association and concessioners authorized to operate in the parks. Meetings and contacts have occurred with special use permittees, private landowners; and numerous other stakeholders. The project mailing list included more than 3700 entries. The Draft EIS was available for 150 days review during May–October, 2004. It was made available at local area libraries, and could be reviewed PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 electronically via https://www.nps.gov/ seki or https://planning.den.nps.gov/seki. Printed and CD copies were sent upon request, and also distributed to agencies and organizations listed as recipients in the Consultation and Coordination section of the EIS. Public meetings to facilitate review and comment on the Draft EIS were held during the comment period both in the parks, as well as in the following locations: Thee Rivers, Visalia, Fresno/Clovis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Bishop. Approximately 400 comments were received; this information resulted in minor corrections and clarifications to the Draft EIS/GMP. Editorial changes and additional explanatory text on topics of interest were incorporated. There were no substantive changes due to public commentary. Following the closure of the public comment period, Pub. L. 108–447 was enacted and changes to the document to accommodate this public law were made with regard to two areas with special use permits: (1) The law that appended the Mineral King area to the park in 1978 required that use of cabins at Mineral King be phased out upon the deaths of the permittees of record. Pub. L. 108–447 amended Pub. L. 95–625 by authorizing indefinite extension of special use permits to heirs, successors and assigns; and (2) Pub. L. 108–447 amended Pub. L. 99–338 to allow the Secretary to permit Southern California Edison Co. up to two additional ten-year permit periods of hydroelectric operations until 2026. Description of Alternatives: The Final EIS for the GMP/Comprehensive River Management Plans includes four action alternatives and a no-action alternative which continues current management. The Comprehensive River management Plan would be common to every alternative. The No-Action Alternative (Continue Current Management): The parks are managed as they are now in accordance with approved plans (such as development concept plans, and the 1996 Giant Forest Interim Management Plan); negative resource impacts and visitor demands are mitigated by relocating development, reducing some uses, or confining new developed areas. Visitor uses are reassessed and revised as new information about natural and cultural resource impacts and visitor needs emerges. Current facilities are inadequate for park needs and visitor use levels, and crowding is common in some areas. Preferred Alternative: The parks’ appeal is broadened to be more relevant to diverse user groups, Increased day use is accommodated, and overnight visitation is retained. The integrity of E:\FR\FM\20NON1.SGM 20NON1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 223 / Monday, November 20, 2006 / Notices park resources is paramount. Stronger educational and outreach programs provide enjoyment and introduce park conservation values. The basic character of park activities and the rustic architecture of facilities are retained so that the parks remain strikingly different from surrounding areas. Park administrative facilities are redesigned and may be relocated outside the parks. Park facilities accommodate sustainable growth. Stock use continues with appropriate management and monitoring. Alternative A: Emphasize Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Reduce Use and Development: The parks are natural resource preserves; they are primarily valued because they contain publicly owned resources that will be conserved for the future. Levels of use are lower than at present, and visitor experiences are more directly connected to natural resources and provide more solitude. The parks contrast strongly with surrounding lands which are continuing to develop. Park managers aggressively cooperate with the managers of surrounding lands to enhance range-wide biodiversity. Alternative C: Preserve Traditional Character and Retain the Feel of Yesteryear; Guide Growth: The parks present a traditional character and the feeling of yesteryear, where experiences are more reminiscent of how visitors used the parks in the past. This is conveyed through rustic architecture and lower impact recreational activities (such as sightseeing and hiking) that were popular from the 1920s to the 1960s, providing an experience that is strikingly different from that in an urban setting. Redesigned developed areas accommodate limited growth; overnight stays are encouraged. Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions. Alternative D: Preserve Basic Character and Adapt to Changing User Groups; Guide Growth: The parks preserve some of their traditional character and rustic architecture, but diverse new user groups and uses are encouraged. Day use is more common. Facilities are expanded to meet users’ needs, while frequent interpretive programs are offered to educate, entertain, and instill a sense of park conservation values. Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled or mitigated, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions. Addresses and Further Information: Copies of the Final EIS will be available for public review in the office of the Superintendent and at local area public libraries, and may also be requested (by VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Nov 17, 2006 Jkt 211001 those not presently on the mailing list) by contacting the park by letter at: Final EIS/GMP, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271–9651; by telephone at (559) 565–3101; or by email at seki_superintendent@nps.gov. Please note that names and addresses of all respondents will become part of the public record. Our practice is to make all comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, and email addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. Decision: The National Park Service will execute a Record of Decision not sooner than 30 days following publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of their notice of filing of the Final EIS in the Federal Register. As a delegated EIS the official responsible for the final approval of the General Management Plan and Comprehensive River Management Plan is the Regional Director; subsequently the official responsible for implementing the new plans would be the Superintendent, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Dated: October 6, 2006. George J. Turnbull, Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region. [FR Doc. 06–9279 Filed 11–17–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–X2–M DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other WaterRelated Contract Negotiations AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ACTION: 67159 Notice. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of contractual actions that have been proposed to the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and are new, modified, discontinued, or completed since the last publication of this notice on August 2, 2006. This notice is one of a variety of means used to inform the public about proposed contractual actions for capital recovery and management of project resources and facilities consistent with section 9(f) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939. Additional announcements of individual contract actions may be published in the Federal Register and in newspapers of general circulation in the areas determined by Reclamation to be affected by the proposed action. ADDRESSES: The identity of the approving officer and other information pertaining to a specific contract proposal may be obtained by calling or writing the appropriate regional office at the address and telephone number given for each region in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandra L. Simons, Manager, Contract Services Office, Bureau of Reclamation, PO Box 25007, Denver, Colorado 80225– 0007; telephone 303–445–2902. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Consistent with section 9(f) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 and the rules and regulations published in 52 FR 11954, April 13, 1987 (43 CFR 426.22), Reclamation will publish notice of proposed or amendatory contract actions for any contract for the delivery of project water for authorized uses in newspapers of general circulation in the affected area at least 60 days prior to contract execution. Announcements may be in the form of news releases, legal notices, official letters, memorandums, or other forms of written material. Meetings, workshops, and/or hearings may also be used, as appropriate, to provide local publicity. The public participation procedures do not apply to proposed contracts for the sale of surplus or interim irrigation water for a term of 1 year or less. Either of the contracting parties may invite the public to observe contract proceedings. All public participation procedures will be coordinated with those involved in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act. Pursuant to the ‘‘Final Revised Public Participation Procedures’’ for water resource-related contract negotiations, published in 47 FR 7763, February 22, 1982, a tabulation is provided of all proposed contractual actions in each of the five Reclamation E:\FR\FM\20NON1.SGM 20NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 223 (Monday, November 20, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67158-67159]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-9279]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Final General Management Plan and Comprehensive River Management 
Plan/Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and North Fork of the 
Kern River; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Tulare and Fresno 
Counties, California; Notice of Availability of Final Environmental 
Impact Statement

    Summary: Pursuant to Sec.  102(2)(C) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-190, as amended), and the Council on 
Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR part 1500-1508), the National 
Park Service, Department of the Interior, has prepared a Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the General Management Plan 
(GMP) and Comprehensive River Management for the Middle and South Forks 
Kings River and the North Fork Kern River and for Sequoia and Kings 
Canyon National Parks located in California. The purpose and need for 
the plans is to establish a park vision for the next 15-20 years, 
provide direction for the management of wild and scenic rivers, replace 
an outdated master plan, guide management of cultural and natural 
resources, address unresolved issues in specific areas, and address the 
changing context of the parks within the regional ecosystem.
    Proposed Plan and Alternatives: The final EIS describes and 
analyzes five alternatives which respond to both NPS planning 
requirements and to the issues identified during the public scoping 
process. The No-Action alternative would continue current management 
direction, and it is the baseline for comparing the other alternatives 
(it was originally Alternative B when the alternatives were first 
presented to the public in the winter of 2000). The Preferred 
Alternative would accommodate sustainable growth and visitor enjoyment, 
protect ecosystem diversity, and preserve basic character while 
adapting to changing user groups (this was also determined to be 
``environmentally preferred''). Alternative A would emphasize natural 
ecosystems and biodiversity, with reduced use and development; 
Alternative C would preserve the parks' traditional character and 
retain the feel of yesteryear, with guided growth; and Alternative D 
would preserve the basic character and adapt to changing user groups. 
Also included is a comprehensive river management plan for the portions 
of the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and the North Fork of 
the Kern River, which have been designated by Congress as components of 
the national wild and scenic rivers system. The purpose of the river 
management plan is to provide direction and overall guidance on the 
management of lands and uses within the river corridors. Regarding 
wilderness, although the GMP does address compatibility of the 
alternatives with the park's backcountry and wilderness values, there 
is no new wilderness designation proposed under any of the 
alternatives. The foreseeable environmental consequences of each 
alternative, and appropriate mitigation strategies, are identified and 
analyzed in the EIS.
    Public Review and Changes in the Final Document: Prior to 
development of the Draft EIS, nine scoping meetings were held, seven 
planning newsletters issued; alternatives planning workshops were held 
in seven cities; and the parks regularly communicated with the 
cooperating association and concessioners authorized to operate in the 
parks. Meetings and contacts have occurred with special use permittees, 
private landowners; and numerous other stakeholders. The project 
mailing list included more than 3700 entries. The Draft EIS was 
available for 150 days review during May-October, 2004. It was made 
available at local area libraries, and could be reviewed electronically 
via https://www.nps.gov/seki or https://planning.den.nps.gov/seki. 
Printed and CD copies were sent upon request, and also distributed to 
agencies and organizations listed as recipients in the Consultation and 
Coordination section of the EIS. Public meetings to facilitate review 
and comment on the Draft EIS were held during the comment period both 
in the parks, as well as in the following locations: Thee Rivers, 
Visalia, Fresno/Clovis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and 
Bishop. Approximately 400 comments were received; this information 
resulted in minor corrections and clarifications to the Draft EIS/GMP. 
Editorial changes and additional explanatory text on topics of interest 
were incorporated. There were no substantive changes due to public 
commentary.
    Following the closure of the public comment period, Pub. L. 108-447 
was enacted and changes to the document to accommodate this public law 
were made with regard to two areas with special use permits: (1) The 
law that appended the Mineral King area to the park in 1978 required 
that use of cabins at Mineral King be phased out upon the deaths of the 
permittees of record. Pub. L. 108-447 amended Pub. L. 95-625 by 
authorizing indefinite extension of special use permits to heirs, 
successors and assigns; and (2) Pub. L. 108-447 amended Pub. L. 99-338 
to allow the Secretary to permit Southern California Edison Co. up to 
two additional ten-year permit periods of hydroelectric operations 
until 2026.
    Description of Alternatives: The Final EIS for the GMP/
Comprehensive River Management Plans includes four action alternatives 
and a no-action alternative which continues current management. The 
Comprehensive River management Plan would be common to every 
alternative. The No-Action Alternative (Continue Current Management): 
The parks are managed as they are now in accordance with approved plans 
(such as development concept plans, and the 1996 Giant Forest Interim 
Management Plan); negative resource impacts and visitor demands are 
mitigated by relocating development, reducing some uses, or confining 
new developed areas. Visitor uses are reassessed and revised as new 
information about natural and cultural resource impacts and visitor 
needs emerges. Current facilities are inadequate for park needs and 
visitor use levels, and crowding is common in some areas.
    Preferred Alternative: The parks' appeal is broadened to be more 
relevant to diverse user groups, Increased day use is accommodated, and 
overnight visitation is retained. The integrity of

[[Page 67159]]

park resources is paramount. Stronger educational and outreach programs 
provide enjoyment and introduce park conservation values. The basic 
character of park activities and the rustic architecture of facilities 
are retained so that the parks remain strikingly different from 
surrounding areas. Park administrative facilities are redesigned and 
may be relocated outside the parks. Park facilities accommodate 
sustainable growth. Stock use continues with appropriate management and 
monitoring.
    Alternative A: Emphasize Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity; 
Reduce Use and Development: The parks are natural resource preserves; 
they are primarily valued because they contain publicly owned resources 
that will be conserved for the future. Levels of use are lower than at 
present, and visitor experiences are more directly connected to natural 
resources and provide more solitude. The parks contrast strongly with 
surrounding lands which are continuing to develop. Park managers 
aggressively cooperate with the managers of surrounding lands to 
enhance range-wide biodiversity.
    Alternative C: Preserve Traditional Character and Retain the Feel 
of Yesteryear; Guide Growth: The parks present a traditional character 
and the feeling of yesteryear, where experiences are more reminiscent 
of how visitors used the parks in the past. This is conveyed through 
rustic architecture and lower impact recreational activities (such as 
sightseeing and hiking) that were popular from the 1920s to the 1960s, 
providing an experience that is strikingly different from that in an 
urban setting. Redesigned developed areas accommodate limited growth; 
overnight stays are encouraged. Negative impacts on natural resources 
are controlled, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions.
    Alternative D: Preserve Basic Character and Adapt to Changing User 
Groups; Guide Growth: The parks preserve some of their traditional 
character and rustic architecture, but diverse new user groups and uses 
are encouraged. Day use is more common. Facilities are expanded to meet 
users' needs, while frequent interpretive programs are offered to 
educate, entertain, and instill a sense of park conservation values. 
Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled or mitigated, so 
as to maintain or improve resource conditions.
    Addresses and Further Information: Copies of the Final EIS will be 
available for public review in the office of the Superintendent and at 
local area public libraries, and may also be requested (by those not 
presently on the mailing list) by contacting the park by letter at: 
Final EIS/GMP, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals 
Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271-9651; by telephone at (559) 565-3101; 
or by e-mail at seki_superintendent@nps.gov. Please note that names 
and addresses of all respondents will become part of the public record. 
Our practice is to make all comments, including names, home addresses, 
home phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of respondents, available for 
public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider 
withholding this information you must state this prominently at the 
beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale 
for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that 
disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. 
Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of 
exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be 
released. We will always make submissions from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, 
available for public inspection in their entirety.
    Decision: The National Park Service will execute a Record of 
Decision not sooner than 30 days following publication by the 
Environmental Protection Agency of their notice of filing of the Final 
EIS in the Federal Register. As a delegated EIS the official 
responsible for the final approval of the General Management Plan and 
Comprehensive River Management Plan is the Regional Director; 
subsequently the official responsible for implementing the new plans 
would be the Superintendent, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

    Dated: October 6, 2006.
George J. Turnbull,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region.
[FR Doc. 06-9279 Filed 11-17-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-X2-M