Provide Opportunity To Comment on Changes to the Eastern San Diego County Proposed Resource Management Plan, 43779-43781 [E8-17208]

Download as PDF jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 145 / Monday, July 28, 2008 / Notices N. 41°29′05″ W. a distance of 539.50 feet to a found 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap; N. 63°58′21″ W. a distance of 369.69 feet to a found 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap; N. 87°05′46″ W. a distance of 818.09 feet to a found 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap; N. 65°04′52″ W. a distance of 1,195.81 feet to a found 21⁄2″ × 10′ fence post; N. 07°43′38″ E. a distance of 1,704.80 feet to a point in a rock boil; N. 05°37′06″ W. a distance of 1,823.47 feet to a set 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap; N. 13°51′44″ W. a distance of 983.46 feet to a set 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap; N. 47°25′43″ W. a distance of 1,043.01 feet to a set 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap; N. 16°34′39″ W. a distance of 757.48 feet to a point in a rock boil; N. 03°53′23″ W. a distance of 2,405.07 feet to a point; N. 27°24′14″ W. a distance of 598.42 feet to a 3⁄4″ iron pipe marked ‘‘VJ 36’’ found at the northwest corner of the Mossman Tract, a point common to said Jicarilla Apache Nation’s Chama Ranch property, the BLOK Corporation Tract, and the herein described tract, from which point New Mexico State Engineer’s Office (N.M.S.E.O.) brass cap control station ‘‘CABLE’’ bears S. 86°28′29″ W., a distance of 43,990.84 feet (at mean elevation of 7,772 feet) (Note: Control station ‘‘CABLE’’ has New Mexico State Plane Coordinate System Central Zone (NAD27), U.S. survey feet coordinates of y = 2,142,009.14 and x = 400,596.13 (these coordinates were obtained directly from the State Engineer’s Office in Santa Fe— the above-described 1998 Albert plat erroneously lists the x coordinate as 400,496.13); the combined grid to ground factor used in the abovedescribed 1998 Albert survey is 1.0004620520 and was computed at N.M.S.E.O. ‘‘CABLE’’ using the mean elevation of 7,772 feet.); Thence N. 88°53′20″ E. a distance of 4789.67 feet along a portion of the north boundary of the Mossman Tract, which is also along the southerly boundary of the said BLOK Corporation Tract, to a 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 cap set at the point common to the said BLOK Corporation Tract, the Rivera Tract, and the herein described Mossman Tract, as shown on the above-described 1998 Albert plat. Thence N. 88°53′20″ E. a distance of 14,711.56 feet along a portion of the north boundary of the Mossman Tract, which is also along the southerly boundary of the said Rivera Tract, the Cohn Tract, and the Salazar Tract as shown on the above-described 1998 Albert plat, to a 1⁄2″ rebar with PS 7241 VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:35 Jul 25, 2008 Jkt 214001 43779 cap set at the fence corner for the northeast corner of the Mossman Tract, being a point on said easterly boundary of said Tierra Amarilla Grant and said westerly boundary of said Carson National Forest, whence Mile Post 261⁄2 bears N. 23°11′38″ W. a distance of 1302.86 feet; Thence S. 23°11′38″ E. a distance of 1,311.00 feet along said easterly boundary of said Tierra Amarilla Grant and said westerly boundary of said Carson National Forest, along a portion of the east boundary of the Mossman Tract, to Mile Post 26 and the point and place of beginning. The above-described lands contain a total of 4,137.00 acres, more or less, which are subject to all valid rights, reservations, rights-of-way, and easements of record. This proclamation does not affect title to the land described above, nor does it affect any valid existing easements for public roads and highways, public utilities and for railroads and pipelines and any other rights-of-way or reservations of record. Parties who do not file an appeal in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR Part 4, Subpart E, shall be deemed to have waived their rights. ADDRESSES: A copy of the decision may be obtained from: Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, 222 West Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513–7504. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Bureau of Land Management by phone at 907–271–5960, or by e-mail at ak.blm.conveyance@ak.blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunication device (TTD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877– 8330, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to contact the Bureau of Land Management. Dated: July 16, 2008. George T. Skibine, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development. [FR Doc. E8–17233 Filed 7–25–08; 8:45 am] Bureau of Land Management BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P Dina L. Torres, Land Transfer Resolution Specialist, Resolution Branch. [FR Doc. E8–17206 Filed 7–25–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Provide Opportunity To Comment on Changes to the Eastern San Diego County Proposed Resource Management Plan ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The BLM is soliciting comments, electronic or written, on Bureau of Land Management significant changes and clarifications [AA–10709, AA–11793; AK–962–1410–HY–P] (collectively ‘‘changes’’) to the Proposed Plan as set forth in the PRMP for wind energy and VRM. The environmental Alaska Native Claims Selection consequences of the proposed changes AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, and clarification have been analyzed as Interior. part of the RMP/EIS process. After ACTION: Notice of decision approving considering public comments on these lands for conveyance. changes, BLM will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Eastern San SUMMARY: As required by 43 CFR Diego County Resource Management 2650.7(d), notice is hereby given that an Plan. appealable decision approving lands for DATES: Written comments on the conveyance pursuant to the Alaska changes to the PRMP will be accepted Native Claims Settlement Act will be until August 27, 2008. issued to Bering Straits Native ADDRESSES: Written comments should Corporation for lands located in the vicinity of Saint Michael, Alaska. Notice be submitted to Erin Dreyfuss, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, BLM El of the decision will also be published Centro Field Office, 1661 S. 4th Street, four times in the Nome Nugget. El Centro, CA 92243. Comments may DATES: The time limits for filing an also be e-mailed to appeal are: caesdrmp@.ca.blm.gov or faxed to (760) 1. Any party claiming a property 337–4490 Attention: Erin Dreyfuss, interest which is adversely affected by the decision shall have until August 27, Planning and Environmental Coordinator. 2008 to file an appeal. 2. Parties receiving service of the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin decision by certified mail shall have 30 Dreyfuss, Planning and Environmental days from the date of receipt to file an Coordinator, or Thomas Zale, Associate appeal. Field Manager, at (760) 337–4400. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1 43780 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 145 / Monday, July 28, 2008 / Notices The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Eastern San Diego County Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/EIS) in the Federal Register on March 2, 2007, which initiated a 90-day comment period. The EPA published the NOA for the Eastern San Diego County Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) in the Federal Register on December 7, 2007, which initiated the 30-day protest period. The PRMP/FEIS identified Alternative E as the Proposed Plan. The BLM received nine (9) protest letters. In response to protests and based on additional policy discussions, the BLM will clarify and make changes to the Proposed Plan as set forth in the PRMP. Comments (written or electronic) submitted during the 30-day public comment period will be available for public review at the El Centro Field Office during regular business hours 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, and will be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. The clarification and changes include: (1) Modifying renewable energy (wind) related proposals and (2) clarifying and modifying Visual Resource Management (VRM) proposals and classifications. This Notice identifies the clarifications and changes and initiates a 30-day public notice and comment period. (43 CFR 1610.2(f)(5) and 43 CFR 1610.5– 1(b)). jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Renewable Energy (Wind)—Proposed Changes The BLM is changing the Proposed Plan, as it was set forth in the PRMP, to allow for additional lands in the planning area to be available for wind energy development. This change is being made in response to issues raised during the protest period, in addition to internal policy discussions. Concerns have been raised by the public that the Eastern San Diego County PRMP is overly restrictive regarding wind energy development and VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:35 Jul 25, 2008 Jkt 214001 is not adequately responsive to national goals and directives, summarized herein, regarding renewable energy development on public lands. On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13212, Actions to Expedite Energy-Related Projects, establishing a policy that federal agencies should take appropriate actions, to the extent consistent with applicable law, to expedite projects to increase the production, transmission, or conservation of energy. Also in 2001, the President’s National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) recommended to the President, as part of the National Energy Policy Report, that the Departments of the Interior, Energy, Agriculture, and Defense work together to increase renewable energy production (NEPDG 2001). The Energy Policy Act of 2005 states that ‘‘the Secretary of the Interior should, before the end of the 10-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, seek to have approved non-hydropower renewable energy projects located on the public lands with a generation capacity of at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity.’’ § 211 Energy Policy Act (2005), Public Law 109–58. Based on a broad scale assessment of wind energy potential in the western United States, the Department of Energy determined that the Eastern San Diego County planning area has approximately 33,100 acres of land with high quality wind resources. From that total, BLM excludes designated Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern from wind energy development. These exclusions are consistent with the Record of Decision for the Final Programmatic EIS for Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States, which was published in December 2005. BLM also has the discretion to exclude other areas from wind energy development where significant resource impacts or conflicts cannot be mitigated. Other areas that were excluded from wind energy development in the original PRMP include, but are not limited to, designated critical habitat, recreation areas and an existing utility corridor. In applying all of these restrictions, the acres of high quality wind resources available for renewable energy development in the planning area would be reduced to 16,078 acres. Under the original PRMP, many of these remaining lands were designated as VRM Management Class II where wind energy development would likely not comply with the objectives of that management class. PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In recognition of concerns raised by the public and in an effort to meet its goals to support renewable energy development on public lands, the BLM is changing the PRMP regarding wind energy in the vicinity of McCain Valley consistent with Alternative D. Specifically, the BLM proposes to designate McCain Valley East (3,635 acres outside of ACECs and WSAs) and McCain Valley West (8,560 acres) as VRM Management Class IV (These areas were designated as VRM Management Class II and III, respectively, in the original PRMP, p. 2–58 and Map 2–5). For more information on the objectives of each VRM Management Class, see the PRMP/FEIS p. 2–57. Please refer to the following table for a comparison of the PRMP changes to VRM Management Classes. The BLM also proposes to make recreation areas in McCain Valley available for renewable energy development consistent with Alternative D. This includes Lark Canyon Off-Highway Vehicle Area and the Lark Canyon Campground/Staging Area (1,300 acres) and Cottonwood Campground (16 acres) (PRMP/FEIS Alternative D, p. 2–110). Classification of lands VRM VRM VRM VRM Class Class Class Class Original PRMP acres Changed PRMP acres I ............. II ............ III ........... IV ........... 61,908 31,623 9,288 51 61,908 28,033 693 12,236 Total ................... 102,870 102,870 High quality wind resources in McCain Valley and its proximity to the existing utility corridor make it a logical area to focus wind energy development in the planning area. Furthermore, wind energy development currently exists in McCain Valley and is visible in the area. Wind energy development and recreation can effectively coexist in McCain Valley. This decision is consistent with the Record of Decision for the Final Programmatic EIS for Wind Energy Development on BLMAdministered Lands in the Western United States (December 2005). Appropriate mitigation would be required for all future development on or adjacent to recreation areas to minimize user conflicts and degradation of the recreational experience. 2. Visual Resource Management— Proposed Clarification As part of its protest analysis, the BLM found that it needed to clarify its description of land use restrictions in VRM Management Classes. BLM is required to manage all uses and E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 145 / Monday, July 28, 2008 / Notices activities consistent with an area’s VRM Management Class as established in the RMP. It is not BLM policy to determine, at the RMP level, which land uses or activities to restrict based on VRM Management Class. Rather, BLM must consider, at the site specific activity level, all uses proposed for an area with a given VRM Management Class and determine if those uses would be consistent with the objectives for that Class. Therefore, the RMP will be clarified by removing the following restrictions (this will not impact RMP decisions related to designated critical habitat, Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs), or Areas of Environmental Concern (ACECs)): • VRM Management Class II areas are closed to leasable mineral entry under the Proposed Plan (PRMP/FEIS p. 2–77). Removal of this restriction will result in an additional 27,387 acres open to leasable mineral entry in the planning area (34,993 acres total). • VRM Management Class II areas are exclusion areas for renewable energy under the Proposed Plan (PRMP/FEIS p. 2–110). Removal of this restriction will result in an additional 27,327 acres available for renewable energy in the planning area (34,259 acres total). • VRM Management Class II areas are avoidance areas for all land use authorizations under the Proposed Plan (other than renewable energy which is described above) (PRMP/FEIS p. 2–110). Removal of this restriction will allow BLM to consider issuing land use authorizations on approximately 31,600 acres of land designated as VRM Management Class II in the planning area, outside of designated critical habitat, WSAs, and ACECs. All future development in the planning area would adhere to the VRM Management Class objectives established in the RMP (PRMP/FEIS p. 2–57). For example, VRM Class II objectives require that the existing character of the landscape be retained and that the level of change to be low. In order to meet these objectives, BLM expects that the level of development in VRM Management Class II would be very minimal. BLM will utilize visual resource design techniques and best management practices to mitigate the potential visual impacts. Visual contrast ratings will be required for all major projects proposed for VRM Management Class I, II, and III areas which have high sensitivity levels. In areas where VRM Management Class objectives cannot be met through design techniques and/or best management practices, BLM has the VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:35 Jul 25, 2008 Jkt 214001 authority to deny the project. (PRMP/ FEIS p. 2–57 and 2–58). Mike Pool, State Director, California. [FR Doc. E8–17208 Filed 7–25–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [ES–956–1420–BJ–TRST; Group No. 186, Minnesota] Eastern States: Filing of Plat of Survey Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Filing of Plat of Survey; Minnesota. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will file the plat of survey of the lands described below in the BLM-Eastern States, Springfield, Virginia, 30 calender days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, 7450 Boston Boulevard, Springfield, Virginia 22153. Attn: Cadastral Survey. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This survey was requested by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The lands we surveyed are: Fifth Principal Meridian, Minnesota T. 146 N., R. 39 W. The plat of survey represents the dependent resurvey of a portion of the east, south and west boundaries and a portion of the subdivisional lines; and the survey of the subdivision of sections 23–26, 31, 32, and 35, Township 146 North, Range 39 West, Fifth Principal Meridian, Minnesota, and was accepted July 10, 2008. We will place a copy of the plat we described in the open files. It will be available to the public as a matter of information. If BLM receives a protest against this survey, as shown on the plat, prior to the date of the official filing, we will stay the filing pending our consideration of the protest. We will not officially file the plat until the day after we have accepted or dismissed all protests and they have become final, including decisions on appeals. Dated: July 14, 2008. Ronald J. Eberle, Acting Chief Cadastral Surveyor. [FR Doc. E8–17207 Filed 7–25–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GJ–P PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43781 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service MMS Information Collection Activity: 1010–0082, 30 CFR Part 281, Leasing of Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas and Sulphur in the Outer Continental Shelf, Reinstatement—Not Violation of a Collection; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of a reinstatement of an information collection (1010–0082). AGENCY: SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements in the regulations under 30 CFR part 281, Leasing of Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur in the Outer Continental Shelf. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements. Submit written comments by August 27, 2008. ADDRESSES: You should submit comments directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (1010–0082), either by fax (202) 395–6566 or e-mail (OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov). Please also send a copy to MMS by mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Attention: Cheryl Blundon, 381 Elden Street, MS–4024, Herndon, Virginia 20170–4817. Please reference ‘‘Information Collection 1010– 0082’’ in your subject line and mark your message for return receipt. Include your name and return address in your message text. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch, (703) 787–1607. You may also contact Cheryl Blundon to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulations that require the subject collection of information. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: 30 CFR part 281, Leasing of Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur in the Outer Continental Shelf. OMB Control Number: 1010–0082. Abstract: Section 8(k) of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1337), authorizes the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) DATES: E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 145 (Monday, July 28, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43779-43781]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-17208]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management


Provide Opportunity To Comment on Changes to the Eastern San 
Diego County Proposed Resource Management Plan

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The BLM is soliciting comments, electronic or written, on 
significant changes and clarifications (collectively ``changes'') to 
the Proposed Plan as set forth in the PRMP for wind energy and VRM. The 
environmental consequences of the proposed changes and clarification 
have been analyzed as part of the RMP/EIS process. After considering 
public comments on these changes, BLM will issue a Record of Decision 
(ROD) for the Eastern San Diego County Resource Management Plan.

DATES: Written comments on the changes to the PRMP will be accepted 
until August 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to Erin Dreyfuss, 
Planning and Environmental Coordinator, BLM El Centro Field Office, 
1661 S. 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243. Comments may also be e-mailed 
to caesdrmp@.ca.blm.gov or faxed to (760) 337-4490 Attention: Erin 
Dreyfuss, Planning and Environmental Coordinator.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Dreyfuss, Planning and 
Environmental Coordinator, or Thomas Zale, Associate Field Manager, at 
(760) 337-4400.

[[Page 43780]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
published the Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Eastern San Diego 
County Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DRMP/EIS) in the Federal Register on March 2, 2007, which 
initiated a 90-day comment period.
    The EPA published the NOA for the Eastern San Diego County Proposed 
Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(PRMP/FEIS) in the Federal Register on December 7, 2007, which 
initiated the 30-day protest period. The PRMP/FEIS identified 
Alternative E as the Proposed Plan. The BLM received nine (9) protest 
letters. In response to protests and based on additional policy 
discussions, the BLM will clarify and make changes to the Proposed Plan 
as set forth in the PRMP.
    Comments (written or electronic) submitted during the 30-day public 
comment period will be available for public review at the El Centro 
Field Office during regular business hours 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except holidays, and will be subject to 
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    The clarification and changes include: (1) Modifying renewable 
energy (wind) related proposals and (2) clarifying and modifying Visual 
Resource Management (VRM) proposals and classifications. This Notice 
identifies the clarifications and changes and initiates a 30-day public 
notice and comment period. (43 CFR 1610.2(f)(5) and 43 CFR 1610.5-
1(b)).

1. Renewable Energy (Wind)--Proposed Changes

    The BLM is changing the Proposed Plan, as it was set forth in the 
PRMP, to allow for additional lands in the planning area to be 
available for wind energy development. This change is being made in 
response to issues raised during the protest period, in addition to 
internal policy discussions.
    Concerns have been raised by the public that the Eastern San Diego 
County PRMP is overly restrictive regarding wind energy development and 
is not adequately responsive to national goals and directives, 
summarized herein, regarding renewable energy development on public 
lands. On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13212, 
Actions to Expedite Energy-Related Projects, establishing a policy that 
federal agencies should take appropriate actions, to the extent 
consistent with applicable law, to expedite projects to increase the 
production, transmission, or conservation of energy. Also in 2001, the 
President's National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) 
recommended to the President, as part of the National Energy Policy 
Report, that the Departments of the Interior, Energy, Agriculture, and 
Defense work together to increase renewable energy production (NEPDG 
2001). The Energy Policy Act of 2005 states that ``the Secretary of the 
Interior should, before the end of the 10-year period beginning on the 
date of enactment of this Act, seek to have approved non-hydropower 
renewable energy projects located on the public lands with a generation 
capacity of at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity.'' Sec.  211 
Energy Policy Act (2005), Public Law 109-58. Based on a broad scale 
assessment of wind energy potential in the western United States, the 
Department of Energy determined that the Eastern San Diego County 
planning area has approximately 33,100 acres of land with high quality 
wind resources. From that total, BLM excludes designated Wilderness 
Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, and Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern from wind energy development. These exclusions are consistent 
with the Record of Decision for the Final Programmatic EIS for Wind 
Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United 
States, which was published in December 2005.
    BLM also has the discretion to exclude other areas from wind energy 
development where significant resource impacts or conflicts cannot be 
mitigated. Other areas that were excluded from wind energy development 
in the original PRMP include, but are not limited to, designated 
critical habitat, recreation areas and an existing utility corridor. In 
applying all of these restrictions, the acres of high quality wind 
resources available for renewable energy development in the planning 
area would be reduced to 16,078 acres. Under the original PRMP, many of 
these remaining lands were designated as VRM Management Class II where 
wind energy development would likely not comply with the objectives of 
that management class.
    In recognition of concerns raised by the public and in an effort to 
meet its goals to support renewable energy development on public lands, 
the BLM is changing the PRMP regarding wind energy in the vicinity of 
McCain Valley consistent with Alternative D. Specifically, the BLM 
proposes to designate McCain Valley East (3,635 acres outside of ACECs 
and WSAs) and McCain Valley West (8,560 acres) as VRM Management Class 
IV (These areas were designated as VRM Management Class II and III, 
respectively, in the original PRMP, p. 2-58 and Map 2-5). For more 
information on the objectives of each VRM Management Class, see the 
PRMP/FEIS p. 2-57. Please refer to the following table for a comparison 
of the PRMP changes to VRM Management Classes. The BLM also proposes to 
make recreation areas in McCain Valley available for renewable energy 
development consistent with Alternative D. This includes Lark Canyon 
Off-Highway Vehicle Area and the Lark Canyon Campground/Staging Area 
(1,300 acres) and Cottonwood Campground (16 acres) (PRMP/FEIS 
Alternative D, p. 2-110).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Original   Changed
              Classification of lands                  PRMP       PRMP
                                                      acres      acres
------------------------------------------------------------------------
VRM Class I.......................................     61,908     61,908
VRM Class II......................................     31,623     28,033
VRM Class III.....................................      9,288        693
VRM Class IV......................................         51     12,236
                                                   ---------------------
    Total.........................................    102,870    102,870
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    High quality wind resources in McCain Valley and its proximity to 
the existing utility corridor make it a logical area to focus wind 
energy development in the planning area. Furthermore, wind energy 
development currently exists in McCain Valley and is visible in the 
area. Wind energy development and recreation can effectively coexist in 
McCain Valley. This decision is consistent with the Record of Decision 
for the Final Programmatic EIS for Wind Energy Development on BLM-
Administered Lands in the Western United States (December 2005). 
Appropriate mitigation would be required for all future development on 
or adjacent to recreation areas to minimize user conflicts and 
degradation of the recreational experience.

2. Visual Resource Management--Proposed Clarification

    As part of its protest analysis, the BLM found that it needed to 
clarify its description of land use restrictions in VRM Management 
Classes. BLM is required to manage all uses and

[[Page 43781]]

activities consistent with an area's VRM Management Class as 
established in the RMP. It is not BLM policy to determine, at the RMP 
level, which land uses or activities to restrict based on VRM 
Management Class. Rather, BLM must consider, at the site specific 
activity level, all uses proposed for an area with a given VRM 
Management Class and determine if those uses would be consistent with 
the objectives for that Class.
    Therefore, the RMP will be clarified by removing the following 
restrictions (this will not impact RMP decisions related to designated 
critical habitat, Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs), or Areas of 
Environmental Concern (ACECs)):
     VRM Management Class II areas are closed to leasable 
mineral entry under the Proposed Plan (PRMP/FEIS p. 2-77). Removal of 
this restriction will result in an additional 27,387 acres open to 
leasable mineral entry in the planning area (34,993 acres total).
     VRM Management Class II areas are exclusion areas for 
renewable energy under the Proposed Plan (PRMP/FEIS p. 2-110). Removal 
of this restriction will result in an additional 27,327 acres available 
for renewable energy in the planning area (34,259 acres total).
     VRM Management Class II areas are avoidance areas for all 
land use authorizations under the Proposed Plan (other than renewable 
energy which is described above) (PRMP/FEIS p. 2-110). Removal of this 
restriction will allow BLM to consider issuing land use authorizations 
on approximately 31,600 acres of land designated as VRM Management 
Class II in the planning area, outside of designated critical habitat, 
WSAs, and ACECs.
    All future development in the planning area would adhere to the VRM 
Management Class objectives established in the RMP (PRMP/FEIS p. 2-57). 
For example, VRM Class II objectives require that the existing 
character of the landscape be retained and that the level of change to 
be low. In order to meet these objectives, BLM expects that the level 
of development in VRM Management Class II would be very minimal. BLM 
will utilize visual resource design techniques and best management 
practices to mitigate the potential visual impacts. Visual contrast 
ratings will be required for all major projects proposed for VRM 
Management Class I, II, and III areas which have high sensitivity 
levels. In areas where VRM Management Class objectives cannot be met 
through design techniques and/or best management practices, BLM has the 
authority to deny the project. (PRMP/FEIS p. 2-57 and 2-58).

Mike Pool,
State Director, California.
[FR Doc. E8-17208 Filed 7-25-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-40-P