Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, CA, 27344-27345 [2011-11410]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 27344 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 91 / Wednesday, May 11, 2011 / Notices are proposed for utilization in the hydropower development under consideration. Define how the hydropower development would operate in harmony with the CUP and existing applicable contracts related to operation and maintenance of CUP feature(s) being considered for modification. F. Identify plans for assuming liability for damage to the operational and structural integrity of the CUP caused by construction, operation, and/or maintenance of the hydropower development. G. Identify the organizational structure planned for the long-term operation and maintenance of any proposed hydropower development. H. Provide a management plan to accomplish such activities as planning, NEPA compliance, lease of power privilege development, design, construction, facility testing, and start of hydropower production. Prepare schedules of these activities as is applicable. Describe what studies are necessary to accomplish the hydroelectric power development and how the studies would be implemented. I. Estimate development cost. This cost should include all investment costs such as the cost of studies to determine feasibility, NEPA compliance, design, construction, and financing as well as the amortized annual cost of the investment; also, the annual operation, maintenance, and replacement expense for the hydropower development; lease payments to the United States; and expenses that may be associated with the CUP; and the anticipated return on investment. If there are additional transmission or wheeling expenses associated with the development of the hydropower development, these should be included. Identify proposed methods of financing the hydropower development. An economic analysis should be presented that compares the present worth of all benefits and costs of the hydropower development. Selection of the Potential Lessee: Interior, in consultation with Western, will evaluate proposals received in response to this published notice. Interior may request additional information from individual proposing entities and/or all proposing entities after proposals are submitted, but prior to making a selection of a potential lessee. Interior will give more favorable consideration to proposals that (1) utilize water and natural resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner: (2) improve ecosystem function; (3) clearly demonstrate that the offeror is qualified to develop the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 May 10, 2011 Jkt 223001 hydropower facility and provide for long-term operation and maintenance, and (4) best share the economic benefits of the hydropower development among parties (including the United States) to the lease of power privilege. A proposal will be deemed unacceptable if it is inconsistent with CUP purposes, as determined by Interior. Interior will give preference to those entities that qualify as preference entities (as defined under Proposal Content Guidelines, item A.), provided that their proposal is at least as well-adapted to developing, conserving, and utilizing the water and natural resources as other submitted proposals and that the preference entity is well qualified. Through written notice, all preference entities would be allowed 90 days to improve their proposals, if necessary, to be made at least equal to a proposal(s) that may have been submitted by a nonpreference entity. Power Purchasing and/or Marketing Considerations: Western would have the first opportunity to purchase and/or market the power that would be generated by the project under a lease(s) of power privilege. Western will consult with Interior on such power purchasing and/or marketing considerations. Western may market the power available from the project as part of its Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects (SLCA/IP) or on a stand-alone basis, first to preference entities qualified under criteria established by Western and second to non-preference entities, by developing an individual marketing plan for this power. This marketing plan would be developed through a separate subsequent public process beginning with a notice in the Federal Register of Western’s intent to market the power. The marketing plan would include all aspects of marketing the power, including assignment of power to qualified preference and/or nonpreference entities, pricing, transmission, and delivery of power. Western would recover the costs it would incur in purchasing and/or marketing the power through the rates charged for the power. Firm power rates would be established through a public process, initiated by a notice in the Federal Register, separate from the marketing plan. In the event Western elects to not purchase and/or market the power generated by the hydropower development or such a decision cannot be made within 60 days of notification of selection of a potential lessee, the lessee(s) would be responsible for marketing the power generated by the project with priority given to preference PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 entities as heretofore defined in Proposal Content Guidelines, item A. Notice and Time Period to Enter Into Lease of Power Privilege: Interior will notify, in writing, all entities submitting proposals of Interior’s decision regarding selection of the potential lessee(s). The selected potential lessee(s) will have five years from the date of such notification to enter into a lease(s) of power privilege for the site or sites identified in the proposal. This period may only be extended by the United States in writing. Dated: May 4, 2011. Reed R. Murray, Program Director, Department of the Interior. [FR Doc. 2011–11525 Filed 5–10–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–PWR–PWRO–0215–6786; 8381–1001– NZW] Water Resources Management Plan/ Environmental Impact Statement, Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, CA National Park Service, Interior. Notice of Intent to Prepare a Water Resources Management Plan/ Environmental Impact Statement for Mojave National Preserve. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with § 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Mojave National Preserve is initiating the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process needed to inform preparation of a Water Resources Management Plan/ Environmental Impact Statement (WRMP/EIS). This plan is intended to guide future management of ground and surface water sources within Mojave National Preserve. Through this process the National Park Service (NPS) will identify and assess potential impacts of a range of alternatives to management of water resources. As part of the EIS process, the NPS will evaluate different approaches for water resources management to determine the potential impacts on land use, water quality, geology, biological and cultural resources, human health and safety, aesthetics, visitor experience, Wilderness, and other stewardship considerations. Mojave National Preserve (Preserve) is a 1.6 million-acre unit of the National Park System, established by Congress on October 31, 1994, by the California Desert Protection Act. The Act protected SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11MYN1.SGM 11MYN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 91 / Wednesday, May 11, 2011 / Notices a vast expanse of desert lands that represent a combination of Great Basin, Sonoran, and Mojave desert ecosystems. The Act also specified hunting as a permitted activity within the Preserve. By the time of establishment, many artificial water sources had been developed within the Preserve to support cattle grazing operations and game populations. Human manipulation of natural springs and seeps, with intermittent maintenance, enhanced surface flow to provide additional water for the same purposes. There also existed 133 small game wildlife water developments (also known as ‘‘guzzlers’’ or ‘‘drinkers’’), and 6 big game guzzlers, which intercept and store rainwater for wildlife use. All of the big game guzzlers and many of the small game water developments are in areas of the Preserve which are now designated Wilderness. Since 1998, private donors have purchased and retired approximately 1,260,980 acres of grazing land in the Preserve. As cattle have been removed, watering troughs, windmills, and pipelines were also removed or fell into disrepair. This has led to calls by some hunting proponents to convert abandoned wells to game guzzlers. Conversely, wildlife advocates have cited guzzler-related injuries to bighorn sheep, protected desert tortoises, and other wildlife species as a rationale for reducing the number of water developments. Since 1994, the NPS has managed water sources in the Preserve on a caseby-case basis, while conducting inventories and studies to develop the information needed for an ecosystemscale management approach. The Preserve’s general management plan (GMP) identified the need to develop a comprehensive ecosystem-scale Water Resources Management Plan for springs, seeps, water diversions, and artificial water sources to maintain healthy wildlife communities and groundwater flow conditions at safe yields—this conservation planning effort seeks to fulfill that objective. Desired future condition goals will be developed through public engagement with hunting groups, environmental organizations, park visitors, local, state and Federal agencies, and other interested parties, in keeping with existing laws, regulations, and NPS management policies. Surface water availability in the form of springs and seeps is a function of groundwater flow and discharge. The relationship between groundwater, surface water, and wells is complex. Preserve stewardship and resource management activities must be guided VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 May 10, 2011 Jkt 223001 by general principles that can be applied to specific problems. Developing and clearly explaining how these principles should be applied is a goal of the Draft WRMP/EIS. The relationship between surface water availability and wildlife populations is also multifaceted, and may be complicated by the potential effects of climate change. The Draft WRMP/EIS will provide the basis for preserving wildlife and preventing resource impairment. DATES: To facilitate sound planning and consideration of environmental resources, the NPS intends to gather information necessary for preparing the Draft WRMP/EIS and to obtain suggestions from the public on issues and concerns which should be addressed. The NPS is seeking pertinent environmental information regarding scope of the analysis, and suggestions regarding preliminary alternatives which should be considered. All comments must be postmarked or transmitted not later than July 11, 2011. Full public participation by park stakeholders, concerned organizations and private citizens, as well as Federal, State, and local agencies, is invited so as to fully inform the process of preparing the Draft WRMP/EIS. Four public meetings will be hosted during the scoping period: June 27 (Henderson, NV), June 28 (Needles, CA), June 29 (San Bernardino, CA), and June 30 (Barstow, CA). Confirmed details on time and location will be announced in the local press and on the park Web site (http://www.nps.gov/moja); details may also be obtained by contacting the Preserve directly. These meetings will provide current information and respond to questions and comments on issues and alternatives to assist NPS in developing the Draft WRMP/EIS. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Periodically updated information will be available on the project Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ mojave_water. You may request to be added to the project mailing list by mailing, e-mailing, or faxing your request to: Superintendent, Mojave National Preserve, Attn: Mojave WRMP, 2701 Barstow Road, Barstow, California 92311 (E-mail: MOJA_Superintendent@ nps.gov and Fax: (760) 252–6171). Please note in your request whether you wish to receive a printed or compact disk version of the Draft WRMP/EIS, or just wish to receive notice that the document is available for review. If you wish to comment during the scoping phase for the Draft WRMP/EIS, you may use any one of several methods. To comment electronically, PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27345 submit your comments online by visiting the project Web site http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/mojave_water. If you wish to submit written comments (e.g., in a letter), you may send your comments via U.S. Postal Service (or other mail delivery service) or handdeliver them to the address provided above. Oral statements and written comments will also be accepted during public meetings. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted by an individual or organization on behalf of another individual or organization also will not be accepted. 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. Decision Process: Following careful analysis of all responses received concerning the Draft WRMP/EIS, a final plan will be prepared and its availability similarly announced in the Federal Register. Thereafter, but not sooner than 30 days after release of the Final WRMP/EIS, a Record of Decision would be prepared. As a delegated EIS, the official responsible for final approval of the Water Resources Management Plan is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region. Subsequently the official responsible for implementation of the approved plan would be the Superintendent, Mojave National Preserve. Dated: February 10, 2011. Patricia L. Neubacher, Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region. [FR Doc. 2011–11410 Filed 5–10–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–6E–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–NRNHL–0411– 7274; 2280– 665] National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions Nominations for the following properties being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register were received by the National E:\FR\FM\11MYN1.SGM 11MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 91 (Wednesday, May 11, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27344-27345]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-11410]


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 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-PWR-PWRO-0215-6786; 8381-1001-NZW]


Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, 
Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, CA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Water Resources Management Plan/
Environmental Impact Statement for Mojave National Preserve.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with Sec.  102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Mojave National Preserve is 
initiating the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis 
process needed to inform preparation of a Water Resources Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (WRMP/EIS). This plan is intended 
to guide future management of ground and surface water sources within 
Mojave National Preserve. Through this process the National Park 
Service (NPS) will identify and assess potential impacts of a range of 
alternatives to management of water resources. As part of the EIS 
process, the NPS will evaluate different approaches for water resources 
management to determine the potential impacts on land use, water 
quality, geology, biological and cultural resources, human health and 
safety, aesthetics, visitor experience, Wilderness, and other 
stewardship considerations.
    Mojave National Preserve (Preserve) is a 1.6 million-acre unit of 
the National Park System, established by Congress on October 31, 1994, 
by the California Desert Protection Act. The Act protected

[[Page 27345]]

a vast expanse of desert lands that represent a combination of Great 
Basin, Sonoran, and Mojave desert ecosystems. The Act also specified 
hunting as a permitted activity within the Preserve. By the time of 
establishment, many artificial water sources had been developed within 
the Preserve to support cattle grazing operations and game populations. 
Human manipulation of natural springs and seeps, with intermittent 
maintenance, enhanced surface flow to provide additional water for the 
same purposes. There also existed 133 small game wildlife water 
developments (also known as ``guzzlers'' or ``drinkers''), and 6 big 
game guzzlers, which intercept and store rainwater for wildlife use. 
All of the big game guzzlers and many of the small game water 
developments are in areas of the Preserve which are now designated 
Wilderness.
    Since 1998, private donors have purchased and retired approximately 
1,260,980 acres of grazing land in the Preserve. As cattle have been 
removed, watering troughs, windmills, and pipelines were also removed 
or fell into disrepair. This has led to calls by some hunting 
proponents to convert abandoned wells to game guzzlers. Conversely, 
wildlife advocates have cited guzzler-related injuries to bighorn 
sheep, protected desert tortoises, and other wildlife species as a 
rationale for reducing the number of water developments.
    Since 1994, the NPS has managed water sources in the Preserve on a 
case-by-case basis, while conducting inventories and studies to develop 
the information needed for an ecosystem-scale management approach. The 
Preserve's general management plan (GMP) identified the need to develop 
a comprehensive ecosystem-scale Water Resources Management Plan for 
springs, seeps, water diversions, and artificial water sources to 
maintain healthy wildlife communities and groundwater flow conditions 
at safe yields--this conservation planning effort seeks to fulfill that 
objective. Desired future condition goals will be developed through 
public engagement with hunting groups, environmental organizations, 
park visitors, local, state and Federal agencies, and other interested 
parties, in keeping with existing laws, regulations, and NPS management 
policies.
    Surface water availability in the form of springs and seeps is a 
function of groundwater flow and discharge. The relationship between 
groundwater, surface water, and wells is complex. Preserve stewardship 
and resource management activities must be guided by general principles 
that can be applied to specific problems. Developing and clearly 
explaining how these principles should be applied is a goal of the 
Draft WRMP/EIS. The relationship between surface water availability and 
wildlife populations is also multifaceted, and may be complicated by 
the potential effects of climate change. The Draft WRMP/EIS will 
provide the basis for preserving wildlife and preventing resource 
impairment.

DATES: To facilitate sound planning and consideration of environmental 
resources, the NPS intends to gather information necessary for 
preparing the Draft WRMP/EIS and to obtain suggestions from the public 
on issues and concerns which should be addressed. The NPS is seeking 
pertinent environmental information regarding scope of the analysis, 
and suggestions regarding preliminary alternatives which should be 
considered. All comments must be postmarked or transmitted not later 
than July 11, 2011. Full public participation by park stakeholders, 
concerned organizations and private citizens, as well as Federal, 
State, and local agencies, is invited so as to fully inform the process 
of preparing the Draft WRMP/EIS. Four public meetings will be hosted 
during the scoping period: June 27 (Henderson, NV), June 28 (Needles, 
CA), June 29 (San Bernardino, CA), and June 30 (Barstow, CA). Confirmed 
details on time and location will be announced in the local press and 
on the park Web site (http://www.nps.gov/moja); details may also be 
obtained by contacting the Preserve directly. These meetings will 
provide current information and respond to questions and comments on 
issues and alternatives to assist NPS in developing the Draft WRMP/EIS.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Periodically updated information will be 
available on the project Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mojave_water. You may request to be added to the project mailing list 
by mailing, e-mailing, or faxing your request to: Superintendent, 
Mojave National Preserve, Attn: Mojave WRMP, 2701 Barstow Road, 
Barstow, California 92311 (E-mail: MOJA_Superintendent@nps.gov and 
Fax: (760) 252-6171). Please note in your request whether you wish to 
receive a printed or compact disk version of the Draft WRMP/EIS, or 
just wish to receive notice that the document is available for review.
    If you wish to comment during the scoping phase for the Draft WRMP/
EIS, you may use any one of several methods. To comment electronically, 
submit your comments online by visiting the project Web site http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mojave_water. If you wish to submit written 
comments (e.g., in a letter), you may send your comments via U.S. 
Postal Service (or other mail delivery service) or hand-deliver them to 
the address provided above. Oral statements and written comments will 
also be accepted during public meetings. Comments will not be accepted 
by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. 
Comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted by an 
individual or organization on behalf of another individual or 
organization also will not be accepted.
    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.
    Decision Process: Following careful analysis of all responses 
received concerning the Draft WRMP/EIS, a final plan will be prepared 
and its availability similarly announced in the Federal Register. 
Thereafter, but not sooner than 30 days after release of the Final 
WRMP/EIS, a Record of Decision would be prepared. As a delegated EIS, 
the official responsible for final approval of the Water Resources 
Management Plan is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region. 
Subsequently the official responsible for implementation of the 
approved plan would be the Superintendent, Mojave National Preserve.

    Dated: February 10, 2011.
Patricia L. Neubacher,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-11410 Filed 5-10-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-6E-P