Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Renewal of the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Land Withdrawal, California, 53189-53191 [2012-21465]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 170 / Friday, August 31, 2012 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Renewal of the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Land Withdrawal, California Department of the Navy, DoD. Cooperating Agencies: Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321– 4370h); the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500–1508); Department of the Navy (DoN) Procedures for Implementing NEPA (32 CFR Part 775); and Marine Corps NEPA directives (Marine Corps Order P5090.2A), the DoN, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Reclamation, has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) that evaluates the potential environmental consequences that may result from renewing the withdrawal of approximately 228,465 acres of public land for continued use as part of the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range (CMAGR) in Imperial and Riverside counties, California. With the filing of the Draft LEIS, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is initiating a 90-day public comment period and has scheduled four public meetings to receive oral and written comments on the Draft LEIS. Federal, state, and local agencies; Native American tribes; and interested parties are encouraged to provide comments in person at any of the public meetings, or in writing anytime during the public comment period. This notice announces the dates and locations of the public meetings and provides supplementary information about the environmental planning effort. These public meetings also meet the requirement set forth in Section 806 of the California Desert Protection Act for the Secretary of the Navy to hold a public hearing in the State of California to receive public comments on the Draft LEIS. DATES AND ADDRESSES: The Draft LEIS public review period will begin on August 31, 2012 and end on November 30, 2012. All comments regarding the EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:22 Aug 30, 2012 Jkt 226001 Draft LEIS must be received by November 30, 2012 to ensure full consideration in the Final LEIS. Each of the four public meetings will be conducted in an open house meeting format. The public meetings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the following dates and at the following locations: 1. October 22, 2012 at the Yuma County Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive, Rooms B–C, Yuma, AZ. 2. October 23, 2012 at the Southwest High School, 2001 Ocotillo Dr., El Centro, CA. 3. October 24, 2012 at the Mizell Senior Center, 480 South Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA. 4. October 25, 2012 at the Oceanside Public Library, 330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA. Public meeting schedules and locations will also be published in local newspapers. The public is invited to attend these meetings to view projectrelated displays; speak with DoN, the USMC, and Department of the Interior representatives; and submit public comments. Availability of the Draft LEIS: The Draft LEIS is available at the project Web site, www.chocolatemountainrenewal.com and at the following local libraries: 1. County Library (Main Branch): 2951 S. 21st Drive, Yuma, AZ. 2. Public Library: 400 Main Street, Brawley, CA. 3. Public Library (San Ysidro Branch): 101 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Diego, CA. 4. Palo Verde Valley Library: 125 West Chanslor Way, Blythe, CA. 5. Community Center Branch Library: 375 South 1st Street, El Centro, CA. Comments: Attendees will be able to submit written comments at the public meetings. A court reporter will be available to accept oral comments. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. Comments on the Draft LEIS may be submitted by: (1) Attending one of the public hearings and providing oral or written comments, (2) completing the comment form on the project’s public Web site at www. chocolatemountainrenewal.com/ Comment/Default.aspx, or (3) by sending a letter to the CMAGR LEIS Project Manager (Attn: Ms. Kelly Finn), NAVFAC Southwest, 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1 Central IPT, San Diego, CA 92132–5190. All comments must be postmarked or electronically dated no later than November 30, 2012 to ensure they become part of the public record. All statements (oral transcription and written) submitted during the public review period will PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53189 become part of the public record on the Draft LEIS and will be addressed in the Final LEIS. Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be aware that your entire comment— including any personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Although requests can be made to withhold personal identifying information from public review, it may not be possible to keep this information from disclosure. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: CMAGR LEIS Project Manager (Attn: Ms. Kelly Finn), NAVFAC Southwest, 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1 Central IPT, San Diego, CA 92132–5190; phone 619–532–4452. Additional supplementary information regarding the CMAGR Draft LEIS is available at www.chocolatemountainrenewal.com. Please submit requests for special assistance, sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired, or other auxiliary aids needed at the public meetings to the LEIS Project Manager at least five business days before the meeting date. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Intent to prepare the Draft LEIS was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010 (Vol. 75, No. 185, p. 58370). Purpose and Need: The CMAGR has served as an aerial bombing and gunnery training range since the 1940s, and currently provides approximately 458,530 acres (about 716 square miles) of land to support military training. Training at the CMAGR is also supported by overlying and adjacent special-use airspace that extends laterally for several thousands of square miles. The CMAGR is needed to provide live-fire training that is essential for developing and maintaining the readiness of USMC and Navy aviators. The range is also vital for training select USMC and Navy land combat forces; including Naval Special Warfare (NSW) forces. Among other activities, the CMAGR and associated airspace supports training in air combat maneuvering and tactics; close air support (where air-to-ground ordnance is delivered directly in support of friendly forces); airborne laser system operations; air-to-air gunnery; and airto-ground bombing, rocketry, and strafing. Ground-based artillery, demolition, small arms, and NSW training are also conducted within the range. The CMAGR is a centerpiece in a much larger training complex that incorporates adjacent and nearby special use airspaces and ranges to E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1 EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 53190 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 170 / Friday, August 31, 2012 / Notices support full-spectrum combat operations so that Marines can realistically train as they will fight. The purpose of renewing the CMAGR land withdrawal is to retain the training range. The U.S. military is fully invested in the principle that high quality training is essential to the success and survival of its forces in combat; the CMAGR is needed to provide the quality training that provides a realistic approximation of the conditions that Marines, sailors, airmen, and soldiers will face in combat as individuals and in small or large units. Access to ranges that offer flexible, diverse, and realistic training is essential to preparing tactical forces of the highest possible quality. Thus, the necessity of keeping the CMAGR fully in service can best be understood from two main perspectives: (1) The necessity of providing high quality training and (2) the superlative qualities of the CMAGR for supporting that training. Proposed Action: The Proposed Action is to renew the military land withdrawal and reservation of the CMAGR. The Proposed Action includes four elements: (1) Defining a proposed range boundary and land withdrawal area; (2) either a set duration for the proposed land withdrawal with an option for requesting a subsequent renewal, a land withdrawal without a termination date, or transferring the land to the DoN; (3) proposals for redefining DoN and BLM management responsibilities for the CMAGR; and (4) provisions for the disposal and management of land that is not included in the renewal. Alternatives Considered in the Draft LEIS: A range of alternatives for the proposed renewal and administration of the CMAGR land withdrawal were developed in consideration of comments received from the public, Native American tribes, and government agencies during the scoping process. Four action alternatives (Alternatives 1 through 4) would renew the land withdrawal and keep the CMAGR available to support military training. The no-action alternative (Alternative 5) would allow the current land withdrawal to expire in October 2014, which would result in the closure of the CMAGR for military training. The Draft LEIS evaluates realigning the CMAGR boundary in three locations: South of the Niland-Blythe Road on the eastern side of the range, along the Bradshaw Trail at the northern end of the range, and along the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) at the southwestern side of the range. The Bradshaw Trail and UPRR realignments are proposed to align the CMAGR VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:22 Aug 30, 2012 Jkt 226001 boundary with these prominent geographic features, which would increase public awareness of the location of the range boundary and facilitate maintenance of prohibited entry and hazardous area warning signs along the CMAGR perimeter. Two parcels of currently withdrawn BLM land located south of the NilandBlythe Road, which are not needed for military purposes, are proposed to be excluded from the withdrawal renewal. Two alternatives for realigning the CMAGR boundary along the south side of the Bradshaw Trail are considered in the Draft LEIS. The full Bradshaw Trail realignment would align the CMAGR boundary along the southern side of the trail for the entire 36 miles over which it intersects the range. The full realignment would (1) release about 647 acres of DoN land and about 1,924 acres of currently withdrawn BLM land, including the Bradshaw Trail National Backcountry Byway, north of the realigned boundary from the CMAGR and (2) require the first-time withdrawal of about 530 acres of BLM land and potential acquisition of about 455 acres of private and 10 acres of State land to the interior of the new boundary. The land proposed for release is not needed for military purposes. The partial Bradshaw Trail realignment would align the CMAGR boundary along the southern side of an aggregate of about 20 miles of segments of the Bradshaw Trail that traverse either DoN or currently withdrawn BLM land. This action would release about 647 acres of DoN land and about 1,640 acres of currently withdrawn BLM land from the ranges that are not needed for military purposes. The boundary would not be realigned from its present locations where BLM, State, or private land south of the Bradshaw Trail is not presently part of the CMAGR. The proposed UPRR realignment on the southwestern side of the CMAGR would follow the eastern side of the UPRR right-of-way, the northern side of the Mesquite Regional Landfill Rail Spur right-of-way, and an existing road. This action would include (1) the firsttime withdrawal of about 11,903 acres of BLM land that are not currently in the CMAGR and (2) the potential acquisition of about 658 acres of State land. The boundary realignment proposals create four boundary and land withdrawal alternatives: 1. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area without change from the existing condition (Alternative 1). 2. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area per the existing PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 conditions except incorporate the full Bradshaw Trail, UPRR, and south of Niland-Blythe Road realignments (Alternative 2). 3. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area per the existing conditions except incorporate the full Bradshaw Trail and south of NilandBlythe Road realignments (Alternative 3). 4. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area per the existing conditions except incorporate only the partial Bradshaw Trail realignment (Alternative 4). The boundary realignment and land withdrawal area proposals of Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 would each release some BLM and DoN land from the CMAGR. Alternatives considered for the disposal and management of land released from range include: 1. Released DoN land would be transferred to BLM; BLM would manage transferred DoN and formerly withdrawn BLM land per FLPMA (Alternative 2). 2. Released DoN land would be disposed of through existing General Services Administration (GSA) authorities and procedures; DoN would manage released land per the Sikes Act until disposal is complete and BLM would manage formerly withdrawn BLM land per FLPMA (Alternatives 3 and 4). Three options are proposed for the duration of the renewed CMAGR land withdrawal: 20 years (Alternative 1, existing condition); 25 years (Alternatives 2 and 4); or indefinite (Alternative 3). Three options are proposed for administering federal land management responsibilities for the DoN and BLM lands within the current CMAGR boundary and for BLM land that may be included in the range for the first time as a part of a proposed boundary realignment. The options include: 1. Retain the existing DoN and BLM management assignments within the renewed CMAGR, which provide that the DoN is responsible for managing DoN land in accordance with the Sikes Act and the BLM is responsible for managing BLM land in accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (Alternative 1, existing condition). 2. Transfer management responsibility for BLM land within the renewed CMAGR to the DoN for the duration of the land withdrawal, which would make the DoN responsible for managing both the DoN and withdrawn BLM lands within the range in accordance with the Sikes Act (Alternatives 2 and 4). E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 170 / Friday, August 31, 2012 / Notices 3. Transfer jurisdiction for the BLM land within the renewed CMAGR to the DoN, which would make the DoN responsible for managing all land within the range in accordance with the Sikes Act until such time that the need for the range may end and it is deactivated and closed (Alternative 3). The no-action alternative (Alternative 5) would result in the closure of the CMAGR for military training. Selection of this alternative would trigger planning and actions to compensate for the displacement of training from the range and planning and actions for the decommissioning, decontamination and cleanup, and potential reuse of at least portions of the range. The BLM would resume full administrative responsibility for about 226,825 acres of currently withdrawn BLM land, with the possible exception of parcels that the Secretary of the Interior may not be able to accept because of potential expended ordnance contamination. The Secretary of the Navy would be responsible for custodial management of parcels with unacceptable levels of expended ordnance contamination. The Secretary of the Navy would also retain administrative responsibility for about 229,256 acres of DoN land from the closed CMAGR until such time as a portion or all of that land could be transferred to another federal agency, the State of California, or otherwise disposed of through existing GSA authorities and procedures. The State of California holds reversionary rights for about 11,311 acres of DoN land in the CMAGR that were acquired in fee from the State. California also holds some or all mineral rights on an additional 10,981 acres of the DoD land. Dated: August 24, 2012. C.K. Chiappetta, Lieutenant Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–21465 Filed 8–30–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: This notice announces a meeting of the Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:22 Aug 30, 2012 Jkt 226001 Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (CST). ADDRESSES: Hyatt North Houston, 425 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, TX 77060. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elena Melchert, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Oil and Natural Gas, Washington, DC 20585. Phone: (202) 586–5600. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Committee: The purpose of the Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the Secretary of Energy on development and implementation of programs related to ultra-deepwater architecture; and to provide comments and recommendations and priorities for the Department of Energy Annual Plan per requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Title IX, Subtitle J, Section 999D. DATES: Tentative Agenda September 26, 2012 7:30 a.m.–8:00 a.m. Registration. 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Call to Order, Welcome, Introductions, Opening Remarks, Overview of the Oil and Gas Ultra-Deepwater Research Portfolio. 1:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Overview of Draft 2013 Annual Plan. 4:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Public Comments, if any. 5:00 p.m. Adjourn. Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The Designated Federal Officer and the Chairman of the Committee will lead the meeting for the orderly conduct of business. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, you should contact Elena Melchert at the telephone number listed above. You must make your request for an oral statement at least three business days prior to the meeting, and reasonable provisions will be made to include all who wish to speak. Public comment will follow the three minute rule. Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available for public review and copying within 60 days at the following Web site: www.fossil.energy.gov/ programs/oilgas/advisorycommittees/ UltraDeepwater.html. Issued at Washington, DC, on August 27, 2012. LaTanya R. Butler, Acting Deputy Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–21547 Filed 8–30–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53191 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory Committee Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: This notice announces a meeting of the Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory Committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. SUMMARY: Tuesday, September 25, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (CST). ADDRESSES: Hyatt North Houston, 425 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, TX 77060. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elena Melchert, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Oil and Natural Gas, Washington, DC 20585. Phone: (202) 586–5600. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Committee: The purpose of the Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the Secretary of Energy on development and implementation of programs related to onshore unconventional natural gas and other petroleum resources; and to provide comments and recommendations and priorities for the Department of Energy Annual Plan per requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Title IX, Subtitle J, Section 999D. DATES: Tentative Agenda September 25, 2012 7:30 a.m.–8:00 a.m. Registration. 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Call to Order, Welcome, Introductions, Opening Remarks, Overview of the Oil and Gas Unconventional Research Portfolio (Unconventional Resources, Small Producers, and NETL Complementary Research). 1:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Overview of Draft 2013 Annual Plan. 4:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Public Comments, if any. 5:00 p.m. Adjourn. Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The Designated Federal Officer and the Chairman of the Committee will lead the meeting for the orderly conduct of business. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, you should contact Elena E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 170 (Friday, August 31, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53189-53191]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21465]



[[Page 53189]]

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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy


Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Legislative Environmental 
Impact Statement for the Proposed Renewal of the Chocolate Mountain 
Aerial Gunnery Range Land Withdrawal, California

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.
Cooperating Agencies: Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land 
Management, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370h); the Council on 
Environmental Quality regulations for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508); Department of the Navy (DoN) 
Procedures for Implementing NEPA (32 CFR Part 775); and Marine Corps 
NEPA directives (Marine Corps Order P5090.2A), the DoN, in cooperation 
with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Reclamation, has 
prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a 
Draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) that evaluates 
the potential environmental consequences that may result from renewing 
the withdrawal of approximately 228,465 acres of public land for 
continued use as part of the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range 
(CMAGR) in Imperial and Riverside counties, California.
    With the filing of the Draft LEIS, the United States Marine Corps 
(USMC) is initiating a 90-day public comment period and has scheduled 
four public meetings to receive oral and written comments on the Draft 
LEIS. Federal, state, and local agencies; Native American tribes; and 
interested parties are encouraged to provide comments in person at any 
of the public meetings, or in writing anytime during the public comment 
period. This notice announces the dates and locations of the public 
meetings and provides supplementary information about the environmental 
planning effort. These public meetings also meet the requirement set 
forth in Section 806 of the California Desert Protection Act for the 
Secretary of the Navy to hold a public hearing in the State of 
California to receive public comments on the Draft LEIS.

DATES AND ADDRESSES: The Draft LEIS public review period will begin on 
August 31, 2012 and end on November 30, 2012. All comments regarding 
the Draft LEIS must be received by November 30, 2012 to ensure full 
consideration in the Final LEIS. Each of the four public meetings will 
be conducted in an open house meeting format. The public meetings will 
be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the following dates and at the 
following locations:
    1. October 22, 2012 at the Yuma County Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive, 
Rooms B-C, Yuma, AZ.
    2. October 23, 2012 at the Southwest High School, 2001 Ocotillo 
Dr., El Centro, CA.
    3. October 24, 2012 at the Mizell Senior Center, 480 South Sunrise 
Way, Palm Springs, CA.
    4. October 25, 2012 at the Oceanside Public Library, 330 North 
Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA.
    Public meeting schedules and locations will also be published in 
local newspapers. The public is invited to attend these meetings to 
view project-related displays; speak with DoN, the USMC, and Department 
of the Interior representatives; and submit public comments.
    Availability of the Draft LEIS: The Draft LEIS is available at the 
project Web site, www.chocolatemountainrenewal.com and at the following 
local libraries:
    1. County Library (Main Branch): 2951 S. 21st Drive, Yuma, AZ.
    2. Public Library: 400 Main Street, Brawley, CA.
    3. Public Library (San Ysidro Branch): 101 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San 
Diego, CA.
    4. Palo Verde Valley Library: 125 West Chanslor Way, Blythe, CA.
    5. Community Center Branch Library: 375 South 1st Street, El 
Centro, CA.
    Comments: Attendees will be able to submit written comments at the 
public meetings. A court reporter will be available to accept oral 
comments. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. 
Comments on the Draft LEIS may be submitted by: (1) Attending one of 
the public hearings and providing oral or written comments, (2) 
completing the comment form on the project's public Web site at 
www.chocolatemountainrenewal.com/Comment/Default.aspx, or (3) by 
sending a letter to the CMAGR LEIS Project Manager (Attn: Ms. Kelly 
Finn), NAVFAC Southwest, 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1 Central IPT, 
San Diego, CA 92132-5190. All comments must be postmarked or 
electronically dated no later than November 30, 2012 to ensure they 
become part of the public record. All statements (oral transcription 
and written) submitted during the public review period will become part 
of the public record on the Draft LEIS and will be addressed in the 
Final LEIS. Before including your address, telephone number, email 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, 
please be aware that your entire comment--including any personal 
identifying information--may be made publicly available at any time. 
Although requests can be made to withhold personal identifying 
information from public review, it may not be possible to keep this 
information from disclosure.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: CMAGR LEIS Project Manager (Attn: Ms. 
Kelly Finn), NAVFAC Southwest, 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1 Central 
IPT, San Diego, CA 92132-5190; phone 619-532-4452. Additional 
supplementary information regarding the CMAGR Draft LEIS is available 
at www.chocolatemountainrenewal.com. Please submit requests for special 
assistance, sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired, or 
other auxiliary aids needed at the public meetings to the LEIS Project 
Manager at least five business days before the meeting date.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Intent to prepare the Draft LEIS 
was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010 (Vol. 75, 
No. 185, p. 58370).
    Purpose and Need: The CMAGR has served as an aerial bombing and 
gunnery training range since the 1940s, and currently provides 
approximately 458,530 acres (about 716 square miles) of land to support 
military training. Training at the CMAGR is also supported by overlying 
and adjacent special-use airspace that extends laterally for several 
thousands of square miles. The CMAGR is needed to provide live-fire 
training that is essential for developing and maintaining the readiness 
of USMC and Navy aviators. The range is also vital for training select 
USMC and Navy land combat forces; including Naval Special Warfare (NSW) 
forces. Among other activities, the CMAGR and associated airspace 
supports training in air combat maneuvering and tactics; close air 
support (where air-to-ground ordnance is delivered directly in support 
of friendly forces); airborne laser system operations; air-to-air 
gunnery; and air-to-ground bombing, rocketry, and strafing. Ground-
based artillery, demolition, small arms, and NSW training are also 
conducted within the range. The CMAGR is a centerpiece in a much larger 
training complex that incorporates adjacent and nearby special use 
airspaces and ranges to

[[Page 53190]]

support full-spectrum combat operations so that Marines can 
realistically train as they will fight.
    The purpose of renewing the CMAGR land withdrawal is to retain the 
training range. The U.S. military is fully invested in the principle 
that high quality training is essential to the success and survival of 
its forces in combat; the CMAGR is needed to provide the quality 
training that provides a realistic approximation of the conditions that 
Marines, sailors, airmen, and soldiers will face in combat as 
individuals and in small or large units. Access to ranges that offer 
flexible, diverse, and realistic training is essential to preparing 
tactical forces of the highest possible quality. Thus, the necessity of 
keeping the CMAGR fully in service can best be understood from two main 
perspectives: (1) The necessity of providing high quality training and 
(2) the superlative qualities of the CMAGR for supporting that 
training.
    Proposed Action: The Proposed Action is to renew the military land 
withdrawal and reservation of the CMAGR. The Proposed Action includes 
four elements: (1) Defining a proposed range boundary and land 
withdrawal area; (2) either a set duration for the proposed land 
withdrawal with an option for requesting a subsequent renewal, a land 
withdrawal without a termination date, or transferring the land to the 
DoN; (3) proposals for redefining DoN and BLM management 
responsibilities for the CMAGR; and (4) provisions for the disposal and 
management of land that is not included in the renewal.
    Alternatives Considered in the Draft LEIS: A range of alternatives 
for the proposed renewal and administration of the CMAGR land 
withdrawal were developed in consideration of comments received from 
the public, Native American tribes, and government agencies during the 
scoping process. Four action alternatives (Alternatives 1 through 4) 
would renew the land withdrawal and keep the CMAGR available to support 
military training. The no-action alternative (Alternative 5) would 
allow the current land withdrawal to expire in October 2014, which 
would result in the closure of the CMAGR for military training.
    The Draft LEIS evaluates realigning the CMAGR boundary in three 
locations: South of the Niland-Blythe Road on the eastern side of the 
range, along the Bradshaw Trail at the northern end of the range, and 
along the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) at the southwestern side of the 
range. The Bradshaw Trail and UPRR realignments are proposed to align 
the CMAGR boundary with these prominent geographic features, which 
would increase public awareness of the location of the range boundary 
and facilitate maintenance of prohibited entry and hazardous area 
warning signs along the CMAGR perimeter.
    Two parcels of currently withdrawn BLM land located south of the 
Niland-Blythe Road, which are not needed for military purposes, are 
proposed to be excluded from the withdrawal renewal.
    Two alternatives for realigning the CMAGR boundary along the south 
side of the Bradshaw Trail are considered in the Draft LEIS. The full 
Bradshaw Trail realignment would align the CMAGR boundary along the 
southern side of the trail for the entire 36 miles over which it 
intersects the range. The full realignment would (1) release about 647 
acres of DoN land and about 1,924 acres of currently withdrawn BLM 
land, including the Bradshaw Trail National Backcountry Byway, north of 
the realigned boundary from the CMAGR and (2) require the first-time 
withdrawal of about 530 acres of BLM land and potential acquisition of 
about 455 acres of private and 10 acres of State land to the interior 
of the new boundary. The land proposed for release is not needed for 
military purposes. The partial Bradshaw Trail realignment would align 
the CMAGR boundary along the southern side of an aggregate of about 20 
miles of segments of the Bradshaw Trail that traverse either DoN or 
currently withdrawn BLM land. This action would release about 647 acres 
of DoN land and about 1,640 acres of currently withdrawn BLM land from 
the ranges that are not needed for military purposes. The boundary 
would not be realigned from its present locations where BLM, State, or 
private land south of the Bradshaw Trail is not presently part of the 
CMAGR.
    The proposed UPRR realignment on the southwestern side of the CMAGR 
would follow the eastern side of the UPRR right-of-way, the northern 
side of the Mesquite Regional Landfill Rail Spur right-of-way, and an 
existing road. This action would include (1) the first-time withdrawal 
of about 11,903 acres of BLM land that are not currently in the CMAGR 
and (2) the potential acquisition of about 658 acres of State land.
    The boundary realignment proposals create four boundary and land 
withdrawal alternatives:
    1. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area without change 
from the existing condition (Alternative 1).
    2. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area per the 
existing conditions except incorporate the full Bradshaw Trail, UPRR, 
and south of Niland-Blythe Road realignments (Alternative 2).
    3. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area per the 
existing conditions except incorporate the full Bradshaw Trail and 
south of Niland-Blythe Road realignments (Alternative 3).
    4. Renew the CMAGR boundary and land withdrawal area per the 
existing conditions except incorporate only the partial Bradshaw Trail 
realignment (Alternative 4).
    The boundary realignment and land withdrawal area proposals of 
Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 would each release some BLM and DoN land from 
the CMAGR. Alternatives considered for the disposal and management of 
land released from range include:
    1. Released DoN land would be transferred to BLM; BLM would manage 
transferred DoN and formerly withdrawn BLM land per FLPMA (Alternative 
2).
    2. Released DoN land would be disposed of through existing General 
Services Administration (GSA) authorities and procedures; DoN would 
manage released land per the Sikes Act until disposal is complete and 
BLM would manage formerly withdrawn BLM land per FLPMA (Alternatives 3 
and 4).
    Three options are proposed for the duration of the renewed CMAGR 
land withdrawal: 20 years (Alternative 1, existing condition); 25 years 
(Alternatives 2 and 4); or indefinite (Alternative 3).
    Three options are proposed for administering federal land 
management responsibilities for the DoN and BLM lands within the 
current CMAGR boundary and for BLM land that may be included in the 
range for the first time as a part of a proposed boundary realignment. 
The options include:
    1. Retain the existing DoN and BLM management assignments within 
the renewed CMAGR, which provide that the DoN is responsible for 
managing DoN land in accordance with the Sikes Act and the BLM is 
responsible for managing BLM land in accordance with the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (Alternative 1, existing condition).
    2. Transfer management responsibility for BLM land within the 
renewed CMAGR to the DoN for the duration of the land withdrawal, which 
would make the DoN responsible for managing both the DoN and withdrawn 
BLM lands within the range in accordance with the Sikes Act 
(Alternatives 2 and 4).

[[Page 53191]]

    3. Transfer jurisdiction for the BLM land within the renewed CMAGR 
to the DoN, which would make the DoN responsible for managing all land 
within the range in accordance with the Sikes Act until such time that 
the need for the range may end and it is deactivated and closed 
(Alternative 3).
    The no-action alternative (Alternative 5) would result in the 
closure of the CMAGR for military training. Selection of this 
alternative would trigger planning and actions to compensate for the 
displacement of training from the range and planning and actions for 
the decommissioning, decontamination and cleanup, and potential reuse 
of at least portions of the range. The BLM would resume full 
administrative responsibility for about 226,825 acres of currently 
withdrawn BLM land, with the possible exception of parcels that the 
Secretary of the Interior may not be able to accept because of 
potential expended ordnance contamination. The Secretary of the Navy 
would be responsible for custodial management of parcels with 
unacceptable levels of expended ordnance contamination. The Secretary 
of the Navy would also retain administrative responsibility for about 
229,256 acres of DoN land from the closed CMAGR until such time as a 
portion or all of that land could be transferred to another federal 
agency, the State of California, or otherwise disposed of through 
existing GSA authorities and procedures. The State of California holds 
reversionary rights for about 11,311 acres of DoN land in the CMAGR 
that were acquired in fee from the State. California also holds some or 
all mineral rights on an additional 10,981 acres of the DoD land.

    Dated: August 24, 2012.
C.K. Chiappetta,
Lieutenant Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, 
Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-21465 Filed 8-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P