Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way Grant in Oregon and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments, 58570-58575 [2012-23206]

Download as PDF 58570 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 184 / Friday, September 21, 2012 / Notices Notice of availability; request for comment/information. ACTION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from Michael Richardson (applicant), for renewal of an incidental take permit (ITP; #TE151087–0) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We request public comment on the permit application and accompanying proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), as well as on our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as low-effect under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which are also available for review. DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by October 22, 2012. ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the application and HCP, you may request documents by email, U.S. mail, or phone (see below). These documents are also available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the office below. Send your comments or requests by any one of the following methods. Email: northflorida@fws.gov. Use ‘‘Attn: Permit number TE151087–1’’ as your message subject line. Fax: David L. Hankla, Field Supervisor, (904) 731–3045, Attn.: Permit number TE151087–1. U.S. mail: David L. Hankla, Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE151087–1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256. In-person drop-off: You may drop off information during regular business hours at the above office address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin M. Gawera, telephone: 904–731–3121; email: erin_gawera@fws.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Background Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and our implementing Federal regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17 prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act as ‘‘to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under limited circumstances, we issue permits to authorize incidental take—i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Sep 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The Act’s take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plants on private lands unless such take would violate State law. In addition to meeting other criteria, an incidental take permit’s proposed actions must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plants. Applicant’s Proposal The applicant has been approved for take of approximately 2.2 acres (ac) of Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)—occupied habitat incidental to construction of an industrial facility, and seeks a 10-year extension on an existing permit. The 3.21-ac project is located on a 3.21-ac property (parcel numbers 25–36–23–50– 00000.0–0004.00 and 25–36–23–50– 00000.0–0005.00), within Section 23, Township 25 South, Range 36 East, Rockledge, Brevard County, Florida. The applicant’s HCP describes the mitigation and minimization measures the applicant proposes to address the effects of the project to the Florida scrub-jay. Our Preliminary Determination We have determined that the applicant’s proposal, including the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or negligible effects on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, we determined that the ITP is a low-effect project and qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1). The notice for this permit was published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2007 (72 FR 26407), and the ITP was issued on June 25, 2007. A loweffect HCP is one involving (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources. Next Steps We will evaluate the HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the ITP extension application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the application meets these requirements, we will issue the extension of the ITP. In June 2007 we determined issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intraService section 7 consultation. We will PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITP extension. If the requirements are met, we will issue the permit extension to the applicant. Public Comments If you wish to comment on the permit application, HCP, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods in ADDRESSES. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, 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. Authority We provide this notice under Section 10 of the Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: September 14, 2012. David L. Hankla, Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office, Southeast Region. [FR Doc. 2012–23296 Filed 9–20–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service [LLOR9300000.5100000.ER0000.LVRWH09 H03200.HAG12–0267] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way Grant in Oregon and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments Bureau of Land Management, Interior; Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended; and the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Coos Bay, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21SEN1.SGM 21SEN1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 184 / Friday, September 21, 2012 / Notices Roseburg, and Medford Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District in Oregon and the Forest Service Umpqua, Rogue River, and Winema National Forests, Oregon, propose to amend their land management plans to make provision for the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (Project) if the Project is authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission). The BLM also proposes to respond to Pacific Connector LP’s application for a right-of-way grant for the Project to occupy Federal lands. The FERC is the lead agency for preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (FERC Docket PF12–17), which includes the analysis for possible land use plan amendments. DATES: This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the BLM and the Forest Service will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies concerning amendment of BLM and Forest Service land management plans and possible issuance of the rightof-way grant by the BLM. Your input will help the BLM, the Forest Service, and Commission staffs determine what issues to evaluate in the EIS that FERC is preparing for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Please note that your comments must be received by October 29, 2012, to receive full consideration in the preparation of the EIS. You may submit comments either in written form or orally or both. You may submit your comments orally or in writing at public scoping meetings announced in the FERC’s Notice of Intent published on August 13, 2012 (77 FR 48138), or at three additional public scoping meetings scheduled by the FERC as lead agency, in cooperation with the BLM and the Forest Service at the following times and locations: October 9, 2012, 6:30 p.m., Mill CasinoHotel, 3201 Tremont Ave., North Bend, OR 97459. October 10, 2012, 6:30 p.m., Seven Feathers Casino Resort, 146 Chief Miwaleta Lane, Canyonville, OR 97417. October 11, 2012, 6:30 p.m., Malin Community Park Hall, 2307 Front St., Malin, OR 97632. ADDRESSES: The FERC is the lead agency for preparation of the EIS for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline so written comments on actions by the BLM or the Forest Service must be submitted through the FERC’s comment process and within the timelines described in this notice so that they may be considered in preparation of the EIS. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Sep 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 There are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the FERC. In all instances, please reference the docket number for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PF12–17–000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. • Web site: www.ferc.gov. Use the eComment feature under the Documents & Filings link for brief, text-only comments on actions proposed by the BLM and the Forest Service. Use the eFiling feature under the Documents and Filings link for providing comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must create an account by clicking on ‘‘eRegister.’’ You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select, ‘‘Comment on a Filing.’’ • Mail: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington DC 20426. Any comments submitted directly to the BLM and the Forest Service will be forwarded to the FERC for inclusion in the public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that the entire text of your comments—including your personal identifying information— would be publicly available through the FERC elibrary system. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Holly Orr, BLM National Project Manager, 28910 Hwy 20 West, Hines, OR 97738; telephone: 541–573–4501; fax: 541–573–4411; email: horr@blm.gov. Wes Yamamoto, Forest Service Project Manager, Umpqua National Forest, Tiller Ranger Station, 27812 Tiller Trail Highway, Tiller, OR 97484; telephone: 541–825–3100; fax: 541–825–3110; email: wyamamoto@fs.fed.us. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 313 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act requires the Forest Service and the BLM to cooperate with the Commission when considering aspects of an application for PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 58571 Federal authorization of natural gas pipelines. Section 372 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act directed the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Defense to coordinate all applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews relating to a proposed or existing utility facility, including an agreement to prepare a single environmental review document to be used as the basis for all Federal authorization decisions. On Monday, August 13, 2012, the FERC published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the planned Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline projects in the Federal Register (77 FR 48138). The BLM and the Forest Service are cooperating agencies for preparation of this EIS. The EIS prepared by the FERC will address impacts of the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline that occur on lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service, including those associated with proposed land management plan amendments and possible issuance of the right-of-way grant. The BLM and the Forest Service will consider the FERC EIS in their evaluation of proposed land management plan amendments. The BLM will also consider adoption of the FERC EIS in its evaluation of, and response to, the application for a rightof-way grant by Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP. The BLM and the Forest Service have identified possible land management plan amendments that may be necessary to make provision for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. The BLM and the Forest Service have jurisdiction by law for amendment of their land management plans. Unless otherwise noted in the description of the Proposed Action, these amendments would only apply to the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, and they would be implemented only if FERC authorizes the construction of the Project. The BLM has jurisdiction by law for response to the application by the proponents of the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline for a right-of-way grant to occupy Federal lands if the Commission authorizes the Project. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act and National Forest Management Act require that actions on these Federal lands be consistent with the land management plans for the administrative units where the action would occur. In order for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to proceed, the BLM must issue a right-of-way grant for occupancy of Federal lands by the E:\FR\FM\21SEN1.SGM 21SEN1 58572 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 184 / Friday, September 21, 2012 / Notices Project. The Forest Service must concur with issuance of the right-of-way grant for areas where the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline crosses National Forest System lands. Proposed amendments of BLM and Forest Service land management plans would be implemented only if the Commission authorizes the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Additional information about the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is available from the Commission’s Office of External Affairs, at 866–208–FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). On the FERC Web page, go to Documents & Filings and click on the eLibrary link. Then click on General Search, and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF12–17). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 866–208–3676, or for TTY, contact 202–502–8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/ esubscribenow.htm. Finally, public meetings or site visits hosted by the Commission will be posted on the Commission’s calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/ EventsList.aspx along with other related information. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Purpose and Need for Action by the BLM and the Forest Service The purpose of and need for the proposed action by the BLM is to respond to a right-of way grant application originally submitted by Pacific Connector on April 17, 2006, to construct, operate, maintain, and eventually decommission a natural gas pipeline that crosses lands and facilities administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Forest Service. In addition, there is a need for the BLM and the Forest Service to consider amending affected district and forest land management plans to make provision for the Pacific Connector right-of-way. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Sep 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 Proposed Actions of the BLM and the Forest Service The proposed action of the BLM and the Forest Service has two components. First, the BLM would amend its Resource Management Plans (RMP) for the Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Medford Districts, and Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District, while the Forest Service would amend its Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP) for the Umpqua, Rogue River, and Winema National Forests to make provisions for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Second, in accordance with 43 CFR 2884.26, the BLM would issue a right-of-way grant in response to Pacific Connector’s application for the Project to occupy Federal lands, with the written concurrence of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. Each agency may submit specific stipulations, including mitigations, for inclusion in the right-of-way grant related to lands, facilities, and easements within their respective jurisdictions. Amendment of Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service Land Management Plans BLM/FS–1, Site-Specific Waiver of Management Recommendations for Survey and Manage Species on the BLM Coos Bay District, Roseburg District, Medford District, and Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District RMPs, and the Umpqua National Forest, Rogue River National Forest, and Winema National Forest LRMPs: Applicable BLM district RMPs and Forest Service national forest LRMPs would be amended to exempt certain known sites within the area of the proposed Pacific Connector right-of-way grant from the Management Recommendations required by the 2001 ‘‘Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines for Amendments to the Survey and Manage, Protection Buffer, and other Mitigation Measures Standards and Guidelines,’’ as modified in July 2011. For known sites within the proposed right-of-way that cannot be avoided, the amendment would specify that the 2001 Management Recommendations for protection of known sites of Survey and Manage species would not apply. For known sites located outside the proposed rightof-way but with an overlapping protection buffer, only that portion of the buffer within the right-of-way would be exempt from the protection requirements of the Management Recommendations under the amendment. The Management Recommendations would remain in PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 effect for that portion of the protection buffer that is outside of the right-of-way. The proposed amendment would not exempt the BLM or the Forest Service from the requirements of the 2001 Survey and Manage Record of Decision, as modified, to maintain species persistence for affected Survey and Manage species within the range of the northern spotted owl. This is a sitespecific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. Amendments of BLM Resource Management Plans BLM–1, Site-Specific Exemption of Requirement to Protect Marbled Murrelet Habitat on the BLM Coos Bay and Roseburg Districts: The Coos Bay District and Roseburg District RMPs would be amended to waive the requirements to protect contiguous existing and recruitment habitat for marbled murrelets within the Pacific Connector right-of-way that is within 0.5 miles of occupied marbled murrelet sites, as mapped by the BLM. This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. BLM–2, Site Specific Exemption of Requirement To Retain Habitat in Known Owl Activity Centers on the BLM Roseburg District: The RMP for the Roseburg District would be amended to exempt the Pacific Connector pipeline project from the requirement to retain habitat in Known Owl Activity Centers at three locations. This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. BLM–3, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: The Roseburg District RMP would be amended to change the designation of approximately 409 acres from the Matrix land allocations to the Late Successional Reserves (LSR) land allocation in Sections 32 and 34, Township (T.) 29 c South (S.), Range (R.) 7 West (W.); and Section 1, T. 30 S., R. 7 W.,Willamette Meridian (W.M.), Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed to mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline project on LSRs in the Roseburg District. The amendment would change future management direction for the lands reallocated from matrix lands to LSR. BLM–4, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: The Coos Bay District RMP would be amended to E:\FR\FM\21SEN1.SGM 21SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 184 / Friday, September 21, 2012 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES change the designation of approximately 454 acres from the matrix land allocations to the LSR land allocation in Sections 19 and 29 of T. 28 S., R. 10 W., W. M., Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed to mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline project on LSRs in the Coos Bay District. The amendment would change future management direction for the lands reallocated from matrix lands to LSR. Amendment of the Umpqua National Forest LRMP NF–1, Site-Specific Amendment To Allow Removal of Effective Shade on Perennial Streams: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the Standards and Guidelines for Fisheries (Umpqua National Forest LRMP, page IV–33, Forest-Wide) to allow the removal of effective shading vegetation where perennial streams are crossed by the Pacific Connector right-of-way. This change would potentially affect an estimated total of 3 acres of effective shading vegetation at approximately five perennial stream crossings in the East Fork of Cow Creek subwatershed from pipeline mileposts (MP) 109 to 110 in Sections 16 and 21, T. 32 S., R. 2 W., W. M., Oregon. This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. UNF–2, Site-Specific Amendment To Allow Utility Corridors in Riparian Areas: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to change prescriptions C2–II (LRMP IV–173) and C2–IV (LRMP IV–177) to allow the Pacific Connector pipeline route to run parallel to the East Fork of Cow Creek for approximately 0.1 mile between about pipeline MPs 109.5 and 109.6 in Section 21, T. 32 S., R. 2 W., W. M., Oregon. This change would potentially affect approximately 1 acre of riparian vegetation along the East Fork of Cow Creek. This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. UNF–3, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental Soil Conditions within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in All Management Areas: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to waive limitations on the area affected by detrimental soil conditions from displacement and compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-way. Standards and Guidelines for Soils (LRMP page IV–67) requires that not more than 20 percent VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Sep 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 of the project area have detrimental compaction, displacement, or puddling after completion of a project. This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. UNF–4, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the designation of approximately 588 acres from the matrix land allocation to the LSR land allocation in Sections 7, 18, and 19, T. 32 S., R. 2 W., W. M., Oregon; and Sections 13 and 24, T. 32 S., R. 3 W., W. M., Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed to partially mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline project on LSR 223 on the Umpqua National Forest. This amendment would change future management direction for the lands reallocated from matrix to LSR. Amendment of the Rogue River National Forest LRMP RRNF–1, Amendment to Provide for Energy Transmission: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to establish a Forest Plan objective that states: ‘‘While considering other multiple use values, the Forest shall facilitate and make provision for energy transmission via the Pacific Connector consistent with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Natural Gas Act, the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act, and the National Forest Management Act.’’ RRNF–2, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives on the Big Elk Road: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the Visual Quality Objective (VQO) where the Pacific Connector pipeline route crosses the Big Elk Road at about pipeline MP 161.4 in Section 16, T. 37 S., R. 4 E., W. M., Oregon, from Foreground Retention (Management Strategy 6, LRMP page 4–72) to Foreground Partial Retention (Management Strategy 7, LRMP page 4– 86) and allow 10–15 years for amended visual quality objectives to be attained. The existing Standards and Guidelines for VQO in Foreground Retention where the Pacific Connector pipeline route crosses the Big Elk Road require that VQOs be met within 1 year of completion of the project and that management activities not be visually evident. This amendment would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of Big Elk Road and would not change future management direction for any other project. PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 58573 RRNF–3, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives on the Pacific Crest Trail: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the VQO where the Pacific Connector pipeline route crosses the Pacific Crest Trail at about pipeline MP 168 in Section 32, T. 37 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon, from Foreground Partial Retention (Management Strategy 7, LRMP page 4–86) to Modification (USDA Forest Service Agricultural Handbook 478) and to allow 15–20 years for amended VQOs to be attained. The existing Standards and Guidelines for VQOs in Foreground Partial Retention in the area where the Pacific Connector pipeline route crosses the Pacific Crest Trail require that visual mitigation measures meet the stated VQO within 3 years of the completion of the project and that management activities be visually subordinate to the landscape. This amendment would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of the Pacific Crest Trail and would not change future management direction for any other project. RRNF–4, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives Adjacent to Highway 140: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to allow 10–15 years to meet the VQO of Middleground Partial Retention between Pacific Connector pipeline MPs 156.3 to 156.8 and 157.2 to 157.5 in Sections 11 and 12, T. 37 S., R. 3 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and Guidelines for Middleground Partial Retention (Management Strategy 9, LRMP Page 4– 112) require that VQOs for a given location be achieved within 3 years of completion of the project. Approximately 0.8 miles or 9 acres of the Pacific Connector right-of-way in the Middleground Partial Retention VQO visible at distances of 0.75 to 5 miles from State Highway 140 would be affected by this amendment. This amendment would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in Sections 11 and 12, T .37 S., R. 3 E., W. M., Oregon, and would not change future management direction for any other project. RRNF–5, Site-Specific Amendment to Allow Utility Transmission Corridors in Management Strategy 26, Restricted Riparian Areas: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to allow the Pacific Connector right-of-way to cross the Restricted Riparian land allocation. This would potentially affect approximately 2.5 acres of the Restricted Riparian Management Strategy at one perennial stream crossing on the South Fork of Little Butte Creek at about pipeline MP E:\FR\FM\21SEN1.SGM 21SEN1 58574 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 184 / Friday, September 21, 2012 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 162.45 in Section 15, T. 37 S., R. 4 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and Guidelines for the Restricted Riparian land allocation prescribe locating transmission corridors outside of this land allocation (Management Strategy 26, LRMP page 4–308,). This amendment would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. RRNF–6, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental Soil Conditions Within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in All Management Areas: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to waive limitations on areas affected by detrimental soil conditions from displacement and compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-way in all affected Management Strategies. Standards and Guidelines for detrimental soil impacts in affected Management Strategies require that no more than 10 percent of an activity area should be compacted, puddled, or displaced upon completion of project (not including permanent roads or landings). No more than 20 percent of the area should be displaced or compacted under circumstances resulting from previous management practices including roads and landings. Permanent recreation facilities or other permanent facilities are exempt (RRNF LRMP 4–41, 4–83, 4–97, 4–123, 4–177, 4–307). This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction for at any other location. RRNF–7, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the designation of approximately 512 acres from the matrix land allocation to the LSR land allocation in Section 32, T. 36 S., R. 4 E., W. M., Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed to partially mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline project on LSR 227 on the Rogue River National Forest. This amendment would change future management direction for the lands reallocated from Matrix to LSR. Amendment of the Winema National Forest LRMP WNF–1, Site-Specific Amendment To Allow Utility Corridors in Management Area 3: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the Standards and Guidelines for Management Area 3 (MA–3) (LRMP page 4–103–4, Lands) to allow the 95foot-wide Pacific Connector pipeline VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Sep 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 corridor in MA–3 from the Forest Boundary in Section 32, T. 37 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon, to the Clover Creek Road corridor in Section 4, T. 38 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and Guidelines for MA–3 state that the area is currently an avoidance area for new utility corridors. This proposed new utility corridor is approximately 1.5 miles long and occupies approximately 17 acres. This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. WNF–2, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives on the Dead Indian Memorial Highway: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to allow 10–15 years to achieve the VQO of Foreground Retention where the Pacific Connector right-of-way crosses the Dead Indian Memorial Highway at approximately pipeline MP 168.8 in Section 33, T. 37 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and Guidelines for Scenic Management, Foreground Retention (LRMP 4–103, MA 3A, Foreground Retention) requires VQOs for a given location be achieved within 1 year of completion of the project. The Forest Service proposes to allow 10–15 years to meet the specified VQO at this location. This is a sitespecific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of the Dead Indian Memorial Highway and would not change future management direction for any other project. WNF–3, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives Adjacent to the Clover Creek Road: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to allow 10–15 years to meet the VQO for Scenic Management, Foreground Partial Retention, where the Pacific Connector right-of-way is adjacent to the Clover Creek Road from approximately pipeline MP 170 to 175 in Sections 2, 3, 4, 11, and 12, T. 38 S., R. 5 E., and Sections 7 and 18, T. 38 S., R. 6 E., W. M., Oregon. This change would potentially affect approximately 50 acres. Standards and Guidelines for Foreground Partial Retention (LRMP, page 4–107, MA 3B) require that VQOs be met within 3 years of completion of a project. This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of Clover Creek road and would not change future management direction for any other project. WNF–4, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental Soil Conditions within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in All Management Areas: The Winema National Forest LRMP PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 would be amended to waive restrictions on detrimental soil conditions from displacement and compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-way in all affected management areas. Standards and Guidelines for detrimental soil impacts in all affected management areas require that no more than 20 percent of the activity area be detrimentally compacted, puddled, or displaced upon completion of a project (LRMP page 4–73, 12–5). This is a sitespecific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. WNF–5, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental Soil Conditions within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in Management Area 8: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to waive restrictions on detrimental soil conditions from displacement and compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-way within the Management Area 8, Riparian Area (MA–8). This change would potentially affect approximately 0.5 mile or an estimated 9.6 acres of MA–8. Standards and Guidelines for Soil and Water, MA–8 require that not more than 10 percent of the total riparian zone in an activity area be in a detrimental soil condition upon the completion of a project (LRMP page 4– 137, 2). This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any other location. Lead Agency The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead agency for preparation of an EIS for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Responsible Officials The Secretary of the Interior has delegated authority to the BLM to potentially grant a right-of-way in response to Pacific Connector’s application for natural gas transmission on Federal lands under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. The Responsible Official for the proposed amendments of the BLM RMPs and potential issuance of the right-of-way grant is the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director. The Responsible Official for the proposed amendment of Forest Service LRMPs is the Forest Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest. In accordance with 36 CFR 219.17(b)(2), the Deciding Official for the Forest Service has elected to use the 1982 planning rule procedures to amend Forest Service LRMPs as provided in the transition procedures of the 2000 planning rule. E:\FR\FM\21SEN1.SGM 21SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 184 / Friday, September 21, 2012 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Nature of Decision To Be Made If the BLM adopts the new FERC EIS for the Pacific Connector pipeline project (in Docket No. PF12–17–000), the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director will make the following decisions and determinations: • Determine whether to amend the RMPs for the BLM Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Medford Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District as proposed or as described in an alternative to the Proposed Action; and • Respond to the Pacific Connector application with concurrence of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Forest Service by issuing a right-of-way grant, granting the right-of-way with conditions, or denying the application. If the Forest Service adopts the new FERC EIS for the Pacific Connector pipeline project (in Docket No. PF12– 17–000), the Forest Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest will make the following decisions and determinations: • Decide whether to amend the LRMPs of the Umpqua, Rogue River, and Winema National Forests as proposed or as described in an alternative; and • Determine the significance of the proposed amendments or alternatives in accordance with national forest planning regulation 36 CFR 219.10(f) (1982 procedures) using criteria in Forest Service Manual 1926.5. Scoping Process: The BLM and the Forest Service seek public input on issues and planning criteria related to issuance of the Right-of-Way Grant. The BLM and the Forest Service seek public input on issues and planning criteria related to amendment of their district and forest land management plans related to the Pacific Connector pipeline project. All comments received related to actions of the BLM and the Forest Service will be considered in the preparation of land management plan amendments and issuance of a right-ofway grant for the Project. It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency’s preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns and contentions. Your comments should focus on the potential changes in the goods and services that are provided by affected BLM districts and National Forests, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen any adverse changes in the goods and services VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Sep 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 produced. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. Currently Identified Issues Specific to Proposed BLM and Forest Service Land Management Plan Amendments The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the plan amendment process. Preliminary issues for the plan amendments have been identified by BLM and Forest Service personnel, Federal, State, and local agencies, and other stakeholders. The issues include: • Effects of proposed amendments on Survey and Manage species and their habitat; • Effects of proposed amendments on contiguous existing or recruitment habitat for marbled murrelets within 0.5 mile of occupied marbled murrelet sites; • Effects of proposed amendments on habitat in Known Owl Activity Centers, and • Effects of the proposed amendments on Late Successional Reserves. Preliminary BLM and Forest Service planning criteria include: • Evaluation of significance of proposed amendments to Forest Service LRMPs in the context of LRMP goals and objectives. Whether a plan amendment is significant is guided by several factors, including the timing and duration of the proposed change, the location and size of the project, and how the proposed change could alter multiple-use goals and objectives for long-term land and resource management. • Likelihood of persistence of affected Survey and Manage species within the range of the northern spotted owl. • Amount and quality of marbled murrelet habitat affected by construction and operation of the Pacific Connector pipeline project. • Amount and quality of habitat in Known Owl Activity Centers affected by construction and operation of the Pacific Connector pipeline project. • Functionality of LSRs. • Impacts on Connectivity and Diversity Blocks on BLM lands. Administrative Review of Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service Decisions To Amend Land Management Plans and Appeal of BLM Response to Right-of-Way Grant Application Decisions by the BLM and the Forest Service to amend land management plans are subject to administrative review. In accordance with 36 CFR 219.59, the Forest Service has elected to use the administrative review PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 58575 procedures (otherwise known as protest procedures) of the BLM. Administrative objections to Forest Service land management plan amendment decisions and protests of BLM land management plan amendment decisions may be filed under the provisions of 43 CFR 1610.5– 2. The BLM’s decision on the application for a right-of-way grant may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals in accordance with 43 CFR part 4. The submission of timely and specific comments can affect a reviewer’s ability to participate in subsequent administrative appeal or judicial review. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the respondent with standing to object to the subsequent decision. Michael S. Mottice, Acting BLM State Director, Oregon/ Washington. Alice B. Carlton, FS Forest Supervisor, Umpqua National Forest. [FR Doc. 2012–23206 Filed 9–20–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–33–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLES956000–L71300000–BK0000– LVTSM12M1660] Eastern States: Filing of Plat of Survey Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will file the plat of survey of the lands described below in the BLM-Eastern States office in Springfield, Virginia, 30 calendar days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States, 7450 Boston Boulevard, Springfield, Virginia 22153. Attn: Cadastral Survey. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21SEN1.SGM 21SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 184 (Friday, September 21, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 58570-58575]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23206]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

[LLOR9300000.5100000.ER0000.LVRWH09H03200.HAG12-0267]


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way Grant in 
Oregon and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior; Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976 (FLPMA), as amended; and the National Forest Management Act of 
1976 (NFMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Coos Bay,

[[Page 58571]]

Roseburg, and Medford Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of 
the Lakeview District in Oregon and the Forest Service Umpqua, Rogue 
River, and Winema National Forests, Oregon, propose to amend their land 
management plans to make provision for the proposed Pacific Connector 
Gas Pipeline (Project) if the Project is authorized by the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission). The BLM also 
proposes to respond to Pacific Connector LP's application for a right-
of-way grant for the Project to occupy Federal lands. The FERC is the 
lead agency for preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
for the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (FERC Docket PF12-17), 
which includes the analysis for possible land use plan amendments.

DATES: This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the BLM 
and the Forest Service will use to gather input from the public and 
interested agencies concerning amendment of BLM and Forest Service land 
management plans and possible issuance of the right-of-way grant by the 
BLM. Your input will help the BLM, the Forest Service, and Commission 
staffs determine what issues to evaluate in the EIS that FERC is 
preparing for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Please note that your 
comments must be received by October 29, 2012, to receive full 
consideration in the preparation of the EIS.
    You may submit comments either in written form or orally or both. 
You may submit your comments orally or in writing at public scoping 
meetings announced in the FERC's Notice of Intent published on August 
13, 2012 (77 FR 48138), or at three additional public scoping meetings 
scheduled by the FERC as lead agency, in cooperation with the BLM and 
the Forest Service at the following times and locations:

October 9, 2012, 6:30 p.m., Mill Casino-Hotel, 3201 Tremont Ave., North 
Bend, OR 97459.
October 10, 2012, 6:30 p.m., Seven Feathers Casino Resort, 146 Chief 
Miwaleta Lane, Canyonville, OR 97417.
October 11, 2012, 6:30 p.m., Malin Community Park Hall, 2307 Front St., 
Malin, OR 97632.

ADDRESSES: The FERC is the lead agency for preparation of the EIS for 
the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline so written comments on actions by 
the BLM or the Forest Service must be submitted through the FERC's 
comment process and within the timelines described in this notice so 
that they may be considered in preparation of the EIS.
    There are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the 
FERC. In all instances, please reference the docket number for the 
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PF12-17-000) with your submission. The 
Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert 
staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov.
     Web site: www.ferc.gov. Use the eComment feature under the 
Documents & Filings link for brief, text-only comments on actions 
proposed by the BLM and the Forest Service. Use the eFiling feature 
under the Documents and Filings link for providing comments in a 
variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. 
New eFiling users must create an account by clicking on ``eRegister.'' 
You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a 
comment on a particular project, please select, ``Comment on a 
Filing.''
     Mail: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington DC 
20426.
    Any comments submitted directly to the BLM and the Forest Service 
will be forwarded to the FERC for inclusion in the public record. 
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other 
personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware 
that the entire text of your comments--including your personal 
identifying information--would be publicly available through the FERC 
elibrary system.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Holly Orr, BLM National Project 
Manager, 28910 Hwy 20 West, Hines, OR 97738; telephone: 541-573-4501; 
fax: 541-573-4411; email: horr@blm.gov. Wes Yamamoto, Forest Service 
Project Manager, Umpqua National Forest, Tiller Ranger Station, 27812 
Tiller Trail Highway, Tiller, OR 97484; telephone: 541-825-3100; fax: 
541-825-3110; email: wyamamoto@fs.fed.us. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above 
individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours 
a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above 
individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 313 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act 
requires the Forest Service and the BLM to cooperate with the 
Commission when considering aspects of an application for Federal 
authorization of natural gas pipelines. Section 372 of the 2005 Energy 
Policy Act directed the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the 
Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Defense to coordinate all 
applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews relating to 
a proposed or existing utility facility, including an agreement to 
prepare a single environmental review document to be used as the basis 
for all Federal authorization decisions.
    On Monday, August 13, 2012, the FERC published a Notice of Intent 
to prepare an EIS for the planned Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific 
Connector Gas Pipeline projects in the Federal Register (77 FR 48138). 
The BLM and the Forest Service are cooperating agencies for preparation 
of this EIS. The EIS prepared by the FERC will address impacts of the 
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline that occur on lands administered by the 
BLM and the Forest Service, including those associated with proposed 
land management plan amendments and possible issuance of the right-of-
way grant.
    The BLM and the Forest Service will consider the FERC EIS in their 
evaluation of proposed land management plan amendments. The BLM will 
also consider adoption of the FERC EIS in its evaluation of, and 
response to, the application for a right-of-way grant by Pacific 
Connector Gas Pipeline LP.
    The BLM and the Forest Service have identified possible land 
management plan amendments that may be necessary to make provision for 
the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. The BLM and the Forest Service have 
jurisdiction by law for amendment of their land management plans. 
Unless otherwise noted in the description of the Proposed Action, these 
amendments would only apply to the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, and 
they would be implemented only if FERC authorizes the construction of 
the Project. The BLM has jurisdiction by law for response to the 
application by the proponents of the proposed Pacific Connector Gas 
Pipeline for a right-of-way grant to occupy Federal lands if the 
Commission authorizes the Project.
    The Federal Land Policy and Management Act and National Forest 
Management Act require that actions on these Federal lands be 
consistent with the land management plans for the administrative units 
where the action would occur. In order for the Pacific Connector Gas 
Pipeline to proceed, the BLM must issue a right-of-way grant for 
occupancy of Federal lands by the

[[Page 58572]]

Project. The Forest Service must concur with issuance of the right-of-
way grant for areas where the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline crosses 
National Forest System lands. Proposed amendments of BLM and Forest 
Service land management plans would be implemented only if the 
Commission authorizes the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.
    Additional information about the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is 
available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 866-208-
FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). On the FERC Web page, go 
to Documents & Filings and click on the eLibrary link. Then click on 
General Search, and enter the docket number, excluding the last three 
digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF12-17). Be sure you have 
selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC 
Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 866-208-
3676, or for TTY, contact 202-502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides 
access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such 
as orders, notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called 
eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances 
and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time 
you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to 
the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
    Finally, public meetings or site visits hosted by the Commission 
will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

Purpose and Need for Action by the BLM and the Forest Service

    The purpose of and need for the proposed action by the BLM is to 
respond to a right-of way grant application originally submitted by 
Pacific Connector on April 17, 2006, to construct, operate, maintain, 
and eventually decommission a natural gas pipeline that crosses lands 
and facilities administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation, and 
the Forest Service. In addition, there is a need for the BLM and the 
Forest Service to consider amending affected district and forest land 
management plans to make provision for the Pacific Connector right-of-
way.

Proposed Actions of the BLM and the Forest Service

    The proposed action of the BLM and the Forest Service has two 
components. First, the BLM would amend its Resource Management Plans 
(RMP) for the Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Medford Districts, and Klamath 
Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District, while the Forest Service 
would amend its Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP) for the 
Umpqua, Rogue River, and Winema National Forests to make provisions for 
the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Second, in accordance with 43 CFR 
2884.26, the BLM would issue a right-of-way grant in response to 
Pacific Connector's application for the Project to occupy Federal 
lands, with the written concurrence of the Forest Service and the 
Bureau of Reclamation. Each agency may submit specific stipulations, 
including mitigations, for inclusion in the right-of-way grant related 
to lands, facilities, and easements within their respective 
jurisdictions.

Amendment of Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service Land 
Management Plans

    BLM/FS-1, Site-Specific Waiver of Management Recommendations for 
Survey and Manage Species on the BLM Coos Bay District, Roseburg 
District, Medford District, and Klamath Falls Resource Area of the 
Lakeview District RMPs, and the Umpqua National Forest, Rogue River 
National Forest, and Winema National Forest LRMPs: Applicable BLM 
district RMPs and Forest Service national forest LRMPs would be amended 
to exempt certain known sites within the area of the proposed Pacific 
Connector right-of-way grant from the Management Recommendations 
required by the 2001 ``Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines 
for Amendments to the Survey and Manage, Protection Buffer, and other 
Mitigation Measures Standards and Guidelines,'' as modified in July 
2011. For known sites within the proposed right-of-way that cannot be 
avoided, the amendment would specify that the 2001 Management 
Recommendations for protection of known sites of Survey and Manage 
species would not apply. For known sites located outside the proposed 
right-of-way but with an overlapping protection buffer, only that 
portion of the buffer within the right-of-way would be exempt from the 
protection requirements of the Management Recommendations under the 
amendment. The Management Recommendations would remain in effect for 
that portion of the protection buffer that is outside of the right-of-
way. The proposed amendment would not exempt the BLM or the Forest 
Service from the requirements of the 2001 Survey and Manage Record of 
Decision, as modified, to maintain species persistence for affected 
Survey and Manage species within the range of the northern spotted owl. 
This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific 
Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction 
at any other location.

Amendments of BLM Resource Management Plans

    BLM-1, Site-Specific Exemption of Requirement to Protect Marbled 
Murrelet Habitat on the BLM Coos Bay and Roseburg Districts: The Coos 
Bay District and Roseburg District RMPs would be amended to waive the 
requirements to protect contiguous existing and recruitment habitat for 
marbled murrelets within the Pacific Connector right-of-way that is 
within 0.5 miles of occupied marbled murrelet sites, as mapped by the 
BLM. This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific 
Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction 
at any other location.
    BLM-2, Site Specific Exemption of Requirement To Retain Habitat in 
Known Owl Activity Centers on the BLM Roseburg District: The RMP for 
the Roseburg District would be amended to exempt the Pacific Connector 
pipeline project from the requirement to retain habitat in Known Owl 
Activity Centers at three locations. This is a site-specific amendment 
applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not 
change future management direction at any other location.
    BLM-3, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: 
The Roseburg District RMP would be amended to change the designation of 
approximately 409 acres from the Matrix land allocations to the Late 
Successional Reserves (LSR) land allocation in Sections 32 and 34, 
Township (T.) 29 [frac12] South (S.), Range (R.) 7 West (W.); and 
Section 1, T. 30 S., R. 7 W.,Willamette Meridian (W.M.), Oregon. This 
change in land allocation is proposed to mitigate the potential adverse 
impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline project on LSRs in the 
Roseburg District. The amendment would change future management 
direction for the lands reallocated from matrix lands to LSR.
    BLM-4, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: 
The Coos Bay District RMP would be amended to

[[Page 58573]]

change the designation of approximately 454 acres from the matrix land 
allocations to the LSR land allocation in Sections 19 and 29 of T. 28 
S., R. 10 W., W. M., Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed 
to mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector 
pipeline project on LSRs in the Coos Bay District. The amendment would 
change future management direction for the lands reallocated from 
matrix lands to LSR.

Amendment of the Umpqua National Forest LRMP

    NF-1, Site-Specific Amendment To Allow Removal of Effective Shade 
on Perennial Streams: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended 
to change the Standards and Guidelines for Fisheries (Umpqua National 
Forest LRMP, page IV-33, Forest-Wide) to allow the removal of effective 
shading vegetation where perennial streams are crossed by the Pacific 
Connector right-of-way. This change would potentially affect an 
estimated total of 3 acres of effective shading vegetation at 
approximately five perennial stream crossings in the East Fork of Cow 
Creek subwatershed from pipeline mileposts (MP) 109 to 110 in Sections 
16 and 21, T. 32 S., R. 2 W., W. M., Oregon. This is a site-specific 
amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way 
and would not change future management direction at any other location.
    UNF-2, Site-Specific Amendment To Allow Utility Corridors in 
Riparian Areas: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to 
change prescriptions C2-II (LRMP IV-173) and C2-IV (LRMP IV-177) to 
allow the Pacific Connector pipeline route to run parallel to the East 
Fork of Cow Creek for approximately 0.1 mile between about pipeline MPs 
109.5 and 109.6 in Section 21, T. 32 S., R. 2 W., W. M., Oregon. This 
change would potentially affect approximately 1 acre of riparian 
vegetation along the East Fork of Cow Creek. This is a site-specific 
amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way 
and would not change future management direction at any other location.
    UNF-3, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental 
Soil Conditions within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in All 
Management Areas: The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to 
waive limitations on the area affected by detrimental soil conditions 
from displacement and compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-
way. Standards and Guidelines for Soils (LRMP page IV-67) requires that 
not more than 20 percent of the project area have detrimental 
compaction, displacement, or puddling after completion of a project. 
This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific 
Connector right-of-way and would not change future management direction 
at any other location.
    UNF-4, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: 
The Umpqua National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the 
designation of approximately 588 acres from the matrix land allocation 
to the LSR land allocation in Sections 7, 18, and 19, T. 32 S., R. 2 
W., W. M., Oregon; and Sections 13 and 24, T. 32 S., R. 3 W., W. M., 
Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed to partially 
mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline 
project on LSR 223 on the Umpqua National Forest. This amendment would 
change future management direction for the lands reallocated from 
matrix to LSR.

Amendment of the Rogue River National Forest LRMP

    RRNF-1, Amendment to Provide for Energy Transmission: The Rogue 
River National Forest LRMP would be amended to establish a Forest Plan 
objective that states: ``While considering other multiple use values, 
the Forest shall facilitate and make provision for energy transmission 
via the Pacific Connector consistent with the Energy Policy Act of 
2005, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Natural Gas Act, the Multiple Use 
Sustained Yield Act, and the National Forest Management Act.''
    RRNF-2, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives on the 
Big Elk Road: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to 
change the Visual Quality Objective (VQO) where the Pacific Connector 
pipeline route crosses the Big Elk Road at about pipeline MP 161.4 in 
Section 16, T. 37 S., R. 4 E., W. M., Oregon, from Foreground Retention 
(Management Strategy 6, LRMP page 4-72) to Foreground Partial Retention 
(Management Strategy 7, LRMP page 4-86) and allow 10-15 years for 
amended visual quality objectives to be attained. The existing 
Standards and Guidelines for VQO in Foreground Retention where the 
Pacific Connector pipeline route crosses the Big Elk Road require that 
VQOs be met within 1 year of completion of the project and that 
management activities not be visually evident. This amendment would 
apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of 
Big Elk Road and would not change future management direction for any 
other project.
    RRNF-3, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives on the 
Pacific Crest Trail: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be 
amended to change the VQO where the Pacific Connector pipeline route 
crosses the Pacific Crest Trail at about pipeline MP 168 in Section 32, 
T. 37 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon, from Foreground Partial Retention 
(Management Strategy 7, LRMP page 4-86) to Modification (USDA Forest 
Service Agricultural Handbook 478) and to allow 15-20 years for amended 
VQOs to be attained. The existing Standards and Guidelines for VQOs in 
Foreground Partial Retention in the area where the Pacific Connector 
pipeline route crosses the Pacific Crest Trail require that visual 
mitigation measures meet the stated VQO within 3 years of the 
completion of the project and that management activities be visually 
subordinate to the landscape. This amendment would apply only to the 
Pacific Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of the Pacific Crest 
Trail and would not change future management direction for any other 
project.
    RRNF-4, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives 
Adjacent to Highway 140: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be 
amended to allow 10-15 years to meet the VQO of Middleground Partial 
Retention between Pacific Connector pipeline MPs 156.3 to 156.8 and 
157.2 to 157.5 in Sections 11 and 12, T. 37 S., R. 3 E., W. M., Oregon. 
Standards and Guidelines for Middleground Partial Retention (Management 
Strategy 9, LRMP Page 4-112) require that VQOs for a given location be 
achieved within 3 years of completion of the project. Approximately 0.8 
miles or 9 acres of the Pacific Connector right-of-way in the 
Middleground Partial Retention VQO visible at distances of 0.75 to 5 
miles from State Highway 140 would be affected by this amendment. This 
amendment would apply only to the Pacific Connector pipeline project in 
Sections 11 and 12, T .37 S., R. 3 E., W. M., Oregon, and would not 
change future management direction for any other project.
    RRNF-5, Site-Specific Amendment to Allow Utility Transmission 
Corridors in Management Strategy 26, Restricted Riparian Areas: The 
Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to allow the Pacific 
Connector right-of-way to cross the Restricted Riparian land 
allocation. This would potentially affect approximately 2.5 acres of 
the Restricted Riparian Management Strategy at one perennial stream 
crossing on the South Fork of Little Butte Creek at about pipeline MP

[[Page 58574]]

162.45 in Section 15, T. 37 S., R. 4 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and 
Guidelines for the Restricted Riparian land allocation prescribe 
locating transmission corridors outside of this land allocation 
(Management Strategy 26, LRMP page 4-308,). This amendment would apply 
only to the Pacific Connector pipeline right-of-way and would not 
change future management direction at any other location.
    RRNF-6, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental 
Soil Conditions Within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in All 
Management Areas: The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended 
to waive limitations on areas affected by detrimental soil conditions 
from displacement and compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-
way in all affected Management Strategies. Standards and Guidelines for 
detrimental soil impacts in affected Management Strategies require that 
no more than 10 percent of an activity area should be compacted, 
puddled, or displaced upon completion of project (not including 
permanent roads or landings). No more than 20 percent of the area 
should be displaced or compacted under circumstances resulting from 
previous management practices including roads and landings. Permanent 
recreation facilities or other permanent facilities are exempt (RRNF 
LRMP 4-41, 4-83, 4-97, 4-123, 4-177, 4-307). This is a site-specific 
amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-way and 
would not change future management direction for at any other location.
    RRNF-7, Reallocation of Matrix Lands to Late Successional Reserves: 
The Rogue River National Forest LRMP would be amended to change the 
designation of approximately 512 acres from the matrix land allocation 
to the LSR land allocation in Section 32, T. 36 S., R. 4 E., W. M., 
Oregon. This change in land allocation is proposed to partially 
mitigate the potential adverse impact of the Pacific Connector pipeline 
project on LSR 227 on the Rogue River National Forest. This amendment 
would change future management direction for the lands reallocated from 
Matrix to LSR.

Amendment of the Winema National Forest LRMP

    WNF-1, Site-Specific Amendment To Allow Utility Corridors in 
Management Area 3: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to 
change the Standards and Guidelines for Management Area 3 (MA-3) (LRMP 
page 4-103-4, Lands) to allow the 95-foot-wide Pacific Connector 
pipeline corridor in MA-3 from the Forest Boundary in Section 32, T. 37 
S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon, to the Clover Creek Road corridor in 
Section 4, T. 38 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and Guidelines 
for MA-3 state that the area is currently an avoidance area for new 
utility corridors. This proposed new utility corridor is approximately 
1.5 miles long and occupies approximately 17 acres. This is a site-
specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector 
right-of-way and would not change future management direction at any 
other location.
    WNF-2, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives on the 
Dead Indian Memorial Highway: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be 
amended to allow 10-15 years to achieve the VQO of Foreground Retention 
where the Pacific Connector right-of-way crosses the Dead Indian 
Memorial Highway at approximately pipeline MP 168.8 in Section 33, T. 
37 S., R. 5 E., W. M., Oregon. Standards and Guidelines for Scenic 
Management, Foreground Retention (LRMP 4-103, MA 3A, Foreground 
Retention) requires VQOs for a given location be achieved within 1 year 
of completion of the project. The Forest Service proposes to allow 10-
15 years to meet the specified VQO at this location. This is a site-
specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific Connector 
pipeline project in the vicinity of the Dead Indian Memorial Highway 
and would not change future management direction for any other project.
    WNF-3, Site-Specific Amendment of Visual Quality Objectives 
Adjacent to the Clover Creek Road: The Winema National Forest LRMP 
would be amended to allow 10-15 years to meet the VQO for Scenic 
Management, Foreground Partial Retention, where the Pacific Connector 
right-of-way is adjacent to the Clover Creek Road from approximately 
pipeline MP 170 to 175 in Sections 2, 3, 4, 11, and 12, T. 38 S., R. 5 
E., and Sections 7 and 18, T. 38 S., R. 6 E., W. M., Oregon. This 
change would potentially affect approximately 50 acres. Standards and 
Guidelines for Foreground Partial Retention (LRMP, page 4-107, MA 3B) 
require that VQOs be met within 3 years of completion of a project. 
This is a site-specific amendment that would apply only to the Pacific 
Connector pipeline project in the vicinity of Clover Creek road and 
would not change future management direction for any other project.
    WNF-4, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental 
Soil Conditions within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in All 
Management Areas: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to 
waive restrictions on detrimental soil conditions from displacement and 
compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-way in all affected 
management areas. Standards and Guidelines for detrimental soil impacts 
in all affected management areas require that no more than 20 percent 
of the activity area be detrimentally compacted, puddled, or displaced 
upon completion of a project (LRMP page 4-73, 12-5). This is a site-
specific amendment applicable only to the Pacific Connector right-of-
way and would not change future management direction at any other 
location.
    WNF-5, Site-Specific Amendment To Waive Limitations on Detrimental 
Soil Conditions within the Pacific Connector Right-of-Way in Management 
Area 8: The Winema National Forest LRMP would be amended to waive 
restrictions on detrimental soil conditions from displacement and 
compaction within the Pacific Connector right-of-way within the 
Management Area 8, Riparian Area (MA-8). This change would potentially 
affect approximately 0.5 mile or an estimated 9.6 acres of MA-8. 
Standards and Guidelines for Soil and Water, MA-8 require that not more 
than 10 percent of the total riparian zone in an activity area be in a 
detrimental soil condition upon the completion of a project (LRMP page 
4-137, 2). This is a site-specific amendment applicable only to the 
Pacific Connector right-of-way and would not change future management 
direction at any other location.

Lead Agency

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead agency for 
preparation of an EIS for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.

Responsible Officials

    The Secretary of the Interior has delegated authority to the BLM to 
potentially grant a right-of-way in response to Pacific Connector's 
application for natural gas transmission on Federal lands under the 
Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. The Responsible Official for the proposed 
amendments of the BLM RMPs and potential issuance of the right-of-way 
grant is the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director. The Responsible 
Official for the proposed amendment of Forest Service LRMPs is the 
Forest Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest. In accordance with 36 
CFR 219.17(b)(2), the Deciding Official for the Forest Service has 
elected to use the 1982 planning rule procedures to amend Forest 
Service LRMPs as provided in the transition procedures of the 2000 
planning rule.

[[Page 58575]]

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    If the BLM adopts the new FERC EIS for the Pacific Connector 
pipeline project (in Docket No. PF12-17-000), the BLM Oregon/Washington 
State Director will make the following decisions and determinations:
     Determine whether to amend the RMPs for the BLM Coos Bay, 
Roseburg, and Medford Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of 
the Lakeview District as proposed or as described in an alternative to 
the Proposed Action; and
     Respond to the Pacific Connector application with 
concurrence of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Forest Service by 
issuing a right-of-way grant, granting the right-of-way with 
conditions, or denying the application.
    If the Forest Service adopts the new FERC EIS for the Pacific 
Connector pipeline project (in Docket No. PF12-17-000), the Forest 
Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest will make the following 
decisions and determinations:
     Decide whether to amend the LRMPs of the Umpqua, Rogue 
River, and Winema National Forests as proposed or as described in an 
alternative; and
     Determine the significance of the proposed amendments or 
alternatives in accordance with national forest planning regulation 36 
CFR 219.10(f) (1982 procedures) using criteria in Forest Service Manual 
1926.5.
    Scoping Process: The BLM and the Forest Service seek public input 
on issues and planning criteria related to issuance of the Right-of-Way 
Grant. The BLM and the Forest Service seek public input on issues and 
planning criteria related to amendment of their district and forest 
land management plans related to the Pacific Connector pipeline 
project. All comments received related to actions of the BLM and the 
Forest Service will be considered in the preparation of land management 
plan amendments and issuance of a right-of-way grant for the Project.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of 
the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be 
provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly 
articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. Your comments 
should focus on the potential changes in the goods and services that 
are provided by affected BLM districts and National Forests, reasonable 
alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen any adverse changes in 
the goods and services produced. The more specific your comments, the 
more useful they will be.

Currently Identified Issues Specific to Proposed BLM and Forest Service 
Land Management Plan Amendments

    The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant 
issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, 
including alternatives, and guide the plan amendment process. 
Preliminary issues for the plan amendments have been identified by BLM 
and Forest Service personnel, Federal, State, and local agencies, and 
other stakeholders. The issues include:
     Effects of proposed amendments on Survey and Manage 
species and their habitat;
     Effects of proposed amendments on contiguous existing or 
recruitment habitat for marbled murrelets within 0.5 mile of occupied 
marbled murrelet sites;
     Effects of proposed amendments on habitat in Known Owl 
Activity Centers, and
     Effects of the proposed amendments on Late Successional 
Reserves.
    Preliminary BLM and Forest Service planning criteria include:
     Evaluation of significance of proposed amendments to 
Forest Service LRMPs in the context of LRMP goals and objectives. 
Whether a plan amendment is significant is guided by several factors, 
including the timing and duration of the proposed change, the location 
and size of the project, and how the proposed change could alter 
multiple-use goals and objectives for long-term land and resource 
management.
     Likelihood of persistence of affected Survey and Manage 
species within the range of the northern spotted owl.
     Amount and quality of marbled murrelet habitat affected by 
construction and operation of the Pacific Connector pipeline project.
     Amount and quality of habitat in Known Owl Activity 
Centers affected by construction and operation of the Pacific Connector 
pipeline project.
     Functionality of LSRs.
     Impacts on Connectivity and Diversity Blocks on BLM lands.

Administrative Review of Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service 
Decisions To Amend Land Management Plans and Appeal of BLM Response to 
Right-of-Way Grant Application

    Decisions by the BLM and the Forest Service to amend land 
management plans are subject to administrative review. In accordance 
with 36 CFR 219.59, the Forest Service has elected to use the 
administrative review procedures (otherwise known as protest 
procedures) of the BLM. Administrative objections to Forest Service 
land management plan amendment decisions and protests of BLM land 
management plan amendment decisions may be filed under the provisions 
of 43 CFR 1610.5-2. The BLM's decision on the application for a right-
of-way grant may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals in 
accordance with 43 CFR part 4.
    The submission of timely and specific comments can affect a 
reviewer's ability to participate in subsequent administrative appeal 
or judicial review. Comments received in response to this solicitation, 
including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the 
public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously 
will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not 
provide the respondent with standing to object to the subsequent 
decision.

Michael S. Mottice,
Acting BLM State Director, Oregon/Washington.

Alice B. Carlton,
FS Forest Supervisor, Umpqua National Forest.
[FR Doc. 2012-23206 Filed 9-20-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-33-P