Notice of Availability of the North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, 59713-59714 [2013-23485]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 188 / Friday, September 27, 2013 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES riparian areas and upland habitats, including sagebrush habitat. • Sagebrush—treatments in sagebrush habitats would focus on restoring the sagebrush community by removing encroaching pinyon-juniper, promoting the reestablishment of native forbs and grasses in sagebrush communities, and promoting the development of sagebrush in areas where it occurred historically. The proposed 3 Bars Project has been identified by the BLM as a major Federal action and is appropriately analyzed by an EIS. The 3 Bars Project Draft EIS identifies and evaluates treatment alternatives to implement the proposed project to meet resource management goals. In addition to the All Available Methods Alternative, three other alternatives are analyzed in the Draft EIS. The No Fire Use Alternative would target the same treatment areas, but the methods of treatment would not include prescribed fire or wildland fire for resource benefit. The Minimal Land Disturbance Alternative also targets the same areas for treatment, but further limits the methods of treatment to exclude fire use, mechanical treatments, and nonclassical biological controls. The BLM anticipates that more acres would be treated under the preferred alternative due to the lower cost of some of the treatment methods that would not be available under the other alternatives. A No Action alternative has also been included for comparison purposes with existing management conditions. Three additional alternatives were considered but eliminated from detailed analysis. The BLM has prepared the Draft EIS in conjunction with its three cooperating agencies: The Nevada Department of Wildlife, Eureka County Board of Commissioners, and the National Park Service—National Trails Intermountain Region. On January 25, 2010, the BLM published a Notice of Intent (75 FR 3916) to initiate scoping for the preparation of the EIS. The scoping period ended March 10, 2010. Public scoping meetings were held in Battle Mountain, Nevada, on February 22 and Eureka, Nevada on February 23, 2010. The BLM received 24 scoping comment letters on the proposed 3 Bars Project. In addition, comments were recorded during informal discussions with the public at the public scoping meetings. Based on written and oral comments given during the scoping period, 637 catalogued individual comments were recorded during scoping for the 3 Bars Project EIS. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:21 Sep 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 Vegetation treatment planning and management and vegetation treatment methods were the primary topics of concern to the public. Respondents were also concerned with the impacts that treatment actions would have on the spread of invasive species, the viability of wild horses and livestock, preservation of old growth woodlands, and protection of habitat for wildlife and special status species. All relevant issues identified through public scoping have been analyzed in this EIS to the extent practicable. The Draft EIS describes and analyzes the proposed project’s site-specific impacts (including cumulative) on all affected resources. Three action alternatives (including the preferred alternative) were analyzed in addition to the No-Action Alternative and three alternatives were considered but eliminated from further analysis. Please note that public comments and information submitted including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10. Christopher J. Cook, Field Manager, Mount Lewis Field Office. [FR Doc. 2013–23484 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMT923000 L16100000.DP0000] Notice of Availability of the North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59713 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the North Dakota Field Office and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS within 90 days after the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the North Dakota GRSG Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS by any of the following methods: • Web site: http://www.blm.gov/mt/ st/en/fo/north_dakota_field.html. • Email: blm_mt_nd_sage_grouse@ blm.gov. • Fax: 406–896–5293. • Mail: BLM—North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse EIS, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings MT 59101. Copies of the North Dakota GRSG Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS are available at the North Dakota Field Office at: 99 23rd Ave. W., Dickinson, ND, or on the Web site at: http:// www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/north_ dakota_field.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Miller, Team Lead, telephone 406– 896–5023; see address and email above. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–253–4093 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: The BLM prepared the North Dakota GRSG Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS to address a range of alternatives focused on specific conservation measures across the North Dakota range of the GRSG. This Draft RMP Amendment/ Draft EIS is one of 15 separate planning efforts that are being undertaken as part of the BLM’s and U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) National GRSG Planning Strategy. The Draft RMP Amendment/ E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 59714 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 188 / Friday, September 27, 2013 / Notices Draft EIS proposes to amend the North Dakota RMP. The current management decisions for resources are described in the North Dakota RMP (1988). The planning area includes approximately 963,017 acres of BLM, USFS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State, and private lands located in southwestern North Dakota, in three counties (Bowman, Slope, and Golden Valley). Within the decision area, the BLM administers approximately 33,030 surface acres and 396,053 acres of Federal mineral (subsurface) estate. Surface management decisions made as a result of this Draft RMP Amendment/ Draft EIS will apply only to the BLMadministered lands in the decision area. The decision area is defined as those BLM-administered lands and Federal mineral estate within the Planning Area, which includes two categories of habitat identified by the BLM and North Dakota Game and Fish (NDG&F): • Preliminary Priority Habitat (PPH)—Areas identified as having the highest conservation value to maintaining sustainable GRSG populations; includes all leks in North Dakota. • Preliminary General Habitat (PGH)—Areas of historic sage-grouse habitat, which still has some use by sage-grouse. The formal public scoping process for the RMP Amendment/EIS began on December 9, 2011, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register (76 FR 77008), and ended on March 23, 2012. The BLM held one scoping open house in North Dakota in January 2011. The BLM used public scoping comments to help identify planning issues that directed the formulation of alternatives and framed the scope of analysis in the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS. The scoping process was also used to introduce the public to preliminary planning criteria, which set limits on the scope of the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS. Major issues considered in the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS include special status species management (GRSG specifically), energy development, lands and realty (including transmission), and livestock grazing. The Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS evaluates four alternatives in detail, including the No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and three action alternatives (Alternatives B, C and D). The BLM identified Alternative D as the preferred alternative. Identification of this alternative, however, does not represent final agency direction, and the Proposed RMP Amendment may reflect changes or adjustments based on VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:21 Sep 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 information received during public comment, from new information, or from changes in BLM policies or priorities. The Proposed RMP may include objectives and actions described in the other analyzed alternatives or otherwise within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed. Alternative A would retain the current management goals, objectives, and direction specified in the current RMP. Alternative B includes conservation measures from the SageGrouse National Technical Team Report. Alternative C includes conservation measures various conservation groups submitted to the BLM. Alternative D includes conservation measures the BLM developed with the cooperating agencies. Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7–2(b), this notice announces a concurrent public comment period on proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). One ACEC is proposed in Alternative C. The Sage-Grouse Habitat ACEC (approximately 32,900 acres) would include the following resource use limitations if it were formally designated: • Close to fluid mineral leasing; • Designate as a Right-of-Way exclusion area; • Reduce livestock grazing; • No roads constructed within 4 miles of a lek; • Allow vegetation treatments only for the benefit of GRSG; and • Recommend for withdrawal from mineral entry. Please note that public comments and information submitted including names, street addresses and email addresses of persons who submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2. Theresa M. Hanley, Acting BLM Montana/Dakotas State Director. [FR Doc. 2013–23485 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DN–P PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLAK910000 L13100000.DB0000 LXSINSSI0000] Notice of Public Meeting, North Slope Science Initiative—Science Technical Advisory Panel Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, North Slope Science Initiative, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI)—Science Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The meeting will be held October 28–31, 2013 in Fairbanks, Alaska. The meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Akasofu Building, International Arctic Research Center (IARC), Room 401, North Koyukuk Drive, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Public comment will be received between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John F. Payne, Executive Director, North Slope Science Initiative, AK–910, c/o Bureau of Land Management, 222 W. Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, AK 99513, (907) 271–3431 or email jpayne@blm.gov. 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, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NSSI STAP provides advice and recommendations to the NSSI Oversight Group regarding priority information needs for management decisions across the North Slope of Alaska. These priority information needs may include recommendations on inventory, monitoring, and research activities that contribute to informed resource management decisions. This meeting will include continued dialog for developing scenario models for the North Slope and adjacent marine environments. Additionally, the STAP will review the progress on a long-term monitoring strategy for the North Slope. An interactive session on remote SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 188 (Friday, September 27, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59713-59714]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23485]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLMT923000 L16100000.DP0000]


Notice of Availability of the North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse 
Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a 
North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Draft Resource Management Plan 
(RMP) Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 
North Dakota Field Office and by this notice is announcing the opening 
of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS within 90 days 
after the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice 
of the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM 
will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public 
participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public 
notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the North Dakota GRSG 
Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/north_dakota_field.html.
     Email: blm_mt_nd_sage_grouse@blm.gov.
     Fax: 406-896-5293.
     Mail: BLM--North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse EIS, 5001 
Southgate Drive, Billings MT 59101.
    Copies of the North Dakota GRSG Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS are 
available at the North Dakota Field Office at: 99 23rd Ave. W., 
Dickinson, ND, or on the Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/north_dakota_field.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Miller, Team Lead, telephone 406-
896-5023; see address and email above. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-253-4093 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: The BLM prepared the North Dakota GRSG Draft 
RMP Amendment and Draft EIS to address a range of alternatives focused 
on specific conservation measures across the North Dakota range of the 
GRSG. This Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS is one of 15 separate planning 
efforts that are being undertaken as part of the BLM's and U.S. Forest 
Service's (USFS) National GRSG Planning Strategy. The Draft RMP 
Amendment/

[[Page 59714]]

Draft EIS proposes to amend the North Dakota RMP. The current 
management decisions for resources are described in the North Dakota 
RMP (1988).
    The planning area includes approximately 963,017 acres of BLM, 
USFS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State, and private lands located 
in southwestern North Dakota, in three counties (Bowman, Slope, and 
Golden Valley). Within the decision area, the BLM administers 
approximately 33,030 surface acres and 396,053 acres of Federal mineral 
(subsurface) estate. Surface management decisions made as a result of 
this Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS will apply only to the BLM-
administered lands in the decision area. The decision area is defined 
as those BLM-administered lands and Federal mineral estate within the 
Planning Area, which includes two categories of habitat identified by 
the BLM and North Dakota Game and Fish (NDG&F):
     Preliminary Priority Habitat (PPH)--Areas identified as 
having the highest conservation value to maintaining sustainable GRSG 
populations; includes all leks in North Dakota.
     Preliminary General Habitat (PGH)--Areas of historic sage-
grouse habitat, which still has some use by sage-grouse.
    The formal public scoping process for the RMP Amendment/EIS began 
on December 9, 2011, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 77008), and ended on March 23, 2012. The BLM 
held one scoping open house in North Dakota in January 2011. The BLM 
used public scoping comments to help identify planning issues that 
directed the formulation of alternatives and framed the scope of 
analysis in the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS. The scoping process was 
also used to introduce the public to preliminary planning criteria, 
which set limits on the scope of the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS.
    Major issues considered in the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS 
include special status species management (GRSG specifically), energy 
development, lands and realty (including transmission), and livestock 
grazing.
    The Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS evaluates four alternatives in 
detail, including the No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and three 
action alternatives (Alternatives B, C and D). The BLM identified 
Alternative D as the preferred alternative. Identification of this 
alternative, however, does not represent final agency direction, and 
the Proposed RMP Amendment may reflect changes or adjustments based on 
information received during public comment, from new information, or 
from changes in BLM policies or priorities. The Proposed RMP may 
include objectives and actions described in the other analyzed 
alternatives or otherwise within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed.
    Alternative A would retain the current management goals, 
objectives, and direction specified in the current RMP. Alternative B 
includes conservation measures from the Sage-Grouse National Technical 
Team Report. Alternative C includes conservation measures various 
conservation groups submitted to the BLM. Alternative D includes 
conservation measures the BLM developed with the cooperating agencies.
    Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this notice announces a concurrent 
public comment period on proposed Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern (ACEC). One ACEC is proposed in Alternative C. The Sage-Grouse 
Habitat ACEC (approximately 32,900 acres) would include the following 
resource use limitations if it were formally designated:
     Close to fluid mineral leasing;
     Designate as a Right-of-Way exclusion area;
     Reduce livestock grazing;
     No roads constructed within 4 miles of a lek;
     Allow vegetation treatments only for the benefit of GRSG; 
and
     Recommend for withdrawal from mineral entry.
    Please note that public comments and information submitted 
including names, street addresses and email addresses of persons who 
submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at 
the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), 
Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2.

Theresa M. Hanley,
Acting BLM Montana/Dakotas State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-23485 Filed 9-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-DN-P