BLM Director's Response to the Idaho Governor's Appeal of the BLM Idaho State Director's Governor's Consistency Review Determination, 68466-68467 [2013-27262]

Download as PDF 68466 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To comply with the NEPA, the Service prepared an FEIS which analyzed potential impacts that could result from issuance of an ITP to NiSource and the subsequent implementation of their MSHCP. The ROD that is made available at this time announces the Service’s decision to issue the ITP and is the final decision under the NEPA. TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Public Involvement On October 11, 2007, the Service published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS in the Federal Register (72 FR 57953), to solicit participation of Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribes, and the public to determine the scope of the EIS and provide input relative to issues associated with the proposed MSHCP project. In addition to the publication of the NOI, the scoping process included informal stakeholder and agency consultations, 13 public scoping meetings, and a mailing to approximately 1,300 known interested parties. Public scoping continued until December 8, 2007, and the Scoping Report is appended to the FEIS. In accordance with the NEPA, a draft EIS and MSHCP were circulated for public review and comment. The public review period was initiated with the publication of the Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register on July 13, 2011 (76 FR 41288), and the public comment period was extended for an additional 90 days (76 FR 63950). Three public meetings were announced in the NOA, and were held in Columbus, Ohio, on August 16, 2011; Lexington, Kentucky, on August 17, 2011; and Charleston, West Virginia, on August 18, 2011. The comment period closed on December 13, 2011. A variety of comments were received on the DEIS and associated MSHCP, and are available for request by the methods described under ADDRESSES. Responses to these comments are appended to the FEIS. Availability of the FEIS was announced in the Federal Register on June 7, 2013 (78 FR 34402), and June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35928). Comments received in response to the Notice of Availability of the FEIS are discussed in the ROD. Authority We provide this notice under Section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531, 1539(c)) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32), and the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR Part 46). We evaluated the application, associated documents, and comments submitted to VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 determine whether the application met the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. The Service has made its decision to issue an ITP to NiSource for the take of 10 species in accordance with their MSHCP and associated IA. Dated: November 6, 2013. Lynn Lewis, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region. [FR Doc. 2013–27230 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY920000 L51010000.ER0000.LVRWK09K0990.13X] BLM Director’s Response to the Idaho Governor’s Appeal of the BLM Idaho State Director’s Governor’s Consistency Review Determination Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is publishing this notice to explain why the BLM Director is denying the Governor of Idaho’s recommendations regarding the Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments analyzed in the Gateway West Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Amme, Acting Division Chief for Decision Support, Planning and NEPA, telephone 202–912–7289; address 1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20240; email bamme@ 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, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. A copy of the Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments is available on the BLM Wyoming Web site at: http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/ cfodocs/gateway_west/index.html. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April, 26, 2013, the BLM released the Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments. On June 27, 2013, the Governor of Idaho (Governor) submitted a Governor’s Consistency Review and Finding of Inconsistency for the Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments (Finding) to the BLM Idaho State SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Director (State Director). The State Director determined the Governor’s Finding was outside the scope of the Governor’s Consistency Review process and did not accept the Governor’s recommendations. A written response was sent to the Governor on July 26, 2013, addressing the issues raised in the Governor’s Finding. On August 23, 2013, the Governor appealed the State Director’s decision not to accept his recommendations to the BLM Director. The BLM Director issued a final response to the Governor affirming the State Director’s decision. Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.3–2, the substantive portions of the Director’s response to the Governor are printed as follows: ‘‘With regard to your Greater SageGrouse Plan concerns, your letter did not identify inconsistencies between your Plan and any of the BLM proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission Project. The regulations that provide for the Governor’s consistency review process at 43 CFR 1610.3–2, require BLM to ensure that resource management plans or plan amendments ‘are consistent with officially approved or adopted’ State and local government resource related plans, and policies and programs in those plans so long as the plans ‘are also consistent with the purposes, policies and programs of Federal laws and regulations applicable to public lands.’ The regulations further provide the Governor of the State involved in a proposed plan or amendment to identify inconsistencies between State or local plans and the proposed plan or amendment and provide recommendations to the BLM State Director. The consistency review submitted by the Governor must identify, with specificity, how a proposed plan amendment is inconsistent with specific State or local plans. If the State Director denies such recommendations, the Governor is afforded an opportunity to appeal the BLM State Director’s denial of recommendations to the BLM Director pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.3–2(e). ‘‘Your letter to the BLM State Director and your appeal do not meet the regulatory requirements by specifically identifying inconsistencies between the Greater Sage-Grouse Plan and the proposed land use plan amendments in the Gateway West Transmission Project FEIS. Your appeal only generally states that your Plan, which you submitted to the BLM on July 1, 2013, is inconsistent with the Gateway West National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The scope of the Governor’s consistency review process is narrow. It E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1 TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices is limited to the proposed land use plan amendment associated with the Gateway West Project and does not include the remainder of the project application or wholesale challenges to impacts analyzed in the FEIS. The absence of any identification of a specific inconsistency supports my decision to deny the recommendations in your appeal. ‘‘Your appeal also requests clarification of BLM Idaho’s statement that your Greater Sage-Grouse Plan was ‘not sufficiently final’ to be considered in the FEIS. While the Plan may represent a final proposal from you, the larger Greater Sage-Grouse planning effort being undertaken by the BLM in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other states, including Idaho, is not yet final. The Idaho BLM State Director was attempting to explain that the Greater Sage-Grouse planning effort and the Gateway West Transmission Project represented two separate and distinct processes. Your plan is one of two copreferred alternatives being fully analyzed in the Idaho and Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). As we have discussed in person, the BLM is very committed to continuing to work with the State of Idaho on Greater SageGrouse to meet our shared goals. We have appreciated your efforts to develop a thoughtful and detailed alternative. ‘‘With respect to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act, your letter to the BLM Idaho State Director and your appeal again do not specifically identify inconsistencies between local comprehensive plans and the proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission Project. Instead, you generally state that local counties have jurisdiction over the siting of utility transmission corridors, and that these local governments have comprehensive planning and zoning plans. You suggest that the local governments prefer that transmission siting occur on Federal land. Finally, you suggest that the BLM’s review process for the Gateway West Transmission Project lacked meaningful public involvement. No specific inconsistencies between proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission Project and State or local plans were identified as required under BLM regulations, and thus, I am denying your consistency appeal as it relates to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act. ‘‘The BLM has taken considerable steps to coordinate with the local VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 counties. In fact, the BLM coordinated extensively with local governments in the development of alternatives that crossed their jurisdictions, including meetings with the Cities of Melba and Kuna and various counties. Additionally, the BLM recognizes that after the Record of Decision is signed, the individual counties have authority under Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act to adjust the final location for the portions of each proposed action or alternative that are located on nonfederal land. ‘‘After careful consideration, it is my conclusion that the appeal has not identified where the proposed plan amendments are inconsistent with specific provisions of approved or adopted resource-related State or local policies and programs. Therefore, I affirm the BLM Idaho State Director’s response to your Finding of Inconsistency and deny the appeal.’’ Authority: 43 CFR 1610.3–2(e). Michael D. Nedd, Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management. [FR Doc. 2013–27262 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 68467 The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m., and end no later than 4:30 p.m. The public comment period will take place from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heather Tiel-Nelson, Twin Falls District, Idaho, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, (208) 736– 2352. The 15member RAC advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Idaho. During the November 26th and December 10th meetings, RAC subcommittee members will discuss the Idaho and Southwest Montana Subregional Draft Environmental Impact Statement during the January 8th meeting, RAC subcommittee members will report to the full RAC with their recommendations for the Draft EIS. There will also be a new member orientation for RAC members along with field manager reports, a budget outlook and wild horse issue update. Additional topics may be added and will be included in local media announcements. More information is available at www.blm.gov/id/st/en/res/ resource_advisory.3.html. RAC meetings are open to the public. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [LLIDT000000.L11200000.DD0000.241A.00] Notice of Public Meetings, Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council, ID Dated: November 4, 2013. Mel M. Meier, District Manager. [FR Doc. 2013–27224 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] AGENCY: BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice of public meetings. ACTION: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) and subcommittee for the Greater sage-grouse will meet as indicated below. DATES: On November 26 and December 10, the Twin Falls District RAC subcommittee members for the Greater sage-grouse will meet at the Twin Falls District BLM Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, ID 83301. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end no later than 9:00 p.m. The public comment period for the RAC subcommittee meeting will take place 6:10 p.m. to 6:40 p.m. On January 8, 2014, the Twin Falls District RAC will meet at the Sawtooth Best Western Inn, 2653 South Lincoln Ave., Jerome, Idaho. Bureau of Land Management SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [LLWY920000/51010000.ER0000/ LVRWK09K0990/241A; WYW–174598; IDI– 35849] Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Gateway West 230/ 345/500-kV Transmission Line Project and Approved Land Use Plan Amendments in Idaho and Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) authorizing a right-of-way (ROW) grant to the Proponents’ (Idaho Power Company and PacifiCorp, doing business as Rocky Mountain Power) to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission electric transmission lines on public lands for the Gateway SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 220 (Thursday, November 14, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68466-68467]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27262]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLWY920000 L51010000.ER0000.LVRWK09K0990.13X]


BLM Director's Response to the Idaho Governor's Appeal of the BLM 
Idaho State Director's Governor's Consistency Review Determination

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is publishing this notice 
to explain why the BLM Director is denying the Governor of Idaho's 
recommendations regarding the Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments 
analyzed in the Gateway West Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Amme, Acting Division Chief for 
Decision Support, Planning and NEPA, telephone 202-912-7289; address 
1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20240; email 
bamme@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, 7 days a week, to leave a message 
or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during 
normal business hours. A copy of the Gateway West Final EIS and 
Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments is available on the BLM Wyoming Web 
site at: http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west/index.html.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April, 26, 2013, the BLM released the 
Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments. On June 
27, 2013, the Governor of Idaho (Governor) submitted a Governor's 
Consistency Review and Finding of Inconsistency for the Gateway West 
Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments (Finding) to the BLM 
Idaho State Director (State Director). The State Director determined 
the Governor's Finding was outside the scope of the Governor's 
Consistency Review process and did not accept the Governor's 
recommendations. A written response was sent to the Governor on July 
26, 2013, addressing the issues raised in the Governor's Finding.
    On August 23, 2013, the Governor appealed the State Director's 
decision not to accept his recommendations to the BLM Director. The BLM 
Director issued a final response to the Governor affirming the State 
Director's decision. Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.3-2, the substantive 
portions of the Director's response to the Governor are printed as 
follows:
    ``With regard to your Greater Sage-Grouse Plan concerns, your 
letter did not identify inconsistencies between your Plan and any of 
the BLM proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West 
Transmission Project. The regulations that provide for the Governor's 
consistency review process at 43 CFR 1610.3-2, require BLM to ensure 
that resource management plans or plan amendments `are consistent with 
officially approved or adopted' State and local government resource 
related plans, and policies and programs in those plans so long as the 
plans `are also consistent with the purposes, policies and programs of 
Federal laws and regulations applicable to public lands.' The 
regulations further provide the Governor of the State involved in a 
proposed plan or amendment to identify inconsistencies between State or 
local plans and the proposed plan or amendment and provide 
recommendations to the BLM State Director. The consistency review 
submitted by the Governor must identify, with specificity, how a 
proposed plan amendment is inconsistent with specific State or local 
plans. If the State Director denies such recommendations, the Governor 
is afforded an opportunity to appeal the BLM State Director's denial of 
recommendations to the BLM Director pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.3-2(e).
    ``Your letter to the BLM State Director and your appeal do not meet 
the regulatory requirements by specifically identifying inconsistencies 
between the Greater Sage-Grouse Plan and the proposed land use plan 
amendments in the Gateway West Transmission Project FEIS. Your appeal 
only generally states that your Plan, which you submitted to the BLM on 
July 1, 2013, is inconsistent with the Gateway West National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The scope of the Governor's 
consistency review process is narrow. It

[[Page 68467]]

is limited to the proposed land use plan amendment associated with the 
Gateway West Project and does not include the remainder of the project 
application or wholesale challenges to impacts analyzed in the FEIS. 
The absence of any identification of a specific inconsistency supports 
my decision to deny the recommendations in your appeal.
    ``Your appeal also requests clarification of BLM Idaho's statement 
that your Greater Sage-Grouse Plan was `not sufficiently final' to be 
considered in the FEIS. While the Plan may represent a final proposal 
from you, the larger Greater Sage-Grouse planning effort being 
undertaken by the BLM in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service and other states, including Idaho, is not yet final. The Idaho 
BLM State Director was attempting to explain that the Greater Sage-
Grouse planning effort and the Gateway West Transmission Project 
represented two separate and distinct processes. Your plan is one of 
two co-preferred alternatives being fully analyzed in the Idaho and 
Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan 
Amendment/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). As we have 
discussed in person, the BLM is very committed to continuing to work 
with the State of Idaho on Greater Sage-Grouse to meet our shared 
goals. We have appreciated your efforts to develop a thoughtful and 
detailed alternative.
    ``With respect to Idaho's Local Land Use Planning Act, your letter 
to the BLM Idaho State Director and your appeal again do not 
specifically identify inconsistencies between local comprehensive plans 
and the proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West 
Transmission Project. Instead, you generally state that local counties 
have jurisdiction over the siting of utility transmission corridors, 
and that these local governments have comprehensive planning and zoning 
plans. You suggest that the local governments prefer that transmission 
siting occur on Federal land. Finally, you suggest that the BLM's 
review process for the Gateway West Transmission Project lacked 
meaningful public involvement. No specific inconsistencies between 
proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission 
Project and State or local plans were identified as required under BLM 
regulations, and thus, I am denying your consistency appeal as it 
relates to Idaho's Local Land Use Planning Act.
    ``The BLM has taken considerable steps to coordinate with the local 
counties. In fact, the BLM coordinated extensively with local 
governments in the development of alternatives that crossed their 
jurisdictions, including meetings with the Cities of Melba and Kuna and 
various counties. Additionally, the BLM recognizes that after the 
Record of Decision is signed, the individual counties have authority 
under Idaho's Local Land Use Planning Act to adjust the final location 
for the portions of each proposed action or alternative that are 
located on non-federal land.
    ``After careful consideration, it is my conclusion that the appeal 
has not identified where the proposed plan amendments are inconsistent 
with specific provisions of approved or adopted resource-related State 
or local policies and programs. Therefore, I affirm the BLM Idaho State 
Director's response to your Finding of Inconsistency and deny the 
appeal.''

    Authority: 43 CFR 1610.3-2(e).

Michael D. Nedd,
Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management.
[FR Doc. 2013-27262 Filed 11-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-22-P