Record of Decision for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement; Fairbanks, Alaska, 19678-19685 [2015-08526]

Download as PDF 19678 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices CBPL No. ASTM Title 27–54 ............................ D 1796 ........................ 29–02 ............................ 29–19 ............................ D 3798 ........................ D 4128 ........................ Standard test method for water and sediment in fuel oils by the centrifuge method (Laboratory procedure). Standard Test Method for Analysis of p-Xylene by Gas Chromatography. Recommended Guidelines for the Analysis of Organic Chemicals and Mixtures by Gas Chromatography and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344–1060. The inquiry may also be sent to CBPGaugersLabs@cbp.dhs.gov. Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories http://www.cbp.gov/about/labsscientific/commercial-gaugers-andlaboratories. Dated: April 2, 2015. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate. Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202– 344–1060. Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 that Nexeo Solutions LLC, 1404 S. Houston Rd., Pasadena, TX 77502, has been accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12. Nexeo Solutions LLC is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: CBPL No. ASTM Title BILLING CODE 9111–14–P 27–01 D 287 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 27–04 D 95 .. API Gravity of crude Petroleum and Petroleum products (Hydrometer Method). Standard test method for water in petroleum products and bitumous materials by distillation. Standard test method for water in crude oils by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration. Standard test method for sediment in crude oils and fuel oils by extraction method. Standard test method for sediment in crude oil by membrane filtration. Standard test method for distillation of petroleum products. Standard test method of kinematic viscosity of transparent and opaque liquids. Standard test method for sulfur in petroleum and petroleum products by energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Standard test method for density and relative density of liquids by digital density meter. [FR Doc. 2015–08189 Filed 4–10–15; 8:45 am] U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation of Nexeo Solutions LLC, as a Commercial Laboratory U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of accreditation of Nexeo Solutions LLC, as a commercial laboratory. 27–05 D 4928 AGENCY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Nexeo Solutions LLC, has been accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of September 24, 2014. DATES: Effective Dates: The accreditation of Nexeo Solutions LLC, as commercial laboratory became effective on September 24, 2014. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for September 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Approved Gauger and Accredited Laboratories Manager, Laboratories and mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:43 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 27–06 D 473 27–07 D 4807 27–08 D 86 .. 27–11 D 445 27–13 D 4294 27–48 D 4052 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 CBPL No. ASTM Title 27–50 D 93 .. 29–01 D 3797 29–02 D 3798 Standard test method for flash point by Pensky Martin Closed Cup Tester. Test method for analysis of o-Xylene by Gas Chromatography. Test method for Analysis of p-Xylene by Gas Chromatography. Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test this entity is accredited to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344–1060. The inquiry may also be sent to CBPGaugersLabs@ cbp.dhs.gov. Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories http://www.cbp.gov/about/ labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-andlaboratories. Dated: April 2, 2015. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate. [FR Doc. 2015–08190 Filed 4–10–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R7–R–2015–N026; FXRS12650700000–134–FF07R06000] Record of Decision for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan/ Final Environmental Impact Statement; Fairbanks, Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; Record of Decision. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Arctic National Wildlife SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Refuge Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We prepared this ROD pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing regulations. The Service is furnishing this notice to advise the public and other agencies of our decision and of availability of the ROD. DATES: The ROD was signed on April 3, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may view the ROD and final CCP/EIS by any of the following methods: Web site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://www.fws.gov/ refuge/arctic/ccp.html. Email: arcticrefugeccp@fws.gov; include ‘‘Arctic National Wildlife Refuge final CCP/EIS ROD’’ in the subject line of the message for an electronic copy. Fax: Attn: Stephanie Brady, Project Team Leader, (907) 786–3901. U.S. Mail: Stephanie Brady, Project Team Leader, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Rd., MS–231, Anchorage, AK 99503. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: You may view or pick up a copy of the ROD and final CCP/EIS (on Compact Disc) VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:43 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 during regular business hours at the address listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Brady, (907) 306–7448, or at one of the addresses above. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: With this notice, we finalize the CCP/EIS process for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), Alaska. In accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements, this notice announces the availability of the ROD for the final CCP/EIS for Arctic Refuge. The final CCP/EIS provides broad policy guidance and establishes management direction for Arctic Refuge for the next 15 years. For further information about our decision-making process, see our notice of availability of our revised comprehensive conservation plan and final environmental impact statement, which published in the Federal Register on January 27, 2015 (80 FR 4303). The ROD documents our selection of Alternative E (the Preferred Alternative) as described in the Final Revised Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Arctic Refuge. Alternative E reflects the intent to manage Arctic Refuge to achieve the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System and meet the purposes for which the Refuge was established. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19679 Alternative E conserves the fish, wildlife, and habitats of Arctic Refuge and facilitates subsistence and recreation in settings that emphasize natural, unaltered landscapes. Alternative E also emphasizes natural processes across the Refuge. Large-scale changes to the landscape are not anticipated. This decision recommends approximately 12.28 million existing acres of Arctic Refuge for Wilderness designation. This recommendation will remain in effect unless withdrawn or until revised or submitted to Congress. Only Congress can make the final decision to designate Wilderness. This ROD also recommends that four of the Refuge’s rivers be included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Designation of a wild and scenic river requires an Act of Congress. The maps below show the proposed wilderness areas, and exclusions from the proposed wilderness areas, which are defined in greater detail in the Service’s Wilderness Review, EIS Appendix H. The proposed additions to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System are described in the Service Wild and Scenic River Review, EIS Appendix I. BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices 18:43 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 EN13AP15.006</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 19680 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES VerDate Sep<11>2014 Jkt 235001 Non-suitable area PO 00000 Non-suitable and non-qualified area Other Features Frm 00052 Doyon, Limited .. Native allotment Fmt 4703 [:::J Arctic Refuge Boundarv ~ ~ tg.w~ ti%: ~ rum n ~ Mi " '> n&i A ~:: !, u1 kui twW Mi ~ "1 n1 Q n • H\t.ra~-~•~- 1,oMHu Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices 18:02 Apr 10, 2015 Brooks Range Wilderness Study Area Exclusions 19681 EN13AP15.007</GPH> 19682 BILLING CODE 4310–55–C mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Introduction Under Section 303(2) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), the purposes for which the Arctic Refuge was established and shall be managed include: (i) To conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity including, but not limited to, the Porcupine caribou herd (including VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 participation in coordinated ecological studies and management of this herd and the Western Arctic caribou herd), polar bears, grizzly bears, muskox, dall sheep, wolves, wolverines, snow geese, peregrine falcons and other migratory birds and arctic char and grayling; (ii) to fulfill the international treaty obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats; PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (iii) to provide, in a manner consistent with the purposes set forth in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), the opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents, and (iv) to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable and in a manner consistent with the purposes set forth in paragraph (i), water quality and necessary water quantity within the refuge. Section 304(g) of ANILCA directs the Secretary of the Interior to prepare and, E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 EN13AP15.008</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices from time to time, revise a plan for each refuge in Alaska. The Plan is based on an identification and description of resources of the Arctic Refuge, including fish and wildlife resources and wilderness values, and must: (i) Designate areas within the refuge according to their respective resources and values; (ii) specify the programs for conserving fish and wildlife and the programs relating to maintaining the identified values proposed to be implemented within each such area; and (iii) specify the uses within each such area which may be compatible with the major purposes of the refuge. The Plan must also set forth those opportunities which will be provided within the refuge for fish and wildlifeoriented recreation, ecological research, environmental education and interpretation of refuge resources and values, if such recreation, research, education, and interpretation is compatible with the purposes of the refuge. This Plan revision process implements ANILCA; the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997; the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended; other Federal laws, and the Service Planning Policy (602 FW 1–3). According to ANILCA, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, NEPA, and Service planning policy, the Service must ensure adequate and effective interagency coordination and public participation during the planning process. Interested and affected parties such as State agencies, tribal governments, Native organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and local and national residents who may be affected by decisions in the Plan must be provided meaningful opportunities to present their views. The purpose of this planning process was to revise the Refuge’s original Plan, which was approved and adopted in 1988. The 1988 Plan contained no goals or objectives and had outdated management direction. In the Refuge planning process, the Service identified and analyzed significant issues to objectively consider a wide range of approaches that could be taken to address each issue. Three significant planning issues were identified by the Service for consideration during revision of the Plan: 1. Should one or more areas of the Refuge be recommended for Wilderness designation? VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 2. Should additional wild and scenic rivers be recommended for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System? 3. How will the Refuge manage Kongakut River visitor use to protect resources and visitor experience? The Revised Plan is designed to provide broad policy guidance and establishes management direction for Arctic Refuge for the next 15 years. It describes how the Service will conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats, while providing opportunities for subsistence and for wildlife-dependent recreational uses. The Revised Plan includes a vision statement for Refuge management; short/long-term goals and objectives to guide management activities on Refuge lands and waters; and a description of uses that are appropriate and compatible with the Refuge’s purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Revised Plan is designed to be a dynamic, living document that will require monitoring and periodic reviews and updates. The process of developing this Revised Plan has allowed the Service to: D Ensure that the purposes of the Refuge and the mission of the Refuge System are fulfilled; D Establish a long-term vision for the Refuge; D Establish management goals and objectives; D Define compatible uses; D Update management direction related to national and regional policies and guidelines used to implement Federal laws governing Refuge management; D Describe and maintain the resources and special values of Arctic Refuge; D Incorporate new scientific information on factors affecting Refuge resources as well as surrounding areas, including climate change; D Evaluate current Refuge management direction based on changing public use of the Refuge and its resources; D Ensure that opportunities are available for interested parties to participate in the development of management direction; D Provide a systematic process for making and documenting resource management decisions; D Establish broad management direction for Refuge programs and activities; D Provide continuity in Refuge management; D Provide additional guidance for budget requests; and D Provide additional guidance for planning work and evaluating accomplishments. PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19683 Alternatives Considered Six alternatives were considered in detail in the Revised Plan and final EIS. Five of the six alternatives included the proposed goals and objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. The six alternatives considered three significant planning issues: Wilderness recommendations, wild and scenic river recommendations, and Kongakut River visitor use management. Alternative A: Current Management (No Action) Alternative A provides the baseline against which the other alternatives were compared. Under Alternative A, the Refuge would continue to be managed according to the direction included in the 1988 Plan, and the Refuge’s proposed goals and objectives would not be adopted. Wilderness: No new areas would be recommended for Wilderness designation. Wild and Scenic Rivers: No new rivers would be recommended for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Kongakut River visitor use would continue to be managed with the following practices: D Group size limits would be required for guided groups (7 hikers, 10 floaters). D There would be no group size limits for non-guided groups, although we recommend using the commercial limits of 7 hikers and 10 floaters. D Information on low-impact camping and other best practices would continue to be available on the Refuge Web site. D Commercial service providers would continue to have special use permits with occasional compliance checks by the Service. D Monitoring of physical and social conditions and visitor impacts would continue to occur occasionally. D Air operator permit holders would be required to land on non-vegetated surfaces and asked to follow all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisories during flight operations. D The Service would prepare a Public Use Management Plan (as required by the 1988 Plan). Alternative B Alternative B would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. Wilderness: Recommend the Brooks Range Wilderness Study Area to Congress for Wilderness designation. E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 19684 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Hulahula, Kongakut, and Marsh Fork Canning Rivers to Congress for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Under this alternative, and immediately upon Plan approval, contingent on funding and staff availability, we would proceed with two concurrent step-down plans: a VisitorUse Management Plan (VUMP) and a Wilderness Stewardship Plan (WSP). In addition to the practices identified under Alternative A, we would implement interim measures: D Expand monitoring of degraded sites, D Develop new outreach materials with targeted messages, D Work with guides to reduce visitor volume, D Work with air operators to disperse flights over high-use areas, D Publish a schedule of when guides will be launching trips, D Increase enforcement of permit conditions and Refuge regulations, and D Set an interim cap on commercial recreation guides from present through 2016 or through completion of the VUMP/WSP, whichever comes first. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Alternative C Alternative C would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. Wilderness: Recommend the Coastal Plain Wilderness Study Area to Congress for Wilderness designation. Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Atigun River to Congress for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Under this alternative, management would be the same as under Alternative B. Alternative D Alternative D would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. Wilderness: Recommend the Brooks Range and Porcupine Plateau Wilderness Study Areas to Congress for Wilderness designation. Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Atigun, Kongakut, and Marsh Fork Canning Rivers, and those portions of the Hulahula River managed by the Refuge, to Congress for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Under this alternative, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 management would be the same as Alternative B, except there would be no interim cap on commercial recreation guides. Alternative E: Preferred Alternative Alternative E would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. Wilderness: Recommend the Brooks Range, Porcupine Plateau, and Coastal Plain Wilderness Study Areas to Congress for Wilderness designation. Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Atigun, Hulahula, Kongakut, and Marsh Fork Canning Rivers to Congress for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Kongakut River Visitor Use: Under this alternative, management would be the same as under Alternative D. Alternative F Alternative F would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. Wilderness: No new areas would be recommended for Wilderness designation. Wild and Scenic River: No new rivers would be recommended for inclusion into the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Kongakut River Visitor Use: Under this alternative, management would be the same as under Alternative D. Factors We Considered in Decisionmaking As explained further below, it is our decision to adopt Alternative E (the Preferred Alternative), as described in the final Revised CCP/EIS for Arctic Refuge. This decision includes the Service recommendation of approximately 12.28 million existing acres for Wilderness designation by Congress. This decision also recommends four of the Refuge’s rivers be included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Designation of a Wilderness Area and Wild and Scenic Rivers requires an act of Congress. Adoption of Alternative E reflects our decision that this alternative best meets the Service’s purpose and need to manage Arctic Refuge to achieve the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System and to meet the purposes for which the Refuge was established. This alternative conserves the fish, wildlife and habitats of Arctic Refuge and facilitates subsistence and recreation in settings that emphasize natural, unaltered landscapes and natural processes. Arctic Refuge encompasses a PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 wide range of arctic and subarctic ecosystems, unaltered landforms, and native flora and fauna. The Refuge is a place of free-functioning ecological and evolutionary processes, exhibiting a high degree of biological integrity, natural diversity, and environmental health. Alternative E best represents the Service’s commitment to implement the Arctic Refuge’s vision statement: This untamed arctic landscape continues to sustain the ecological diversity and special values that inspired the Refuge’s establishment. Natural processes continue and traditional cultures thrive with the seasons and changing times; physical and mental challenges test our bodies, minds and spirit; and we honor the land, the wildlife and the native people with respect and restraint. Through responsible stewardship this vast wilderness is passed on, undiminished, to future generations. Selection of this Alternative recognizes that Arctic Refuge exemplifies the characteristics of wilderness. Embodying tangible and intangible values, the Refuge’s wilderness characteristics include natural conditions, natural quiet, wild character, and exceptional opportunities for solitude, adventure, and immersion in the natural world. Decision: Arctic Refuge is nationally recognized for its unique and wide range of arctic and subarctic ecosystems that retain a high degree of biological integrity and natural diversity. The Refuge exemplifies the idea of wilderness embodying tangible and intangible values including natural conditions, natural quiet, wild character, and exceptional opportunities for solitude, adventure, and immersion in the natural world. The Refuge represents deeprooted American cultural values about frontiers, open spaces, and wilderness. It is one of the finest representations of the wilderness that helped shape our national character and identity. In making the decision, we reviewed and carefully considered the relevant issues, concerns, and public input received throughout the planning process, comments on the draft and final Revised CCP/EIS, and other factors including refuge purposes and relevant laws, regulations, and policies. Alternative E best accomplishes refuge purposes; best achieves the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System; and best meets the visions and goals identified in the plan. It best provides long-term protection of fish and wildlife habitat while providing recreational and other opportunities in a natural environment while minimizing and preventing humancaused change. E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 19685 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 70 / Monday, April 13, 2015 / Notices Dated: April 3, 2015. Geoffrey L. Haskett, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. [FR Doc. 2015–08526 Filed 4–10–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LNM9300000 L12200000 XX0000] Renewal of Approved Information Collection; OMB Control No. 1004– 0165 AGENCY: Comments may be submitted by mail, fax, or electronic mail. Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Attention: Jean Sonneman, Washington, DC 20240. Fax: to Jean Sonneman at 202–245– 0050. Electronic mail: Jean_Sonneman@blm.gov. Please indicate ‘‘Attn: 1004–0165’’ regardless of the form of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Goodbar, at 575–234–5929. Persons who use a telecommunication device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1–800– 877–8339, to leave a message for Mr. Goodbar. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521, require that interested members of the public and affected agencies be given an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d) and 1320.12(a)). This notice identifies an information collection that the BLM plans to submit to OMB for approval. The Paperwork Reduction Act provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond. The BLM will request a 3-year term of approval for this information collection activity. Comments are invited on: (1) The need for the collection of information for the performance of the functions of the agency; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s burden estimates; (3) ADDRESSES: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. 60-Day Notice and Request for Comments. ACTION: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites public comments on, and plans to request approval to continue, the collection of information that is necessary to implement two provisions of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act — one which requires Federal agencies to consult with interested parties to develop a listing of significant caves, and another under which Federal and State governmental agencies and bona fide educational and research institutions may request confidential information regarding significant caves. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has assigned control number 1004–0165 to this information collection. SUMMARY: Submit comments on the proposed information collection by June 12, 2015. DATES: A. Type of response B. Number of responses ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, such as use of automated means of collection of the information. A summary of the public comments will accompany our submission of the information collection requests to OMB. The following information pertains to this information collection: Title: Cave Management: Cave Nominations and Confidential Information (43 CFR part 37). Forms: None. OMB Control Number: 1004–0165. Abstract: The information covered in this request applies to caves on Federal lands administered by the BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation. The BLM collects information from appropriate private sector interests, including ‘‘cavers,’’ in order to update a list of significant caves that are under the jurisdiction of the agencies listed above. The BLM also processes requests for confidential information regarding significant caves. The information enables the BLM to comply with the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 4301–4310). Frequency of Collection: On occasion. Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 14 individuals and households. Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping ‘‘Hour’’ Burden: 84 hours. Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping ‘‘Non-Hour Cost’’ Burden: None. The following table details the individual components and respective hour burdens of this information collection request: C. Time per response D. Total hours (column B × column C) 10 4 8 1 80 4 Totals .................................................................................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Cave Nomination ......................................................................... Request for Confidential Cave Information ................................. 14 ........................................ 84 Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other person identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your person 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. Jean Sonneman, Bureau of Land Management, Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2015–08408 Filed 4–10–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–84–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Apr 10, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 70 (Monday, April 13, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19678-19685]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08526]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-R-2015-N026; FXRS12650700000-134-FF07R06000]


Record of Decision for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement; 
Fairbanks, Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; Record of Decision.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Arctic National 
Wildlife

[[Page 19679]]

Refuge Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We prepared this ROD pursuant to 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its 
implementing regulations. The Service is furnishing this notice to 
advise the public and other agencies of our decision and of 
availability of the ROD.

DATES: The ROD was signed on April 3, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may view the ROD and final CCP/EIS by any of the 
following methods:
    Web site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/arctic/ccp.html.
    Email: arcticrefugeccp@fws.gov; include ``Arctic National Wildlife 
Refuge final CCP/EIS ROD'' in the subject line of the message for an 
electronic copy.
    Fax: Attn: Stephanie Brady, Project Team Leader, (907) 786-3901.
    U.S. Mail: Stephanie Brady, Project Team Leader, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Rd., MS-231, Anchorage, AK 99503.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: You may view or pick up a copy of the 
ROD and final CCP/EIS (on Compact Disc) during regular business hours 
at the address listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Brady, (907) 306-7448, or at 
one of the addresses above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: With this notice, we finalize the CCP/EIS 
process for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), Alaska. In 
accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) 
requirements, this notice announces the availability of the ROD for the 
final CCP/EIS for Arctic Refuge. The final CCP/EIS provides broad 
policy guidance and establishes management direction for Arctic Refuge 
for the next 15 years. For further information about our decision-
making process, see our notice of availability of our revised 
comprehensive conservation plan and final environmental impact 
statement, which published in the Federal Register on January 27, 2015 
(80 FR 4303).
    The ROD documents our selection of Alternative E (the Preferred 
Alternative) as described in the Final Revised Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement for Arctic Refuge. Alternative E 
reflects the intent to manage Arctic Refuge to achieve the mission of 
the National Wildlife Refuge System and meet the purposes for which the 
Refuge was established. Alternative E conserves the fish, wildlife, and 
habitats of Arctic Refuge and facilitates subsistence and recreation in 
settings that emphasize natural, unaltered landscapes. Alternative E 
also emphasizes natural processes across the Refuge. Large-scale 
changes to the landscape are not anticipated.
    This decision recommends approximately 12.28 million existing acres 
of Arctic Refuge for Wilderness designation. This recommendation will 
remain in effect unless withdrawn or until revised or submitted to 
Congress. Only Congress can make the final decision to designate 
Wilderness. This ROD also recommends that four of the Refuge's rivers 
be included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Designation 
of a wild and scenic river requires an Act of Congress. The maps below 
show the proposed wilderness areas, and exclusions from the proposed 
wilderness areas, which are defined in greater detail in the Service's 
Wilderness Review, EIS Appendix H. The proposed additions to the 
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System are described in the Service 
Wild and Scenic River Review, EIS Appendix I.
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BILLING CODE 4310-55-C

Introduction

    Under Section 303(2) of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), the purposes for which the Arctic 
Refuge was established and shall be managed include:
    (i) To conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their 
natural diversity including, but not limited to, the Porcupine caribou 
herd (including participation in coordinated ecological studies and 
management of this herd and the Western Arctic caribou herd), polar 
bears, grizzly bears, muskox, dall sheep, wolves, wolverines, snow 
geese, peregrine falcons and other migratory birds and arctic char and 
grayling;
    (ii) to fulfill the international treaty obligations of the United 
States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats;
    (iii) to provide, in a manner consistent with the purposes set 
forth in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), the opportunity for continued 
subsistence uses by local residents, and
    (iv) to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable and in a manner 
consistent with the purposes set forth in paragraph (i), water quality 
and necessary water quantity within the refuge.
    Section 304(g) of ANILCA directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
prepare and,

[[Page 19683]]

from time to time, revise a plan for each refuge in Alaska. The Plan is 
based on an identification and description of resources of the Arctic 
Refuge, including fish and wildlife resources and wilderness values, 
and must:
    (i) Designate areas within the refuge according to their respective 
resources and values;
    (ii) specify the programs for conserving fish and wildlife and the 
programs relating to maintaining the identified values proposed to be 
implemented within each such area; and
    (iii) specify the uses within each such area which may be 
compatible with the major purposes of the refuge.
    The Plan must also set forth those opportunities which will be 
provided within the refuge for fish and wildlife-oriented recreation, 
ecological research, environmental education and interpretation of 
refuge resources and values, if such recreation, research, education, 
and interpretation is compatible with the purposes of the refuge.
    This Plan revision process implements ANILCA; the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997; the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended; other Federal 
laws, and the Service Planning Policy (602 FW 1-3). According to 
ANILCA, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, 
NEPA, and Service planning policy, the Service must ensure adequate and 
effective interagency coordination and public participation during the 
planning process. Interested and affected parties such as State 
agencies, tribal governments, Native organizations, non-governmental 
organizations, and local and national residents who may be affected by 
decisions in the Plan must be provided meaningful opportunities to 
present their views.
    The purpose of this planning process was to revise the Refuge's 
original Plan, which was approved and adopted in 1988. The 1988 Plan 
contained no goals or objectives and had outdated management direction. 
In the Refuge planning process, the Service identified and analyzed 
significant issues to objectively consider a wide range of approaches 
that could be taken to address each issue. Three significant planning 
issues were identified by the Service for consideration during revision 
of the Plan:
    1. Should one or more areas of the Refuge be recommended for 
Wilderness designation?
    2. Should additional wild and scenic rivers be recommended for 
inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System?
    3. How will the Refuge manage Kongakut River visitor use to protect 
resources and visitor experience?
    The Revised Plan is designed to provide broad policy guidance and 
establishes management direction for Arctic Refuge for the next 15 
years. It describes how the Service will conserve fish, wildlife, 
plants, and their habitats, while providing opportunities for 
subsistence and for wildlife-dependent recreational uses. The Revised 
Plan includes a vision statement for Refuge management; short/long-term 
goals and objectives to guide management activities on Refuge lands and 
waters; and a description of uses that are appropriate and compatible 
with the Refuge's purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System. The Revised Plan is designed to be a dynamic, living 
document that will require monitoring and periodic reviews and updates.
    The process of developing this Revised Plan has allowed the Service 
to:
    [ssquf] Ensure that the purposes of the Refuge and the mission of 
the Refuge System are fulfilled;
    [ssquf] Establish a long-term vision for the Refuge;
    [ssquf] Establish management goals and objectives;
    [ssquf] Define compatible uses;
    [ssquf] Update management direction related to national and 
regional policies and guidelines used to implement Federal laws 
governing Refuge management;
    [ssquf] Describe and maintain the resources and special values of 
Arctic Refuge;
    [ssquf] Incorporate new scientific information on factors affecting 
Refuge resources as well as surrounding areas, including climate 
change;
    [ssquf] Evaluate current Refuge management direction based on 
changing public use of the Refuge and its resources;
    [ssquf] Ensure that opportunities are available for interested 
parties to participate in the development of management direction;
    [ssquf] Provide a systematic process for making and documenting 
resource management decisions;
    [ssquf] Establish broad management direction for Refuge programs 
and activities;
    [ssquf] Provide continuity in Refuge management;
    [ssquf] Provide additional guidance for budget requests; and
    [ssquf] Provide additional guidance for planning work and 
evaluating accomplishments.

Alternatives Considered

    Six alternatives were considered in detail in the Revised Plan and 
final EIS. Five of the six alternatives included the proposed goals and 
objectives and the revised management policies and guidelines described 
in Chapter 2 of the Revised Plan. The six alternatives considered three 
significant planning issues: Wilderness recommendations, wild and 
scenic river recommendations, and Kongakut River visitor use 
management.

Alternative A: Current Management (No Action)

    Alternative A provides the baseline against which the other 
alternatives were compared. Under Alternative A, the Refuge would 
continue to be managed according to the direction included in the 1988 
Plan, and the Refuge's proposed goals and objectives would not be 
adopted.
    Wilderness: No new areas would be recommended for Wilderness 
designation.
    Wild and Scenic Rivers: No new rivers would be recommended for 
inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
    Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Kongakut River visitor use 
would continue to be managed with the following practices:
    [ssquf] Group size limits would be required for guided groups (7 
hikers, 10 floaters).
    [ssquf] There would be no group size limits for non-guided groups, 
although we recommend using the commercial limits of 7 hikers and 10 
floaters.
    [ssquf] Information on low-impact camping and other best practices 
would continue to be available on the Refuge Web site.
    [ssquf] Commercial service providers would continue to have special 
use permits with occasional compliance checks by the Service.
    [ssquf] Monitoring of physical and social conditions and visitor 
impacts would continue to occur occasionally.
    [ssquf] Air operator permit holders would be required to land on 
non-vegetated surfaces and asked to follow all Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) advisories during flight operations.
    [ssquf] The Service would prepare a Public Use Management Plan (as 
required by the 1988 Plan).

Alternative B

    Alternative B would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised 
management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the 
Revised Plan.
    Wilderness: Recommend the Brooks Range Wilderness Study Area to 
Congress for Wilderness designation.

[[Page 19684]]

    Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Hulahula, Kongakut, and Marsh 
Fork Canning Rivers to Congress for inclusion into the National Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System.
    Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Under this alternative, and 
immediately upon Plan approval, contingent on funding and staff 
availability, we would proceed with two concurrent step-down plans: a 
Visitor-Use Management Plan (VUMP) and a Wilderness Stewardship Plan 
(WSP). In addition to the practices identified under Alternative A, we 
would implement interim measures:
    [ssquf] Expand monitoring of degraded sites,
    [ssquf] Develop new outreach materials with targeted messages,
    [ssquf] Work with guides to reduce visitor volume,
    [ssquf] Work with air operators to disperse flights over high-use 
areas,
    [ssquf] Publish a schedule of when guides will be launching trips,
    [ssquf] Increase enforcement of permit conditions and Refuge 
regulations, and
    [ssquf] Set an interim cap on commercial recreation guides from 
present through 2016 or through completion of the VUMP/WSP, whichever 
comes first.

Alternative C

    Alternative C would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised 
management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the 
Revised Plan.
    Wilderness: Recommend the Coastal Plain Wilderness Study Area to 
Congress for Wilderness designation.
    Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Atigun River to Congress for 
inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
    Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Under this alternative, 
management would be the same as under Alternative B.

Alternative D

    Alternative D would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised 
management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the 
Revised Plan.
    Wilderness: Recommend the Brooks Range and Porcupine Plateau 
Wilderness Study Areas to Congress for Wilderness designation.
    Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Atigun, Kongakut, and Marsh 
Fork Canning Rivers, and those portions of the Hulahula River managed 
by the Refuge, to Congress for inclusion into the National Wild and 
Scenic Rivers System.
    Kongakut River Visitor Use Management: Under this alternative, 
management would be the same as Alternative B, except there would be no 
interim cap on commercial recreation guides.

Alternative E: Preferred Alternative

    Alternative E would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised 
management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the 
Revised Plan.
    Wilderness: Recommend the Brooks Range, Porcupine Plateau, and 
Coastal Plain Wilderness Study Areas to Congress for Wilderness 
designation.
    Wild and Scenic Rivers: Recommend the Atigun, Hulahula, Kongakut, 
and Marsh Fork Canning Rivers to Congress for inclusion into the 
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
    Kongakut River Visitor Use: Under this alternative, management 
would be the same as under Alternative D.

Alternative F

    Alternative F would adopt the goals and objectives and the revised 
management policies and guidelines described in Chapter 2 of the 
Revised Plan.
    Wilderness: No new areas would be recommended for Wilderness 
designation.
    Wild and Scenic River: No new rivers would be recommended for 
inclusion into the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
    Kongakut River Visitor Use: Under this alternative, management 
would be the same as under Alternative D.

Factors We Considered in Decisionmaking

    As explained further below, it is our decision to adopt Alternative 
E (the Preferred Alternative), as described in the final Revised CCP/
EIS for Arctic Refuge. This decision includes the Service 
recommendation of approximately 12.28 million existing acres for 
Wilderness designation by Congress. This decision also recommends four 
of the Refuge's rivers be included in the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers System. Designation of a Wilderness Area and Wild and Scenic 
Rivers requires an act of Congress.
    Adoption of Alternative E reflects our decision that this 
alternative best meets the Service's purpose and need to manage Arctic 
Refuge to achieve the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System 
and to meet the purposes for which the Refuge was established. This 
alternative conserves the fish, wildlife and habitats of Arctic Refuge 
and facilitates subsistence and recreation in settings that emphasize 
natural, unaltered landscapes and natural processes. Arctic Refuge 
encompasses a wide range of arctic and subarctic ecosystems, unaltered 
landforms, and native flora and fauna. The Refuge is a place of free-
functioning ecological and evolutionary processes, exhibiting a high 
degree of biological integrity, natural diversity, and environmental 
health. Alternative E best represents the Service's commitment to 
implement the Arctic Refuge's vision statement:

    This untamed arctic landscape continues to sustain the 
ecological diversity and special values that inspired the Refuge's 
establishment. Natural processes continue and traditional cultures 
thrive with the seasons and changing times; physical and mental 
challenges test our bodies, minds and spirit; and we honor the land, 
the wildlife and the native people with respect and restraint. 
Through responsible stewardship this vast wilderness is passed on, 
undiminished, to future generations.

    Selection of this Alternative recognizes that Arctic Refuge 
exemplifies the characteristics of wilderness. Embodying tangible and 
intangible values, the Refuge's wilderness characteristics include 
natural conditions, natural quiet, wild character, and exceptional 
opportunities for solitude, adventure, and immersion in the natural 
world.
    Decision:
    Arctic Refuge is nationally recognized for its unique and wide 
range of arctic and subarctic ecosystems that retain a high degree of 
biological integrity and natural diversity. The Refuge exemplifies the 
idea of wilderness embodying tangible and intangible values including 
natural conditions, natural quiet, wild character, and exceptional 
opportunities for solitude, adventure, and immersion in the natural 
world. The Refuge represents deep-rooted American cultural values about 
frontiers, open spaces, and wilderness. It is one of the finest 
representations of the wilderness that helped shape our national 
character and identity.
    In making the decision, we reviewed and carefully considered the 
relevant issues, concerns, and public input received throughout the 
planning process, comments on the draft and final Revised CCP/EIS, and 
other factors including refuge purposes and relevant laws, regulations, 
and policies.
    Alternative E best accomplishes refuge purposes; best achieves the 
mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System; and best meets the 
visions and goals identified in the plan. It best provides long-term 
protection of fish and wildlife habitat while providing recreational 
and other opportunities in a natural environment while minimizing and 
preventing human-caused change.


[[Page 19685]]


    Dated: April 3, 2015.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 2015-08526 Filed 4-10-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-55-P