Notice of Availability of the South Dakota Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, South Dakota Field Office, Montana, 30707-30709 [2015-12926]

Download as PDF Lhorne on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 103 / Friday, May 29, 2015 / Notices • Finger Buttes ACEC (1,520 acres) would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant scenic area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Smoky Butte ACEC would decrease in size from 80 to 40 acres and would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant geologic area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would be allowed, OHV use would be limited to existing roads and trails, ROWs would be allowed, and management would be per VRM Class III. • Cedar Creek Battlefield (1,022 public surface acres) would be designated an ACEC. This significant battlefield would be managed to enhance and protect cultural resources. Management actions proposed for this area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with a NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would be not be allowed, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use would be limited to existing roads and trails, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Flat Creek (339 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, and the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area. Flat Creek would be managed per VRM Class III. • Powderville (9,518 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, OHV use would be limited to existing roads and trails, and the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area. The Powderville area would be managed per VRM Classes II and III. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 May 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 • Long Medicine Wheel (179 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, ROWs would be excluded, and management would be per VRM Class II. • The Walstein area (1,519 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural and paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, OHV use would be closed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class II. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS does not adopt the following nominated ACECs: Black-footed Ferret, Howrey Island, Piping Plover and Yonkee. The Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS is one of a total of 15 separate EISs that make up the BLM and Forest Service National Greater SageGrouse Planning Strategy. Greater-Sage Grouse habitat within the planning area consists of: • Priority Habitat Management Area (PHMA)—Areas identified as having the highest conservation value for maintaining sustainable greater sagegrouse populations; include breeding, late brood-rearing, and winter concentration areas. • General Habitat Management Area (GHMA)—Areas of seasonal or yearround habitat outside of PHMA. Alternative E supports management of greater sage-grouse seasonal habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve population objectives. Alternative E would limit or eliminate new surface disturbance in PHMA, while minimizing disturbance in GHMA. The BLM and Forest Service, via the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Management Zone Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Team, will develop a Regional Mitigation Strategy to guide the application of the mitigation hierarchy to address impacts within that Zone. The Regional Mitigation Strategy should consider any State-level greater sage-grouse mitigation guidance that is consistent with the requirements. The Regional Mitigation Strategy will be developed in a transparent manner, based on the best science available and standardized metrics. Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30707 BLM regarding the Proposed RMP/Final EIS may be found in the ‘‘Dear Reader’’ letter of the Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5–2. All protests must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above. Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct emails to protest@blm.gov. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your protest 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, 43 CFR 1610.5. Jamie E. Connell, State Director, Montana/Dakotas. [FR Doc. 2015–12997 Filed 5–28–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTC040000.L16100000.DP0000. LXSS059E0000 MO# 4500079352] Notice of Availability of the South Dakota Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, South Dakota Field Office, Montana Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the South Dakota Field Office and by this notice is announcing its availability. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 30708 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 103 / Friday, May 29, 2015 / Notices BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM’s Proposed RMP/Final EIS. A person who meets the conditions and files a protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Copies of the South Dakota Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies, tribal governments and to other stakeholders and members of the public. Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS are available for public inspection at the following locations: • BLM, South Dakota Field Office, 310 Roundup Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717. • BLM, Montana/Dakota BLM State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101. • BLM, Meade County Courthouse, 1300 Sherman Street, Sturgis, SD 57785. • USFS, Fort Pierre National Grasslands, 1020 N. Deadwood Street, Pierre, SD 57532. • USFS, Wall Ranger District, 708 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790. Copies of the Proposed RMP/EIS may also be viewed on the internet at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/south_ dakota_field/rmp.html. All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following addresses: Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024–1383. Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mitch Iverson, RMP Project Manager, telephone: 605–892–7008; or Lori (Chip) Kimball, BLM South Dakota Field Manager, telephone: 605–892–7000; address: 310 Roundup Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717; email: BLM_MT_ South_Dakota_RMP@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 individuals 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 individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area includes lands within the BLM South Dakota Field Office administrative boundaries which Lhorne on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 May 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 includes all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, in the State of South Dakota, however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands that fall under the BLM’s jurisdiction. The BLM administers 274,239 acres of public land surface and approximately 1.72 million acres of federal mineral estate. Over 98 percent of the BLM-administered surface and Federal mineral estate in the decision area is located in western South Dakota. Counties with substantial amounts of BLM-administered surface or mineral estate (over 1 percent of the county land base), include Butte, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Perkins, and Stanley counties in western South Dakota. Other counties with small amounts of BLM-administered surface or federal minerals (less than 1 percent of the county land base), include Bennett, Bon Homme, Brule, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Corson, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Gregory, Hand, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lyman, Marshall, McPherson, Mellette, Potter, Sully, Tripp, Walworth, Yankton, and Ziebach counties in South Dakota. An updated inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics was completed for the planning area and data from the inventory was analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS. The revised RMP will replace the South Dakota RMP of 1986, as amended, and provide the South Dakota Field Office with an updated framework in which to administer the BLM-managed public lands in the planning area. The formal scoping period began with the publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on July 19, 2007 (72 FR 39638). From August through October 2007, nine scoping meetings were held across the planning area. In addition to the nine scoping meetings, four open house meetings were held to address the concerns of Native American tribes. During scoping, the BLM requested public input to identify resource issues and concerns, management alternatives, or other ideas to help in determining future land use decisions for the planning area. The Draft RMP/EIS was made available for public review for a 90-day period on June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35959). Initially, the Federal Register NOI announced scoping for both North Dakota and South Dakota RMP revisions; however, based on the diverse planning issues and other management considerations, the South Dakota RMP revision continued ahead, and an RMP revision specific to North Dakota BLM will be addressed at a later date. The issues raised during scoping included energy development, PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 vegetation management, wildlife habitat, special status species management, Greater Sage-Grouse, travel, access, commercial uses, land tenure adjustments, visual resource management, and climate change. The BLM invited local, State, Federal, and tribal representatives to participate as cooperating agencies on the South Dakota RMP/EIS. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS includes a range of management actions within four management alternatives, including the No-Action Alternative. These alternatives address the goals, management challenges, and issues raised during scoping. The four alternatives analyzed are: 1. Alternative A: Continues existing management practices (No-Action Alternative). 2. Alternative B: Emphasizes commercial resource development and use while providing adequate levels of resource protection. 3. Alternative C: Emphasizes conservation of natural resources while providing for compatible development and use. 4. Alternative D (Proposed): Provides development opportunities and conserves high value and sensitive resources. The South Dakota Field Office has identified Alternative D as the Proposed RMP. Alternative D supports management of greater sage-grouse seasonal habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve population objectives. Two ACECs are currently designated in the existing South Dakota RMP and were re-evaluated and addressed in this Proposed RMP/Final EIS. All alternatives (including the Proposed Plan) would propose to maintain the two existing ACECs, as summarized below: Fort Meade Recreation Area ACEC (6,574 acres): • Relevant and Important Values: Historical and archeological. • Limitations on the Following Uses: Closed to leasable and salable minerals, closed to geophysical exploration, recommended for withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws. • Other Restrictions: Right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area except in designated ROW corridors, motorized vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails, snowmobiles or machines specifically equipped to travel over snow prohibited, closed to construction of new roads except rerouting of existing roads to address resource impacts or safety, and the continued designation as a back country byway of E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 Lhorne on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 103 / Friday, May 29, 2015 / Notices the route that traverses the southern portion of the ACEC. Fossil Cycad ACEC (320 acres): • Relevant and Important Values: Paleontological. • Proposed Use Limitations: Closed to fluid minerals within the ACEC, closed to salable Federal minerals, sale of forest products not be allowed, collection of fossils without a BLM permit not allowed, and locatable Federal minerals recommended for withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws. • Other Restrictions: ROW exclusion area. The South Dakota Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS is one of a total of 15 separate EISs that make up the BLM and Forest Service National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy. Greater-Sage Grouse habitat within the planning area consists of: • Priority Habitat Management Area (PHMA)—Areas identified as having the highest conservation value for maintaining sustainable greater sagegrouse populations; include breeding, late brood-rearing, and winter concentration areas. • General Habitat Management Area (GHMA)—Areas of seasonal or yearround habitat outside of PHMA. Alternative D supports management of greater sage-grouse seasonal habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve population objectives. Alternative D would limit or eliminate new surface disturbance in PHMA, while minimizing disturbance in GHMA. The Proposed Plan provides for 127,735 acres of Greater Sage-Grouse PHMAs. The BLM and Forest Service, via the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Management Zone Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Team, will develop a Regional Mitigation Strategy to guide the application of the mitigation hierarchy to address impacts within that Zone. The Regional Mitigation Strategy should consider any State-level greater sage-grouse mitigation guidance that is consistent with the requirements. The Regional Mitigation Strategy will be developed in a transparent manner, based on the best science available and standardized metrics. Development of additional regional mitigation strategies for other resource programs may occur for implementation level decisions. Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM regarding the Proposed RMP/Final EIS may be found in the ‘‘Dear Reader’’ Letter of the South Dakota Proposed RMP/Final EIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5–2. All protests must be in writing and be mailed to the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 May 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 appropriate address, as set forth in the section above. Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original printed email by either regular or overnight mail, postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct emails to protest@blm.gov. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. ADDRESSES Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR 1610.5 Jamie E. Connell, State Director, Montana/Dakotas. [FR Doc. 2015–12926 Filed 5–28–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWYP0700.L16100000.DP0000. LXSS041K0000] Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Buffalo Resource Management Plan Revision, Buffalo Field Office, Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP)/Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Buffalo Field Office planning area and by this notice is announcing its availability. DATES: The BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM’s Proposed RMP/Final EIS. A person who SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30709 meets the conditions and files a protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Buffalo Proposed RMP/Final EIS have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies, tribal governments, and to other stakeholders and members of the public. Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS are available for public inspection at the following locations: • The BLM, Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, WY 82003 • The BLM, High Plains District Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604 • The BLM, Buffalo Field Office, 1425 Fort Street, Buffalo, WY 82834 Interested persons may also review the Proposed RMP/Final EIS on the Internet at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/ programs/Planning/rmps/buffalo.html. All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following addresses: Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024–1383. Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Bills, Buffalo RMP Team Leader; The BLM Buffalo Field Office, 1425 Fort Street, Buffalo, WY 82834, by telephone 307–684–1133, or by email tbills@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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area includes lands within the BLM Buffalo Field Office’s administrative boundaries, including all of Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan counties in Wyoming. The planning area includes all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, totaling approximately 7.35 million acres; however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands that fall under the BLM’s jurisdiction. Lands within the Planning Area under the BLM’s jurisdiction make up the Decision Area. The Decision Area consists of BLM-administered surface, totaling approximately 782,000 acres, and Federal mineral estate, totaling E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 103 (Friday, May 29, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30707-30709]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12926]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLMTC040000.L16100000.DP0000.LXSS059E0000 MO# 4500079352]


Notice of Availability of the South Dakota Field Office Proposed 
Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, 
South Dakota Field Office, Montana

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 
prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the South Dakota Field Office 
and by this notice is announcing its availability.

[[Page 30708]]


DATES: BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the 
conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM's 
Proposed RMP/Final EIS. A person who meets the conditions and files a 
protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in 
the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the South Dakota Field Office Proposed RMP/Final 
EIS have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government 
agencies, tribal governments and to other stakeholders and members of 
the public. Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS are available for 
public inspection at the following locations:
     BLM, South Dakota Field Office, 310 Roundup Street, Belle 
Fourche, SD 57717.
     BLM, Montana/Dakota BLM State Office, 5001 Southgate 
Drive, Billings, Montana 59101.
     BLM, Meade County Courthouse, 1300 Sherman Street, 
Sturgis, SD 57785.
     USFS, Fort Pierre National Grasslands, 1020 N. Deadwood 
Street, Pierre, SD 57532.
     USFS, Wall Ranger District, 708 Main Street, Wall, SD 
57790.
    Copies of the Proposed RMP/EIS may also be viewed on the internet 
at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/south_dakota_field/rmp.html.
    All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following 
addresses:
    Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, 
P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383.
    Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest 
Coordinator, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mitch Iverson, RMP Project Manager, 
telephone: 605-892-7008; or Lori (Chip) Kimball, BLM South Dakota Field 
Manager, telephone: 605-892-7000; address: 310 Roundup Street, Belle 
Fourche, SD 57717; email: BLM_MT_South_Dakota_RMP@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 individuals 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 individuals. You will receive a reply during normal 
business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area includes lands within the 
BLM South Dakota Field Office administrative boundaries which includes 
all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, in the State of South Dakota, 
however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands that fall under the 
BLM's jurisdiction. The BLM administers 274,239 acres of public land 
surface and approximately 1.72 million acres of federal mineral estate. 
Over 98 percent of the BLM-administered surface and Federal mineral 
estate in the decision area is located in western South Dakota. 
Counties with substantial amounts of BLM-administered surface or 
mineral estate (over 1 percent of the county land base), include Butte, 
Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, 
Perkins, and Stanley counties in western South Dakota. Other counties 
with small amounts of BLM-administered surface or federal minerals 
(less than 1 percent of the county land base), include Bennett, Bon 
Homme, Brule, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Corson, Dewey, 
Edmunds, Faulk, Gregory, Hand, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lyman, 
Marshall, McPherson, Mellette, Potter, Sully, Tripp, Walworth, Yankton, 
and Ziebach counties in South Dakota. An updated inventory of lands 
with wilderness characteristics was completed for the planning area and 
data from the inventory was analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS. The revised 
RMP will replace the South Dakota RMP of 1986, as amended, and provide 
the South Dakota Field Office with an updated framework in which to 
administer the BLM-managed public lands in the planning area.
    The formal scoping period began with the publication of the Notice 
of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on July 19, 2007 (72 FR 39638). 
From August through October 2007, nine scoping meetings were held 
across the planning area. In addition to the nine scoping meetings, 
four open house meetings were held to address the concerns of Native 
American tribes. During scoping, the BLM requested public input to 
identify resource issues and concerns, management alternatives, or 
other ideas to help in determining future land use decisions for the 
planning area. The Draft RMP/EIS was made available for public review 
for a 90-day period on June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35959). Initially, the 
Federal Register NOI announced scoping for both North Dakota and South 
Dakota RMP revisions; however, based on the diverse planning issues and 
other management considerations, the South Dakota RMP revision 
continued ahead, and an RMP revision specific to North Dakota BLM will 
be addressed at a later date.
    The issues raised during scoping included energy development, 
vegetation management, wildlife habitat, special status species 
management, Greater Sage-Grouse, travel, access, commercial uses, land 
tenure adjustments, visual resource management, and climate change. The 
BLM invited local, State, Federal, and tribal representatives to 
participate as cooperating agencies on the South Dakota RMP/EIS.
    The Proposed RMP/Final EIS includes a range of management actions 
within four management alternatives, including the No-Action 
Alternative. These alternatives address the goals, management 
challenges, and issues raised during scoping.
    The four alternatives analyzed are:
    1. Alternative A: Continues existing management practices (No-
Action Alternative).
    2. Alternative B: Emphasizes commercial resource development and 
use while providing adequate levels of resource protection.
    3. Alternative C: Emphasizes conservation of natural resources 
while providing for compatible development and use.
    4. Alternative D (Proposed): Provides development opportunities and 
conserves high value and sensitive resources.
    The South Dakota Field Office has identified Alternative D as the 
Proposed RMP. Alternative D supports management of greater sage-grouse 
seasonal habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve 
population objectives.
    Two ACECs are currently designated in the existing South Dakota RMP 
and were re-evaluated and addressed in this Proposed RMP/Final EIS. All 
alternatives (including the Proposed Plan) would propose to maintain 
the two existing ACECs, as summarized below:
    Fort Meade Recreation Area ACEC (6,574 acres):
     Relevant and Important Values: Historical and 
archeological.
     Limitations on the Following Uses: Closed to leasable and 
salable minerals, closed to geophysical exploration, recommended for 
withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws.
     Other Restrictions: Right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area 
except in designated ROW corridors, motorized vehicle use limited to 
designated roads and trails, snowmobiles or machines specifically 
equipped to travel over snow prohibited, closed to construction of new 
roads except rerouting of existing roads to address resource impacts or 
safety, and the continued designation as a back country byway of

[[Page 30709]]

the route that traverses the southern portion of the ACEC.
    Fossil Cycad ACEC (320 acres):
     Relevant and Important Values: Paleontological.
     Proposed Use Limitations: Closed to fluid minerals within 
the ACEC, closed to salable Federal minerals, sale of forest products 
not be allowed, collection of fossils without a BLM permit not allowed, 
and locatable Federal minerals recommended for withdrawal from 
appropriation under the mining laws.
     Other Restrictions: ROW exclusion area.
    The South Dakota Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS is one of a 
total of 15 separate EISs that make up the BLM and Forest Service 
National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy. Greater-Sage Grouse 
habitat within the planning area consists of:
     Priority Habitat Management Area (PHMA)--Areas identified 
as having the highest conservation value for maintaining sustainable 
greater sage-grouse populations; include breeding, late brood-rearing, 
and winter concentration areas.
     General Habitat Management Area (GHMA)--Areas of seasonal 
or year-round habitat outside of PHMA.
    Alternative D supports management of greater sage-grouse seasonal 
habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve population 
objectives. Alternative D would limit or eliminate new surface 
disturbance in PHMA, while minimizing disturbance in GHMA.
    The Proposed Plan provides for 127,735 acres of Greater Sage-Grouse 
PHMAs.
    The BLM and Forest Service, via the Western Association of Fish and 
Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Management Zone Greater Sage-Grouse 
Conservation Team, will develop a Regional Mitigation Strategy to guide 
the application of the mitigation hierarchy to address impacts within 
that Zone. The Regional Mitigation Strategy should consider any State-
level greater sage-grouse mitigation guidance that is consistent with 
the requirements. The Regional Mitigation Strategy will be developed in 
a transparent manner, based on the best science available and 
standardized metrics. Development of additional regional mitigation 
strategies for other resource programs may occur for implementation 
level decisions.
    Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM 
regarding the Proposed RMP/Final EIS may be found in the ``Dear 
Reader'' Letter of the South Dakota Proposed RMP/Final EIS and at 43 
CFR 1610.5-2. All protests must be in writing and be mailed to the 
appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above. 
Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the 
protesting party also provides the original printed email by either 
regular or overnight mail, postmarked by the close of the protest 
period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed 
protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If 
you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please 
direct emails to protest@blm.gov.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal identifying 
information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR 
1610.5

Jamie E. Connell,
State Director, Montana/Dakotas.
[FR Doc. 2015-12926 Filed 5-28-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-DN-P