Death Valley National Park; Designation of Airstrip, 42815-42819 [2019-17714]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency’s responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1– 888–REG–FAIR (1–888–734–3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. C. Collection of Information This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520). jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132. Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please call or email the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above. E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531–1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:43 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble. F. Environment We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023–01 and Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting 30 minutes that will prohibit access to the Ohio River from mile marker 264.6 to mile marker 265.6. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) in Table 3–1 of U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Planning Implementing Procedures. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. G. Protest Activities The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels. List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Harbors, Marine Safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, Security Measures, Waterways. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows: PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 70034, 70051; 33 CFR 1.05–1, 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. Add § 165.T08–0665 to read as follows: ■ § 165.T08–0665 Safety Zone; Ohio River, Point Pleasant, WV. (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all navigable waters on the Ohio River from mile marker (MM) 264.6 to MM 265.6. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 42815 (b) Regulations. Under the general safety zone regulations in subpart C of this part, you may not enter the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or the COTP’s designated representative. (c) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 9:30 to 10 p.m. on August 31, 2019. (d) Information broadcasts. The Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notices to Mariners, and Local Notices to Mariners about this safety zone. Dated: August 12, 2019. A.M. Beach, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley. [FR Doc. 2019–17706 Filed 8–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [Docket No. NPS–2018–0008; NPS–DEVA– 25759; PPWONRADE2, PMP00EI05.YP0000] RIN 1024–AE48 Death Valley National Park; Designation of Airstrip National Park Service, Interior. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Park Service revises the special regulations for Death Valley National Park to designate the Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield, commonly known as the Chicken Strip, within the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area as a location available for the operation of aircraft. DATES: This rule is effective on August 19, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Daigle, National Park Service, Environmental Quality Division, (303) 987–6897, kelly_daigle@nps.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background Saline Valley is a large desert valley located in the northwest portion of Death Valley National Park (the park). The Saline Valley Warm Springs Area is approximately 1,100 acres of backcountry surrounded by wilderness. This Area is distinctive, both in the setting of the site and in its geology. Saline Valley is a closed basin, which means that the water does not flow to another body of water. Water in closed basins only leaves the system by evaporation or diversion. The Saline E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 42816 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Valley Warm Springs are among the highest-flow springs in the park. The mountain ranges surrounding this valley, Saline Range, Last Chance Range, and Inyo Range, have elevations ranging from 7,000 feet to over 11,000 feet, which result in spectacular views from the Saline Valley Warm Springs at an elevation of around 1,000 feet in the valley floor. The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (the Tribe), whose homelands encompass the entirety of the park, has a deep affinity for the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area due to the existence of long-lived historical and ethnographic connections. The Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act of 2000 (Homeland Act; Pub. L. 106–423) specified designated special use areas. Saline Valley is part of one of these special use areas. The waters of the warm springs in Saline Valley are a source of puha for the Tribe, a life force energy. Although the development of the Area by EuroAmericans degraded puha and other ethnographic resources, Tribal leaders still seek these cultural connections from historic times until the present and will continue to do so in the future. The Saline Valley Warm Springs Area has not been formally or systematically developed for use by the NPS but does have a number of user-developed and user-maintained structures and facilities. Visitors enjoy backcountry camping and soaking tubs created by diverting water from natural source springs. Visitors use the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area throughout the year but the cooler months, October to May, receive the highest use; holidays are times of especially heavy use. The Lower Spring area is the most developed and includes the following features: Cool Pool, Sunrise Pool, Crystal Pool, Children’s Play Tub, communal fire pit, library, shower, bathtub, sink for dishwashing, maintained lawn, settling pond, auto shop, and the camp host site. It is the site of many communal activities, such as group fires, communal dinners, and singing. The site contains heavy feral burro concentration and use, and invasive species such as palm trees and Bermuda grass. Chicken Strip Airstrip There is a small, unimproved landing strip to the west of Lower Spring, referred to as the Chicken Strip. The formal name of the airstrip is the Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield. The airstrip is located at latitude N 36°48.41′, longitude W 117°46.90′. In past years, there were up to three landing strips for small planes in this Area. Two have been decommissioned. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:43 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 Historically, the landing strips were used by miners and prospectors to access Saline Valley. The Chicken Strip is the only remaining active landing strip within the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. It is approximately 1,400 feet long and 35 feet wide. The strip has a tie-down area large enough to accommodate five small planes. Features of the airstrip include a windsock, painted rocks lining the strip, and two airplane tie-downs. Visitors who fly into the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area via the Chicken Strip often camp next to their airplanes. The Chicken Strip surface is maintained by the community of recreational pilots who use it. The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), an organization of private pilots, is active in the promotion of the continued use of the Chicken Strip. In 2017, the NPS renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the RAF that allows the RAF to maintain the Chicken Strip under the supervision of NPS staff at no cost to the NPS. Maintenance activities include leveling and packing the surface and removing stones and debris. Based on visitor registration logs at the Chicken Strip, approximately 440 people visited Saline Valley via airplane from 2008 to 2012, averaging 88 visitors per year. Of the aircraft reported, approximately two-thirds were Cessna models. Other types of planes included various models of Pipers, Maules, and Beechcraft. The largest number of people recorded in one aircraft was six. The Chicken Strip is the last backcountry airstrip remaining in the park and provides a unique and challenging aviation experience. Retaining use of the airstrip will benefit visitor use and experience for those visitors who seek this type of recreation, or those visitors who enjoy watching the aircraft fly into the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. Final Rule This rule designates the Chicken Strip airstrip as available for use by aircraft. This action implements part of the preferred alternative identified in the May 2019 Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). On June 14, 2019, the Regional Director for the Pacific West Region signed a Record of Decision identifying the preferred alternative as the selected alternative. The airstrip has been in use since before the NPS began managing the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area in 1994. This rule codifies the continued use of the airstrip. National Park Service (NPS) regulations at 36 CFR 2.17(a)(1) prohibit PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the operation or use of an aircraft on lands or waters other than at locations designated pursuant to a special regulation. This rule also removes references to ‘‘Death Valley National Monument’’ and ‘‘Monument’’ in § 2.17 and replaces them with references to ‘‘Death Valley National Park’’ and ‘‘Park’’. This reflects the abolishment of Death Valley National Monument and the establishment of Death Valley National Park in 1994. 16 U.S.C. 410aaaa–1. Summary of Public Comments The NPS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on September 20, 2018 (83 FR 47587). The NPS accepted public comments on the proposed rule for 60 days via the mail, hand delivery, and the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were accepted through November 19, 2018. A total of 461 comments were submitted and reviewed. A summary of the pertinent issues raised in the comments and NPS responses are provided below. Several comments on the proposed rule addressed the NPS’s evaluation of the environmental impacts of the preferred alternative in the Saline Valley Warm Springs Draft Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). These comments are not addressed in this final rule. The NPS evaluated the environmental impacts of each alternative in the FEIS and explained the reasons for selecting the preferred alternative in the ROD. After considering the public comments and after additional review, the NPS did not make any changes to the rule. 1. Comment: Several commenters expressed concern that designation of the Chicken Strip for use by aircraft will lead to increased use, and the related noise pollution will negatively impact the remote character and quietude of Saline Valley and surrounding wilderness, thus altering and ultimately diminishing the experience of visitors who are seeking respite from such intrusion. Other commenters expressed concern that the rule imposes no constraints on the number and frequency of flights that can land at the Chicken Strip. One commenter suggested establishing a permit system to manage use. NPS Response: There is no evidence to suggest, and the NPS does not anticipate, that the designation of the Chicken Strip will lead to increased aircraft use at the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. The use of the airstrip is technically demanding even for the most experienced pilots and is therefore somewhat self-regulating due the size of the landing area—1,400 feet long and 35 E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations feet wide. From 2008–2012, 235 planes landed at the Chicken Strip, averaging 47 planes per year. More recent data collected from 2017 and 2018 documented 74 planes which landed at the Chicken Strip during this time, averaging 37 landings per year. Given the current use levels, there is no plan for establishing a permit system for aircraft at the Chicken Strip at this time, though this could be reconsidered if use significantly increases. Of the aircraft reported, approximately two-thirds were various models of Cessna or Vistaliner airplanes, averaging a decibel (dB) level of less than 80dB when flying over at 1,000 feet (Federal Aviation Administration 2001 and 2012) which is quieter than the sound of a garbage disposal but at a level that could interrupt speech (Purdue University 2000). Although the NPS acknowledges that reactions to sound are different for every visitor, sound from recreational aircraft using the Chicken Strip will be infrequent and short in duration. For this reason, the continued use of the airstrip is not expected to degrade the quietude more than the use of vehicles to access the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. Additionally, some visitors feel that the frequent military overflights, which are much louder, have a larger impact on the surrounding area than the sounds from small private planes. 2. Comment: A number of commenters objected to the designation of the airstrip because although it improves accessibility for one recreational activity, it does not maximize the visitor experience for the broader visiting public and favors a small group of stakeholders over other recreationists. NPS Response: The NPS recognizes that visitors use the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area for a variety of recreational experiences. Designation of the Chicken Strip ensures that the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area is open and accessible for recreational pursuits by all visitors. The airstrip will allow accessibility for recreational flyers and visitors that cannot access the site by vehicle. Use of the airstrip will not prohibit nor impede access to the Area for other recreational uses including soaking, sightseeing, camping, hiking, backpacking, and biking. Some visitors have said they enjoy watching the aircraft land at the Chicken Strip. 3. Comment: One commenter suggested that rather than designate the Chicken Strip as available to aircraft, the NPS should better manage the existing dirt road and emphasize other recreational activities to provide for VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:43 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 alternative, more affordable means of visitor access than private aviation, with nominal environmental harm. NPS Response: Most visitors access the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area via Saline Valley Road, from either the north (North Pass) or the south (South Pass). Inyo County maintains the road from the southern access point at California Highway 190 to Big Pine Road at the northern access point. The NPS maintains the other roads nearby the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area according to the park’s standards for backcountry roads. Aircraft are just one of several motorized means of accessing the Area for recreational purposes. The designation of the Chicken Strip does not preclude other recreational activities from occurring at the site, nor does it hinder access by other means of transportation (foot, vehicle, motorcycle, etc.). Both routine road maintenance by Inyo County and airstrip maintenance by the RAF in accordance with an existing MOU have the potential to displace soils and impact vegetation conditions; however, the impacts at the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area are largely driven by visitors participating in recreational activities after they have arrived at the springs. 4. Comment: Some commenters questioned whether the NPS or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have conducted safety assessments of the Chicken Strip and dispute the need for a ‘‘challenge’’ airstrip inside the park when other nearby airstrips—for example the airstrip at Furnace Creek— can accommodate aircraft. NPS Response: The FAA is not required to and has not conducted a safety assessment of the Chicken Strip. 49 U.S.C. 44708. The airstrip is serviced by the NPS through the MOU with the RAF. This MOU addresses maintenance such as leveling and packing the surface, removing rocks and debris, and maintaining runway markers. The RAF assists the NPS in many ways to improve safety, including replacing wind socks and arranging work days, often with the help of park personnel, to make repairs. The NPS has recurring needs for maintenance at the Chicken Strip due to rainstorms. When a storm event is severe enough, the NPS will temporarily close the airstrip until repair work can be completed. Although the NPS is not designating the Chicken Strip for the challenge it provides to recreational flyers, the NPS acknowledges that the Chicken Strip presents a challenge. The intent is to maintain air access for a variety of experiences for pilots of small aircraft. Users have been accessing the Saline PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 42817 Valley by aircraft before it was managed by the NPS and most use the airstrip to access recreational activities in the Saline Valley. Although recreational flyers may access nearby airstrips such as Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, or Lone Pine, access to the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area requires an additional 3–4-hour drive from any of these other airstrips, and pilots would need to arrange vehicle transport in advance to travel to Saline Valley from these locations. The experience one gets by visiting the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area by landing at the Chicken Strip is completely different than the experience one has at Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek is a highly developed area that sees over 1.7 million visitors per year, while the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area is extremely remote and primitive, offering more opportunities for solitude and more primitive forms of recreation. 5. Comment: One commenter raised concerns that the rule will necessitate the provision of related concessions, such as fuel, water, and food amenities, that will further disrupt the solitude of the area. NPS Response: At this time, the NPS is not considering additional concessions or amenities, and any future provision of commercial services would require additional public outreach and environmental analysis. The limited services currently available for vehicles at the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area are provided free of charge by a volunteer and will be phased out with the implementation of the FEIS. 6. Comment: Several commenters supported decommissioning the Chicken Strip and restoring the site to natural conditions to ensure the Area is managed in a manner that is consistent with conservation and backcountry qualities and experiences. NPS Response: The Saline Valley Warm Springs Area is managed as a backcountry campground for backcountry qualities and experiences. The Chicken Strip is considered a backcountry feature and is maintained in a way that is in keeping with backcountry experiences. It offers no commercial services. Visitors to Death Valley National Park will continue to enjoy a wide range of backcountry activities in the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. For some visitors, being able to access the Chicken Strip via aircraft is a valued and important backcountry experience. The NPS evaluated the environmental impacts of five alternatives in the FEIS, including a restoration alternative, and explained the reasons for selecting the preferred alternative in the ROD. The FEIS and E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES 42818 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations ROD can be found online at http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/ SalineValleyWarmSprings, by clicking on the link entitled ‘‘Document List.’’ 7. Comment: Numerous commenters questioned whether the NPS consulted with impacted tribes and were concerned that official designation of the Chicken Strip is contrary to the interests of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. NPS Response: The NPS sought comment from the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, the Big Pine Band of Owens Valley, the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the Fort Independence Community of Paiute, the Kern River Paiute Council, and the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Reservation during the scoping phase, alternatives development phase, and DEIS phase of the project. The tribes, other than the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, declined to provide formal comment. The NPS formally invited the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe to participate as a cooperating agency on the Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (Plan/ EIS) process. The Tribe accepted the offer, and since 2012, has had the opportunity to participate on issues and alternatives development, including alternatives that would designate the Chicken Strip, internal document review, and review and response to public comments. Consultation under the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act was completed through the Plan/EIS process. Additionally, the NPS commissioned an assessment of the eligibility of the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area as an ethnographic site eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This determination of eligibility (DOE) considered the potential significance of the site from the perspective of the Tribe. The NPS found that historic properties in the Area will not be adversely affected by the implementation of the selected alternative, which includes the designation of the Chicken Strip. The NPS evaluated this rule separately under Executive Order 13175 and, utilizing the Department of Interior’s tribal consultation policy, determined that additional tribal consultation is not required because the rule will not have a substantial direct effect on federally recognized tribes. 8. Comment: One commenter stated that the rule sets a poor precedent and expressed worry that other units of the National Park System will similarly begin to allow activities that are incompatible with the values of the NPS. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:43 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 NPS Response: The NPS does not believe that designating the Chicken Strip will be precedent setting, nor is it incompatible with the values of the NPS. Backcountry airstrips have a long history on public lands, including on lands managed by multiple units of the NPS, and are not considered incompatible with the values of Death Valley National Park. Backcountry airstrips allow visitors to access remote areas to enjoy recreational activities. The Chicken Strip is one of three airstrips currently used within Death Valley National Park. Both Death Valley Airport and Stovepipe Wells Airport have special regulations allowing for their use. The Chicken Strip has been in continuous use for decades, pre-dating management of the Area by the NPS. This rule will formalize its continued operation as a backcountry airstrip. Additionally, 36 CFR 2.17 prohibits the operation or use of aircraft on lands or waters other than at locations designated pursuant to special regulations. In order for other NPS units to allow this activity, notice and comment rulemaking, and compliance with other laws, Executive Orders, and Departmental policy, is required. Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant. Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. The NPS has developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 13771) Enabling regulations are considered deregulatory under guidance implementing E.O. 13771 (M–17–21). This rule designates an airstrip for the recreational use and enjoyment of the public that would otherwise be prohibited. Administrative Procedure Act The NPS recognizes that rules ordinarily do not become effective until at least 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register. The NPS has determined, however, that this rule shall be effective upon immediately upon publication. The NPS provided a 60-day public comment period for the proposed rule (83 FR 47587). The NPS has determined that any further delay in implementing this rule would not be in the public interest. The Chicken Strip has been in continuous use for decades, pre-dating the management of the Area by the NPS. This rule will formalize its continued operation as a backcountry airstrip and therefore does not impact the public in terms of requiring lead time for compliance. For this reason, the NPS finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule effective immediately upon publication. Regulatory Flexibility Act This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information in the report entitled ‘‘CostBenefit and Regulatory Flexibility Threshold Analyses: Special Regulations for Designation of Airstrip at Death Valley National Park’’ which is available online at http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/ SalineValleyWarmSprings by clicking on the link entitled ‘‘Document List.’’ Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule: (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S. based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. Takings (Executive Order 12630) This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required. Federalism (Executive Order 13132) Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. This rule only affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no outside effects on other areas. A federalism summary impact statement is not required. jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. This rule: (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards. Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy) The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-togovernment relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to selfgovernance and tribal sovereignty. The NPS has evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department’s tribal consultation policy and has determined that tribal consultation is not required because the rule will not have a substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes, although consultation with the Timbisha VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:43 Aug 16, 2019 Jkt 247001 Shoshone Tribe under the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act was completed. The NPS invited the Tribe to become a cooperating agency on the DEIS on April 3, 2012. The NPS has since conducted formal consultation with the Tribe and invited their participation on issues and alternatives development and internal document review. In addition to formal consultation, the NPS commissioned an assessment of the eligibility of the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area as an ethnographic site eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A. This assessment was submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office in early 2018. The NPS found that historic properties in the Area will not be adversely affected by the implementation of the selected alternative, which includes the designation of the Chicken Strip. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. The NPS may not conduct or sponsor and the public is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. 42819 In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service amends 36 CFR part 7 as set forth below: PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 10–137 and D.C. Code 50–2201.07. 2. Amend § 7.26: a. By revising the section heading; b. In paragraphs (a) through (d), wherever it occurs, by removing the word ‘‘Monument’’ and adding in its place the word ‘‘Park’’; and ■ c. By adding paragraph (e)(3). The revision and addition to read as follows: ■ ■ ■ § 7.26 Death Valley National Park. * * * * * (e) * * * (3) Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield, latitude N 36°48.41′, longitude W 117°46.90′. Rob Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2019–17714 Filed 8–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–EJ–P National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY This rule is part of a larger planning process for Saline Valley Warm Springs that constitutes a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. NPS has prepared the FEIS and ROD under the NEPA. The FEIS and ROD can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ SalineValleyWarmSprings, by clicking on the link entitled ‘‘Document List.’’ 40 CFR Part 52 Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211) This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects in not required. References Cited A complete list of all references cited in this proposed rule is available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. NPS–2018–0008. List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7 District of Columbia, National parks, Reporting and Recordkeeping requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 [EPA–R06–OAR–2015–0850; FRL–9997–80– Region 6] Air Plan Approval; New Mexico; Approval of Revised Statutes; Error Correction Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Direct final rule. AGENCY: Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving revisions to New Mexico’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) that incorporate updates to the New Mexico statutes. EPA is also correcting its previous approval of some statute provisions to provide clarification of the approval action taken. DATES: This rule is effective on November 18, 2019 without further notice, unless the EPA receives relevant adverse comment by September 18, 2019. If the EPA receives such comment, the EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19AUR1.SGM 19AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 160 (Monday, August 19, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 42815-42819]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17714]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

[Docket No. NPS-2018-0008; NPS-DEVA-25759; PPWONRADE2, 
PMP00EI05.YP0000]
RIN 1024-AE48


Death Valley National Park; Designation of Airstrip

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service revises the special regulations for 
Death Valley National Park to designate the Saline Valley Warm Springs 
Airfield, commonly known as the Chicken Strip, within the Saline Valley 
Warm Springs Area as a location available for the operation of 
aircraft.

DATES: This rule is effective on August 19, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Daigle, National Park Service, 
Environmental Quality Division, (303) 987-6897, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Saline Valley is a large desert valley located in the northwest 
portion of Death Valley National Park (the park). The Saline Valley 
Warm Springs Area is approximately 1,100 acres of backcountry 
surrounded by wilderness. This Area is distinctive, both in the setting 
of the site and in its geology. Saline Valley is a closed basin, which 
means that the water does not flow to another body of water. Water in 
closed basins only leaves the system by evaporation or diversion. The 
Saline

[[Page 42816]]

Valley Warm Springs are among the highest-flow springs in the park. The 
mountain ranges surrounding this valley, Saline Range, Last Chance 
Range, and Inyo Range, have elevations ranging from 7,000 feet to over 
11,000 feet, which result in spectacular views from the Saline Valley 
Warm Springs at an elevation of around 1,000 feet in the valley floor.
    The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (the Tribe), whose homelands encompass 
the entirety of the park, has a deep affinity for the Saline Valley 
Warm Springs Area due to the existence of long-lived historical and 
ethnographic connections. The Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act of 2000 
(Homeland Act; Pub. L. 106-423) specified designated special use areas. 
Saline Valley is part of one of these special use areas. The waters of 
the warm springs in Saline Valley are a source of puha for the Tribe, a 
life force energy. Although the development of the Area by Euro-
Americans degraded puha and other ethnographic resources, Tribal 
leaders still seek these cultural connections from historic times until 
the present and will continue to do so in the future.
    The Saline Valley Warm Springs Area has not been formally or 
systematically developed for use by the NPS but does have a number of 
user-developed and user-maintained structures and facilities. Visitors 
enjoy backcountry camping and soaking tubs created by diverting water 
from natural source springs. Visitors use the Saline Valley Warm 
Springs Area throughout the year but the cooler months, October to May, 
receive the highest use; holidays are times of especially heavy use. 
The Lower Spring area is the most developed and includes the following 
features: Cool Pool, Sunrise Pool, Crystal Pool, Children's Play Tub, 
communal fire pit, library, shower, bathtub, sink for dishwashing, 
maintained lawn, settling pond, auto shop, and the camp host site. It 
is the site of many communal activities, such as group fires, communal 
dinners, and singing. The site contains heavy feral burro concentration 
and use, and invasive species such as palm trees and Bermuda grass.

Chicken Strip Airstrip

    There is a small, unimproved landing strip to the west of Lower 
Spring, referred to as the Chicken Strip. The formal name of the 
airstrip is the Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield. The airstrip is 
located at latitude N 36[deg]48.41', longitude W 117[deg]46.90'. In 
past years, there were up to three landing strips for small planes in 
this Area. Two have been decommissioned. Historically, the landing 
strips were used by miners and prospectors to access Saline Valley. The 
Chicken Strip is the only remaining active landing strip within the 
Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. It is approximately 1,400 feet long 
and 35 feet wide. The strip has a tie-down area large enough to 
accommodate five small planes. Features of the airstrip include a 
windsock, painted rocks lining the strip, and two airplane tie-downs. 
Visitors who fly into the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area via the 
Chicken Strip often camp next to their airplanes.
    The Chicken Strip surface is maintained by the community of 
recreational pilots who use it. The Recreational Aviation Foundation 
(RAF), an organization of private pilots, is active in the promotion of 
the continued use of the Chicken Strip. In 2017, the NPS renewed a 
memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the RAF that allows the RAF to 
maintain the Chicken Strip under the supervision of NPS staff at no 
cost to the NPS. Maintenance activities include leveling and packing 
the surface and removing stones and debris.
    Based on visitor registration logs at the Chicken Strip, 
approximately 440 people visited Saline Valley via airplane from 2008 
to 2012, averaging 88 visitors per year. Of the aircraft reported, 
approximately two-thirds were Cessna models. Other types of planes 
included various models of Pipers, Maules, and Beechcraft. The largest 
number of people recorded in one aircraft was six. The Chicken Strip is 
the last backcountry airstrip remaining in the park and provides a 
unique and challenging aviation experience. Retaining use of the 
airstrip will benefit visitor use and experience for those visitors who 
seek this type of recreation, or those visitors who enjoy watching the 
aircraft fly into the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area.

Final Rule

    This rule designates the Chicken Strip airstrip as available for 
use by aircraft. This action implements part of the preferred 
alternative identified in the May 2019 Saline Valley Warm Springs 
Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). On June 14, 
2019, the Regional Director for the Pacific West Region signed a Record 
of Decision identifying the preferred alternative as the selected 
alternative. The airstrip has been in use since before the NPS began 
managing the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area in 1994. This rule 
codifies the continued use of the airstrip. National Park Service (NPS) 
regulations at 36 CFR 2.17(a)(1) prohibit the operation or use of an 
aircraft on lands or waters other than at locations designated pursuant 
to a special regulation.
    This rule also removes references to ``Death Valley National 
Monument'' and ``Monument'' in Sec.  2.17 and replaces them with 
references to ``Death Valley National Park'' and ``Park''. This 
reflects the abolishment of Death Valley National Monument and the 
establishment of Death Valley National Park in 1994. 16 U.S.C. 410aaaa-
1.

Summary of Public Comments

    The NPS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on 
September 20, 2018 (83 FR 47587). The NPS accepted public comments on 
the proposed rule for 60 days via the mail, hand delivery, and the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were 
accepted through November 19, 2018. A total of 461 comments were 
submitted and reviewed. A summary of the pertinent issues raised in the 
comments and NPS responses are provided below. Several comments on the 
proposed rule addressed the NPS's evaluation of the environmental 
impacts of the preferred alternative in the Saline Valley Warm Springs 
Draft Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). These 
comments are not addressed in this final rule. The NPS evaluated the 
environmental impacts of each alternative in the FEIS and explained the 
reasons for selecting the preferred alternative in the ROD. After 
considering the public comments and after additional review, the NPS 
did not make any changes to the rule.
    1. Comment: Several commenters expressed concern that designation 
of the Chicken Strip for use by aircraft will lead to increased use, 
and the related noise pollution will negatively impact the remote 
character and quietude of Saline Valley and surrounding wilderness, 
thus altering and ultimately diminishing the experience of visitors who 
are seeking respite from such intrusion. Other commenters expressed 
concern that the rule imposes no constraints on the number and 
frequency of flights that can land at the Chicken Strip. One commenter 
suggested establishing a permit system to manage use.
    NPS Response: There is no evidence to suggest, and the NPS does not 
anticipate, that the designation of the Chicken Strip will lead to 
increased aircraft use at the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. The use 
of the airstrip is technically demanding even for the most experienced 
pilots and is therefore somewhat self-regulating due the size of the 
landing area--1,400 feet long and 35

[[Page 42817]]

feet wide. From 2008-2012, 235 planes landed at the Chicken Strip, 
averaging 47 planes per year. More recent data collected from 2017 and 
2018 documented 74 planes which landed at the Chicken Strip during this 
time, averaging 37 landings per year. Given the current use levels, 
there is no plan for establishing a permit system for aircraft at the 
Chicken Strip at this time, though this could be reconsidered if use 
significantly increases.
    Of the aircraft reported, approximately two-thirds were various 
models of Cessna or Vistaliner airplanes, averaging a decibel (dB) 
level of less than 80dB when flying over at 1,000 feet (Federal 
Aviation Administration 2001 and 2012) which is quieter than the sound 
of a garbage disposal but at a level that could interrupt speech 
(Purdue University 2000). Although the NPS acknowledges that reactions 
to sound are different for every visitor, sound from recreational 
aircraft using the Chicken Strip will be infrequent and short in 
duration. For this reason, the continued use of the airstrip is not 
expected to degrade the quietude more than the use of vehicles to 
access the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area. Additionally, some visitors 
feel that the frequent military overflights, which are much louder, 
have a larger impact on the surrounding area than the sounds from small 
private planes.
    2. Comment: A number of commenters objected to the designation of 
the airstrip because although it improves accessibility for one 
recreational activity, it does not maximize the visitor experience for 
the broader visiting public and favors a small group of stakeholders 
over other recreationists.
    NPS Response: The NPS recognizes that visitors use the Saline 
Valley Warm Springs Area for a variety of recreational experiences. 
Designation of the Chicken Strip ensures that the Saline Valley Warm 
Springs Area is open and accessible for recreational pursuits by all 
visitors. The airstrip will allow accessibility for recreational flyers 
and visitors that cannot access the site by vehicle. Use of the 
airstrip will not prohibit nor impede access to the Area for other 
recreational uses including soaking, sightseeing, camping, hiking, 
backpacking, and biking. Some visitors have said they enjoy watching 
the aircraft land at the Chicken Strip.
    3. Comment: One commenter suggested that rather than designate the 
Chicken Strip as available to aircraft, the NPS should better manage 
the existing dirt road and emphasize other recreational activities to 
provide for alternative, more affordable means of visitor access than 
private aviation, with nominal environmental harm.
    NPS Response: Most visitors access the Saline Valley Warm Springs 
Area via Saline Valley Road, from either the north (North Pass) or the 
south (South Pass). Inyo County maintains the road from the southern 
access point at California Highway 190 to Big Pine Road at the northern 
access point. The NPS maintains the other roads nearby the Saline 
Valley Warm Springs Area according to the park's standards for 
backcountry roads. Aircraft are just one of several motorized means of 
accessing the Area for recreational purposes. The designation of the 
Chicken Strip does not preclude other recreational activities from 
occurring at the site, nor does it hinder access by other means of 
transportation (foot, vehicle, motorcycle, etc.). Both routine road 
maintenance by Inyo County and airstrip maintenance by the RAF in 
accordance with an existing MOU have the potential to displace soils 
and impact vegetation conditions; however, the impacts at the Saline 
Valley Warm Springs Area are largely driven by visitors participating 
in recreational activities after they have arrived at the springs.
    4. Comment: Some commenters questioned whether the NPS or the 
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have conducted safety assessments 
of the Chicken Strip and dispute the need for a ``challenge'' airstrip 
inside the park when other nearby airstrips--for example the airstrip 
at Furnace Creek--can accommodate aircraft.
    NPS Response: The FAA is not required to and has not conducted a 
safety assessment of the Chicken Strip. 49 U.S.C. 44708. The airstrip 
is serviced by the NPS through the MOU with the RAF. This MOU addresses 
maintenance such as leveling and packing the surface, removing rocks 
and debris, and maintaining runway markers. The RAF assists the NPS in 
many ways to improve safety, including replacing wind socks and 
arranging work days, often with the help of park personnel, to make 
repairs. The NPS has recurring needs for maintenance at the Chicken 
Strip due to rainstorms. When a storm event is severe enough, the NPS 
will temporarily close the airstrip until repair work can be completed.
    Although the NPS is not designating the Chicken Strip for the 
challenge it provides to recreational flyers, the NPS acknowledges that 
the Chicken Strip presents a challenge. The intent is to maintain air 
access for a variety of experiences for pilots of small aircraft. Users 
have been accessing the Saline Valley by aircraft before it was managed 
by the NPS and most use the airstrip to access recreational activities 
in the Saline Valley. Although recreational flyers may access nearby 
airstrips such as Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, or Lone Pine, access 
to the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area requires an additional 3-4-hour 
drive from any of these other airstrips, and pilots would need to 
arrange vehicle transport in advance to travel to Saline Valley from 
these locations. The experience one gets by visiting the Saline Valley 
Warm Springs Area by landing at the Chicken Strip is completely 
different than the experience one has at Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek 
is a highly developed area that sees over 1.7 million visitors per 
year, while the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area is extremely remote and 
primitive, offering more opportunities for solitude and more primitive 
forms of recreation.
    5. Comment: One commenter raised concerns that the rule will 
necessitate the provision of related concessions, such as fuel, water, 
and food amenities, that will further disrupt the solitude of the area.
    NPS Response: At this time, the NPS is not considering additional 
concessions or amenities, and any future provision of commercial 
services would require additional public outreach and environmental 
analysis. The limited services currently available for vehicles at the 
Saline Valley Warm Springs Area are provided free of charge by a 
volunteer and will be phased out with the implementation of the FEIS.
    6. Comment: Several commenters supported decommissioning the 
Chicken Strip and restoring the site to natural conditions to ensure 
the Area is managed in a manner that is consistent with conservation 
and backcountry qualities and experiences.
    NPS Response: The Saline Valley Warm Springs Area is managed as a 
backcountry campground for backcountry qualities and experiences. The 
Chicken Strip is considered a backcountry feature and is maintained in 
a way that is in keeping with backcountry experiences. It offers no 
commercial services. Visitors to Death Valley National Park will 
continue to enjoy a wide range of backcountry activities in the Saline 
Valley Warm Springs Area. For some visitors, being able to access the 
Chicken Strip via aircraft is a valued and important backcountry 
experience. The NPS evaluated the environmental impacts of five 
alternatives in the FEIS, including a restoration alternative, and 
explained the reasons for selecting the preferred alternative in the 
ROD. The FEIS and

[[Page 42818]]

ROD can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/SalineValleyWarmSprings, by clicking on the link entitled ``Document 
List.''
    7. Comment: Numerous commenters questioned whether the NPS 
consulted with impacted tribes and were concerned that official 
designation of the Chicken Strip is contrary to the interests of the 
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.
    NPS Response: The NPS sought comment from the Timbisha Shoshone 
Tribe, the Big Pine Band of Owens Valley, the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the 
Fort Independence Community of Paiute, the Kern River Paiute Council, 
and the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Reservation during the scoping phase, 
alternatives development phase, and DEIS phase of the project. The 
tribes, other than the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, declined to provide 
formal comment. The NPS formally invited the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe to 
participate as a cooperating agency on the Saline Valley Warm Springs 
Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (Plan/EIS) process. 
The Tribe accepted the offer, and since 2012, has had the opportunity 
to participate on issues and alternatives development, including 
alternatives that would designate the Chicken Strip, internal document 
review, and review and response to public comments. Consultation under 
the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act was completed through the Plan/EIS process. 
Additionally, the NPS commissioned an assessment of the eligibility of 
the Saline Valley Warm Springs Area as an ethnographic site eligible 
for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This 
determination of eligibility (DOE) considered the potential 
significance of the site from the perspective of the Tribe. The NPS 
found that historic properties in the Area will not be adversely 
affected by the implementation of the selected alternative, which 
includes the designation of the Chicken Strip. The NPS evaluated this 
rule separately under Executive Order 13175 and, utilizing the 
Department of Interior's tribal consultation policy, determined that 
additional tribal consultation is not required because the rule will 
not have a substantial direct effect on federally recognized tribes.
    8. Comment: One commenter stated that the rule sets a poor 
precedent and expressed worry that other units of the National Park 
System will similarly begin to allow activities that are incompatible 
with the values of the NPS.
    NPS Response: The NPS does not believe that designating the Chicken 
Strip will be precedent setting, nor is it incompatible with the values 
of the NPS. Backcountry airstrips have a long history on public lands, 
including on lands managed by multiple units of the NPS, and are not 
considered incompatible with the values of Death Valley National Park. 
Backcountry airstrips allow visitors to access remote areas to enjoy 
recreational activities. The Chicken Strip is one of three airstrips 
currently used within Death Valley National Park. Both Death Valley 
Airport and Stovepipe Wells Airport have special regulations allowing 
for their use. The Chicken Strip has been in continuous use for 
decades, pre-dating management of the Area by the NPS. This rule will 
formalize its continued operation as a backcountry airstrip. 
Additionally, 36 CFR 2.17 prohibits the operation or use of aircraft on 
lands or waters other than at locations designated pursuant to special 
regulations. In order for other NPS units to allow this activity, 
notice and comment rulemaking, and compliance with other laws, 
Executive Orders, and Departmental policy, is required.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review 
all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
has determined that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 
12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system 
to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, 
most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory 
ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory 
approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of 
choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, 
and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 
emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available 
science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public 
participation and an open exchange of ideas. The NPS has developed this 
rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 
13771)

    Enabling regulations are considered deregulatory under guidance 
implementing E.O. 13771 (M-17-21). This rule designates an airstrip for 
the recreational use and enjoyment of the public that would otherwise 
be prohibited.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The NPS recognizes that rules ordinarily do not become effective 
until at least 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register. 
The NPS has determined, however, that this rule shall be effective upon 
immediately upon publication. The NPS provided a 60-day public comment 
period for the proposed rule (83 FR 47587). The NPS has determined that 
any further delay in implementing this rule would not be in the public 
interest. The Chicken Strip has been in continuous use for decades, 
pre-dating the management of the Area by the NPS. This rule will 
formalize its continued operation as a backcountry airstrip and 
therefore does not impact the public in terms of requiring lead time 
for compliance. For this reason, the NPS finds good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule effective immediately upon 
publication.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information 
in the report entitled ``Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Flexibility 
Threshold Analyses: Special Regulations for Designation of Airstrip at 
Death Valley National Park'' which is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/SalineValleyWarmSprings by clicking on the link 
entitled ``Document List.''

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S. based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

[[Page 42819]]

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public 
use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other 
agencies or governments. A statement containing the information 
required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings 
implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. This rule only 
affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no 
outside effects on other areas. A federalism summary impact statement 
is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
This rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department 
Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. The NPS has evaluated 
this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the 
Department's tribal consultation policy and has determined that tribal 
consultation is not required because the rule will not have a 
substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes, 
although consultation with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe under the 
National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic 
Preservation Act was completed. The NPS invited the Tribe to become a 
cooperating agency on the DEIS on April 3, 2012. The NPS has since 
conducted formal consultation with the Tribe and invited their 
participation on issues and alternatives development and internal 
document review. In addition to formal consultation, the NPS 
commissioned an assessment of the eligibility of the Saline Valley Warm 
Springs Area as an ethnographic site eligible for listing on the 
National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A. This assessment 
was submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office in early 2018. 
The NPS found that historic properties in the Area will not be 
adversely affected by the implementation of the selected alternative, 
which includes the designation of the Chicken Strip.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act is not required. The NPS may not conduct or sponsor and 
the public is not required to respond to a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

    This rule is part of a larger planning process for Saline Valley 
Warm Springs that constitutes a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. NPS has prepared the 
FEIS and ROD under the NEPA. The FEIS and ROD can be found online at 
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/SalineValleyWarmSprings, by clicking on the 
link entitled ``Document List.''

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects in not 
required.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this proposed rule is 
available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. NPS-2018-0008.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    District of Columbia, National parks, Reporting and Recordkeeping 
requirements.
    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service amends 
36 CFR part 7 as set forth below:

PART 7--SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

0
1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also 
issued under D.C. Code 10-137 and D.C. Code 50-2201.07.

0
2. Amend Sec.  7.26:
0
a. By revising the section heading;
0
b. In paragraphs (a) through (d), wherever it occurs, by removing the 
word ``Monument'' and adding in its place the word ``Park''; and
0
 c. By adding paragraph (e)(3).
    The revision and addition to read as follows:


Sec.  7.26  Death Valley National Park.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (3) Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield, latitude N 36[deg]48.41', 
longitude W 117[deg]46.90'.

Rob Wallace,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2019-17714 Filed 8-16-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P