Notice of Availability for the Tri-State Fuel Breaks Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Idaho and Oregon, 54920-54921 [2019-22112]

Download as PDF 54920 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 198 / Friday, October 11, 2019 / Notices (Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3120(a); 40 CFR 1506.6(b)) Chad B. Padgett, Acting State Director, Alaska. [FR Doc. 2019–22250 Filed 10–10–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [19XL.LLIDB03000.DF0000.LFHFFR650000. 241A.4500136018] Notice of Availability for the Tri-State Fuel Breaks Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Idaho and Oregon Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise District Office, Boise, Idaho, and the BLM Vale District Office, Vale, Oregon, have prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) titled Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DOI–BLM–ID–B000– 2015–0001–EIS) (Draft EIS) and, by this notice, are announcing the opening of the comment period. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft EIS within 45 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public-participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Draft EIS by any of the following methods: • Email: blm_id_tristate@blm.gov. • Fax: 208–384–3489. • Mail: 3948 South Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705. The Draft EIS and accompanying background documents are available on the project website: https://go.usa.gov/ xPruu. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lance Okeson, Project Lead, telephone: 208–384–3300; 3948 South Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705; email: blm_id_tristate@blm.gov. Contact Mr. Okeson to have your name added to our mailing list. Persons who use a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:56 Oct 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact Mr. Okeson during normal business hours. FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or a question. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Southwest Idaho, southeast Oregon, and northern Nevada (the Tri-state area) comprise one of the largest intact strongholds of Greater Sage-grouse habitat in the Northern Great Basin. This area supports habitat for big game and other sagebrush-obligate species and provides for a variety of multiple-use activities. Multiple science-based assessments dating back to 2010 have identified the project area as a landscape particularly threatened by wildfire and the consequent spread of invasive annual grasses. The 2010 Rapid Eco-regional Assessment of the Northern Basin and Range and Snake River Plain identified the Tri-state area as being at high risk for large-scale wildfires. Wildfires in this remote area can grow quickly and affect hundreds of thousands of acres of sage-steppe habitat and working landscapes within a matter of days. The 2012 Long Draw Fire (558,198 acres), the 2014 Buzzard Complex Fire (395,747 acres), the 2015 Soda Fire (285,360 acres), the 2018 Martin Fire (435,569 acres), and the 2018 Sugar Loaf Fire (233,462 acres)—all of which were in or near the project area—each impacted over a hundred thousand acres within 24 hours. The shrub-steppe landscapes within this area represent one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the United States. The Secretary of the Interior’s 2017 Wildland Fire Directive requires incorporation of fuels management into resource management planning. Secretarial Order 3372 calls for active management of public lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to America’s forests and rangelands. Management of wildfire has been identified as one of the key issues for maintaining sage-grouse populations in sagebrush-dominated landscapes. Purpose and Need The purpose of the proposed BLM action is to provide safe areas and strategic opportunities in the Tri-state area to more rapidly and effectively protect sagebrush-steppe habitat and other natural and cultural resources and socioeconomic values from wildfires by creating and maintaining fuel breaks along a network of established roads through mechanical, biological, chemical, and prescribed fire PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 treatments. Fuel breaks reduce fuel accumulations and disrupt fuel continuity to modify fire behavior and provide for firefighter safety and efficiency, in order to reduce the spread of wildfire across the sagebrush-steppe ecosystems within the project area. Alternatives Under the No Action Alternative (Alternative 1), a fuel-break network would not be created. Fuels adjacent to roadways would not be treated to reduce fuel accumulations and disrupt fuel continuity. Fire suppression personnel would continue to use existing paved and other improved BLM and county roads and natural topographic features to hold and control wildfire. Under all action alternatives, fuel breaks would only be implemented alongside existing roads. Fuel breaks would extend up to, but no farther than, 200 feet from both sides of roadways. Environmental constraints such as adjacent vegetation, terrain, soil type, and resource concerns would dictate width (≤200 feet) and treatment type in a given area. The methods for fuel break creation and maintenance analyzed in the Draft EIS include mowing, hand cutting, seeding (including seedbed preparation techniques), herbicide treatment, prescribed fire (e.g., pile burning), and targeted grazing. These methods may be implemented in combination or as stand-alone treatments as necessary to meet the treatment objectives. Depending on available funding, implementation could occur over 15 years. Alternative 2 contains the highest number and density of fuel breaks of all action alternatives. The BLM would implement and maintain a fuel break network along approximately 1,539 miles of existing roads: 731 miles in Idaho and 808 miles in Oregon. No fuel breaks would be constructed in designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may be established along the non-wilderness side of boundary roads adjacent to designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may be established along boundary roads surrounding lands with wilderness characteristics and wilderness study areas (WSAs). Alternative 3 was developed to protect natural resources and socioeconomic values from large wildfires while minimizing impacts to social and cultural resources. Alternative 3 emphasizes avoidance of cultural resources and limiting impacts to special management areas (e.g., wilderness and WSAs) and lands with wilderness characteristics. The fuelbreak network would span 1,063 miles E:\FR\FM\11OCN1.SGM 11OCN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 198 / Friday, October 11, 2019 / Notices of existing roads: 505 miles in Idaho and 558 miles in Oregon. No fuel breaks would be constructed in designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may be established along the non-wilderness side of boundary roads adjacent to designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may only be established along boundary roads of lands with wilderness characteristics and WSAs. Alternative 4 emphasizes protection to wildlife and their habitat while providing a network of fuel breaks that meets the purpose and need. The fuelbreak network for this alternative would span 910 miles of existing roads: 450 miles in Idaho and 460 miles in Oregon. Fuel-break construction in relation to wilderness, lands with wilderness characteristics, and WSAs would be identical to Alternative 2. A preferred alternative has not been identified for the Draft EIS, but will be identified for the Final EIS, as per 40 CFR 1502.14(e). The Final EIS will reflect changes or adjustments based on public comments received on the Draft EIS, and any new information that is identified. The preferred alternative in the Final EIS may include portions of any analyzed alternatives. For this reason, the BLM encourages comments on all alternatives and management actions described in the Draft EIS. You may submit written comments on the Draft EIS to the BLM at any public meeting or through any of the methods identified in the ADDRESSES section. All comments must be received by the end of the comment period. Comments submitted must include the commenter’s name and street address. Whenever possible, please include reference to either the page or section in the document to which the comment applies. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, are available for public inspection in their entirety. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:56 Oct 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 (Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 and 40 CFR 1506.10) Lara Douglas, Boise District Manager, Idaho, Donald N. Gonzalez, Vale District Manager, Oregon/Washington. [FR Doc. 2019–22112 Filed 10–10–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLAK940000.L14100000.BX0000.19X. LXSS001L0100] Filing of Plats of Survey: Alaska Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of official filing. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The plats of survey of lands described in this notice are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Alaska State Office, Anchorage, Alaska. These surveys were executed at the request of the BLM, and are necessary for the management of these lands. DATES: The BLM must receive protests by November 12, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may buy a copy of the plats from the BLM Alaska Public Information Center, 222 W 7th Avenue, Mailstop 13, Anchorage, AK 99513. Please use this address when filing written protests. You may also view the plats at the BLM Alaska Public Information Center, Fitzgerald Federal Building, 222 W 8th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska, at no cost. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas N. Haywood, Chief, Branch of Cadastral Survey, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 222 W 7th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99513; 907– 271–5481; dhaywood@blm.gov. People who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the BLM during normal business hours. The FRS 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 lands surveyed are: Copper River Meridian, Alaska T. 45 S, R. 66 E, accepted October 3, 2019. T. 46 S, R. 66 E, accepted October 3, 2019. Seward Meridian, Alaska T. 27 N, R. 21 W, accepted September 19, 2019. PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54921 A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey identified above must file a written notice of protest with the State Director for the BLM in Alaska. The notice of protest must identify the plat(s) of survey that the person or party wishes to protest. You must file the notice of protest before the scheduled date of official filing for the plat(s) of survey being protested. The BLM will not consider any notice of protest filed after the scheduled date of official filing. A notice of protest is considered filed on the date it is received by the State Director for the BLM in Alaska during regular business hours; if received after regular business hours, a notice of protest will be considered filed the next business day. A written statement of reasons in support of a protest, if not filed with the notice of protest, must be filed with the State Director for the BLM in Alaska within 30 calendar days after the notice of protest is filed. If a notice of protest against a plat of survey is received prior to the scheduled date of official filing, the official filing of the plat of survey identified in the notice of protest will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat of survey will not be officially filed until the dismissal or resolution of all protests of the plat. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in a notice of protest or statement of reasons, you should be aware that the documents you submit, including your personally identifiable information, may be made publicly available in their entirety at any time. While you can ask the BLM to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 43 U.S.C. Chap. 3. Douglas N. Haywood, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Alaska. [FR Doc. 2019–22259 Filed 10–10–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–PCE–COR–NTS–NPS0027721; PPWOPCADT0, PPMPSPD1T.Y00000 (199); OMB Control Number 1024–0283] Agency Information Collection Activities; Application for Designation as National Recreation Trail or National Water Trail AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\11OCN1.SGM National Park Service, Interior. 11OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 198 (Friday, October 11, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54920-54921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22112]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[19XL.LLIDB03000.DF0000.LFHFFR650000.241A.4500136018]


Notice of Availability for the Tri-State Fuel Breaks Project 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Idaho and Oregon

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise District 
Office, Boise, Idaho, and the BLM Vale District Office, Vale, Oregon, 
have prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) titled Tri-
state Fuel Breaks Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DOI-
BLM-ID-B000-2015-0001-EIS) (Draft EIS) and, by this notice, are 
announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Draft EIS within 45 days following the date the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in 
the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings 
and any other public-participation activities at least 15 days in 
advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Draft EIS by any of 
the following methods:
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 208-384-3489.
     Mail: 3948 South Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705.
    The Draft EIS and accompanying background documents are available 
on the project website: https://go.usa.gov/xPruu.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lance Okeson, Project Lead, telephone: 
208-384-3300; 3948 South Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705; email: 
[email protected]. Contact Mr. Okeson to have your name added to 
our mailing list. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
to contact Mr. Okeson during normal business hours. FRS is available 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or a question. You will 
receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Southwest Idaho, southeast Oregon, and 
northern Nevada (the Tri-state area) comprise one of the largest intact 
strongholds of Greater Sage-grouse habitat in the Northern Great Basin. 
This area supports habitat for big game and other sagebrush-obligate 
species and provides for a variety of multiple-use activities. Multiple 
science-based assessments dating back to 2010 have identified the 
project area as a landscape particularly threatened by wildfire and the 
consequent spread of invasive annual grasses. The 2010 Rapid Eco-
regional Assessment of the Northern Basin and Range and Snake River 
Plain identified the Tri-state area as being at high risk for large-
scale wildfires. Wildfires in this remote area can grow quickly and 
affect hundreds of thousands of acres of sage-steppe habitat and 
working landscapes within a matter of days. The 2012 Long Draw Fire 
(558,198 acres), the 2014 Buzzard Complex Fire (395,747 acres), the 
2015 Soda Fire (285,360 acres), the 2018 Martin Fire (435,569 acres), 
and the 2018 Sugar Loaf Fire (233,462 acres)--all of which were in or 
near the project area--each impacted over a hundred thousand acres 
within 24 hours.
    The shrub-steppe landscapes within this area represent one of the 
most imperiled ecosystems in the United States. The Secretary of the 
Interior's 2017 Wildland Fire Directive requires incorporation of fuels 
management into resource management planning. Secretarial Order 3372 
calls for active management of public lands to reduce the risk of 
catastrophic wildfire to America's forests and rangelands. Management 
of wildfire has been identified as one of the key issues for 
maintaining sage-grouse populations in sagebrush-dominated landscapes.

Purpose and Need

    The purpose of the proposed BLM action is to provide safe areas and 
strategic opportunities in the Tri-state area to more rapidly and 
effectively protect sagebrush-steppe habitat and other natural and 
cultural resources and socioeconomic values from wildfires by creating 
and maintaining fuel breaks along a network of established roads 
through mechanical, biological, chemical, and prescribed fire 
treatments. Fuel breaks reduce fuel accumulations and disrupt fuel 
continuity to modify fire behavior and provide for firefighter safety 
and efficiency, in order to reduce the spread of wildfire across the 
sagebrush-steppe ecosystems within the project area.

Alternatives

    Under the No Action Alternative (Alternative 1), a fuel-break 
network would not be created. Fuels adjacent to roadways would not be 
treated to reduce fuel accumulations and disrupt fuel continuity. Fire 
suppression personnel would continue to use existing paved and other 
improved BLM and county roads and natural topographic features to hold 
and control wildfire.
    Under all action alternatives, fuel breaks would only be 
implemented alongside existing roads. Fuel breaks would extend up to, 
but no farther than, 200 feet from both sides of roadways. 
Environmental constraints such as adjacent vegetation, terrain, soil 
type, and resource concerns would dictate width (<=200 feet) and 
treatment type in a given area. The methods for fuel break creation and 
maintenance analyzed in the Draft EIS include mowing, hand cutting, 
seeding (including seedbed preparation techniques), herbicide 
treatment, prescribed fire (e.g., pile burning), and targeted grazing. 
These methods may be implemented in combination or as stand-alone 
treatments as necessary to meet the treatment objectives. Depending on 
available funding, implementation could occur over 15 years.
    Alternative 2 contains the highest number and density of fuel 
breaks of all action alternatives. The BLM would implement and maintain 
a fuel break network along approximately 1,539 miles of existing roads: 
731 miles in Idaho and 808 miles in Oregon. No fuel breaks would be 
constructed in designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may be established 
along the non-wilderness side of boundary roads adjacent to designated 
wilderness. Fuel breaks may be established along boundary roads 
surrounding lands with wilderness characteristics and wilderness study 
areas (WSAs).
    Alternative 3 was developed to protect natural resources and 
socioeconomic values from large wildfires while minimizing impacts to 
social and cultural resources. Alternative 3 emphasizes avoidance of 
cultural resources and limiting impacts to special management areas 
(e.g., wilderness and WSAs) and lands with wilderness characteristics. 
The fuel-break network would span 1,063 miles

[[Page 54921]]

of existing roads: 505 miles in Idaho and 558 miles in Oregon. No fuel 
breaks would be constructed in designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may 
be established along the non-wilderness side of boundary roads adjacent 
to designated wilderness. Fuel breaks may only be established along 
boundary roads of lands with wilderness characteristics and WSAs.
    Alternative 4 emphasizes protection to wildlife and their habitat 
while providing a network of fuel breaks that meets the purpose and 
need. The fuel-break network for this alternative would span 910 miles 
of existing roads: 450 miles in Idaho and 460 miles in Oregon. Fuel-
break construction in relation to wilderness, lands with wilderness 
characteristics, and WSAs would be identical to Alternative 2.
    A preferred alternative has not been identified for the Draft EIS, 
but will be identified for the Final EIS, as per 40 CFR 1502.14(e). The 
Final EIS will reflect changes or adjustments based on public comments 
received on the Draft EIS, and any new information that is identified. 
The preferred alternative in the Final EIS may include portions of any 
analyzed alternatives. For this reason, the BLM encourages comments on 
all alternatives and management actions described in the Draft EIS.
    You may submit written comments on the Draft EIS to the BLM at any 
public meeting or through any of the methods identified in the 
ADDRESSES section. All comments must be received by the end of the 
comment period. Comments submitted must include the commenter's name 
and street address. Whenever possible, please include reference to 
either the page or section in the document to which the comment 
applies.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and 
from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials 
of organizations or businesses, are available for public inspection in 
their entirety.

(Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 and 40 CFR 1506.10)

Lara Douglas,
Boise District Manager, Idaho,

Donald N. Gonzalez,
Vale District Manager, Oregon/Washington.
[FR Doc. 2019-22112 Filed 10-10-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P