National Bison Range, MT; Availability of the Final Record of Decision for the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, 69388-69389 [2019-27267]

Download as PDF 69388 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 18, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R6–NWRS–2019–N167; FF06R0OP00–FXRS12610600000–201] National Bison Range, MT; Availability of the Final Record of Decision for the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the final record of decision for the final comprehensive conservation plan and final environmental impact statement for the National Bison Range in Montana. ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final ROD, the final CCP, final EIS, or other project information by any of the following methods: • Agency Website: https:// www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/refuges/ nbrc.php. • Email: scoping_nbr@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Request National Bison Range final ROD’’ in the subject line of your email message. • U.S. Mail: National Bison Range, 58355 Bison Range Road, Moiese, MT 59824. • Local Libraries: The documents are available at the libraries listed under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Coffman, Refuge Manager, at 406– 644–2211, x204 (phone), or amy_ coffman@fws.gov (email), or Vanessa Fields, Planning Team Leader, at 406– 727–7400, x219 (phone), or vanessa_ fields@fws.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Introduction With this notice, we finalize the comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and final environmental impact statement (EIS) process for the National Bison Range in Montana (refuge, NBR). We published a notice of intent (NOI) to develop a CCP and EIS, and a request for comments, in the Federal Register on May 18, 2017 (82 FR 22843), which opened a comment period until June 19, 2017. That NOI was a revision to an earlier NOI we published on January 18, 2017 (82 FR 5597), which opened a comment period that ended on February 17, 2017. After the scoping period and the development of alternatives, a draft CCP and draft EIS were made available for a 45-day public review and comment VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Dec 17, 2019 Jkt 250001 period, which closed on May 20, 2019 (April 5, 2019, 84 FR 13662). A second NOA was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2019 (84 FR 46950), announcing publication of the final CCP and final EIS. The review period ended October 7, 2019. For general background on the CCP process and the NBR, please see the May 18, 2017, notice (82 FR 22844). The primary planning area for this decision is the congressionally designated boundary of the refuge, located in Sanders and Lake Counties, Montana. The 18,800-acre NBR is located where three major geographic features merge, Mission Valley, Mission Mountain Range, and Jocko River Valley. The glacial history of the region has had a pronounced influence on the soils and landforms. Grasslands dominate the landscape at lower elevations, dotted with wetland and riparian vegetation along seasonal drainages and around seeps and springs. Mixed-conifer forest occurs at the upper elevations. The Jocko River and Mission Creek form riparian and wetland corridors along the north and south boundaries of the refuge. Invasive plant species are recognized as an important factor affecting ecosystem function and health on the refuge. The NBR provides cover, food, water, and sufficient space for numerous native wildlife species. The NBR supports a healthy population of plains bison as well as populations of other native ungulates and a variety of predators. The refuge also supports over 200 native bird species. In addition to the federally threatened grizzly bear and bull trout, there are 43 Montana species of concern that occur on the refuge. Although people have lived in the region for thousands of years, relatively few cultural resource sites have been formally recorded on the refuge. It is anticipated that a wide range of undocumented cultural resource types are located on the NBR. These could include, but would not be limited to, pre-contact and/or protohistoric open camps, stone circles and alignments, cairns, lithic scatters, rock shelters, trails and roads, drive-lines, kill (i.e., jump or pound) sites, hunting blinds, eagle traps, fasting beds, and rock imagery, as well as historic buildings and structures associated with the mission and operation of the NBR. Visitors come from all over the country and other parts of the world to learn about NBR and enjoy a variety of wildlife-dependent recreational activities. In 2017, NBR welcomed approximately 180,000 visitors. Annual visitation to the NBR is concentrated during spring through fall, when the full PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 length of the Red Sleep Mountain Drive is open. Wildlife observation, photography, and hiking account for an estimated 94 percent of visits to the NBR. NBR affects the economy through the resident and nonresident visitor spending it generates, the employment it supports, and the value it adds to the surrounding area. National Environmental Policy Act In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements, this notice announces the availability of the final ROD for the final CCP and final EIS for the National Bison Range. We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental, social, and economic considerations associated with our actions. The final ROD documents our selection of Alternative C, the preferred alternative. The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the National Bison Range for the next 15 years. Alternative C, as we described in the final EIS/ROD, is the foundation for the CCP. CCP Alternatives and Selected Alternative Our final CCP and final EIS (84 FR 46950, September 6, 2019) addressed several issues. To address these, we developed and evaluated the following alternatives: • Alternative A—No Action, which would continue all the current management activities and maintain funding, infrastructure, all current programs, and staffing at existing levels; • Alternative B, which emphasizes managing habitat and wildlife populations, as well as NBR infrastructure and operations, to provide quality wildlife-dependent opportunities for the public; and • Alternative C, which emphasizes maintaining and, where feasible, enhancing ecological communities while recognizing ever-changing environmental conditions. After consideration of the more than 300 comments that we received on the draft CCP and draft EIS, we selected Alternative C. It is the alternative that best meets the purposes of the refuge, the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the vision and management goals set for the National Bison Range; and it adheres to Service policies and guidelines. It considers the interests and perspectives of many agencies, organizations, Tribes, and the public. Additionally, it is the environmentally preferred alternative. Alternative C emphasizes maintaining and, where feasible, enhancing ecological communities while E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 69389 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 18, 2019 / Notices recognizing ever-changing environmental conditions. In cooperation with our partners, the Service will develop and utilize a prioritization framework to identify and define future conditions that will drive management actions to build ecological community resiliency, promote species and genetic diversity, and build sustainability in management capacity and operations. Service will also seek ways to incorporate the expertise, resources, and efforts of our partners to help facilitate the benefits of a broader functioning landscape. Public Availability of Documents In addition to the methods in you can view or obtain the final ROD, the final CCP, and final EIS at the following public libraries: ADDRESSES, Library Address Phone No. Flathead County Library ............................................................. Missoula Public Library ............................................................... Plains Public Library ................................................................... Ronan City Library ...................................................................... North Lake County Public Library ............................................... St. Ignatius School—Community Library .................................... Bigfork Library ............................................................................. 247 First Avenue East, Kalispell, Montana 59901 .................... 301 Main Street, Missoula, Montana 59802 .............................. P.O. Box 399, Plains, Montana 59859 ...................................... 203 Main Street SW, Ronan, Montana 59864 .......................... 2 First Avenue East, Polson, Montana 59860 ........................... 76 Third Avenue, Saint Ignatius, Montana 59865 ..................... 525 Electric Avenue, Bigfork, Montana 59911 .......................... 406–758–5820 406–721–2665 406–826–3101 406–676–3682 406–883–8225 406–745–3811 406–837–6976 Noreen Walsh, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2019–27267 Filed 12–17–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLES962000 L53200000 BJ0000 14X] Notice of Filing of Plats of Surveys; Eastern States Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of official filing. AGENCY: The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of land Management (BLM), Eastern States Office, Washington, DC, 30 days from the date of this publication. The surveys, executed at the request of the identified agencies, are required for the management of these lands. DATES: Unless there are protests of this action, the filing of the plat described in this notice will happen on January 17, 2020. ADDRESSES: Written notices protesting any of these surveys must be sent to the State Director, BLM Eastern States, 20 M Street SE, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leon W. Chmura, Acting Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Eastern States; (202) 912– 7756; email: lchmura@blm.gov; or U.S. Postal Service: BLM–ES, 20 M Street SE, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20003. Attn: Cadastral Survey. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay SUMMARY: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Under this alternative, the Service will seek to facilitate collaborative, cooperative, and coordinated management of NBR with our Federal, Tribal, State, local, public, and private partners. Where possible, the refuge will participate in landscape-level management of wildlife species, evaluate cross-boundary movements, and create corridors conducive to wildlife migration and movement. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Dec 17, 2019 Jkt 250001 Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The service 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 dependent resurvey of a portion of Meadowood Farm, East of Belmont Boulevard, Fairfax County, in the State of Virginia. Survey requested by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Eastern States, Lower Potomac Field Office. A person or party who wishes to protest a survey must file a written notice of protest within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. A notice of protest is considered filed on the date it is received by the State Director for Eastern States during regular business hours; if received after regular business hours, a notice of protest will be considered filed the next business day. Any notice of protest filed after the scheduled date of official filing will be untimely and will not be considered. A statement of reasons for the protest may be filed with the notice of protest and must be filed within 30 calendar days after the protest is filed. If a notice of protest against the survey is received prior to the date of official filing, the filing will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat will not be officially filed until the next business day after all protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your notice of protest or statement of reasons, please be aware that your entire protest, PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. A copy of the described plats will be placed in the open files, and available to the public, as a matter of information. Authority: 43 U.S.C. Chap. 3. Leon W. Chmura, Acting Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Eastern States. [FR Doc. 2019–27201 Filed 12–17–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GJ–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–NRSS–WRD–NPS0028654; PPWONRADW0, PPMRSNR1Y.NM0000 (200); 0MB Control Number 1024–NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; National Park Service Watercraft Inspection Decontamination Regional Data-Sharing for Trailered Recreational Boats National Park Service, Interior. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the National Park Service (NPS) are proposing a new information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 17, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or by AGENCY: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 18, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69388-69389]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27267]



[[Page 69388]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-NWRS-2019-N167; FF06R0OP00-FXRS12610600000-201]


National Bison Range, MT; Availability of the Final Record of 
Decision for the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the final record of decision for the final 
comprehensive conservation plan and final environmental impact 
statement for the National Bison Range in Montana.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final ROD, the final 
CCP, final EIS, or other project information by any of the following 
methods:
     Agency Website: https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/refuges/nbrc.php.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``Request National 
Bison Range final ROD'' in the subject line of your email message.
     U.S. Mail: National Bison Range, 58355 Bison Range Road, 
Moiese, MT 59824.
     Local Libraries: The documents are available at the 
libraries listed under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Coffman, Refuge Manager, at 406-
644-2211, x204 (phone), or [email protected] (email), or Vanessa 
Fields, Planning Team Leader, at 406-727-7400, x219 (phone), or 
[email protected] (email).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    With this notice, we finalize the comprehensive conservation plan 
(CCP) and final environmental impact statement (EIS) process for the 
National Bison Range in Montana (refuge, NBR). We published a notice of 
intent (NOI) to develop a CCP and EIS, and a request for comments, in 
the Federal Register on May 18, 2017 (82 FR 22843), which opened a 
comment period until June 19, 2017. That NOI was a revision to an 
earlier NOI we published on January 18, 2017 (82 FR 5597), which opened 
a comment period that ended on February 17, 2017. After the scoping 
period and the development of alternatives, a draft CCP and draft EIS 
were made available for a 45-day public review and comment period, 
which closed on May 20, 2019 (April 5, 2019, 84 FR 13662). A second NOA 
was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2019 (84 FR 
46950), announcing publication of the final CCP and final EIS. The 
review period ended October 7, 2019. For general background on the CCP 
process and the NBR, please see the May 18, 2017, notice (82 FR 22844).
    The primary planning area for this decision is the congressionally 
designated boundary of the refuge, located in Sanders and Lake 
Counties, Montana. The 18,800-acre NBR is located where three major 
geographic features merge, Mission Valley, Mission Mountain Range, and 
Jocko River Valley. The glacial history of the region has had a 
pronounced influence on the soils and landforms. Grasslands dominate 
the landscape at lower elevations, dotted with wetland and riparian 
vegetation along seasonal drainages and around seeps and springs. 
Mixed-conifer forest occurs at the upper elevations. The Jocko River 
and Mission Creek form riparian and wetland corridors along the north 
and south boundaries of the refuge. Invasive plant species are 
recognized as an important factor affecting ecosystem function and 
health on the refuge.
    The NBR provides cover, food, water, and sufficient space for 
numerous native wildlife species. The NBR supports a healthy population 
of plains bison as well as populations of other native ungulates and a 
variety of predators. The refuge also supports over 200 native bird 
species. In addition to the federally threatened grizzly bear and bull 
trout, there are 43 Montana species of concern that occur on the 
refuge.
    Although people have lived in the region for thousands of years, 
relatively few cultural resource sites have been formally recorded on 
the refuge. It is anticipated that a wide range of undocumented 
cultural resource types are located on the NBR. These could include, 
but would not be limited to, pre-contact and/or protohistoric open 
camps, stone circles and alignments, cairns, lithic scatters, rock 
shelters, trails and roads, drive-lines, kill (i.e., jump or pound) 
sites, hunting blinds, eagle traps, fasting beds, and rock imagery, as 
well as historic buildings and structures associated with the mission 
and operation of the NBR.
    Visitors come from all over the country and other parts of the 
world to learn about NBR and enjoy a variety of wildlife-dependent 
recreational activities. In 2017, NBR welcomed approximately 180,000 
visitors. Annual visitation to the NBR is concentrated during spring 
through fall, when the full length of the Red Sleep Mountain Drive is 
open. Wildlife observation, photography, and hiking account for an 
estimated 94 percent of visits to the NBR. NBR affects the economy 
through the resident and nonresident visitor spending it generates, the 
employment it supports, and the value it adds to the surrounding area.

National Environmental Policy Act

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 
CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements, this notice announces the availability of 
the final ROD for the final CCP and final EIS for the National Bison 
Range. We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental, social, 
and economic considerations associated with our actions. The final ROD 
documents our selection of Alternative C, the preferred alternative.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the National 
Bison Range for the next 15 years. Alternative C, as we described in 
the final EIS/ROD, is the foundation for the CCP.

CCP Alternatives and Selected Alternative

    Our final CCP and final EIS (84 FR 46950, September 6, 2019) 
addressed several issues. To address these, we developed and evaluated 
the following alternatives:
     Alternative A--No Action, which would continue all the 
current management activities and maintain funding, infrastructure, all 
current programs, and staffing at existing levels;
     Alternative B, which emphasizes managing habitat and 
wildlife populations, as well as NBR infrastructure and operations, to 
provide quality wildlife-dependent opportunities for the public; and
     Alternative C, which emphasizes maintaining and, where 
feasible, enhancing ecological communities while recognizing ever-
changing environmental conditions.
    After consideration of the more than 300 comments that we received 
on the draft CCP and draft EIS, we selected Alternative C. It is the 
alternative that best meets the purposes of the refuge, the mission of 
the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the vision and management 
goals set for the National Bison Range; and it adheres to Service 
policies and guidelines. It considers the interests and perspectives of 
many agencies, organizations, Tribes, and the public. Additionally, it 
is the environmentally preferred alternative.
    Alternative C emphasizes maintaining and, where feasible, enhancing 
ecological communities while

[[Page 69389]]

recognizing ever-changing environmental conditions. In cooperation with 
our partners, the Service will develop and utilize a prioritization 
framework to identify and define future conditions that will drive 
management actions to build ecological community resiliency, promote 
species and genetic diversity, and build sustainability in management 
capacity and operations.
    Under this alternative, the Service will seek to facilitate 
collaborative, cooperative, and coordinated management of NBR with our 
Federal, Tribal, State, local, public, and private partners. Where 
possible, the refuge will participate in landscape-level management of 
wildlife species, evaluate cross-boundary movements, and create 
corridors conducive to wildlife migration and movement. The Service 
will also seek ways to incorporate the expertise, resources, and 
efforts of our partners to help facilitate the benefits of a broader 
functioning landscape.

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to the methods in ADDRESSES, you can view or obtain the 
final ROD, the final CCP, and final EIS at the following public 
libraries:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Library                      Address             Phone No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead County Library........  247 First Avenue East,     406-758-5820
                                  Kalispell, Montana
                                  59901.
Missoula Public Library........  301 Main Street,           406-721-2665
                                  Missoula, Montana
                                  59802.
Plains Public Library..........  P.O. Box 399, Plains,      406-826-3101
                                  Montana 59859.
Ronan City Library.............  203 Main Street SW,        406-676-3682
                                  Ronan, Montana 59864.
North Lake County Public         2 First Avenue East,       406-883-8225
 Library.                         Polson, Montana 59860.
St. Ignatius School--Community   76 Third Avenue, Saint     406-745-3811
 Library.                         Ignatius, Montana
                                  59865.
Bigfork Library................  525 Electric Avenue,       406-837-6976
                                  Bigfork, Montana 59911.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Noreen Walsh,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-27267 Filed 12-17-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P