Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin; Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah, 8889-8890 [2020-03163]

Download as PDF lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 32 / Tuesday, February 18, 2020 / Notices with wilderness characteristics, wild and scenic rivers and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). The Draft RMP/Draft EIS evaluated four alternatives in detail. Alternative A, the No Action Alternative, continues current management in the existing Land Use Plans (LUP). It does not address issues that were nonexistent or unforeseen when the BLM prepared the original LUPs. Alternative B protects natural resource values from potential impacts of population growth and increased use and incorporates protective measures for plants and wildlife compared to other alternatives. While some areas emphasize recreation and community development uses, the primary emphases are for conservation and reduction of habitat fragmentation and resource degradation. Alternative C accommodates increased population growth and use of public lands by emphasizing land disposal for local community expansion, providing economic expansion through extractive and renewable energy resource development and continues to provide recreational opportunities. Alternative D, the Preferred Alternative in the Draft RMP/Draft EIS, is the Proposed Plan in the Final EIS and emphasizes management of public lands to promote economic development while maintaining natural resource values. The Proposed RMP opens some areas to fluid mineral development, improves opportunities to manage or reduce invasive annual grasses, maintains three ACECs, and improves opportunities for access to public lands. The FRFO Draft RMP/ Draft EIS public comment period began on May 24, 2019, and was extended for 30 days at the request of the State of Idaho to September 23, 2019. The BLM conducted four public open house meetings during the public comment period. The BLM considered and incorporated, as appropriate, comments on the Draft RMP/Draft EIS received from the public, State of Idaho, other cooperating agencies and internal BLM review. Public comments resulted in the addition of management actions and clarifying text and the retention of the Boise Front ACEC. These changes do not significantly change the proposed LUP decisions. Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM regarding the Proposed RMP and Final EIS may be found online at https://www.blm.gov/ programs/planning-and-nepa/publicparticipation/filing-a-plan-protest and at 43 CFR 1610.5–2. All protests must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Feb 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section or submitted electronically through the BLM ePlanning project website as described above. Protests submitted electronically by any means other than the ePlanning project website protest section will be invalid unless a protest is also submitted in hard copy. Protests submitted by fax will also be invalid unless also submitted either through ePlanning project website protest section or in hard copy. Before including your phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your protest to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. (Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR 1610.5) John F. Ruhs, Idaho BLM State Director. [FR Doc. 2020–03035 Filed 2–14–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [19X.LLID930000.L11700000.DF0000. LXSGPL000000.241A.4500132602] Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin; Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin and by this notice is announcing its availability. DATES: The BLM will not issue a final decision on the proposal for a minimum of 30 days after the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final Programmatic EIS for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin are available for public inspection during regular business hours at 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709. Interested persons may also SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8889 review the Final Programmatic EIS online at: https://go.usa.gov/xnQcG. Additional copies can be made available at the California, Nevada, Oregon/ Washington and Utah BLM State Offices upon request. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ammon Wilhelm, telephone 208–373– 3824; address BLM Idaho State Office, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709; email awilhelm@blm.gov Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual 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: Strategically placed fuel breaks in the Great Basin region would improve firefighter safety and expand opportunities to catch rapidly moving fires, potentially reducing fire size. Fuel breaks should provide greater protection of human life and property, sagebrush communities, and habitat restoration investments. Reducing fire size helps to reduce the expansion of invasive species, such as cheatgrass and medusahead. Fuel breaks are needed due to the increased size and frequency of wildfires throughout the western United States in recent years. From 2009 through 2018 over 13.5 million acres of BLM-administered lands burned within the project area, impacting healthy rangelands, sagebrush communities, and the general productivity of the lands. Larger and more frequent wildfires result in increased risk for injuries and fatalities among wildland firefighters, destruction of private property, degradation and loss of rangelands, loss of recreational opportunities, and habitat loss for a variety of species, including conversion of native habitats to invasive annual grasses. Conversion of rangeland habitats to invasive annual grasslands further impedes rangeland health and productivity by slowing or preventing the recovery of sagebrush ecosystems. This programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) evaluates the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposal to create and maintain a system of fuel breaks in the Great Basin region. The project area, covering nearly 224 million acres, includes portions of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The fuel breaks would be placed along a subset of available linear features, such as roads and rightsof-way on BLM-administered lands within sagebrush communities; these E:\FR\FM\18FEN1.SGM 18FEN1 8890 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 32 / Tuesday, February 18, 2020 / Notices potential treatment areas cover approximately 38 million acres within the project area boundary. The preferred alternative (Alternative D) analyzes a full suite of manual, chemical and mechanical treatments, including prescribed fire, seeding, and targeted grazing, to construct and maintain up to 11,000 miles of fuel breaks, potentially removing or altering vegetation on approximately 667,000 acres and protecting approximately 38 million acres of the sagebrush ecosystem. Fuel break types include green strips (areas planted with low-statured, fire-resistant vegetation), brown strips (areas where all vegetation is removed), and mowed fuel breaks (reduced vegetation height). The NOA for the Draft Programmatic EIS published on June 21, 2019, initiating a 45-day public comment period. During July 2019, the BLM hosted 12 public comment meetings throughout the six-state project area. Agencies, organizations, and interested parties provided comments on the draft Programmatic EIS via mail, email, and at the public meetings. The BLM received 907 comment form letters and 138 unique comment letters. Comments on the Draft Programmatic EIS received from the public and internal BLM review were considered and incorporated as appropriate into the Final Programmatic EIS. Public comments resulted in the addition of clarifying text, but did not significantly change the alternatives or analysis. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10. John F. Ruhs, Idaho State Director, Bureau of Land Management. [FR Doc. 2020–03163 Filed 2–14–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement [Docket ID BSEE–2019–0013; 201E1700D2 ET1SF0000.EAQ000 EEEE500000; OMB Control Number 1014–0026] Agency Information Collection Activities; Application for Permit To Modify (APM) and Supporting Documentation Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Feb 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 Enforcement (BSEE) proposes to renew an information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 20, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by either of the following methods listed below: • Electronically go to http:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter BSEE–2019–0013 then click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view all related materials. We will post all comments. • Email kye.mason@bsee.gov, fax (703) 787–1546, or mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Regulations and Standards Branch; ATTN: Nicole Mason; 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166. Please reference OMB Control Number 1014– 0026 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Nicole Mason by email at kye.mason@bsee.gov or by telephone at (703) 787–1607. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comments addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of BSEE; (2) Will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) Is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) How might BSEE enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) How might BSEE minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. Abstract: Throughout the regulations at 30 CFR part 250, BSEE requires the submission of Applications for Permit to Modify, and all supporting documentation on form BSEE–0124 that pertain to regulatory requirements of oil, gas, and sulfur operations in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) (including the associated forms), and are the subject of this collection. This request also covers any related Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that BSEE issues to clarify, supplement, or provide additional guidance on some aspects of our regulations. The BSEE uses the information to ensure safe well control, completion, workover, and decommissioning operations and to protect the human, marine, and coastal environment. Among other things, BSEE specifically uses the information (see the burden table under A.12 to see what specific information BSEE collects) to ensure: The well control, completion, workover, and decommissioning unit (drilling/ well operations) is fit for the intended purpose; equipment is maintained in a state of readiness and meets safety standards; each drilling/well operation crew is properly trained and able to promptly perform well-control activities at any time during well operations; compliance with safety standards; and the current regulations will provide for safe and proper field or reservoir development, resource evaluation, conservation, protection of correlative rights, safety, and environmental protection. We also review well records to ascertain whether the operations have encountered hydrocarbons or H2S and to ensure that H2S detection equipment, personnel protective equipment, and training of the crew are adequate for safe operations in zones known to contain H2S and zones where the presence of H2S is unknown. Title of Collection: 30 CFR part 250, Application for Permit to Modify (APM) and supporting documentation. OMB Control Number: 1014–0026. Form Number: BSEE–0124. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Potential respondents are comprised of Federal OCS oil, gas, and sulfur lessees/ E:\FR\FM\18FEN1.SGM 18FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 32 (Tuesday, February 18, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8889-8890]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03163]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[19X.LLID930000.L11700000.DF0000.LXSGPL000000.241A.4500132602]


Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin; Idaho, Washington, 
Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a 
Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Fuel Breaks 
in the Great Basin and by this notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: The BLM will not issue a final decision on the proposal for a 
minimum of 30 days after the date that the Environmental Protection 
Agency publishes its Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal 
Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final Programmatic EIS for Fuel Breaks in the 
Great Basin are available for public inspection during regular business 
hours at 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709. Interested persons may 
also review the Final Programmatic EIS online at: https://go.usa.gov/xnQcG. Additional copies can be made available at the California, 
Nevada, Oregon/Washington and Utah BLM State Offices upon request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ammon Wilhelm, telephone 208-373-3824; 
address BLM Idaho State Office, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709; 
email [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-
8339 to contact the above individual 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: Strategically placed fuel breaks in the 
Great Basin region would improve firefighter safety and expand 
opportunities to catch rapidly moving fires, potentially reducing fire 
size. Fuel breaks should provide greater protection of human life and 
property, sagebrush communities, and habitat restoration investments. 
Reducing fire size helps to reduce the expansion of invasive species, 
such as cheatgrass and medusahead. Fuel breaks are needed due to the 
increased size and frequency of wildfires throughout the western United 
States in recent years. From 2009 through 2018 over 13.5 million acres 
of BLM-administered lands burned within the project area, impacting 
healthy rangelands, sagebrush communities, and the general productivity 
of the lands. Larger and more frequent wildfires result in increased 
risk for injuries and fatalities among wildland firefighters, 
destruction of private property, degradation and loss of rangelands, 
loss of recreational opportunities, and habitat loss for a variety of 
species, including conversion of native habitats to invasive annual 
grasses. Conversion of rangeland habitats to invasive annual grasslands 
further impedes rangeland health and productivity by slowing or 
preventing the recovery of sagebrush ecosystems.
    This programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) evaluates 
the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposal to create and maintain a 
system of fuel breaks in the Great Basin region. The project area, 
covering nearly 224 million acres, includes portions of California, 
Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The fuel breaks would be 
placed along a subset of available linear features, such as roads and 
rights-of-way on BLM-administered lands within sagebrush communities; 
these

[[Page 8890]]

potential treatment areas cover approximately 38 million acres within 
the project area boundary. The preferred alternative (Alternative D) 
analyzes a full suite of manual, chemical and mechanical treatments, 
including prescribed fire, seeding, and targeted grazing, to construct 
and maintain up to 11,000 miles of fuel breaks, potentially removing or 
altering vegetation on approximately 667,000 acres and protecting 
approximately 38 million acres of the sagebrush ecosystem. Fuel break 
types include green strips (areas planted with low-statured, fire-
resistant vegetation), brown strips (areas where all vegetation is 
removed), and mowed fuel breaks (reduced vegetation height).
    The NOA for the Draft Programmatic EIS published on June 21, 2019, 
initiating a 45-day public comment period. During July 2019, the BLM 
hosted 12 public comment meetings throughout the six-state project 
area. Agencies, organizations, and interested parties provided comments 
on the draft Programmatic EIS via mail, email, and at the public 
meetings. The BLM received 907 comment form letters and 138 unique 
comment letters. Comments on the Draft Programmatic EIS received from 
the public and internal BLM review were considered and incorporated as 
appropriate into the Final Programmatic EIS. Public comments resulted 
in the addition of clarifying text, but did not significantly change 
the alternatives or analysis.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

John F. Ruhs,
Idaho State Director, Bureau of Land Management.
[FR Doc. 2020-03163 Filed 2-14-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P