Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for Greater Sage-Grouse Management, Idaho, 3180-3181 [2021-00662]

Download as PDF 3180 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 9 / Thursday, January 14, 2021 / Notices (4) BLM’s Approach to Compensatory Mitigation: In the 2019 planning process, the BLM requested public comments on a number of issues, including the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation. As part of the 2015 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments, the BLM selected a net conservation gain standard in its approach to compensatory mitigation, which the 2019 land use plan amendments modified to align with the BLM’s 2018 policy on compensatory mitigation. Through the 2020 supplemental EIS process, the BLM requested further comments about the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation. After reviewing the comments that the BLM received about compensatory mitigation, the BLM determined that its environmental analysis supporting the 2019 land use plan amendments was sound. The public has now had substantial opportunities to consider and comment on the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation at the land use planning level, including the approach taken in the 2019 land use plan amendments. Based on the final supplemental EIS, the BLM has determined that its decadelong planning and NEPA processes have sufficiently addressed Greater SageGrouse habitat conservation and no new land use planning process to consider additional alternatives or new information is warranted. This determination is not a new planning decision. Instead, it is a determination not to amend the applicable land use plans. Thus, it is not subject to appeal or protest. The BLM’s decision remains as identified in the 2019 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment for Greater Sage-Grouse conservation in Colorado. (Authority: 40 CFR 1505.2; 40 CFR 1506.6; References to the CEQ regulations are to the regulations in effect prior to September 14, 2020. The revised CEQ regulations effective September 14, 2020, are not cited because this supplemental EIS process began prior to that date.) Jamie E. Connell, BLM Colorado State Director. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2021–00661 Filed 1–13–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DQ–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:43 Jan 13, 2021 Jkt 253001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [212.LLWO230000. L11700000.PH0000.LXSGPL000000] Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for Greater Sage-Grouse Management, Idaho Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the management of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat in Idaho. The BLM has determined that its decade-long planning and NEPA processes have sufficiently addressed Greater SageGrouse habitat conservation and no new land use planning process to consider additional alternatives or new information is warranted. This determination is not a new planning decision. Instead, it is a determination not to amend the applicable land use plans. Thus, it is not subject to appeal or protest. The BLM’s decision remains as identified in the 2019 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment for Greater Sage-Grouse conservation in Idaho. ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD are available for public inspection at the Idaho Bureau of Land Management State Office, 1387 S Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709. Interested persons may also review the ROD on the internet at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/ project/103344/510. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela Murdock, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, at 208– 373–4050; Idaho Bureau of Land Management State Office, 1387 S Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709; pmurdock@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 Ms. Murdock during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM issued this ROD to document the agency’s determination regarding the analysis contained in the final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (85 FR 74380). With the issuance of this ROD, the BLM has now completed several planning and NEPA processes for Greater Sage-Grouse management in Idaho over roughly the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 last decade, which include the processes that culminated in the 2015 ROD and the Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (the 2015 planning process), the 2019 ROD and Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (the 2019 planning process), and this 2020 ROD (the 2020 supplemental EIS process). Together, these processes represent a thorough analysis of Greater Sage-Grouse management, substantial public engagement, and important coordination with state wildlife agencies, other federal agencies, and many others in the range of the species have been collaborating to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitats. The BLM prepared the final supplemental EIS in order to review its previous NEPA analysis, clarify and augment it where necessary, and provide the public with additional opportunities to review and comment. It also helped the BLM determine whether its 2015 and 2019 land use planning and NEPA processes sufficiently addressed Greater Sage-Grouse habitat conservation or whether the BLM should initiate a new land use planning process to consider additional alternatives or new information. The final supplemental EIS addressed four specific issues: The range of alternatives, need to take a hard look at environmental impacts, cumulative effects analysis, and the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation. Rationale to support BLM’s determination, with respect to each of these topical areas, is summarized below and described further in the ROD: (1) Range of Alternatives: Throughout the decade-long planning and NEPA processes, the BLM has analyzed in detail 143 alternatives across the range of Greater Sage-Grouse. Additionally, the BLM has continued to review new science as it is published, which affirms that the BLM has considered a full range of plan-level conservation measures in the alternatives already analyzed. (2) Hard Look: The BLM has continued to take a hard look at environmental impacts every step of the way in planning for Greater Sage-Grouse habitat conservation. In the 2015 planning process, the 2019 planning process, and in the 2020 supplemental EIS process, the BLM incorporated detailed analysis of environmental impacts into our decision-making processes and disclosed these expected impacts to the public. As scientific information has continued to evolve, the BLM has closely reviewed and considered any changes from such science to expected environmental impacts, both at the land use plan scale E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 9 / Thursday, January 14, 2021 / Notices and in site-specific analyses. To address public comments raised during the supplemental EIS process, the BLM convened a team of biologists and land use planners to evaluate scientific literature provided to the agency. The BLM found that the most up-to-date Greater Sage-Grouse science and other information has incrementally increased, and built upon, the knowledgebase of Greater Sage-Grouse management evaluated by the BLM most recently in its 2019 land use plan amendments, but does not change the scope or direction of the BLM’s management; however, new science does suggest adaptations to management may be warranted at site-specific scales. (3) Cumulative Effects Analysis: The BLM considered cumulative impacts on a rangewide basis, organizing that analysis at the geographic scale of each Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) management zone, in order to consider impacts at biologically meaningful scales. In the 2019 planning process, the BLM incorporated by reference cumulative effects analysis conducted in the 2015 planning process and other environmental impact statements. Since the nature and context of the cumulative effects scenario has not appreciably changed since 2015, and the 2015 analysis covered the entire range of the Greater Sage-Grouse, the BLM’s consideration of cumulative effects in the 2015 planning process adequately addresses most, if not all, of the planning decisions made through the 2019 planning process. While the 2019 planning process largely incorporated by reference the analysis from the 2015 planning process, and updated it where needed to account for current conditions, the 2020 supplemental EIS process elaborated on this information in greater detail and updated the analysis to ensure that the BLM appropriately evaluated cumulative effects at biologically meaningful scales. (4) BLM’s Approach to Compensatory Mitigation: In the 2019 planning process, the BLM requested public comments on a number of issues, including the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation. As part of the 2015 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments, the BLM selected a net conservation gain standard in its approach to compensatory mitigation, which the 2019 land use plan amendments modified to align with the BLM’s 2018 policy on compensatory mitigation. Through the 2020 supplemental EIS process, the BLM requested further comments about the BLM’s approach to compensatory VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:43 Jan 13, 2021 Jkt 253001 mitigation. After reviewing the comments that the BLM received about compensatory mitigation, the BLM determined that its environmental analysis supporting the 2019 land use plan amendments was sound. The public has now had substantial opportunities to consider and comment on the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation at the land use planning level, including the approach taken in the 2019 land use plan amendments. Based on the final supplemental EIS, the BLM has determined that its decadelong planning and NEPA processes have sufficiently addressed Greater SageGrouse habitat conservation and no new land use planning process to consider additional alternatives or new information is warranted. This determination is not a new planning decision. Instead, it is a determination not to amend the applicable land use plans. Thus, it is not subject to appeal or protest. The BLM’s decision remains as identified in the 2019 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment for Greater Sage-Grouse conservation in Idaho. (Authority: 40 CFR 1505.2; 40 CFR 1506.6; References to the CEQ regulations are to the regulations in effect prior to September 14, 2020. The revised CEQ regulations effective September 14, 2020, are not cited because this supplemental EIS process began prior to that date.) John F. Ruhs, BLM Idaho State Director. [FR Doc. 2021–00662 Filed 1–13–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DQ–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [(LLCA930000.L13400000.DS0000.21X) MO#450014117] Notice of Availability of the Draft Desert Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, California 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 Draft Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), for an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan and the Bakersfield and Bishop Resource Management Plans (RMPs). The Desert Plan Amendment Draft LUPA/EIS includes consideration SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3181 of changes to the management or modification to the boundaries of 129 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). By this notice, the BLM is announcing the availability of the Draft LUPA/EIS. In order to comply with Federal regulations, the BLM is also announcing a comment period on proposed changes to the ACECs within the planning area. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft LUPA/ EIS within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of the Draft LUPA/ EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, news releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: The Desert Plan Amendment Draft LUPA/EIS are available on the BLM ePlanning project website at https://go.usa.gov/x7hdj. Click the ‘‘Documents’’ link on the left side of the screen to find the electronic version of these materials. Hard copies of the Desert Plan Amendment Draft LUPA and Draft EIS are also available for public inspection at the following BLM locations: California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W–1623, Sacramento, CA 95825; California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553; Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311; El Centro Field Office, 1661 S. 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243; Needles Field Office, 1303 S. Highway 95, Needles, CA 92363; Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, CA 93555; Bakersfield Field Office, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308; and Bishop Field Office, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, Bishop, CA 93514. You may submit written comments related to the Desert Plan Amendment by either of the following methods: • Website: https://go.usa.gov/x7hdj. • Mail: Bureau of Land Management, California State Office, Attn: Desert Plan Amendment, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W–1623, Sacramento, CA 95825. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeremiah Karuzas, Renewable Energy Program Manager, telephone: 916–978– 4644, email: jkaruzas@blm.gov; address Bureau of Land Management, 2800 Cottage Way, W–1623, Sacramento, CA 95825. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 9 (Thursday, January 14, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3180-3181]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-00662]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[212.LLWO230000. L11700000.PH0000.LXSGPL000000]


Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for Greater 
Sage-Grouse Management, Idaho

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability 
of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the management of Greater Sage-
Grouse habitat in Idaho. The BLM has determined that its decade-long 
planning and NEPA processes have sufficiently addressed Greater Sage-
Grouse habitat conservation and no new land use planning process to 
consider additional alternatives or new information is warranted. This 
determination is not a new planning decision. Instead, it is a 
determination not to amend the applicable land use plans. Thus, it is 
not subject to appeal or protest. The BLM's decision remains as 
identified in the 2019 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment for 
Greater Sage-Grouse conservation in Idaho.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD are available for public inspection at the 
Idaho Bureau of Land Management State Office, 1387 S Vinnell Way, 
Boise, Idaho 83709. Interested persons may also review the ROD on the 
internet at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/103344/510.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela Murdock, Planning and 
Environmental Coordinator, at 208-373-4050; Idaho Bureau of Land 
Management State Office, 1387 S Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709; 
[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 Ms. Murdock during normal business hours. The FRS is 
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or 
question. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM issued this ROD to document the 
agency's determination regarding the analysis contained in the final 
supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (85 FR 74380). With 
the issuance of this ROD, the BLM has now completed several planning 
and NEPA processes for Greater Sage-Grouse management in Idaho over 
roughly the last decade, which include the processes that culminated in 
the 2015 ROD and the Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (the 
2015 planning process), the 2019 ROD and Approved Resource Management 
Plan Amendment (the 2019 planning process), and this 2020 ROD (the 2020 
supplemental EIS process). Together, these processes represent a 
thorough analysis of Greater Sage-Grouse management, substantial public 
engagement, and important coordination with state wildlife agencies, 
other federal agencies, and many others in the range of the species 
have been collaborating to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse and its 
habitats.
    The BLM prepared the final supplemental EIS in order to review its 
previous NEPA analysis, clarify and augment it where necessary, and 
provide the public with additional opportunities to review and comment. 
It also helped the BLM determine whether its 2015 and 2019 land use 
planning and NEPA processes sufficiently addressed Greater Sage-Grouse 
habitat conservation or whether the BLM should initiate a new land use 
planning process to consider additional alternatives or new 
information.
    The final supplemental EIS addressed four specific issues: The 
range of alternatives, need to take a hard look at environmental 
impacts, cumulative effects analysis, and the BLM's approach to 
compensatory mitigation. Rationale to support BLM's determination, with 
respect to each of these topical areas, is summarized below and 
described further in the ROD:
    (1) Range of Alternatives: Throughout the decade-long planning and 
NEPA processes, the BLM has analyzed in detail 143 alternatives across 
the range of Greater Sage-Grouse. Additionally, the BLM has continued 
to review new science as it is published, which affirms that the BLM 
has considered a full range of plan-level conservation measures in the 
alternatives already analyzed.
    (2) Hard Look: The BLM has continued to take a hard look at 
environmental impacts every step of the way in planning for Greater 
Sage-Grouse habitat conservation. In the 2015 planning process, the 
2019 planning process, and in the 2020 supplemental EIS process, the 
BLM incorporated detailed analysis of environmental impacts into our 
decision-making processes and disclosed these expected impacts to the 
public. As scientific information has continued to evolve, the BLM has 
closely reviewed and considered any changes from such science to 
expected environmental impacts, both at the land use plan scale

[[Page 3181]]

and in site-specific analyses. To address public comments raised during 
the supplemental EIS process, the BLM convened a team of biologists and 
land use planners to evaluate scientific literature provided to the 
agency. The BLM found that the most up-to-date Greater Sage-Grouse 
science and other information has incrementally increased, and built 
upon, the knowledgebase of Greater Sage-Grouse management evaluated by 
the BLM most recently in its 2019 land use plan amendments, but does 
not change the scope or direction of the BLM's management; however, new 
science does suggest adaptations to management may be warranted at 
site-specific scales.
    (3) Cumulative Effects Analysis: The BLM considered cumulative 
impacts on a rangewide basis, organizing that analysis at the 
geographic scale of each Western Association of Fish and Wildlife 
Agencies (WAFWA) management zone, in order to consider impacts at 
biologically meaningful scales. In the 2019 planning process, the BLM 
incorporated by reference cumulative effects analysis conducted in the 
2015 planning process and other environmental impact statements. Since 
the nature and context of the cumulative effects scenario has not 
appreciably changed since 2015, and the 2015 analysis covered the 
entire range of the Greater Sage-Grouse, the BLM's consideration of 
cumulative effects in the 2015 planning process adequately addresses 
most, if not all, of the planning decisions made through the 2019 
planning process.
    While the 2019 planning process largely incorporated by reference 
the analysis from the 2015 planning process, and updated it where 
needed to account for current conditions, the 2020 supplemental EIS 
process elaborated on this information in greater detail and updated 
the analysis to ensure that the BLM appropriately evaluated cumulative 
effects at biologically meaningful scales.
    (4) BLM's Approach to Compensatory Mitigation: In the 2019 planning 
process, the BLM requested public comments on a number of issues, 
including the BLM's approach to compensatory mitigation. As part of the 
2015 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments, the BLM selected a 
net conservation gain standard in its approach to compensatory 
mitigation, which the 2019 land use plan amendments modified to align 
with the BLM's 2018 policy on compensatory mitigation. Through the 2020 
supplemental EIS process, the BLM requested further comments about the 
BLM's approach to compensatory mitigation. After reviewing the comments 
that the BLM received about compensatory mitigation, the BLM determined 
that its environmental analysis supporting the 2019 land use plan 
amendments was sound. The public has now had substantial opportunities 
to consider and comment on the BLM's approach to compensatory 
mitigation at the land use planning level, including the approach taken 
in the 2019 land use plan amendments.
    Based on the final supplemental EIS, the BLM has determined that 
its decade-long planning and NEPA processes have sufficiently addressed 
Greater Sage-Grouse habitat conservation and no new land use planning 
process to consider additional alternatives or new information is 
warranted. This determination is not a new planning decision. Instead, 
it is a determination not to amend the applicable land use plans. Thus, 
it is not subject to appeal or protest. The BLM's decision remains as 
identified in the 2019 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment for 
Greater Sage-Grouse conservation in Idaho.

(Authority: 40 CFR 1505.2; 40 CFR 1506.6; References to the CEQ 
regulations are to the regulations in effect prior to September 14, 
2020. The revised CEQ regulations effective September 14, 2020, are 
not cited because this supplemental EIS process began prior to that 
date.)

John F. Ruhs,
BLM Idaho State Director.
[FR Doc. 2021-00662 Filed 1-13-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-DQ-P