Addition of Thermal Features Within Valles Caldera National Preserve to the List of Significant Thermal Features Within Units of the National Park System, 17397-17401 [2021-06806]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 62 / Friday, April 2, 2021 / Notices cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is seeking renewal of the approval for the information collection conducted under 25 CFR 11.600(c) and 11.606(c). This information collection allows the Clerk of the Court of Indian Offenses to collect personal information necessary for a Court of Indian Offenses to issue a marriage license or dissolve a marriage. Courts of Indian Offenses have been established on certain Indian reservations under the authority vested in the Secretary of the Interior by 5 U.S.C. 301 and 25 U.S.C. 2, 9, and 13, which authorize appropriations for ‘‘Indian judges.’’ Tribes retain jurisdiction over Indians, exclusive of State jurisdiction, but in the absence of Tribal courts exercising that jurisdiction, the Bureau of Indian Affairs been required to establish Courts of Indian Offenses to protect tribal members and other Indians. Accordingly, Courts of Indian Offenses exercise jurisdiction under 25 CFR 11. Domestic relations are governed by 25 CFR 11.600, which authorizes the Court of Indian Offenses to conduct and dissolve marriages. In order to obtain a marriage licenses in a Court of Indian Offenses, applicants must provide the six items of information listed in 25 CFR 11.600(c), including identifying information, such a Social Security number, information on previous marriage, relationship to the other applicant, and a certificate of the results of any medical examination required by applicable Tribal ordinances or the laws of the State in which the Indian country under the jurisdiction of the Court of Indian Offenses is located. To dissolve a marriage, applicants must provide the six items of information listed in 25 CFR 11.606(c), including information on occupation and residency (to establish jurisdiction), information on whether the parties have lives apart for at least 180 days or if there is serious marital discord warranting dissolution, and information on the children of the marriage and whether the wife is pregnant (for the court to determine the appropriate level of support that may be required from the non-custodial parent). (25 CFR 11.601) Two forms are used as part of this information collection, the Marriage License Application and the Dissolution of Marriage Application. Title of Collection: Law and Order on Indian Reservations—Marriage & Dissolution Applications. OMB Control Number: 1076–0094. Form Number: None. VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:04 Apr 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 260 per year, on average. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 260 per year, on average. Estimated Completion Time per Response: 15 minutes. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 65 hours. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain a Benefit. Frequency of Collection: On occasion. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $6,500 (approximately $25 per application for processing fees). An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq). Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2021–06793 Filed 4–1–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–GRD–22583; GPO Deposit Account 4311–H2] Addition of Thermal Features Within Valles Caldera National Preserve to the List of Significant Thermal Features Within Units of the National Park System National Park Service, Interior. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: This notice announces the addition of the thermal features within Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico, to the list of significant thermal features within units of the National Park System under the Geothermal Steam Act. This designation will provide additional protection of these important thermal features, as well as opportunities for enhanced collaboration among Federal Agencies, scientists, and resource managers. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Julia F. Brunner, Chief, Energy and Minerals Branch, Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, P.O. Box 25287, Lakewood, CO 80225–0287; telephone 303–969–2012. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 28, 2016, the National Park SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17397 Service (NPS) published for public review and comment a proposal to add the thermal features within Valles Caldera National Preserve (Preserve), New Mexico, to the list of significant thermal features within units of the National Park System in accordance with the Geothermal Steam Act as amended (see 81 FR 95632 (Dec. 28, 2016)). During the public comment period, which closed on January 27, 2017, the NPS received comments from 65 individuals, American Indian tribes, and nongovernmental organizations. The purpose of this notice is to summarize the proposal, review the comments that the NPS received on the proposal, and update the list of park units containing significant thermal features by adding the Valles Caldera to the list as a volcanic feature, and adding the hydrothermal system within the Preserve as a hydrothermal feature. The Geothermal Steam Act (GSA), as amended, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to issue geothermal leases for exploration, development and utilization of geothermal resources within available public lands administered by the Department, as well as on federal lands administered by the Department of Agriculture or other surface managing agencies, and on lands that have been conveyed by the United States subject to a reservation to the United States of the geothermal resources in those lands (30 U.S.C. 1002). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers the geothermal resources program pursuant to its regulations at 43 CFR parts 3000, 3200, and 3280. On federal lands managed by the Agriculture Department or used for a federal water power project, the BLM must first obtain the consent of the Secretary of Agriculture or Secretary of Energy, respectively, before it may issue any leases for geothermal resources underlying those lands (see 30 U.S.C. 1014(b)). The GSA provides that lands administered by the National Park Service (NPS) are not subject to geothermal leasing, thereby prohibiting geothermal leasing and development in park units (see 30 U.S.C. 1002, 1014(c)). In addition, the Preserve has been expressly withdrawn from the operation of the geothermal leasing laws (16 U.S.C. 698v–11(b)(9)). The GSA directs the Secretary to maintain a list of significant thermal features within units of the National Park System (see 30 U.S.C. 1026(a)(1)). The GSA specified sixteen park units already identified as containing such features for the list, and also authorized the Secretary to add significant thermal features within these or other park units E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 17398 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 62 / Friday, April 2, 2021 / Notices (4) the Secretary of Agriculture to consider the effects on significant thermal features within units of the National Park System in determining whether to consent to leasing on national forest lands or other lands administered by the Department of Agriculture (30 U.S.C. 1026(e)). Summary of NPS Proposal: In its December 28, 2016, notice proposing to add the Preserve, with its volcanic caldera and hydrothermal features (81 FR 95632), the NPS first described the relevant history of the GSA and the bases for previous listings of significant thermal features within park units (see 81 FR 95632). The NPS then proposed to define ‘‘thermal feature’’ as the surface manifestation of subsurface thermal resources, systems, or activity, and to use the words ‘‘hydrothermal’’ and ‘‘volcanic’’ as a simple description of the type of underlying thermal activity that resulted in how the feature appears on the earth’s surface. The NPS also proposed to remain consistent with its previous significant thermal feature determinations by interpreting the GSA’s four significance criteria as follows: (1) Size, extent, and uniqueness—NPS does not establish lower or upper limits on the size or extent of a feature. Each feature is identified according to its existing surface dimensions. For a feature to be considered significant under this criterion, it is identified as unique to the region, the nation, or, in some cases, the world. (2) Scientific and geologic significance—NPS considers the feature ‘‘significant’’ when the feature has been identified as contributing to geologic, biological, or other scientific knowledge compared with similar features in other areas or makes a significant contribution to the understanding of similar systems. (3) The extent to which such features remain in a natural, undisturbed condition—Under this criterion, no limits are established for amount or degree of development. The feature may be significant if it remains in a natural, relatively undisturbed condition. Modifications or improvements may be acceptable if: The alterations were necessary to preserve a developed feature; modifications intended to accommodate or improve public enjoyment of the feature are judged to be consistent or compatible with the intent of the enabling legislation; and so long as disturbances or developments, if any, have not affected the subsurface thermal regime. (4) Significance of thermal features to the authorized purposes for which the park unit was created—NPS considers features significant if they were the basis for establishment of the unit (i.e., the feature was specifically identified in the enabling legislation) or if they are consistent with the statutory purposes for which the area was set aside. Figure 1. Map of the Valles Caldera National Preserve showing the boundary of the designated significant thermal feature. VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:04 Apr 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 EN02AP21.001</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES to the list. 30 U.S.C. 1026(a)(2). Such a determination includes consideration of four significance criteria as well as a notice and public comment process (see 30 U.S.C. 1026(a)(2)–(3)). The NPS published its proposed notice for evaluation of the Valles Caldera National Preserve and its thermal features under these significance criteria in the Federal Register on December 28, 2016, in compliance with the GSA process. For listed significant thermal features, the GSA requires (1) The Secretary to maintain a monitoring program, including a research program carried out by NPS in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (30 U.S.C. 1026(b)); (2) the Secretary to determine, on the basis of scientific evidence, and subject to notice and public comment, whether exploration, development, or utilization of the land subject to a lease application would be reasonably likely to result in a significant adverse effect on any listed feature and, if so, not to issue the lease (30 U.S.C. 1026(c)); (3) the Secretary to determine, on the basis of scientific evidence, whether the exploration, development, or utilization of the land subject to a lease or drilling permit is reasonably likely to adversely affect any listed features and, if so, to include stipulations in the lease or drilling permit to protect those features (30 U.S.C. 1026(d)); and Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 62 / Friday, April 2, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES The NPS then proposed to add two significant thermal features within the Preserve to the list. The first such feature was the vast majority of the caldera itself, as a single volcanic feature. Excepted from the proposal was the portion of the caldera (10–15%) that lies outside the Preserve’s western and southern boundaries. The NPS also proposed to add various hydrothermal features within the Preserve to the list as a significant hydrothermal feature. Summary of Comments Received on the Proposal Sixty-five comments on the proposal were submitted to the NPS via the PEPC website at https:// parkplanning.nps.gov/vallego. The comments were submitted by 57 members of the public (mostly local or state residents), six New Mexico-based nongovernmental organizations, and representatives of two American Indian tribes located in northern New Mexico. Sixty-four of the 65 commenters fully and enthusiastically supported the NPS proposal. Many of the commenters expressed concern that geothermal development around the Preserve may adversely affect the unique and worldclass thermal features, the wildlife, the extraordinary landscape, and the recreation opportunities within the Preserve. Commenters also expressed concern that geothermal development around the Preserve may affect local water supply, exacerbate costly and detrimental invasive species in the area, and increase the potential for earthquakes, which could prove catastrophic due to the large amounts of plutonium stored at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory. The comments from the American Indian tribes explained that the protection of the natural and cultural resources in the Preserve is vital for maintaining their traditional cultural practices, and specifically that the NPS’s preservation of thermal features throughout the Preserve is necessary for the protection, preservation, and restoration of these resources and practices. For all of these reasons, the commenters supported the addition of the Preserve’s thermal features to the list, which will result in increased information and consultation among the NPS, BLM, the Forest Service, and stakeholders prior to any leasing and development-related decisions in the area surrounding the Preserve, and therefore will enhance protection of the significant thermal features within the Preserve. Only one commenter opposed the proposal, suggesting that the NPS should develop a geothermal power plant within the Preserve instead. This VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:04 Apr 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 action, however, would be inconsistent with the purpose of the Preserve, the input from local and state communities, and applicable laws, regulations, and policies. None of the commenters questioned the scientific underpinnings of the designation or the consistency of the features with the four significance criteria. Consideration of Significance Criteria for Thermal Features Proposed Caldera Thermal Feature The entirety of the volcanic caldera that lies within the Preserve is hereby added to the list as one significant thermal feature. The Preserve’s thermal feature is part of a geothermal landscape that extends beyond the Preserve’s perimeter boundary, although thermal features located outside that boundary are not included. The magma chamber beneath the Preserve is located under the southwest portion of the caldera, with surface expressions of thermal features primarily in the vicinity of Redondo Canyon, Sulphur Creek Canyon, and Alamo Canyon. Currently, approximately 1⁄3 of the Preserve has been surveyed. In addition, a detailed geologic and hydrologic GIS map has been developed. See http:// geoinfo.nmt.edu/repository/data/2011/ 20110002/GM-79_mapsheet.pdf. (Fig. 5). The subsurface heat that remains of the volcanic activity allows meteoric waters percolating down from the surface to become heated, which is expressed at the surface in several places within and in the vicinity of the caldera in the form of hydrologic hot springs or, in dry seasons, fumaroles or steam vents. The Preserve contains numerous thermal features (single or grouped contiguous features such as hot spring pools) in four geographic areas containing surface waters (Redondo Creek, Alamo Canyon, Sulphur Creek Canyon, and San Antonio Creek), as well as seasonal fumaroles and acid ponds or springs. These thermal features are also separately proposed for inclusion to the list as significant thermal (hydrothermal) features. The NPS analyzed and determined that the following significance criteria are applicable to every component of the caldera feature and volcanic system within the Preserve. (1) Size, extent, and uniqueness: The approximately 89,000-acre Preserve encompasses a 1.25 million year-old dormant volcanic caldera (13.7 miles in diameter) that lies in the center of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. The youngest post-caldera PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17399 volcanic eruption (Banco Bonito Rhyolite lava flow) occurred about 68 thousand years ago. The Valles Caldera that formed 1.25 million years ago is the younger of two calderas within the Preserve, and lies to the southwest of the comparably sized but now nearly imperceptible Toledo Caldera (1.62 Ma). Each caldera produced about 95 mi3 (400 km3) of ash flow tuff collectively known as the Bandelier Tuff. Numerous geothermal features occur throughout the Jemez Mountains. The Preserve does not encompass the entirety of the Valles Caldera depression itself—a portion of the northwestern caldera lies outside the boundary of the park unit to the west and south of the Preserve, in the Santa Fe National Forest. The subsurface volcanic heat anomaly or thermal system similarly extends outside of the park unit to the west. (2) Scientific and geologic significance: Water, steam, and soil samples from these sites have been and continue to be collected by scientists conducting geothermal and planetary research, and by scientists searching for living organisms in extreme environments. Because of its geologic uniqueness, NPS staff will use this area for public education, as the site illustrates the exceptional geologic values of the Jemez Mountains—sulfuric acid fumaroles and mud pots, and chloride-bicarbonate hot springs and cold springs—all characteristics of geologically active volcanic formations. (3) The extent to which the feature remains in a natural, undisturbed condition: The San Antonio Warm Springs and the Sulphur Springs-Alamo Canyon areas have been moderately to significantly disturbed by development (recreational structures, containment ponds, and other improvements as well as several geothermal exploration wells drilled between 1970–1984, most of which have been permanently capped and reclaimed) that occurred prior to federal acquisition of the Preserve in 2000; however, such alterations have not changed the thermal regime. Other features, such as acid ponds and fumaroles, are undisturbed in natural habitats. Despite some past geothermal exploration and drilling, the caldera itself as a volcanic feature remains unaffected in the operation of its volcanic thermal regime, and thus remains in a natural, undisturbed condition. (4) Significance to the authorized purposes for which the park unit was created: The Preserve was established ‘‘to protect, preserve, and restore the fish, wildlife, watershed, natural, scientific, scenic, geologic, historic, cultural, archaeological, and E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 17400 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 62 / Friday, April 2, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES recreational values of the area’’ (Pub. L. 113–291, Sec. 3043(b)(1)). The caldera is an important natural, cultural, geologic resource, contributes to scientific understanding of the geology of the region, and also contributes to the other values for which this NPS unit was established. Hydrothermal Features Like Yellowstone National Park, which is also a caldera, the Preserve contains multiple hydrothermal features that are related to the magma source. In addition, the dynamic nature of this area means that additional hydrothermal features may develop over time. These thermal features (single or grouped contiguous features such as hot spring pools) occur in four geographic areas containing surface waters (Redondo Creek, Alamo Canyon, Sulphur Creek Canyon, and San Antonio Creek), as well as seasonal fumaroles and acid ponds or springs. These hydrothermal features are therefore also added to the list as one significant thermal feature. The NPS analyzed the following significance criteria for each feature listed and found them to be applicable to each feature within the system. (1) Size, extent, and uniqueness: Size—The hydrothermal features within the Preserve are located on approximately 500 acres. Extent—(a) San Antonio Warm Spring is a single spring discharging potable hot water at 101 °F, over which 20thcentury ranchers built an enclosed concrete bath adjacent to a nearby cabin. This spring is located in the northcentral portion of the Preserve adjacent to the segment of the San Antonio Creek within the Valle San Antonio. (b) In addition, the Preserve has numerous hot and cold sulfuric acid fumaroles, particularly in the Alamo Canyon and Redondo Canyon regions. There are at least 29 fumaroles mapped in the Redondo and Alamo canyon areas; see map at: http:// geoinfo.nmt.edu/repository/data/2011/ 20110002/GM-79_mapsheet.pdf. Others may occur but have not been sampled or surveyed. (c) The Sulphur Springs area contains the highest temperature hot springs (189 °F) in the state of New Mexico; this area includes at least 7 significant named hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles, all of which are thermally anomalous; several other acid springs and gas vents are cold. The springs include such VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:04 Apr 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 colorfully descriptive names as Kidney and Stomach Trouble Spring, Footbath Spring, Ladies’ Bathhouse Spring, Laxitive [sic] Spring, Turkey Spring, Lemonade Spring, and Electric Spring. Some of these were historically referred to as Main Bathhouse Spring, Sour Spring, and Alum Spring. (d) Valle Grande spring: The easternmost named spring within the Preserve is the Valle Grande Spring (14 °C), although topographic maps indicate numerous other surrounding unnamed springs. Uniqueness—These springs and fumaroles (some of which take the form of bubbling mudpots in wet seasons) are indicators of subsurface thermal processes, are unique to the region, and are easily accessible for study and research; there are no comparable features in the State of New Mexico. The only other places in the United States that have such systems are Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho; Lassen Volcano, the Long Valley Caldera, and The Geysers in California, the latter two having thermal regimes degraded by geothermal production; and a very small system at Dixie Valley, Nevada. (2) Scientific and geologic significance: Water, steam, and soil samples from these sites have been and continue to be collected by scientists conducting geothermal and planetary research, and by scientists searching for living organisms in extreme environments. Because of its geologic uniqueness, NPS staff will use this area for public education, as the site illustrates the exceptional geologic values of the Jemez Mountains—sulfuric acid fumaroles, mud pots, hot springs, cold springs—all characteristics of geologically active volcanic formations. (3) The extent to which the feature remains in a natural, undisturbed condition: San Antonio Warm Spring has been slightly to moderately disturbed by construction of recreational structures, such as a cabin and a small enclosed pool, that occurred prior to federal acquisition of the Preserve in 2000, but these were constructed to support the recreational use of the feature. However, such alterations have not changed the thermal regime. The overall hydrothermal system activity and temperature thus remain unchanged and in a natural, undisturbed state. The Sulphur Springs-Alamo Canyon areas were moderately to significantly PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 disturbed by development (recreational structures, containment ponds, and other improvements as well as several geothermal exploration wells (drilled between 1970–1984); however, such alterations have not changed the thermal regime. Other features, including the Redondo Creek fumaroles (steam vents in dry season and mud pots or minor springs in wet seasons) are undisturbed in natural habitats. The overall hydrothermal system remains unchanged because it was never subjected to full-scale commercial development. (4) Significance to the authorized purposes for which the unit was created: While the enabling legislation for the Preserve does not specifically refer to hydrothermal features or their use by the public, the presence and preservation of such features as surface expressions of the subsurface volcanic activity is consistent with the Preserve’s purposes and uses. The hydrothermal features are important natural, cultural, and geologic resources associated with the Preserve and the Jemez Mountains, contribute to scientific understanding of the geology of the region, and also contribute to the other values for which this system unit was established. Conclusion: Because the Valles Caldera meets all four criteria as a volcanic feature, and because the hydrothermal system of the Preserve meets all four criteria as a hydrothermal feature, they are added to the list of significant thermal features in accordance with the GSA (see updated list in Figure 2). The addition of the Preserve as a park unit with significant thermal features does not automatically prohibit geothermal leasing, development, or related activities in the area surrounding the Preserve. Instead, this action simply requires the NPS, BLM, USGS, and the U.S. Forest Service to work closely together and with other stakeholders to utilize available scientific, cultural, and other information to ensure that geothermal leasing, permitting, or development will not result in adverse effects on the significant thermal features of Valles Caldera National Preserve. References A list of references considered during this determination is available in the notice of proposal (81 FR 95632). E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 62 / Friday, April 2, 2021 / Notices 17401 Fig.2. Updated List of Park Units Containing Significant Thermal Features in Accordance With Geothermal Steam Act, 30 U.S.C. 1026(a) 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve (feature: Aniakchak Caldera (volcanic)). Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (feature: Serpentine Hot Springs (hydrothermal)). Big Bend National Park (including that portion of the Rio Grande National Wild and Scenic River located in the Park) (features: Spring No. 1 (hydrothermal), Spring No. 4 (hydrothermal), Hot Springs (hydrothermal)). Crater Lake National Park (hydrothermal feature at bottom oflake). Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (feature: Reed River Hot Springs (hydrothermal)). Haleakala National Park (feature: Haleakala Crater (volcanic)). Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (features: Steaming Bluff and Sulpher Banks (hydrothermal), Kilauea Caldera and Halemaumau Crater (volcanic), Kilauea Ik:i Crater (volcanic), Great Crack and Southwest Rift (volcanic), East Rift Zone (volcanic), Chain of Craters (volcanic), Manna Ulu (volcanic), Pun Oo (volcanic), Mokuaweoweo Caldera and Northeast Rift Zone of Manna Loa (volcanic)). Hot Springs National Park (feature: Hot Springs (hydrothermal)). John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway (feature: Huckleberry Hotsprings (hydrothermal)). Katmai National Park and Preserve (feature: Novampta and vicinity (volcanic)). Lake Claik National Park and Preserve (features: Redoubt Volcano and Iliamna Volcano (volcanic)). Lake Mead National Recreational Area (features: Black Canyon Hotsprings (hydrothermal), Blue Point Spring (hydrothermal), and Rogers Spring (hydrothermal)). Lassen Volcanic National Park (feature: Lassen hydrothermal system including Bumpass Hell, Little Hot Springs Valley, Sulpher Works, Devils Kitchen, Boiling Springs Lake, Drakesbad Hot Springs, and Terminal Geyser)). Mount Rainier National Park (features: Mount Rainier (volcanic), fumaroles at the sununit of Mount Rainier and associated Ice Caves (hydrothermal), and Ohanapecosh Springs (hydrothermal)). Valles Caldera National Preserve (features: Valles Caldera (volcanic) and hydrothermal system (hydrothermal)). Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (feature: Wrangell Volcanoes (volcanic)). Yellowstone National Park (features: entire park including Old Faithful and approximately 10,000 geysers and hotsprings). Shannon A. Estenoz, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2021–06806 Filed 4–1–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–52–P Background INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. TA–201–77] Fresh, Chilled, or Frozen Blueberries jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Determination On the basis of the information in the investigation, the United States International Trade Commission (‘‘Commission’’) determines pursuant to section 202(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 that fresh, chilled, or frozen blueberries 1 are not being imported into 1 For Customs purposes, the products covered by the investigation are provided for under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (‘‘HTSUS’’) statistical reporting numbers 0810.40.0024; 0810.40.0026; 0810.40.0029; 0811.90.2024; 0811.90.2030; and 0811.90.2040. These HTSUS numbers are provided for VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:04 Apr 01, 2021 the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat thereof, to the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with the imported article. Jkt 253001 Following receipt of a request from the United States Trade Representative on September 29, 2020, the Commission instituted this investigation pursuant to section 202 of the Trade Act of 1974 to determine whether fresh, chilled, or frozen blueberries are being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or the threat thereof, to the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with the imported article. Notice of the institution of the Commission’s investigation and of the scheduling of public hearings to be held in connection therewith was given by publishing the notice in the Federal Register (85 FR 64162 (October 9, 2020), amended at 85 convenience, and the written description of the scope is dispositive. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FR 66360 (October 19, 2020)). In light of the restrictions on access to the Commission building due to the COVID–19 pandemic, the Commission conducted its public hearing in connection with the injury phase of the investigation through written testimony and video conference on January 12, 2021.2 All persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to participate. The Commission transmitted its determination in this investigation to the President on March 29, 2021. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 5164 (March 2021), entitled Fresh, Chilled, or Frozen Blueberries: Investigation No. TA–201– 77. By order of the Commission. 2 The Commission changed the starting time of this hearing from 9:30 a.m. as originally scheduled to 9:00 a.m. in a subsequent notice (86 FR 3195 (January 14, 2021)). E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 EN02AP21.002</GPH> 1. 2. 3.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 62 (Friday, April 2, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17397-17401]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06806]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-GRD-22583; GPO Deposit Account 4311-H2]


Addition of Thermal Features Within Valles Caldera National 
Preserve to the List of Significant Thermal Features Within Units of 
the National Park System

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the addition of the thermal features 
within Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico, to the list of 
significant thermal features within units of the National Park System 
under the Geothermal Steam Act. This designation will provide 
additional protection of these important thermal features, as well as 
opportunities for enhanced collaboration among Federal Agencies, 
scientists, and resource managers.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Julia F. Brunner, Chief, Energy 
and Minerals Branch, Geologic Resources Division, National Park 
Service, P.O. Box 25287, Lakewood, CO 80225-0287; telephone 303-969-
2012.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 28, 2016, the National Park 
Service (NPS) published for public review and comment a proposal to add 
the thermal features within Valles Caldera National Preserve 
(Preserve), New Mexico, to the list of significant thermal features 
within units of the National Park System in accordance with the 
Geothermal Steam Act as amended (see 81 FR 95632 (Dec. 28, 2016)). 
During the public comment period, which closed on January 27, 2017, the 
NPS received comments from 65 individuals, American Indian tribes, and 
nongovernmental organizations. The purpose of this notice is to 
summarize the proposal, review the comments that the NPS received on 
the proposal, and update the list of park units containing significant 
thermal features by adding the Valles Caldera to the list as a volcanic 
feature, and adding the hydrothermal system within the Preserve as a 
hydrothermal feature.
    The Geothermal Steam Act (GSA), as amended, authorizes the 
Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to issue geothermal leases for 
exploration, development and utilization of geothermal resources within 
available public lands administered by the Department, as well as on 
federal lands administered by the Department of Agriculture or other 
surface managing agencies, and on lands that have been conveyed by the 
United States subject to a reservation to the United States of the 
geothermal resources in those lands (30 U.S.C. 1002). The Bureau of 
Land Management (BLM) administers the geothermal resources program 
pursuant to its regulations at 43 CFR parts 3000, 3200, and 3280. On 
federal lands managed by the Agriculture Department or used for a 
federal water power project, the BLM must first obtain the consent of 
the Secretary of Agriculture or Secretary of Energy, respectively, 
before it may issue any leases for geothermal resources underlying 
those lands (see 30 U.S.C. 1014(b)).
    The GSA provides that lands administered by the National Park 
Service (NPS) are not subject to geothermal leasing, thereby 
prohibiting geothermal leasing and development in park units (see 30 
U.S.C. 1002, 1014(c)). In addition, the Preserve has been expressly 
withdrawn from the operation of the geothermal leasing laws (16 U.S.C. 
698v-11(b)(9)).
    The GSA directs the Secretary to maintain a list of significant 
thermal features within units of the National Park System (see 30 
U.S.C. 1026(a)(1)). The GSA specified sixteen park units already 
identified as containing such features for the list, and also 
authorized the Secretary to add significant thermal features within 
these or other park units

[[Page 17398]]

to the list. 30 U.S.C. 1026(a)(2). Such a determination includes 
consideration of four significance criteria as well as a notice and 
public comment process (see 30 U.S.C. 1026(a)(2)-(3)). The NPS 
published its proposed notice for evaluation of the Valles Caldera 
National Preserve and its thermal features under these significance 
criteria in the Federal Register on December 28, 2016, in compliance 
with the GSA process.
    For listed significant thermal features, the GSA requires
    (1) The Secretary to maintain a monitoring program, including a 
research program carried out by NPS in cooperation with the U.S. 
Geological Survey (30 U.S.C. 1026(b));
    (2) the Secretary to determine, on the basis of scientific 
evidence, and subject to notice and public comment, whether 
exploration, development, or utilization of the land subject to a lease 
application would be reasonably likely to result in a significant 
adverse effect on any listed feature and, if so, not to issue the lease 
(30 U.S.C. 1026(c));
    (3) the Secretary to determine, on the basis of scientific 
evidence, whether the exploration, development, or utilization of the 
land subject to a lease or drilling permit is reasonably likely to 
adversely affect any listed features and, if so, to include 
stipulations in the lease or drilling permit to protect those features 
(30 U.S.C. 1026(d)); and
    (4) the Secretary of Agriculture to consider the effects on 
significant thermal features within units of the National Park System 
in determining whether to consent to leasing on national forest lands 
or other lands administered by the Department of Agriculture (30 U.S.C. 
1026(e)).
    Summary of NPS Proposal: In its December 28, 2016, notice proposing 
to add the Preserve, with its volcanic caldera and hydrothermal 
features (81 FR 95632), the NPS first described the relevant history of 
the GSA and the bases for previous listings of significant thermal 
features within park units (see 81 FR 95632). The NPS then proposed to 
define ``thermal feature'' as the surface manifestation of subsurface 
thermal resources, systems, or activity, and to use the words 
``hydrothermal'' and ``volcanic'' as a simple description of the type 
of underlying thermal activity that resulted in how the feature appears 
on the earth's surface.
    The NPS also proposed to remain consistent with its previous 
significant thermal feature determinations by interpreting the GSA's 
four significance criteria as follows:
    (1) Size, extent, and uniqueness--NPS does not establish lower or 
upper limits on the size or extent of a feature. Each feature is 
identified according to its existing surface dimensions. For a feature 
to be considered significant under this criterion, it is identified as 
unique to the region, the nation, or, in some cases, the world.
    (2) Scientific and geologic significance--NPS considers the feature 
``significant'' when the feature has been identified as contributing to 
geologic, biological, or other scientific knowledge compared with 
similar features in other areas or makes a significant contribution to 
the understanding of similar systems.
    (3) The extent to which such features remain in a natural, 
undisturbed condition--Under this criterion, no limits are established 
for amount or degree of development. The feature may be significant if 
it remains in a natural, relatively undisturbed condition. 
Modifications or improvements may be acceptable if: The alterations 
were necessary to preserve a developed feature; modifications intended 
to accommodate or improve public enjoyment of the feature are judged to 
be consistent or compatible with the intent of the enabling 
legislation; and so long as disturbances or developments, if any, have 
not affected the subsurface thermal regime.
    (4) Significance of thermal features to the authorized purposes for 
which the park unit was created--NPS considers features significant if 
they were the basis for establishment of the unit (i.e., the feature 
was specifically identified in the enabling legislation) or if they are 
consistent with the statutory purposes for which the area was set 
aside.
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[[Page 17399]]


    The NPS then proposed to add two significant thermal features 
within the Preserve to the list. The first such feature was the vast 
majority of the caldera itself, as a single volcanic feature. Excepted 
from the proposal was the portion of the caldera (10-15%) that lies 
outside the Preserve's western and southern boundaries. The NPS also 
proposed to add various hydrothermal features within the Preserve to 
the list as a significant hydrothermal feature.

Summary of Comments Received on the Proposal

    Sixty-five comments on the proposal were submitted to the NPS via 
the PEPC website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/vallego. The comments 
were submitted by 57 members of the public (mostly local or state 
residents), six New Mexico-based nongovernmental organizations, and 
representatives of two American Indian tribes located in northern New 
Mexico.
    Sixty-four of the 65 commenters fully and enthusiastically 
supported the NPS proposal. Many of the commenters expressed concern 
that geothermal development around the Preserve may adversely affect 
the unique and world-class thermal features, the wildlife, the 
extraordinary landscape, and the recreation opportunities within the 
Preserve. Commenters also expressed concern that geothermal development 
around the Preserve may affect local water supply, exacerbate costly 
and detrimental invasive species in the area, and increase the 
potential for earthquakes, which could prove catastrophic due to the 
large amounts of plutonium stored at the nearby Los Alamos National 
Laboratory. The comments from the American Indian tribes explained that 
the protection of the natural and cultural resources in the Preserve is 
vital for maintaining their traditional cultural practices, and 
specifically that the NPS's preservation of thermal features throughout 
the Preserve is necessary for the protection, preservation, and 
restoration of these resources and practices. For all of these reasons, 
the commenters supported the addition of the Preserve's thermal 
features to the list, which will result in increased information and 
consultation among the NPS, BLM, the Forest Service, and stakeholders 
prior to any leasing and development-related decisions in the area 
surrounding the Preserve, and therefore will enhance protection of the 
significant thermal features within the Preserve.
    Only one commenter opposed the proposal, suggesting that the NPS 
should develop a geothermal power plant within the Preserve instead. 
This action, however, would be inconsistent with the purpose of the 
Preserve, the input from local and state communities, and applicable 
laws, regulations, and policies.
    None of the commenters questioned the scientific underpinnings of 
the designation or the consistency of the features with the four 
significance criteria.

Consideration of Significance Criteria for Thermal Features Proposed

Caldera Thermal Feature

    The entirety of the volcanic caldera that lies within the Preserve 
is hereby added to the list as one significant thermal feature. The 
Preserve's thermal feature is part of a geothermal landscape that 
extends beyond the Preserve's perimeter boundary, although thermal 
features located outside that boundary are not included. The magma 
chamber beneath the Preserve is located under the southwest portion of 
the caldera, with surface expressions of thermal features primarily in 
the vicinity of Redondo Canyon, Sulphur Creek Canyon, and Alamo Canyon. 
Currently, approximately \1/3\ of the Preserve has been surveyed. In 
addition, a detailed geologic and hydrologic GIS map has been 
developed. See http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/repository/data/2011/20110002/GM-79_mapsheet.pdf. (Fig. 5).
    The subsurface heat that remains of the volcanic activity allows 
meteoric waters percolating down from the surface to become heated, 
which is expressed at the surface in several places within and in the 
vicinity of the caldera in the form of hydrologic hot springs or, in 
dry seasons, fumaroles or steam vents. The Preserve contains numerous 
thermal features (single or grouped contiguous features such as hot 
spring pools) in four geographic areas containing surface waters 
(Redondo Creek, Alamo Canyon, Sulphur Creek Canyon, and San Antonio 
Creek), as well as seasonal fumaroles and acid ponds or springs. These 
thermal features are also separately proposed for inclusion to the list 
as significant thermal (hydrothermal) features.
    The NPS analyzed and determined that the following significance 
criteria are applicable to every component of the caldera feature and 
volcanic system within the Preserve.
    (1) Size, extent, and uniqueness: The approximately 89,000-acre 
Preserve encompasses a 1.25 million year-old dormant volcanic caldera 
(13.7 miles in diameter) that lies in the center of the Jemez Mountains 
in northern New Mexico. The youngest post-caldera volcanic eruption 
(Banco Bonito Rhyolite lava flow) occurred about 68 thousand years ago. 
The Valles Caldera that formed 1.25 million years ago is the younger of 
two calderas within the Preserve, and lies to the southwest of the 
comparably sized but now nearly imperceptible Toledo Caldera (1.62 Ma). 
Each caldera produced about 95 mi\3\ (400 km\3\) of ash flow tuff 
collectively known as the Bandelier Tuff. Numerous geothermal features 
occur throughout the Jemez Mountains. The Preserve does not encompass 
the entirety of the Valles Caldera depression itself--a portion of the 
northwestern caldera lies outside the boundary of the park unit to the 
west and south of the Preserve, in the Santa Fe National Forest. The 
subsurface volcanic heat anomaly or thermal system similarly extends 
outside of the park unit to the west.
    (2) Scientific and geologic significance: Water, steam, and soil 
samples from these sites have been and continue to be collected by 
scientists conducting geothermal and planetary research, and by 
scientists searching for living organisms in extreme environments. 
Because of its geologic uniqueness, NPS staff will use this area for 
public education, as the site illustrates the exceptional geologic 
values of the Jemez Mountains--sulfuric acid fumaroles and mud pots, 
and chloride-bicarbonate hot springs and cold springs--all 
characteristics of geologically active volcanic formations.
    (3) The extent to which the feature remains in a natural, 
undisturbed condition: The San Antonio Warm Springs and the Sulphur 
Springs-Alamo Canyon areas have been moderately to significantly 
disturbed by development (recreational structures, containment ponds, 
and other improvements as well as several geothermal exploration wells 
drilled between 1970-1984, most of which have been permanently capped 
and reclaimed) that occurred prior to federal acquisition of the 
Preserve in 2000; however, such alterations have not changed the 
thermal regime. Other features, such as acid ponds and fumaroles, are 
undisturbed in natural habitats. Despite some past geothermal 
exploration and drilling, the caldera itself as a volcanic feature 
remains unaffected in the operation of its volcanic thermal regime, and 
thus remains in a natural, undisturbed condition.
    (4) Significance to the authorized purposes for which the park unit 
was created: The Preserve was established ``to protect, preserve, and 
restore the fish, wildlife, watershed, natural, scientific, scenic, 
geologic, historic, cultural, archaeological, and

[[Page 17400]]

recreational values of the area'' (Pub. L. 113-291, Sec. 3043(b)(1)). 
The caldera is an important natural, cultural, geologic resource, 
contributes to scientific understanding of the geology of the region, 
and also contributes to the other values for which this NPS unit was 
established.

Hydrothermal Features

    Like Yellowstone National Park, which is also a caldera, the 
Preserve contains multiple hydrothermal features that are related to 
the magma source. In addition, the dynamic nature of this area means 
that additional hydrothermal features may develop over time. These 
thermal features (single or grouped contiguous features such as hot 
spring pools) occur in four geographic areas containing surface waters 
(Redondo Creek, Alamo Canyon, Sulphur Creek Canyon, and San Antonio 
Creek), as well as seasonal fumaroles and acid ponds or springs. These 
hydrothermal features are therefore also added to the list as one 
significant thermal feature. The NPS analyzed the following 
significance criteria for each feature listed and found them to be 
applicable to each feature within the system.
    (1) Size, extent, and uniqueness: Size--The hydrothermal features 
within the Preserve are located on approximately 500 acres.
    Extent--(a) San Antonio Warm Spring is a single spring discharging 
potable hot water at 101 [deg]F, over which 20th-century ranchers built 
an enclosed concrete bath adjacent to a nearby cabin. This spring is 
located in the north-central portion of the Preserve adjacent to the 
segment of the San Antonio Creek within the Valle San Antonio.
    (b) In addition, the Preserve has numerous hot and cold sulfuric 
acid fumaroles, particularly in the Alamo Canyon and Redondo Canyon 
regions. There are at least 29 fumaroles mapped in the Redondo and 
Alamo canyon areas; see map at: http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/repository/data/2011/20110002/GM-79_mapsheet.pdf. Others may occur but have not been 
sampled or surveyed.
    (c) The Sulphur Springs area contains the highest temperature hot 
springs (189 [deg]F) in the state of New Mexico; this area includes at 
least 7 significant named hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles, all of 
which are thermally anomalous; several other acid springs and gas vents 
are cold. The springs include such colorfully descriptive names as 
Kidney and Stomach Trouble Spring, Footbath Spring, Ladies' Bathhouse 
Spring, Laxitive [sic] Spring, Turkey Spring, Lemonade Spring, and 
Electric Spring. Some of these were historically referred to as Main 
Bathhouse Spring, Sour Spring, and Alum Spring.
    (d) Valle Grande spring: The easternmost named spring within the 
Preserve is the Valle Grande Spring (14 [deg]C), although topographic 
maps indicate numerous other surrounding unnamed springs.
    Uniqueness--These springs and fumaroles (some of which take the 
form of bubbling mudpots in wet seasons) are indicators of subsurface 
thermal processes, are unique to the region, and are easily accessible 
for study and research; there are no comparable features in the State 
of New Mexico. The only other places in the United States that have 
such systems are Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and 
Idaho; Lassen Volcano, the Long Valley Caldera, and The Geysers in 
California, the latter two having thermal regimes degraded by 
geothermal production; and a very small system at Dixie Valley, Nevada.
    (2) Scientific and geologic significance: Water, steam, and soil 
samples from these sites have been and continue to be collected by 
scientists conducting geothermal and planetary research, and by 
scientists searching for living organisms in extreme environments. 
Because of its geologic uniqueness, NPS staff will use this area for 
public education, as the site illustrates the exceptional geologic 
values of the Jemez Mountains--sulfuric acid fumaroles, mud pots, hot 
springs, cold springs--all characteristics of geologically active 
volcanic formations.
    (3) The extent to which the feature remains in a natural, 
undisturbed condition: San Antonio Warm Spring has been slightly to 
moderately disturbed by construction of recreational structures, such 
as a cabin and a small enclosed pool, that occurred prior to federal 
acquisition of the Preserve in 2000, but these were constructed to 
support the recreational use of the feature. However, such alterations 
have not changed the thermal regime. The overall hydrothermal system 
activity and temperature thus remain unchanged and in a natural, 
undisturbed state. The Sulphur Springs-Alamo Canyon areas were 
moderately to significantly disturbed by development (recreational 
structures, containment ponds, and other improvements as well as 
several geothermal exploration wells (drilled between 1970-1984); 
however, such alterations have not changed the thermal regime. Other 
features, including the Redondo Creek fumaroles (steam vents in dry 
season and mud pots or minor springs in wet seasons) are undisturbed in 
natural habitats. The overall hydrothermal system remains unchanged 
because it was never subjected to full-scale commercial development.
    (4) Significance to the authorized purposes for which the unit was 
created: While the enabling legislation for the Preserve does not 
specifically refer to hydrothermal features or their use by the public, 
the presence and preservation of such features as surface expressions 
of the subsurface volcanic activity is consistent with the Preserve's 
purposes and uses. The hydrothermal features are important natural, 
cultural, and geologic resources associated with the Preserve and the 
Jemez Mountains, contribute to scientific understanding of the geology 
of the region, and also contribute to the other values for which this 
system unit was established.
    Conclusion: Because the Valles Caldera meets all four criteria as a 
volcanic feature, and because the hydrothermal system of the Preserve 
meets all four criteria as a hydrothermal feature, they are added to 
the list of significant thermal features in accordance with the GSA 
(see updated list in Figure 2).
    The addition of the Preserve as a park unit with significant 
thermal features does not automatically prohibit geothermal leasing, 
development, or related activities in the area surrounding the 
Preserve. Instead, this action simply requires the NPS, BLM, USGS, and 
the U.S. Forest Service to work closely together and with other 
stakeholders to utilize available scientific, cultural, and other 
information to ensure that geothermal leasing, permitting, or 
development will not result in adverse effects on the significant 
thermal features of Valles Caldera National Preserve.

References

    A list of references considered during this determination is 
available in the notice of proposal (81 FR 95632).

[[Page 17401]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN02AP21.002


Shannon A. Estenoz,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks 
Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish 
and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2021-06806 Filed 4-1-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-52-P