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Regional Focus - News and Local Events => Southwest => Topic started by: Peter Vahry on March 29, 2013, 05:34:26 am

Title: Clear Creek Management Area Final Environmental Impact Statement, California
Post by: Peter Vahry on March 29, 2013, 05:34:26 am
Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Availability of the Clear Creek Management Area
Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact
Statement, California

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of
1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a
Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP)/Final Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) and by this
notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: BLM planning regulations (43 CFR 1610) state that any person who
meets the conditions as described in the regulations may protest the
BLM's Proposed RMP and Final EIS. A person who meets the conditions and
files a protest, must file the protest within 30 days of the date that
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes its notice in the
Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the CCMA Proposed RMP and Final EIS have been sent
to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies and to other
stakeholders. Copies of the CCMA Proposed RMP and Final EIS are
available for public inspection at the Hollister Field Office, 20
Hamilton Court, Hollister, California 95023. Interested persons may
also review the

[[Page 19295]]

CCMA Proposed RMP and Final EIS at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/hollister (http://www.blm.gov/ca/hollister). All protests must be in writing and mailed to
one of the following addresses:

    Regular Mail: BLM Director (210) , Attention: Brenda Williams, P.O.
Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383.
    Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, 20
M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sky Murphy, Planning and Environmental
Coordinator, telephone (831) 630-5039; address Hollister Field Office,
20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, California 95023; email smurphy@blm.gov.
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call
the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to
contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question
with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal
business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area covers about 75,000 acres,
including about 63,000 surface acres and 64,000 acres of subsurface
mineral estate in San Benito and Fresno counties, California. The CCMA
RMP will provide a framework to guide management decisions for the use
and protection of the resources managed by the Hollister Field Office.
The CCMA is currently managed under the 1984 Hollister RMP and
subsequent amendments. The purpose of the CCMA RMP is to establish
goals, objectives, and management actions for BLM-administered lands in
CCMA that address current issues, and conditions.
    The need to develop the CCMA RMP arose from changes in
circumstances since the current land use plan decisions were adopted.
For example, the EPA's CCMA Asbestos Exposure and Human Health Risk
Assessment (2008) provides significant new information that must be
incorporated into the RMP to evaluate the public health risk associated
with BLM land use authorizations.
    A Notice of Availability of the CCMA Draft RMP/EIS was published in
the Federal Register on December 4, 2009. The Draft RMP/EIS was
available for public review for 135 days. Comments on the Draft RMP/EIS
were considered, and incorporated as appropriate into the proposed
plan. For example, the BLM made changes to the route and trail
designations between the Draft and Final EIS. These changes did not
significantly alter the proposed land use decisions for transportation
and travel management in the CCMA.
    The Hollister Field Office, through a collaborative planning
process, has worked extensively with interested and affected
individuals, groups, and local, State, and Federal agencies in the
development of the Proposed RMP and Final EIS. The primary issues
include public health and safety, recreation, protection of sensitive
natural and cultural resources, livestock grazing, guidance for energy
and mineral development, and land tenure adjustments. RThe Proposed RMP
maintains the designation of the 30,000-acre Serpentine Area of
Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) to protect public health and
safety while also protecting special status species and cultural,
historic, and scenic resources values.
restrictions on use of public
lands within the Serpentine ACEC include limitations on motorized and
non-motorized activities to minimize human health risks from exposure
to asbestos by reducing airborne emissions of asbestos.

    For example, the CCMA Proposed RMP designates the Serpentine ACEC
as a ``limited'' vehicle use area based on the human health risks from
exposure to asbestos; and use would be limited to highway-licensed
vehicles by permit only. Under the Proposed RMP, the remaining lands in
the CCMA management zones are also designated as ``limited'' vehicle
use areas where motorized vehicle use would be limited to highway-
licensed vehicles and all-terrain vehicles. In addition to the proposed
action, the BLM considered six additional alternatives, ranging from a
no action alternative, which would continue historic recreational use
in the area, to complete closure of the area prohibiting all public
access. Other action alternatives analyzed variations of limited annual
visitor use days, seasonal use restrictions, limited OHV recreation
opportunities in the Serpentine ACEC based on vehicle types, minimum
age requirements, vehicle access for non-motorized recreation
opportunities inside the Serpentine ACEC, and enhancing new OHV
recreation opportunities outside of the ACEC.
    Comments on the Draft RMP/EIS received from the public and through
internal BLM review were considered and incorporated as appropriate
into the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. Public comments resulted in the
following changes to the preferred alternative in the Draft RMP/EIS:
additional information added to the Hazardous Materials and Public
Health and Safety section; increased miles of designated routes to
provide greater vehicle access with an emphasis on supporting non-
motorized recreation opportunities in CCMA; retention of public lands
surrounding Baker, Byles, and Cane Canyons; and pursuit of partnerships
with local private landowners, non-profit organizations, and the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop public easements
to BLM lands in the Tucker management zone. These changes do not
significantly change proposed land use plan decisions set forth in the
Draft RMP/EIS.
    Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM
regarding the CCMA Proposed RMP and Final EIS may be found in the
``Dear Reader'' letter of the CCMA Proposed RMP and Final EIS and at 43
CFR 1610.5-2. All protests must be in writing and mailed to the
appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above.
Emailed and faxed protests will not be accepted as valid protests
unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either
regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest
period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed or
faxed protest as an advance copy and it will receive full
consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance
notification, please direct emails to bhudgens@blm.gov and faxed
protests to the attention of the BLM protest coordinator at 202-912-
    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 and 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2 and 1610.5.

Thomas Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-07337 Filed 3-28-13; 8:45 am]