[Federal Register: August 20, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 160)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Bureau of Land Management
Notice of Intent (NOI) To Amend the Resource Management Plan for
the Buffalo Field Office, Wyoming
AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of intent.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969 (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976
(FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Buffalo Field Office,
Wyoming, proposes to amend its 1985 Resource Management Plan (RMP)
because of changes in circumstances and proposed actions that may
result in changes in the scope of resource uses and/or changes in
decisions of the approved plan. The BLM will evaluate the following:
(1) Management guidance for the Fortification Creek area, (2)
Designation of an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) in the
Fortification Creek area, and (3) a potential land exchange with the
State of Wyoming to consolidate ownership and facilitate management of
the Fortification Creek area. The BLM may consider further land use
planning decisions for the area surrounding the proposed ACEC.
DATES: Scoping for the proposed plan amendment will commence on the
date that this notice is published in the Federal Register. The BLM
will host several public, open house meetings to provide additional
information about the proposed amendment, and identify any additional
resource information or concerns. The BLM will announce the dates and
locations of public meetings at least 15 days in advance through local
news media, Web site announcements, or mailings. Written comments will
be accepted for 30 calendar days after the last public meeting.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to the BLM through any
of the following methods:
Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/bfodocs/fortification_creek.html
; E-mail: Fort--Crk--WYMail@blm.gov;
Fax: (307) 684-1122;
Mail: Fortification Creek RMP Amendment, BLM Buffalo Field
Office, 1425 Fort Street, Buffalo, WY 82834; or
By personal delivery to the Buffalo Field Office or at a
BLM-hosted public meeting.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Bills, Project Manager, BLM
Buffalo Field Office, 1425 Fort Street, Buffalo, Wyoming 82834, or by
telephone at (307) 684-1133.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Buffalo RMP and associated Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) were prepared in 1985; the RMP was amended in
2003. The 1985 RMP identified an area of approximately 12,415 acres as
having wilderness characteristics and established it as the
Fortification Creek (Fort Creek) Wilderness Study Area (WSA). The 1985
RMP also evaluated an area adjacent to the Fort Creek WSA to determine
whether it met ACEC relevance and importance criteria, but it did not
designate the area as an ACEC in its Record of Decision (ROD). In
addition, the 1985 RMP stated that the area surrounding the WSA would
require special management. However, it did not specify what resource
values were in need of special management, nor did it clearly describe
limitations or use restrictions that might be needed to manage those
resource values. This RMP amendment process will evaluate resources and
issues related to the planning criteria, including the designation of
an area surrounding the Fort Creek WSA as an ACEC and the appropriate
management actions and use restrictions for the ACEC, if designated.
The Fort Creek area is located in Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan
The purpose of the scoping process is to determine relevant issues
that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis and
alternatives. Scoping comments will also guide the planning process.
The BLM will prepare an associated NEPA document, either an
Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS), based on scoping comments and issues.
The BLM has identified the following preliminary issues:
Management of the Fort Creek Area. Should the BLM
recommend the area, or a portion of the area, as an ACEC, or should it
establish a management area (MA) with specific goals and objectives?
Resource Values and Limitations. If the BLM concludes that
some or all of the Fort Creek planning area merit establishment of an
ACEC, what resource values and what measures would be appropriate to
manage the area and its resources?
If the BLM decides that the Fort Creek planning area does not merit
ACEC status, the BLM will determine what resources should be evaluated
for activities and use limitations within the area:
1. Uses. Appropriate use and occupancy of the public lands in the
Fort Creek area for energy resources.
2. Management Activities. Continue management activities for
resource values currently identified in the RMP, or generate new goals
and objectives and use limitations for the protection of steep slopes,
erosive soils, elk habitat, cultural resources and visual resources.
3. Landownership Adjustments. Identify opportunities, if any, to
exchange lands with other landowners including the State of Wyoming for
the purpose of consolidating public lands and maintaining continuous
The preliminary land use planning criteria are:
1. The amendment will be in compliance with FLPMA and applicable
laws, regulations, and policies. The land use plan amendment process
will be governed by the planning regulations at 43 CFR 1610 and BLM
Land Use Planning Handbook H-1601-1.
2. The proposed action and alternatives will be analyzed in
accordance with NEPA.
3. Lands affected by the proposed plan amendment include public
surface and mineral estate managed by the BLM. No decisions will be
made relative to non-BLM administered lands or non-federal minerals.
4. Broad-based public participation will be an integral part of the
5. The plan amendment will recognize all valid existing rights.
6. The BLM will work with cooperating agencies and all other
interested groups, agencies, and individuals. The amended RMP will be
consistent with existing non-Federal plans and policies, provided the
decisions in the existing plans are consistent with the purposes,
policies, and programs of Federal law and regulations for public lands.
7. The WSA will continue to be managed under the BLM's Interim
Management Policy for Lands under Wilderness Review until Congress
either designates all or portions of the WSA as wilderness or releases
the lands from further wilderness consideration.
8. The planning process will involve consultation with American
Indian tribal governments to provide strategies for the protection of
recognized traditional uses.
9. The RMP amendment may include adaptive environmental management
(AEM) principles and protocol to deal with future issues and outcomes.
All comment submittals must include the commenter's name and street
address. Comments, including the names and street addresses of
respondent, will be available for public review at the Buffalo Field
Office listed above during its business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.),
Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays. Before including
your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal
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 may 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.
Acting State Director.
[FR Doc. E7-16332 Filed 8-17-07; 8:45 am]
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