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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southwest  |  Topic: Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan « previous next »
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Author Topic: Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan  (Read 719 times)
Peter Vahry
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« on: September 07, 2012, 04:03:20 am »

Notice of Availability of the Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes
Recreation Area Management Plan and California Desert Conservation Area
Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Impact Statement

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 Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) and California Desert
Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS), for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA),
and by this notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: BLM planning regulations provide that any person who meets the
conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM's
Proposed RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/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 publishes its Notice
of Availability in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA
Plan Amendment/Final EIS have been sent to affected Federal, State, and
local government agencies; Native American Tribes; and to other
stakeholders. Copies of the Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA
Plan Amendment/Final EIS are available for public inspection at the BLM
El Centro Field Office, 1661 South Fourth Street, El Centro, CA 92243.
Interested persons may also review the Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes
RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/Final EIS on the Internet at http://www.blm.gov/ca/elcentro. All protests must be in writing and mailed to
the following addresses:
    Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-
Williams, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383.
    Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-
Williams, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.
    If an appeal is taken, the notice of appeal must be filed in the
BLM El Centro Field Office, 1661 South Fourth Street, El Centro, CA
92243, within 30 days of the decision.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, contact Greg
Hill, Project Manager, BLM El Centro Field Office, 1661 South Fourth,
El Centro, CA 92243; by phone at 760-337-4400; or by email at greg_hill@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 Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
(ISDRA) and surrounding lands included in the planning area encompass
approximately 215,000 acres of public lands managed by the BLM. The
planning area is located in the southeastern portion of Imperial
County, California. The 2005 Record of Decision for the 2003 RAMP was
vacated by a U.S. District Court in September 2006. Portions of the
biological opinion for the Peirson's milkvetch were also remanded to
the Fish and Wildlife Service. The 2012 RAMP addresses this issue as
well as others in the planning area.
    The primary activities in the ISDRA include off-highway vehicle use
and camping. The Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan
Amendment/Final EIS has been developed through a collaborative planning
process and considers eight alternatives. Issues addressed in the
Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/Final EIS
include: Recreation; transportation and public access; wildlife and
botany (i.e. Peirson's milkvetch); cultural resources and paleontology;
renewable energy; air and water resources; geology and soils; mineral
resources; socioeconomics; public health and safety; and visual
resources. The Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan
Amendment/Final EIS includes strategies for protecting and preserving
the recreational, biological, cultural, geological, educational, and
scenic values for which the recreation area was established.
    Eight alternatives were analyzed in the Proposed RAMP/Plan
Amendment and FEIS. The ``no action'' alternative represents current
management of the ISDRA. Seven additional ``action'' alternatives
present reasonable, yet varying, management scenarios. The alternatives
range from emphasizing maintenance of the naturalness of the ISDRA (by
restricting some recreation uses) to emphasizing continued recreation
uses, while still protecting the resources and values for which the
area was established. The range of alternatives in the Proposed
Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/Final EIS evaluates
planning decisions brought forward from current BLM planning documents,
including the California Desert Conservation Area Plan (1980) as
amended.
    Comments on the Draft RAMP/Plan Amendment and EIS received from the
public and internal BLM review were considered and incorporated as
appropriate into the proposed plan. Public comments resulted in a
variety of clarifications and modifications throughout the Proposed
Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/Final EIS. Public
comments resulted in the addition of clarifying text, but did not
significantly change the proposed land use plan decisions analyzed in
the alternatives.
Revisions made between the Draft RAMP/Plan Amendment
and Draft EIS and the Proposed RAMP/Plan Amendment and FEIS include:
Quantification of some management goals and objectives; clarification
of multiple-use classes and visual resource management; consideration
of lands with wilderness characteristics; modifications to alternatives
regarding camping in the Dunebuggy Flats area; and modifications to
implementation-level decisions to correctly categorize them as plan-
level decisions or implementation actions.
    The Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/Final
EIS also considers changes to Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
(ACEC); the Plank Road, East Mesa, and North Algodones Dunes ACECs. The
preferred alternative would retain the existing 416 acre Plank Road
ACEC; reduce the East Mesa ACEC from 6,454 acres to 5,799 acres; and
eliminate the North Algodones Dunes ACEC in order to remove conflicting
management prescriptions between this ACEC and the North Algodones
Dunes Wilderness.

    Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM
regarding the Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan
Amendment/Final EIS may be found in the ``Dear Reader'' Letter of the
Proposed Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment/Final EIS and
at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. Email and faxed protests will not be accepted
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 email 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 faxed protests to the attention of the BLM
protest coordinator at 202-245-0028, and emails to Brenda_Hudgens-Williams@blm.gov.
    All protests, including the follow-up letter to emails or faxes,
must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth
in the ADDRESSES section above.
    Before including your phone number, email address, or other
personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware
that your entire protest--including your personal identifying
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can
ask us in your protest to withhold your personal identifying
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be
able to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR
1610.5

Thomas F. Zale,
Acting Field Manager, El Centro Field Office.
[FR Doc. 2012-21936 Filed 9-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-40-P

Sourced from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-09-07/html/2012-21936.htm
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Auckland Four Wheel Drive Club Inc, 4x4 Challenges NZ Inc, NZFWDA life member
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