Notice of Availability of the Ironwood Forest National Monument
Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan, Arizona
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) announces the
availability of the Record of Decision (ROD)/Approved Resource
Management Plan (RMP) for the Ironwood Forest National Monument (IFNM),
located in portions of Pima and Pinal counties, northwest of Tucson,
Arizona. The IFNM was established by Presidential Proclamation on June
9, 2000, for the protection of the significant cultural, biological,
geological, and natural resources. These resources were identified as
Monument objects in the Proclamation. The Arizona State Director signed
the ROD on February 19, 2013, which constitutes the final decision of
the BLM and makes the Approved RMP effective immediately.
ADDRESSES: Copies in electronic format on compact disk of the ROD/
Approved RMP are available in the Tucson Field Office, Bureau of Land
Management, 3201 East Universal Way, Tucson, AZ 85756. It is also
accessible on the Internet at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/planning/ironwood.html
. Printed copies of the ROD/Approved RMP are
available for public inspection at the BLM Tucson Field Office.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Bellew, Tucson Field Manager,
telephone: 520-258-7235; address: 3201 East Universal Way, Tucson, AZ
85756; or email: AZ_IFNM_RMP@blm.gov
. Persons who use a
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) can 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: Through communication media such as
meetings, newsletters, planning bulletins, and news releases, the
public was provided opportunities to identify issues that needed to be
addressed and to participate in the development of plan alternatives.
The public provided comments during the 90-day public comment period on
the Draft RMP/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) published on
March 2, 2007 (72 FR 9576); these were addressed in the Proposed RMP/
Final EIS published on September 23, 2011 (76 FR 59156).
The Proposed RMP/Final EIS was developed with input and cooperation
with the following: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Ak Chin Indian
Community, Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O'odham Nation, Salt
River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Pima and
Pinal counties, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona
State Land Department, and Pima Natural Resource Conservation District.
The IFNM encompasses approximately 128,400 acres of Federal land
administered by the BLM; approximately 54,700 acres of State Trust Land
inholdings administered by the Arizona State Land Department;
approximately 6,000 acres of private land inholdings, 641 acres of Pima
County inholdings, and 326 acres of military withdrawal lands. The ROD/
Approved RMP applies only to Federal lands and interests located within
the established boundary of the IFNM. The BLM's Gila District Tucson
Field Office has the responsibility of planning for and management of
Federal lands within the IFNM.
The Approved RMP is the same as Alternative C in the Proposed RMP,
with minor modifications made in preparing the Approved RMP. The BLM
received eight protest letters on the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. The BLM
Director denied all protest issues. The Director's Protest Resolution
Report can be accessed at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/planning_overview/protest_resolution/protestreports.html
Key decisions in the ROD/Approved RMP include:
1. Off-highway vehicle use designations are established, limiting
all motorized vehicle use to designated routes on approximately 117,520
acres and closing 10,880 acres to all motorized vehicle use. Guidance
for management of the Monument access route network is provided, and a
transportation plan with route-specific management objectives will be
developed within 6 months of the effective date of the ROD/Approved
RMP. Travel route designations include 124 miles of roads and primitive
roads to provide motorized access and travel; 118 miles of routes to
accommodate administrative use of motorized vehicles and public use for
non-motorized and non-motorized mechanized travel; and 90 miles of
routes to accommodate non-motorized non-mechanized travel for
administrative and public use. Seventeen (17) miles of routes will be
closed and restored.
2. Monument lands are closed to recreational target shooting. State
Trust Land inholdings are already off limits to recreational target
shooting. This change will help bring consistency in the way both
Federal and State lands are managed and help reduce confusion for the
public. Hunting will continue to be allowed in accordance with Arizona
hunting laws and regulations.
The BLM determined that the IFNM ROD/Approved RMP provides a
framework for long-term protection of Monument objects while allowing
authorized uses, recreation activities, and scientific studies that are
consistent with the protection of the objects of the Monument.
The Arizona Governor's Office did not identify any inconsistencies
between the Proposed RMP/Final EIS and State or local plans, policies,
and programs during the Governor's Consistency Review.
The ROD/Approved RMP for the IFNM contains implementation level
decisions that identify travel route designations for roads, primitive
roads, administrative roads and trails, and route closures for
restoration, with specific management designations which are described
in Appendix D of the ROD/Approved RMP. These implementation decisions
establish the route network for motorized and non-motorized access for
administrative purposes and public use within the IFNM.
Any party adversely affected by these implementation level
decisions may file an appeal within 30 days of publication of this
Notice of Availability pursuant to 43 CFR part 4, subpart E. The appeal
should state the specific route(s), as identified in Appendix D of the
ROD/Approved RMP, on which the decision is being appealed and describe
the reasons for the appeal. The appeal must be filed with the Tucson
Field Manager at the above address. Please consult the appropriate
regulations for further appeal requirements.
Authority: 40 CFR 1502.2 and 43 CFR 1610.5.
Deborah K. Rawhouser,
Acting Arizona State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-04259 Filed 2-22-13; 8:45 am]
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