Notice of Availability of the Colorado Plateau Rapid Ecoregional
AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of availability.
SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the Bureau of Land
Management's (BLM) first Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) covering
land in four western states. The Colorado Plateau REA includes parts of
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. It has an area of 32,387 square
miles and includes all or portions of 16 BLM field offices.
ADDRESSES: The REA, and its associated data, are available through the
BLM Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/Landscape_Approach.html.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Prentice, Natural Resource
Specialist, 202-912-7223, email@example.com
. 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
individuals during 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: This notice announces the availability of
the first REA issued by the BLM covering land in four western states. Although the BLM is publishing this Notice for the first REA,
subsequent REAs will be made available on the Web site listed in the
ADDRESSES section without publication in the Federal Register.
REAs assemble information that can be used to guide public lands management.
They use existing scientific information to identify resource
conditions and trends within an ecoregion, a large geographic area that
shares similar characteristics. This innovative large-scale approach is
designed to help identify patterns of environmental change that may not
be evident when managing smaller land areas. Additional REAs covering
the Central Basin and Range, Mojave Basin and Range, Northwestern Great
Plains/Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Middle Rockies, Sonoran Desert,
and the Seward Peninsula-Nulato Hills-Kotzebue Lowlands ecoregions are
in preparation and will be made publicly available on the BLM Web site
as they are completed. In 2013, the BLM plans to complete REAs for the
Northern Basin and Range, Snake River Plain, Wyoming Basin, and Yukon
River Lowlands/Kuskokwim Mountains/Lime Hills, all of which began in
2011. The BLM is conducting pre-assessment work for potential REAs in
the Beaufort Coastal Plain, Brooks Hills, Chihuahuan Desert, Southern
Great Plains (3 ecoregions), and Madrean Archipelago. Each REA
highlights and maps areas of both high and low ecological values. Lands
with relatively high ecological values can be managed to ensure that
their wildlife habitat is properly conserved. Lands with relatively low
ecological value could be best-suited for siting future development,
such as transmission lines. Each REA also gauges the potential risks to
these lands from four key environmental ``change agents:'' Climate
change, wildfires, invasive species, and development. REAs use
information about the natural resources of all the lands within an
ecoregion. In this way, the REAs can provide a foundation for
formulating coordinated strategies that can respond more effectively to
climate change, wildfire, and other environmental challenges that
transcend land management boundaries. The BLM prepared its REAs in
cooperation with other Federal and state land management agencies.
Procedural Requirements: The REAs provide science-based information
and tools for land managers and stakeholders to consider in resource
planning and decision-making processes, such as Resource Management
Plans and Environmental Impact Statements. Consequently, the REAs do
not contain findings and recommendations, nor do they make management
decisions or allocate resource uses. The issuance of REAs by the BLM
does not constitute a rulemaking.
Assistant Director, Bureau of Land Management.
[FR Doc. 2013-04343 Filed 2-26-13; 8:45 am]
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