Author Topic: Approved Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan  (Read 1225 times)

Offline Peter Vahry

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Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Approved
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan and California
Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability
of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Record of Decision (ROD)/
approved Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) and California Desert
Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment, Imperial County, California.
The BLM California State Director signed the ROD on June 18, 2013,
which constitutes the final decision of the BLM and makes the Approved
RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment effective immediately.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD/approved RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment are
available upon request from the Field Manager, El Centro Field Office,
Bureau of Land Management, 1661 South 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243
or via the Internet at Copies of the
ROD/approved RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment are available for public
inspection at the BLM El Centro Field Office at the address above; at
the BLM California Desert District Office, 22835 San Juan de los Lagos,
Moreno Valley, CA 92553; and the BLM California State Office, 2800
Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825.
    If you wish to appeal an implementation decision, the notice of
appeal must be filed in the BLM El Centro Field Office, 1661 South 4th
Street El Centro, CA 92243, within 30 days from the decision.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Hill, Project Manager, telephone:
951-697-5395; address: BLM California Desert District, 22835 Calle San
Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553; email:
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
about 215,000 acres, of which approximately 12,000 acres are non-
Federal lands for which these planning decisions do not apply. The
planning area is located in the southeastern portion of Imperial
County, California, and is part of the CDCA. The primary recreation
activities in the ISDRA include off- highway vehicle use, camping,
backcountry auto touring, and sightseeing. The planning area also
contains the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness, two Areas of Critical
Environmental Concern, and habitat for several sensitive species. The
RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
were developed through a collaborative planning process that considered
eight alternatives. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection-Border
Patrol and Imperial County were cooperating agencies. Though not a
cooperating agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was involved
throughout the planning process. Formal and informal consultation and
contacts were made with interested tribal entities, including 17 tribal
governments, the Native American Heritage Commission, and the State
Historic Preservation Office. The Proposed RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment and
Final EIS were released on September 14, 2012. Eight alternatives were
analyzed in the Proposed RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment and Final EIS. The
BLM selected Alternative 8, the Proposed Plan, as the best approach to
maintaining the naturalness of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
and managing recreation uses, while still protecting the resources and
values for which the area was established. Since release of the
Proposed RAMP/CDCA Plan Amendment and Final EIS, the BLM requested a
Consistency Review by the Governor's Office of Planning and Research,
and received three protests, one each from the American Sand
Association, the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation
groups, and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. The BLM
also received a comment letter from the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). The Governor's Consistency Review found no inconsistencies
between the Proposed RAMP and any State or local plan, policies, or
programs. In response to the protests and EPA comment letter, the BLM
made only minor editorial modifications in preparing the ROD for

[[Page 36569]]

the Approved RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment. These modifications provided
further clarification of some of the decisions.
    Implementation decisions in this document that may be appealed
include the following:
     Site-specific camping, parking, and other restrictions to
protect special status species or wildlife habitat;
     Management of wildlife guzzlers; fuels management; and
placement of fencing, signing, or other facilities to protect wildlife
     Signing, fencing, interpretive sites, or other facilities
to protect cultural and paleontological resources;
     Management and design of actions and facilities to meet
visual resources management (VRM) class objectives;
     Site-specific protection measures to protect lands with
wilderness characteristics;
     Site-specific management actions and plans for areas of
critical environmental concern (ACECs);
     Design, development, management, and administration of
recreation sites and facilities within Recreation Management Zones; and
    Designation of individual routes and trails within off
highway vehicle (OHV) management areas as open, limited, or closed.

    These decisions, including identifying routes of travel within
designated areas for motorized vehicles, are implementation decisions
appealable under 43 CFR part 4. The route of travel decisions are
contained in Appendix G of the Approved RAMP and CDCA Plan Amendment
ROD. Any party adversely affected by the proposed route
identifications, or other implementation decisions, may appeal within
30 days of the publication date of this Notice of Availability pursuant
to 43 CFR part 4 subpart E. The appeal should state the specific
route(s) or other decision(s), as identified in the ROD.
    The appeal must be filed with the El Centro Field Manager at the
above listed address. Please consult the appropriate regulations (43
CFR part 4 subpart E) and the ROD for further appeal requirements.

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

Thomas F. Zale,
Acting Field Manager, El Centro Field Office.
[FR Doc. 2013-14436 Filed 6-17-13; 8:45 am]

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