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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  South Central  |  Topic: Grand Junction Field Office, Colorado « previous next »
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Author Topic: Grand Junction Field Office, Colorado  (Read 156 times)
Peter Vahry
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« on: April 10, 2015, 05:23:14 am »

Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plan
and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Grand Junction Field
Office, Colorado


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 Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for the Grand Junction Field Office and by this notice
is announcing its availability.

DATES: The BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the
conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM's
Proposed RMP and 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 Grand Junction Field Office Proposed RMP and
Final EIS were sent to affected Federal, State, and local government
agencies and to other stakeholders and tribal governments. Copies of
the Proposed RMP and Final EIS are available for public inspection at
the Grand Junction Field Office, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506;
Mesa County libraries in Grand Junction, Collbran, De Beque, Fruita and
Gateway. Interested persons may also review the Proposed RMP and Final
EIS on the Internet at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo.html. All protests
must be in writing and mailed to one of the following addresses:
    Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator,
P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383.
    Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest
Coordinator, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christina Stark, Planning and
Environmental Coordinator; telephone 970-244-3027; 2815 H Road, Grand
Junction, CO, 81506; email BLM_CO_GJ_PUBLIC_COMMENTS@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, seven days a week, to leave a message or
question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during
normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Lands and Federal mineral estate managed by
the Grand Junction Field Office within this RMP revision extend across
most of Mesa County and parts of Garfield, Montrose and Rio Blanco
counties. Management decisions outlined in this RMP revision apply to
approximately 1,061,400 acres of BLM-managed surface lands and Federal
mineral estate and to approximately 169,900 acres of Federal mineral
split-estate. When approved, this RMP will replace the 1987 Grand
Junction Resource Area RMP.
    The public comment period on the Draft RMP and Draft EIS began on
January 14, 2013, and ended June 24, 2013, which included a 60-day
extension in response to requests from the public. The total comment
period encompassed 162 days. The BLM developed the Proposed RMP and
Final EIS based on public comments on the Draft RMP and Draft EIS in addition
to cooperating agency reviews, resource advisory council reviews, U. S.
Fish and Wildlife Service consultation, and extensive internal BLM
reviews. The BLM carefully considered and incorporated comments into
the Proposed RMP as appropriate. Public comments assisted in the
development of the Proposed RMP and resulted in the addition of
clarifying text, but did not constitute a substantial change in the
proposed land use plan decisions that would require a supplement to the
Draft EIS.
    The Proposed RMP and Final EIS describes and analyzes four
management alternatives, each of which include objectives and
management actions to address new management challenges and issues.
    Alternative A is the no action alternative and is a continuation of
the current management direction and prevailing conditions based on the
existing 1987 Grand Junction Resource Area RMP and amendments.
    Alternative B (The Proposed RMP) seeks to allocate public land
resources among competing human interests and land uses, with the
conservation of natural and cultural resource values. Alternative B
carries forward the same theme it had in the Draft RMP and Draft EIS,
but includes elements of the other alternatives analyzed in the Draft
RMP and Draft EIS.
    Alternative C emphasizes improving, rehabilitating and restoring
resources; and sustaining the ecological integrity of habitats for all
priority plant, wildlife and fish species, particularly the habitats
needed to conserve and recover federally listed, proposed, or candidate
threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
    Alternative D emphasizes active management for natural resources,
commodity production, and public use opportunities by allowing a mix of
multiple use opportunities that target social and economic outcomes,
while protecting land health. Management direction would recognize and
expand existing uses, and accommodate new uses to the greatest extent
possible.
    The Proposed RMP would provide comprehensive, long-range decisions
for the use and management of resources in the planning area
administered by the Grand Junction Field Office, focusing on the
principles of multiple use and sustained yield.
    The Proposed RMP includes: Goals, objectives, management actions,
allowable use and implementation decisions to ensure future BLM
management in support of 13 areas of critical environmental concern,
five special recreation management areas, six extensive recreation
management areas, four wilderness study areas, one national trail
management corridor, and one segment found suitable for inclusion in
the National Wild and Scenic River System. Maps are included in the
Proposed RMP/FEIS to illustrate the Proposed RMP as well as the other
alternatives considered in the Final EIS. Through the Wild and Scenic
River study process, the BLM inventoried 514 miles and 114 stream
segments, found 415 miles and 100 stream segments ineligible, and found
99 miles and 14 stream segments eligible, of which 10.38 miles of 1
stream are identified as suitable in the Proposed RMP. Three areas
covering 44,100 acres located in the southern portion of the field
office would be managed to protect lands with wilderness
characteristics. Protective management of the areas would vary;
however, all of the areas would be managed as right-of-way exclusion,
no leasing for fluid minerals, no surface occupancy (non-fluid
minerals), closed to non-energy leasables, closed to mineral material
disposal, and Visual Resource Management Class II.
    While the RMP proposes some conservation management measures for
the Greater Sage-grouse habitat, the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-
Grouse Plan Amendment and EIS will fully analyze applicable Greater-
Sage grouse conservation measures, consistent with BLM Instruction
Memorandum No. 2012-044. The BLM expects to make a comprehensive set of
decisions for managing Greater Sage-Grouse on lands administered by the
Grand Junction Field Office in the Record of Decision for the Northwest
Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Plan Amendment and EIS, which will update
this proposed RMP.
    Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM
regarding the Proposed RMP and FEIS may be found in the ``Dear Reader''
Letter of the Grand Junction Field Office Proposed RMP and Final EIS,
and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. All protests must be in writing and mailed to
the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above.
Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests 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 emailed protest as an
advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to
provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct emails to
protest@blm.gov. Unlike land use planning decisions, implementation
decisions included in this Proposed RMP and Final EIS are not subject
to protest under the BLM planning regulations. Implementation decisions
are subject to an administrative review process through appeals to the
Office of Hearings and Appeals, Interior Board of Land Appeals,
pursuant to 43 CFR part 4. Implementation decisions generally
constitute the BLM's final approval allowing on-the-ground actions to
proceed. Where implementation decisions are made as part of the land
use planning process, they are still subject to the appeals process or
other administrative review as prescribed by specific resource program
regulations once the BLM resolves the protests to land use planning
decisions and issues an Approved RMP and ROD. Implementation decisions
made in the plan that may be appealed to the Office of Hearing and
Appeals are identified in the Proposed RMP and Final EIS. They will
also be included in the ROD and Approved RMP.
    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

Ruth Welch,
BLM Colorado State Director.
[FR Doc. 2015-08187 Filed 4-10-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-JB-P

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