Author Topic: South Dakota Field Office Management Plan Revision, SD  (Read 1504 times)

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South Dakota Field Office Management Plan Revision, SD
« on: June 14, 2013, 04:27:44 am »
Notice of Availability of Draft Resource Management Plan and
Associated Environmental Impact Statement for the South Dakota Field
Office Management Plan Revision, SD

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has
prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) for the South Dakota Field Office and by this
notice is announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive
written comments on the draft RMP/EIS within 90 days following the date
the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of the draft
RMP/EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings
or hearings and any other public participation activities at least 15
days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the South Dakota Field
Office draft RMP/EIS by any of the following methods:
     Fax: 605-892-7015.
     South Dakota Field Office, Attn: RMP Project Manager, 310
Roundup Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717.
    Copies of the draft RMP/EIS are available at the South Dakota Field
Office at the address above or may be viewed at

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mitch Iverson, RMP Project Manager at
605-892-7008; or Marian Atkins, BLM South Dakota Field Manager, at 605-
892-7000, at 310 Roundup Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717, or via 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
individuals 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 individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area includes lands within the
BLM South Dakota Field Office administrative boundaries. The planning
area consists of BLM-administered surface lands, totaling 274,239
acres, and BLM-administered Federal mineral estate, totaling 1,715,677
acres. Over 98 percent of the BLM-administered surface and Federal
mineral estate in the decision area is located in western South Dakota.
Counties with substantial amounts of BLM-administered surface or
mineral estate (over 1 percent of the county land base) include Butte,
Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington,
Perkins, and Stanley counties in western South Dakota. Other counties
with small amounts of BLM-administered surface or federal minerals
(less than 1 percent of the county land base) include Bennett, Bon
Homme, Brule, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Corson, Dewey,
Edmunds, Faulk, Gregory, Hand, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lyman,
Marshall, McPherson, Mellette, Potter, Sully, Tripp, Walworth, Yankton,
and Ziebach counties in South Dakota. The RMP will fulfill the needs
and obligations set forth by NEPA, FLPMA, and BLM management policies.
An updated inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics was
completed for the RMP planning area and data from the inventory was
analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS. The revised RMP will replace the South
Dakota RMP of 1986, as amended, and provide the South Dakota Field
Office with an updated framework in which to administer BLM public
    The formal scoping period began with the publication of the Notice
of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on July 19, 2007 (72 FR 39638).
From August through October 2007, nine scoping meetings were held
across the planning area. In addition to the nine scoping meetings,
four open house meetings were held to address the concerns of Native
American tribes. During scoping, the BLM requested public input to
identify resource issues and concerns, management alternatives, or
other ideas to help in determining future land use decisions for the
planning area. Initially, the Federal Register NOI announced scoping
for both North Dakota and South Dakota RMP revisions; however, based on
the diverse planning issues and other management considerations, the
South Dakota RMP revision continued ahead, and an RMP revision specific
to North Dakota BLM will be addressed at a later date.
    The issues raised during scoping included energy development,
vegetation management, wildlife habitat, special status species
management, Greater Sage-Grouse, travel, access, commercial uses, land
tenure adjustments, visual resource management, and climate change. The
South Dakota draft RMP/EIS addresses the conservation needs of the
Greater Sage-Grouse as part of the joint BLM-U.S. Forest Service
national effort to sustain the species and its habitat through multiple
land management plans across 10 western states. The BLM invited local,
State, Federal, and tribal representatives to participate as
cooperating agencies on the South Dakota RMP/EIS. The BLM invited these
entities to participate because they have jurisdiction by law or
because they could offer special expertise. Eleven cooperating-agency
meetings were held from 2008 to 2012. These meetings focused on goals,
issues, and the development of management alternatives.
    The draft RMP/EIS includes a range of management actions within
four management alternatives, including the No Action Alternative.
These alternatives are designed to address the goals, management
challenges, and issues raised during scoping.
    The four alternatives are:

[[Page 35960]]

    Alternative A: Continues existing management practices (No Action
    Alternative B: Emphasizes commercial resource development and use
while providing adequate levels of resource protection.
    Alternative C: Emphasizes conservation of natural resources while
providing for compatible development and use.
    Alternative D: Provides development opportunities while protecting
high value and sensitive resources (Preferred Alternative).

    The preferred alternative has been identified as described in 40
CFR 1502.14(e). However, identification of a preferred alternative does
not represent the final agency decision. The BLM encourages comments on
all alternatives and management actions described in the draft RMP/EIS
and will assess and consider public comments properly received.
    Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this notice announces a concurrent
public comment period on proposed Areas of Critical Environmental
Concern (ACEC). A total of two ACECs are currently designated in the
existing plan and were re-evaluated and addressed in this draft RMP/EIS
All alternatives would proposed to maintain the two existing ACECs. The
proposed resource use limitations, by alternative for each ACEC is
summarized below:

Fort Meade Recreation Area ACEC (6,574 Acres)

     Relevant and Important Values: Historical and
     Limitations on the Following Uses: Closed to leasable and
salable minerals, closed to geophysical exploration, recommended for
withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws.
     Other Restrictions: The area would be a Right-of-Way (ROW)
exclusion area except in designated ROW corridors. Motorized vehicle
use would be limited to designated roads and trails. Snowmobiles or
machines specifically equipped to travel over snow would be prohibited.
Closed to construction of new roads except for rerouting of existing
roads to address resource impacts or safety issues. The back country
byway that traverses the southern portion of the ACEC would continue to
be designated as a back country byway.

Fossil Cycad ACEC (320 Acres)

     Relevant and Important Values: Paleontological.
     Proposed Use Limitations: Locatable Federal minerals would
be recommended for withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws.
The area would be closed to fluid minerals or have a no surface
occupancy and use restriction for fluid minerals within the ACEC
depending on the alternative selected. The area would be closed to
salable Federal minerals and no sale of forest products would be
     Other Restrictions: The ACEC would be managed as a ROW
avoidance area or ROW exclusion area depending on the alternative
    All alternatives propose to maintain the Fort Meade and Fossil
Cycad ACECs. Under alternatives B and D, up to 200 acres in the
existing Fort Meade ACEC would be made available for land transfer to
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for expansion of the Black
Hills National Cemetery, up to 50 acres in the existing ACEC would be
made available for transfer to the South Dakota National Guard for
facilities, and up to 6 acres in the existing ACEC would be made
available for transfer to the City of Sturgis. Additional action and
appropriate environmental review would occur and could potentially
result in a decrease in the size of the Fort Meade ACEC from 6,574 to
6,318 acres.
    Alternative A would continue with the present National Register of
Historic Places District for the Fort Meade ACEC and would include
3,200 acres. Alternative B would recommend a formal nomination of Fort
Meade as a National Register Landmark listing of 6,574 acres.
Alternative C would propose to manage Greater Sage-Grouse Protection
Priority habitat as an ACEC (93,266 acres). Within this ACEC in this
alternative, rights-of-way would be excluded, leasable and salable
minerals would be closed, and locatable minerals would be recommended
for withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws. Under
Alternative C, Federal minerals in the abandoned Black Hills Army Depot
and the former town site of Igloo would be closed to exploration and
development of leasable and salable minerals. Alternative C would
recommend the revision of the National Register of Historic Places Fort
Meade District nomination to incorporate 3,370 additional acres inside
the District Boundary and incorporate the entire military reservation.
Total acres in the historic district would be changed to 6,574 acres
for the Fort Meade ACEC. Alternative D would also nominate the Fort
Meade ACEC for National Historic Landmark nomination, contingent on
other partnering agency cooperation.
    Following the close of the public review and comment period on this
draft RMP/EIS, public comments will be used to prepare the BLM South
Dakota Field Office Proposed RMP and Final EIS. The BLM will respond to
substantive comments received during the draft RMP/EIS review period by
making appropriate revisions to the document, or by explaining why a
comment did not warrant a change. After comments received on the draft
RMP/EIS have been considered and appropriate revisions are made, the
BLM will issue the Proposed RMP and Final EIS. A notice of the
availability for the Proposed RMP and Final EIS will be published in
the Federal Register.
    Please note that public comments and information submitted
including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who
submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at
the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.),
Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or
other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that
your entire comment--including your personal identifying information--
may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in
your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying
information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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

Katherine P. Kitchell,
Acting State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-14029 Filed 6-13-13; 8:45 am]

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