Author Topic: Supplement to the Bighorn Basin Draft Resource Management Plan/EIS  (Read 1430 times)

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Notice of Availability of a Supplement to the Bighorn Basin Draft
Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Cody and
Worland Field Offices, WY

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management
Act (FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is
announcing the availability of a Supplement to the Draft Resource
Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

[[Page 41948]]

for the Bighorn Basin Planning Area and announcing the opening of the
comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive
written comments on the Supplement to the Draft RMP/EIS within 90 days
after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes its notice of
availability of the Supplement 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 mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments related to the Supplement to
the Draft RMP/EIS by any of the following methods:
     Web site:
     Mail: Worland Field Office, Attn: RMP Project Manager, 101
South 23rd, Worland, WY 82401.
    Copies of the Supplemental Draft RMP/EIS are available at the
following locations:
     Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, 5353
Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, WY 82003.
     Bureau of Land Management, Cody Field Office, 1002
Blackburn Street, Cody, WY 82414.
     Bureau of Land Management, Worland Field Office, 101 South
23rd Street, Worland, WY 82401
    The Supplement is also available on the Web site:

telephone 307-347-5171; address 101 South 23rd Street, Worland, WY
82401; 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 Planning Area for the RMP supplement
includes lands within the BLM Cody and Worland Field Offices
administrative boundaries, in all of Big Horn, Park and Washakie
Counties, and most of Hot Springs County in north-central Wyoming. The
Planning Area includes all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, totaling
5.6 million acres; however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands
that fall under the BLM's jurisdiction. Lands within the Planning Area
under the BLM's jurisdiction make up the Decision Area. The Decision
Area consists of BLM-administered surface, totaling 3.2 million acres,
and mineral estate, totaling 4.2 million acres. The BLM-administered
surface acreage and the Federal mineral estate acreage overlap in some
    The Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare the Bighorn Basin RMP/EIS was
published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2008 (73 FR 61900),
and the Draft RMP/EIS was released to the public on April 22, 2011. On
December 9, 2011, the NOI for the BLM's National Greater Sage-grouse
Planning Strategy was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 77008).
The planning area for National Greater Sage-grouse Planning Strategy
included the Bighorn Basin Planning Area. The National Greater Sage-
grouse Planning Strategy NOI invited the public to nominate or
recommend areas on public lands for Greater Sage-grouse and their
to be considered as areas of critical environmental concern
(ACECs). Through the scoping process, numerous nominations were
presented, including a nomination for all priority Greater Sage-grouse
habitats to be included. The two additional alternatives that will be
analyzed in this Supplement to the Draft RMP/EIS were prepared to
include these ACEC nominations, since these nominations were not
received during the initial scoping period for the RMP/EIS in 2008. The
two additional alternatives in the Supplement to the Draft RMP/EIS
analyze all BLM lands within identified Greater Sage-grouse Key Habitat
Areas (1.2 million acres--Alternative E) and Sage-grouse Core
Population Areas (1.1 million acres--Alternative F), regardless of
jurisdiction, as ACECs, as well as constraints on development and
management of non-wilderness study area lands with wilderness
. Both geographic boundaries have been identified as
priority Sage-grouse habitat (PH), having the highest conservation
value to maintaining sustainable Sage-grouse populations. These areas
include breeding, late brood-rearing, and winter concentration areas.
    Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this notice announces a public
comment period on the proposed ACECs.
A total of two ACECs are proposed
in the Supplement. The proposed ACECs and the proposed resource use
limitations that will occur for each proposed ACEC if formally
designated are:
     Key Habitat Areas (1.2 million acres): Value of Concern:
Greater Sage-grouse Habitat. Proposed Use Limitations: Right-of-Way
Exclusion Areas, 3 percent surface disturbance limit, closed to fluid
mineral leasing, closed to livestock grazing, closed to mineral
material disposals, and recommend a withdrawal from appropriation under
the mining laws.
     Core Areas (1.1 million acres): Value of Concern: Greater
Sage-grouse Habitat. Proposed Use Limitations: Right-of-Way Avoidance
Areas, 5 percent surface disturbance limit, and timing and surface use
restrictions. The Preferred Alternative (Alternative D) within the
existing Draft RMP/EIS was developed with consideration of specific
issues raised through the 2008 public scoping period, recommendations
from cooperating agencies, consideration of planning criteria, impact
analysis and conformance with local land use plans. The Preferred
Alternative remains unchanged in the Supplement to the Draft RMP/EIS.
The final agency decision will follow a public protest period for the
Proposed RMP, scheduled for release later in 2013. The Proposed RMP and
Final EIS will reflect changes or adjustments based on information
received during public comment, new information, or changes in BLM
policies or priorities. The Proposed RMP may include portions of any
analyzed alternatives or decisions otherwise within the spectrum of
alternatives analyzed.
    You may submit comments in writing to the BLM at any public
meeting, or you may submit them to the BLM using one of the methods
listed in the ADDRESSES section above. In order to reduce the use of
paper and control costs, the BLM strongly encourages the public to
submit comments electronically at the project Web site or via email.
Only comments submitted using the methods described in the ADDRESSES
section above will be accepted. Comments submitted must include the
commenter's name and street address. Whenever possible, please include
reference to either the page or section in the Supplement to the Draft
RMP/EIS to which the comment applies.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you may
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be
able to do so.

[[Page 41949]]

    Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 1506.10, and 43 CFR 1610.2, 1610.7-2.

Mary Jo Rugwell,
Associate State Director, Wyoming.
[FR Doc. 2013-16630 Filed 7-11-13; 8:45 am]

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