Author Topic: Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan Amendments and Draft EIS  (Read 2970 times)

Offline Peter Vahry

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Notice of Availability of the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft
Land Use Plan Amendments and Draft Environmental Impact Statement

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) and the US Forest
Service (USFS) have prepared the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land
Use Plan (LUP) Amendments and Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) for the BLM Casper, Kemmerer, Newcastle, Pinedale, Rawlins, and
Rock Springs field offices and Bridger-Teton National Forest, Medicine
Bow National Forest, and Thunder Basin National Grassland Planning
Units and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM and USFS
must receive written comments on the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS
within 90 days
following the date the Environmental Protection Agency
publishes notice of the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS in the Federal
Register. The BLM and USFS 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 comments related to the Wyoming Greater Sage-
Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS by any of the following methods:
     Web site:
     Fax: 307-775-6129
     Mail: BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road,
Cheyenne, WY 82003.
    Copies of the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/
Draft EIS are available at the BLM Wyoming State Office at the above
address or on the Web site at:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Solberg Schwab, Wyoming Greater
Sage-Grouse Amendment Project Manager, by telephone, 307-367-5340; at
the address above; or by 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 BLM prepared the Wyoming Greater Sage-
Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS to address a range of
alternatives focused on specific conservation measures across the
Wyoming range of the Greater Sage-grouse (GRSG). This Draft
LUPAmendments/Draft EIS is one of 15 separate planning efforts that are
being undertaken as part of the BLM and USFS National Greater Sage-
grouse Planning Strategy. The Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS may amend
the RMPs for the BLM Casper, Kemmerer, Newcastle, Pinedale, Rawlins and
Rock Springs field offices, as well as the LRMPs for the Bridger-Teton
and Medicine Bow National Forests and the Thunder Basin National
Grassland. Current management decisions for resources are described in
the following RMPs/LRMPs:
     Casper RMP (2007)
     Kemmerer RMP (2010)
     Newcastle RMP (2000)
     Pinedale RMP (2008)
     Rawlins RMP (2008)
     Green River RMP (1997) (being revised under the Rock
Springs RMP)
     Bridger-Teton National Forest LRMP (1990)
     Medicine Bow National Forest LRMP (2003)
     Thunder Basin National Grassland LRMP (2002)
    The EIS planning area includes approximately 40 million acres of
BLM, National Park Service, USFS, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, State,
local, and private lands located in northwestern, southwestern,
southeastern, and northeastern Wyoming in 11 counties (Albany, Carbon,
Converse, Fremont, Lincoln, Natrona, Niobrara, Sublette, Sweetwater,
Uinta and Weston). Within the EIS decision area, the BLM and the USFS
administer approximately 16 million surface acres and 16 million acres
of Federal oil and gas mineral (subsurface) estate. Surface management
decisions made as a result of this Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS will
apply only to the BLM- and the USFS-administered lands in the decision
area. The decision area is defined as those BLM- and USFS-administered
lands and Federal mineral estate within three categories of habitat
identified by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department:
     Core Habitat--Areas identified as having the highest
conservation value for maintaining sustainable GRSG populations,
including breeding, late brood-rearing and winter concentration areas.
     General Habitat--Areas of seasonal or year-round habitat
outside of priority habitat.
     Connectivity Habitat--Areas identified as broader regions
of connectivity important to facilitating the movement of GRSG and
maintain ecological processes.
    The formal public scoping process for the LUP Amendments/EIS began
on December 9, 2011, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the
Federal Register (76 FR 77008), and ended on March 23, 2012. The BLM
held five scoping open houses in January and February 2011. The BLM
used public scoping comments to help identify planning issues that
directed the formulation of alternatives and framed the scope of
analysis in the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS. The scoping process was
also used to introduce the public to preliminary planning criteria,
which set limits on the scope of the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS.
    Major issues considered in the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS
include special status species management (GRSG specifically), energy
and mineral development, lands and realty (including transmission),
livestock grazing, fire, wild horses, vegetation management, special
management areas (ACEC nominations), socioeconomics (particularly
impacts to local communities) and invasive species.
    The Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS evaluates five alternatives in
detail, including the No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and four
action alternatives (Alternatives B, C, D, and E). The BLM identified
Alternative E as the preferred alternative
. Identification of this
alternative, however, does not represent final agency direction, and
the Proposed LUP Amendments/Final EIS may reflect changes or
adjustments based on information received during public comment, from
other new information, or from changes in BLM policies or priorities.

For the full notice....
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