[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 175 (Friday, September 9, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55939-55941]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22946]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLWYR0500.L16100000.DP0000. LXSS047K0000]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Resource Management Plan and 
Associated Environmental Impact Statement for the Lander Resource 
Management Plan Revision Project, Lander Field Office, Wyoming

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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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) 
has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lander Field Office and by 
this notice is announcing the opening of a 90-day 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 
Availability (NOA) 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 the project Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/rmps/lander.html.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Lander Resource 
Management Plan Revision Project by any of the following methods:
    Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/rmps/lander.html.
    E-mail: LRMP_WYMail@blm.gov.
    Mail: Lander Field Office, Attn: RMP Project Manager, 1335 Main 
Street, Lander, Wyoming 82520.
    Copies of the Draft RMP/EIS are available at the following 
locations:
     Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, 5353 
Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003.
     Bureau of Land Management, Lander Field Office, 1335 Main 
Street, Lander, Wyoming 82520.
     Bureau of Land Management, Wind River/Bighorn Basin 
District Office, 101 South 23rd Street, Worland, Wyoming 82401.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Yannone, RMP Project Manager, 
telephone 307-332-8400; address 1335 Main Street, Lander, Wyoming 
82520; e-mail kristin_yannone@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, 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 Project includes 
lands within the BLM Lander Field Office's administrative boundaries, 
including all of Fremont County and some of Teton, Sweetwater, Hot 
Springs, and Natrona counties in Wyoming. The planning area includes 
all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, totaling approximately 6.6 
million acres; however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands that 
fall under the BLM's jurisdiction. BLM-administered surface, totaling 
approximately 2.4 million acres, and Federal mineral estate, totaling 
2.8 million acres, make up the decision area. The revised RMP will 
replace the 1987 Lander RMP. The Draft RMP/EIS includes a series of 
management actions, within four management alternatives, designed to 
address management challenges and issues raised during scoping. These 
include, but are not limited to, mineral development, livestock 
grazing, air quality, special management areas including areas of 
critical environmental concern (ACEC), wildlife habitats including that 
of the Greater sage-grouse, and management of the settings of the 
congressionally designated trails. The four alternatives are:
     Alternative A: Continues existing management practices (no 
action alternative);

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     Alternative B: Emphasizes conservation of natural and 
cultural resources while providing for compatible development and use;
     Alternative C: Emphasizes resource development and use 
while protecting natural and cultural resources; and
     Alternative D: Provides development opportunities while 
protecting 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 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. For this reason, the BLM encourages comments on all 
alternatives and management actions described in the Draft RMP/EIS.
    In accordance with 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this NOA announces a 
concurrent public comment period on proposed ACECs. Alternative B 
proposes 15 ACECs, the most in any alternative, of which 9 were 
designated as ACECs in the 1987 Lander RMP. Alternative B would manage 
all ACECs as closed to all mineral activity including solid and fluid 
mineral leasing and would pursue withdrawal of all ACECs from locatable 
mineral entry. Alternative C would designate no ACECs. The management 
restrictions vary by alternative. The ACECs and the most restrictive 
management are:
     Lander Slope, 25,065 acres, designated in the 1987 RMP. 
Value(s) of concern--paleontological, visual resources, and wildlife 
habitat. Proposed use limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, 
closed to all mineral leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed 
to mineral material disposals and related exploration and development 
activities, closed to pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, 
motorized vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails, and a 
small area closed to motorized and mechanized travel for recreational 
use or with seasonal restrictions.
     Red Canyon, 15,109 acres designated in the 1987 RMP. 
Value(s) of concern--visual resources and wildlife habitat. Proposed 
use limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all 
mineral leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral 
material disposals and related exploration and development activities, 
closed to pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, motorized 
vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails, and a small area 
closed to motorized and mechanized travel for recreational use or with 
seasonal restrictions.
     Dubois Badlands, 4,903 acres designated in the 1987 RMP. 
Value(s) of concern--visual resources and fragile soils. Proposed use 
limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all mineral 
leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material 
disposals and related exploration and development activities, closed in 
order to pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized 
vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails.
     Whiskey Mountain, 8,776 acres designated in the 1987 RMP. 
Value(s) of concern--bighorn sheep habitat. Proposed use limitation(s): 
right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to mineral leases, closed to 
geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material disposals and 
related exploration and development activities, and motorized vehicle 
use limited to designated roads and trails with seasonal closures. 
Pursue extending locatable mineral withdrawals for a 20-year period.
     East Fork, 4,431 acres designated in the 1987 RMP with a 
proposed expansion of an additional 3,313 acres. Value(s) of concern--
elk habitat. Proposed use limitation(s): ROW exclusion area, closed to 
mineral leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral 
material disposals and related exploration and development activities, 
and motorized vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails with 
seasonal closures. Pursue extending locatable mineral withdrawals for a 
20-year period.
     Beaver Rim, 6,421 acres designated in the 1987 RMP with a 
proposed expansion of an additional 14,111 acres. Value(s) of concern--
geologic visual resources, Native American concerns, unique plant 
communities, and raptor nesting and habitat areas. Proposed use 
limitation(s): ROW exclusion area, closed to mineral leases, closed to 
geophysical exploration, closed to pursue withdrawal from locatable 
mineral entry, closed to mineral material disposals and related 
exploration and development activities, and motorized vehicle use 
limited to designated roads and trails.
     Green Mountain, 14,612 acres designated in the 1987 RMP 
with a proposed expansion of an additional 10,248 acres. Value(s) of 
concern--habitat for a resident elk population. Proposed use 
limitation(s): ROW exclusion area, closed to mineral leases, closed to 
geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material disposals and 
related exploration and development activities, closed to pursue 
withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle use 
limited to designated roads and trails with seasonal closures.
     National Historic Trails, 27,728 acres designated in the 
1987 RMP. Value(s) of concern--the immediate setting of the national 
historic trails. Proposed use limitation(s): Right-of-way (ROW) 
exclusion area, closed to all mineral leases, closed to geophysical 
exploration, closed to mineral material disposals and related 
exploration and development activities, closed to pursue withdrawal 
from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle use limited to 
designated roads and trails.
     South Pass Historical Mining Area, 12,576 acres designated 
in the 1987 RMP. Value(s) of concern--historical and visual resources 
associated with historic mining and its setting. Proposed use 
limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all mineral 
leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material 
disposals and related exploration and development activities, closed to 
pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle 
use limited to designated roads and trails.
     Continental Divide Scenic Trail, not designated in 1987 
RMP. Alternative B proposes 259,380 acres. Value(s) of concern--
recreation and visual resources associated with the congressionally 
designated national scenic trail. Proposed use limitation(s): right-of-
way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all mineral leases, closed to 
geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material disposals and 
related exploration and development activities, closed to pursue 
withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle use 
limited to designated roads and trails in a buffer along the Trail.
     Cedar Ridge, not designated in 1987 RMP. Alternative B 
proposes 7,039 acres. Value(s) of concern--paleontological resources 
and Native American religious and sacred sites and their settings. 
Proposed use limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed 
to all mineral leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to 
mineral material disposals and related exploration and development 
activities, closed to pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, 
and motorized vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails.
     Castle Gardens, not designated in 1987 RMP. Alternative B 
proposes 8,469 acres. Value(s) of concern--paleontological resources 
and Native

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American religious and sacred sites and their settings. Proposed use 
limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all mineral 
leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material 
disposals and related exploration and development activities, closed to 
pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle 
use limited to designated roads and trails.
     Sweetwater Rocks, not designated in the 1987 RMP. 
Alternative B proposes 152,347 acres. Value(s) of concern--geologic and 
visual resources and recreational values. Proposed use limitation(s): 
right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all mineral leases, closed 
to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material disposals and 
related exploration and development activities, closed to pursue 
withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle use 
limited to designated roads and trails.
     Regional Historic Trails and Early Highways, not 
designated in the 1987 RMP. Alternative B proposes 89,016 acres. 
Value(s) of concern--historical/cultural resources and their settings. 
Proposed use limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed 
to all mineral leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to 
mineral material disposals and related exploration and development 
activities, closed to pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, 
and motorized vehicle use limited to designated roads and trails in a 
buffer around the trails.
     Government Draw/Upper Sweetwater sage-grouse, not 
designated by the 1987 RMP. Alternative B proposes 1,246,791 acres. 
Value(s) of concern--Greater sage-grouse habitat. Proposed use 
limitation(s): right-of-way (ROW) exclusion area, closed to all mineral 
leases, closed to geophysical exploration, closed to mineral material 
disposals and related exploration and development activities, closed to 
pursue withdrawal from locatable mineral entry, and motorized vehicle 
use limited to designated roads and trails.
    Alternative A proposes to maintain the nine existing ACECs. 
Alternative B proposes to establish all of the ACECs listed above and 
to pursue withdrawals from locatable mineral entry for 1,396,844 acres. 
Alternative C proposes to eliminate all ACECs and manage the areas with 
standard stipulations (such as a \1\2\;-mile buffer on each side of the 
national historic trails).
    Alternative D, the preferred alternative, proposes ACEC designation 
for the following ACECs that are the same as designated in the 1987 
RMP: Lander Slope (25,065 acres), Red Canyon (15,109 acres), Whiskey 
Mountain (8,776 acres), and Beaver Rim (6,421 acres). The following 
ACECs were designated in the 1987 RMP but expanded in the preferred 
alternative: East Fork (4,431 acres plus 6,777 acres--including acres 
that were transferred from the Dubois Badlands ACEC designated in 1987 
but not in the preferred alternative), and Green Mountain (14,612 acres 
plus an additional 6,777 acres). The preferred alternative modifies the 
1987 designated South Pass Historic Mining Area to include additional 
lands associated with the congressionally designated trails for a total 
of 124,229 acres. A portion of the Government Draw/Upper Sweetwater 
sage-grouse ACEC is identified for management as a reference and 
education area containing the Twin Creek ACEC of 36,302 acres. The 
preferred alternative did not adopt the following ACECs proposed under 
Alternative B: Cedar Ridge, Castle Gardens, Sweetwater Rocks, 
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Regional Historic Trails and 
Early Highways, and Government Draw/Upper Sweetwater sage-grouse. 
13,378 acres in ACECs are closed to pursue withdrawal from locatable 
mineral entry.
    The BLM initiated a wild and scenic rivers (WSR) review of all BLM-
administered public lands along waterways within the Lander Field 
Office. The BLM requests the public to submit information regarding the 
suitability of eligible river segments for inclusion in the National 
Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The BLM will use comments submitted 
during the announced comment period to gather additional data to 
determine suitability for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers System.
    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 e-mail. 
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 Draft RMP/EIS to which 
the comment applies. Please note that public comments and information 
submitted including names, street addresses and e-mail 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, e-mail 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 can 
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. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and 
from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials 
of organizations or businesses, are available for public inspection in 
their entirety.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 1506.10; 43 CFR 1610.2, 1610.7-2 and 
8350.

Donald A. Simpson,
State Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-22946 Filed 9-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-22-P