[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 175 (Friday, September 9, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55941-55943]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22961]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLCAC06000.L16100000.DP0000. LXSS095B0000]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Bakersfield Resource 
Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, California

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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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 Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bakersfield Field Office (FO) planning 
area 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/Draft EIS within 90 days following 
the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes this notice of 
availability 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,

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media releases, the BLM Web page and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Bakersfield Resource 
Management Plan, including potential designation of areas of critical 
environmental concern (ACEC), by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: cacalrmp@ca.blm.gov.
     Fax: (661) 391-6143, Attention: Bakersfield RMP.
     Mail: Bakersfield RMP, BLM Bakersfield Field Office, 3801 
Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, California 93308.
    Copies of the Bakersfield Draft RMP/Draft EIS are available in the 
Bakersfield FO at the above address; the California State Office at 
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W 1834, Sacramento, CA 95825; and at the BLM's 
Web site http://www.ca.blm.gov/bakersfield.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Sue 
Porter, Bakersfield Planning & Environmental Coordinator, telephone: 
(661) 391-6000 or the Bakersfield FO RMP line at (661) 391-6022; 
address: Bakersfield Field Office, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, 
California 93308; e-mail: cacalrmp@ca.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 Draft RMP/Draft EIS addresses public 
land and resources managed by the Bakersfield FO in an 8 county, 17 
million acre region of central California in Kings, San Luis Obispo, 
Santa Barbara, Tulare, Ventura, Madera, eastern Fresno, and western 
Kern counties. The Bakersfield RMP will replace the 1997 Caliente RMP 
and the 1984 Hollister RMP, as amended, for the management of 
approximately 404,000 acres of public land and 1.2 million acres of 
Federal mineral estate. The Bakersfield RMP does not address management 
of the California Coastal National Monument or the Carrizo Plain 
National Monument. Planning decisions in the RMP will apply only to the 
BLM-administered public lands and mineral estate in the planning area.
    The purpose of the Bakersfield RMP is to establish goals, 
objectives, and management actions for BLM public lands that address 
current issues, knowledge, and conditions. The Draft RMP/Draft EIS has 
been developed with broad public participation in accordance with FLPMA 
and NEPA. Preliminary planning issues were presented for public review 
and comment in the March 2008 Federal Register Notice of Intent (NOI); 
additional public comments were solicited through scoping letters, 
meetings, and the RMP Web site. Six planning issues were identified 
through the scoping process: (1) Access and availability of public 
lands for recreational and open spaces; (2) balance between the travel 
network and protection of natural and cultural resources; (3) 
protection of threatened and endangered species, critical habitat, 
other biological resources, cultural and paleontological resources in a 
multiple-use environment; (4) livestock grazing management to provide 
for economic benefit, rural lifestyles and vegetation management while 
protecting other resources; (5) balance between energy development and 
other land use authorizations with resource values; and (6) climate 
change.
    The Draft RMP/Draft EIS includes five management alternatives:
     The No Action alternative (Alternative A) would continue 
current management under the existing 1997 Caliente RMP and 1984 
Hollister RMP, as amended.
     Alternative B balances resource conservation and ecosystem 
health with the production of commodities and public use of the land. 
Alternative B is the Preferred Alternative.
     Alternative C emphasizes conserving cultural and natural 
resources, maintaining functioning natural systems, and restoring 
natural systems that are degraded.
     Alternative D follows Alternative C in all aspects except 
Alternative D eliminates livestock grazing from BLM managed lands in 
the planning area.
     Alternative E emphasizes the production of natural 
resources, commodities and public use opportunities.
    The Preferred Alternative has been identified as described in 40 
CFR 1502.14(e). Identification of this alternative, however, does not 
represent final agency direction, and the Proposed RMP may reflect 
changes or adjustments based on information received during public 
comment, from new information, or from changes in BLM policies or 
priorities. The Proposed RMP may include objectives and actions 
described in the other analyzed alternatives. For this reason, the BLM 
invites and encourages comments on all alternatives, objectives, and 
actions described in the Draft RMP/Draft EIS.
    Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this notice announces a concurrent 
public comment period on proposed ACECs. Ten new ACEC designations are 
proposed and five existing ACECs have proposed boundary changes:
    Ancient Lakeshores (1,985 acres): This proposal combines the 
existing 402-acre Alkali Sink and 40-acre Goose Lake ACECs with lands 
at Atwell Island. Relevant values are cultural, special status species 
(wildlife and plants), and plant community. Proposed limitations 
address land use authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral development 
and recreation.
    Bitter Creek (6,121 acres): This newly proposed ACEC contains 
relevant values of special status wildlife species. Proposed 
limitations address land use authorizations, mineral development and 
recreation. Other restrictions include closing public access to lands 
adjacent to a national wildlife refuge.
    Compensation Lands (283 acres): Relevant values for this newly 
proposed ACEC are special status wildlife and plant species. Proposed 
limitations address land use authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral 
development, and recreation. Other restrictions include management to 
benefit species identified in applicable US Fish and Wildlife Service 
or California Department of Fish and Game biological opinions, 
agreements, or other documents.
    Cyrus Canyon (5,374 acres): Relevant values for this newly proposed 
ACEC are special status plant species. Proposed limitations address 
land use authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral development and 
recreation.
    Erskine Creek (4,019 acres): Relevant values for this newly 
proposed ACEC are special status wildlife and plant species, geologic, 
and riparian. Proposed limitations address land use authorizations, 
livestock grazing, mineral development and recreation.
    Granite Cave (42 acres): Relevant values for this newly proposed 
ACEC are cultural and geologic. Proposed limitations address land use 
authorizations and mineral development. Other restrictions include 
prohibited public access.
    Hopper Mountain (4,974 acres): Relevant values for this newly 
proposed ACEC are special status wildlife species. Proposed limitations 
address land use authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral 
development, and recreation. Other restrictions include potentially 
restricting public access during condor use periods.
    Irish Hills (1,654 acres): Relevant values for this newly proposed 
ACEC are special status plant species and rare plant communities. 
Proposed limitations address land use

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authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral development, and recreation.
    Kaweah (27,041 acres): This proposal incorporates an expansion of 
the existing 26,468-acre Case Mountain ACEC with the North Fork of the 
Kaweah River. Relevant values are cultural, historic, special status 
wildlife and plant species, geologic, and riparian. Proposed 
limitations address land use authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral 
development, and recreation. Other restrictions include closure or 
seasonal restrictions to recreation sites along the North Fork of the 
Kaweah River.
    Kettleman Hills (13,695 acres): This proposal expands the existing 
ACEC through the addition of 3,901 acres. Relevant values are special 
status wildlife species, paleontological, and plant community. Proposed 
limitations address land use authorizations, mineral development, and 
recreation.
    Lokern-Buena Vista (15,465 acres): This proposal combines the 
existing Lokern ACEC with an additional 8,833 acres in the Buena Vista 
Hills. Relevant values are special status wildlife and plant species 
and plant community. Proposed limitations address land use 
authorizations, mineral development, and recreation.
    Los Osos (5 acres): Relevant values for this newly proposed ACEC 
are cultural, special status wildlife and plant species, and plant 
community. Proposed limitations address land use authorizations, 
livestock grazing, mineral development, and recreation. Other 
restrictions include limiting public access to pedestrians; cross-
country travel would be prohibited.
    Piute Cypress (2,517 acres): This proposal expands the existing 
ACEC by 1,413 acres. Relevant values are special status plant species. 
Proposed limitations address land use authorizations, livestock 
grazing, mineral development, and recreation.
    Rusty Peak (787 acres): Relevant values for this newly proposed 
ACEC are special status plant species and rare plant community. 
Proposed limitations address land use authorizations, livestock grazing 
and mineral development.
    Upper Cuyama Valley (8,935 acres): Relevant values for this newly 
proposed ACEC are special status wildlife and plant species. Proposed 
limitations address land use authorizations, livestock grazing, mineral 
development, and recreation.
    Alternative B, the Preferred Alternative, proposes ACEC designation 
for Ancient Lakeshores; Bitter Creek; Blue Ridge; Compensation Lands; 
Cypress Mountain; Cyrus Canyon; Erskine Creek; Hopper Mountain; Horse 
Canyon; Kaweah; Kettleman Hills; Lokern-Buena Vista; Los Osos; Piute 
Cypress; Point Sal; Tierra Redonda; and Upper Cuyama Valley for a total 
of 99,619 acres proposed to be managed as ACECs.
    Lands with wilderness characteristics are addressed in accordance 
with Section 201 and 202 of FLPMA. The Preferred Alternative would 
protect approximately 3,470 acres of lands with wilderness 
characteristics.
    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.

Thomas Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director, Natural Resources.

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

[FR Doc. 2011-22961 Filed 9-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-40-P