[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 232 (Friday, December 2, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75556-75557]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30929]



[[Page 75556]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLNMF02000 L16100000.DP0000 LXSS026G0000]


Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plan 
and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Taos Field Office, New 
Mexico

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 of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 
prepared the Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental 
Impact Statement (Proposed RMP/Final EIS) for the Taos Field Office, 
New Mexico, and by this Notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: The BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the 
conditions as described in the regulations may protest the Proposed 
RMP/Final EIS. A person who meets the conditions must file the protest 
within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency 
publishes this Notice in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS have been sent to 
affected Federal, Tribal, state, and local government agencies and to 
other stakeholders. Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS are available 
for public inspection at the Taos Field Office in Taos, New Mexico, and 
New Mexico State Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Interested persons may 
also review the Proposed RMP/Final EIS at: http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/fo/Taos_Field_Office/taos_rmpr.html. All protests must be in writing 
and mailed to one of the following addresses:

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               Regular mail                        Overnight mail
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BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda       BLM Director (210),
 Williams, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC    Attention: Brenda Williams,
 20024-1383.                                 20 M Street SE., Room
                                             2134LM, Washington, DC
                                             20003.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Higdon, Planning and 
Environmental Coordinator, Taos Field Office, telephone (575) 751-4725; 
address 226 Cruz Alta Road, Taos, New Mexico 87571; email 
bhigdon@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 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 hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Proposed RMP/Final EIS analyzes the 
environmental consequences of four alternative land use plans under 
consideration by the BLM for managing approximately 595,100 acres of 
surface estate and 1.5 million acres of mineral estate administered by 
the Taos Field Office within Colfax, Harding, Los Alamos, Mora, Rio 
Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos, San Miguel, and Union Counties in northern New 
Mexico. This land use plan would replace the 1988 Taos RMP, as amended, 
and approval thereof is needed to provide updated management decisions 
regarding land tenure adjustments, land use authorizations, mineral 
resources, recreation, renewable energy, special designations, 
transportation and access, visual resources, and other resource uses 
and considerations. Upon approval, the Proposed RMP/Final EIS will 
apply only to BLM-administered public lands and Federal mineral estate. 
The four alternatives analyzed in detail in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS 
are the No Action Alternative, or a continuation of the existing 
management decisions; Alternative A, the Proposed RMP, which strives to 
balance resource uses with protections; Alternative B, which emphasizes 
resource conservation and protection; and Alternative C, which allows 
greater opportunity for resource use and development.
    The Proposed RMP/Final EIS would establish eleven Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern, totaling approximately 407,855 acres, to provide 
special management for the protection of relevant and important 
cultural, historic, scenic, and natural resource values. The proposed 
plan would also apply protective management to approximately 67,032 
acres of lands with wilderness characteristics in four different areas. 
Public lands available for renewable energy development, mineral 
development, land use authorization, systems of designated travel 
routes, and other uses would be provided for under the proposed plan, 
which would delineate and, as necessary, apply limitations on these 
opportunities. In addition, management parameters and prescriptions 
would be applied to a variety of natural, cultural, and visual 
resources, including air and water quality, wildlife habitat, forests 
and woodlands, and other components of the biological, physical, and 
cultural environment.
    The land use planning process was initiated on May 26, 2006, 
through a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register (71 FR 
30446). A Notice of Availability of the Draft RMP/Draft EIS was 
published on June 10, 2010, in the Federal Register (75 FR 32963) to 
announce a 90-day public review and comment period of the draft 
document. During that period, the BLM held public open-house meetings 
in Santa Fe, Espa[ntilde]ola, and Taos to assist the public in their 
review of the Draft and to solicit their comments. The Draft RMP/EIS 
was sent to multiple Federal, Tribal, State, and local government 
agencies and interested parties and was made publicly available for 
viewing at the Taos Field Office, the New Mexico State Office, and on 
the Internet. During the comment period, the Taos Field Office received 
approximately 94 comments from comment forms, which were completed 
during one of the public open-house meetings, comment letters, or 
emails.
    Each submission was carefully reviewed to identify substantive 
comments in accordance with regulations on the implementation of NEPA 
(40 CFR 1503.4). Comments received from the public were considered and 
incorporated upon internal BLM reviews as appropriate into the Proposed 
RMP/Final EIS. Public comments resulted in the addition of clarifying 
text, but did not significantly change the proposed land use plan 
decisions. Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the 
BLM regarding the proposed plan may be found in the ``Dear Reader 
Letter'' of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. Emailed 
and faxed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the 
protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular or 
overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under 
these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed or faxed protest as 
an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to 
provide the BLM with such advanced notification, please send protests 
to fax phone number (202) 912-7212, attention BLM Protest Coordinator 
Brenda Hudgens-Williams or email Brenda_Hudgens-Williams@blm.gov.
    All protests, including the follow-up letter to emails or faxes, 
must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth 
in the ADDRESSES section above.

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    Before including your phone number, email address, or other 
personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware 
that your entire protest--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your protest to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Jesse Juen,
Acting State Director.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6; 40 CFR 1506.10; 43 CFR 1610.2; 43 CFR 
1610.5-2.
[FR Doc. 2011-30929 Filed 12-1-11; 8:45 am]
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