[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 42 (Friday, March 2, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 12761-12763]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5025]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

RIN 1024-AE08


Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Saguaro 
National Park, Bicycle Route

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to designate the 
Hope Camp Trail as a bicycle route within Saguaro National Park (Park). 
The National Park Service general regulation at 36 CFR 4.30(b) requires 
promulgation of a special regulation to designate bicycle routes 
outside of developed areas and special use zones.

DATES: Comments must be received by May 1, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the Regulation 
Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE08, by any of the following methods:
     Federal rulemaking portal http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail or hand deliver to: Superintendent, Saguaro National 
Park, 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730-5601.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Love, Chief Ranger, Saguaro 
National Park, 520-591-1013.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Legislation and Purposes of Saguaro National Park

    Due to the exceptional growth of various species of cacti, 
including the giant saguaro cactus, and because of outstanding 
scientific interest, Saguaro National Park was initially reserved as a 
National Monument on March 1, 1933 (Presidential Proclamation No. 2032, 
47 Stat. 2557).
    In 1961, Presidential Proclamation No. 3439 (76 Stat. 1437) 
enlarged the boundaries of the Saguaro National Monument to include 
certain lands within the Tucson Mountains containing a remarkable 
display of relatively undisturbed lower Sonoran desert vegetation, 
including a spectacular saguaro stand.
    In October 1976, Public Law 94-567 (90 Stat. 2692) designated parts 
of Saguaro National Monument as a wilderness area, known as the Saguaro 
Wilderness.
    On June 19, 1991, Congress passed Public Law 102-61 that included 
the ``Saguaro National Monument Expansion Act of 1991'' (105 Stat. 303) 
to authorize the addition of approximately 3,540 acres to the Rincon 
unit of Saguaro National Monument in order to protect, preserve, and 
interpret the monument's resources, and to provide for education and 
benefit to the public.
    Under the Saguaro National Park Establishment Act of 1994 (16 
U.S.C. 410zz), Saguaro National Monument was renamed Saguaro National 
Park.
    The Park is an important national resource visited by approximately 
700,000 people annually. It encompasses/includes approximately 91,450 
acres, 71,400 acres of which are designated as wilderness. The Park has 
two Districts--the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson and the 
Tucson Mountain District west of Tucson. Both are within Pima County, 
Arizona, and are separated by the city of Tucson. The Park protects a 
superb example of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, featuring exceptional 
stands of Saguaro cacti. The Saguaro is the tallest cactus in the 
United States, and is recognized worldwide as an icon of the American 
Southwest.
    The Hope Camp Trail is a 2.8 mile long hiking and equestrian trail 
that originates at the Loma Alta Trailhead and travels east through the 
southwestern portion of the Park's Rincon Mountain District to the 
Arizona State Trust Lands boundary beyond Hope Camp. The trail 
generally traverses relatively even terrain and rolling hills, and is 
lined with a variety and abundance of desert trees and shrubs. The 
trail is not within proposed, recommended, or designated wilderness.
    Prior to NPS acquisition in the mid 1990s, the land was part of a 
privately-owned ranch, and the trail route was a graded dirt road used 
to support ranching operations. The former owner also allowed the route 
to be used for recreational purposes, including hiking, equestrian and 
bicycle use. Shortly after acquiring the land, NPS closed the route to 
motor vehicles and bicycles. The trail is currently open to hiker and 
equestrian use only. Although closed to vehicular traffic, the route 
remains approximately 14 feet wide, allowing adequate room for two-way 
passage of diverse user groups.

General Management Plan

    The Park's General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement 
(GMP) was completed in 2008. The GMP may be viewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/sagu.

[[Page 12762]]

    The purposes of the GMP are as follows:

 Confirm the purpose, significance, and special mandates of the 
Park.
 Clearly define resource conditions and visitor uses and 
experiences to be achieved at the Park.
 Provide a framework for NPS managers to use when making 
decisions about how to:
    [cir] Best protect Park resources;
    [cir] Provide quality visitor uses and experiences; and
    [cir] Manage visitor uses, and what kinds of facilities, if any, to 
develop in/near the Park.
 Ensure that a foundation for decision making has been 
developed in consultation with interested stakeholders and adopted by 
NPS leadership after an adequate analysis of the benefits, impacts, and 
economic cost of alternative courses of action.

    The GMP identifies six different management zones, which are 
specific descriptions of desired conditions for Park resources and 
visitor experiences in different areas of the Park. As identified in 
the GMP, the Hope Camp Trail lies within the Natural Zone. Under the 
GMP, activities within the Natural Zone would include hiking, horseback 
riding, running, bicycling, and viewing flora and fauna. The zone is 
available for day use only, and visitors are required to stay on 
trails. The GMP provides that bicycling opportunities will be explored 
along the Hope Camp Trail.

Comprehensive Trails Management Plan/Environmental Assessment

    In November 2005, the Park initiated the development of a 
Comprehensive Trails Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (Plan/EA) 
for the Park. Internal scoping occurred with Park staff, planning 
professionals from the NPS Intermountain Support Office, along with 
representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and the Sonoran Institute. 
External scoping included mailing and distribution of three separate 
newsletters, four public open house meetings and a 60-day public 
comment period. As a result of this process, four alternatives for the 
Park's Rincon Mountain District (including a no action alternative) 
were identified for public comments. Two alternatives called for 
conversion of the Hope Camp Trail into a multi-use trail, to include 
the use of mountain bicycles, and two alternatives kept the trail open 
to hikers and equestrians only. During the public comment period on the 
draft Plan/EA, the NPS considered 253 pieces of correspondence, 
containing a total of 638 comments on the draft Plan/EA alternatives.
    The objectives of the Plan/EA are to:
     Prevent impairment and unacceptable impacts on natural and 
cultural resources.
     Provide reasonable access to the trails network and 
trailheads.
     Eliminate unnecessary and parallel/duplicate trails.
     Ensure that the resulting trails network is safe and 
maintainable.
     Provide for a clearly designated trail system.
     Provide for a variety of trail experiences.
    The Plan/EA was completed in 2009. The selected alternative and the 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), signed by the NPS 
Intermountain Regional Director on July 31, 2009, calls for the 
conversion of the Hope Camp Trail to a multi-use trail, including 
bicycling. The Plan/EA and FONSI may be viewed online at http://www.nps.gov/sagu/parkmgmt/trails.

History of Bicycle Use

    A 2003 rulemaking authorized bicycle use on the 2.5 mile Cactus 
Forest Trail that bisects the paved, 8-mile-long Cactus Forest Loop 
Drive in the Rincon Mountain District of the Park. This rule does not 
address the Cactus Forest Trail, which remains open to bicycle use, as 
well as hiker and equestrian use. This bicycle trail has recently been 
used to introduce underserved youth to the Park and the NPS via 
mountain bike and educational fieldtrips as part of the ``Trips for 
Kids'' program. Currently, this is the only trail in the Park open to 
bicycle use.

Authorizing Bicycle Use

    This proposed rule would designate as a bicycle route and open to 
bicycle use, the approximate 2.8 mile Hope Camp Trail, from the Loma 
Alta Trailhead east to the Arizona State Trust Lands boundary, 
approximately .2 miles beyond Hope Camp. Park staff, volunteer 
organizations, and local interest groups would monitor and mitigate the 
environmental impacts of mountain bike use on the Hope Camp Trail to 
ensure that the trail is maintained in good condition and that issues 
of concern are immediately brought to the attention of Park management.

Compliance With Other Laws and Executive Orders

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866)

    This document is not a significant rule and the Office of 
Management and Budget has not reviewed this rule under Executive Order 
12866.
    (1) This rule will not have an effect of $100 million or more on 
the economy. It will not adversely affect in a material way the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities.
    (2) This rule will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise 
interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. This is an 
agency specific rule, supported by the Pima County (AZ) Parks and 
Recreation Department.
    (3) This rule does not alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, 
grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of 
their recipients.
    (4) This rule does not raise novel legal or policy issues. This 
rule implements 36 CFR 4.30 which requires the promulgation of special 
regulations for the designation of bicycle routes outside of developed 
areas and special use zones.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this document would 
not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small 
entities under the RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is 
based on information contained in the report titled, ``Cost-Benefit and 
Regulatory Flexibility Analyses for Designating Bicycle Trails in 
Saguaro National Park'' that is available for review at http://www.nps.gov/sagu/parkmgmt/trails.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the SBREFA. 
This rule:
    a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more.
    b. Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.
    There are no businesses in the surrounding area economically 
dependent on bicycle use of this trail. The park does not have any 
bicycle rental concessioners and current users are predominantly 
individuals engaged in recreational activities.

[[Page 12763]]

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement 
containing the information required by the UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
is not required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this rule does not 
have significant takings implications. A taking implications assessment 
is not required because this rule will not deny any private property 
owner of beneficial uses of their land, nor will it significantly 
reduce their land's value. No taking of personal property will occur as 
a result of this rule.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this rule does not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism summary impact statement. A Federalism summary impact 
statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
Specifically this rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated this 
rule and determined that it has no potential effects on federally 
recognized Indian tribes. Affiliated Native American tribes were 
contacted by letters sent in December 2008 to solicit any interests or 
concerns with the proposed action. No responses were received by the 
Park.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission under the PRA is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    We have prepared an environmental assessment and have determined 
that this rule will not have a significant effect on the quality of the 
human environment under the NEPA of 1969. The Plan/EA for the Park and 
FONSI that included an evaluation of bicycling on the Hope Camp Trail 
may be viewed online at http://www.nps.gov/sagu/parkmgmt/trails.

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A statement of Energy Effects is not 
required.

Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ``ADDRESSES'' section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are 
too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, 
etc.

Drafting Information

    The primary authors of this regulation are Robert Love, Chief 
Ranger, Saguaro National Park, Darla Sidles, Superintendent, Saguaro 
National Park, John Calhoun and A.J. North, NPS Regulations Program, 
Washington, DC.

Public Participation

    It is the policy of NPS, whenever practicable, to afford the public 
an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. Accordingly, 
interested parties may submit written comments, suggestions, or 
objections regarding this proposed rule to the addresses noted at the 
beginning of this rule.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comments, 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.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    District of Columbia, National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the NPS proposes to amend 36 CFR 
Part 7 as set forth below:

PART 7--SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

    1. Revise the authority citation for Part 7 to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 462(k); Sec. 7.96 also issued 
under 36 U.S.C. 501-511, DC Code 10-137 (2001) and DC Code 50-2201 
(2001).

    2. Revise Sec.  7.11(a) to read as follows:


Sec.  7.11  Saguaro National Park.

    (a) Bicycles. (1) The following trails are designated as routes for 
bicycle use:
    (i) That portion of the Cactus Forest Trail inside the Cactus 
Forest Drive; and
    (ii) The Hope Camp Trail, from the Loma Alta Trailhead east to the 
Arizona State Trust Lands boundary, .2 miles beyond Hope Camp.
    (2) The Superintendent may open or close designated routes, or 
portions thereof, or impose conditions or restrictions for bicycle use 
after taking into consideration public health and safety, natural and 
cultural resource protection, and other management activities and 
objectives. The superintendent will provide public notice of all such 
actions through one or more of the methods listed in Sec.  1.7 of this 
chapter.
* * * * *

    Dated: February 22, 2012.
Rachel Jacobson,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2012-5025 Filed 3-1-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P