[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 115 (Friday, June 14, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35959-35960]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14029]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLMT040000.L16100000.DP0000.LXSS059E0000]


Notice of Availability of Draft Resource Management Plan and 
Associated Environmental Impact Statement for the South Dakota Field 
Office Management Plan Revision, SD

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 Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) for the South Dakota Field Office 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/EIS within 90 days following the date 
the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice 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 
mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the South Dakota Field 
Office draft RMP/EIS by any of the following methods:
     Email: BLM_MT_South_Dakota_RMP@blm.gov.
     Fax: 605-892-7015.
     South Dakota Field Office, Attn: RMP Project Manager, 310 
Roundup Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717.
    Copies of the draft RMP/EIS are available at the South Dakota Field 
Office at the address above or may be viewed at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/south_dakota_field/rmp.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mitch Iverson, RMP Project Manager at 
605-892-7008; or Marian Atkins, BLM South Dakota Field Manager, at 605-
892-7000, at 310 Roundup Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717, or via email 
BLM_MT_South_Dakota_RMP@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 planning area includes lands within the 
BLM South Dakota Field Office administrative boundaries. The planning 
area consists of BLM-administered surface lands, totaling 274,239 
acres, and BLM-administered Federal mineral estate, totaling 1,715,677 
acres. Over 98 percent of the BLM-administered surface and Federal 
mineral estate in the decision area is located in western South Dakota. 
Counties with substantial amounts of BLM-administered surface or 
mineral estate (over 1 percent of the county land base) include Butte, 
Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, 
Perkins, and Stanley counties in western South Dakota. Other counties 
with small amounts of BLM-administered surface or federal minerals 
(less than 1 percent of the county land base) include Bennett, Bon 
Homme, Brule, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Corson, Dewey, 
Edmunds, Faulk, Gregory, Hand, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lyman, 
Marshall, McPherson, Mellette, Potter, Sully, Tripp, Walworth, Yankton, 
and Ziebach counties in South Dakota. The RMP will fulfill the needs 
and obligations set forth by NEPA, FLPMA, and BLM management policies. 
An updated inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics was 
completed for the RMP planning area and data from the inventory was 
analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS. The revised RMP will replace the South 
Dakota RMP of 1986, as amended, and provide the South Dakota Field 
Office with an updated framework in which to administer BLM public 
lands.
    The formal scoping period began with the publication of the Notice 
of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on July 19, 2007 (72 FR 39638). 
From August through October 2007, nine scoping meetings were held 
across the planning area. In addition to the nine scoping meetings, 
four open house meetings were held to address the concerns of Native 
American tribes. During scoping, the BLM requested public input to 
identify resource issues and concerns, management alternatives, or 
other ideas to help in determining future land use decisions for the 
planning area. Initially, the Federal Register NOI announced scoping 
for both North Dakota and South Dakota RMP revisions; however, based on 
the diverse planning issues and other management considerations, the 
South Dakota RMP revision continued ahead, and an RMP revision specific 
to North Dakota BLM will be addressed at a later date.
    The issues raised during scoping included energy development, 
vegetation management, wildlife habitat, special status species 
management, Greater Sage-Grouse, travel, access, commercial uses, land 
tenure adjustments, visual resource management, and climate change. The 
South Dakota draft RMP/EIS addresses the conservation needs of the 
Greater Sage-Grouse as part of the joint BLM-U.S. Forest Service 
national effort to sustain the species and its habitat through multiple 
land management plans across 10 western states. The BLM invited local, 
State, Federal, and tribal representatives to participate as 
cooperating agencies on the South Dakota RMP/EIS. The BLM invited these 
entities to participate because they have jurisdiction by law or 
because they could offer special expertise. Eleven cooperating-agency 
meetings were held from 2008 to 2012. These meetings focused on goals, 
issues, and the development of management alternatives.
    The draft RMP/EIS includes a range of management actions within 
four management alternatives, including the No Action Alternative. 
These alternatives are designed to address the goals, management 
challenges, and issues raised during scoping.
    The four alternatives are:

[[Page 35960]]

    Alternative A: Continues existing management practices (No Action 
Alternative).
    Alternative B: Emphasizes commercial resource development and use 
while providing adequate levels of resource protection.
    Alternative C: Emphasizes conservation of natural resources while 
providing for compatible development and use.
    Alternative D: Provides development opportunities while protecting 
high value and 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 BLM encourages comments on 
all alternatives and management actions described in the draft RMP/EIS 
and will assess and consider public comments properly received.
    Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this notice announces a concurrent 
public comment period on proposed Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern (ACEC). A total of two ACECs are currently designated in the 
existing plan and were re-evaluated and addressed in this draft RMP/EIS 
All alternatives would proposed to maintain the two existing ACECs. The 
proposed resource use limitations, by alternative for each ACEC is 
summarized below:

Fort Meade Recreation Area ACEC (6,574 Acres)

     Relevant and Important Values: Historical and 
archeological.
     Limitations on the Following Uses: Closed to leasable and 
salable minerals, closed to geophysical exploration, recommended for 
withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws.
     Other Restrictions: The area would be a Right-of-Way (ROW) 
exclusion area except in designated ROW corridors. Motorized vehicle 
use would be limited to designated roads and trails. Snowmobiles or 
machines specifically equipped to travel over snow would be prohibited. 
Closed to construction of new roads except for rerouting of existing 
roads to address resource impacts or safety issues. The back country 
byway that traverses the southern portion of the ACEC would continue to 
be designated as a back country byway.

Fossil Cycad ACEC (320 Acres)

     Relevant and Important Values: Paleontological.
     Proposed Use Limitations: Locatable Federal minerals would 
be recommended for withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws. 
The area would be closed to fluid minerals or have a no surface 
occupancy and use restriction for fluid minerals within the ACEC 
depending on the alternative selected. The area would be closed to 
salable Federal minerals and no sale of forest products would be 
allowed.
     Other Restrictions: The ACEC would be managed as a ROW 
avoidance area or ROW exclusion area depending on the alternative 
selected.
    All alternatives propose to maintain the Fort Meade and Fossil 
Cycad ACECs. Under alternatives B and D, up to 200 acres in the 
existing Fort Meade ACEC would be made available for land transfer to 
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for expansion of the Black 
Hills National Cemetery, up to 50 acres in the existing ACEC would be 
made available for transfer to the South Dakota National Guard for 
facilities, and up to 6 acres in the existing ACEC would be made 
available for transfer to the City of Sturgis. Additional action and 
appropriate environmental review would occur and could potentially 
result in a decrease in the size of the Fort Meade ACEC from 6,574 to 
6,318 acres.
    Alternative A would continue with the present National Register of 
Historic Places District for the Fort Meade ACEC and would include 
3,200 acres. Alternative B would recommend a formal nomination of Fort 
Meade as a National Register Landmark listing of 6,574 acres. 
Alternative C would propose to manage Greater Sage-Grouse Protection 
Priority habitat as an ACEC (93,266 acres). Within this ACEC in this 
alternative, rights-of-way would be excluded, leasable and salable 
minerals would be closed, and locatable minerals would be recommended 
for withdrawal from appropriation under the mining laws. Under 
Alternative C, Federal minerals in the abandoned Black Hills Army Depot 
and the former town site of Igloo would be closed to exploration and 
development of leasable and salable minerals. Alternative C would 
recommend the revision of the National Register of Historic Places Fort 
Meade District nomination to incorporate 3,370 additional acres inside 
the District Boundary and incorporate the entire military reservation. 
Total acres in the historic district would be changed to 6,574 acres 
for the Fort Meade ACEC. Alternative D would also nominate the Fort 
Meade ACEC for National Historic Landmark nomination, contingent on 
other partnering agency cooperation.
    Following the close of the public review and comment period on this 
draft RMP/EIS, public comments will be used to prepare the BLM South 
Dakota Field Office Proposed RMP and Final EIS. The BLM will respond to 
substantive comments received during the draft RMP/EIS review period by 
making appropriate revisions to the document, or by explaining why a 
comment did not warrant a change. After comments received on the draft 
RMP/EIS have been considered and appropriate revisions are made, the 
BLM will issue the Proposed RMP and Final EIS. A notice of the 
availability for the Proposed RMP and Final EIS will be published in 
the Federal Register.
    Please note that public comments and information submitted 
including names, street addresses, and email 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, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal identifying 
information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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

Katherine P. Kitchell,
Acting State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-14029 Filed 6-13-13; 8:45 am]
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