[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 210 (Tuesday, November 1, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-26985]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: November 1, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
[NM-060-05-1610-00] (600)

 

Availability of Draft Roswell Resource Management Plan/
Environmental Impact Statement, Draft Carlsbad Resource Management Plan 
Amendment/Environmental Impact Statement, and Public Hearing Schedule

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability 
for public review of the Draft Roswell Resource Management Plan/
Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS) and the Draft Carlsbad 
Resource Management Plan Amendment/Environmental Impact Statement 
(RMPA/EIS). The Draft RMP/EIS and Draft RMPA/EIS have been combined in 
a single document.
    The Carlsbad RMPA/EIS addresses the management of oil and gas 
resources on about 2.2 million acres of public surface and subsurface, 
and an additional 1.6 million acres of federal mineral estate, in Lea 
and Eddy counties, and the ``bootheel'' of Chaves County, in southeast 
New Mexico. The Roswell RMP/EIS addresses the comprehensive management 
of all resources and uses on about 1.5 million acres of public surface 
and subsurface, and an additional 8.4 million acres of federal mineral 
estate, in the remainder of Chaves County and all of Lincoln, DeBaca, 
Roosevelt, Curry, Quay, and Guadalupe counties, in east-central and 
southeast New Mexico.
    The Roswell RMP/EIS focuses on resolving three key issues that were 
identified with public involvement early in the planning process. These 
issues are: (1) oil and gas operations; (2) land tenure adjustment; 
and, (3) access. Additionally, two management opportunities (non-issue 
related practices or land-use allocations that need modification) were 
identified. These are: (1) recreation; and (2) wildlife habitat 
management. The Carlsbad RMPA/EIS is focused solely on resolving the 
oil and gas operations issue.
    Notice also is given that two public hearings will be held to seek 
public comment on the adequacy of the Draft Roswell RMP/EIS and the 
Draft Carlsbad RMPA/EIS, including alternatives and the impacts of 
those alternatives.

DATES: Written comments on the Draft Roswell RMP/EIS and the Draft 
Carlsbad RMPA/EIS will be accepted for 90 days following the date the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes the Notice of Availability of 
these drafts in the Federal Register. Public hearings on the drafts 
will be held on: Jan. 10, 1995, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 
p.m., at the Pearson Auditorium on the New Mexico Military Institute 
campus, Roswell, New Mexico; and, Jan. 11, 1995, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. 
and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the BLM's Carlsbad Resource Area office, 620 
East Greene, Carlsbad, New Mexico.
    Oral and written testimony will be accepted at the hearings. Oral 
comments will be limited to five minutes and should be accompanied with 
written text, if possible.
    In addition to the public hearings, three open houses are scheduled 
for:

Jan 3, 1995, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the 
office of the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce, 720 Sudderth, Ruidoso, New 
Mexico;
Jan 4, 1995, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the BLM's 
Carlsbad Resource Area office, 620 East Greene, Carlsbad, New Mexico; 
and,
Jan 5, 1995, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the BLM's 
Roswell District Office conference room, 1717 West 2nd Street, Roswell, 
New Mexico.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the document should be addressed to: 
David Stout, RMP/EIS Team Leader, Bureau of Land Management, Roswell 
District Office, 1717 West 2nd Street, Roswell, New Mexico, 88201-2019, 
telephone: 505-627-0272. Copies of the combined RMP/EIS and RMPA/EIS 
are available at the Roswell District Office (address immediately 
above), the Roswell Resource Area Office, 500 North Richardson Avenue, 
Roswell, New Mexico, 88201, and the Carlsbad Resource Area Office, 620 
East Greene, Carlsbad, New Mexico, 88220.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
David Stout, RMP/EIS Team Leader, at the address listed above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Five alternative management options have 
been proposed and analyzed in detail in the document. Alternative A is 
the continuation of current management and is also the ``No Action'' 
alternative. Alternative B emphasizes environmental values, while 
Alternative C emphasizes production and development. Alternative D 
attempts to balance use and development of resources while maintaining 
or improving important environmental values. The BLM's preferred 
alternative, identified in the RMP/EIS and RMPA/EIS as Alternative E, 
is a combination of portions of the other four alternatives, plus 
management that is common to all alternatives.
    For the Roswell Resource Area, any of the alternatives could be 
chosen as the proposed management for the Resource Area and would 
provide for realistic, comprehensive management of the public lands. 
For the Carlsbad Resource Area, any of the alternatives could be chosen 
and would provide for realistic management of oil and gas resources on 
the public lands. However, in an effort to standardize the management 
of oil and gas resources between the two Resource Areas and to provide 
improved customer service, each alternative in the Carlsbad RMPA/EIS 
corresponds with a similar alternative for oil and gas management in 
the Roswell RMP/EIS. Management proposed for each Resource Area under a 
specific alternative is essentially the same. Thus, for oil and gas 
management, the alternatives are essentially Roswell District 
alternatives. Because of the tie between the two Resource Areas, the 
alternative selected for the management of oil and gas resources in the 
Carlsbad Resource Area will be the same alternative selected for oil 
and gas management in the Roswell Resource Area.
    Areas of Critical Environmental Concern: The Roswell RMP/EIS 
evaluates the proposed designation of five areas of critical 
environmental concern (ACEC). The proposed ACECs total 61,629 acres. 
This acreage represents a total acreage based on the presence of 
resources and opportunities for efficient management. The total acreage 
figure includes 9,227 acres of private land and 4,680 acres of state 
land. The designation of an ACEC would pertain to the surface and 
mineral estate managed by the BLM and to the BLM-administered federal 
mineral estate under private or state lands. Private or state 
inholdings within the boundaries of the proposed ACECs would not be 
designated as part of an ACEC, nor would the management proposed for an 
ACEC be applied to those lands. The inholdings would be acquired, 
however, if opportunities for acquisition arise. If inholdings in an 
ACEC are acquired, they would be included in the ACEC without 
conducting additional land use planning, and would be managed according 
to the management in place for the ACEC.
    The management emphasis for each proposed ACEC under the preferred 
alternative is described below. Also listed are brief descriptors of 
significant uses of the public lands within the proposed ACECs that may 
be emphasized, limited, or otherwise affected. These descriptors or 
topics are: A--oil and gas; B--salable minerals; C--leasable minerals; 
D--locatable minerals; E--rights-of-way; F--land tenure adjustment; G--
livestock grazing; H--vegetation management; I--off-highway vehicle 
use; J--recreation use and development; and, K--riparian management.
    Management of the proposed Overflow Wetlands ACEC (6,814 acres) 
emphasizes the protection of the biological and scenic values of the 
area, including critical habitat for threatened or endangered fish and 
significant riparian/wetland values. Topics of significant management 
emphasis are A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; and, K.
    Management of the proposed North Pecos River ACEC (6,400 acres) 
emphasizes the protection of the biological and scenic values of the 
area, including critical habitat for threatened or endangered fish and 
significant riparian/wetland values. Topics of significant management 
emphasis are: A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; and, K.
    Management of the proposed Mescalero Sands ACEC (10,007 acres) 
emphasizes the protection of the biological, archeological and scenic 
values of the area with emphasis on a portion of the shinnery oak-dune 
plant community to enhance the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Topics of 
significant management emphasis are: A; B; C; D; E; F; G; and, I.
    Management of the proposed Fort Stanton ACEC (24,630 acres) 
emphasizes the protection of the biological, archeological and scenic 
values of the area, while providing for quality recreation opportunity. 
Topics of significant management emphasis are: A; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; 
J; and, K.
    Management of the proposed Roswell Cave Complex ACEC (16,818 acres) 
emphasizes the protection of the natural and scenic values of caves, 
while allowing for limited recreational, commercial, scientific and 
educational use. Topics of significant management emphasis are: A; C; 
D; E; F; G; I; and, J.
    Copies of the combined Roswell RMP/EIS and Carlsbad RMPA/EIS are 
available at the Roswell District Office, the Roswell Resource Area 
Office, and the Carlsbad Resource Area Office, at the addresses listed 
above.

    Dated: October 25, 1994.
Leslie M. Cone,
District Manager.
[FR Doc. 94-26985 Filed 10-31-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-FB-M