[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 167 (Tuesday, August 28, 2012)]
[Pages 52054-52055]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21154]



Bureau of Land Management


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

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


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 the Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bakersfield Field Office, 
California, and by this notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: 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 its Notice of Availability of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS in 
the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Bakersfield Proposed RMP/Final EIS have been 
sent to affected Federal, State, and local agencies, Native American 
tribes, and to other interested parties. Copies of the Proposed RMP/
Final EIS are available for public inspection at the Bakersfield Field 
Office (3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, California 93308) and 
California State Office (2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, California 
95825). Interested persons may also review the Proposed RMP/Final EIS 
on the Internet at: www.blm.gov/ca/bakersfield. All protests must be in 
writing and mailed to one of the following addresses:

Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, P.O. Box 
71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383.
Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, 20 M 
Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003-3503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sue Porter, Planning & Environmental 
Coordinator, Bakersfield Field Office, telephone: 661-391-6022; 
address: Bakersfield Field Office, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, 
California 93308; email: [email protected]. 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 Proposed RMP/Final EIS addresses public 
land and resources managed by the Bakersfield Field Office in an eight-
county, 17-million-acre region of central California in Kings, San Luis 
Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, Ventura, Madera, eastern Fresno, and 
western Kern counties. Upon approval, this land use plan will replace 
the 1997 Caliente RMP and the 1984 Hollister RMP, as amended, and 
provide updated management decisions regarding recreation, 
transportation and access, renewable and traditional energy 
development, mineral resources, land use authorizations, livestock 
grazing, biological resources, special designations, lands with 
wilderness characteristics, and other resource uses and considerations 
on approximately 404,000 acres of public land and 1.2 million acres of 
Federal mineral estate. The Approved RMP will apply only to the BLM-
administered public lands and Federal mineral estate in the planning 
    The Proposed RMP/Final EIS analyzes 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.
     The Proposed Plan (Alternative B) strives to balance 
resource conservation and ecosystem health with the production of 
commodities and public use of the land.
     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 
with regard to livestock grazing. Alternative D would eliminate 
livestock grazing from BLM managed lands in the planning area for the 
life of this land use plan.
     Alternative E emphasizes the production of natural 
resources and commodities while emphasizing public use opportunities.

The Proposed RMP/Final EIS would establish 18 Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern, totaling approximately 99,500 acres, to provide 
special management for the protection of relevant and important 
biological, cultural, geologic, and paleontological resource values. 
The proposed plan would also apply protective management to 
approximately 3,470 acres of lands with wilderness characteristics in 
six different areas. Public lands available for energy development, 
land use authorizations, livestock grazing, 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 uses. In addition, management parameters and prescriptions would 
be applied to a variety of natural and cultural resources, including 
air and atmospheric values, water quality, special status plant and 
animal species, and other components of the biological, physical, and 
cultural environment.
    The land use planning process was initiated on March 4, 2008, 
through a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register (73 FR 
11661). A Notice of Availability of the Draft RMP/Draft EIS was 
published on September 9, 2011, in the Federal Register (76 FR 55941) 
to announce a 90-day public review and comment period. During that 
period, the BLM held public open-house meetings in Bakersfield, San 
Luis Obispo, Lake Isabella, Three Rivers, Taft, and Prather to assist 
the public in their review of the Draft RMP/Draft EIS and to solicit 
their comments. The Draft RMP/Draft EIS was sent to multiple Federal, 
State, and local government agencies and interested parties and was 
made publicly available for viewing at the Bakersfield Field Office, 
the California State Office, various public libraries, and on the 
    During the comment period, the Bakersfield Field Office received 
274 written comment submissions from comment forms, which were 
completed during one of the public open-house meetings, as well as 
comment letters and emails. Each submission was carefully reviewed to 
identify substantive comments in accordance with the implementing 
regulations of NEPA (40 CFR 1503.4).
    Comments on the Draft RMP/Draft EIS received from the public and 

[[Page 52055]]

BLM review were considered and incorporated as appropriate into the 
Proposed RMP/Final EIS. Public comments resulted in the addition of 
clarifying text and minor revisions, 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 RMP/Final EIS may be found in the ``Dear 
Reader'' letter of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. 
All protests must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, 
as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above. 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 advance notification, please direct emails to [email protected] and faxed protests to the attention of the BLM 
protest coordinator at 202-245-0028. Before including your address, 
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.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, and 43 
CFR 1610.5-2.

Thomas Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director, Natural Resources.
[FR Doc. 2012-21154 Filed 8-23-12; 4:15 pm]