[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 115 (Friday, June 14, 2013)]
[Pages 35957-35959]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14031]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Resource Management Plan for the 
Central Yukon Planning Area Alaska and Associated Environmental Impact 

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, and the Alaska National Lands Interest Conservation 
Act of 1980 (ANILCA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
Central Yukon Field Office, Fairbanks, Alaska, intends to prepare a 
Resource Management Plan (RMP) with an associated Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) for the Central Yukon Planning Area. This notice 
announces the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public 
comments and identify issues. The RMP will replace the existing Utility 
Corridor RMP, Central Yukon RMP, and part of the Southwest Management 
Framework Plan. Additionally, the RMP will cover lands in the Fairbanks 
North Star Borough that are currently not included in any management 

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the RMP 
with the associated EIS. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing 
until December 11, 2013. The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping 
meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local 
media, newspapers, and the BLM-Alaska Web site at: www.blm.gov/ak. In 
order to be included in the Draft RMP/EIS scoping report, all comments 
must be received prior to the close of the 180-day scoping period or 15 
days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. We will provide 
additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of 
the Draft RMP/EIS.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on issues, planning criteria, and 
management questions and concerns related to the Central Yukon RMP by 
any of the following methods:
     In person at public scoping meetings in communities within 
the planning area. The BLM will announce the meeting dates, times and 
specific locations through news releases and on the BLM Web site at 
     Web site: www.blm.gov/ak;
     Email: [email protected];
     Fax: 907- 474-2282;
     Mail: Attn: Central Yukon Field Office, 1150 University 
Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99709.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the 
Fairbanks District Office; address: 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, 
AK 99709.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to our mailing list, contact Jeanie Cole, Planning and 
Environmental Coordinator, telephone 907-474-2200; address: 1150 
University Ave., Fairbanks, AK, 99709; 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: This document provides notice that the BLM 
Central Yukon Field Office, Fairbanks, Alaska, intends to prepare a RMP 
with an associated EIS for the Central Yukon Planning Area. The BLM is 
announcing the beginning of the scoping process and seeking public 
input on issues and planning criteria. The planning area is located in 
central and northern Alaska and encompasses approximately 16 million 
acres of public land. The purpose of the public scoping process is to 
identify relevant issues that will

[[Page 35958]]

influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including 
alternatives, and guide the planning process. Preliminary issues for 
the planning area identified by BLM personnel, Federal, State, and 
local agencies, and other stakeholders include: Increasing demands for 
and impacts from recreational use along the Dalton Highway; access and 
off-highway vehicle use, particularly along the Dalton Highway; 
increasing demand for mining; impacts from mining on fish and aquatic 
habitats; opening lands to new mineral entry; disposal of mineral 
material along the Dalton Highway; allowing the State of Alaska to 
select lands within the Utility Corridor for conveyance to the state; 
identification of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC); 
potential additions to the Wild and Scenic Rivers system; management of 
wilderness characteristics; protection of resources important to 
maintaining a subsistence lifestyle; the importance of subsistence to 
local economies and traditional lifestyles; and impacts from climate 
change. Preliminary planning criteria include:
    1. The primary purpose of the lands withdrawn by Public Land Order 
5150 is the transportation of energy resources; therefore, the BLM will 
avoid proposing actions or activities with potential adverse impacts to 
existing and future energy transportation systems on these lands 
located within the corridor;
    2. The BLM Central Yukon Field Office will encourage opportunities 
for public participation throughout the planning process;
    3. The BLM will recognize and protect valid existing rights;
    4. The BLM will consider subsistence uses and minimize adverse 
impacts in accordance with Section 810 of the ANILCA;
    5. The BLM will work cooperatively with State and Federal agencies, 
Native corporations, Tribes, and municipal governments;
    6. The BLM will consider plans and policies of adjacent 
conservation system units, land owners, and local governments;
    7. The BLM will consider Department of the Interior guidance, 
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) objectives, and Federal 
Subsistence Board requirements and mandates--in decisions related to 
wildlife management.
    8. The RMP will be consistent with the Bureau's H-1601-1 Land Use 
Planning Handbook, Appendix C, Program-Specific and Resource-Specific 
Decision Guidance and applicable BLM manuals and handbooks;
    9. The plan will be consistent with the standards and guidance set 
forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, NEPA, Council 
Environmental Quality, Historic Preservation Act, Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, ANILCA, and other Federal laws, 
regulations, and policies as required;
    10. The plan will be consistent with BLM-Alaska Land Health 
    11. The BLM will complete designations for Off-Highway Vehicles for 
all BLM-managed lands within the planning area according to the 
regulations found in 43 CFR part 8342;
    12. Within the Utility Corridor development nodes, the BLM will 
assess areas designated by BLM in the Utility Corridor RMP/ROD (1991) 
for future development (i.e., visitor facilities, restrooms, rest 
stops, etc.) regarding the location, size, boundaries, and appropriate 
uses, their long-range development, state or federal management, and 
affects on adjacent and nearby lands;
    13. The plan will address public access needs;
    14. The BLM will consider current and potentially new special 
designations, such as ACECs and Research Natural Areas (RNAs), using 
the criteria found in 43 CFR 1610.7-2 and 43 CFR part 8223;
    15. Review and classification of waterways as eligible for 
inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System will be 
consistent with the guidance in BLM's 8351 Manual--Wild and Scenic 
    16. The BLM will incorporate Environmental Justice (EJ) 
considerations in land use planning alternatives to adequately respond 
to EJ issues facing minority populations, low income communities, and 
Tribes living near public lands and using public land resources;
    17. The plan will assess all BLM-managed lands in the planning area 
for wilderness characteristics using criteria established by BLM Manual 
6310. The RMP will examine options for managing lands with wilderness 
characteristics and determine the most appropriate land use allocations 
for these lands. Considering wilderness characteristics in the land use 
planning process may result in several outcomes, including, but not 
limited to: (1) Emphasizing other multiple uses as a priority over 
protecting wilderness characteristics; (2) emphasizing other multiple 
uses while applying management restrictions (conditions of use, 
mitigation measures) to reduce impacts to wilderness characteristics; 
and, (3) the protection of wilderness characteristics as a priority 
over other uses; and
    18. The BLM will manage the Central Arctic Management Area 
Wilderness Study Area consistent with BLM Manual 6330--Management of 
BLM Wilderness Study Areas, and ANILCA, until Congress acts on the 
wilderness recommendation.
    You may submit comments on issues; planning criteria; and, 
management questions and concerns in writing to the BLM at any public 
scoping meeting, or you may submit them to the BLM using one of the 
methods listed in the ADDRESSES section above. In order to be included 
in the Draft RMP/EIS scoping report, all comments must be received 
prior to the close of the 180-day scoping period or 15 days after the 
last public meeting, whichever is later. Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment, 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. The BLM will evaluate 
identified issues to address in the plan, and will place them into one 
of three categories:
    1. Issues to be resolved in the plan;
    2. Issues to be resolved through policy or administrative action; 
    3. Issues beyond the scope of this plan.
    The BLM will provide an explanation in the Draft RMP/Draft EIS as 
to why an issue was placed in category two or three. The public is also 
encouraged to help identify any management questions and concerns that 
should be addressed in the plan. The BLM will work collaboratively with 
interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best 
suited to local, regional, and national needs and concerns.
    The BLM will use the NEPA public participation requirements to 
assist the agency in satisfying the public involvement requirements 
under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 
U.S.C. 470(f)) pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). The information about 
historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by 
the proposed action will assist the BLM in identifying and evaluating 
impacts to such resources in the context of both NEPA and Section 106 
of the NHPA.
    The BLM will consult with Federally Recognized Indian tribes on a 
government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175

[[Page 35959]]

and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust 
assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due 
consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes 
and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the 
proposed action that the BLM is evaluating, are invited to participate 
in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by 
the BLM to participate in the development of the environmental analysis 
as a cooperating agency.
    The BLM will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the plan 
in order to consider the variety of resource issues and concerns 
identified. Specialists with expertise in the following disciplines 
will be involved in the planning process: minerals and geology, outdoor 
recreation, archeology, wildlife, fisheries, lands and realty, 
hydrology, soils, vegetation, air quality, subsistence, and 

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7, 43 CFR 1610.2.

Ted A. Murphy,
Acting State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-14031 Filed 6-13-13; 8:45 am]