[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 249 (Friday, December 27, 2013)]
[Pages 79004-79005]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30991]



Bureau of Land Management

[LLWY9300000 L16100000.DP0000.LXSISGST0000]

Notice of Availability of the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft 
Land Use Plan Amendments and Draft Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest 
Service (USFS) have prepared the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land 
Use Plan (LUP) Amendments and Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for the BLM Casper, Kemmerer, Newcastle, Pinedale, Rawlins, and 
Rock Springs field offices and Bridger-Teton National Forest, Medicine 
Bow National Forest, and Thunder Basin National Grassland Planning 
Units and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment 

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM and USFS 
must receive written comments on the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS 
within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency 
publishes notice of the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS in the Federal 
Register. The BLM and USFS 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 Wyoming Greater Sage-
Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS by any of the following methods:
     Web site: www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/amendments/sage-grouse.html
     Email: Sagegrouse_Amendment_WY@blm.gov
     Fax: 307-775-6129
     Mail: BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, 
Cheyenne, WY 82003.
    Copies of the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/
Draft EIS are available at the BLM Wyoming State Office at the above 
address or on the Web site at: www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/amendments/sage-grouse.html

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Solberg Schwab, Wyoming Greater 
Sage-Grouse Amendment Project Manager, by telephone, 307-367-5340; at 
the address above; or by email, lsolbergschwab@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 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 BLM prepared the Wyoming Greater Sage-
Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS to address a range of 
alternatives focused on specific conservation measures across the 
Wyoming range of the Greater Sage-grouse (GRSG). This Draft 
LUPAmendments/Draft EIS is one of 15 separate planning efforts that are 
being undertaken as part of the BLM and USFS National Greater Sage-
grouse Planning Strategy. The Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS may amend 
the RMPs for the BLM Casper, Kemmerer, Newcastle, Pinedale, Rawlins and 
Rock Springs field offices, as well as the LRMPs for the Bridger-Teton 
and Medicine Bow National Forests and the Thunder Basin National 
Grassland. Current management decisions for resources are described in 
the following RMPs/LRMPs:
     Casper RMP (2007)
     Kemmerer RMP (2010)
     Newcastle RMP (2000)
     Pinedale RMP (2008)
     Rawlins RMP (2008)
     Green River RMP (1997) (being revised under the Rock 
Springs RMP)
     Bridger-Teton National Forest LRMP (1990)
     Medicine Bow National Forest LRMP (2003)
     Thunder Basin National Grassland LRMP (2002)
    The EIS planning area includes approximately 40 million acres of 
BLM, National Park Service, USFS, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, State, 
local, and private lands located in northwestern, southwestern, 
southeastern, and northeastern Wyoming in 11 counties (Albany, Carbon, 
Converse, Fremont, Lincoln, Natrona, Niobrara, Sublette, Sweetwater, 
Uinta and Weston). Within the EIS decision area, the BLM and the USFS 
administer approximately 16 million surface acres and 16 million acres 
of Federal oil and gas mineral (subsurface) estate. Surface management 
decisions made as a result of this Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS will 
apply only to the BLM- and the USFS-administered lands in the decision 
area. The decision area is defined as those BLM- and USFS-administered 
lands and Federal mineral estate within three categories of habitat 
identified by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department:
     Core Habitat--Areas identified as having the highest 
conservation value for maintaining sustainable GRSG populations, 
including breeding, late brood-rearing and winter concentration areas.
     General Habitat--Areas of seasonal or year-round habitat 
outside of priority habitat.
     Connectivity Habitat--Areas identified as broader regions 
of connectivity important to facilitating the movement of GRSG and 
maintain ecological processes.
    The formal public scoping process for the LUP Amendments/EIS began 
on December 9, 2011, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 77008), and ended on March 23, 2012. The BLM 
held five scoping open houses in January and February 2011. The BLM 
used public scoping comments to help identify planning issues that 
directed the formulation of alternatives and framed the scope of 
analysis in the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS. The scoping process was 
also used to introduce the public to preliminary planning criteria, 
which set limits on the scope of the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS.
    Major issues considered in the Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS 
include special status species management (GRSG specifically), energy 
and mineral development, lands and realty (including transmission), 
livestock grazing, fire, wild horses, vegetation management, special 
management areas (ACEC nominations), socioeconomics (particularly 
impacts to local communities) and invasive species.
    The Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS evaluates five alternatives in 
detail, including the No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and four 
action alternatives (Alternatives B, C, D, and E). The BLM identified 
Alternative E as the preferred alternative. Identification of this 
alternative, however, does not represent final agency direction, and 
the Proposed LUP Amendments/Final EIS may reflect changes or 
adjustments based on information received during public comment, from 
other new information, or from changes in BLM policies or priorities. 
The Proposed LUP

[[Page 79005]]

Amendments/Final EIS may include objectives and actions described in 
the other analyzed alternatives or otherwise within the spectrum of the 
alternatives analyzed.
    Alternative A would retain the current management goals, 
objectives, and direction specified in the current RMPs for each field 
office and the LRMPs for the Bridger-Teton, Medicine Bow, and Thunder 
Basin National Forests/Grasslands. Alternative B includes conservation 
measures from the Greater Sage-grouse National Technical Team Report. 
Alternative C includes conservation measures submitted by various 
conservation groups to the BLM. Alternative C also includes the 
proposed adoption of an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). 
Alternatives D and E include conservation measures the BLM developed 
with the cooperating agencies.
    Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), this notice announces a concurrent 
public comment period on proposed ACECs. One ACEC is proposed in 
Alternative C. The Sage-grouse Habitat ACEC (approximately 9,876,565 
acres) would include the following management prescriptions: Close to 
fluid mineral leasing; designate as a right-of-way exclusion area; 
close to livestock grazing; allow vegetation treatments only for the 
benefit of GRSG; and recommend withdrawal from mineral entry to the 
Secretary of the Interior.
    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, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you may 
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.

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

Donald A. Simpson,
State Director, Wyoming.
[FR Doc. 2013-30991 Filed 12-26-13; 8:45 am]