[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 113 (Friday, June 12, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33476-33478]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-14412]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests; California; San 
Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental assessment.

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SUMMARY: The Forest Service intends to prepare an environmental 
assessment to establish management direction for the land and resources 
within San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, designated by 
Presidential Proclamation on October 10, 2014. The Forest Service, as 
the responsible agency, proposes to amend the 2006 Angeles National 
Forest Land Management Plan with a management plan to provide for the 
protection of the objects of interest identified in the Proclamation. 
Approximately 99 percent of the Monument occurs on the Angeles National 
Forest and 1 percent on the San Bernardino National Forest.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by July 27, 2015. The draft environmental assessment is expected in the 
spring of 2016, and the final environmental assessment and draft 
decision notice is expected in the summer of 2016.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Justin Seastrand, on behalf of the 
Angeles National Forest Supervisor, 701 North Santa Anita Avenue, 
Arcadia, CA 91006. Comments may also be provided via facsimile to 626-
574-5235. Or submitted on the San Gabriel Mountain National Monument 
project Web page: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=46964.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Justin Seastrand, Environmental 
Coordinator, USDA Forest Service, Angeles National Forest, 701 North 
Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006; phone 626-574-5278; email 
jseastrand@fs.fed.us.
    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose and Need for Action

    The Presidential Proclamation establishing San Gabriel Mountains 
National Monument (the Monument) requires the preparation of a

[[Page 33477]]

management plan. The purpose and need of developing the management plan 
is to ensure that the lands and resources within the Monument are 
managed in accordance with the intent of the Presidential Proclamation 
that established the Monument. As stated in the Proclamation, the plan 
will provide for the protection and interpretation of the scientific 
and historic objects within the Monument and for continued public 
access to those objects, consistent with their protection, as well as 
access by Indian tribal members for traditional cultural, spiritual, 
and tree and forest product-, food- and medicine-gathering purposes. 
Scientific and historic objects relate to cultural resources; modern 
recreation; scientific significance; wildlife and habitat; 
infrastructure; watershed values; recreation and scenery; and 
vegetation communities. The Proclamation withdrew the area from all 
forms of location, entry, and patent under mining laws and from 
disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing, 
except under the Materials Act of 1947 (sand, stone, gravel). Existing 
claims will still be honored. The Proclamation also requires the 
development of a transportation plan that focuses on protecting the 
objects of historic and scientific interest.
    Based on a preliminary comparison of the Proclamation to the 
existing Angeles National Forest Land Management Plan (Forest Plan), 
agency personnel have concluded that, generally, Forest Plan direction 
is consistent with the management direction provided in the 
Proclamation for the Monument. However, some changes are necessary. 
Preliminary needs for changes to the Forest Plan to ensure consistency 
with the Proclamation include:
    1. Transportation: The Proclamation requires the development of a 
transportation plan for the Monument that focuses on protecting those 
objects of historic and scientific interest identified by the 
President.
    2. Land Use Zones: Some land use zones identified in the Forest 
Plan need to be updated to reflect new wilderness designations and 
other relevant and overlapping designations such as the Pacific Crest 
Trail, San Dimas, etc., that have taken place since the Forest Plan was 
adopted.
    3. Minerals/Mining: Forest Plan direction needs revision to reflect 
the mineral withdrawal of lands within the Monument as directed by the 
Proclamation. Existing claims will still be honored.
    4. Recreation: Forest Plan direction may need to be revised to 
ensure that recreation settings, opportunities, and access are managed 
to meet public expectations while minimizing resource concerns 
associated with high public use and limited facilities. The Monument 
Management Plan and associated Forest Plan direction should provide a 
framework for making ecologically, economically, and socially 
sustainable recreation management decisions.

Proposed Action

    The Angeles National Forest proposes to change some existing 
management direction in the Forest Plan and to capture those changes in 
the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan. The Forest 
Plan may be amended in the following areas to ensure appropriate 
management of the Monument, consistent with the Proclamation: (1) 
Forest Plan Part 1--Goal 4.1, related to Energy and Minerals 
Production; (2) Forest Plan Part 2--Land Use Zones (as amended), 
related to Wilderness Areas and suitable uses allowed within land use 
zones; (3) Forest Plan Part 2--Appendix B--Strategies, related to 
Minerals management and Off Highway Vehicle Use Opportunities; and (4) 
Forest Plan Part 3--Appendix D--Standard S34, related to the framework 
for regulation of recreational uses.
    All other aspects of the Forest Plan in Part 1 (Vision, including 
goals), Part 2 (Strategy including objectives, suitable uses within 
land use zones, and `places'), and Part 3 (Design Criteria, including 
standards) would not change as part of this proposal and would be 
carried forward as written into the San Gabriel Mountains National 
Monument Management Plan.
    At the end of the process, there would be a single document that 
would serve as a standalone San Gabriel Mountains National Monument 
Management Plan, even though it would be adopted as an amendment to the 
Forest Plan. Any existing direction from the Forest Plan that applies 
to and is brought forward for the Monument will be repeated in the 
Management Plan, so that a single document provides all management 
direction for the Monument. The Management Plan will apply to all 
National Forest Systems lands within the monument including the small 
portion of the Monument that is on San Bernardino National Forest 
System lands (1 percent), which would also be guided by the direction 
provided by the Management Plan.

Responsible Official

    The Angeles National Forest Supervisor will issue the decision.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    This decision will amend the Angeles Forest Plan, and in doing so, 
create the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan. The 
decision would only apply to National Forest System lands within the 
Monument. Those National Forest System lands outside the Monument will 
continue to be managed according to current direction in the Angeles 
Forest Plan.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the environmental assessment. The Angeles National 
Forest encourages public review of this preliminary purpose and need 
for action and preliminary proposal. Public meetings will be held to 
answer questions about the preliminary Need to Change analysis, provide 
additional information, and gather comments and concerns. Public 
meetings will be held at the following locations and during the 
following times (Pacific time):

 June 22, 4-8 p.m., Pacific Community Center, 501 S. Pacific 
Ave., Glendale, CA
 June 23, 4-8 p.m., Palmdale Legacy Commons Senior Center, 930 
East Avenue Q9, Palmdale, CA
 June 24, 4-8 p.m., Glendora Public Library, 140 S Glendora 
Ave;, Glendora, CA
 June 25, 3-7 p.m., Pico House, 424 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA
 June 26, 4-8 p.m., Big Pines Lodge, 24537 Big Pines Highway, 
Wrightwood, CA

    While public input is welcome through the planning process, two 
additional formal opportunities for public comment will occur when the 
draft environmental assessment is released for a 45-day comment period 
(anticipated spring 2016) and when the final environmental assessment 
and draft decision notice are released for a 45-day objection period 
(anticipated summer 2016).
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of 
the environmental assessment. Therefore, comments should be provided 
before the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate 
the reviewer's concerns and contentions.
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record 
for this proposed action. Comments submitted

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anonymously will be accepted and considered.
    The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan will be 
developed pursuant to the requirements of the National Forest 
Management Act of 1976 (NFMA) and the U.S. Forest Service Planning 
Rule. This project is an action to amend a Forest Plan, and as such, is 
subject to pre-decisional administrative review, pursuant to Subpart B 
of the Planning Rule (36 CFR part 219).

    Dated: June 5, 2015.
Daniel Lovato,
Acting Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2015-14412 Filed 6-11-15; 8:45 am]
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