[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 18, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18279-18280]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-07797]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Pike/San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron/Comanche National 
Grasslands; Chaffee County Colorado; Browns Canyon National Monument 
Plan Assessment

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to start Browns Canyon National Monument Plan 
Assessment Phase.

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SUMMARY: Notice of intent to start the assessment phase for The Browns 
Canyon National Monument Management Plan--Pike/San Isabel National 
Forests and Cimarron/Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) Plan 
amendment and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eastern Colorado Resource 
Management Plan update. An assessment report of ecological, social, and 
economic conditions and trends for Browns Canyon National Monument will 
be prepared for the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron 
and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) Plan Amendment and Bureau of 
Land Management Resource Management Plan update.

DATES: A draft of the assessment report for the Browns Canyon National 
Monument, Pike/San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron/Comanche 
National Grasslands and BLM Royal Gorge Field Office is expected to be 
completed by fall 2017 and will be posted on the Pike and San Isabel 
National Forests Projects Web site at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51098 and BLM Browns Canyon National Monument RMP link at: 
https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-frontoffice/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&projectId=69924&dctmId=0b0003e880dda953. From April to June 2017, the public is 
invited to engage in a collaborative process to identify relevant 
baseline information and local knowledge to be considered for the 
assessment and development of the Browns Canyon National Monument 
management plan. The Forest, in coordination and cooperation with BLM, 
will then initiate procedures pursuant to the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) and prepare a joint monument management plan-
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Forest and BLM will again be 
cooperatively inviting the public to help identify the appropriate plan 
components that will become the NEPA proposed action and/or 
alternatives for the land management plan revision. The NEPA procedures 
result in a record of decision and the plan revision process results in 
a draft revised plan. The Federal Register availability announcement 
for these documents starts the pre-decisional administrative review 
process (36 CFR 219 Subpart B). The administrative review process 
provides an individual or entity an opportunity for an independent 
Forest Service review and resolution of issues before the final 
approval of a plan, plan amendment or plan revision.

ADDRESSES: Written comments or questions concerning this notice should 
be addressed to U.S. Forest Service--Salida Ranger District Attn.: 
Browns Canyon National Monument--Planning Assessment, 5575 Cleora Road, 
Salida, CO 81201, or by email to: [email protected] (subject 
heading Browns Canyon National Monument--Planning Assessment).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Dow, Forest Planner at 719-553-
1476 or Joseph Vieira, BLM Planner-Project Manager at (719) 246-9966. 
Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through

[[Page 18280]]

Friday. More information on the planning process can also be found on 
the Pike and San Isabel National Forests Web site at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51098.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 
1976 requires that every National Forest System (NFS) unit develop a 
land management plan. On April 9, 2012, the Forest Service finalized 
its land management planning rule (2012 Planning Rule), which provides 
broad programmatic direction to National Forests and National 
Grasslands for developing and implementing their land management plans.
    Forest plans describe the strategic direction for management of 
forest resources for fifteen to twenty years, and are adaptive and 
amendable as conditions change over time. Under the 2012 Planning Rule, 
the assessment of ecological, social, and economic trends and 
conditions is the first stage of the planning process. The second stage 
is a development and decision process guided, in part, by the NEPA and 
includes the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement and 
revised Forest Plan for public review and comment, and the preparation 
of the final environmental impact statement and revised Forest Plan. 
The third stage of the process is monitoring and feedback, which is 
ongoing over the life of the revised forest plans. With this notice, 
the agency invites other governments, non-governmental parties, and the 
public to contribute to the development of the assessment report.
    The assessment will rapidly evaluate the sustainability of existing 
ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends within the 
context of the broader landscape. It will help inform the planning 
process through the use of Best Available Scientific Information, while 
also taking into account other forms of knowledge, such as local 
information, national perspectives, and native knowledge. Lastly, the 
assessment will help identify the need to change the existing 1984 
plan.
    The Pike/San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron/Comanche National 
Grasslands and Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office, with 
lands administered in Chaffee County, Colorado are initiating the 
Browns Canyon National Monument (NM) planning assessment and management 
plan process pursuant to Proclamation 9232, establishing the monument 
specifically states: In the development and implementation of the 
management plan, the Secretaries (USDA and Department of Interior) 
shall maximize opportunities, pursuant to applicable legal authorities, 
for shared resources, operational efficiency, and cooperation. A joint 
agency assessment process will be performed in cooperation with the BLM 
and National Conservation Lands. The assessment process and results are 
to be used to inform a Browns Canyon NM Management Plan describing the 
strategic direction for management of monument resources, objects, and 
values for the next 15 to 20 years on the Pike/San Isabel National 
Forests and Cimarron/Comanche National Grasslands and BLM Royal Gorge 
Field Office.
    The Browns Canyon NM Management Plan will amend the PSICC's Land 
and Resource Management Plan and be incorporated into the BLM's Royal 
Gorge Field Office Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan during 
revision. The first phase of the process, the assessment phase, has 
begun and interested parties are invited to contribute to the 
development of the assessment (36 CFR 219.12-17).
    Additional information on public participation opportunities will 
be available on the project Web site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51098 and BLM Browns Canyon National Monument RMP link at 
https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&projectId=69924&dctmId=0b0003e880dda953. The trends and conditions identified 
in the assessment will help in identifying the need for change, in the 
development of plan components.
    Collaboration as part of the assessment phase supports the 
development of relationships of key stakeholders throughout the plan 
revision process, and is an essential step to understanding current 
conditions, available data, and feedback needed to support a strategic, 
efficient planning process. As public meetings, other opportunities for 
public engagement, and public review and comment opportunities are 
identified to assist with the development of the forest plan revision, 
public announcements will be made, and notifications will be posted on 
the Browns Canyon National Monument Project Web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51098 and information will be sent out 
to the Forest's mailing list. If anyone is interested in being on the 
Forest's mailing list to receive these notifications, please contact 
John Dow, Forest Planner at 719-553-1476 or Joseph Vieira, BLM Planner-
Project Manager at (719) 246-9966 at the mailing address identified 
above, or by sending an email to: [email protected] (subject 
heading titled Browns Canyon National Monument--Planning Assessment).
    Responsible Official: The responsible official for the Browns 
Canyon National Monument management plan for the Pike/San Isabel 
National Forests and Cimarron/Comanche National Grasslands is Erin 
Connelly, Forest Supervisor, Pike/San Isabel National Forests and 
Cimarron/Comanche National Grasslands, 2840 Kachina Drive, Pueblo, CO 
81008.

    Dated: April 7, 2017.
Glenn Casamassa,
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-07797 Filed 4-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3411-15-P