[Federal Register: June 8, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 110)]
[Notices]               
[Page 31848-31850]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08jn07-80]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[WY-060-07-1610-DQ]

 
Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Casper Proposed Resource 
Management Plan (PRMP) and associated Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (FEIS), Wyoming; and Notice of Supplemental Information on 
Proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Provided in the 
Casper Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Associated Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Wyoming

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability and Notice of Supplemental Information.

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SUMMARY: (1) In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Bureau of 
Land Management (BLM) with its cooperating agencies has prepared a 
Proposed RMP and Final EIS for the Casper Field Office. The document is 
available for public review. (2) Pursuant to FLPMA, the BLM also 
announces the availability of supplemental information regarding 
proposed ACECs that were considered in the Draft Resource Management 
Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS), but only 
partially described in the original NOA published in the Federal 
Register (Vol. 71, No. 140) on July 21, 2006. This notice of 
supplemental information fulfills an administrative procedural 
requirement and presents no new information that was not already made 
available to the public during the previous 90-day comment period on 
the DRMP/DEIS.

DATES: 1. Protest Period for the Proposed Casper RMP/FEIS: The BLM 
Planning Regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-2) state any person who 
participated in the planning process, and has an interest which is or 
may be adversely affected, may protest BLM's approval of an RMP. You 
must file a protest within 30 days of the date the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) publishes their NOA in the Federal Register.
    2. Comment Period for the Proposed ACECs in the Casper DRMP/DEIS: 
Consistent with 43 CFR 1610.7-2, a 60-day public review of the ACEC 
information and comment period will start on the date that this notice 
appears in the Federal Register. The 30-day protest period (identified 
in Item 1 above) will not be extended or repeated, unless new and 
significant ACEC-related information is identified and a Supplemental 
PRMP/FEIS is issued.
    Instructions for filing a protest or commenting on the proposed 
ACECs are provided in the ``Dear Reader'' letter in the Casper PRMP/
FEIS and in the Supplementary Information section of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Refer to the Supplementary sec. below for addresses for 
filing a protest or commenting on the proposed ACECs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Slone, RMP Project Manager, 
Bureau of Land Management, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604; 
telephone--(307) 261-7520; e-mail CRMP_wymail@blm.gov with Casper RMP 
in the subject line.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Casper Field Office is located in east-
central Wyoming and includes approximately 8.5 million acres of land in 
most of Natrona County, and all of Converse, Goshen, and Platte 
counties. Public land in the southwestern corner of Natrona County is 
administered by the BLM Lander Field Office. Within the Casper planning 
area, the BLM administers approximately 1.4 million acres of BLM-
administered public land surface and 4.7 million acres of Federal 
mineral estate. The DRMP/DEIS made available for public review on July 
21, 2006, described and analyzed five alternatives for the management 
of public lands and resources administered by the BLM Casper Field 
Office:

[[Page 31849]]

Alternative A (Continuation of Existing Management Direction or the 
``No Action'' Alternative) continues to balance the use and development 
of resources; Alternative B emphasizes conservation of physical, 
biological, and heritage resources with constraints on resource uses; 
Alternative C provides physical, biological, and heritage resource 
conservation similar to current management while allowing for more 
recreation experiences; Alternative D emphasizes resource uses, e.g., 
energy and mineral development, recreation, and forest products; and 
Alternative E (Preferred Alternative) conserves physical, biological, 
and heritage resources while emphasizing moderate constraint). The 
major issues addressed in the alternatives include: (1) Energy and 
mineral resource exploration and development; (2) vegetation and 
habitat management; (3) landownership adjustments, access and 
transportation; and (4) special designations.
    There are currently two ACECs, Jackson Canyon ACEC and Salt Creek 
Hazardous ACEC, totaling approximately 249,350 acres of mixed public 
surface and private or state land ownership as established in the 
Platte River RMP (1985). Five potential ACECs were proposed in the 
Casper DRMP. Supplemental ACEC information presented in this notice is 
identified as use limitations below. This information was already 
presented in the DRMP/DEIS but inadvertently omitted from the NOA 
announcing release of the document for a 90-day public comment period.
     Alcova Fossil Area (7,073 acres; mostly Federal surface): 
Values of Concern--rare fossil tracks and additional fossils from two 
geological periods. Use Limitations--surface-disturbing activities may 
be restricted if impacts cannot be mitigated. Off-highway vehicle (OHV) 
use is limited to designated roads and trails. The area is closed to 
locatable mineral entry.
     Black-tailed Prairie Dog Complex (22,937 acres; mostly 
non-Federal surface): Values of Concern--protection of habitat and 
other species dependent on prairie dog colonies. Use Limitations--the 
area is administratively unavailable for oil and gas geophysical 
exploration. Future development on new oil and gas leases is limited to 
one well per 160 acres. The area is a right-of-way avoidance area.
     Cedar Ridge (21,742 acres; over 60 percent Federal 
surface): Values of concern--historic cultural resources, including 
traditional ceremonial sites in use by the Shoshone, Arapaho, and other 
tribes. Use Limitations within the Traditional Cultural Property--
surface-disturbing activities are prohibited. The area is closed to 
locatable mineral entry and disposal of mineral materials. Use 
Limitation within the Periphery Area (3-mile viewshed)--surface-
disturbing activities may be restricted unless impacts can be 
mitigated. Mineral material development is limited to five acres or 
less with provisions for expansion once rehabilitation of the initial 
location has started.
     North Platte River--(85,393 acres; mostly non-Federal 
surface): Values of Concern--fisheries and wildlife habitats and high 
recreational and scenic values. Use Limitations--the area is 
administratively unavailable to oil and gas leasing and geophysical 
operations. The area is closed to disposal of mineral materials. The 
existing North Platte River protective withdrawal on 3,226 acres is 
continued. Surface-disturbing activities are prohibited, unless to 
benefit the values of concern. Grazing leases may be adjusted or 
terminated and those grazing leases at the Trapper's Route landing 
sites are not renewed.
     South Bighorns/Red Wall (262,901 acres; over 55 percent 
Federal surface): Values of Concern--crucial wildlife habitat, cultural 
resources, intact native vegetation communities and outstanding 
scenery. Use Limitations--the area is closed to locatable mineral entry 
and disposal of mineral materials. Oil and gas leasing and geophysical 
operations are administratively unavailable and the area is a right-of-
way exclusion area. Non-mineral surface-disturbing activities may be 
restricted if impacts cannot be mitigated.
    In the DRMP/DEIS, Alternative E proposes to maintain ACEC status 
for Jackson Canyon; remove ACEC status for Salt Creek Hazardous Area; 
and add the following to be managed as ACECs in the future: Alcova 
Fossil Area. The following areas would be established as Management 
Areas (MAs): Bates Hole, Salt Creek, Sand Hills, South Bighorns/Red 
Wall, and Wind River Basin. Public involvement and collaboration 
included a Notice of Intent to Prepare a Resource Management Plan 
Revision published in the Federal Register; four open houses during 
public scoping; presentations to interested organizations upon request; 
distribution of information on the Casper RMP Web site and periodic 
newsletters; and a 90-day public review and comment period on the DRMP/
DEIS, including four public meetings/hearings. Cooperating agencies 
include the EPA; National Park Service (NPS)--Fort Laramie National 
Historic Site; State of Wyoming; Converse, Natrona, and Platte 
counties; and Converse, Natrona, Lingle-Fort Laramie, North Platte 
Valley, and South Goshen Conservation districts.
    Comments on the DRMP/DEIS received from the public and internal BLM 
review comments were incorporated into the proposed plan. Public 
comments resulted in the addition of clarifying text but did not 
significantly change proposed land use decisions. After careful 
consideration of both public and internal comments received on the 
DRMP/DEIS, adjustments and clarifications have been made to Alternative 
E, the Preferred Alternative. As modified, Alternative E is now 
presented as the Proposed Casper RMP in the FEIS. The Proposed Casper 
RMP would: (1) Provide comprehensive, long-range decisions for the use 
and management of resources in the planning area administered by the 
BLM; (2) focus on the principles of multiple use and sustained yield as 
prescribed by Section 202 of FLPMA; (3) maintain the Jackson Canyon 
ACEC--(14,308 acres), and add the Alcova Fossil Area ACEC (5,963 
acres); and (4) provide prescriptions for five separate management 
areas--Bates Hole (375,221 acres), Salt Creek (23,911acres), Sand Hills 
(17,633 acres), South Bighorns/Red Wall (93,352 acres), and Wind River 
Basin (54,575 acres).
    Copies of the Casper PRMP/FEIS have been sent to affected Federal, 
state, and local government agencies and Tribal governments and to 
interested parties. Copies of the PRMP/FEIS are available for public 
inspection during normal working hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) except 
weekends and holidays at the BLM Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector 
Drive, Casper, WY 82604 and the BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 
Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, WY 82009. Interested persons may also 
review the PRMP/FEIS on the Internet http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/rmp/casper/.


1. Instructions for Filing a Protest

    Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM 
regarding the PRMP/FEIS may be found at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. A protest may 
only raise those issues submitted for the record during the planning 
process. E-mail 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 e-
mail 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 faxed protests to the attention of the BLM 
protest coordinator at 202-452-5112, and e-

[[Page 31850]]

mails to Brenda_Hudgens-Williams@blm.gov.
    Please direct the follow-up letter to the appropriate address 
provided below. The protest must contain:
    a. The name, mailing address, telephone number, and interest of the 
person filing the protest.
    b. A statement of the part or parts of the plan and the issue or 
issues being protested.
    c. A copy of all documents addressing the issue(s) the protesting 
party submitted during the planning process or a statement of the date 
they were discussed for the record.
    d. A concise statement explaining why the protestor believes the 
State Director's decision is wrong.
    All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following 
addresses:
    Regular Mail: Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, P.O. Box 
66538, Washington, DC 20035.
    Overnight Mail: Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, 1620 L 
Street, NW., Suite 1075, Washington, D.C. 20036.
    The Director will promptly render a decision on the protest. The 
decision will be in writing and will be sent to the protesting party by 
certified mail, return receipt requested. The decision of the Director 
is the final decision of the Department of the Interior.

2. Instructions on Commenting on the Proposed ACECs

    BLM planning regulations at 43 CFR 1610.7-2 require the BLM to 
notify the public of proposed ACECs in the Federal Register releasing 
the DRMP/DEIS. While the DRMP/DEIS including the ACEC information has 
been available for public review and comment, the BLM is providing an 
additional 60-day review period to ensure the procedural requirements 
contained in 43 CFR 1610.7-2 are met. Specifically, these regulations 
require the BLM to specify in a Federal Register any resource use 
limitations, which would occur if an ACEC is designated. The BLM can 
best use your comments on only the ACEC information presented in the 
DRMP/DEIS and in this Notice of Supplemental Information if they are 
received on or before the end of the 60-day comment period following 
publication of this notice. If any comments received identify new and 
significant ACEC-related information that has not currently been raised 
in the planning process, then a Supplemental Proposed Resource 
Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement may have to be 
issued and the Record of Decision on this PRMP and FEIS deferred.
    Written comments on the ACECs as proposed in the DRMP/DEIS may be 
submitted as follows:
    1. The Casper RMP Revision Web site at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/rmp/casper/
; the web site allows commenters to submit ACEC-related comments 

electronically into the Special Designations topic directly onto a 
comment form posted on the web site.
    2. Written comments may be mailed or delivered to the BLM at: 
Casper RMP/EIS, Bureau of Land Management--Casper Field Office, 2987 
Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604-2968.
    3. Comments may be sent by facsimile to (307) 261-7587.
    The BLM will only accept comments if they are submitted in the 
methods described above. To be given consideration by the BLM, comment 
submittals must include the commenter's name and street address. 
Whenever possible, please include reference to either the page or 
section in the DRMP/EIS to which the ACEC-related comment applies. To 
facilitate analysis of comments and information submitted, it is 
encouraged to submit comments in an electronic format through the Web 
site.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 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 to withhold your personal identifying information from public 
review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

     Dated: April 2, 2007.
Robert A. Bennett,
State Director.
[FR Doc. E7-10886 Filed 6-7-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-22-P