[Federal Register: August 22, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 164)]
[Page 49701-49702]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Availability of Vernal Field Office Proposed Resource 
Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS)

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Proposed Resource Management 
Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) for the Vernal 
Field Office.

DATES: The BLM planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-2) state that any 
person who meets the conditions as described in the regulations may 
protest the BLM's PRMP/FEIS. A person who meets the conditions and 
files a protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that 
the Environmental Protection Agency publishes this notice in the 
Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Vernal Field Office PRMP/FEIS were sent to 
affected Federal, state, and local government agencies and to 
interested parties. Copies of the PRMP/FEIS are available for public 
inspection at:

Vernal Field Office, 170 South 500 East, Vernal, UT 84078
Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84145

    Interested persons may also review the PRMP/FEIS on the Internet at 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/vernal/planning.html. All protests must 
be in writing and mailed to the following addresses:

Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-Williams, 
P.O. Box 66538, Washington, DC 20035
Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-Williams, 
1620 L Street, NW., Suite 1075, Washington, DC 20036.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Kelly Buckner, Vernal Field Office, 
170 South 500 East, Vernal, UT 84078; phone: (435) 781-4400; or e-mail 
at: Kelly_Buckner@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Vernal RMP planning area is located in 
northeast Utah. The BLM administers approximately 1.7 million acres of 
surface estate and 2.8 million acres of Federal mineral estate within 
the planning area.
    The Vernal RMP will provide future broad-scale management direction 
for land use allocations and allowable uses on public lands within the 
planning area. Implementation of the decisions of the PRMP/FEIS would 
apply only to BLM-administered public lands and Federal mineral estate. 
In the Vernal Field Office Draft RMP/EIS (DRMP/DEIS), which was 
released for a 90-day public review and comment period in January 2005, 
four alternatives were analyzed, including a No Action alternative. 
These alternatives were developed through issue identification during 
the scoping process. Such issues included: special designations (ACECs 
and WSRs), minerals and energy development, and recreational (OHV) use. 
In October 2007 a Supplemental DEIS was issued which considered an 
additional alternative emphasizing the protection of non-WSA lands with 
Wilderness Characteristics.
    The PRMP/FEIS would designate no new Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern (ACECs), and the continuation of six existing 
ACECs, totaling 123,227

[[Page 49702]]

acres. Resource use limitations that apply to the proposed ACECs 
include a range of different prescriptions as described in Table 1 

                         Table 1--Evaluation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
                Area name                      Values of concern          Resource use limitations       Acres
Browns Park.............................  Cultural, wildlife,         Closed to OHV use, or limited       18,474
                                           habitat, and scenic views.  to designated routes.
Red Mountain--Dry Fork..................  Watershed, relict           No surface occupancy, or timing/    24,285
                                           vegetation, and big game    controlled surface use for oil
                                           habitat.                    and gas; OHV use limited to
                                                                       designated routes.
Nine-Mile Canyon........................  Cultural, and special       The area would be open subject      44,181
                                           status plant species.       to standard lease terms or
                                                                       managed as NSO for oil and gas
                                                                       leasing; OHV use would be
                                                                       limited to designated routes.
Lears Canyon............................  Relict vegetation.........  No surface occupancy for oil         1,375
                                                                       and gas, closed to mineral
                                                                       material sales.
Pariette................................  Wetland, wildlife, and      No surface occupancy for oil        10,437
                                           plant habitat.              and gas, closed to mineral
                                                                       material sales.
Red Creek...............................  Watershed and wildlife      No surface occupancy and            24,475
                                           habitat.                    controlled surface use; OHV
                                                                       use is limited to designated

    Comments on the Vernal Field Office DRMP/DEIS received from the 
public and internal BLM review were considered and incorporated as 
appropriate into the PRMP/FEIS. Public comments resulted in the 
addition of clarifying text, but did not significantly change proposed 
land use plan decisions.
    Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM 
regarding the PRMP/FEIS may be found in the Dear Reader Letter of the 
PRMP/FEIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2.
    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-mails to Brenda_Hudgens-
    All protests, including the follow-up letter (if e-mailing or 
faxing) must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as 
set forth in the ADDRESSES section above.
    Before including your phone number, e-mail address, or other 
personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware 
that your entire protest--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your protest 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, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR 1610.5-1.

Selma Sierra,
Utah State Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-19394 Filed 8-21-08; 8:45 am]