[Federal Register: August 22, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 164)]
[Page 49700-49701]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Availability of the Pinedale Proposed Resource 
Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Wyoming

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with of the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) and its cooperating agencies, have prepared a 
Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(PRMP/FEIS) for the Pinedale 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 Proposed RMP. 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 Pinedale PRMP/FEIS have been sent to affected 
Federal, state, and local government agencies and to interested 
parties. Copies of the PRMP/FEIS will be available for public 
inspection at the following locations:
     Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, 5353 
Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003.
     Bureau of Land Management, Pinedale Field Office, 1625 W 
Pine Street, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941.
    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/rmp/wy/pinedale. All protests must be in writing and 
mailed to 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, N.W., Suite 1075, Washington, DC 20036.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chuck Otto, Field Manager, or Kellie 
Roadifer, Pinedale RMP Team Leader, 1625 W Pine Street, Pinedale, 
Wyoming 82941, or by telephone at (307) 367-5309.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Pinedale Field Office planning area 
includes public land and federal mineral ownership in Sublette and 
Lincoln Counties, Wyoming. The area includes approximately 923,000 
acres of BLM-administered surface lands and approximately 1,199,000 
acres of Federal mineral estate under Federal, state, and private 
    The Draft RMP/Draft EIS was made available for public review and 
comment for a 121-day period beginning on February 16, 2007. The Draft 
RMP/Draft EIS described and analyzed four alternatives for the 
management of the public lands and resources, including the Federal 
mineral estate administered by the BLM Pinedale Field Office:
    Alternative 1 (No Action): Continues to balance the use and 
development of resources under current management guidance;
    Alternative 2: Provides development and use opportunities while 
minimizing adverse impacts to cultural and natural resources;
    Alternative 3: Focuses on greater conservation of natural and 
cultural resources while providing for compatible development and use; 
    Alternative 4 (Agency Preferred Alternative): Provides development 
opportunities while protecting sensitive resources.
    The key issues addressed by the alternatives are: (1) Development 
of energy resources and minerals; (2) special management designations; 
(3) public access and transportation planning; (4) wildland-urban 
interface; (5) management of special status species; (6) water quality; 
(7) vegetation management; (8) recreation activities; (9) cultural 
resources management; (10) air quality; and (11) wildlife management.
    The Draft RMP/Draft EIS included recommendations regarding Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). While the Draft RMP/EIS fully 
documented the ACECs considered, to ensure that BLM provided the public 
with the required 60-day review and comment period as required by 43 
CFR 1610.7-2, the BLM published a notice of supplemental information 
describing the proposed ACECs and associated values and use limitations 
in the Federal Register on February 21, 2008.
    There are two ACECs in the existing Pinedale Field Office land use 
plan (1988): Rock Creek ACEC (5,300 acres) and Beaver Creek ACEC (3,590 
acres). There are 6 potential new ACECs proposed in the Draft RMP/EIS. 
The ACECs are:
     Trapper's Point ACEC (550 acres [Alternative 2], 4,000 
acres [Alternative 4], or 9,540 acres [Alternative 3]): Values of 
concern are big game migration corridors, cultural and historic 
properties, and livestock trailing. Within this ACEC, fence 
construction and surface disturbing activities would be prohibited with 
the exception of activities designed to increase big game migration 
viability. The ACEC would be unavailable for oil and gas leasing. Off-
road vehicle use would be restricted to designated roads and trails and 
subject to a seasonal closure from November 15 through April 30 
     New Fork Potholes ACEC (1,800 acres [Alternatives 3 and 4] 
): Values of concern are waterfowl, trumpeter swan, and riparian 
habitats. With the exception of those that would benefit wildlife 
habitat, surface disturbing activities would be prohibited. The ACEC 
would be unavailable for oil and gas leasing. Off-road vehicle use 
would be restricted to designated roads and trails.
     Upper Green River ACEC (12,270 acres [Alternative 3]): 
Values of concern are big game migration routes and migration 
bottlenecks, and high scenic and recreational values. The ACEC would be 
unavailable for oil and gas leasing. Off-road vehicle use would be 
restricted to designated roads and trails, and no net increase in miles 
of roads would be allowed.
     White-Tailed Prairie Dog ACEC (no acreage estimate 
available [Alternative 3]): The White-Tailed Prairie Dog (WTPD) ACEC 
would not have a specific area but would involve a number of townships 
where WTPD habitat might be found in future surveys. The value of 
concern is habitat for the WTPD. Surveys for prairie dog presence would 
be required prior to authorizing any activities. Anti-raptor perching 
devices would be required on any above-ground facilities located within 
1/4 mile of WTPD towns greater than 12.5 acres in size, and surface-
disturbing activities would be prohibited in these towns. Off-road 
vehicle use would be limited to designated roads and trails, and 
poisoning of prairie dogs would be prohibited except in cases of health 
and safety emergencies.
     Ross Butte ACEC (35,670 acres [Alternative 3]): Values of 
concern are significant cultural resources, archeological landscapes 
and Native

[[Page 49701]]

American sacred sites; a unique community of Wyoming sensitive plant 
species; high-quality paleontological resources; open space and 
dispersed recreation opportunities; and unique geology and unstable 
soils. The ACEC would be unavailable for oil and gas leasing and closed 
to the placement of new communication sites. Off-road vehicle use would 
be limited to designated roads and trails. Surface occupancy and 
disturbance would be prohibited on erosive soils, sensitive plant 
species habitats, and on slopes greater than 10 percent.
     CCC Ponds ACEC (5,530 acres [Alternative 3]): Values of 
concern are a wildlife migration bottleneck on a well-defined mule deer 
migration route and recreational values including a developed, non-
motorized trail system, fishing ponds, and interpretive facilities. The 
ACEC would be unavailable for oil and gas leasing and would be closed 
to mineral location and land disposal. Off-road vehicle use would be 
limited to designated roads and trails.
    Alternative 1 proposes to maintain the status of the two existing 
ACECs identified in the 1988 Pinedale RMP. Alternative 2 proposes to 
eliminate the two existing ACECs, and establish a new ACEC at Trapper's 
Point (550 acres). Alternative 3 proposes to maintain the existing Rock 
Creek and Beaver Creek ACECs, and establish all of the new ACECs listed 
above (6), for a total of eight ACECs.
    As a result of public scoping and the alternative development 
process, Alternative 4 (Agency Preferred Alternative) proposes the 
following ACECs: Maintain the status of one existing ACEC (Beaver 
Creek); maintain and reduce slightly in size one existing ACEC (Rock 
Creek); and establish two new ACECs: Trapper's Point (4,000 acres) and 
New Fork Potholes (1,800 acres).
    Comments received on the Draft RMP/EIS 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 
Draft RMP/EIS, adjustments and clarifications have been made to 
Alternative 4, the Preferred Alternative. As modified, Alternative 4 is 
now presented as the Pinedale Proposed RMP in the Final EIS.
    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 
Pinedale PRMP/FEIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5. 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 those conditions, 
the BLM will consider the e-mail or faxed protests 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) 557-3599, and e-mails 
to Brenda_Hudgens-Williams@blm.gov. 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 availability 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.

Jamie E. Connell,
Acting Associate State Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-19534 Filed 8-21-08; 8:45 am]