[Federal Register: August 8, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 154)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46333-46334]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08au08-88]                         


[[Page 46333]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[AZ-230-07-1610-DQ-081A]

 
Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plans 
and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Agua Fria National 
Monument and Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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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 Proposed Resource Management 
Plans and a Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMPs/FEIS) for the 
Agua Fria National Monument and Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area.

DATES: BLM Planning Regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-2) state that any person 
who participated in the planning process, and has an interest that may 
be adversely affected, may protest the approval of the resource 
management plan. The protest must be filed within 30 days of the date 
that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes this notice in the 
Federal Register. Instructions for filing of protests are described in 
the cover letter of the PRMPs/FEIS and included in the ``Additional 
Protest Information'' section of this notice. Please consult the BLM's 
planning regulations at 43 CFR 1610.5-2 for further instructions on 
protests.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Connie Stone, Bureau of Land 
Management, Hassayampa Field Office, 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, 
Arizona 85027, 623-580-5500.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The two planning areas encompass more than 3 
million acres in Maricopa and Yavapai Counties, located in central and 
western Arizona. The Hassayampa Field Office administers 967,000 
surface acres within these planning boundaries, including 70,900 of the 
72,344 acres within the Agua Fria National Monument (Monument), which 
was established by Presidential Proclamation on January 11, 2000. The 
BLM also retains subsurface (mineral) rights to 346,000 additional 
acres within the Bradshaw-Harquahala planning area boundaries, and 
another 181,200 acres of subsurface (mineral) rights north and east of 
the boundaries, which are addressed in the PRMP/FEIS for the Bradshaw-
Harquahala area.
    The BLM has prepared two proposed resource management plans, one 
for the Monument and another for the Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area. 
Both plans are analyzed separately within the same environmental impact 
statement. BLM developed the PRMPs/FEIS with broad public participation 
through a 5-year collaborative planning process. In preparing the 
document, the BLM conducted public meetings and alternatives 
development workshops, and considered community vision statements 
developed by several communities within the planning area. The PRMPs 
address the challenges of managing lands and resources adjacent to 
Phoenix and other areas of rapid population growth. Specifically, the 
PRMP for the Monument provides for the protection of its significant 
cultural and natural resources; the PRMP for the Bradshaw-Harquahala 
area includes management actions for protecting the natural, cultural, 
scenic, and recreational values of the area while managing multiple 
uses in support of communities. Four action alternatives for each PRMP, 
as well as the No Action alternative for each PRMP, were developed and 
analyzed for the PRMPs/FEIS.
    The PRMP for the Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area identifies four 
new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs): Tule Creek ACEC 
(640 acres); Vulture Mountain ACEC (6,120 acres); Harquahala Mountains 
ACEC (74,950 acres); and Black Butte ACEC (8,260 acres). The following 
types of resource use limitations would generally apply to these ACECs: 
(1) Motorized travel would be permitted only on existing (temporary) or 
designated open routes; (2) new recreation facilities would be limited 
to projects that protect ACEC values; (3) new mineral material disposal 
sites would not be authorized; (4) areas would be unavailable for 
livestock grazing in the Tule Creek ACEC, and there would be no grazing 
improvements that would encourage concentrated livestock use in the 
Harquahala Mountains ACEC; and (5) rock climbing would be prohibited in 
the Vulture Mountain and Black Butte ACECs to protect wildlife habitat.
    The PRMP for the Agua Fria National Monument removes designations 
of the Perry Mesa ACEC and Larry Canyon ACEC, established in the 
Phoenix Resource Management Plan (1988). The protective management 
prescriptions for the two ACECs are incorporated into the Monument PRMP 
or, in the case of lands and minerals actions, are more restrictive 
under the Monument Proclamation.
    The BLM will prepare two Records of Decision; one for the Agua Fria 
National Monument and one for the Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area.
    Copies of the PRMPs and Final Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Agua Fria National Monument and Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area 
have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government 
agencies, and to interested parties. Copies are available for public 
inspection at 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85027. 
Interested persons may also review the PRMP/FEIS on the Internet 
accessed through links from the Arizona Public Web Pages at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/az//st/en.html. Comments on the Draft RMPs/EIS received 
from the public and internal BLM review were incorporated into the 
PRMPs. Public comments resulted in the addition of clarifying text, 
corrections, and changes that did not significantly modify the proposed 
land use decisions.
    Additional Protest Information: 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-Williams@blm.gov.
    All protests must be in writing and mailed to the following 
address:

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               Regular mail:                       Overnight mail:
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Director (WO-210), Bureau of Land           Director (WO-210), Bureau of
 Management, Attention: Brenda Williams,     Land Management, Attention:
 P.O. Box 66538, Washington, DC 20035.       Brenda Williams, 1620 L
                                             Street, NW., Suite 1075,
                                             Washington, DC 20036.
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    Before including your address, telephone 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. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and 
from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials 
of

[[Page 46334]]

organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in 
their entirety.

Helen M. Hankins,
Associate State Director.
[FR Doc. E8-18194 Filed 8-7-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-32-P