[Federal Register: October 10, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 198)]
[Notices]               
[Page 60320-60321]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10oc08-115]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[UT030-4310-DS]

 
Notice of Availability of Draft Monument Management Plan 
Amendment and Draft Rangeland Health Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Planning Area in Kane 
and Garfield Counties, UT and Coconino County, AZ

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 (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) has prepared Draft Monument Management Plan 
Amendment and Draft Rangeland Health Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) (hereafter referred to as the `Draft Rangeland Health 
Amendment') and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment 
period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Draft Rangeland Health Amendment within 90 days 
following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the 
Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce 
future meetings or hearings and any other public involvement activities 
at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media news 
releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: UT_GSENM_NEPA@blm.gov.
     Fax: (435) 644-4350.
     Mail: Draft Rangeland Health Amendment Comments--Attention 
Paul Chapman, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bureau of 
Land Management, 190 East Center Street, Kanab, Utah 84741.
    Copies of the Draft Rangeland Health Amendment are available in the 
BLM Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument main office at the 
above address; the BLM Utah State Office in Salt Lake City; and may be 
viewed and downloaded in PDF format at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/planning/existing_plans.html. Please note that public comments 
and information submitted including names, street addresses, and email 
addresses of respondents will be available for public review and 
disclosure at the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. 
to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    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 in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to the planning project mailing list, contact Paul 
Chapman, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bureau of Land 
Management, 190 East Center Street, Kanab, Utah 84741, telephone: (435) 
644-4309, or e-mail: UT_GSENM_NEPA@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Escalante, Paria, Vermilion and Zion 
Management Framework Plans (MFPs) provided the planning analysis 
baseline for this Draft EIS. This baseline will be carried forward as 
the Rangeland Health Amendment into the Grand Staircase-Escalante 
National Monument Management Plan (MMP) through a Plan Amendment. Once 
approved, the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Rangeland Health 
Amendment will modify or replace all existing livestock management 
determinations for the planning area.
    The planning area includes all of the public land grazing 
allotments managed or administered by the Grand Staircase-Escalante 
National Monument in Kane and Garfield Counties, Utah and Coconino 
County, Arizona. The planning area encompasses public lands currently 
managed under the Grand Staircase-Escalante National MMP, and portions 
of lands managed or administered under the Escalante, Paria, Vermilion, 
and Zion MFPs. Under Public Law 92-593, the Grand Staircase-Escalante 
National Monument administers grazing on a portion of the Glen Canyon 
National Recreation Area, which is managed by the National Park Service 
under the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area General Management Plan. 
The planning area includes approximately 2.2 million acres of lands on 
which BLM administers livestock grazing in the three county areas, 
including approximately 250,000 acres in the Glen Canyon National 
Recreation Area.
    The Draft Rangeland Health Amendment analyzes five alternatives. 
The alternatives present differing management balances between the 
various resources and uses, and vary in both context and intensity. The 
alternatives are:
    Alternative A (No Action): The current level of resource use and 
protection would be maintained. Grazing permits would be renewed with 
existing Terms and Conditions.
    Alternative B: Rangeland Health Standards, with minimal stocking 
adjustments and improved livestock distribution and management, would 
be emphasized. Rangeland restoration and the future installation of 
structural improvements would be assessed. Grazing permits would be 
renewed with modified Terms and Conditions consistent with the actions 
proposed in this alternative.
    Alternative C (Preferred Alternative): Rangeland Health Standards 
would be achieved over the life of the MMP by making allotment specific 
modifications to grazing management. These management changes would 
include distribution of adjustments, stocking adjustments, and 
temporary suspensions on less than 10% of allotments when Rangeland 
Health Standards assessments and monitoring indicate such actions are 
needed to meet resource objectives. This alternative includes the range 
restoration and future structural improvements assessed under 
Alternative B. Grazing permits would be renewed with modified Terms and 
Conditions consistent with the actions proposed in this alternative.
    Alternative D: Rangeland Health Standards would be achieved over 
the life of the MMP by making modifications to grazing management 
including temporary grazing suspensions on allotments which fail to 
meet Utah BLM's Rangeland Health Standards for upland soils or desired 
specifics. Range restoration and the installation of structural range 
improvements would be assessed under this alternative, but to a lesser 
degree than in Alternatives B and C. Grazing permits would be renewed 
with modified Terms and Conditions consistent with the actions proposed 
in this alternative.

[[Page 60321]]

    Alternative E: Rangeland Health Standards would be achieved over 
the life of the MMP by making modifications to grazing management 
including temporary grazing suspensions on allotments which fail Utah 
BLM's Rangeland Health Standards for upland soils, desired species, and 
riparian/wetland functionality. This alternative proposes an emphasis 
on vegetation restoration activity without structural range 
improvements. Grazing permits would be renewed with modified Terms and 
Conditions consistent with the actions proposed in this alternative.
    Potentially impacted resources and conditions include: Livestock 
management, compliance with Standards and Guidelines for Rangeland 
Health, socio-economics, cultural resources, and recreation.

Jeff Rawson,
Associate Utah State Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-23958 Filed 10-9-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-DQ-P