[Federal Register: October 15, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 200)]
[Page 61163-61164]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management

[CO 130 2009 001]

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Resource Management Plan (RMP) and 
Associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Initiate the Public 
Scoping Process

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM), Grand Junction Field Office (GJFO), Colorado, is initiating a 
planning effort to prepare the Grand Junction RMP and associated EIS. 
The RMP will replace the existing 1987 Resource Management Plan.

DATES: The scoping comment period will commence with the publication of 
this notice and will end on January 9, 2009. However, collaboration 
with the public will continue throughout the planning process. Public 
meetings will be announced through the local news media, newsletters, 
and a BLM Web site at least 15 days prior to the event. Comments on 
issues and planning criteria should be received on or before the end of 
the scoping period at the address listed below.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to the Grand Junction Field 
Office, Bureau of Land Management, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 
81506 or via fax at (970) 244-3083. E-mail comments may be set to 
GJFO_mail@blm.gov. Comments, including names and addresses of 
respondents, will be available for public review at the BLM GJFO, 
during regular business hours 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, 
except holidays. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. 
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. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and 
from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials 
of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection 
in their entirety.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to our mailing list; contact Matt Anderson, Project 
Manager, Telephone (970) 244-3027. Project documents may be reviewed on 
BLM's Grand Junction's Field Office Web site at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov 
(select Grand Junction on the interactive map).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the public scoping process is 
to identify issues that should be considered in the RMP/EIS and to 
initiate public participation in the planning process. BLM personnel 
will also be present at scoping meetings to explain the planning 
process and other requirements for preparing the RMP/EIS. The planning 
area includes lands within the BLM GJFO administrative boundary. The 
GJFO RMP decision area encompasses about 1.2 million acres of public 
lands, which are located within Mesa, Garfield, Montrose, and Delta 
Counties, Colorado. The decision area includes public lands 
administered by the BLM GJFO, and does not include

[[Page 61164]]

private lands, state lands, tribal trust lands, federal lands not 
administered by the BLM, lands located within the planning area of the 
RMP for the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area and associated 
Wilderness Area.
    The plan will fulfill the needs and obligations set forth by the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and associated Council of 
Environmental Quality Regulations 40 CFR part 1500. The plan also 
fulfills requirements of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA: 43 U.S.C. 1711), applicable planning regulations at 43 CFR part 
1600, and BLM management policies.
    Parties interested in leasing and development of Federal coal in 
the planning area should provide coal resource data for their area(s) 
of interest. Specifically, information is requested on the location, 
quality, and quantity of Federal coal with development potential, and 
on surface resource values related to the 20 coal unsuitability 
criteria described in 43 CFR part 3461. This information will be used 
for any necessary updating of coal screening determination (43 CFR 
3420.1-4) in the area and in the environmental analysis. In addition to 
coal resource data, the BLM seeks resource information and data for 
other public land values (e.g., air quality, cultural and historic 
resources, fire/fuels, fisheries, forestry, lands and realty, non-
energy minerals and geology, oil and gas (including coalbed methane), 
paleontology, rangeland management, recreation, soil, water, and 
wildlife) in the planning area. The purpose of this request is to 
assure that the planning effort has sufficient information and data to 
consider a reasonable range of resource uses, management options, and 
alternatives for the public lands.
    Proprietary data marked as confidential may be submitted in 
response to this call for coal and other resource information. Please 
submit all proprietary information submissions to the address listed 
above. The BLM will treat submissions marked as ``Confidential'' in 
accordance with the laws and regulations governing the confidentiality 
of such information.
    The BLM GJFO will work collaboratively with interested parties to 
identify the management actions and decisions that are best suited to 
local, regional, and national needs and concerns of the public, subject 
to planning criteria to be developed to guide the plan. Preliminary 
issues and management concerns have been identified by the BLM, other 
agencies, and meetings with individuals and user groups. The major 
issue themes to be addressed in the RMP effort include:
     Management and protection of public land resources while 
allowing for multiple uses.
     Management of riparian areas and water quality concerns.
     Recreation/visitor use and safety management.
     Travel management, including Off Highway Vehicle.
     Management of areas with special values.
     Energy and minerals management.
     Management of wildlife habitat including protection of 
sensitive species habitat.
     Community expansion and urban interface.
     Land Tenure Adjustments.

After gathering public comments, issues will be placed in one of three 

    1. Issues to be resolved by the plan;
    2. Issues resolved through policy or administrative action; or
    3. Issues beyond the scope of this plan.

Rationale will be provided in the plan for each issue placed in 
category two or three. In addition to these major issues, a number of 
management questions and concerns will be addressed in the plan. The 
public is encouraged to help identify these questions and concerns 
during the scoping phase. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to 
develop the plan in order to consider the variety of issues and 
concerns identified. Disciplines involved in the planning process will 
include specialists with expertise in rangeland management, minerals 
and geology, outdoor recreation, archaeology, paleontology, wildlife, 
fisheries, wild horse, weeds, lands and realty, hydrology, soils, 
engineering, fire, wilderness, hazardous materials, and social and 
economic. The BLM has identified some preliminary planning criteria to 
guide the development of the plan. The following planning criteria have 
been proposed to guide the development of the plan, to avoid 
unnecessary data collection and analyses, and to ensure the plan is 
tailored to issues. Other criteria may be identified during the public 
scoping process. Proposed planning criteria include the following:
     The plan will comply with all applicable laws, regulations 
and current policies.
     Broad-based public participation will be an integral part 
of the planning and EIS process.
     The plan will recognize valid existing rights.
     Areas with special designations as appropriate.

    Dated: October, 2008.
Raul Morales,
Associate Field Manager, Grand Junction Field Office.
[FR Doc. E8-24374 Filed 10-14-08; 8:45 am]