[Federal Register: March 27, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 58)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13412-13413]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27mr09-23]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

 
Dixie National Forest; Tropic To Hatch 138kV Transmission Line 
Project, Correction to Include Notice of Intent To Amend the Bureau of 
Land Management, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Management 
Plan

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA and Bureau of Land Management, USDI.

ACTION: Correction to notice of intent.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) subparts 1500-
1508, and 43 CFR subpart 1610.5-5 (Planning Regulations), notice is 
hereby given that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument intends to prepare an amendment to the 
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Management Plan (MMP) with 
an associated environmental impact statement (EIS) in cooperation with 
the U.S. Forest Service as lead agency. The Dixie National Forest 
published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to initiate this 
proposal on February 21, 2008, but did not include the BLM's Grand 
Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) Notice of Intent into its 
heading. The publication of this Federal Register notice is to make the 
public aware that this action also applies to a possible land use plan 
amendment to the MMP. Discussion of the GSENM amendment was in the body 
of the original Federal Register notice, but was not evident in the 
title. The public is now provided a second opportunity to review and 
provide comments on this possible amendment to the BLM's MMP based on 
the planning criteria identified in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
below.

DATES: Public comments should be submitted in writing to the address 
listed below within 30 days following the publication of this notice in 
the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Paul Chapman, Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument, Tropic to Hatch 138kV Transmission Line, 
BLM Project Leader, 190 East Center, Kanab, Utah 84741. E-mail: 
tropic_to_hatch_transmission_line_eis_comments@fs.fed.us. E-
mailed comments must be submitted in MS Word (*.doc) or rich text 
format (*.rtf) and should include the project name in the subject line. 
Written comments may also be submitted at the above address during 
regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
    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. Comments may be published as part of the EIS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Chapman, Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument project coordinator, 190 East Center, 
Kanab, Utah 84741 or phone (435) 644-4309.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Notice of Intent to amend the MMP 
responds to a proposal from Garkane Energy Cooperative to construct, 
operate and maintain a 138 kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line in 
Garfield County,

[[Page 13413]]

Utah. The project is known as the Garkane Energy Cooperative Tropic to 
Hatch 138kV Transmission Line and is proposed to cross over USFS, Park 
Service and/or BLM lands. A plan amendment for BLM's MMP is needed to 
analyze the proposal which occurs outside of the current utility right-
of-way identified in the MMP (February, 2000). The proposal occurs in 
an area identified as a Primitive Management Zone and Visual Resource 
Management (VRM) Class II zone as described in the MMP. The 
construction of transmission lines is not provided for in this zone 
(Decisions LAND-7 and VRM-1). In summary, these decisions 
state: (1) ``In the primitive zone, utility rights-of-way will not be 
permitted. In cases of extreme need for local (not regional) needs and 
where other alternatives are not available, a plan amendment could be 
considered for those facilities.'' and (2) ``Utilizing the results of 
the visual resource inventory and other resource allocation 
considerations, 68 percent lands within the Monument will be assigned 
to VRM Class II and 32 percent of the lands within the Monument will be 
assigned to VRM Class III, as shown on Map 6.'' However, the 
construction of new utility rights-of-way is provided for in the MMP 
(Decision LAND-5 and VRM-1). The proposed plan amendment would 
change the Management Zone from Primitive to Passage and VRM Class II 
to III. This amendment would consider a right-of-way corridor within 
the Passage Zone to accommodate an existing utility right-of-way, the 
proposed utility right-of-way, and the possibility of additional 
rights-of-way in the future. Therefore, this corridor would be 
considered in the amendment to change the Primitive Zone to a Passage 
Zone and the VRM Class II to a VRM Class III.
    The Bureau of Land Management planning regulations (43 CFR 1600) 
require the preparation of planning criteria to guide the development 
of resource management plan amendments. Planning criteria ensure that 
plans are tailored to the identified issues and ensure that unnecessary 
data collections and analysis are avoided. These general planning 
criteria will be used to develop the MMP amendment for the Tropic to 
Hatch Transmission Line Project. The planning criteria primarily remain 
the same as were presented in the February 21, 2008 Federal Register 
notice, with a slight change to the first bulleted criteria. This 
criterion has been broadened to include a right-of-way corridor, 
instead of only one right-of-way project. The planning criteria are as 
follows:
     The plan amendment will consider a right-of-way utility 
corridor currently within a primitive zone adjacent to an existing 
utility right-of-way.
     The plan amendment will be completed in compliance with 
the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and all other applicable 
laws.
     The plan amendment will meet the intent of the 
Proclamation that established Grand Staircase-Escalante National 
Monument which protects objects of geological, paleontological, 
archaeological, biological, and historic values within the Monument.
    The lead Federal agency indentified for the proposed project is the 
Department of Agriculture, Dixie National Forest. The Bureau of Land 
Management (Kanab Field Office and Grand Staircase-Escalante National 
Monument) and the National Park Service are cooperating agencies. For 
more information regarding the proposed project, refer to the Notice of 
Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, published in the 
Federal Register on February 21, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 35, page 9517-
9521).

    Dated: March 12, 2009.
Robert G. MacWhorter,
Forest Supervisor, Dixie National Forest.
[FR Doc. E9-6027 Filed 3-26-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-11-P