NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS NEWS
941 E Ridgecrest Blvd
Ridgecrest, California 93555
November 4, 2013
Carl Symons, Field Manager Ridgecrest Office
300 South Richmond Road
Ridgecrest, California 93555
Attention: BLM NEPA Coordinator
Re: Fremont Valley Preservation Project
Enclosure (1) NPLNews Letter dated 12/07 /12
(2) NPLNews Letter dated 10/20/13
(3) NPLNews Letter dated 11/03/13
(4) Right of Way objectives 43 U.S.C. 1733, 1740, 1763, and 1764.
70 FR 21058, Apr. 22, 2005
To Whom It May Concern:
National Public Lands News has been commenting on land issues since 1999 and as a resident of Kern County, I have been commenting on Kern County issues since 1983 and Federal Land Issues since 1976. To date, we have not been notified directly of any meetings or discussions of this very complex plan by Kern County although we have sent in many requests. Our initial letter was included in the original scoping, however our concerns were not addressed. It is for this reason; we are including our copies of letter to Kern County.
this time, we are making an official request because of the over 200 inferences
that a ROW will be applied for and federal monies are being used in that area
for areas that will be impacted, i.e. Desert Tortoise Natural Area, 2 DWMA’s ,
water for vegetation to support those areas and ground subsidence. It is for
the following reasons we believe 4b applies.
Under BLM NEPA 2008 handbook 40 CFR 1500 CEQ NEPA regulations:
A proposal for Federal action triggers the NEPA. The CEQ regulations define major Federal actions to include adoption of official policy (that is, rules and regulations), adoption of formal plans, adoption of programs, and approval of specific projects (40 CFR 1508.18). The NEPA process is initiated when a proposal has been developed by, or submitted to the BLM.
A BLM proposal is a Federal action when:
(1) we have a goal and are actively preparing to make a decision on one or more alternative means of accomplishing that goal (40 CFR 1508.23);
(2) the proposed action and effects are subject to BLM control and responsibility (40 CFR 1508.18);
(3) the action has effects that can be meaningfully evaluated (40 CFR 1508.23); and
(4) effects of the proposed action are related to the natural and physical environment, and the relationship of people with that environment (40 CFR 1508.8; 40 CFR 1508.14).
As a Federal agency, the BLM must meet NEPA requirements whenever it is the BLM's decision that would result in an effect on the human environment, even when the effect would be beneficial and regardless of who proposes the action or where it would take place (40 CFR 1508.18).
Sec. 1508.18 Major Federal action.
"Major Federal action" includes actions with effects that may be major and which are potentially subject to Federal control and responsibility. Major reinforces but does not have a meaning independent of significantly (Sec. 1508.27). Actions include the circumstance where the responsible officials fail to act and that failure to act is reviewable by courts or administrative tribunals under the Administrative Procedure Act or other applicable law as agency action.
(a) Actions include new and continuing activities, including projects and programs entirely or partly financed, assisted, conducted, regulated, or approved by federal agencies; new or revised agency rules, regulations, plans, policies, or procedures; and legislative proposals (Secs. 1506.8, 1508.17). Actions do not include funding assistance solely in the form of general revenue sharing funds, distributed under the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972, 31 U.S.C. 1221 et seq., with no Federal agency control over the subsequent use of such funds. Actions do not include bringing judicial or administrative civil or criminal enforcement actions.
(b) Federal actions tend to fall within one of the following categories:
1. Adoption of official policy, such as rules, regulations, and interpretations adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.; treaties and international conventions or agreements; formal documents establishing an agency's policies which will result in or substantially alter agency programs.
2. Adoption of formal plans, such as official documents prepared or approved by federal agencies which guide or prescribe alternative uses of Federal resources, upon which future agency actions will be based.
3. Adoption of programs, such as a group of concerted actions to implement a specific policy or plan; systematic and connected agency decisions allocating agency resources to implement a specific statutory program or executive directive.
4. Approval of specific projects, such as construction or management activities located in a defined geographic area. Projects include actions approved by permit or other regulatory decision as well as federal and federally assisted activities.
you for your consideration in this matter.
Sophia Anne Merk, Director
cc: NEPA Coordinator USDA, USF&W, USGS