[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 56 (Thursday, March 23, 1995)]
[Page 15299]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-7159]



Availability Notice; Royal Gorge Resource Area Proposed Resource 
Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement; Colorado

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Royal Gorge Proposed Resource 
Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement. This document 
is now available to the public for a 30 day protest period.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management, Canon City District, Royal 
Gorge Resource Area office has prepared a proposed resource management 
plan (PRMP) and final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the 
Royal Gorge Resource Area (RGRA) in accordance with the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and 43 CFR part 1600. A draft 
resource management plan (DRMP) and environmental impact statement 
(DEIS) for the RGRA was made available to the public in September of 
1993 for a 90 day review and comment period Substantial public comment 
was received through three public hearings and 180+ written letters. 
More than nine hundred specific comments were received with the largest 
concern related to and disagreeing with the recommendation not to 
designate the 126 miles of the Upper Arkansas River and the 20 miles of 
Beaver Creek as Wild & Scenic River. These comments have been responded 
to within the PRMP/FEIS. This final plan replaces and supersedes all 
existing land use plans and other related environmental documents. This 
final plan establishes ten ecological subregions upon which all the 
decisions within the plan are focused. This final plan establishes 
resource conditions for, provides for managing and allocating of BLM 
administered land and mineral resources in the RGRA for the next 15 to 
20 years. Located in eastern Colorado, the RGRA encompasses 653,000 
acres of Federal surface estate and 2,566,000 acres of Federal 
subsurface mineral estate within Baca, Brent, Chaffee, Crowley, Custer, 
El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Lake, Las Animas, Otero, Park, 
Prowers, Pueblo, and Teller counties.
    Only those parties who made substantial comments to BLM on the 
RGRA/DEIS during the 90 day review and comment period would be 
considered to have standing for protest of the decisions within this 

DATES: The PRMP/FEIS protest period will begin on March 27, 1995, and 
will run through close of business on April 26, 1995.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may obtain a copy of the PRMP/FEIS from 
the Bureau of Land Management, Royal Gorge Resource Area, 3170 East 
Main Street, Canon City, CO 81212.

Dave Taliaferro, RMP Project Manager, at (719) 539-7560 or Paul 
Trentzsch, Royal Gorge Area Manager, at (719) 275-0631.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Some of the highlights of the PRMP/FEIS are:
    1. The plan focuses on the principles of multiple use and sustained 
yield as mandated by section 202 of FLPMA. The plan directs future 
resource condition objectives, land use allocations, and management 
    2. The plan designates nine areas of critical environmental concern 
(ACEC's) these being a. Mosquito Pass (4,036 acres), b. Browns Canyon 
(11,697 acres), c. Droney Gulch (705 acres), d. Arkansas Canyonlands 
(23,921 acres), e. Grape Creek (15,978 acres), f. Garden Park (2,728 
acres), g. Phantom Canyon (6,096 acres), h. Beaver Creek (12,081 
acres), and i. Cucharas Canyon (1,314 acres).
    3. The plan serves as the final environmental impact statement 
required for the Wild and Scenic River Act. Twenty miles of Beaver 
Creek and 126 miles of the Arkansas River were analyzed and found to be 
eligible and suitable for potential designation under the Wild and 
Scenic River Act. BLM management directs within the final plan and all 
146 stream miles not be recommended to Congress as a potential addition 
to the National Wild and Scenic River System. These streams would be 
managed under a protective interim management prescription for a period 
of three years after the Approved Resource Management Plan (ARMP)/
Record of Decision (ROD) is signed.
    4. The plan did carry out an analysis and does recommend that 
197,000 acres in the Arkansas River Corridor be recommended to Congress 
to be designated as a National Recreation Area. This would include the 
segments of the Arkansas River that were determined to be eligible and 
suitable for Wild and Scenic River designation.
    Upon the closing of the protest period the ARMP/ROD will be 
prepared and would be tentatively scheduled to be completed by 
September of 1995.

Stuart L. Freer,

Associate District Manager.

[FR Doc. 95-7159 Filed 3-22-95; 8:45 am]