[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 17 (Tuesday, January 27, 1998)]
[Page 3911]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-1882]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Intent To Prepare and Environmental Impact Statement on 
Oil and Gas Development Within the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area; 
Invitation for Public Participation and Call for Information

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, 
invitation for public involvement, and call for information on oil and 
gas minerals and other resources.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Farmington District 
Office is initiating preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) on proposed oil and gas development of three existing leases 
within the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area. The public is invited to 
participate in this planning effort with the identification of 
additional issues and planning criteria.
    This notice is also to solicit oil and gas mineral and other 
resource information and indications of interest and need. Mineral 
extraction companies, environmental organizations, state, Tribal, and 
local governments, and the general public are encouraged to submit 
information to the BLM to assist in the determinations of oil and gas 
development potential and possible conflicts with other resources.
    The planning document will be prepared by an interdisciplinary team 
of specialists within the Farmington District Office. Two public 
scoping meetings will be held: in Farmington, New Mexico on February 
24, 1998 in the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Building, room 
9012 at 7:00 p.m.; and in Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 25, 1998 in 
the BLM New Mexico State Office, 1474 Rodeo Road, at 7:00 p.m. Public 
hearings will be announced after the completion of a Draft EIS.

DATES: Comments relating to the identification issues and planning 
criteria, and responses to this call for oil and gas mineral and other 
resource information will be accepted through the close of business 
March 20, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests to be included on the mailing list 
should be sent to: Lee Otteni, District Manager; Bureau of Land 
Management, Farmington District Office; 1235 La Plata Highway, Suite A, 
Farmington, New Mexico 87401. Proprietary data should be identified as 
such to ensure confidentiality.

Christopher V. Barns at the address above, or call 505-599-6338.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The existing leases are found in the Hunter 
Wash portion of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area on 2,630.93 acres 
of the following public lands:

T. 24 N., R. 12 W., NMPM,
    Sec. 3, lots 8, 9, 16, 17;
    Sec. 4, lots 5 to 20, inclusive;
    Sec. 8, lots 1, 2, 7 to 16, inclusive;
    Sec. 9, lots 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13;
    Sec. 17, lots 1 to 16, inclusive; and
    Sec. 18, lots 13 to 20, inclusive.

    The issues anticipated to be addressed by this EIS include the 
conflicting mandates of protecting wilderness resources and values 
while honoring valid existing oil and gas rights.
    The proposed planning criteria include:
    1. All proposed actions and alternatives considered must comply 
with current laws and federal regulations.
    2. The EIS will weigh long-term benefits and detriments against 
short-term benefits and detriments.
    3. This planning process will provide for public involvement 
including early notice and frequent opportunity for interested citizens 
and groups to participate in and comment on the preparation of plans 
and related guidance.

    Dated: January 21, 1998.
M.J. Chavez,
State Director.
[FR Doc. 98-1882 Filed 1-26-98; 8:45 am]