[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 185 (Thursday, September 24, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57635-57637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-24212]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLWO210000.15X.L11100000.PH0000 LXSISGST0000]


Notice of Proposed Withdrawal; Sagebrush Focal Areas; Idaho, 
Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming and Notice of Intent To 
Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals 
Management has approved an application to withdraw approximately 10 
million acres of public and National Forest System lands identified as 
Sagebrush Focal Areas in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and 
Wyoming from location and entry under the United States mining laws to 
protect the Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitat from adverse effects of 
locatable mineral exploration and mining, subject to valid existing 
rights. This notice temporarily segregates the lands for up to 2 years 
while the application is processed. This notice also provides the 
public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed withdrawal 
application. In addition, this notice initiates the public scoping 
process for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze and 
disclose impacts of the proposed withdrawal.

DATES: Comments on the proposed withdrawal application or scoping 
comments on issues to be analyzed in the EIS must be received by 
December

[[Page 57636]]

23, 2015. Please clearly indicate whether comments are in regard to the 
withdrawal application or scoping comments on the EIS. The date(s) and 
location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days 
in advance through local media, newspapers and the BLM Web site at: 
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse.html. In order to be 
included in the Draft EIS, all comments must be received prior to the 
close of the 90-day scoping period or 15 days after the last public 
meeting, whichever is later. Additional opportunities for public 
participation will be available upon publication of the Draft EIS.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to the BLM Director, 1849 C 
Street NW., (WO-200), Washington, DC 20240 or electronically to 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark A. Mackiewicz, PMP, Senior 
National Project Manager BLM, by telephone at 435-636-3616, or by email 
at [email protected]; or one of the BLM state offices listed below. 
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call 
the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to reach 
the BLM contact person. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a 
week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You 
will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) filed an 
application requesting the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land 
and Minerals Management to withdraw, subject to valid existing rights, 
approximately 10 million acres of public and National Forest System 
lands located in the States of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and 
Wyoming from location and entry under the United States mining laws, 
but not from leasing under the mineral or geothermal leasing or mineral 
materials laws. Copies of the map entitled ``BLM Petition/Application 
for Sagebrush Focal Areas Withdrawal'' depicting the lands proposed for 
withdrawal are posted on our Web site at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse.html and are also available from the BLM offices 
listed below:

Idaho State Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709.
Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101-
4669.
Nevada State Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada 89502.
Oregon State Office, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204.
Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 
84101.
Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009.

    The Sagebrush Focal Areas include all public and National Forest 
System lands identified in the townships below:

Idaho

Boise Meridian

T. 1 N., Rs. 17 and 29 E.,
Tps. 1 and 10 N., R. 18 E.,
Tps. 1 and 9 to 12 N., R. 19 E.,
Tps. 1, 2, and 8 to 12 N., R. 20 E.,
Tps. 1, 2, and 5 to 12 N., R. 21 E.,
Tps. 1, 2, and 4 to 11 N., R. 22 E.,
Tps. 1 to 13 N., Rs. 23 and 24 E.,
Tps. 9, 10, and 12 N., R. 24\1/2\ E.,
Tps. 2 to 12, 15 and 16 N., R. 25 E.,
Tps. 2 to 5, 8 to 11, and 13 to 16 N., R. 26 E.,
Tps. 1, 2, 4 to 11, and 13 to 16 N., R. 27 E.,
Tps. 1, 4 to 9, and 13 to 15 N., R. 28 E.,
Tps. 1 and 6 to 9 N., R. 30 E.,
Tps. 8 and 9 N., Rs. 31 and 32 E.,
Tps. 7 to 9 N., Rs. 34 and 35 E.,
Tps. 9 to 12 N., R. 36 E.,
Tps. 10 to 12 N., R. 37 E.,
Tps. 10 and 11 N., R. 38 E.,
Tps. 9 to 11 N., R. 39 E.,
Tps. 8 to 11 N., R. 40 E.,
Tps. 8 to 10 N., R. 41 E.,
Tps. 8 to 16 S., R. 1 W.,
Tps. 9 to 16 S., R. 2 W.,
Tps. 10 to 16 S., R. 3 W.,
Tps. 11 to 16 S., R. 4 W.,
Tps. 12 to 16 S., R. 5 W.,
Tps. 13 to 16 S., R. 6 W.,
Tps. 8 to 14, and 16 S., R. 1 E.,
Tps. 7 to 14 S., R. 2 E.,
Tps. 8 to 14 S., R. 3 E.,
Tps. 8 to 16 S., R. 4 E.,
Tps. 9, and 11 to 16 S., R. 5 E.,
Tps. 11 to 16 S., R. 6 E.,
Tps. 13 to 16 S., Rs. 7 and 8 E.,
Tps. 14 to 16 S., Rs. 9 and 10 E.,
Tps. 3 and 4 and 14 to 16 S., Rs. 11E.,
Tps. 2 to 4 and 13 to 16 S., R. 12 E.,
Tps. 2 to 4 and 12 to 16 S., Rs. 13 and 14 E.,
Tps. 1 to 4 and 12 to 16 S., Rs. 15 and 17 E.,
Tps. 1 to 4, and 13 to 16 S., R. 16 and 18 E.,
Tps. 1 to 3 S., R. 19 E.,
Tps. 1 to 4 S., Rs. 20 and 24 E.,
Tps. 1 to 4, and 14 S., R. 21 E.,
Tps. 1 to 5, and 14 S., R. 22 E.,
Tps. 1 to 6 S., R. 23 E.,
Tps. 1 to 3 S., Rs. 25, and 27 to 29 E.,
T. 1 S., R. 30 E.

    The areas described contain approximately 3,854,622 acres in 
Bingham, Blaine, Butte, Camas, Cassia, Clark, Custer, Elmore, Fremont, 
Gooding, Jefferson, Lemhi, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Power, and Twin 
Falls Counties.

Montana

Principal Meridian

Tps. 21 to 23 N., R. 20 E.,
Tps. 20 to 23 N., R. 21 E.,
Tps. 20 N., R. 22 E.,
Tps. 19 to 21, 23 and 24 N., R. 23 E.,
Tps. 18 to 21, 23 and 24 N., Rs. 24 and 25 E.,
Tps. 18 to 20, 22 to 25, 27 and 28 N., R. 26 E.,
T. 24 N., R. 26\1/2\ E.,
Tps. 19 to 29 N., R. 27 E.,
Tps. 20, 22 to 24 and 26 to 29 N., R. 28 E.,
Tps. 22 to 27 N., R. 29 E.,
Tps. 22 to 26 N., R. 30 E.,
Tps. 23 to 26 N., Rs. 31 and 32 E.,
Tps. 23 to 29 N., Rs. 33, 35 and 36 E.,
Tps. 24 to 29 N., Rs. 34 and 37 E.,
Tps. 26 and 27 N., R. 36\1/2\ E.,
Tps. 24 to 28 N., R. 38 E.,
Tps. 24 to 27 N., R. 39 E.,
T. 26 N., R. 40 E.

    The areas described contain approximately 983,156 acres in Fergus, 
Garfield, Petroleum, Phillips, and Valley Counties.

Nevada

Mount Diablo Meridian

Tps. 44, 46, and 47 N., R. 20 E.,
Tps. 43 to 47 N., Rs. 21, 40, 45, 53, 54, 55, 69, and 70 E.,
Tps. 43, 44, and 47 N., R. 22 E.,
T. 47 N., R. 23 and 23\1/2\ E.,
T. 45 N., R. 31 E.,
Tps. 44 to 47 N., Rs. 32, 33, 41 and 42 E.,
Tps. 44 to 48 N., Rs. 34 to 36 E.,
Tps. 45 to 47 N., R. 37 E.,
Tps. 42 to 44 N., R. 38 E.,
Tps. 42 to 47 N., Rs. 39, 46, 49, 50, 57, 58, 60 to 62, 67 and 68 
E.,
Tps. 44 to 46 N., R. 43 E.,
Tps. 40 to 47 N., R. 47 E.,
Tps. 41 to 47 N., Rs. 48, and 63 to 66 E.,
T. 44 N., R. 52 E.,
Tps. 46 and 47 N., R. 54\1/2\ E.,
Tps. 42 to 45, and 47 N., R. 56 E.,
Tps. 42 to 44, 46 and 47 N., R. 59 E.,

    The areas described contain approximately 2,797,399 acres in Elko, 
Humboldt, and Washoe Counties.

Oregon

Willamette Meridian

Tps. 35 and 36 S., R. 21 E.,
Tps. 32 to 40 S., R. 22 E.,
Tps. 31 to 40 S., Rs. 23 and 24 E.,
Tps. 34 to 41 S., Rs. 25, 29, and 46 E.,
Tps. 33 and 34, 38 to 41 S., R. 26 E.,
Tps. 32 to 41 S., R. 27 and 28 E.,
Tps. 35 to 41 S., R. 30 E.,
Tps. 36 to 41 S., Rs. 31, 40 to 43, 47 and 48 E.,
Tps. 37 to 40 S., R. 32 E.,
T. 37 S., R. 32\1/2\ E.,
Tps. 38 to 40 S., R. 33 E.,
Tps. 40 and 41 S., R. 36 E.,
Tps. 36 and 37, 39 to 41 S., R. 37 E.,
Tps. 38 to 41 S., Rs. 38 and 39 E.,
Tps. 33 to 41 S., Rs. 44 and 45 E.,
Tps. 37 to 41 S., R. 49 E.


[[Page 57637]]


    The areas described contain approximately 1,929,580 acres in 
Harney, Lake, and Malheur Counties.

Utah

Salt Lake Meridian

Tps. 9 and 10 N., R. 3 E.,
Tps. 9, 10, 10\1/2\, and 11 N., R. 4 E.,
Tps. 9 to 12 N., R. 5 E.,
Tps. 9 to 13 N., Rs. 6 to 8 E.,
Tps. 12, 14, and 15 N., R. 17 W.,
Tps. 11 to 15 N., R. 18 W.,
Tps. 10 to 15 N., R. 19 W.

    The areas described contain approximately 230,808 acres in Box 
Elder, Cache, and Rich Counties.

Wyoming

6th Principal Meridian

Tps. 27 and 28 N., R. 99 W.,
Tps. 27 to 29 N., R. 100 W.,
Tps. 25, 28, and 29 N., R. 101 W.,
Tps. 28 N., R. 102 W.,
Tps. 22 N., Rs. 104 and 120 W.,
Tps. 22, and 25 to 27 N., R. 105 W.,
Tps. 26 and 27 N., Rs. 106 to 108 W.,
T. 24 N., R. 112 W.,
Tps. 23 and 24 N., Rs. 113 and 115 W.,
Tps. 22 to 24 N., Rs. 114 and 119 W.,
Tps. 20 to 24 N., R. 117 W.,
Tps. 21 to 24 N., R. 118 W.,
Tps. 19 and 20 N., R. 121 W.

    The areas described contain approximately 252,162 acres in Fremont, 
Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, and Uinta Counties.
    The total areas described aggregate approximately 10 million acres 
of public and National Forest System lands in the six states and 
counties listed above.
    The Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals 
Management has approved the BLM's application. Therefore, this document 
constitutes a withdrawal proposal of the Secretary of the Interior (43 
CFR 2310.1-3(e)).
    The purpose of the proposed withdrawal of the Sagebrush Focal Areas 
in Priority Habitat Management Areas is to protect the Greater Sage-
Grouse and its habitat from adverse effects of locatable mineral 
exploration and mining subject to valid existing rights.
    The use of a right-of-way, interagency or cooperative agreement, or 
surface management by the BLM under 43 CFR part 3715 or 43 CFR part 
3809 regulations or by the Forest Service under 36 CFR part 228 would 
not adequately constrain nondiscretionary uses, which could result in 
loss of critical sage-grouse habitat.
    There are no suitable alternative sites for the withdrawal.
    No water rights would be needed to fulfill the purpose of the 
requested withdrawal.
    Records relating to the application may be examined by contacting 
the BLM offices listed above.
    For a period until December 23, 2015, all persons who wish to 
submit comments, suggestions, or objections in connection with the 
proposed withdrawal may present their views in writing to the BLM 
Director, 1849 C Street NW., (WO-210), Washington, DC 20240, or 
electronically to [email protected].
    All comments received will be considered before any final action is 
taken on the proposed withdrawal.
    The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant 
issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, 
including alternatives, and guide the process for developing the EIS. 
At present, the BLM has identified the following preliminary issues: 
Air quality/climate, American Indian resources, cultural resources, 
wilderness, mineral resources, public health and safety, recreation, 
socio-economic conditions, soil resources, soundscapes, special status 
species, vegetation resources, visual resources, water resources, and 
fish and wildlife resources.
    Because of the nature of a withdrawal of public lands from 
operation of the mining law, mitigation of its effects is not likely to 
be an issue requiring detailed analysis. However, consistent with 
Council on Environmental Quality regulations implementing NEPA (40 CFR 
1502.14), the BLM will consider whether and what kind of mitigation 
measures may be appropriate to address the reasonably foreseeable 
impacts to resources from the approval of this proposed withdrawal.
    The BLM will utilize and coordinate the NEPA scoping process to 
help fulfill the public involvement process under the National Historic 
Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. 306108) as provided in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). 
The information about historic and cultural resources within the area 
potentially affected by the proposed action will assist the BLM in 
identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources.
    The BLM will consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-
government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other 
policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts to Indian trust assets and 
potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due 
consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes 
and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the 
proposed withdrawal that the BLM is evaluating, are invited to 
participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be 
requested by the BLM to participate in the development of the 
environmental analysis as a cooperating agency.
    Comments including names and street addresses of respondents will 
be available for public review at the BLM Washington Office at the 
address noted above, during regular business hours Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. Before including your address, phone 
number, email 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.
    For a period until September 24, 2017, subject to valid existing 
rights, the lands described in this notice will be segregated from 
location and entry under the United States mining laws, unless the 
application/proposal is denied or canceled or the withdrawal is 
approved prior to that date. Licenses, permits, cooperative agreements, 
or discretionary land use authorizations may be allowed during the 
temporary segregative period, but only with approval of the authorized 
officer of the BLM or the USFS.
    The application will be processed in accordance with the 
regulations set forth in 43 CFR part 2300.

Neil Kornze,
Director, Bureau of Land Management.
[FR Doc. 2015-24212 Filed 9-22-15; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4310-84-P