[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 199 (Friday, October 14, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 71035-71038]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24610]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

43 CFR Part 8360

[LLCOF02000 L12200000.DU0000 16X]


Notice of Proposed Supplementary Rules for Public Lands in 
Colorado: Cache Creek Placer Area

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of proposed supplementary rules.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Colorado is proposing 
supplementary rules for 2,160 acres of public lands addressed in the 
Cache Creek Placer Area Management Plan, approved on February 23, 2016. 
These proposed supplementary rules would apply to public lands 
administered by the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office in Chaffee County, 
Colorado. The proposed rules would implement decisions found in the 
Cache Creek Placer Area Management Plan relating to the collection of 
mineral materials within the Cache Creek parcel.

DATES: Please send comments to the address below by December 13, 2016. 
Comments received or postmarked after this date may not be considered 
in the development of the final supplementary rules.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by the following methods: Mail or hand 
deliver to Kalem Lenard, Outdoor Recreation Planner, BLM Royal Gorge 
Field Office, 3028 E. Main Street, Ca[ntilde]on City, CO 81212. You may 
also send comments via email to [email protected] (include 
``Proposed Supplementary Rules'' in the subject line).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kalem Lenard, Outdoor Recreation 
Planner, at the above address, by phone

[[Page 71036]]

at 719-269-8538, or by email at [email protected]. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay 
Service at 800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal 
business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a 
week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You 
will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Comment Procedures

    Written comments on the proposed supplementary rules should be 
specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed supplementary 
rules, and should explain the reason for any recommended change. Where 
possible, comments should reference the specific section or paragraph 
of the rules that the comment is addressing. The BLM is not obligated 
to consider or include in the Administrative Record for the final rules 
comments that the BLM receives after the close of the comment period 
(see DATES), unless they are postmarked or electronically dated before 
the deadline, or comments delivered to an address other than one of the 
addresses listed above (see ADDRESSES). Comments, including names, 
street addresses and other contact information of respondents, will be 
available for public review at the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, at the 
address above. 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.

II. Background

    Cache Creek Placer Area is located immediately west and south of 
the town of Granite, Colorado, and includes Cache Creek, which flows 
into the Arkansas River. It was the site of one of the first large 
mining communities in Colorado during the late 1800s. In January 2000, 
the BLM acquired 2,160 acres through which Cache Creek flows, extending 
from the San Isabel National Forest boundary to Highway 24. The BLM 
acquired the parcel through a grant from the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund, a Federal program that conserves irreplaceable lands 
and improves outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the nation. 
The BLM purchased it to help protect crucial elk and riparian habitat 
as well as to provide recreational opportunities. Recreational mineral 
collection is one of the activities occurring in the area. Collection 
methods include gold panning and hand sluicing. The 2,160-acre parcel 
is not open to the General Mining Law of 1872. The rising price of gold 
has increased the interest in mineral collection, therefore increasing 
use at Cache Creek. Due to the high volume of soil that recreational 
mineral collectors are processing, excessive levels of sediment have 
collected at the Cache Creek stream, impacting a recovering fishery. 
The increase in use has also led to user conflicts and human safety 
hazards, such as unstable holes and large trees. Conflicts with off-
leash dogs disturbing other visitors as well as pet waste left in the 
wetland area are also a common occurrence.
    The Cache Creek parcel is not open to the General Mining Law. The 
parcel is regulated under 43 CFR 8365.1-5, which confines mineral 
extraction to only ``recreational'' mineral specimen collection. These 
regulations do not allow motorized or mechanical devices to aid in 
mineral specimen collection.
    In 2012, the BLM began the public input process for a management 
plan for the 2,160-acre Cache Creek parcel to manage the increasing 
impacts and conflicts related to increased recreational use. The 
management strategy allows hobby recreational placer activities to 
continue, while mitigating impacts to resources. The public process 
included presentations and site tours with the Front Range Resource 
Advisory Council and collaboration with stakeholders and user groups. 
On March 3, 2014, the BLM held a 30-day public scoping period 
requesting public input. Based on feedback received during this 
process, the BLM developed a proposed action and draft Environmental 
Assessment (EA), which was released for a 30-day public review on 
December 5, 2014. The BLM incorporated comments into the Final EA and 
corresponding Decision Record signed on February 23, 2016.
    The decision designated the Cache Creek parcel as a Special Area, 
defined as an area where the BLM ``determines that the resources 
require special management and control measures for their protection'' 
under 43 CFR 2932.5. The decision also provides that a Special 
Recreation Permit (SRP) will be required for recreational placer 
activities only. In addition, the decision requires a fee to obtain a 
permit from Memorial Day weekend to November 30.

III. Discussion of Proposed Supplementary Rules

    The proposed supplementary rules would implement the Cache Creek 
Placer Area Management Plan as follows:
    In accordance with 43 CFR subpart 2932, an SRP would be required 
for recreational mineral collection activities related to placer mining 
activities. As authorized by 43 CFR 2932.31(d), persons 16 years of age 
and older would be required to pay a fee of $5 per day or $25 annually. 
Digging within the Cache Creek parcel would be limited to a designated 
area. The SRP would allow in-situ gold panning (but not digging) in the 
Cache Creek stream throughout the parcel and outside of the designated 
area. Dogs and other animals would be required to be on leashes within 
the designated area. Additional terms and conditions can be found in 
DOI-BLM-CO-200-2012-0038 DN.
    The planning area consists of approximately 2,160 acres of public 
lands within Chaffee County, Colorado, in the following described 
townships:

Colorado, Sixth Principal Meridian

T. 12 S., R. 80 W., Sections 1 and 2.
T. 11 S., R. 80 W., Sections 34-36.
T. 12 S., R. 79 W., Section 6.
T. 11 S., R. 79 W., Section 31.

    The BLM has determined that these proposed supplementary rules are 
necessary to enhance public safety, protect natural and cultural 
resources, and reduce conflicts among public land users.

IV. Procedural Matters

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

    The proposed supplementary rules are not a significant regulatory 
action and are not subject to review by the Office of Management and 
Budget under Executive Order 12866. The proposed supplementary rules 
would not have an effect of $100 million or more on the economy and 
would not adversely affect in a material way productivity; competition; 
jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local or 
tribal governments or communities. The proposed supplementary rules 
would not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency. The proposed supplementary 
rules do not materially alter the budgetary effects of entitlements; 
grants; user fees or loan programs; or the rights or obligations of 
their recipients; nor do they raise novel legal or policy issues. These 
proposed supplementary rules would merely impose limitations on certain

[[Page 71037]]

recreational activities on certain public lands to protect natural 
resources and human health and safety.

National Environmental Policy Act

    These proposed supplementary rules implement key decisions in the 
Cache Creek Placer Area Management Plan. During the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review for the Management Plan, the BLM 
fully analyzed the substance of these proposed supplementary rules in 
an EA (DOI-BLM-CO-200-2012-0069 EA). The BLM signed the Decision Record 
for the EA on February 23, 2016, and found the proposed supplementary 
rules implementing the plan decisions would not constitute a major 
Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment under section 102(2)(C) of NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C). A 
detailed statement under NEPA is not required. The Cache Creek Placer 
Area Management Plan EA, Finding of No Significant Impact, and Decision 
Record are on file in the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office at the address 
specified in the ADDRESSES section.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Congress enacted the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), as 
amended, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, to ensure that government regulations do not 
unnecessarily or disproportionately burden small entities. The RFA 
requires a regulatory flexibility analysis if a rule would have a 
significant economic impact, either detrimental or beneficial, on a 
substantial number of small entities. The proposed supplementary rules 
would have no effect on business entities of any size. The proposed 
supplementary rules would merely impose reasonable restrictions on 
certain recreational activities on certain public lands to protect 
natural resources and the environment and human health and safety. 
Therefore, the BLM certifies under the RFA that these proposed 
supplementary rules would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    These proposed supplementary rules are not a ``major rule'' as 
defined at 5 U.S.C. 804(2). These proposed supplementary rules would 
merely impose reasonable restrictions on certain recreational 
activities on certain public lands to protect natural resources, the 
environment and human health and safety. These proposed supplementary 
rules would not:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;
    (2) Cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, 
individual industries, Federal, State, or local agencies, or geographic 
regions; or
    (3) Have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, 
investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United 
States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in 
domestic and export markets.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The proposed supplementary rules would not impose an unfunded 
mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of 
more than $100 million per year; nor would they have a significant or 
unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private 
sector. The proposed supplementary rules would merely impose reasonable 
restrictions on certain recreational activities on certain public lands 
to protect natural resources, the environment and human health and 
safety. Therefore, the BLM is not required to prepare a statement 
containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference With 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (Takings)

    The proposed supplementary rules do not constitute a government 
action capable of interfering with constitutionally-protected property 
rights. The proposed supplementary rules would not address property 
rights in any form and would not cause the impairment of 
constitutionally-protected property rights. Therefore, the BLM has 
determined that these proposed supplementary rules would not cause a 
``taking'' of private property or require further discussion of takings 
implications under this Executive Order.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The proposed supplementary rules would not have a substantial 
direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the national 
government and the states, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in 
accordance with Executive Order 13132, the BLM has determined that 
these proposed supplementary rules do not have sufficient Federalism 
implications to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    Under Executive Order 12988, the BLM has determined that these 
proposed supplementary rules would not unduly burden the judicial 
system and that they meet the requirements of Sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, the BLM has found that 
these proposed supplementary rules do not include policies that have 
tribal implications and would have no bearing on trust lands or on 
lands for which title is held in fee status by Indian tribes or U.S. 
Government-owned lands managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Information Quality Act

    In developing these proposed supplementary rules, the BLM did not 
conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review 
under the Information Quality Act (Section 515 of Pub. L. 106-554).

Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    These proposed supplementary rules do not comprise a significant 
energy action. These proposed supplementary rules would not have an 
adverse effect on energy supply, production or consumption and have no 
connection with energy policy.

Executive Order 13352, Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation

    In accordance with Executive Order 13352, the BLM has determined 
that the proposed supplementary rules would not impede facilitating 
cooperative conservation; would take appropriate account of and 
consider the interests of persons with ownership or other legally 
recognized interests in land or other natural resources; would properly 
accommodate local participation in the Federal decision-making process; 
and would provide that the associated programs, projects and activities 
are consistent with protecting public health and safety.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reviewed and 
approved the information collection requirements for special recreation 
permits. The relevant OMB control number is 1004-0119,

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which expires December 31, 2016. We may not conduct or sponsor and you 
are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it 
displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Proposed Supplementary Rules

Author

    The principal author of these proposed supplementary rules is Kalem 
Lenard, Outdoor Recreation Planner, BLM, Royal Gorge Field Office.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble and under the authorities 
for supplementary rules found at 43 U.S.C. 1740, 43 U.S.C. 315a, and 43 
CFR 8365.1-6, the BLM Colorado State Director proposes supplementary 
rules for public lands within the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office to read 
as follows:

Supplementary Rules for the Cache Creek Placer Area Management Plan

Definitions

    Cache Creek parcel is defined as the 2,160-acre parcel of public 
land in Chaffee County, Colorado within the 6th Principal Meridian T. 
12 S., R. 80 W. Sections 1 and 2; T. 11 S., R. 80 W. Sections 34-36; T. 
12 S., R. 79 W. Section 6; and T. 11 S., R. 79 W. Section 31.
    Cache Creek Placer Area is defined as the area directly south and 
adjacent to the BLM Cache Creek parking area and shown on maps provided 
by the BLM along with on the ground signing, where possible.

Prohibited Acts

    Unless otherwise authorized, the following acts are prohibited on 
all public lands, roads, trails and waterways administered by the BLM 
within the Cache Creek parcel:
    1. No persons may collect minerals by any means within the Cache 
Creek parcel without a Special Recreation Permit (SRP).
    2. Persons 16 years of age and over must pay a fee of $5 per day or 
$25 annually to obtain an SRP.
    3. You must not violate terms and conditions of the SRP.
    4. You must not bring an animal into the Cache Creek Placer Area 
between Memorial Day Weekend and November 30 unless the animal is on a 
leash not longer than 6 feet and secured to a fixed object or under 
control of a person, or is otherwise physically restricted at all 
times.

Exceptions

    The following persons are exempt from these supplementary rules: 
Any Federal, State, local government officer or employee acting within 
the scope of their duties; members of any organized law enforcement, 
rescue, or firefighting force in performance of an official duty; and 
any persons, agencies, municipalities or companies whose activities are 
authorized in writing by the BLM.

Enforcement

    Any person who violates any of these supplementary rules may be 
tried before a United States Magistrate and fined in accordance with 18 
U.S.C. 3571, imprisoned no more than 12 months under 43 U.S.C. 1733(a) 
and 43 CFR 8360.0-7, or both. In accordance with 43 CFR 8365.1-7, State 
or local officials may also impose penalties for violations of Colorado 
law.

Ruth Welch,
Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State Director.
[FR Doc. 2016-24610 Filed 10-13-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-JB-P