[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 204 (Friday, October 21, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72819-72821]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25527]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Bureau of Land Management

[LLNMF01000.L13150000.NB0000.16X]


Amended Notice of Intent To Amend the Resource Management Plan 
for the Farmington Field Office, New Mexico and Prepare an Associated 
Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY:  Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management, 
Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended (FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. 1711-1712), the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) Farmington Field Office, Farmington, New Mexico is 
preparing a Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) with an 
associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). By this notice, the 
BLM is announcing the beginning of a scoping process to solicit public 
comments and to identify issues specifically related to analysis of 
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) managed mineral leasing and associated 
activity decisions pursuant to 25 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 
part 200 et seq. as part of the EIS for the Farmington RMPA.

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DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the RMP 
amendment specific to the extension of analysis in that EIS to BIA 
decision-making where BIA manages mineral leasing and associated 
activities in the RMPA Planning Area. Comments may be submitted in 
writing until December 20, 2016. The BIA and BLM will host public 
meetings specific to using this EIS to inform BIA mineral leasing and 
associated activity decisions. The date(s) and location(s) of the 
public scoping meeting(s) will be announced at least 15 days in advance 
through local news media, newspapers, and the BLM Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/nm/farmington. To be included in the analysis, all comments 
must be received prior to the close of the 60-day scoping period or 15 
days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. We will provide 
additional opportunities for public participation, as appropriate.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria 
related to applying this EIS to BIA-managed mineral leasing and 
associated activity decisions in the RMPA Planning Area by any of the 
following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/nm/farmington.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 505-564-7608.
     Mail: 6251 North College Blvd. Suite A, Farmington, NM 
87402.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the BLM 
Farmington Field Office/Federal Indian Mineral Office, 6251 N. College 
Blvd. Suite A, Farmington, NM 87402; BLM New Mexico State Office, 301 
Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87508; BIA Eastern Navajo Agency, 222 
Chaco Blvd., Crownpoint, NM 87313; and BIA Navajo Regional Office, 301 
West Hill Ave., Gallup, NM 87301. Documents may also be viewed on the 
BLM's Web site: http://www.blm.gov/nm/farmington.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Ames, BLM Project Manager, 
telephone 505-564-7611; address 6251 North College Blvd., Suite A, 
Farmington, New Mexico 87402; email [email protected], or 
Harrilene Yazzie, BIA Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist, 
telephone 505-863-8287; address P.O. Box 1060, Gallup, New Mexico 
87301; email harril[email protected] to have your name added to our 
mailing list. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to contact 
the above individual during normal business hours. The Service 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 BLM Farmington Field Office, Farmington, 
New Mexico initiated preparation of the RMPA/EIS in 2014. The initial 
scoping period, announced by Federal Register Notice of Intent on 
February 25, 2014, offered the public an opportunity to comment on 
planning criteria and issues related to the BLM's RMPA/EIS. After the 
close of the public scoping period on the RMPA/EIS, the BIA formally 
joined the EIS process as a joint lead agency and intends to use this 
planning effort to inform its subsequent mineral leasing and associated 
activity decision-making processes. This notice announces the beginning 
of a scoping process seeking public input on issues and planning 
criteria specifically related to analysis of BIA mineral leasing and 
associated activity decisions to be considered in this EIS process. 
This notice does not reopen the scoping period related to issues and 
planning criteria for the BLM decisions to be analyzed in this EIS.
    The Planning Area is located in San Juan, Rio Arriba, McKinley, and 
Sandoval Counties in New Mexico, and encompasses approximately 
4,200,000 acres of land, including approximately 1,900,000 acres of 
Tribal surface land, 1,300,000 acres of BLM-managed land, across 17 
Navajo Nation chapters, individual Indian allotments, and numerous 
Chapter House residents. The purpose of this public scoping process is 
to determine issues relevant to considering BIA-managed mineral leasing 
and associated activity decisions in the Planning Area.
    The BLM's preliminary planning criteria identified in the February 
25, 2014, Federal Register Notice are hereby incorporated by reference. 
Additional preliminary planning criteria specific to BIA's joint lead 
agency status include:
     The BIA will serve as joint (or co-lead) agency for this 
EIS.
     The BIA and BLM will prepare the RMPA/EIS in compliance 
with FLPMA, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean 
Air Act, NEPA, and all other applicable laws, executive orders, and BIA 
and BLM management policies.
     The BIA will use the EIS as the analytical basis for 
decisions pertaining to the leasing of Tribal trust and individual 
Indian allotted minerals within the Planning Area.
     The BIA will use this EIS to inform decisions on lands 
where mineral leasing and associated activities are managed by the BIA.
     The BIA and BLM will recognize valid existing rights.
     The BIA and BLM will coordinate with Federal, State, and 
Tribal governments and local agencies in the RMPA/EIS process to ensure 
consistency with existing plans and policies, to the extent 
practicable.
     The BIA and BLM will consult with Indian Tribes on a 
government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 
and other policies.
     The BIA and BLM will coordinate with Tribal governments 
and provide strategies for the protection of recognized traditional 
uses and sacred sites.
     The BIA and BLM will apply appropriate protection and 
management of cultural resources and historic properties, and will 
engage in all required Tribal consultations.
     The BIA and BLM will consult with the New Mexico 
Department of Game and Fish and the Navajo Nation Department of Fish 
and Wildlife as appropriate.
    You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria in writing 
at any public scoping meeting, or by using one of the methods listed in 
the ADDRESSES section above. To be included in the analysis, all 
comments must be received prior to the close of the 60-day scoping 
period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. 
The BIA and 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 and BIA 
in identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources.
    The BLM and BIA are required to consult with Indian Tribes, as 
applicable, on a government-to-government basis in accordance with 
Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal and individual Indian 
allottee concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and 
potential impacts to cultural resources within the Planning Area, will 
be given due consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies and 
individual Indian allottees, tribes, and other stakeholders that may be 
interested in or affected by the proposed action that the BIA and BLM 
are evaluating, are invited to participate in the scoping process. 
These entities may request or be requested by the BIA and BLM to 
participate in the

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development of the environmental analysis as a cooperating agency, if 
eligible. 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. The minutes and list of attendees for each public 
scoping meeting will be available to the public and open for 30 days 
after the meeting to any participant who wishes to clarify the views he 
or she expressed.
    The BLM and BIA will evaluate identified issues to be addressed and 
will place them into one of three categories; the draft RMPA/EIS will 
provide an explanation as to why an issue was placed in category two or 
three, and is therefore beyond the scope of this EIS:
    1. Issues to be resolved by the BIA in its subsequent decision-
making processes regarding BIA-managed mineral leasing and associated 
activities in the Planning Area;
    2. Issues to be resolved through policy or administrative action; 
or
    3. Issues beyond the scope of this plan amendment.
    The public is also encouraged to help identify any management 
questions and concerns that should be addressed in the plan. The BIA 
and BLM will work collaboratively with interested parties to identify 
the management decisions that are best suited to local, regional, and 
National needs and concerns and trust responsibilities.
    The following resource issues were identified in a prior scoping 
period announced by the February 25, 2014, Federal Register Notice of 
Intent to Prepare a Resource Management Plan Amendment and an 
Associated Environmental Impact Statement for the Farmington Field 
Office, New Mexico: lands with wilderness characteristics; areas of 
critical environmental concern; air, soil, and water resources; 
vegetative communities; wildlife/habitat management areas; and land use 
authorizations. These resource issues will not be revisited but 
embodied in the current scoping process, except as they pertain to BIA-
managed mineral leasing and associated activity decisions.
    The BIA and BLM will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop 
the plan amendment in order to consider the variety of resource issues 
and concerns identified.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Sharon Pinto,
Navajo Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of 
the Interior.

Amy Lueders,
State Director, New Mexico, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department 
of the Interior.
[FR Doc. 2016-25527 Filed 10-20-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-FB-P