[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 210 (Monday, October 31, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 75366-75368]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26179]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

43 CFR Part 8360

[16XL 1109AF LLUTY0100 L12200000.EA0000 24-1A]


Notice of Proposed Supplementary Rules for Public Lands Managed 
by the Moab Field Office in Grand County, Utah

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed supplementary rule.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a 
supplementary rule addressing conduct on public lands in the vicinity 
of Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges in Grand County, Utah. The proposed 
supplementary rule would prohibit roped activities around Corona Arch 
and Gemini Bridges. Such activities involve the use of ropes or other 
climbing aids, and include, but are not limited to, ziplining, 
highlining, slacklining, traditional rock climbing, sport rock 
climbing, rappelling, and swinging.

DATES: Comments on the proposed supplementary rule must be received or 
postmarked by December 30, 2016 to be assured of consideration. 
Comments received, postmarked or electronically dated after that date 
will not necessarily be considered in the development of the final 
supplementary rules.

ADDRESSES: Please mail or hand deliver all comments concerning the 
proposed supplementary rule to the Bureau of Land Management, 82 E. 
Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532, or email comments to Katie Stevens, at 
[email protected]. The proposed supplementary rule and a map depicting 
the area that would be affected are available for public review at the 
Moab Field Office, located at 82 E. Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532. The 
affected area is also shown on a map on the Moab Field Office's Web 
site at http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beth Ransel, Moab Field Manager, BLM 
Moab Field Office, 82 E. Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532, or telephone (435) 
259-2110. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-
8339 to leave a message or question with the above individual. The FIRS 
is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will receive a reply 
during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Comment Procedures

    The public is invited to provide comments on the proposed 
supplementary rule. See the DATES and ADDRESSES sections for 
information on submitting comments. Written comments on the proposed 
supplementary rule must be sent in accordance with the information 
outlined in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this notice. The BLM 
need not consider, or include in the Administrative Record for the 
final supplementary rule, (a) comments delivered to an address other 
than those listed above (See ADDRESSES), or (b) comments that the BLM 
receives after the close of the comment period (See DATES), unless they 
are postmarked or electronically dated before the deadline.
    Written comments on the proposed supplementary rule should be 
specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed supplementary 
rule, and should explain the reason for any recommended change. Where 
possible, comments should reference the specific section of the rule 
that the comment is addressing. Comments, including names, street 
addresses, and other contact information of respondents, will be 
available for public review at 82 E. Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532, during 
regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. Before including your address, telephone 
number, email address, or other personal identifying information in 
your comment, be advised 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 from public 
review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that 
we will be able to do so.

II. Background

    The BLM establishes supplementary rules under the authority of 43 
CFR 8365.1-6, which allows the BLM State Directors to establish such 
rules for the protection of persons, property, and public lands and 
resources. This regulation allows the BLM to issue rules of less than 
national effect without codifying the rules in the Code of Federal 
Regulations.
    Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges are two of the most popular 
locations in the Moab Field Office. Corona Arch is a partly 
freestanding arch with a 110-foot by 110-foot opening. Gemini Bridges 
are two large arches standing side-by-side. Corona Arch is visited by 
approximately 40,000 visitors per year, and Gemini Bridges are visited 
by approximately 50,000 visitors per year. The BLM has received many 
complaints that roped activities, including swinging from the arches, 
conflict with other visitors' use and enjoyment of the arches. The BLM 
finds merit in these complaints. People setting up and using swings and 
rappels from the arches endanger both themselves and those viewing them 
from below. In addition, the rock arches may be damaged by ropes 
``sawing'' on the rock spans. The supplementary rules currently in 
effect in the Moab Field Office (at 81 FR 9498 (Feb. 25, 2016)) do not 
address roped activities on the affected arches, although a temporary 
restriction (80 FR 27703 (May 14, 2015)) is in effect until May 2017.

[[Page 75367]]

    The legal descriptions of the affected public lands are:

Salt Lake Meridian

T. 25 S., R. 20 E.,
    Sec. 34, NW1/4 SW1/4, that part surrounding Gemini Bridges.
T. 25 S., R. 21 E.,
    sec. 32, SE1/4 SE1/4, that part surrounding Corona Arch.
T. 26 S., R. 21 E.,
    sec. 5, NE1/4, that part surrounding Corona Arch.

    The areas described aggregate 37.3 acres.

    This proposed supplementary rule would allow for enforcement as a 
tool in minimizing the adverse effects of roped activities within the 
affected areas. After it goes into effect, the supplementary rule will 
be available for inspection in the Moab Field Office, and it will be 
announced broadly through the news media and direct mail to the 
constituents included on the Moab Field Office mailing list. It will 
also be posted on signs at main entry points to the affected areas.

III. Discussion of the Proposed Supplementary Rule

    The Moab Field Office proposes to ban roped activities in the 
vicinity of Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges. The prohibited activities 
would include, but not be limited to, ziplining, highlining, 
slacklining, traditional rock climbing, sport rock climbing, 
rappelling, and swinging, using equipment such as ropes, cables, 
climbing aids, webbing, or anchors. The proposed supplementary rule 
would affect 31 acres surrounding Corona Arch and 6.3 acres surrounding 
Gemini Bridges. The proposed supplementary rule is necessary for the 
protection of visitors and for the protection of the arches.

IV. Procedural Matters

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

    This proposed supplementary rule is not a significant regulatory 
action and is not subject to review by the Office of Management and 
Budget under Executive Order 12866. This proposed supplementary rule 
would not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy. 
It is not intended to affect commercial activity, but imposes a rule of 
conduct on recreational visitors for public safety and resource 
protection reasons in a limited area of public lands. This 
supplementary rule would not adversely affect, in a material way, the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities. This proposed supplementary rule would not create a 
serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or 
planned by another agency. This proposed supplementary rule does not 
materially alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the right or obligations of their recipients, 
nor does it raise novel legal or policy issues; it merely strives to 
protect public safety and the environment.

Clarity of the Rule

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations 
that are simple and easy to understand. The BLM invites comments on how 
to make this proposed supplementary rule easier to understand, 
including answers to questions such as the following:
    (1) Are the requirements in the proposed supplementary rule clearly 
stated?
    (2) Does the proposed supplementary rule contain technical language 
or jargon that interferes with their clarity?
    (3) Does the format of the proposed supplementary rule (grouping 
and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or 
reduce its clarity?
    (4) Would the proposed supplementary rule be easier to understand 
if it was divided into more (but shorter) sections?
    (5) Is the description of the proposed supplementary rule in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this preamble helpful to your 
understanding of the proposed supplementary rule? How could this 
description be more helpful in making the proposed supplementary rule 
easier to understand?
    Please send any comments you have on the clarity of the proposed 
supplementary rule to the address specified in the ADDRESSES section.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    A temporary restriction on roped activities was analyzed in 
Environmental Assessment (EA) DOI-BLM-UT-2014-0170-EA, Temporary 
Restriction of Roped Activities at Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges. This 
document was subject to a 30-day public comment period; it was signed 
on January 6, 2015. The permanent restriction on roped activities was 
analyzed in Environmental Assessment DOI-BLM-UT-2015-0227, Permanent 
Restriction of Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges to Roped Activities. This 
document was subject to a 30-day scoping period and a 30-day public 
comment period. The Decision Record was signed on May 5, 2016. The EA 
found that the proposed supplementary rule would not constitute a major 
Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment under Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C). The proposed 
supplementary rule merely contains rules of conduct for the BLM public 
lands administered by the Moab Field Office within a 31-acre area 
around Corona Arch and 6.3-acre area around Gemini Bridges. This rule 
is designed to protect the environment and public safety. A detailed 
impact statement under NEPA is not required. The BLM has placed the EA 
and the Finding of No Significant Impact on file in the BLM 
Administrative Record at the address specified in the ADDRESSES 
section.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Congress enacted the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 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 rule does not pertain 
specifically to commercial or governmental entities of any size, but to 
public recreational use of specific public lands. Therefore, the BLM 
has determined under the RFA that the proposed supplementary rule would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed supplementary rule would not constitute a ``major 
rule'' as defined at 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This proposed supplementary rule 
merely contains rules of conduct for recreational use of public lands. 
This proposed rule would not affect business, commercial, or industrial 
use of public lands.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This proposed supplementary rule would not pose an unfunded mandate 
on State, local, or tribal governments of more than $100 million per 
year; nor would it have a significant or unique effect on small 
governments. This proposed supplementary rule does not require anything 
of State, local, or tribal governments. 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.

[[Page 75368]]

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

    This proposed supplementary rule is not a government action capable 
of interfering with constitutionally protected property rights. This 
proposed supplementary rule does not address property rights in any 
form, and does not cause the impairment of anybody's property rights. 
Therefore, the BLM has determined that this proposed supplementary rule 
would not cause a taking of private property or require further 
discussion of takings implications under this Executive Order.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    This proposed supplementary rule would not have a substantial 
direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the Federal 
government and the states, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the 
BLM has determined that this proposed supplementary rule does 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 this 
proposed supplementary rule would not unduly burden the judicial system 
and that the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order are 
met. This supplementary rule contains rules of conduct for recreational 
use of certain public lands to protect public safety and the 
environment.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, the BLM has found that 
this proposed supplementary rule does not include policies that have 
tribal implications. This proposed supplementary rule does not affect 
lands held in trust for the benefit of Native American tribes, 
individual Indians, Aleuts, or others, nor does it affect 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.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed supplementary rule does not contain information 
collection requirements that the Office of Management and Budget must 
approve under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

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

    This proposed supplementary rule does not comprise a significant 
energy action. This proposed supplementary rule would not have an 
adverse effect on energy supplies, production, or consumption. It only 
addresses rules of conduct for recreational use of certain public lands 
to protect public safety and the environment, and has no connection 
with energy policy.

Author

    The principal author of the proposed supplementary rule is Beth 
Ransel, Field Manager for the Moab Field Office, Utah.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, and under the authority for 
supplementary rules at 43 U.S.C. 1740 and 43 CFR 8365.1-6, the Utah 
State Director, BLM, proposes to issue this supplementary rule for 
public lands managed by the BLM in Utah, to read as follows:

V. Proposed Supplementary Rule

Definitions

    Roped activities means activities that involve the use of ropes, 
cables, climbing aids, webbing, or anchors, and includes, but is not 
limited to, ziplining, highlining, slacklining, traditional rock 
climbing, sport rock climbing, rappelling, and swinging.

Prohibited Acts

    1. You must not participate in any roped activities on public lands 
in the vicinity of Corona Arch or Gemini Bridges. This prohibition 
includes, but is not limited to, the use of ropes, cables, climbing 
aids, webbing, anchors, and similar devices.
Exemptions
    The following persons are exempt from this supplementary rule: Any 
Federal, State, local government officer or employee in 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 this supplementary rule 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 Utah law.

Jenna Whitlock,
Bureau of Land Management, Acting State Director, Utah.
[FR Doc. 2016-26179 Filed 10-28-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-DQ-P