[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 16, 2018)]
[Pages 2181-2183]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00520]



Bureau of Land Management

[18X LLUTY00000 L16100000.XZ0000]

Notice of Intent To Prepare Monument Management Plans for the 
Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek and Shash J[aacute]a Units 
and Associated Environmental Impact Statement, Utah

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended (FLPMA), the National Forest Management Act of 1976, 
as amended (NFMA), and Presidential Proclamation 9558 as modified by 
Presidential Proclamation 9681, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
Canyon Country District Office, Moab, Utah intends to prepare a 
Monument Management Plan (MMP) for the Bears Ears National Monument 
Indian Creek Unit, and intends to jointly prepare, with the Manti La-
Sal National Forest (USFS), Price, Utah, a MMP for the Shash J[aacute]a 
Unit. The BLM and USFS, which is a co-manager of the Shash J[aacute]a 
Unit, will prepare a single Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to 
satisfy the NEPA requirements for this planning process. By this 
Notice, the BLM announces the beginning of the scoping process to 
solicit public

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comments and identify issues. These MMPs may replace portions of the 
existing Monticello Field Office Record of Decision and Approved 
Resource Management Plan, as amended, and Manti- La Sal National Forest 

DATES: This Notice initiates the public scoping process for separate 
MMPs for each monument unit with an associated combined 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 
website at: https://www.blm.gov/utah. In order to be included in the 
Draft EIS, all comments must be received prior to March 19, 2018 or 15 
days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. We will provide 
additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of 
the Draft EIS.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria 
related to the planning process by any of the following methods:

 Website: Bears Ears National Monument: https://goo.gl/uLrEae
 Mail: 365 North Main, P.O. Box 7, Monticello, UT 84535

    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the BLM 
Canyon Country District or Monticello Field Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lance Porter, District Manager, 
telephone (435) 259-2100; address 365 North Main, P.O. Box 7, 
Monticello, UT 84535; email [email protected]. 
Contact Mr. Porter to add your name to our mailing list. Persons who 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual 
during normal business hours. FRS 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: This document provides notice that the BLM 
Canyon Country District Office, Moab, Utah, intends to prepare an MMP 
for the Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek Unit, and jointly 
prepare an MMP with the Manti La-Sal National Forest, Price, Utah, for 
the Shash J[aacute]a Unit, as well as an associated EIS. The BLM 
announces the beginning of the scoping process, and seeks public input 
on issues and planning criteria. The planning area is located in San 
Juan County, Utah and encompasses approximately 169,289 acres of BLM-
managed lands and 32,587 acres of National Forest System Lands.
    On December 4, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Proclamation 
9681 modifying the Bears Ears National Monument designated by 
Proclamation 9558 to exclude from its designation and reservation 
approximately 1,150,860 acres of land, which lands are not covered by 
this Notice of Intent and will continue to be managed under the 
governing Monticello Record of Decision and Approved Resource 
Management Plan and Manti La-Sal National Forest Plan until they are 
otherwise revised or amended. The revised BENM boundary includes two 
units known as the Shash J[aacute]a and Indian Creek Units that are 
reserved for the care and management of the objects of historic and 
scientific interest within their boundaries. Proclamation 9558, as 
modified by Proclamation 9681, requires the BLM and the USFS to jointly 
develop a MMP. Each agency will continue to manage their lands within 
the monument pursuant to their respective applicable legal authorities.
    To ensure that management decisions reflect tribal expertise and 
traditional and historical knowledge, Proclamation 9558, signed on 
December 28, 2016, established a Bears Ears Commission to provide 
guidance and recommendations on the development and implementation of a 
management plan for the Bears Ears National Monument. Proclamation 9681 
modifies Proclamation 9558 and clarifies that the Bears Ears Commission 
shall be known as the Shash J[aacute]a Commission, and shall apply only 
to the Shash J[aacute]a Unit. The Commission consists of one elected 
officer each from the Hopi Nation, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute 
Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, and Zuni Tribe, designated 
by the officers' respective tribes, and the elected officer of the San 
Juan County Commission representing District 3 acting in that officer's 
official capacity.
    The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant 
issues that will inform the scope of the environmental analysis, 
including alternatives, and guide the planning process. Preliminary 
issues for the planning area have been identified by BLM and USFS 
personnel; Federal, State, and local agencies; and other stakeholders. 
These preliminary issues include cultural and historic resources, 
including protection of Indian sacred sites and traditional cultural 
properties; paleontological resources; travel management; livestock 
grazing; wildlife; vegetation and fire management; outdoor recreation; 
and other resource management.
    Preliminary planning criteria include:
    (1) The public planning process for the MMPs will be guided by 
Proclamation 9558 as modified by Proclamation 9681 in addition to 
FLPMA, NFMA, and NEPA. (2) The BLM and USFS will use current scientific 
information, research, technologies, and results of inventory, 
monitoring, and coordination to determine appropriate management. (3) 
The BLM and USFS will strive to coordinate management decisions with 
other adjoining planning jurisdictions, both Federal and non-Federal. 
(4) Decisions made in the planning process will only apply to BLM-
managed lands, National Forest System Lands, and, where appropriate, 
split-estate lands where the subsurface mineral estate is managed by 
the BLM. (6) Existing Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) will continue to be 
managed to prevent impairment and ensure continued suitability for 
designation as wilderness. Should Congress release all or part of a WSA 
from wilderness study, resource management will be determined by 
preparing an amendment to the MMP. (7) The BLM will consider changes to 
the off-highway vehicle (OHV) area designations approved through the 
Monticello Field Office Record of Decision and Approved Resource 
Management Plan. (8) As required by the Proclamations, the BLM and USFS 
will meaningfully engage with the Shash J[aacute]a Commission and will 
carefully and fully consider integrating the traditional and historical 
knowledge and special expertise of the Commission for the Shash 
J[aacute]a Unit. The BLM and USFS will also work with the Commission to 
identify parameters for continued meaningful engagement that will be 
set forth in the MMP.
    You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria in writing 
to the BLM at any public scoping meeting, or you may submit them to the 
BLM using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section above. To 
be most helpful, and to ensure inclusion in the Draft EIS, you should 
submit comments prior to the close of the 60-day scoping period or 15 
days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. 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 BLM and 
USFS will evaluate

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identified issues to be addressed in the plans, and will place them 
into one of three categories:
    1. Issues to be resolved in the plans;
    2. Issues to be resolved through policy or administrative action; 
    3. Issues beyond the scope of these plans.
    The BLM and USFS will provide an explanation in the Draft MMPs/
Draft EIS as to why an issue was placed in category two or three. The 
public is also encouraged to help identify any management questions and 
concerns that should be addressed in the plans.
    The BLM and USFS will work collaboratively with interested parties 
to identify the management decisions that are best suited to local, 
regional, and national needs and concerns.
    The BLM and USFS 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 USFS in identifying and evaluating impacts to such 
    The BLM and USFS will consult with Indian tribes on a government-
to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other 
policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and 
potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given full 
consideration consistent with these authorities and policies. Federal, 
State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders 
that may be interested in or affected by the proposed action that the 
BLM and USFS are evaluating, are invited to participate in the scoping 
process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM and 
USFS to participate in the development of the environmental analysis as 
a cooperating agency.
    The BLM and USFS will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop 
the plans in order to consider the variety of resource issues and 
concerns identified. Specialists with expertise in the following 
disciplines will be involved in the planning process: Rangeland 
management, minerals and geology, forestry, outdoor recreation, 
archaeology, paleontology, wildlife and fisheries, lands and realty, 
hydrology, soils, sociology, and economics.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7, 43 CFR 1610.2.

Edwin L. Roberson,
State Director.
[FR Doc. 2018-00520 Filed 1-12-18; 8:45 am]