[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 160 (Friday, August 17, 2018)]
[Pages 41111-41112]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-17750]



Bureau of Land Management

[18X 1109AF LLUT930000 L16100000.DS0000.LXSSJ0650000]

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

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Canyon Country 
District Office, in coordination with the United States Forest Service 
(USFS), Manti-La Sal National Forest, has prepared Draft Monument 
Management Plans (MMPs) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for 
the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) Indian Creek and Shash 
J[aacute]a Units. By this Notice, the BLM is announcing the opening of 
the public comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the BENM Draft MMPs/Draft EIS within 90 days of the 
date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of 
Availability of the BENM Draft MMPs/Draft EIS in the Federal Register. 
The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public 
involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public 
notices, media releases and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the BENM Draft MMPs/EIS by either 
of these methods:

 Email: [email protected]
 Mail: BLM, Canyon Country District Office, 82 East Dogwood, 
Moab, Utah 84532, Attn: Lance Porter

    Copies of the BENM Draft MMPs/Draft EIS are available at the 
following locations:

 Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Office, 440 West 200 
South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah
 Bureau of Land Management, Monticello Field Office, 365 North 
Main, Monticello, Utah
 Bureau of Land Management, Canyon Country District Office, 82 
E Dogwood, Moab, Utah
 Manti-La-Sal National Forest, 559 West Price River Drive, 
Price, Utah

The BENM Draft MMPs/Draft EIS and accompanying background documents are 
available on the ePlanning website at: https://goo.gl/uLrEae.

Canyon Country District Office, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532, 
telephone 435-259-2100 or email [email protected]. 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. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a 
week, to leave a message or question for the above individual. You will 
receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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. The revised BENM 
boundary includes two units--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. The planning 
area is located entirely in San Juan County, Utah and encompasses 
169,289 acres of BLM-managed lands and 32,587 acres of National Forest 
System Lands. All of the National Forest System Lands are within the 
Shash J[aacute]a Unit.
    The BLM is the lead agency for the preparation of the EIS, and the 
Forest Service is participating as a cooperating agency.
    This planning effort is needed to identify goals, objectives, and 
management actions necessary for the conservation, protection, 
restoration, or enhancement of the resources, objects, and values 
identified in Proclamation 9558, as modified by Proclamation 9681. The 
BENM is jointly managed by the BLM and USFS under the Monticello 
Resource Management Plan (BLM 2008), as amended, and the Manti La-Sal 
Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP), as amended (USFS 1986). The 
MMPs would replace the existing Monticello RMP for the BLM-administered 
lands within the BENM, and would amend the existing Manti La-Sal LRMP 
for USFS-administered lands within the BENM.
    Each agency will continue to manage their lands within the monument 
pursuant to their respective applicable legal authorities. The 
responsible official for the BLM is the Utah State Director; the 
responsible official for the USFS is the Manti-La Sal Forest 
Supervisor. The USFS intends to use the BLM's EIS to make its decision 
for the part of the Shash J[aacute]a Unit MMP it administers. The USFS 
will use the BLM's administrative review procedures, as provided by the 
USFS 2012 Planning Rule, at 36 CFR 219.59(b).
    The BLM and USFS have reviewed public scoping comments to identify 
planning issues that directed the formulation of alternatives and 
framed the scope of analysis in the Draft MMPs/Draft EIS. Issues 
identified include management of cultural resources, including 
protection of American Indian sacred sites, traditional cultural 
properties, and access by members of Indian tribes for traditional 
cultural and customary uses; recreation and access; livestock grazing; 
and wildlife, water, vegetation, and soil resources. This planning 
effort also considers management of lands with wilderness 
    The Draft MMPs/Draft EIS evaluate four alternatives in detail. 
Alternative A is the No Action alternative, which is a continuation of 
existing decisions in the Monticello RMP and in the Manti-La Sal Forest 
Plan, to the extent that those decisions are compatible with the 
proclamations. Alternative B emphasizes resource protection and 
conservation. It is the alternative which imposes the greatest 
restrictions on recreation and other uses. The BLM and USFS would take 
a more active management approach to ensure that objects and values are 
conserved, protected and restored. Alternative C represents a balance 
among levels of restriction on recreation and other uses and emphasizes 
adaptive management to protect the long-term sustainability of Monument 
objects and values while providing for other multiple uses. Alternative 
D is the alternative with the least restrictive management 
prescriptions and utilizes a more passive management strategy, with the 
aim of minimizing the number of changes in the BENM. The agencies would 
focus on management actions that preserve objects and values but do not 
alter the existing character of the landscape or limit future agency 
    The BLM and USFS have identified Alternative D as the preferred

[[Page 41112]]

alternative for purposes of public comment and review. Identification 
of this alternative, however, does not represent final agency 
direction, and the Proposed MMPs/Final EIS may include management 
actions described in the other analyzed alternatives.
    BLM Utah and the USFS are soliciting comments on the entire Draft 
MMPs/Draft EIS. Please note that public comments and information 
submitted including names, street addresses, and email addresses of 
persons who submit comments will be available for public review and 
disclosure at addresses provided in the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through 
Friday, except 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 may 
request to withhold your personal identifying information from public 
review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, and 36 
CFR 219.59.

Edwin L. Roberson,
State Director.
[FR Doc. 2018-17750 Filed 8-16-18; 8:45 am]