[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 34 (Thursday, February 20, 2020)]
[Pages 9800-9801]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03375]



Forest Service


Bureau of Land Management

[20X 1109AF LLUT930000 L16100000.DR0000.LXSSJ0650000]

Notice of Availability of the Records of Decision and Approved 
Monument Management Plans for the Bears Ears National Monument Indian 
Creek and Shash J[aacute]a Units, Utah

AGENCY:  Bureau of Land Management, Interior; and Forest Service, USDA.


Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Canyon Country District 
Office and United States Forest Service (USFS) Manti-La Sal National 
Forest announce the availability of the Records of Decision (RODs) for 
the Approved Monument Management Plans (MMPs) for the Bears Ears 
National Monument (BENM) Indian Creek and Shash J[aacute]a Units.

DATES: The Acting BLM State Director signed the ROD on February 6, 
2020, which constitutes the final decision of the BLM and made the 
Approved MMPs take effect immediately. The Forest Supervisor for the 
USFS Manti-La Sal National Forest also signed the ROD for an amendment 
to the Manti-La Sal National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan 
(Forest Plan) on February 6, 2020. The Manti-La Sal's Forest Plan 
amendment for the Monument Management Plan for the Bears Ears National 
Monument, Shash J[aacute]a Unit takes effect on March 23, 2020.

ADDRESSES: The RODs are available on the BLM ePlanning project website 
at https://go.usa.gov/xVjXQ. Click the ``Documents and Report'' link on 
the left side of the screen to find the electronic versions of these 
materials. Hard copies of the BLM ROD are available for public 
inspection at the Canyon Country District Office, 82 East Dogwood, 
Moab, Utah 84532, and Monticello Field Office, 365 North Main, 
Monticello, Utah 84535. Hard copies of the USFS ROD are available for 
public inspection at the Manti-La Sal National Forest, 599 West Price 
River Drive, Price, Utah 84501 and Monticello Ranger District, 496 East 
Central, P.O. Box 820, Monticello, Utah 84535.

Monticello Field Office, 365 North Main, P.O. Box 7, Monticello, Utah 
84535; by telephone, (435) 587-1500; or

[[Page 9801]]

by email, [email protected]. USFS: Kyle Beagley, Forest Planner, 
Supervisors Office, 599 West Price River Drive, Price, Utah 84501; by 
telephone, (435) 636-3504; or by email, [email protected]. Persons 
who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal 
Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individuals 
during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 
days a week, to leave a message or question. You will receive a reply 
during normal business hours.

BENM Indian Creek (BLM) and Shash J[aacute]a Units (BLM and USFS) 
identify goals, objectives, and management actions necessary for the 
proper care and management of the Monument objects and values on BLM- 
and USFS-administered lands identified in Proclamation 9558, as 
modified by Proclamation 9681. The BLM manages all 71,896 acres in the 
Indian Creek Unit, and 97,393 acres in the Shash J[aacute]a Unit. The 
BLM's ROD/Approved MMPs amend the existing BLM Monticello Resource 
Management Plan (RMP) to remove the BENM from the Monticello RMP 
Decision Area and would replace the management from the Monticello RMP 
for the BLM-administered lands within the Monument. The USFS manages 
32,587 acres in the Shash J[aacute]a Unit and has issued a ROD amending 
the Forest Plan for the purpose of ensuring proper care and management 
of the ``object[s] of antiquity'' and ``objects of historic or 
scientific interest'' of the National Forest System lands in the Shash 
J[aacute]a unit per the Approved MMPs.
    The BLM, as the lead agency, and USFS, as a cooperating agency, 
developed the Approved MMPs in coordination with cooperating agencies, 
and using input from the public, stakeholder groups, State and local 
government entities, American Indian Tribes, and the BENM Advisory 
Committee. These plans provide for the proper care and management of 
the Monument's objects and values while allowing for multiple uses, 
including recreational uses. The BLM and USFS will continue to manage 
lands within the Monument pursuant to applicable legal authorities.
    The BLM and USFS prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze the 
direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts associated with 
the proposed action and the alternatives. Additionally, the agencies 
consulted with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to 
meet the requirements in Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 
A Biological Opinion issued by the USFWS on September 23, 2019, 
determined that the Approved MMPs are not likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of the species consulted on and are not likely to 
destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat. The agencies 
also consulted with the Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) 
and consulting parties as part of the Section 106 review process under 
the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which resulted in a 
finding of no adverse effect to historic properties. The SHPO concurred 
with this finding, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 
subsequently determined that the BLM's no adverse effect finding was 
reasonable and adequately supported.
    The formal public scoping process for the MMPs and EIS began on 
January 16, 2018, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the 
Federal Register (83 FR 2181). On April 10, 2018, the USFS published a 
notice in the Federal Register (83 FR 15354) to identify potentially 
applicable planning rule provisions for the Forest Plan amendment and 
inform the public of the USFS's intent to adopt the BLM's EIS. The 
Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft MMPs/EIS was published on 
August 17, 2018 (83 FR 41111), which initiated a 90-day public comment 
    On July 26, 2019, the BLM published the NOA for the Proposed MMPs/
Final EIS (84 FR 36118), initiating a 30-day protest period and a 
concurrent 60-day Governor's Consistency Review. In accordance with 36 
CFR 219.59, the USFS waived its objections procedures and adopted the 
BLM's protest procedures. During the protest period for the Proposed 
MMPs, the BLM received 35,934 protest letters. All protests were 
resolved prior to the issuance of the RODs. For a full description of 
the issues raised during the protest period and how they were 
addressed, please refer to the BLM Protest Resolution Report, which is 
available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/public-participation/protest-resolution-reports. The Governor of Utah 
reviewed the Proposed MMPs/Final EIS to identify any inconsistencies 
with State or local plans, policies, or programs; the BLM and USFS 
addressed the Governor's input in the RODs/Approved MMPs. Finally, in 
compliance with the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and 
Recreation Act of 2019, the NOA for the Proposed MMPs/Final EIS 
announced a 60-day public comment period regarding the proposed closure 
of recreational target shooting at campgrounds, developed recreation 
sites, rock writing, and structural cultural sites within the BENM. 
After the protest period, target shooting comment period, government-
to-government consultation, Section 106 (NHPA) and Section 7 (ESA) 
consultation, and Governor's consistency review, the BLM and USFS made 
minor modifications to the management actions in the Approved MMPs to 
clarify management actions. All of the changes are described in the 
Modifications and Clarifications (Section 3.1.2) of the ROD.

(Authority: 36 CFR 219.13, 36 CFR 219.16, 36 CFR 219.17, 40 CFR 
1506.6 40 CFR 1506.10 and 43 CFR 1610.2)

Anita Bilbao,
Acting BLM State Director.
Ryan Nehl,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2020-03375 Filed 2-19-20; 8:45 am]