[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 34 (Thursday, February 20, 2020)]
[Pages 9802-9803]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03395]



Bureau of Land Management

[20X 1109AF LLUTP00000 L16100000.DR0000.LXSSJ0640000]

Notice of Availability of the Records of Decision and Approved 
Resource Management Plans for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National 
Monument and Kanab-Escalante Planning Area

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Paria River District 
Office announces the availability of the Records of Decision (RODs) for 
the Approved Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for the Grand Staircase, 
Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyons units of the Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument (GSENM) and the Federal lands excluded from 
the GSENM by Proclamation 9682, now identified as the Kanab-Escalante 
Planning Area (KEPA). The Department of the Interior (DOI) Acting 
Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Casey Hammond, 
signed the RODs on January 31, 2020, which constituted the final 
decision of the DOI and made the Approved RMPs and two implementation-
level route designations in GSENM effective immediately. The GSENM RMPs 
replace the GSENM Monument Management Plan (MMP) from 2000 for public 
lands within the GSENM boundary. The KEPA RMP replaces the 2000 GSENM 
MMP for public lands excluded from the monument boundary by 
Proclamation 9682.

ADDRESSES: The RODs are available on the BLM ePlanning project website 
at https://go.usa.gov/xVCGJ. Click the ``Documents & Reports'' link on 
the left side of the screen to find the electronic versions of these 
materials. Hard copies of the RODs are available for public inspection 
at the Kanab Visitor Center, 74 East Highway 89, Kanab, Utah 84741.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Harry Barber, Paria River District 
Manager, 669 S Hwy. 89A, Kanab, Utah 84741, phone (435) 644-1200 or 

[[Page 9803]]

[email protected]. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to 
leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is 
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided 
during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In conjunction with cooperating agencies, 
and using input provided by the public, stakeholder groups, State and 
local government entities, American Indian Tribes, and the Utah 
Resource Advisory Council, the BLM developed the Approved RMPs for the 
GSENM and the KEPA.
    The GSENM includes three units: The 209,993-acre Grand Staircase 
Unit, the 551,034-acre Kaiparowits Unit, and the 242,836-acre Escalante 
Canyons Unit. The BLM's Approved RMPs for the Grand Staircase, 
Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyons units of the GSENM identify goals, 
objectives, and management actions necessary for the proper care and 
management of the objects and values identified in Proclamation 6920, 
as modified by Proclamation 9682, while allowing for other appropriate 
uses, such as the ongoing management of recreation, grazing, and 
scientific research.
    The KEPA encompasses 861,974 acres of public lands. The Approved 
RMP for the KEPA manages those lands for multiple use and sustained 
yield, including resource protection, consistent with the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-579), as amended. This 
plan allows for the future consideration of mineral leasing and 
development, balances off-highway vehicle travel with other resource 
uses, and makes public lands available for grazing while protecting 
natural and heritage resources.
    The BLM, along with cooperating agencies, prepared an Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act for the GSENM and KEPA RMPs to analyze the direct, indirect, 
and cumulative environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
action and the alternatives.
    In the future, the National Park Service (NPS), who cooperated with 
the BLM on preparation of the NEPA analysis, may adopt the EIS and 
prepare a separate decision related to livestock grazing for lands 
within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that are administered 
by the NPS. The RODs and Approved RMPs do not change management for the 
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
    The BLM consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
to meet the requirements of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA). The USFWS issued a Biological Opinion on November 1, 2019 that 
determined that the Approved RMPs 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 BLM also consulted with the Utah State Historic Preservation 
Office (SHPO) to meet the requirements of Section 106 consultation 
under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The SHPO concurred 
with BLM's finding of no adverse effect to cultural resources, as 
outlined in a letter dated September 6, 2019.
    The formal public scoping process for the RMPs and EIS began on 
January 16, 2018, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the 
Federal Register (83 FR 2181). The Notice of Availability (NOA) for the 
Draft RMPs/EIS was published on August 17, 2018, and initiated a 90-day 
public comment period. A revised document was released and a Notice of 
Error was published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2018. The 
public comment period was extended for an additional 15 days and ended 
on November 30, 2018.
    On August 23, 2019, the BLM published a NOA for the Proposed RMPs/
Final EIS, initiating a 30-day protest period, a 60-day Governor's 
consistency review, and 60-day public comment period for certain 
recreational shooting closures under the John D. Dingell, Jr. 
Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019. During the 
initial protest period for the Proposed RMPs, the BLM became aware of a 
portion of public comments submitted on the Draft EIS that were not 
incorporated into the Proposed RMPs/Final EIS. The BLM updated the 
Proposed RMPs/EIS and issued a notice of error in the Federal Register 
on October 18, 2019, which re-opened public protest period for an 
additional 30 days. In total, the BLM received 431 protest submissions. 
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 RMPs/Final EIS to identify inconsistencies 
with State or local plans, policies, or programs; the BLM addressed the 
Governor's input in the RODs/Approved RMPs. As a result of internal 
review, 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 made minor 
modifications to the Approved RMPs to clarify management actions. All 
changes are described in the Modifications and Clarifications (Sections 
3.1.2) of the GSENM and KEPA RODs, respectively.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 40 CFR 1506.10 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Casey Hammond,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management.
[FR Doc. 2020-03395 Filed 2-19-20; 8:45 am]