[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 207 (Friday, October 29, 2021)]
[Pages 60065-60066]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-23591]

[[Page 60065]]



Bureau of Indian Affairs


Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Navajo 
Nation Integrated Weed Management Plan, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) as the lead Federal agency, with the Navajo Nation as a 
cooperating agency, intends to file a Draft Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement (DPEIS) with the Environmental Protection Agency for 
the proposed Navajo Nation Integrated Weed Management Plan (NNIWMP). 
This notice also announces that the DPEIS is now available for public 
review and comment and that a public hearing will be held to receive 
comments on the DPEIS.

DATES: To be fully considered, written comments on the DEIS must arrive 
no later than 45 days after EPA publishes its Notice of Availability in 
the Federal Register. The dates and times of the virtual public 
hearings will be published in the Navajo Times, the Gallup Sun, 
Farmington Daily Times, the Gallup Independent, and the Navajo-Hopi 

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Leonard Notah, NEPA 
Coordinator, Navajo Regional Office, Branch of Environmental Quality 
Compliance and Review, P.O. Box 1060, Gallup City, New Mexico 87301 or 
by email to [email protected]. The locations of the virtual public 
hearings will be published in the Navajo Times, the Gallup Sun, 
Farmington Daily Times, the Gallup Independent, and the Navajo-Hopi 
Observer. The NNIWMP DPEIS is available for review at: https://www.bia.gov/regional-offices/navajo/navajo-nation-integrated-weed-management-plan. Please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this notice for physical locations where the DPEIS is available and for 
information on how to register to participate in the virtual public 

Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Regional Office, Branch of 
Environmental Quality Compliance and Review, P.O. Box 1060, Gallup 
City, New Mexico 87301, telephone (505) 863-8256, email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed Federal action is 
implementation of the NNIWMP. The BIA Navajo Regional Office prepared 
the NNIWMP to determine the most effective and appropriate methods to 
treat noxious and invasive weeds. The DPEIS discloses the direct, 
indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of weed treatment 
techniques that would result from the Proposed Action and alternatives. 
The weed treatment techniques provide the BIA with the tools to 
implement an integrated approach to treating weeds on the Navajo Nation 
(Navajo Tribal Trust Lands, Navajo Indian Allotments, and Navajo 
Partitioned Lands).
    The purpose of the NNIWMP is to prevent, eradicate, contain, and/or 
monitor 45 noxious weed species on the Navajo Nation including the 
Navajo Tribal trust lands, Navajo Indian allotments, and Navajo 
partitioned lands. The NNIWMP focuses on managing non-native invasive 
plant species using mechanical, manual, cultural, biological, and 
chemical weed treatment methods.
    The following objectives were developed for the NNIWMP:
     Develop the best control techniques described for the 
target weed species in a planned, coordinated, and economically 
feasible program to limit the impact and spread of noxious and invasive 
     Incorporate project successes and lessons learned from 
completed weed projects on the Navajo Nation when developing weed 
removal project proposals through adaptive management;
     Identify and prevent the expansion of existing 
infestations of target weed species, and quickly prevent the spread of 
new high priority weed species in the project area;
     Coordinate weed removal efforts with adjacent landowners, 
land managers, and/or Federal agencies to prevent the further spread of 
weed populations (e.g. State roads and Bureau of Land Management);
     Provide and promote economic opportunities to the Navajo 
people by improving rangeland productivity and potentially providing 
economic opportunities to remove noxious plant species; and
     Develop a public education program focusing on weed 
identification, prevention, and removal techniques for local 
communities and non-profit organizations.
    The NNWIMP encompasses a 10-year period but will incorporate a plan 
review after five years. Repeated treatments will be necessary for most 
species since seeds can be viable in soil for 10 or more years. 
Therefore, re-occurring weed treatments will be implemented until the 
desired management goal is reached.
    Cooperating agencies for this NEPA process include: The Navajo 
Nation, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Utah Department of 
Transportation (UDOT), Navajo Nation Soil and Water Conservation 
Districts (SWCD), San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service 
(NRCS), the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) and the National Park Service. The BIA will 
seek to coordinate weed removal projects on adjacent lands managed by 
the above-mentioned agencies and neighboring areas managed by the 
Coconino National Forest and the Hopi Tribe.
    BIA will use the DPEIS to make decisions on the implementation of 
    Directions for Submitting Comments: In accordance with the 
regulations for implementing NEPA, the BIA solicits public comment on 
the DPEIS. Comments on the DPEIS may be submitted in writing or by 
email to the address listed above in the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice. At the top of your letter or in the subject line of your email 
message, indicate that the comments are ``Navajo Nation IWMP Draft EIS 
    Public Hearings: To help protect the public and limit the spread of 
the COVID-19 virus, the BIA Navajo Regional Office will hold five 
virtual public hearings to facilitate public review and comment on the 
DPEIS. Members of the public can register for virtual public hearings 
at: https://www.bia.gov/regional-offices/navajo/navajo-nation-integrated-weed-management-plan.
    After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email 
with instruction for joining the meeting.
    Locations Where the DPEIS is Available for Review: The NNIWMP DPEIS 
is available for review at: https://www.bia.gov/regional-offices/navajo/navajo-nation-integrated-weed-management-plan. Paper and CD 
copies of the DPEIS may also be available to the public at the 
following BIA Offices (Natural Resources):
     Navajo Region, 301 West Hill Street, Room 214, Gallup, New 
Mexico 87301: Phone (505) 863-8314.
     Western Navajo Agency, East Highway 160 & Warrior Drive, 

[[Page 60066]]

Federal Building, Tuba City, Arizona, 86045; Phone: (928) 283-2252.
     Chinle (Central) Navajo Agency, U.S. Highway 191 & Navajo 
Route 7, Federal Building #136C, Room C-12, Chinle, Arizona 86503; 
Phone: (928) 674-5100.
     Eastern Navajo Agency, Building #222, Chaco Boulevard, 
Crownpoint, New Mexico, 87313; Phone: (505) 786-6100.
     Fort Defiance Agency, Kit Carson Drive, Building #40, Fort 
Defiance, Arizona, 86504; Phone: (928) 729-7223.
     Shiprock (Northern) Navajo Agency, Nataani Nez Complex, 
2nd Floor, Highway 491 South, Shiprock, New Mexico, 87420; Phone: (505) 
     Navajo Partitioned Lands, \1/4\ mile South of Navajo Route 
4 & Main, Pinon, Arizona, 86510; Phone: (928) 725-3343.
    Public Comment Availability: All submissions from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be 
available for public review to the extent consistent with applicable 
law. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware your 
entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be 
publicly available at any time. You can request the BIA to withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, but we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments submitted anonymously 
will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous 
comments may not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.
    To be placed on the mailing list for future information, please see 
    Authority: This notice is published in accordance with section 
1503.1 of the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1500 
et seq.) and the Department of the Interior Regulations (43 CFR part 
46) implementing the procedural requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq), and in accordance 
with the exercise of authority delegated to the Principal Deputy 
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs by part 209 of the Department 

Bryan Newland,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2021-23591 Filed 10-28-21; 8:45 am]