Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Documents pertinent to this plan amendment and associated EA may be examined at the La Jara Field Office.
This document provides notice that the BLM La Jara Field Office La Jara, Colorado, intends to prepare an RMP amendment and associated EA for the San Luis Valley Public Lands Center, announces the beginning of the scoping process, and seeks public input on issues and planning criteria. The EA will analyze the BLM proposal to amend the San Luis Resource Area (SLRA) Resource Management Plan (RMP) of September 1991, to expand the Blanca Wetlands Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and to analyze the terms, along with the compatibility and suitability, of three grazing allotments—one allotment within the Blanca Wetlands ACEC (Blanca allotment) and two allotments adjacent to the current ACEC (Lakes and Dry Lakes allotments). The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the process for amending the RMP. The RMP amendment and associated EA will specifically address resources in the project area that may be affected. The BLM welcomes public comments concerning the RMP amendment and associated EA and on the following proposed planning criteria:
1. The BLM intends to continue to manage the SLRA in accordance with FLPMA, (43 U.S.C. 1701.
2. The BLM intends to use a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional approach with local, state, tribal and Federal agencies to jointly determine the desired future condition of public lands and provide consistency with existing plans and policies to the extent that those plans and policies are consistent with Federal law governing the administration of public land.
3. The BLM intends to limit its RMP amendment to enlarging the Blanca Wetlands ACEC and analyzing the three range allotments (Lakes, Dry Lakes and Blanca).
4. The BLM intends to address the socioeconomic impacts of the alternatives.
5. The amendment process will follow the NEPA planning process and will include an EA. If a Finding of No Significant Impact cannot be reached, an EIS will follow.
At present, the BLM has identified the following preliminary issues concerning the RMP amendment and associated EA. The BLM welcomes public comments on potential issues in addition to those identified here:
1. Compatibility of grazing with wetland habitat and waterbird production;
2. Need for restoration and connectivity of wetland habitat;
3. Impacts to cultural resources;
4. Impacts to mineral resource production;
5. Potential for recreational development and conflicts in priorities between recreation and wildlife.
The BLM will use and coordinate the NEPA commenting process to help fulfill the public involvement process under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) as provided for in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). Native American tribal consultations will be conducted in accordance with policy, and tribal concerns will be given due consideration, including impacts on Indian trust assets. Federal, state and local agencies, and tribes—along with other stakeholders that may be interested or affected by the BLM's decision on this project—are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be contacted by the BLM to participate as a cooperating agency. 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
The BLM will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the RMP amendment in order to consider the resource issues and concerns identified during public scoping. The planning process will include specialists with expertise in rangeland management, minerals and geology, forestry, outdoor recreation, archaeology, botany, wildlife, fisheries, lands and realty, hydrology, soils, vegetation and fire.
40 CFR 1501.7 and 43 CFR 1610.2.