Wednesday, 09 November 2016
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Notice of Intent To Prepare a Resource Management Plan for the Redding and Arcata Field Offices and an Associated Environmental Impact Statement, California

This document provides notice that the BLM intends to prepare an RMP with an associated EIS for the Redding and Arcata Field Offices, announces the beginning of the scoping process, and seeks public input on issues and planning criteria. The planning area is located in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Butte Counties, California, and encompasses 396,000 surface acres of public land and 299,000 subsurface (mineral) acres. The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including but not limited to alternatives and potential expanded or new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). Preliminary issues for the planning area have been identified by the BLM; Federal, State, and local agencies; and other stakeholders. The issues include: Recreation; Fish and Wildlife; Soil and Water; Forestry, Livestock Grazing; Wilderness; Cultural Resources; Vegetation; ACECs and how the RMP should address the Northwest Forest Plan (USDA/USDI 1994). Preliminary planning criteria include:

1. Opportunities for public participation, which will be encouraged throughout the planning process. Increased public participation, which will also be encouraged through pre-planning and alternatives outreach.

2. Valid existing rights will be recognized and protected.

3. The BLM will work cooperatively with State and Federal agencies, Tribes, and local governments.

4. Plans and policies of adjacent conservation system units, landowners, and local governments will be considered, and RMP decisions will be consistent to the degree reasonably practical.

5. The RMP will conform to the Bureau's H-1601-1 Land Use Planning Handbook, Appendix C, Program-Specific and Resource-Specific Decision Guidance and all applicable BLM manuals and handbooks.

6. The plan will be consistent with the standards and guidance set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Council on Environmental Quality, National Historic Preservation Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Minerals Leasing Act, Memorandum of Understanding Among the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regarding Air Quality Analyses and Mitigation for Federal Oil and Gas Decisions Through the National Environmental Policy Act Process, and other Federal laws, regulations and policies as required.

7. Designations for off-highway vehicles for all BLM-managed lands within the planning area will be completed according to the regulations found in 43 CFR 8342.

8. Visitor and community assessments will be conducted in compliance with the Recreation and Visitor Services Handbook to determine recreational demand and user preferences.

9. Current and potentially new special management areas, such as ACECs and Research Natural Areas (RNAs) will be considered using the criteria found in 43 CFR 1610.7-2.

10. Review and classification of waterways as eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River (WSR) System will follow the guidance found in BLM's 6400 Manual. The BLM will review and update existing eligibility and classification inventories and make determinations on suitability or non-suitability of all eligible segments as potential additions to the National WSR System.

11. BLM will incorporate Environmental Justice (EJ) considerations in land use planning alternatives to adequately respond to EJ issues facing minority populations, low-income communities, and Native American tribes living near public lands and using public land resources.

12. The Environmental Justice analysis will employ guidance provided in H-1601-1, Appendix D, Social Science Considerations in Land Use Planning Decisions.

13. All BLM-managed lands in the planning area will be assessed for wilderness characteristics using criteria established by BLM Manual 6310. The RMP will examine options for managing lands with wilderness characteristics and determine the most appropriate land use allocations for these lands. Considering wilderness characteristics in the land use planning process may result in several outcomes, including, but not limited to: (1) Emphasizing other multiple uses as a priority over protecting wilderness characteristics; (2) emphasizing other multiple uses while applying management restrictions (conditions of use, mitigation measures) to reduce impacts to wilderness characteristics; (3) the protection of wilderness characteristics as a priority over other uses.

14. The RMP will incorporate by reference the BLM's 1998 Rangeland Health Standards and Guidelines for California and Northwestern Nevada Final EIS, Sacramento, CA.

15. Where appropriate and applicable, adaptive management principles will be incorporated as described in the Department of Interior Departmental Manual, Part 522, Chapter 1 (522 DM 1). Also as described in the Manual, “Adaptive Management: The U.S. Department of the Interior Technical Guide” (Williams, 2007) will be used as the technical basis for implementing adaptive management programs.

16. Consultation with Native American tribes will be initiated to identify and discuss management options for any sacred sites located on BLM lands within the decision area.

17. Visual resource management (VRM) classes were established as management objectives for some properties determined eligible as ACECs in the 1992/1993 RMPs. This plan will expand upon the existing designations to provide a comprehensive visual resource inventory for lands that were not included in the ACEC evaluation areas and designate VRM Classes to all BLM lands within the planning area.

18. Information will be collected to identify areas where paleontological resources are likely to occur. This will establish a baseline for future compliance with the 2009 Paleontological Resources Preservation Act.

19. Wildlife habitat management will be consistent with DOI guidance and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife objectives.

20. The RMP will allocate lands as open or closed to geothermal leasing and adopt stipulations, leasing procedures, and best management practices as described in the “Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan Amendments for Geothermal Leasing in the Western US” (Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management, December 2008).

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