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John Stewart

BLM Seeks Input on Revised Historic Preservation Agreement

The programmatic agreement was signed in 1997 between the BLM and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.  The agreement guides BLM’s planning and decision making as it affects historic properties as defined under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).  The law requires BLM to consider, plan for, protect, and enhance historic properties and other resources that may be affected by its actions.

Among other things, the draft revised programmatic agreement emphasizes the requirement for the BLM to consult with tribes in order to obtain their views on the potential effects of actions on resources of significance to tribes and  resolution of any adverse effects stemming from those actions.  The proposed revision requires tribal consultation on BLM-State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) protocols for alternative NHPA consultation among BLM and SHPOs under the agreement.  It also adds the BLM national tribal coordinator to the BLM Preservation Board that advises the BLM on policies and procedures for NHPA implementation.

“When examining proposals for activities on the public lands, we must be mindful of our unique relationship with the tribes and carefully consider their views and concerns,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “Through consultation and with a spirit of mutual respect and understanding, we can help preserve treasured resources on public lands for generations to come.”

Comments on the draft revised programmatic agreement are due November 1, 2010, and can be submitted electronically to Robin Burgess, Ph.D., BLM’s Preservation Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by mail to Richard C. Hanes, Ph.D., Division Chief of Cultural, Paleontological Resources and Tribal Consultation, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street, NW, (Mail Stop-204LS), Washington, DC, 20240.

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John Stewart

Clear Creek Management Area Comment Period Re-opened

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sky Murphy, BLM Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, California 95023, (831) 630-5039.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The original Notice of Availability provided for comments on the Draft RMP/Draft EIS to be received through March 5, 2010. The BLM is re-opening the comment period in response to and in light of the land use restrictions considered in the plan. Comments on the Draft RMP and EIS will now be accepted through April 19, 2010.

 

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John Stewart

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Plan for Imperial Sand Dunes

Daniel Steward, acting BLM's El Centro Field manager, said the RAMP/EIS outlines future management of public lands administered by BLM in the 160,000-acre Dunes located in eastern Imperial County. The public assisted BLM in identifying key land use issues in this area through a formal scoping process conducted in 2008.

The draft RAMP/EIS analyzes the environmental impacts of many land management issues, including recreation, renewable energy, and species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including the threatened Peirson's milk-vetch. A range of alternatives are analyzed in the RAMP/EIS, including closure of areas designated as critical habitat by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to off-highway vehicle use.

The BLM has scheduled the following public meetings:
Tuesday, April 13th – San Diego, CA
Handlery Hotel
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA  92108

Wednesday, April 14th – El Centro, CA
Imperial Irrigation District William R. Condit Meeting Room
1285 Broadway
El Centro, CA  92243

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John Stewart

Congress Considering New Public Lands Omnibus Bill

Now Congress is being asked to create another omnibus lands package. At a recent Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said “(There is a) need for us to come together hopefully with Congress and the administration perhaps in moving forward with a 2010 version of what we did in 2009,” referring to the 2009 omnibus bill.

Take Action - contact your Congressional representative through Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
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John Stewart

Draft Environmental Study Released for Palen Solar Project in Riverside County

(Mar 18, 2010) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) released a staff assessment (SA) for the proposed Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar Millennium (CESSM) Palen Solar Power Project in eastern Riverside County, Calif.

CESSM has requested a right-of-way (ROW) authorization to construct and operate the Palen solar-thermal power plants with an expected capacity of 242 megawatts (MW) using commercial solar parabolic-trough generating stations. Approximately 3,800 acres of BLM-administered public land are needed to develop the project.  The project site is 10 miles east of Desert Center, Calif. and a half mile north of Interstate 10. The facility would be constructed in two phases.

The joint DEIS/SA, which also includes a possible BLM land use plan amendment, is available online at http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solar_millennium_palen/documents/ or http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/alternative_energy.html.   An official 90-day comment period will begin upon publication of the notice of availability in the Federal Register by the Environmental Protection Agency expected shortly.  BLM and CEC will hold at least one joint public hearing or meeting on the project.  The exact date, time and location for the public hearing or meeting, as well as the end of the comment period, will be published on CEC and BLM websites and announced in local media.   The BLM and CEC will use the public comments received to prepare a Supplemental Staff Assessment and Final EIS, with separate agency decisions expected later in the year.

Comments addressed to BLM can be sent by e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by fax, (760) 833-7199, or in writing to Allison Shaffer, Project Manager, Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262. For further assistance, contact the BLM's Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office at (760) 833-7100.

--BLM--

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