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John Stewart

Northern Arizona Scoping Report Released

The purpose of scoping is to provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn about the proposed action and to provide comments on issues and concerns. A total of 83,525 submittals containing 8,600 distinct comments were received. Information gathered by the BLM through the scoping process will be used in developing the EIS. Comments will be used to help identify a range of alternatives, as well as to identify issues and concerns to be considered in the EIS.

On July 21, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a decision to segregate nearly 1 million acres of federal lands in the Arizona Strip for two years while the Department evaluates whether to withdraw these lands from new mining claims for an additional 20 years. The lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, are within portions of the Grand Canyon watershed and contain significant environmental and cultural resources as well as substantial uranium deposits.

The scoping report EIS can be viewed here (5.5M). A summary of the scoping comments are available in this newsletter.

The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands. --BLM--

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John Stewart

Notice of Availability of Travel Map, Challis Field Office, Idaho

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.-----------------------------------------------------------------------SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of a travel management map depicting designated roads, vehicle ways and trails on public lands managed by the BLM Challis Field Office, Idaho. The map describes seasonal closure areas and trails and the daytime use restriction at the Challis Bridge Recreation Site in Idaho.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM Challis Field Office manages nearly 800,000 acres of public lands, principally in Custer County, Idaho. The Challis Field Office completed its Resource Management Plan (RMP) in 1999. This RMP recommended that the Field Office complete a Travel Management Plan to administer all aspects of motorized and non-motorized travel in the field office. The Challis Travel Management Plan was approved in June of 2008.ADDRESSES: Copies of the map are available to the public by contacting the BLM Challis Field Office, 1151 Blue Mountain Road, Challis, Idaho 83226; by telephone at (208) 879-6200; or on the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/fo/challis.html.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact David Rosenkrance, Field Manager, at the Challis Field Office at the address and phone number listed above. Dated: January 19, 2010.

 

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John Stewart

Review of Proposed Renewable Energy Plan Started

The DRECP will identify conservation zones and energy zones.  It will be developed in order to expedite permitting of jurisdictional renewable energy facilities.  It will provide for the conservation and management of identified species in the California desert through the establishment of conservation zones and energy zones.

The goal of the DRECP is to provide for the conservation and management of identified species.  The plan will facilitate the implementation of measures that will contribute to the recovery of these species.

BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the site-specific impacts of the proposed plan and a proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.

Publication of the NOI initiates a public scoping period of 30 days, ending December 21, 2009.  During the scoping period, BLM solicits public comment on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action.  A joint agency public scoping meeting will be held and details will be announced shortly.  BLM will use the public scoping comments received to prepare the draft environmental documents for future public review.

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John Stewart

BLM Challis Travel Management Maps Available

CHALLIS, ID (Oct 23, 2009) – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Challis Field Office travel maps are available at BLM offices (Challis and Salmon), Eastern Idaho Visitor Center (Idaho Falls), Idaho Fish & Game Office (Idaho Falls), Rexburg Motor Sports, Action Motor Sports and various locations in Challis. These maps are free to the public and depict seasonal closures areas and approved motorized trails.

The BLM would also like to remind the public that starting October 1 through December 31, the following areas are closed to motorized use in order to provide a non-motorized hunting experience and preserve wilderness values:

Jerry Peak West Wilderness Study AreaJerry Peak Wilderness Study Area (except North Fork of Sage Creek Road)Corral Horse Basin Wilderness Study AreaBurnt Creek Wilderness Study Area (except Burnt Creek Road)Goldberg Wilderness Study Area

“This is the first year for implementation of this portion of our travel management plan, and we are hopeful that it will provide hunters with a large block of public lands where they can enjoy a non-motorized hunting opportunity,” said Jeff Christenson, BLM Challis Field Office Outdoor Recreation Planner. “Hunts spoiled by inappropriate OHV use have been the single largest source of complaints I get each hunting season.”

For more information, please contact the BLM Challis Field Office at 208-879-6200 or the Eastern Idaho Visitor Center at 208-523-1012.

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John Stewart

BLM Offer Reward for Illegal Dumping Information

Salt Lake City, Utah (Oct 14, 2009) — The Bureau of Land Management Utah, West Desert District is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the party responsible for illegally dumping 18 television and computer monitors and large pieces of furniture on BLM-administered lands in Tooele County.

The dumping occurred approximately 1 ½ miles south of I-80, Exit 77 in the Timpie Point area of Skull Valley.  BLM Utah law enforcement officers believe the dumping occurred between Sept. 24 and Oct. 11, 2009.  Additionally, the quantity and size of the items dumped suggest that more than one vehicle was involved.

Due to the toxicity of leaded glass, the television and computer monitors pose serious health hazards to both humans and the environment.  The total clean-up costs for the illegal dumping could be as much as $5,000.

The BLM is urging anyone who might have witnessed the illegal dumping or who might have information on the identity of the responsible party to contact BLM Ranger Randy Griffin at (801) 977-4314.

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