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Notice of Intent To Amend the California Desert Conservation Area Plan and Prepare an Associated Environmental Assessment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Bureau of Land Management, Interior.




In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Needles Field Office, Needles, California intends to prepare an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan with an associated Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the sale of approximately 133 acres of public land and by this notice is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues.


This notice initiates the public scoping process for the CDCA Plan amendment with associated EA. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until February 22, 2013. The BLM does not plan to hold any scoping meetings for this plan amendment. In order to be included in the analysis, all comments must be received prior to the close of the 30-day scoping period. We will provide additional opportunities for public participation as appropriate.


You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria related to the CDCA Plan amendment and associated EA by any of the following methods:

  • Email:
  • Fax: 760-326-7099.
  • Mail: Raymond Lee, BLM Needles Field Manager, 1303 S. Highway 95, Needles, CA 92363.

Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Needles Field Office, 1303 S. U.S. Highway 95, Needles, CA 92363.

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George R. Meckfessel, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, BLM Needles Field Office, telephone 760-326-7008; address 1303 S. U.S. Highway 95, Needles, CA 92363; email You may also request to have your name added to our mailing list. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

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The BLM is providing notice that the BLM Needles Field Office, Needles, California intends to prepare an amendment to the 1980 CDCA Plan with Start Printed Page 4869an associated EA; announces the beginning of the scoping process; and seeks public input on issues and planning criteria. The planning area is located in San Bernardino County, California and encompasses the 133.19 acres of public land that has been identified for possible direct sale. The BLM has received a request from the State of California to purchase the following public land:

San Bernardino Meridian

T. 16 N., R. 14 E.,

Sec. 11, lot 1;

Sec. 12, lots 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, and 14;

Sec. 13, lot 2;

Sec. 14, lots 1, 4, 7, 11, and 12;

Sec. 23, lots 3, 6, 9, and 11.

The area described containing 133.19 acres lies entirely in San Bernardino County, California.

The State of California wishes to purchase the public lands described above for a point of entry facility for agricultural and commercial vehicle inspections. The public lands described above were not specifically identified for sale in the CDCA Plan, as amended, and a plan amendment is therefore required to process a direct sale. 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 planning process.

The BLM anticipates that the EA will consider both a plan amendment and the subsequent sale of the land and has identified local land uses and input from local governments as the primary preliminary issue of concern. The BLM anticipates that the EA will include, at a minimum, input from the disciplines of land use planning, biology and archaeology. This plan amendment will be limited to an analysis of whether the public lands described above meet the criteria for sale in FLPMA at Section 203(a)(3), which states, “disposal of such tract will serve important public objectives,” which is the planning criteria for this amendment.

You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria in writing to the BLM using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section above. To be most helpful, you should submit comments by the close of the 30-day scoping period. The BLM will use the NEPA public participation requirements to assist the agency in satisfying the public involvement requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)) pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). The information about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by the proposed action will assist the BLM in identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA.

The BLM will consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed action that the BLM is evaluating, are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to participate in the development of the environmental analysis as a cooperating agency.

The BLM will evaluate identified issues to be addressed in the plan amendment, and will place them into one of three categories:

1. Issues to be resolved in the plan amendment;

2. Issues to be resolved through policy or administrative action; or

3. Issues beyond the scope of this plan amendment.

The BLM will provide an explanation in the EA as to why an issue was placed in category two or three. The public is also encouraged to help identify any management questions and concerns that should be addressed in the plan. The BLM will work collaboratively with interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best suited to local, regional, and national needs and concerns.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

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Cynthia Staszak,

Associate Deputy State Director, Resources California.

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[FR Doc. 2013-01261 Filed 1-22-13; 8:45 am]