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Notice of Availability of the Northwest Colorado Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared this Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period. BLM Colorado is soliciting comments on the Draft Supplemental EIS.

DATES:

To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft Supplemental EIS within 45 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes a notice of availability of the Draft Supplemental EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments related to the Colorado Draft SEIS by any of the following methods:

  • Website: https://goo.gl/​kmLtwT.
  • Mail: BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215; or the BLM Grand Junction Field Office, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506.

Copies of the Northwest Colorado Draft Supplemental EIS are available at the BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215; the BLM Grand Junction Field Office, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506; and online at https://goo.gl/​kmLtwT.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Leah Waldner, Colorado Sage-Grouse Implementation Coordinator, telephone (970) 244-3045; address 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Greater Sage-Grouse is a State-managed species that is dependent on sagebrush steppe ecosystems. These ecosystems are managed in partnership across the range of the Greater Sage-Grouse by State wildlife agencies, Federal agencies, local communities, private landowners, and other stakeholders. Since the 1950s these partners have collaborated to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitats. The U.S. Department of the Interior and the BLM have broad responsibilities to manage Federal lands and resources for the public benefit. Nearly half of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat is managed by the BLM. The BLM is committed to being a good neighbor and investing in on-the-ground conservation activities through close collaboration with State governments, local communities, private landowners, and other stakeholders.

In 2019 the BLM Colorado State Director signed the Record of Decision and Approved the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Resource Plan Amendment (84 FR 10327), building upon the BLM's commitment to conserve and restore Greater Sage-Grouse habitat while improving collaboration and alignment with State management strategies for Greater Sage-Grouse. The BLM sought to improve management alignment in ways that would increase management flexibility, maintain access to public resources, and promote conservation outcomes.

The Draft Supplemental EIS will supplement and clarify the analysis relied on in the 2019 BLM Northwest Colorado Record of Decision, including with respect to the BLM considering a range of reasonable alternatives, taking a “hard look” at environmental effects, and evaluating cumulative impacts. Through the Draft Supplemental EIS, the BLM will also allow for additional public comment on the BLM's approach to compensatory mitigation and Greater Sage-Grouse habitat conservation.

The Colorado planning area analyzed in this Supplemental EIS includes approximately 15 million acres of BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, State, local, and private lands in 10 counties: Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Larimer, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, and Summit. Also analyzed is the cumulative effects across the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Management Zone and entire Greater Sage-Grouse range. The BLM administers approximately 8.5 million acres of public lands within this area, providing approximately 3.7 million acres of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat.

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 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

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Jamie Connell,

BLM Colorado State Director.

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[FR Doc. 2020-03394 Filed 2-20-20; 8:45 am]

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