The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are jointly preparing a monument management plan (MMP) for the Shash Jáa Unit of the Bears Ears National Monument. The Shash Jáa Unit includes National Forest System lands, under decision-making authority of the Forest Service and managed under the Manti-La Sal National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan).
The BLM has prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze alternatives for the MMP and to satisfy the NEPA requirements for the planning process for the Forest Service and BLM. The BLM is the lead agency for the preparation of the EIS, and the Forest Service is participating as a cooperating agency for the preparation of the EIS. The Forest Service intends to use the EIS to make its decision for that part of the Shash Jáa Unit MMP applicable to National Forest System lands. The proposed action is to approve a Forest Plan amendment, which would add direction to the Forest Plan to manage the National Forest System lands of the Shash Jáa Unit under the selected MMP.
This notice has been published to ensure all persons and entities interested in Forest Service activities are aware of the BLM’s July 26, 2019 Notice of Availability of the Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek and Shash Jáa Units Proposed Monument Management Plans and Final Environmental Impact Statement (“Notice of Availability for the FEIS”) and the opening of the BLM protest period concerning the Proposed MMP and Final EIS.
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW: The Forest Service will use the BLM administrative review (“protest”) procedures for the proposed plan amendment, as provided by the Planning Rule, at 36 CFR 219.59 (a). No project-level pre-decisional administrative review is needed. The review procedures will include a joint response from BLM and the Forest Service to those who file a protest. Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM can be found online at: www.blm.gov/filing-a-plan-protest. To submit a protest electronically, go to the ePlanning project webpage and follow the instructions at the top of the home page.
DATES: The BLM Notice of Availability for the FEIS published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2019. Publication of that notice initiates a 30-day protest period, which will be open through August 26, 2019. The Forest Service, jointly with BLM, will address protests and other required consultations and reviews, followed by issuing a Record of Decision.
RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL: The Forest Service responsible official is the Manti-La Sal Forest Supervisor.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: The Final EIS, maps and supporting information are available online at https:goo.gl/uLrEae. For further information concerning the land use planning process, please contact Lance Porter, District Manager at (435) 259-2100. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Published in ETV News on July 31, 2019.