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This is a text-only version of the document "Richfield Field Office - Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement - Vol 1 to 3 of 3 - 2008". To see the original version of the document click here.
BLM Mission
To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

BLM-UT-PL-08-004-1610 UT-050-2007-090 EIS FES 08-25

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Abstract

Richfield Field Office Planning Area Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement
Lead Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management Type of Action: Final, Administrative Jurisdiction: Comprising all of Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Piute, and portions of Garfield and Kane Counties, Utah. Abstract: The Richfield Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) describes and analyzes the Proposed RMP and other alternatives presented in the Draft RMP and EIS (DRMP/DEIS) for the planning and management of public lands and resources administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Richfield Field Office in Utah. The Proposed RMP is open for a 30-day review and protest period beginning, August 8, 2008, the date the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final EIS in the Federal Register. The Proposed RMP was crafted primarily from the Preferred Alternative presented in the DRMP/DEIS (Alternative B) and includes other decisions within the range of alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) in response to public comments and internal review. The No Action Alternative (Alternative N) reflects current management. The BLM has removed the DRMP/DEIS Alternative B (Preferred Alternative) from the PRMP/FEIS. The other DRMP/DEIS Alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) and analyses are carried forward in the PRMP/FEIS only for comparative purposes and to correct some mistakes that were identified during the public comment period. Protest: Protests must be postmarked or received no later than 30 days after publication of the NOA by the EPA in the Federal Register. The 30-day protest period (identified above) will not be extended. Refer to the instructions in the dear reader letter for additional information on how to protest. The close of the protest period will be announced in news releases, newsletters, and on the Richfield RMP website at http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/richfield/planning.html.
For Further Information Contact: Bureau of Land Management, Richfield Field Office Attn: John Russell, RMP Project Manager 150 East 900 North Richfield, Utah 84701 Telephone (435) 896-1500

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
VOLUME I
PREFACE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 — INTRODUCTION, PURPOSE AND NEED CHAPTER 2 — ALTERNATIVES CHAPTER 3 — AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT

VOLUME II
CHAPTER 4 — ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES CHAPTER 5 — PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT, CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION

VOLUME III
GLOSSARY ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS REFERENCES APPENDICES MAPS CD OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES ON THE DRAFT RMP/EIS

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VOLUME I TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE.....................................................................................................................................................................xi EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................ES-1 CHAPTER 1 —INTRODUCTION, PURPOSE AND NEED .................................................................................. 1-1 1.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................... 1-1 1.2 PURPOSE AND NEED .............................................................................................................................. 1-1 1.2.1 Purpose................................................................................................................................................. 1-1 1.2.2 Need ..................................................................................................................................................... 1-2 1.3 DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANNING AREA............................................................................................ 1-3 1.4 PLANNING PROCESS .............................................................................................................................. 1-4 1.5 DECISION FRAMEWORK........................................................................................................................ 1-7 1.5.1 Planning Issues..................................................................................................................................... 1-7 1.5.2 Planning Criteria .................................................................................................................................1-12 1.6 CHANGES FROM THE DRAFT RMP TO THE PROPOSED RMP.........................................................1-13 1.6.1 Summary of Changes To Decisions Between the Preferred Alternative (Draft EIS) and the Proposed RMP (Final EIS) .................................................................................................................................1-14 1.6.2 Summary of Changes Made Between the DRMP/DEIS and the PRMP/FEIS....................................1-15 1.7 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS, PLANS, AND POLICIES..................................................1-17 1.7.1 Other Related Plans.............................................................................................................................1-17 1.7.2 Energy Policy and Conservation Act ..................................................................................................1-19 1.7.3 Tar Sands and Oil Shale Resources Programmatic EIS ......................................................................1-20 1.7.4 West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS..................................................................................1-21 1.7.5 Utah Land Use Plan Amendment for Fire and Fuels Management.....................................................1-21 1.7.6 Wind Energy Programmatic EIS.........................................................................................................1-21 CHAPTER 2 —ALTERNATIVES ........................................................................................................................... 2-1 2.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................... 2-1 2.2 ALTERNATIVE COMPONENTS ............................................................................................................. 2-1 2.2.1 Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)........................................................................................... 2-2 2.2.2 Allowable Uses and Management Actions........................................................................................... 2-2 2.3 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED IN DETAIL......................................................................................... 2-2 2.3.1 Overview of the Alternatives ............................................................................................................... 2-2 2.4 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT ................................................................................................................... 2-4 2.5 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BUT ELIMINATED FROM DETAILED ANALYSIS ...................... 2-4 2.5.1 No Grazing Alternative ........................................................................................................................ 2-4 2.5.2 No Leasing Alternative ........................................................................................................................ 2-5 2.5.3 Livestock Grazing Adjustments Alternative ........................................................................................ 2-6 2.5.4 SUWA Alternative ............................................................................................................................... 2-7 2.6 PROPOSED RMP AND DRAFT RMP ALTERNATIVES DECISION TABLES ..................................... 2-7 2.6.1 Natural, Biological, and Cultural Resources ........................................................................................ 2-8
Air Quality ..................................................................................................................................................................... 2-8 Soil Resources................................................................................................................................................................ 2-9 Water Resources .......................................................................................................................................................... 2-10 Vegetation.................................................................................................................................................................... 2-12 Cultural Resources ....................................................................................................................................................... 2-16 Paleontological Resources ........................................................................................................................................... 2-18 Visual Resources.......................................................................................................................................................... 2-21 Special Status Species.................................................................................................................................................. 2-22 Fish and Wildlife.......................................................................................................................................................... 2-25 Wild Horses and Burros............................................................................................................................................... 2-32 Fire and Fuels Management ......................................................................................................................................... 2-34 Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics ...................................................................................................... 2-37

2.6.2

Resource Uses .....................................................................................................................................2-40

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Forestry and Woodland Products ................................................................................................................................. 2-40 Livestock Grazing........................................................................................................................................................ 2-43 Recreation .................................................................................................................................................................... 2-47 Travel Management ..................................................................................................................................................... 2-70 Lands and Realty.......................................................................................................................................................... 2-84 Minerals and Energy .................................................................................................................................................... 2-92

2.6.3

Special Designations .........................................................................................................................2-102

Wilderness Study Areas ............................................................................................................................................. 2-102 Wild and Scenic Rivers.............................................................................................................................................. 2-105 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern .................................................................................................................. 2-114

2.6.4 Transportation ...................................................................................................................................2-141 2.6.5 Health and Safety ..............................................................................................................................2-142 2.7 IMPACTS SUMMARY TABLE..............................................................................................................2-144 CHAPTER 3 —AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT....................................................................................................... 3-1 3.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................... 3-1 3.2 OVERVIEW OF THE PLANNING AREA ................................................................................................ 3-1 3.2.1 Physiography........................................................................................................................................ 3-1 3.2.2 Topography and Drainage.................................................................................................................... 3-2 3.3 PHYSICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND CULTURAL RESOURCES ............................................................... 3-3 3.3.1 Air Resources....................................................................................................................................... 3-3 3.3.2 Soil Resources.....................................................................................................................................3-19 3.3.3 Water Resources..................................................................................................................................3-21 3.3.4 Vegetation ...........................................................................................................................................3-26 3.3.5 Cultural Resources ..............................................................................................................................3-37 3.3.6 Paleontological Resources...................................................................................................................3-44 3.3.7 Visual Resources.................................................................................................................................3-47 3.3.8 Special Status Species .........................................................................................................................3-49 3.3.9 Fish and Wildlife.................................................................................................................................3-70 3.3.10 Wild Horses and Burros ......................................................................................................................3-78 3.3.11 Fire and Fuels Management ................................................................................................................3-79 3.3.12 Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics .............................................................................3-85 3.4 RESOURCE USES ....................................................................................................................................3-89 3.4.1 Forestry and Woodland Products ........................................................................................................3-89 3.4.2 Livestock Grazing ...............................................................................................................................3-91 3.4.3 Recreation ...........................................................................................................................................3-94 3.4.4 Travel Management ............................................................................................................................3-98 3.4.5 Lands and Realty...............................................................................................................................3-101 3.4.6 Minerals and Energy .........................................................................................................................3-107 3.5 SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS....................................................................................................................3-118 3.5.1 Wilderness Study Areas ....................................................................................................................3-118 3.5.2 Wild and Scenic Rivers .....................................................................................................................3-120 3.5.3 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern .........................................................................................3-122 3.5.4 Other Designations............................................................................................................................3-128 3.6 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS ...........................................................................................3-132 3.6.1 Social Background ............................................................................................................................3-132 3.6.2 General Economic Characteristics ....................................................................................................3-135 3.6.3 Environmental Justice .......................................................................................................................3-148 3.7 HEALTH AND SAFETY.........................................................................................................................3-150 3.7.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................3-150 3.7.2 Hazardous Materials..........................................................................................................................3-150 3.7.3 Abandoned Mines .............................................................................................................................3-151

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TABLES
Table 1-1. Land Ownership—Richfield Planning Area.............................................................................1-4 Table 1-2. Plans to Be Considered in the Richfield Resource Management Plan ...................................1-17 Table 2-1. Air Quality................................................................................................................................2-8 Table 2-2. Soil Resources ..........................................................................................................................2-9 Table 2-3. Water Resources .....................................................................................................................2-10 Table 2-4. Vegetation Decisions..............................................................................................................2-12 Table 2-5. Cultural Resources Decisions .................................................................................................2-16 Table 2-6. Paleontological Resources Decisions .....................................................................................2-18 Table 2-7. Visual Resource Management Decisions ...............................................................................2-21 Table 2-8. Special Status Species Decisions............................................................................................2-22 Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions ...................................................................................................2-25 Table 2-10. Wild Horses and Burros Decisions.......................................................................................2-32 Table 2-11. Fire and Fuels Management Decisions.................................................................................2-34 Table 2-12. Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Decisions..............................................2-37 Table 2-13. Forestry and Woodland Products Decisions.........................................................................2-40 Table 2-14. Livestock Grazing Decisions................................................................................................2-43 Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions ............................................................................................................2-47 Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions .............................................................................................2-70 Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions .................................................................................................2-84 Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions............................................................................................2-92 Table 2-19. Wilderness Study Areas Decisions.....................................................................................2-102 Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions......................................................................................2-105 Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions..........................................................2-114 Table 2-22. Transportation Facilities Decisions ....................................................................................2-141 Table 2-23. Health and Safety................................................................................................................2-142 Table 2-24. Summary Comparison of Impacts ......................................................................................2-144 Table 3-1. Perennial Stream Segments—Richfield Field Office .............................................................3-21 Table 3-2. Utah’s 2004 303(d) List of Impaired Stream and River Segments Requiring a TMDL Analysis............................................................................................................3-23 Table 3-3. Lakes and Reservoirs within Planning Area Identified as Needing TMDL Analysis ............3-24 Table 3-4. Culinary Water Sources on Public Lands...............................................................................3-24 Table 3-5. Vegetation Communities and Associations ............................................................................3-26 Table 3-6. Typical Desert Shrub Plant Species........................................................................................3-27 Table 3-7. Typical Sagebrush Steppe Plant Species ................................................................................3-28 Table 3-8. Typical Forest and Woodland Species ...................................................................................3-29 Table 3-9. Riparian Conditions Inventory ...............................................................................................3-32 Table 3-10. Utah Noxious Weeds ............................................................................................................3-34 Table 3-11. County Noxious Weeds 2003 ...............................................................................................3-35 Table 3-12. Utah BLM New and Invading Weeds ..................................................................................3-35 Table 3-13. Geologic Formations Present in the Planning Area..............................................................3-44 Table 3-14. Visual Resource Management Classes .................................................................................3-47 Table 3-15. Federally Listed Species.......................................................................................................3-49 Table 3-16. Utah BLM Sensitive Species ................................................................................................3-56 Table 3-17. Birds of Conservation Concern within the Richfield Field Office .......................................3-75 Table 3-18. Vegetation Departure from Historic Acreages .....................................................................3-82 Table 3-19. Fire Regime Classifications and RFO Estimated Acreage ...................................................3-83 Table 3-20. Fire Regime Condition Class Description and RFO Estimated Acreage .............................3-84 Table 3-21. Non-WSA Lands With Wilderness Characteristics Evaluation ...........................................3-86

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Table 3-22. Comparison of Total Permitted Use to Active Use ..............................................................3-91 Table 3-23. Recreation Visitation ............................................................................................................3-96 Table 3-24. Developed Recreation Sites—Richfield Field Office...........................................................3-97 Table 3-25. OHV Registrations ...............................................................................................................3-98 Table 3-26. Paiute ATV and Great Western Trail Systems Estimated Use...........................................3-100 Table 3-27. Existing Withdrawals on Public Lands within the RFO.....................................................3-103 Table 3-28. Sevier County Coal Production1 (1984–2001)...................................................................3-112 Table 3-29. Wilderness Study Areas......................................................................................................3-118 Table 3-30. Eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers.........................................................................................3-120 Table 3-31. Existing Areas of Critical Environmental Concern ............................................................3-122 Table 3-32. Potential Areas of Critical Environmental Concern ...........................................................3-124 Table 3-33. Land Ownership in the Socioeconomic Study Area...........................................................3-132 Table 3-34. Mineral Lease and Bonus Revenues Collected and Disbursed by the Federal Government, State of Utah Fiscal Years 2001–2004.....................................................................3-140 Table 3-35. Richfield Field Office Revenue Collections, Federal FY2002–FY2004, and Primary Distribution of Funds .......................................................................................................3-141 Table 3-36. Distribution of Mineral Revenues by County, State of Utah Fiscal Years 2001–2004 ......3-144 Table 3-37. Property Taxes Charged Against Natural Resource Property, 2003 ..................................3-145 Table 3-38. Value of Grazing Output on Richfield Field Office Public Lands .....................................3-147 Table 3-39. Racial and Ethnic Groups for Richfield Planning Area Counties and Utah (Percentage of Population).............................................................................................................3-148 Table 3-40. Persons Below the Poverty Level for Richfield Socioeconomic Study Area by County (Percentage of Population, 2003) ......................................................................................3-149

FIGURES
Figure 1-1. Nine-Step Planning Process ....................................................................................................1-5 Figure 3-1. Annual Mean Temperature Change for Northern Latitudes (24 - 90° N) ...............................3-4 Figure 3-2. Carbon Monoxide Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area ....................................3-7 Figure 3-3. Mean Annual Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area ..............3-8 Figure 3-4. Ozone Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area.......................................................3-9 Figure 3-5. Twenty Four Hour PM2.5 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area......................3-10 Figure 3-6. Mean Annual PM2.5 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area..............................3-10 Figure 3-7. Twenty Four Hour PM10 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area.......................3-11 Figure 3-8. Mean Annual PM10 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area...............................3-11 Figure 3-9. Mean Annual Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area.................3-12 Figure 3-10. Mean Annual Nitrogen Compounds Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area ....3-13 Figure 3-11. Mean Annual Sulfur Compounds Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area ........3-13 Figure 3-12. Annual Visibility Near the Richfield Planning Area...........................................................3-15 Figure 3-13. Mean Annual Precipitation pH Near the Richfield Planning Area .....................................3-16 Figure 3-14. Total Nitrogen Deposition at Canyonlands National Park ..................................................3-17 Figure 3-15. Total Sulfur Deposition at Canyonlands National Park ......................................................3-17 Figure 3-16. Richfield Planning Area Wildfires and Acreages (1979–2003)..........................................3-80 Figure 3-17. Richfield Field Office Wildfire Occurrence by Month (1979–2003)..................................3-80 Figure 3-18. Richfield Field Office Wildfires by Size (1979–2003) .......................................................3-81 Figure 3-19. Richfield Field Office Wildfire Causes (1979–2003) .........................................................3-81 Figure 3-20. Population Estimates, 1970–2000 .....................................................................................3-135 Figure 3-21. Trends in Full-Time and Part-Time Employment by Industry, 1990–2000......................3-138 Figure 3-22. Average Earnings Per Job (2002$)....................................................................................3-138

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APPENDICES
Appendix 1. Appendix 2. Appendix 3. Appendix 4. Appendix 5. Appendix 6. Appendix 7. Appendix 8. Appendix 9. Appendix 10. Appendix 11. Appendix 12. Appendix 13. Appendix 14. Appendix 15. Appendix 16. Appendix 17. Appendix 18. Appendix 19. Appendix 20. Appendix 21. Summary of the Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Report Wild and Scenic River Eligibility and Tentative Classification Report Wild and Scenic River Suitability Recommendations 303(D) List of Impaired Waters Lands and Realty Wildland Fire Management Livestock Grazing Allotments Coal Resources within the Richfield Planning Area Travel Management/Route Designation Process Raptor best management practices Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations and Lease Notices Reasonably Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources County Plan Public Land Comments Summary Committed Conservation Measures and Best Management Practices for Federally Listed Species BLM Wind Energy Development Program Policies and Best Management Practices (From the BLM’s Wind Energy Development Program Record of Decision, 2005) Summary of Management of Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics for the Richfield Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS Utah Public Lands Study: Key Social Survey Findings for Garfield, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne Counties Factory Butte SRMA RMZs and Management Prescriptions Wildland Fire Resource Protection Measures and Reasonable and Prudent Measures, Terms and Conditions, and Reporting Requirements Identified Through Section 7 Consultation Summary of Changes from the Draft RMP/EIS to the Proposed RMP/Final EIS State of Utah Letter Addressing Air Quality

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MAPS
Map 1-1. Map 2-1. Map 2-2. Map 2-3. Map 2-4. Map 2-5. Map 2-6. Map 2-7. Map 2-8. Map 2-9. Map 2-10. Map 2-11. Map 2-12. Map 2-13. Map 2-14. Map 2-15. Map 2-16. Map 2-17. Map 2-18. Map 2-19. Map 2-20. Map 2-21. Map 2-22. Map 2-23. Map 2-24. Map 2-25. Map 2-26. Map 2-27. Map 2-28. Map 2-29. Map 2-30. Map 2-31. Map 2-32. Map 2-33. Map 2-34. Map 2-35. Map 2-36. Map 2-37. Map 2-38. Map 2-39. Map 2-40. Map 2-41. Map 2-42. Map 2-43. Map 2-44. Map 2-45. Map 2-46. Richfield RMP Planning Area Surface Administration Visual Resource Management Classes—Alternative N Visual Resource Management Classes—Alternative A Visual Resource Management Classes—Proposed RMP Visual Resource Management Classes—Alternative C Visual Resource Management Classes—Alternative D Livestock Grazing Allotments Alternative A Livestock Grazing Allotments Alternatives No Action, Proposed RMP, C, and D Special Recreation Management Areas Alternative A Special Recreation Management Areas Proposed RMP Special Recreation Management Areas Alternative C Special Recreation Management Areas Alternative D Off-Highway Vehicle Area Designations Alternative N Off-Highway Vehicle Area Designations Alternative A Off-Highway Vehicle Area Designations Proposed RMP Off-Highway Vehicle Area Designations Alternative C Off-Highway Vehicle Area Designations Alternative D Route Designations Alternative A Route Designations Proposed RMP Route Designations Alternative C Route Designations Alternative D Sec. 203 Sales Piute County Sec. 203 Sales North Sanpete County Sec. 203 Sales South Sanpete County Sec. 203 Sales Sevier County Sec. 203 Sales Western Wayne County Sec. 203 Sales Eastern Wayne and Garfield Counties Recommended Mineral Withdrawals Proposed RMP Proposed Mineral Withdrawals Alternative C Proposed Mineral Withdrawals Alternative D Right-of-Way Avoidance and Exclusion Areas Alternative N Right-of-Way Avoidance and Exclusion Areas Alternative A Right-of-Way Avoidance and Exclusion Areas Proposed RMP Right-of-Way Avoidance and Exclusion Areas Alternative C Right-of-Way Avoidance and Exclusion Areas Alternative D Fluid Minerals Alternative N Fluid Minerals Alternative A Fluid Minerals Proposed RMP Fluid Minerals Alternative C Fluid Minerals Alternative D Salable and Non-Energy Solid Leasable Minerals Alternative A Salable and Non-Energy Solid Leasable Minerals Proposed RMP Salable and Non-Energy Solid Leasable Minerals Alternative C Salable and Non-Energy Solid Leasable Minerals Alternative D Suitable Wild and Scenic Rivers Proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Alternatives C and D

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Map 2-47. Map 3-1. Map 3-2. Map 3-3. Map 3-4. Map 3-5. Map 3-6. Map 3-7. Map 3-8. Map 3-9. Map 3-10. Map 3-11. Map 3-12. Map 3-13. Map 3-14. Map 3-15. Map 3-16. Map 4-1. Map 4-2. Map 4-3. Map 4-4.

Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Average Annual Precipitation Class I and Class II Air Quality Areas Vegetation Cover Types Mexican Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Selected Wildlife Habitats Crucial Mule Deer Winter Habitat and Sage Grouse Winter Habitat Crucial Elk Winter Habitat Wild Horse and Burro Management Areas Alternative D Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Proposed Route Inventory Authorized Oil and Gas Leases Coal Resources with Development Potential and Existing Leases Unpatented Mining Claims Wilderness Study Areas Eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers Existing Areas of Critical Environmental Concern EPCA Summary Alternative A EPCA Summary Proposed RMP EPCA Summary Alternative C EPCA Summary Alternative D

CD OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES ON THE DRAFT RMP/EIS

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Preface

PREFACE
How to Use This Document
This section explains where information is located and provides an overview of the Proposed Resource Management Plan (PRMP) and the associated Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) process. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS is organized into three separate volumes containing the following major chapter headings and information.

Volume I
• Chapter 1, Introduction, Purpose and Need—Introduces the purpose and need to which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responding; provides an overview of the BLM planning process and statutes (laws), limitations, and guidelines the BLM must adhere to in preparing an RMP; and presents the scope of issues the RMP must address in detail. It describes the relationship of this RMP with other plans. Chapter 2, Description of Alternatives—Describes management guidance common to all alternatives, as well as alternatives considered but eliminated from further consideration. It also presents specific management actions proposed under the alternatives and a comparative summary of the impacts of each alternative. The Common to All Alternatives category includes management actions that may be rule, regulation, law, policy, or best management practices (BMP) that the BLM will implement regardless of the alternative selected. The No Action Alternative (Alternative N) reflects current management. Management actions for the No Action Alternative, Proposed RMP, and three alternatives (A, C, and D) are described in Chapter 2. These alternatives present a reasonable range based on new information, guidance, policy, or scientific knowledge. In the DRMP/DEIS, Alternative B was identified as BLM’s preferred alternative. In the Final EIS, Alternative B has been modified based on BLM review and public comment to form the Proposed RMP. Chapter 3, Affected Environment—Describes the Richfield Field Office (RFO) and the existing environmental conditions that would be affected by the alternatives. This chapter is organized similarly to Chapter 2, except socioeconomic conditions are included.

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Volume II
• Chapter 4, Environmental Consequences—Forms the scientific and analytic basis for the comparison of environmental impacts of the alternatives, including the No Action Alternative, as described in Chapter 2. Under each alternative, analysis is organized by resource (as described for Chapter 2) and socioeconomic conditions. Chapter 5, Consultation and Coordination—Describes the scoping process and other past and planned agency consultation and public involvement activities. Chapter 5 also includes responses to comments from the cooperating agencies and from public comments that required a change to the Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS).

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Volume III
• Glossary—Provides an alphabetized list of definitions for terms used in this PRMP/FEIS.

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Acronyms—Provides an alphabetized list defining acronyms and abbreviations used in this PRMP/FEIS. References—Provides details for references cited within the document. Most cited documents are available from other public sources such as libraries; many are available for public review at the RFO. Appendices—Includes documents and information that support existing resource conditions or situations, substantiate analysis, provide resource management guidance, explain processes, or provide other information directly relevant to the PRMP/FEIS. Maps. CD of Comments and Responses on the Draft RMP/EIS.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, 42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4321 et seq.) and under the authority of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) for public lands and resources administered by the Richfield Field Office (RFO) in Utah. The PRMP/FEIS includes an identification and analysis of the Proposed RMP for future management of the public lands and resources that are administered by the BLM’s RFO. The planning area is located in south-central Utah and includes all of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, and Wayne counties and portions of Garfield and Kane counties, an area totaling 5.4 million acres. Of this area, the BLM manages a 2.1 million-acre surface and subsurface (mineral) estate, an additional 1.5 million acres of federal mineral resources underlying the national forests, and 95,000 acres of split-estate lands on which the mineral estate is held by the Federal Government but the surface rights belong to the State or private parties. The planning area is administered primarily by the RFO with additional support from the BLM Hanksville field station. Decisions in this PRMP/FEIS apply only to BLM-administered public lands (surface and subsurface) and resources. The PRMP/FEIS resulted from public involvement and the gathering of the best available information. The BLM posted a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to initiate the scoping phase of the planning process on November 1, 2001. Citizens and groups submitted comments from November 2001 to April 2002, helping the BLM identify the issues that were addressed during this planning process. Based on agency expertise and on issues raised by the public, the BLM prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS) with a full description of the affected environment, a reasonable range of alternatives, and an analysis of the impacts of each alternative. The BLM posted the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the DRMP/DEIS on October 26, 2007. The public submitted comments on the DRMP/DEIS from October 2007 to January 2008. Based on comments on the DRMP/DEIS and internal review, the BLM wrote the PRMP/FEIS and posted a NOA for the PRMP/FEIS on August 8, 2008.

DRAFT ALTERNATIVES
Five alternatives, including a No Action Alternative, were analyzed in detail in the DRMP/DEIS (2007). The alternatives were developed to address major planning issues that were identified through public scoping and to provide management direction for resource programs. The alternatives are as follows: • Alternative N (No Action) would continue to manage the land and resources according to direction prescribed in the six existing Land Use Plans (LUPs), as modified by subsequent law, regulation, and policy. Of the alternatives, Alternative N would least restrict cross-country offhighway vehicle (OHV) use, designate the most miles of open routes, continue the designation of four areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC) (14,780 acres), continue identification of one special recreation management area (SRMA) (120 acres), and manage all 12 eligible wild and scenic river (WSR) segments (135 miles) to protect their outstandingly remarkable values. Alternative A would manage the land and resources with an emphasis on providing motorized access and encouraging commodity production—mining, grazing, commercial recreation, commercial woodland products harvesting, and energy development, including oil and gas— using the minimum restrictions required to meet legal, regulatory, and policy mandates. To

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•

•

protect resources, Alternative A relies on existing laws, regulations, and policies, rather than on special management prescriptions or special designations. Of the alternatives, Alternative A would least restrict oil and gas leasing and mining, designate no ACECs, recommend no suitable WSR segments, and identify five SRMAs (514,500 acres). Alternative B (Preferred Alternative) would manage the land and resources by relying primarily on existing law, regulation, and policy and by applying special designations and restrictive management prescriptions only as needed to protect threatened or otherwise important resources. Alternative B would eliminate overlapping wilderness study areas (WSA)/ACEC designations, designate two ACECs (2,530 acres), recommend two suitable WSR segments (Dirty Devil and Fremont Gorge [59 miles]), identify five SRMAs (838,700 acres), and provide protection to 12 areas that would be managed as non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (78,600 acres) to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics. Alternative C would manage the land and resources by putting more emphasis on protecting special and sensitive natural resources. Alternative C would protect all 12 eligible river segments as suitable WSRs, designate all 16 potential ACECs (886,810 acres), identify four SRMAs (930,000 acres), and prohibit cross-country OHV use. Alternative D would manage the land and resources by putting the most emphasis on protecting special, important, and sensitive resources and by applying special designations and restrictive prescriptions. Alternative D would recommend all 12 eligible river segments as suitable WSRs, designate all 16 potential ACECs (886,810 acres), identify seven SRMAs (1,358,100 acres), and provide the greatest protection to scenic values and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (682,600 acres) to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics. Alternative D would prohibit cross-country OHV use, designate the fewest miles of routes open to motor vehicles, and impose the greatest restrictions on OHVs, oil and gas leasing, and mining.

The alternatives were described in detail in Chapter 2 and analyzed in Chapter 4 of the DRMP/DEIS. Based on the Chapter 4 analysis, Alternative N was determined to have the greatest overall environmental impact, followed by Alternative A, Alternative B, and Alternative C, respectively. Alternative D would have the least environmental impact and would provide the greatest protection for most elements of the affected environment. Conversely, Alternative A would provide the greatest opportunities and the least restrictions for developing energy and mineral resources; whereas Alternative N would least restrict OHV use.

THE PROPOSED RMP
The Proposed RMP (summarized in Table ES-1) was crafted primarily from the Preferred Alternative presented in the DRMP/DEIS (Alternative B) and includes other decisions within the range of alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) in response to public comments and internal review. The No Action Alternative (Alternative N) reflects current management. The BLM has removed the DRMP/DEIS Alternative B (Preferred Alternative) from the PRMP/FEIS. The other DRMP/DEIS Alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) and analyses are carried forward in the PRMP/FEIS only for comparative purposes and to correct some mistakes that were identified during the public comment period.

ES-2

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Executive Summary

Table ES-1 Proposed RMP Summary
Proposed RMP

Resource/ Resource Use

Air Quality

Manage all BLM and BLM-authorized actions to maintain air quality as prescribed by federal, tribal, state, and local laws and regulations. This management includes meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and ensuring that BLM-authorized actions continue to keep the area in attainment, meet Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Class II standards, and protect Class I airsheds. Mitigate, through best-available control technology, potential adverse impacts of site-specific actions, as identified in NEPA documents prepared at the time an action is proposed and as part of the state permitting process and PSD review.

Soil Resources

Maintain or improve soil resources through implementation of Standards for Rangeland Health and other appropriate protection measures.

Water Resources

Maintain or improve water quality and quantity through implementation of Standards for Rangeland Health and other appropriate protection measures.

Vegetation

Maintain or improve soil, water, and vegetation resources through implementation of Standards for Rangeland Health and other appropriate protection measures.

Cultural Resources

Reduce imminent threats to significant cultural resources from natural and human-caused deterioration or potential conflicts with other resources.

Allocate and manage cultural resource sites for scientific use, public use, conservation use, traditional use, and experimental use categories.

Paleontological Resources

Require paleontological inventories in Class I and Class II areas.

Visual Resources

• • • •

Special Status Species

Manage areas according to the following Visual Resource Management Classes: Class I: 446,900 acres Class II: 249,800 acres Class III: 393,100 acres Class IV: 1,038,200 acres Conserve and recover all special status species (SSS) and their habitats. Employ strategies to avoid or reduce the fragmenting of habitat. Manage oil and gas leasing as open subject to major constraints (NSO) within ½ mile of greater sage-grouse leks. Allow no surface disturbing or otherwise disruptive activities in greater sage-grouse winter habitat from December 15 through March 14. Allow no surface disturbing or otherwise disruptive activities within 2 miles of a greater sage-grouse lek from March 15 to July 15 to protect sage-grouse breeding and brood-rearing habitat.

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Executive Summary

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Table ES-1 Proposed RMP Summary
Proposed RMP

Resource/ Resource Use Fish and Wildlife

Maintain, restore, protect, and enhance habitats to support a diversity of fish and wildlife species.

Wild Horses and Burros

Manage wild horses and burros at appropriate management levels (AML) to ensure a natural ecological balance between horse and burro populations and wildlife, livestock, vegetation resources, and other resource values (Map 3-8).

Manage Canyonlands Herd Management Area (HMA) with an AML of 60–100; allocate 600 Animal Unit Months (AUM) for wild burros.

Manage fire and fuels to protect life, firefighter safety, property, and other critical resources and, where appropriate, to restore natural systems.

Fire and Fuels Management

Manage fire and fuels through treatments, averaging 73,600 acres annually, for a maximum level of 1,472,000 acres over the life of the PRMP/FEIS. Use the full range of treatment types, including prescribed fire; mechanical, chemical, biological, and cultural treatments; and wildland fire use.

Non-Wilderness Study Area Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

Manage the following 12 non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristic areas (78,600 acres) specifically to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics: (1) Dirty Devil/French Spring (6,100 acres) (2) Dogwater Creek (3,100 acres) (3) Horseshoe Canyon South (12,200 acres) (4) Jones Bench (2,600 acres) (5) Labyrinth Canyon (2,800 acres) (6) Little Rockies (9,500 acres) (7) Mount Ellen—Blue Hills (3,900 acres) (8) Mount Pennell (4,700 acres) (9) Notom Bench (8,200 acres) (10)Ragged Mountain (7,900 acres) (11)Red Desert (8,900 acres) (12)Wild Horse Mesa (8,700 acres) Protect, preserve and maintain the wilderness characteristics in the 12 areas (78,600 acres) of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics through the following land allocations and prescriptions:

• Designate as Visual Resource Management (VRM) Class II • Limit motorized use to designated routes

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Executive Summary

Table ES-1 Proposed RMP Summary
Proposed RMP

Resource/ Resource Use

Forestry and Woodland Products

Retain lands in public ownership Designate as an Avoidance Area for rights-of-way (ROW) Designate leasing category as open to leasing subject to major constraints (no surface occupancy [NSO]) Close to mineral material sales Designate as unavailable for further consideration for coal leasing Continue maintenance and use of existing facilities Prohibit private or commercial woodland harvest or seed collection Healthy Lands Initiative projects could be considered if they improve the overall goals and objectives for managing the wilderness characteristics of these areas Provide forest and woodland products on a sustainable basis consistent with other land management objectives.

• • • • • •

Livestock Grazing

Designate forage allocations as depicted on Map 2-6 and in Appendix 7 (Table A7-2).

Recreation

Establish five SRMAs (860,390 acres) to manage recreational use and to mitigate impacts caused by this use, such as uncontrolled camping, parking, and other activities. Establishing the Factory Butte SRMA would limit the impacts on vegetation from cross-country OHV use to an 8,500 acre area. Constructing facilities in the Big Rocks SRMA would have localized adverse impacts from removal of vegetation in those areas; long-term impacts would be beneficial by concentrating use areas and thus limiting the extent of vegetation disturbance. Managing the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost SRMA (290,500 acres) for primitive and semi-primitive recreation would reduce the potential for surface disturbance and localized removal of vegetation because of recreation. Closing canyons within the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost SRMA to OHV recreation use and limiting OHV recreation use to designated routes would reduce potential impacts to vegetation. Managing the Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA (12,800 acres) for a natural recreation experience and the development of facilities would have localized adverse impacts from removal of vegetation in those areas; long-term impacts would be beneficial by concentrating use areas and thus limiting the extent of vegetation disturbance. Managing the Henry Mountains SRMA for primitive and semi-primitive recreation would indirectly maintain or reduce the potential for soil disturbance.

Travel Management

Manage areas according to the following travel management designations:

• Open: 9,890 acres • Limited: 1,908,210 acres • Closed: 209,900 acres

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Table ES-1 Proposed RMP Summary
Proposed RMP

Resource/ Resource Use

• Designated routes: 3,739 miles∗ Implementation-level decision • Designated routes with seasonal closures or size/width restrictions: 538 miles • Closed routes: 345 miles

Retain public lands in federal ownership, unless disposing of a particular parcel would serve the national interest. Consider land tenure adjustments (e.g., exchanges and acquisitions) that meet identified criteria.

Identify 92 parcels, totaling 13,400 acres, for sale under Section 203 of the FLPMA.

Lands and Realty

Review existing withdrawals to determine whether those lands are serving the purposes for which they were withdrawn.

Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres); recommend 21,500 acres for withdrawal from mineral entry. Total acres: 176,200

Identify 153,600 acres as avoidance areas and 446,700 acres as exclusion areas for ROWs.

Identify lands available for oil and gas leasing and development subject to the following lease categories:

Open to leasing subject to the standard terms and conditions: 608,700 acres

Leasable Minerals

Open to leasing subject to moderate constraints (timing limitation, Controlled Surface Use [CSU]): 917,500 acres

Open to leasing subject to major constraints (NSO): 154,500 acres

• • • •

Closed to leasing: 447,300 acres

Locatable Minerals

Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres); recommend 21,500 acres for withdrawal. Total acres: 176,200

Identify lands available for development of mineral materials subject to the following lease categories:

Salable Minerals (Mineral Materials)

• 447,300 acres closed to mineral material disposal • 608,700 acres open subject to standard stipulations • 1,072,000 acres open with restrictions

Wilderness Study

Manage 11 existing WSAs (Map 3-14) in a manner that does not impair their suitability for designation as wilderness in accordance with BLM Handbook H-8550-1, Interim Management Policy for Lands Under Wilderness Review (IMP).

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Executive Summary

Table ES-1 Proposed RMP Summary
Proposed RMP

Resource/ Resource Use Areas

Designate as VRM Class I.

Designate as limited or closed to OHV use:

• Limited: 271,600 acres • Closed: 175,300 acres

Wild and Scenic Rivers

Manage suitable river segments in a manner that would protect their outstandingly remarkable values, tentative classification, and free-flowing nature. River corridors of eligible rivers that are determined not suitable would be managed according to other resource decisions for the Proposed RMP. Suitable: Capitol Gorge (the Fremont River immediately above Capitol Reef National Park), 1 segment, 5 miles

Provide special management attention to relevant and important values, resources, natural systems, and hazards in designated ACECs. Potential ACECs that are not designated would be managed according to other resource decisions for the Proposed RMP.

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern

Designate two ACECs totaling 2,530 acres: the North Caineville Mesa ACEC and the Old Woman Front ACEC.

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Major Changes from the Draft RMP to the Proposed RMP
Review of and comments on the DRMP/DEIS have resulted in several changes and the subsequent development of the PRMP/FEIS. Changes are in response to a combination of public comments, meetings with cooperating agencies, internal review, and changes in BLM policy and management direction. Some specific comments suggested that alternatives to maximize particular uses or to maximize protection of certain resources should be analyzed in detail. Although these types of alternatives were considered, they were not analyzed in detail because they did not meet BLM’s multiple use and sustained yield mandate as established in the FLPMA or the planning criteria set out in the DRMP/DEIS. Other comments suggested consideration of items outside the scope of BLM’s decision authority and therefore were not considered in this PRMP/FEIS. Changes from the DRMP/DEIS include the following: • • • • • The DRMP/DEIS Preferred Alternative (Alternative B) has been modified and renamed the Proposed RMP. Maps were updated to reflect changes in the Proposed RMP and to correct errors. Air Quality: Air quality emissions calculations were completed for each alternative. Livestock Grazing: Temporary non-renewable use of grazing was added to reduce site-specific fuels (i.e., cheat grass). Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics: Management prescriptions for non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics were added to the Proposed RMP. Twelve land units (totaling 78,600 acres) would be managed to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics. Recreation: – Under the PRMP/FEIS, the size of the Factory Butte SRMA was increased, and the size of the Big Rocks SRMA was decreased. Travel Management: – The boundary of the Factory Butte Play Area was adjusted to designate OHV play areas while avoiding sensitive plant species. – The sizes of the Big Rocks Trails Area and the Glenwood Play Area were decreased. – The Mayfield Open Area was eliminated from the PRMP/FEIS. Wild and Scenic Rivers: The Fremont River in the Fremont River Gorge would be found suitable as a wild river for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System (NWSRS), whereas the Dirty Devil River would be found non-suitable for inclusion in the NWSRS.

• •

•

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES
The environmental consequences that could result from the Proposed RMP were analyzed relative to meaningful direct, indirect, short-term, and long-term impacts. The impacts of each alternative are summarized in Chapter 2 and described in Chapter 4. Also included in Chapter 4 is a discussion of cumulative impacts that could result from the Proposed RMP when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable actions. The Proposed RMP would be considered by the BLM to be the environmentally preferable alternative when taking into consideration the human (social and economic) environment as well as the natural environment. The Proposed RMP attempts to balance protection and conservation of physical, biological, and cultural resources, while providing for commodity production and mineral extraction.

ES-8

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Executive Summary

CONSULTATION
During the planning process, BLM coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), United States Fish Wildlife Service (USFWS), Native American tribes, cooperating agencies, and the public. • • Consultation with State of Utah SHPO: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) mandates a review process for all federally funded projects that will impact sites listed on, or eligible to be listed on, the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Consultation with USFWS: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the ESA. Section 7 of the ESA, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which federal agencies ensure that the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species. Coordination with Native American Tribes: BLM is required by law to coordinate with Native American tribes in developing RMPs, to be consistent with tribal plans and protection of treaty rights, and to observe specific planning coordination authorities. In developing the Richfield RMP, BLM representatives met with representatives of the Hopi, Navajo, Paiute, and Ute Tribes. Coordination with Cooperating Agencies: In preparing the Richfield DRMP/DEIS and PRMP/FEIS, BLM invited other federal agencies and state and local governments to participate as cooperating agencies. The State of Utah and Garfield, Piute, Sevier, and Wayne counties each signed cooperating agency agreements and participated as members of the interdisciplinary team. Other federal agencies, including the United States Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), and USFWS, also participated in the interdisciplinary team meetings. Other Consultation: The field manager, land use planner, and other staff communicated regularly with a variety of groups and individuals that were interested in the RMP. Such communication will continue through the Record of Decision (ROD) and plan implementation.

•

•

•

FUTURE ACTIONS, PROTEST PERIOD, RECORD OF DECISION, AND
IMPLEMENTATION
The BLM posted the NOA in the Federal Register on August 8, 2008. The NOA formally begins the 30day protest period, scheduled to end September 8, 2008. The BLM Planning Regulations set forth the provisions applicable to protests (43 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1610.5-2). A person who meets the conditions as described in the regulations cited above and who wishes to file a protest must file said protest within 30 days of the date that the NOA is published in the Federal Register. Additional information on protests is set forth in the “Dear Reader” letter of the Richfield PRMP/FEIS. The Record of Decision (ROD) will be the decision document for the approved plan. The ROD will state the decision on the RMP, will state the reasons for the decision, will identify all alternatives, and will state compliance with applicable laws. The Approved RMP will provide overarching guidance for all subsequent sitespecific decisions and implementation and activity plans within the RFO. Many LUP decisions are implemented or become effective upon publication of the ROD for the Approved RMP and may include desired conditions, land use allocations (allowable uses), or designations and special designations. These designations include the following: • • • VRM class designations OHV area designations Areas closed and open to oil and gas leasing and the stipulations applied to leases within the open areas

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

• • •

WSR suitability recommendations ACEC designations ROW avoidance/exclusion

ES-10

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION, PURPOSE AND NEED
1.1 INTRODUCTION
In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for management of public lands and its resources, based on the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. Land Use Plans (LUP) provide management direction, determine appropriate multiple uses, allocate resources, develop strategies to manage and protect resources, and establish systems to monitor and evaluate the status of resources and effectiveness of management. LUPs are intended to guide management, allowing continuing uses of public land over extended time periods. The Richfield Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) identifies the Proposed RMP, which has been selected out of the range of alternatives in the Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS) for the future management of public land and resources in the Richfield Field Office (RFO). The Proposed RMP was crafted primarily from the Preferred Alternative presented in the DRMP/DEIS (Alternative B) and includes other decisions within the range of alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) in response to public comments and internal review. The PRMP/FEIS includes a new analysis (presented in Chapter 4) to describe the environmental impacts of implementing the Proposed RMP. The BLM has removed the DRMP/DEIS Alternative B (the Preferred Alternative) from the PRMP/FEIS. The other four alternatives analyzed in the DRMP/DEIS are carried forward for comparative purposes and to correct minor errors that were pointed out by the public and during internal review. This PRMP/FEIS addresses the future management of 2.1 million surface and mineral estate acres of public land and an additional 95,000 acres of federal mineral estate (underlying private or state surface) in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, and Wayne counties, as well as portions of Garfield County. There are also 21,500 acres of Kane County within the planning area. However, these acres lie entirely within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area [NRA], which is managed by the National Park Service [NPS], so no decisions within this PRMP/FEIS will affect those lands. This PRMP/FEIS was prepared in cooperation with the five affected county governments, the State of Utah, several Native American tribes, and other federal agencies.

1.2 PURPOSE AND NEED
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1502.13) require the purpose and need of an environmental impact statement (EIS) to “briefly specify the underlying purpose and need to which the agency is responding in proposing the alternatives.” The purpose and need section of this PRMP/FEIS provides a context and framework for establishing and evaluating the reasonable range of alternatives that are described in Chapter 2.

1.2.1

Purpose

Section 102 of FLPMA sets forth the policy for periodically projecting the present and future use of public lands and their resources, using the land use planning process. Sections 201 and 202 of FLPMA establish the BLM’s land use planning requirements. The BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-16011) provides guidance for implementing the BLM land use planning requirements that are established by Sections 201 and 202 of FLPMA and by the regulations in 43 CFR 1600.

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The purpose, or goal, of the LUP is to provide a comprehensive framework for the BLM’s management of the public lands within the planning area and to ensure that these public lands are managed in accordance with FLPMA and with the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. The purpose of this plan revision is to consolidate the existing LUPs and their amendments; to reevaluate, with public involvement, existing conditions, resources, and uses; and to reconsider the mix of resource allocations and management decisions that are designed to balance uses with the protection of resources, pursuant to FLPMA and other applicable law. This RMP revision will address the growing needs of the planning area and result in selection of a management strategy that best achieves a combination of the following: • • Employ a community-based planning approach to collaborate with federal, state, and local cooperating agencies. Resolve multiple-use conflicts or issues between resource values and resource uses. The resulting Proposed RMP will establish consolidated guidance and updated goals, objectives, and management actions for the public lands in the RFO. The Proposed RMP will be comprehensive in nature and will address issues that have been identified through agency, interagency, and public scoping efforts. Establish goals and objectives (desired outcomes) for management of resources and resource uses within the approximately 2.1 million surface and mineral estate acres and the additional 95,000 acres of federal mineral estate (underlying private or state surface) that are administered by the BLM’s RFO, in accordance with the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. Identify LUP decisions to guide future land management actions and subsequent site-specific implementation decisions. Identify management actions and allowable uses that are anticipated to achieve the established goals and objectives and to reach desired outcomes. Provide comprehensive management direction by making land use decisions for all appropriate resources and resource uses that are administered by the RFO. Provide for compliance with applicable tribal, federal, and state laws, standards, implementation plans, and BLM policies and regulations. Recognize the nation’s needs for domestic sources of minerals, food, timber, and fiber, and incorporate requirements of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) Reauthorization of 2000. Retain flexibility to adapt to new and emerging issues and opportunities and to provide for adjustments to decisions over time, based on new information and monitoring. Strive to be compatible with existing plans and policies of adjacent local, state, tribal, and federal agencies and to be consistent with federal law, regulations, and BLM policy.

•

• • • • •

• •

1.2.2

Need

The following six LUPs and subsequent amendments currently guide management of the public lands within the planning area. In addition, the following Mineral Leasing Activity Plans, Recreation Management Plans, Habitat Management Plans (HMP), and existing environmental assessments (EA) and EISs currently apply federal policy to resources at a more manageable level than the current situation.

1.2.2.1
• • • • • •

Six LUPs and Subsequent Amendments

Forest Management Framework Plan (MFP), approved in 1977 Mountain Valley MFP, approved in 1982 Henry Mountain MFP, approved in 1982 Parker Mountain MFP, approved in 1982 Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony RMP, approved in 1986 San Rafael RMP, approved in 1991

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Chapter 1

1.2.2.2
• •

Mineral Leasing Activity Plans

Oil and Gas Leasing EA, 1988 Designation of Hydrocarbon Lease Categories, 1984

1.2.2.3
• • • • •

Recreation Management Plans

Henry Mountains Off-Road Vehicle Implementation Plan Parker Mountain Off-Road Vehicle Implementation Plan Mountain Valley Off-Road Vehicle Implementation Plan Forest Planning Unit OHV Implementation Plan, 1983 Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony OHV Implementation Plan

1.2.2.4
• • •

Habitat Management Plans

Parker Mountain HMP Henry Mountains Desert Bighorn Sheep HMP Antimony HMP

1.2.2.5
• • • • • •

Existing Environmental Assessments and Impact Statements

Utah BLM Statewide Wilderness EIS, 1990 Utah Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Regional EIS, 1984 Henry Mountains Grazing EIS, 1983 Parker Mountain Grazing EIS, 1979 Mountain Valley Grazing EIS, 1980 United States Forest Service (USFS)/BLM Motorized Events EA, 2001 (J-050-01-024)

Through a formal evaluation completed in February 2001, the BLM identified the need, or requirement, to revise these six LUPs. Since completion of these LUPs, considerable changes have occurred within the planning area. Heightened public awareness, increased public demand for use of the lands, and increases in conflict between competing resource values and land uses continue to challenge the BLM’s management goals and objectives. The RFO is facing a variety of issues that affect local communities, regional and state interests, and the health of the public lands. These emerging issues and changing circumstances resulted in the need to revise the existing plans. Given the nature of the issues that face the RFO and the overlap between federal, tribal, state, and local jurisdictions, the RFO will combine the six existing LUPs into one planning document—the Richfield Proposed RMP. A number of new issues (such as new federal species listings), higher levels of controversy concerning existing issues, and new (unforeseen) public land uses and concerns have arisen over the years. These issues were not included or were not adequately addressed in the existing plans. These and other selected examples of new data, new and revised policies, and emerging issues and changing circumstances demonstrate the need to revise the existing plans.

1.3 DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANNING AREA
The planning area, located in south-central Utah, includes all of Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties and portions of Garfield and Kane counties, an area totaling 5.4 million acres (Map 1-1). The BLM administers 2.1 million acres of public land surface and mineral estate, and an additional 95,000 acres of federal minerals estate for which the surface estate is in non-federal (state or private) ownership.

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The BLM also has administrative responsibility for 2,082,865 acres of mineral estate for which the surface is managed by other federal agencies (USFS and NPS). On these lands, leasing of federal minerals is subject to management as directed by the surface managing agency, and the decisions of this Proposed RMP will pertain only to the BLM’s role in administering the minerals. Proposed RMP decisions apply only to BLM-administered public lands and resources. Table 1-1 summarizes the surface land ownership within the planning area. In this document, the term “planning area” applies to all lands within the fivecounty area, regardless of surface ownership. It is important to note that the BLM can make decisions that affect only public lands and resources, but it is responsible for collaborative planning with the public and adjacent jurisdictions to consider the impacts of its actions on all resources in the region.

Table 1-1. Land Ownership—Richfield Planning Area
Ownership Public lands (BLM-administered) National forests National parks and recreation areas Private Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) Other state, county, city, wildlife, park, and outdoor recreation areas Tribal lands
Total

Acres 2,128,200 1,476,400 608,500 803,600 385,300

Percentage of Planning Area 39 27 11 15 7

36,700 1,200
5,439,900

1 <1
100

1.4 PLANNING PROCESS
FLPMA requires BLM to use LUPs as tools by which “present and future use is projected” (43 United States Code [U.S.C.] 1701 [a][2]). FLPMA’s implementing regulations for planning, 43 CFR 1600, state that LUPs are a preliminary step in the overall process of managing public lands, “designed to guide and control future management actions and the development of subsequent, more detailed and limited scope plans for resources and uses” (43 CFR 1601.0-2). Public participation and input are important components of land use planning. Revision of existing LUPs is a major federal action for the BLM. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, requires federal agencies to prepare an EIS for major federal actions (United States Department of the Interior [USDI] Departmental Manual, Part 516, Chapter 11.4A[1]); thus, the FEIS accompanies the revision of the existing plans. This PRMP/FEIS analyzes the impacts of five alternative scenarios, including the No Action Alternative, for management of the public lands and resources within the planning area. The No Action Alternative reflects current management (the existing plans). NEPA requires analysis of a No Action Alternative. The BLM uses a nine-step planning process (Figure 1-1Error! Reference source not found.) when developing and revising RMPs, as required by 43 CFR 1600 and by planning program guidance in the

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Chapter 1

BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1). The planning process is designed to help the BLM identify the uses that the public desires for BLM-administered lands and to consider these uses to the extent that they are consistent with the laws established by Congress and the policies of the executive branch of the Federal Government.

Figure 1-1. Nine-Step Planning Process

Step 1 – Identification of Issues

Step 2 – Development of Planning Criteria

Step 3 – Inventory Data and Information Collection

Step 4 – Analysis of the Management Situation

Step 5 – Formulation of Alternatives

Step 6 – Estimation of Impacts of Alternatives

Step 7 – Selection of Preferred Alternative

Step 8 – Selection of the Resource Management Plan

Step 9 – Monitoring and Evaluation
Source: 43 CFR 1610.4

The planning process is issue-driven (Step 1). The plan revision process is undertaken to resolve management issues and problems as well as to take advantage of management opportunities. The BLM used the public scoping process to identify planning issues to direct (i.e., drive) the revision of the existing plans. The scoping process was also used to introduce the public to preliminary planning criteria, which set limits to the scope of the RMP revision (Step 2). As appropriate, the BLM used existing data from a variety of sources and collected new data as necessary to address planning issues and to fill data gaps that were identified during public scoping (Step 3). Using these data, the planning issues, and the planning criteria, the BLM conducted an Analysis of the Management Situation (AMS) (Step 4) to describe current management and to identify management opportunities for addressing the planning issues. Current management reflects management under the existing plans and management that would continue through selection of the No Action Alternative. The existing affected environment section from the AMS is summarized in Chapter 3 of the PRMP/FEIS. The AMS is included as part of the Administrative Record for this plan and is available in the RFO and on the RFO's planning website (www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/richfield/planning.html). Results of the first four steps of the planning process clarified the purpose and need and identified key planning issues that need to be addressed in the new RMP. Key planning issues reflect the focus of the RMP revision and are described in more detail in the Planning Issues section of this chapter.

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Alternatives constitute a range of management actions that are anticipated to achieve identified goals or objectives. During alternative formulation (Step 5), the BLM collaborated with cooperating agencies to identify goals and objectives (desired outcomes) for resources and resource uses in the planning area. These desired outcomes addressed the key planning issues, were constrained by the planning criteria, and incorporated the management opportunities identified by the BLM. Details of the alternatives were developed through the identification of management actions and allowable uses that are anticipated to achieve the goals and objectives. The alternatives represent a reasonable range for managing resources and resource uses within the planning area, under the multiple use and sustained yield mandate of FLPMA. Chapter 2 of this document describes and summarizes the alternatives. This PRMP/FEIS also includes an analysis of the impacts of each alternative in Chapter 4 (Step 6). With input from cooperating agencies and BLM specialists and in consideration of planning issues, planning criteria, and the impacts of the alternatives, BLM has identified a Proposed RMP from among the five alternatives (Step 7). This Proposed RMP is documented in the PRMP/FEIS, which will be distributed to the public for review and comment (also Step 7). Step 8 of the land use planning process will occur following receipt and consideration of public comments on the PRMP/FEIS. In preparing the PRMP/FEIS, the BLM considered all comments received during the public comment period. In developing the PRMP/FEIS, the Utah BLM State Director, who is the decision maker for this plan revision, has the authority and discretion to select an alternative in its entirety or to combine components of the various presented alternatives to prioritize differing resources or uses, consistent with the multiple use and sustained yield mandate. The regulations at 43 CFR 1610 provide, prior to the approval of the Proposed RMP, a 60-day period for the Governor of Utah for “consistency review” and a 30-day period to protest the Proposed RMP to the BLM Director for “any person who participated in the planning process and has an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the approval” of the PRMP/FEIS. Step 9 is the monitoring and evaluation process. Monitoring is the repeated measurement of activities and conditions over time. Evaluation is a process in which the plan and monitoring data are reviewed to see if management goals and objectives are being met and if management direction is sound. Monitoring data gathered over time is examined and used to draw conclusions on whether management actions are meeting stated objectives, and if not, why. Conclusions are then used to make recommendations on whether to continue current management or what changes need to be made in management practices to meet objectives. The two types of monitoring that are tied to the planning process include implementation and effectiveness monitoring. Land use plan monitoring is the process of (1) tracking the implementation of land use planning decisions and (2) collecting and assessing data/information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of land use planning decisions. The two types of monitoring are described below. Implementation Monitoring: Implementation monitoring is the most basic type of monitoring and simply determines whether planned activities have been implemented in the manner prescribed by the plan. Some agencies call this compliance monitoring. This monitoring documents BLM’s progress toward full implementation of the land use plan decision. There are no specific thresholds or indicators required for this type of monitoring. Effectiveness Monitoring: Effectiveness monitoring is aimed at determining if the implementation of activities has achieved the desired goals and objectives. Effectiveness monitoring asks the question: Was the specified activity successful in achieving the objective? This requires knowledge of the objectives established in the RMP as well as indicators that can be measured. Indicators are established by technical

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specialists in order to address specific questions, and thus avoid collection of unnecessary data. Success is measured against the benchmark of achieving desired conditions established by the plan. Regulations at 43 CFR 1610.4-9 require that the Proposed RMP establish intervals and standards, as appropriate, for monitoring and evaluation of the plan, based on the sensitivity of the resource decisions involved. Progress in meeting the plan objectives and adherence to the management framework established by the plan is reviewed periodically. CEQ regulations implementing NEPA state that agencies may provide for monitoring to assure that their decisions are carried out and should do so in important cases (40 CFR 1505.2(c)). To meet these requirements, the BLM will review the plan on a regular schedule in order to provide consistent tracking of accomplishments and provide information that can be used to develop annual budget requests to continue implementation. Land use plan evaluations will be used by BLM to determine if the decisions in the RMP, supported by the accompanying NEPA analysis, are still valid. Evaluation of the RMP will generally be conducted every five years per BLM policy, unless unexpected actions, new information, or significant changes in other plans, legislation, or litigation triggers an evaluation. Land use plan evaluations determine if decisions are being implemented, whether mitigation measures are satisfactory, whether there are significant changes in the related plans of other entities, whether there is new data of significance to the plan, and if decisions should be changed through amendment or revision. Evaluations will follow the protocols established by the BLM Land Use Planning Handbook H-1601-1 in effect at the time the evaluation is initiated. Specific monitoring and evaluation needs are identified by resource/uses throughout Chapter 2.

1.5 DECISION FRAMEWORK
As stated in the previous section, identifying the planning issues and developing planning criteria are the first steps in defining the scope of the RMP revision. The planning issues and criteria provide the framework in which planning decisions are made. Planning decisions refer to what is established or determined by the Approved RMP. The Approved RMP provides guidance for planning decisions according to the following categories: • • • Physical, biological, and cultural resources Resource uses Special designations

In the context of these categories, management strategies were developed to provide viable options for addressing planning issues. The management strategies provide the building blocks from which general management scenarios and more-detailed resource management alternatives were developed. The resource management alternatives reflect a reasonable range of management options that fall within limits set by the planning criteria. The planning issues and planning criteria used to revise the existing plans are described in the following sections.

1.5.1

Planning Issues

The BLM conducted an early and open scoping process to determine the scope, or range, of issues to be addressed in this PRMP/FEIS. Scoping identifies the affected public and agency concerns, defines the relevant issues and alternatives that will be examined in detail in the RMP/EIS, and eliminates those that are not significant. The BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1), defines planning issues as “…disputes or controversies about existing and potential land and resource allocations, levels of resource use, production, and related management practices.”

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Public scoping was designed to meet the public involvement requirements of FLPMA and NEPA. This cooperative process included soliciting input from interested state and local governments, tribal governments, other federal agencies and organizations, and individuals, to identify the scope of issues to be addressed in the plan and to assist in the formulation of reasonable alternatives. The scoping process was an excellent method for opening dialogue between the BLM and the general public about management of the public lands and for identifying the concerns of those who have an interest in the area. As part of the scoping process, the BLM also requested that the public submit nominations for potential areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC) and nominations of rivers for potential inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (NWSRS). The scoping period for the Richfield RMP began on November 1, 2001, with publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register, and ended on April 1, 2002. Scoping included open-house meetings in five Utah communities (Richfield, Junction, Manti, Loa, and Salt Lake City). In addition, news releases were used to notify the public regarding the scoping period and the planning process and to invite the public to provide written comments. The RFO received written comments via e-mail, fax, and postal mail. Comments obtained from the public during the scoping period were used to define the relevant issues that would be addressed by a reasonable range of alternatives. For the Richfield planning process, scoping comments received were placed in one of three categories: • • • Issues to be resolved in the PRMP/FEIS Issues to be addressed through other policy or administrative action (and therefore not addressed in the PRMP/FEIS) Issues to be eliminated from detailed analysis because they are beyond the scope of the PRMP/FEIS

During the scoping process, the public and various agencies identified some important issues to be addressed in the RMP. The Richfield RMP/EIS Scoping Report (available for review on the RMP planning webpage at www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/richfield/planning.html) summarizes the scoping process. The issues that were identified in the Scoping Report fall into 1 of 12 broad categories. Other resource and use issues are identified in the BLM Land Use Planning Handbook H-1601-1. All these issues were considered in developing the alternatives brought forward in this PRMP/FEIS.

1.5.1.1

Issues to Be Addressed in the Richfield RMP

Those planning issues that were determined to be within the scope of the EIS were used to develop one or more of the alternatives or are addressed in other parts of the EIS. For example, as planning issues were refined, the BLM collaborated with cooperating agencies to develop a reasonable range of alternatives designed to address or resolve key planning issues, such as which areas, if any, contain unique or sensitive resources that require special management. A reasonable range of alternatives provides various scenarios for how the BLM and cooperating agencies can address this and other key planning issues, including the management of resources and resource uses in the planning area. In other words, key planning issues serve as the rationale for alternative development. The key planning issues identified for developing alternatives in this FEIS are as follows: Issue 1: Where and to what extent can transportation and access be managed to satisfy public demand while protecting natural and cultural resource values? Use (for recreation, commercial uses, and general enjoyment) of the public lands in southern Utah has grown in popularity in recent years. With this popularity has come a demand for greater variety and

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availability of access opportunities, including off-highway vehicle (OHV) use. With the number of visitors growing, resource and user conflicts are becoming more common. OHV use needs to be managed, including identifying areas to be restricted or closed for the protection of other resource values. Issue 2: Which areas should be designated for special management (e.g., ACECs and Wild and Scenic Rivers [WSR]), and how should these areas be managed? FLPMA and BLM policy require the BLM to give priority to designation and protection of ACECs during the land use planning process. The Wild and Scenic River Act directs federal agencies to consider the potential for including watercourses into the NWSRS during the land use planning process. The alternatives analyzed in this PRMP/FEIS include a range of management prescriptions for managing potential ACECs, as well as for managing the eligible rivers as suitable WSRs. Issue 3: How should non-wilderness study area (WSA) lands with wilderness characteristics be managed? The RFO includes lands that are outside designated WSAs but that contain the wilderness characteristics of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude, and outstanding opportunities for primitive or unconfined recreation. The PRMP/FEIS analyzes alternative decisions and levels of protection for nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics. Issue 4: How should recreation activities be managed to satisfy public demand while protecting natural and cultural resource values? Recreation in southern Utah has grown in popularity in recent years. With this popularity has come a demand for a greater variety and availability of recreation opportunities such as motorized and nonmotorized trails (including equestrian trails), climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and camping. With the number of visitors growing, resource and user conflicts are becoming more common. Recreational use needs to be managed, including identifying special recreation management areas (SRMA) in which management attention is needed to highlight important recreational opportunities or to deal with problems such as conflicts between users or impacts on other resources. Issue 5: Which areas will be available for mineral development, and which restrictions should be imposed? Mineral development is considered a major issue for the planning area, not only for economic reasons but also for the degree to which it can potentially affect other resources (including soils, vegetation, water quality, wildlife habitat and naturalness, solitude, and opportunities for primitive or unconfined recreation). Throughout this PRMP/FEIS, energy and mineral development are analyzed in the context of the need for protection of other resources. BLM has management discretion in four areas, and the alternatives include a range of options for each: • • • • Areas closed or open to oil and gas leasing and the stipulations on leasing within the open areas Areas closed or open to disposal of salable minerals (mineral materials) Areas proposed for withdrawal from entry under the mining laws Areas available for further consideration for coal leasing (coal unsuitability)

Issue 6: Which areas will be available for livestock grazing, in light of resource conflicts?

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The Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, manages approximately 264 million acres of public rangelands throughout the western United States. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, FLPMA, and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978 together guide the BLM's management of livestock grazing on public lands. The objectives for grazing administration regulations are to “promote healthy sustainable rangeland ecosystems; accelerate restoration and improvement of public rangelands to properly functioning condition; efficiently and effectively administer domestic livestock grazing; and provide for the sustainability of the Western livestock industry and communities that are dependent upon productive, healthy public rangelands” (43 CFR § 4100.0–2). This PRMP/FEIS will review and update the status of lands available or unavailable for livestock grazing, as referred to in 43 CFR 4130.2. When rangeland health assessment, monitoring data, inventory data, or other inputs indicate that changes are needed for resource improvement, these changes will be pursued at the implementation level on a site-specific basis, in accordance with BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1). Issue 7: How can resources such as vegetation, soils, and wildlife be protected, maintained, or restored? Some resource uses (e.g., grazing, mineral development, OHV use, recreation) can affect the natural function and condition of plant communities that provide habitat for wildlife. A healthy cover of perennial vegetation stabilizes the soil, increases infiltration of precipitation, reduces runoff, provides clean water to adjacent streams, and minimizes noxious weed invasion. Healthy plant communities provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including special status species (SSS). The alternatives address wildlife and wildlife habitat in terms of the interactions of other resources and resource uses (such as oil and gas leasing, OHV area and route designations, and development of rightsof-way [ROW]) with wildlife and its habitat. The management of habitat for plant and animal species that are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), such as the Mexican spotted owl, Wright fishhook cactus, and Utah prairie dog, as well as other species considered sensitive, such as the Greater sage-grouse and the pygmy rabbit, was raised as an issue by the BLM, other federal and state agencies, and the public. In recognition of the importance of these species, the alternatives address them separately from other wildlife species. Issue 8: Where is fire desired and not desired, and in which areas could fire be used as a management tool for vegetative treatments? Drought and beetle infestation in southern Utah have contributed to hazardous fuel loading, increasing the threat of wildfires. Areas of pinyon die-off and dry grasslands have also created areas of higher risk for fire hazard and could require treatment. A fire management plan is to be developed to address high-risk areas, fire prevention, prescribed burns, rehabilitation and restoration, hazardous fuels reduction, and the protection of life and property. Issue 9: Which lands within the planning area should be identified as targets for acquisition, disposal, or withdrawal? As mandated by Section 102 (a)(1) of FLPMA (43 U.S.C. § 1701), public lands are retained in federal ownership, the exception being those public lands that have future potential for disposal (e.g., sale or exchange), as described under Section 203(a) and Section 206 of FLPMA (43 U.S.C. §§ 1713 and 1716).

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Public lands cannot be effectively administered without legal and physical access. Therefore, public lands have potential for disposal when they are isolated or difficult to manage. Lands that are identified for disposal must meet public objectives, such as community expansion and economic development. Disposals would be accomplished by using a variety of methods, including land sales, land exchange, and sale or lease under the Recreation and Public Purposes (R&PP) Act of 1926. Public lands can be considered for disposal other than through FLPMA sale, on a case-by-case basis. Disposal actions are usually in response to a public request or application and result in a title transfer, wherein the lands leave the public domain. In addition, the BLM will consider acquisition of non-federal lands that meet resource management objectives, through negotiated purchase, donation, or exchange from willing sellers. In a withdrawal of lands, an area of public land is withheld from settlement, sale, location, or entry, for the purpose of limiting activities to maintain other public values. Although the PRMP/FEIS does not include specific decisions on social and economic factors, the impacts of the management actions contained within the alternatives are analyzed for their impacts on socioeconomic conditions. Social and economic factors are identified in Chapter 3 (Affected Environment) and analyzed in Chapter 4 (Environmental Consequences). Other issues related to resources and resource uses are required to be considered during land use planning efforts, in accordance with BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1610-1) and NEPA regulations and policy. These include decisions for soil and water, management of ROWs, environmental justice, and air quality.

1.5.1.2

Issues Considered But Not Further Analyzed

Issues Addressed Through Policy or Administrative Action

Policy or administrative actions include those actions that are implemented by the BLM because they are standard operating procedure, because federal law requires them, or because they are BLM policy. Administrative actions do not require a planning decision to implement. Issues that can be addressed by policy or administrative actions are eliminated from detailed analysis in this planning effort. Such issues include the following: • Compliance with existing laws and policies (e.g., FLPMA, NEPA, ESA, American Antiquities Act, Clean Air Act of 1970 [CAA], Clean Water Act of 1977 [CWA], National Historic Preservation Act [NHPA]). The allocation of forage between livestock and wildlife and the application of specific management practices on allotments within the RFO, as provided for through the application of Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health, Guidelines for Livestock Grazing Management, and supporting monitoring data. When monitoring and inventory data indicate a need, changes to the allocation of forage for livestock and wildlife are made after coordination with permittees, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), and other affected interests to ensure that resource objectives are met. Livestock grazing management practices may also be adjusted to ensure that grazing practices are compatible with other uses of the public lands. These allocation and management adjustments are implementation decisions according to the BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1) and are made on an allotment or other site-specific basis. Education, enforcement and prosecution, vandalism, and volunteer coordination. Assistance in resolving, to the extent possible, inconsistencies between federal and non-federal agency plans, and in establishing consistency with state and local plans to the maximum extent, consistent with federal law and the purposes of FLPMA. Management of cultural resources, including up-to-date inventories, non-disclosure of sensitive sites, proposal of cultural sites for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and Native American consultation.

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• • • • • • • • • • • •

Management of the RFO’s 11 existing WSAs (approximately 446,900 acres) under the Interim Management Policy (IMP) for Lands Under Wilderness Review (BLM Handbook H-8550-1). The BLM is statutorily (FLPMA Section 603[c]) required to manage these areas to protect their suitability for congressional designation for the National Wilderness Preservation System unless and until Congress either designates an area as wilderness or releases it from further consideration. The BLM’s discretion to make planning decisions about management of WSAs is limited to designating WSAs as visual resource management (VRM) Class I and to determining whether the WSAs will be limited or closed to OHV use. Completion of inventory of riparian and wetland areas and the use of monitoring and mitigation to help protect these resources. Recreation management improvements, including a comprehensive sign system and maps. Administration of existing mineral leases, permits, and other authorized uses. Administration of valid existing rights. Monitoring wildlife and biodiversity. Monitoring air quality. Mitigation measures for site-specific projects. Noxious weed control. Eligibility standards for specially designated areas. Protection of threatened, endangered, or sensitive species. Coordination with local, state, and federal agencies. Cooperation with user groups.

Issues Beyond the Scope of the RMP

Issues beyond the scope of the RMP process include all issues that are not related to decisions that would occur as a result of the planning process. Such decisions include those that are not under the jurisdiction of the RFO or are beyond the capability of the BLM to resolve as part of the planning process. Issues identified in this category include the following: • The State of Utah and Garfield, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties may hold valid existing ROWs in the planning area, pursuant to Revised Statute (RS) 2477, Act of July 28 1866, Chapter 262, 8, 14 Stat. 252, 253, codified at 43 U.S.C. 932. On October 21, 1976, Congress repealed RS 2477 through passage of FLPMA. This RMP does not adjudicate, analyze, or otherwise determine the validity of claimed ROWs. However, nothing in the RMP extinguishes any valid ROW, or alters in any way the legal rights that the state and counties have to assert and protect RS 2477 rights or to challenge in federal court or other appropriate venue any RMPimposed use restrictions that they believe are inconsistent with their rights. New proposals for WSAs or wilderness. Activities and uses beyond the jurisdiction of the BLM. Changing of existing laws, policies, and regulations. Availability of funding and personnel for managing programs.

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1.5.2

Planning Criteria

BLM planning regulations (43 CFR 1610) require the preparation of planning criteria preliminary to the development of all RMPs. Planning criteria are the standards, rules, and guidelines that help to guide the planning process. These criteria influence all aspects of the planning process, including inventory and data collection, developing issues to address, formulating alternatives, estimating impacts, and selecting the Proposed RMP. In conjunction with the planning issues, planning criteria ensure that the planning process is focused and incorporates appropriate analyses. Planning criteria are developed from

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appropriate laws, regulations, and policies as well as from public participation and coordination with cooperating agencies, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and Native American tribes. Planning criteria used in the development of this RMP are as follows: • • • • • • • • • The RMP will recognize the existence of valid existing rights. The RMP will comply with applicable laws, regulations, executive orders, and BLM supplemental program guidance. Planning decisions will cover BLM-administered public lands, including split-estate lands for which the Federal Government has retained the sub-surface mineral estate. Planning decisions will use and observe the principles of multiple use and sustained yield that are set forth in FLPMA and other applicable law (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c][1]). The BLM will use a systematic interdisciplinary approach to achieve integrated consideration of physical, biological, economic, and other sciences (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c][2]). Areas potentially suitable for ACEC or other special designations will be identified and, where appropriate, brought forward for analysis in the EIS (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c][3]). The BLM will rely on, to the extent it is available, the inventory of public lands, their resources, and other values (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c][4]). The BLM will consider present and potential uses of the public lands (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c][5]). The BLM will consider the relative scarcity of the values involved and the availability of alternative means (including recycling) and sites for the realization of those values (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c][6]). The BLM will consider the relationship between short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. Decisions in the RMP will comply with applicable pollution control laws, including state and federal air, water, noise, or other pollution standards or implementation plans (43 U.S.C. 1701 [c] [8]). To the extent consistent with the laws governing the administration of the public lands (FLPMA 202 b[9]), BLM will be consistent with existing officially adopted and approved resource-related plans, policies, or programs of other federal agencies, state agencies, Native American tribes, and local governments that may be affected (43 CFR 1610.3-1 [c][9]).

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1.6 CHANGES FROM THE DRAFT RMP TO THE PROPOSED RMP
Review of and comments on the DRMP/DEIS have resulted in several changes to that document. Changes were in response to a combination of public comments, meetings with cooperating agencies, and changes in BLM policy and management direction. None of the changes described here and further detailed in Appendix 20 meet the regulatory definition for significance in 40 CFR 1508.27(a) and (b) because these changes resulted in minor modifications to what was considered in the DRMP/DEIS and would not greatly affect the impacts analysis. These regulations require an agency preparing a NEPA document to review the changes for significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the Proposed RMP or its impacts, using context and intensity as the trigger for significance. The BLM has reviewed each change according to this regulatory standard and has determined that none of the changes, individually or collectively, require a supplement to this PRMP/FEIS. The DRMP/DEIS Preferred Alternative (Alternative B) has been revised and renamed the Proposed RMP. The BLM has made numerous changes between the DRMP/DEIS and PRMP/FEIS. These changes are described in this section and detailed in Appendix 20. The BLM has prepared Appendix 20 to document whether changes between the DRMP/DEIS and the PRMP/FEIS resulted in a significant change in

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circumstances or conditions or whether the PRMP/FEIS contains updated information from that which was presented to the public in the DRMP/DEIS. Finally, the BLM wanted to confirm that all changes made to the PRMP/FEIS fall within the range of alternatives that were presented and analyzed in the DRMP/DEIS. If changes that were made to the PRMP/FEIS are outside the range of alternatives that were analyzed in the DRMP/DEIS, this section and Appendix 20 provide an explanation for the need to make the change and the determination of whether the change is or is not significant. The regulation controlling whether or not a supplement is required is found at 40 CFR 1502.9(c), which provides that agencies: (1) Shall prepare supplements to either draft or final environmental impact statements if: (i) The agency makes substantial changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns; or (ii) There are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impact (as defined by NEPA in 40 CFR 1508.27). May also prepare supplements when the agency determines that the purposes of the Act will be furthered by doing so. 

(2)

All changes to the RFO DRMP/DEIS were made in response to public comment and internal review. The majority of the changes were editorial changes made to add clarity to the document. In some cases, alternatives presented in the DRMP/DEIS were modified in the PRMP/FEIS to reflect technical corrections and data updates. In other cases, such as in Chapter 3, incorporation of updated information was necessary to refine the analysis in Chapter 4, which was incomplete or needed augmentation.

1.6.1 Summary of Changes To Decisions Between the Preferred Alternative (Draft EIS) and the Proposed RMP (Final EIS)
The following list identifies some of the specific differences between the Preferred Alternative of the DRMP/DEIS and the Proposed RMP: • • • • Air Quality. Air quality emissions calculations were completed for each alternative. Fish and Wildlife. Wildlife habitat maps were changed to reflect the most current UDWR data. Livestock Grazing. Temporary non-renewable use of grazing was added to reduce site-specific fuels (i.e., cheat grass). Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. Management prescriptions for 12 nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics areas (78,600 acres) were added to the Proposed RMP to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics. Recreation. – Under the Proposed RMP, the size of the Factory Butte SRMA was increased to 24,400 acres and the size of the Big Rocks SRMA was decreased to 90 acres. – Established three RMZs in the Factory Butte SRMA including the OHV Open Play Area RMZ (8,500 acres), the Motorized Touring RMZ (11,300 acres) and the Landmarks RMZ (4,600 acres). Travel Management. – The boundary of the Factory Butte Play Area was adjusted to designate OHV play areas while avoiding sensitive plant species. – The size of the Big Rocks Trails Area and the Glenwood Play Area were decreased. – The Mayfield Open Area was eliminated from the Proposed RMP. – Increased the miles of designated routes by 46 miles.

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Increased the miles of designated routes with seasonal closures or size/width restrictions by 55 miles. – Increased the miles of closed routes by 141 miles. WSRs. The Fremont River in the Fremont River Gorge would be managed as suitable for inclusion in the NWSRS with a tentative classification of “wild”. The Dirty Devil segment was not carried forward as a suitable river for inclusion in the NWSRS.

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1.6.2 Summary of Changes Made Between the DRMP/DEIS and the PRMP/FEIS
1.6.2.1 Chapter 1

The following changes were made to Chapter 1, based on public comment and BLM review: • • • • Revised the language regarding RS 2477. Revised the language regarding tar sands, based on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing. Added a section to describe the changes from the DRMP/DEIS to the PRMP/FEIS. Revised the PRMP/FEIS based on the UDWR wildlife habitat maps.

1.6.2.2

Chapter 2

The following clarifications/modifications were made to Chapter 2: • • • Italicized and added an asterisk and footnote to identify implementation-level decisions. Added the Air Quality common to all management actions, based on discussions with the State of Utah. Revised the SSS management actions to allow no surface disturbing or otherwise disruptive activities within 2 miles of a greater sage-grouse lek from March 15 to July 15 to protect sage grouse breeding and brood-rearing habitat. Revised the SSS management actions to manage oil and gas leasing as open subject to major constraints (NSO) within ½ mile of greater sage-grouse leks. Revised the SSS management action to allow no surface disturbing or otherwise disruptive activities in greater sage-grouse winter habitat from December 15 through March 14. Added the Minerals and Energy common to all management actions. Revised the Lands and Realty management decisions to give land exchanges with the State of Utah priority consideration to resolve inholdings issues. Revised the WSA common to all management actions to address ways in WSAs. Revised the WSR common to all management actions to work with upstream and downstream water users and applicable agencies to ensure that water flows are maintained at a level sufficient to sustain the values for which affected river segments were designated. Revised the Travel management common to all management actions to allow limitations on the types of vehicles that are allowed on specific designated routes (especially off-road travel in an area that is limited to designated routes), if monitoring indicates that a particular type of vehicle is causing disturbance to the soil, wildlife habitat, cultural, or vegetative resources. Revised the Transportation common to all management actions to clarify that the State of Utah may be provided reasonable access to state lands for economic purposes per the Cotter decision, on a case-by-case basis. Revised the Vegetation common to all management actions to implement noxious weed and invasive species control actions as per national guidance and local weed management plans.

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Revised the Wildlife common to all management actions to allow for maintenance of the land use plan when minor adjustments to crucial wildlife habitat boundaries are periodically made by the UDWR. Revised the Wildlife management actions in the Proposed RMP to allow for compensatory mitigation on an “as appropriate” basis when it can be performed onsite, and on a voluntary basis when it is performed offsite, in accordance with current guidance. Clarified the wording for the No Leasing Alternative and the Livestock Grazing Adjustments Alternative that were considered but eliminated from detailed analysis.

1.6.2.3

Chapter 3

The following changes were made to Chapter 3, based on public comment and BLM review: • • • Clarified that the Cotter decision would apply in providing access to SITLA lands. Added language to recognize the importance of climate change and the potential effects it may have on the natural environment. Clarified the limitation of the application of the size criteria for non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

1.6.2.4

Chapter 4

The following changes were made to Chapter 4, based on public comment and BLM review: • • • Conducted emissions calculations for each of the Alternatives and the Proposed RMP. Added cultural language to describe the Section 106 consultation process. Revised the non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics impact analysis to address lands that are carried forward in the Proposed RMP and those lands that are not carried forward in the Proposed RMP. Revised the ACEC section to clarify other resource decisions that provide protection to relevant and important values of potential ACECs. In addition, this section was formatted to be consist with other sections in Chapter 4. Revised the cumulative impact analysis section to clarify incremental effects from past, present and future actions. Moved the sage grouse impact analysis from the fish and wildlife section to the special status species section. Revised the sage grouse impact analysis to address the management action changes described in chapter 2. Added to the socioeconomic section an impact analysis from non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) lands. Added language to address global climate change.

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1.6.2.5

Maps

The maps were revised based on public comment and BLM review: • • • A disclaimer was added to the wildlife habitat maps to provide the UDWR data publication dates and a reference to the exceptions, waivers, and modifications listed in Appendix 11. Included sage-grouse winter habitat on map 3-6. Maps were updated to reflect changes in the Proposed RMP and to correct errors.

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1.6.2.6

Appendices

The following appendices were added or revised, based on public comment and BLM review: • Appendix 11. The BLM has updated and clarified Appendix 11 Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations for the Proposed RMP, based on comments and internal review. New lease notices for threatened and endangered (T&E) species created by USFWS have been included. The “Other Scenic Lands” no surface occupancy (NSO) stipulation has been replaced with a CSU stipulation for VRM Class 2. Proposals for surface disturbing activities involving construction on slopes greater than 30 percent would be avoided if possible (subject to CSU) to protect fragile soils throughout the planning area. The BLM specified the conditions for waivers and modifications for wildlife habitat. Added a sage grouse seasonal restriction for 2 miles around leks and added a no surface occupancy stipulation of 1/2 miles around sage grouse leks. Appendix 16. Summary of Management of Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics for the Richfield Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS Appendix 17. Utah Public Lands Study: Key Social Survey Findings for Garfield, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne Counties Appendix 18. Factory Butte SRMA recreation management zones (RMZs) and Management Prescriptions Appendix 19. Wildland Fire Resource Protection Measures and Reasonable and Prudent Measures, Terms and Conditions, and Reporting Requirements Identified through Section 7 Consultation Appendix 20. Summary of Changes from the DRMP/DEIS to the PRMP/FEIS Appendix 21. State of Utah Air Quality Letter

• • • •

• •

1.7 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS, PLANS, AND POLICIES
1.7.1 Other Related Plans

FLPMA requires that the BLM, when developing or revising LUPs, shall abide by the following: …to the extent consistent with the laws governing the administration of the public lands, coordinate the land use inventory, planning, and management of activities of or for such lands with the land use planning and management programs of other Federal departments and agencies and of the States and local governments within which the lands are located…and assure that consideration is given to those State, local and tribal land use plans for public lands [and] assist in resolving, to the extent practical, inconsistencies between Federal and non-Federal Government plans…(43 U.S.C. S 1712 [c][9]) The BLM must keep apprised of the many ongoing programs, plans, and policies that are being implemented in the planning area by other federal, state, local, and tribal governments. The BLM will seek to be consistent with or complementary to other management actions whenever possible. Plans that need to be considered during the RFO's planning effort are identified in Table 1-2.

Table 1-2. Plans to Be Considered in the Richfield Resource Management Plan
Plan Types
County Plans

Specific Plans
Garfield County General Plan, 1998 General Plan for Piute County, 1994

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Plan Types

Specific Plans
Sanpete County General Plan, 1997 Sevier County General Plan, 1998 General Plan for Wayne County, 1994 Utah Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (State Wildlife Action Plan), 2005

State of Utah

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), 2000 Utah Water Quality Plan Manti-LaSal National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan Dixie National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan Fishlake National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan Uinta National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan Capitol Reef National Park General Management Plan, 1988 Glen Canyon National Recreation Area General Management Plan Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Grazing Management Plan Canyonlands National Park General Management Plan Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Minerals Management Plan, 1980 Kanab Field Office LUPs - Escalante MFP, Paria MFP, Vermilion MFP, Zion MFP and Cedar-BeaverGarfield-Antimony RMP Cedar City Field Office LUPs, MFPs - Pinyon Grazing EIS (1982), Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony RMP grazing decisions (1984), Utah BLM Statewide Wilderness EIS (1990) Fillmore Field Office- House Range Resource Management Plan and Warm Springs Resource Management Plan Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument LUPMonument Management Plan 1999 Price Field Office LUPs-the Price River Resource Area Management Framework Plan and the San Rafael Resource Management Plan Salt Lake Field Office LUPs- Randolph MFP (1980), Box Elder RMP (1986), Pony Express RMP (1990), Park City MFP (1975) and Isolated-Tract Planning Analysis Evaluation (1985) Parker Mountain Habitat Management Plan Henry Mountains Desert Bighorn Sheep Habitat Management Plan Antimony Habitat Management Plan Maguire Daisy Recovery Plan, 1995 Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plan, 1995 Utah Reed-Mustards Recovery Plan, 1994

National Forest Plans

National Park Service Plans

Other BLM Surrounding Offices

Habitat Plans

Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Plans

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Chapter 1

Plan Types

Specific Plans
Last Chance Townsendia Recovery Plan, 1993 Northern States Bald Eagle Recovery Plan, 1983 Wright Fishhook Cactus Recovery Plan, 1985 Southwest Willow Flycatcher Recovery Plan, 2001 Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Plan, 1991 Utah Prairie Dog Interim Conservation Strategy, 1997 Central Utah Navajo Sandstone Endemics Conservation Agreement, 2006 Conservation Agreement and Strategy for the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout, 1997 Conservation Agreement for the Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, 2006 Range-Wide Conservation Agreement for Roundtail Chub Gila robusta, Bluehead Sucker Catostomus discobolus, and Flannelmouth Sucker Catostomus latipinnis, 2004 Conservation Strategy and Agreement for the Management of Northern Goshawk Habitat in Utah, 1999 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS Utah Land Use Plan Amendment for Fire and Fuels Management, 2005 Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, 2005 Vegetation Treatments on BLM Lands in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Report, 2007 Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, 2007 Final Environmental Impact Statement Vegetation Treatment on BLM Lands in Thirteen Western States and associated Records of Decision, 1991

BLM Programmatic Environmental Analyses

Consistency with national forest plans is ongoing because three of the four national forests that share boundaries with the RFO are revising their LUPs. In developing their respective management plans, the USFS and BLM have coordinated OHV area and route designations, potential WSR evaluations, and other resources of mutual concern.

1.7.2

Energy Policy and Conservation Act

In May 2001, the Bush administration's Comprehensive National Energy Policy was issued. This Policy directed the Secretary of the Interior to do the following: … examine land status and lease stipulation impediments to Federal oil and gas leasing, and review and modify those where opportunities exist (consistent with the law, good environmental practice and balanced use of other resources). Under this directive, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management delivered to Congress an inventory of U.S. oil and gas resources in five western basins, as well as a description of

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the extent and nature of any restrictions or impediments to their development. This report was prepared at the request of Congress under the provisions of the 2000 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). In April 2003, the BLM Washington Office (WO) issued an Instruction Memorandum (IM No. 2003-233) which requires the integration of EPCA inventory results in the land use planning process. The IM establishes direction, consistent with FLPMA, to enhance BLM’s ability to protect the environment and other resources, as well as facilitates energy development, where appropriate. The IM outlines strategy for integrating the EPCA inventory results into land use plans, restates BLM’s commitment to providing responsible and balanced access to the public lands for energy exploration and development; and reinforces BLM’s obligation to monitor and adaptively manage public lands and resources. In August 2005, the Bush administration’s national energy plan was issued which encourages energy efficiency and conservation, promotes alternative and renewable energy sources, reduces our dependence on foreign sources of energy, increases domestic production, modernizes the electricity grid, and encourages the expansion of nuclear energy.

1.7.3

Tar Sands and Oil Shale Resources Programmatic EIS

The RFO contains areas of tar sands resources. These resources have been and are available for lease under the Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act of 1981 and in accordance with the decisions in the existing BLM LUPs. The major tar sand resources lay only in Utah, within 11 designated Special Tar Sands Areas (STSA) managed by the BLM’s Vernal, Price, Richfield, and Monticello Field Offices (FO). The RFO manages one of these STSAs. One of these STSAs lies within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument where leasing is prohibited. When the Richfield RMP was initiated in 2001, there was no reasonably foreseeable development expectation for tar sands over the life of the plan. The mineral report identified these resources but did not foresee any leasing or development because of prevailing and anticipated economic factors. Since the start of this RMP revision, Congress has enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Section 369 of the Energy Policy Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to “complete a programmatic environmental impact statement for a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands within each of the States of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.” On December 13, 2005, the BLM published an NOI in the Federal Register, initiating a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to support a commercial oil shale and tar sands leasing program on federal lands in those three states. Since that time, the scope of the PEIS has been revised. The BLM is no longer using the PEIS as the document that supports the NEPA requirements for leasing. Given that the development technologies for in-situ production of oil shale are just emerging, there is a lack of information regarding resource use and associated impacts. Consequently, the BLM has changed this document to a resource allocation document that identifies the BLM-managed lands for which applications to lease oil shale and tar sands resources would be accepted in the future. However, although applications would be accepted, additional NEPA analysis would be performed before any leasing of the area would be considered. All decisions related to land use planning decisions (i.e., regarding areas open to application for potential leasing) for tar sands resources in this RMP will be made in accordance with the ongoing PEIS for Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resources. The ROD on the Final PEIS will amend the PRMP/FEIS by making land use planning decisions based on whether or not lands will be available for future application, leasing, and

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development of tar sands on public lands for those areas where the resource is present. Additional sitespecific NEPA analysis would be completed on each lease application before any leases would be issued. As part of the site-specific NEPA analysis, the environmental consequences of specific resource values and uses within the areas and any alternative actions would be analyzed. Any decision to offer the lands for lease would be based on a full disclosure of the impacts. If a decision were made to offer the lands for lease, specific mitigation measures would be developed to ensure that the commercial operations use practices that minimize or mitigate impacts. This pre-leasing NEPA analysis would include the same opportunities for public involvement and comment that are part of this PEIS process and every other land use planning and NEPA process that the BLM undertakes. The decisions associated with the PEIS will be incorporated into the RFO RMP as it is finalized, or the RFO RMP will be amended. Additional opportunities for public involvement and comment will occur when the Proposed RMP Amendment/Final PEIS is available. However, this RMP will develop allocation decisions for conventional oil and gas leasing and the Combined Hydrocarbon Leases (CHL) in the STSAs.

1.7.4

West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS

Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (designation of west-wide energy corridors) is being implemented through the current development of an interagency PEIS. The PEIS will address numerous energy corridor–related issues, including the utilization of existing corridors (i.e., enhancements and upgrades), identification of new corridors, supply and demand considerations, and compatibility with other corridor and project planning efforts. It is likely that the identification of corridors in the PEIS will affect the RFO, and the decisions in the Approved PEIS will be carried forward into the Approved RMP, or, depending on timing, the PEIS will amend the RFO RMP.

1.7.5

Utah Land Use Plan Amendment for Fire and Fuels Management

The decisions that were reached through the Utah Land Use Plan Amendment for Fire and Fuels Management process, approved in September 2005, are common to all alternatives, and the analysis is incorporated by reference. The fire plan amendment does the following: • • • • • Establishes landscape-level fire management goals and objectives Describes desired wildland fire conditions (DWFC) by Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) and describes the management strategies and actions to meet DWFC and land use allocations Describes areas in which fire may be restored to the ecosystem through wildland fire use for resource benefit and areas in which wildland fire use is not appropriate Identifies criteria that would be used for establishing fire management priorities Identifies maximum burned areas and treatment acres for wildfire, wildland fire use for resource benefit, prescribed fire treatments, non-fire fuel treatments, and emergency stabilization and rehabilitation (ESR) actions

1.7.6

Wind Energy Programmatic EIS

The ROD for the Wind Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which implements a comprehensive wind energy development program to administer the development of wind energy resources on BLM-administered public lands in 11 western states (including Utah), was approved

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in December 2005. The decisions that were reached through the Wind Energy Development PEIS process are common to all alternatives in the RFO RMP, and the analysis is incorporated by reference. The decision established policies and best management practices (BMP) for the administration of wind energy development activities and established minimum requirements for mitigation measures.

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Introduction Chapter 2—Alternatives

CHAPTER 2—ALTERNATIVES
2.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter describes the Proposed RMP that was crafted primarily from the Preferred Alternative in the Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS) (Alternative B) as well as from other decisions within the range of alternatives presented in the DRMP/DEIS, including the No Action Alternative N and Alternatives A, C, and D. The No Action Alternative N and Alternatives A, C, and D are repeated from the DRMP/DEIS into the Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) for comparative purposes and to correct minor deficiencies pointed during the DRMP/DEIS public comment period and from internal review. The changes from the Preferred Alternative (Alternative B in the Draft RMP/EIS) to the Proposed RMP have been highlighted gray. Evaluation of a reasonable range of alternatives is required by National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Part 1502.14), as well as by BLM planning regulations. As required in the CEQ regulations, the reasonable range must include a “no action” alternative (CEQ 1981, Question 3.A), which is the continuation of current management under the Mountain Valley Management Framework Plan (MFP) (1982), the Henry Mountain MFP (1982), the Parker Mountain MFP (1982), the Cedar-Beaver-GarfieldAntimony Resource Management Plan (RMP) (1986), the Forest MFP (1977), and the San Rafael RMP (1991), as well as subsequent plan amendments. The BLM recognizes that social, economic, and environmental issues cross land ownership lines and that extensive cooperation is needed to actively address issues of mutual concern. To the extent possible, these alternatives were crafted using input from public scoping comments and cooperating agencies. Once the alternatives were developed, the BLM analyzed them to predict their impacts on the environment. Based on the impacts analysis of these alternatives, along with knowledge of specific issues raised throughout the planning process, input from cooperating agencies and BLM resource specialists, consideration of planning criteria, and potential resolution of resource conflicts, the BLM has identified the Proposed RMP. Each alternative provides a different emphasis for managing public lands and resources within the planning area, and each alternative represents a complete and reasonable RMP that: 1) meets the purpose and need described in Chapter 1; 2) responds to environmental, operational, and economic concerns raised by the public, agencies, business, and other special interest groups during the scoping process; and 3) addresses potential environmental issues identified during review of the proposed management actions.

2.2 ALTERNATIVE COMPONENTS
The alternatives and the Proposed RMP described in this chapter represent varying approaches to addressing and resolving key planning issues (Chapter 1) and to managing resources and resource uses in the planning area. Each comprises two categories of land use planning decisions: (1) desired outcomes (goals and objectives) and (2) allowable uses and management actions that are anticipated to achieve the desired outcomes. These two categories are discussed below.

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

2.2.1

Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Goals and objectives provide overarching direction for BLM actions in meeting the agency’s legal, regulatory, policy, and strategic requirements. Goals are broad statements of desired outcome but generally are not measurable. Objectives are more specific statements of a desired outcome that may include a measurable component. In general, the objectives are anticipated to achieve the stated goals.

2.2.2

Allowable Uses and Management Actions

After establishing desired outcomes, the BLM identifies allowable uses (i.e., land use allocations) and management actions for different alternatives that are anticipated to achieve the desired outcomes (i.e., goals and objectives). Alternatives were developed to address planning issues, resolve resource conflicts, improve consistency, and ensure resource-specific decisions for the following categories in the RMP revision process: 1) physical, biological, and cultural resources; 2) resource uses; and 3) special designations. Allowable uses identify where land uses are allowed, restricted, or prohibited on all BLM-administered surface and federal mineral estate in the planning area. Alternatives may include specific land use restrictions to meet goals and objectives and may exclude certain land uses to protect resource values. For example, alternatives considered for this Proposed RMP close all suitable wild and scenic river segments to oil and gas leasing. Because the alternatives identify whether particular land uses are allowed, restricted, or prohibited, allowable uses often include a spatial (e.g., map) component. Management actions are those actions anticipated to achieve desired outcomes. These actions include proactive measures (e.g., measures taken to maintain, restore, or improve land health), as well as measures or criteria that would be applied to guide day-to-day activities occurring on public land. Although anticipated to achieve desired outcomes, the components described above may not be achieved during the planning period because of limitations in funding or staffing, changing policies or priorities, or new information. These factors could also affect the rate of RMP implementation. It is important to note that the RMP is strategic in nature, and, while it provides an overarching vision for managing resources in the planning area, it also allows management flexibility in light of changing priorities, information, and circumstances.

2.3 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED IN DETAIL
2.3.1 Overview of the Alternatives

The BLM identifies and analyzes the Proposed RMP in the PRMP/FEIS. The BLM does not carry forward the DRMP/DEIS Alternative B (the Preferred Alternative) into the PRMP/FEIS Proposed RMP. Rather the Proposed RMP consists of a combination of all the alternatives, including Alternative B in response to public comments and internal review. While, the Proposed RMP was crafted primarily from Preferred Alternative in the DRMP/DEIS (Alternative B), it is important to note that other decisions within the range of alternatives presented in the DRMP/DEIS, including the No Action Alternative and Alternatives A, C, and D that have been incorporated into the PRMP/FEIS as well. The DRMP/DEIS Alternative B has been removed from the PRMP/FEIS. The BLM only identifies and analyzes the Proposed RMP in the PRMP/FEIS. The other DRMP/DEIS Alternatives N, A, C and D and analysis are just carried forward in the PRMP/FEIS for comparative purposes and to correct some of the mistakes that were identified during the public comment period.

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Alternatives Considered in Detail Chapter 2—Alternatives

This section summarizes four DRMP/DEIS alternatives and the Proposed RMP. It includes a brief description of each plus a comparative summary of proposed LUP decisions by alternative (Section 2.6).

2.3.1.1

Alternative N (No Action Alternative)

Alternative N represents the continuation of current management under the existing six LUPs, as amended. The existing LUPs are the Mountain Valley MFP (1982), the Henry Mountain MFP (1982), the Parker Mountain MFP (1982), the Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony RMP (1986), the Forest MFP (1977), and the San Rafael RMP (1991). Alternative N provides the baseline against which to compare the other alternatives. It includes existing Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) (four areas totaling 14,780 acres) and eligible wild and scenic river segments (WSR) (12 segments totaling 135 miles). None of the eligible segments would be found suitable for congressional designation to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Alternative N is the least restrictive to off-highway vehicle (OHV) use.

2.3.1.2

Alternative A

Alternative A emphasizes commodity production, and mineral extraction—mining, oil and gas leasing, grazing, commercial recreation, and commercial woodland products harvesting—and motorized recreation. Compared with all other alternatives, Alternative A conserves the least land area for physical, biological, and cultural resources and proposes the least special designations (no suitable WSR segments; no ACECs).

2.3.1.3

Proposed RMP

The Proposed RMP has been identified by BLM because it represents an attempt to balance protection/conservation of physical, biological, and cultural resources while providing for commodity production and mineral extraction. The Proposed RMP designates ACECs (two areas totaling 2,530 acres) recommends a WSR segment (5 miles), and manages non-Wilderness Study Area (WSA) lands for wilderness characteristics (78,600 acres).

2.3.1.4

Alternative C

Alternative C emphasizes conservation of physical, biological, and cultural resources over commodity production, mineral extraction, and motorized recreation access. Alternative C (along with Alternative D) designates the most ACECs (16 areas totaling 886,810 acres) and recommends the most eligible WSR segments (12 segments totaling 135 miles) as suitable for congressional designation to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

2.3.1.5

Alternative D

Alternative D emphasizes conservation of physical, biological, and cultural resources over commodity production, mineral extraction, and motorized recreation access. Compared with all alternatives, Alternative D conserves the most land area for physical, biological, and cultural resources; (along with Alternative C) designates the most ACECs (16 areas totaling 886,810 acres) and recommends the most eligible WSR segments (12 segments totaling 135 miles) as suitable for congressional designation to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; and emphasizes management of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (682,600 acres), in order to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics. Except for management of lands with wilderness characteristics, decisions under Alternative D are the same as under Alternative C.

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

2.4 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT
Adaptive management is a formal, systematic, and rigorous approach to learning from the results of management actions, accommodating change, and improving management. It involves synthesizing existing knowledge, exploring alternative actions, and making explicit forecasts about their results. Management actions and monitoring programs are carefully designed to generate reliable feedback and clarify the reasons underlying results. Actions and objectives are then adjusted based on this feedback and improved understanding to continue to try to achieve the desired outcomes. In addition, decisions, actions, and results are carefully documented and communicated to others so that knowledge gained through experience is passed on rather than lost when individuals move or leave the organization. LUP-level decisions would not be immediately adaptable. These include the goals and objectives, allowable uses, management actions, and special designations. Plan amendments would be required to change these decisions. Implementation- or activity-level decisions could be subject to adaptive management. Future activity-level plans would follow NEPA procedures and involve the public. This PRMP/FEIS recommends an adaptive management strategy. The adaptive management process is flexible and generally involves four phases: planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. As the BLM obtains new information, it is able to evaluate monitoring data and other resource information to periodically refine and update desired outcomes (goals and objectives), management actions, and allowable uses. This allows continual refinement and improvement of management prescriptions and practices.

2.5 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BUT ELIMINATED FROM DETAILED ANALYSIS
This section provides a summary of two alternatives the BLM considered but eliminated from detailed analysis, as well as the reasons for not analyzing them in detail.

2.5.1

No Grazing Alternative

An alternative that proposes to make the entire RFO unavailable for grazing would not meet the purpose and need of this PRMP/FEIS. NEPA requires that agencies study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of action in any proposal that involves unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources. No issues or conflicts have been identified during this land use planning effort that require the complete elimination of grazing within the planning area for their resolution. Where appropriate, removal of livestock and adjustments to livestock use have been incorporated in this planning effort. Because the BLM has considerable discretion through its grazing regulations to determine and adjust stocking levels, seasons-of-use, and grazing management activities, and to allocate forage to uses of the public lands in RMPs, the analysis of an alternative to entirely eliminate grazing is not needed. An alternative that proposes to make the entire planning area unavailable for grazing would also be inconsistent with the intent of the Taylor Grazing Act, which directs the BLM to provide for livestock use of BLM lands; to adequately safeguard grazing privileges; to provide for the orderly use, improvement, and development of the range; and to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range. FLPMA requires that public lands be managed on a “multiple use and sustained yield basis” (FLPMA 43 United States Code [U.S.C.] Section 302 (43 U.S.C. 1732)(a) and Section 102 (43 U.S.C. 1701)(7)) and includes livestock grazing as a principal or major use of public lands. While multiple use does not require

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Alternatives Considered but Eliminated from Detailed Analysis Chapter 2—Alternatives

that all lands be used for livestock grazing, complete removal of livestock grazing in the entire planning area would be arbitrary and would not meet the principle of multiple use and sustained yield. Livestock grazing is and has been an important use of the public lands in the planning area for many years and is a continuing government program. The CEQ guidelines for compliance with NEPA require that agencies analyze the “No Action Alternative” in all EISs (40 CFR 1502.14(d)). For the purposes of this NEPA analysis, the “no action alternative” is to continue the status quo, which includes livestock grazing. For this reason and those stated above, the RFO dismissed a no grazing alternative for the entire planning area from further consideration in this PRMP/F EIS.

2.5.2

No Leasing Alternative

During scoping and/or the comment period for the DRMP/DEIS, it was suggested that the BLM should address a “No-Leasing Alternative” because the “No-Leasing Alternative” is the equivalent of the “No Action Alternative” that must be analyzed in all EISs. The “No-Leasing Alternative” in an RMP revision is actually an action alternative because where lands have already been leased, the no-action for NEPA purposes continues to allow for (honor) valid existing rights. Proposing a “No-Leasing Alternative” would require revisiting existing leases and either buying them back from the lessee or allowing them to expire on their own terms. The first option (buying back), is outside the scope of any RMP. This is a political decision that the BLM has no authority to undertake in planning. As a result, the BLM does not regularly include a “No-Leasing Alternative.” The purpose and need for the LUP is to identify and resolve potential conflicts between competing resource uses rather than to eliminate a principal use of the public lands in the RFO. Leasing the public lands for oil and gas exploration and production is required by the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, and the BLM’s current policy is to apply the least restrictive management constraints to the principal uses of the public lands necessary to achieve resource goals and objectives. A field office-wide “No-Leasing Alternative” would be an unnecessarily restrictive alternative for mineral exploration and production on the public lands. NEPA (Section 102 (E)) requires that agencies “study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of action in any proposal that involves unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources.” No issues or conflicts have been identified during this land use planning effort that require the complete elimination of oil and gas leasing within the planning area for their resolution. The BLM’s Land Use Planning Handbook (BLM Manual Rel. 1-1693), Appendix C, item H, requires that LUPs identify areas as open or unavailable for leasing. Given the potential range of decisions available in the DRMP/DEIS, the analyzed alternatives include no leasing for certain areas; but a field office-wide “No-Leasing Alternative” is not necessary to resolve issues and protect other resource values and uses. As mentioned above, a “No-Leasing Alternative” should not be confused with the “No Action Alternative” for purposes of NEPA compliance. Leasing and No Leasing on the public lands has previously been analyzed in several NEPA documents. In 1973, the Department of the Interior (USDI) published the Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Federal Upland Oil and Gas Leasing Program (USDI, 1973). The proposed action was to lease federal lands for production of oil and natural gas resources. Alternatives included the No Action Alternative, which at initiation of the program was “No Leasing.” To supplement that EIS, the BLM prepared a series of Environmental Assessments (then titled Environmental Analysis Records or EARs) including the Richfield Oil and Gas Program Environmental Analysis Record (EAR), 1975–76, which addressed oil and gas leasing for the public lands

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

in the RFO area. Alternatives again included the No Action or “No Leasing” alternative. The outcome was a category system for leasing that categorized all public and United States Forest Service (USFS) lands into four groups: 1) open to leasing with standard lease stipulations, 2) Special Stipulations to address special concerns, 3) NSO and 4) No Leasing. Since completion of the EAR in 1975–76, oil and gas leasing in the RFO has been an ongoing federal program under the established categories. The CEQ (Section 1502.14(d) of NEPA) requires the alternatives analysis in an EIS to “include the alternative of no action” but explains that there are two distinct interpretations of “no action” that must be considered, depending on the nature of the proposal being evaluated. “The first situation might involve an action such as updating a land management plan where ongoing programs initiated under existing legislation and regulations will continue, even as new plans are developed. In these cases ‘no action’ is ‘no change’ from current management direction or level of management intensity. To construct an alternative that is based on no management at all would be a useless academic exercise. Therefore, the ‘no action’ alternative may be thought of in terms of continuing with the present course of action until that action is changed.” (CEQ Forty Most Asked Questions, Question 3). Therefore, for the RFO DRMP/EIS, the “No-Action Alternative” is to continue the status quo, which is to lease under the oil and gas stipulations (formerly categories) established in the Mountain Valley MFP (1982), the Henry Mountain MFP (1982), the Parker Mountain MFP (1982), the Cedar-Beaver-Garfield-Antimony RMP (1986), the Forest MFP (1977), and the San Rafael RMP (1991), as well as subsequent plan amendments.

2.5.3

Livestock Grazing Adjustments Alternative

During scoping and comment on the DRMP/EIS, it was suggested that the BLM consider adjustments to livestock numbers, livestock management practices, and the kind of livestock grazed on allotments within the RFO to benefit wildlife and protect and promote land health, including soils, hydrologic cycles, and biotic integrity. BLM policy regarding adjustments to the levels of livestock use authorized is to monitor and inventory range conditions under existing stocking levels and make adjustments to livestock use as indicated by this data to help assure that the Utah Standards for Rangeland Health and resource objectives are met. Regulations at 43 CFR 4130.3 require that the terms and conditions under which livestock are authorized “ensure conformance with the provisions of subpart 4180” (Standards for Rangeland Health) and further, that “livestock grazing use shall not exceed the livestock carrying capacity of the allotment.” It would be inappropriate and unfeasible to estimate and allocate the available forage, design specific management practices, and determine if changes to the kind of livestock are necessary for each allotment in the RFO or in the area as a whole in the RMP/EIS. Such changes would not be supportable considering the type and amount of data required and the analysis necessary to make such changes. According to BLM policy, decisions regarding authorized livestock use levels and the terms and conditions under which they are managed is an implementation decision (H-1610-1, Appendix C, Page 15). BLM range condition according to the Utah Standards for Rangeland Health conducts monitoring and inventories, and evaluates this data on a periodic basis, normally on an allotment and/or watershed basis. After NEPA analysis, necessary changes to livestock management and implementation of Utah’s Guidelines for Rangeland Management are implemented through a proposed decision in accordance with 43 CFR 4160. These decisions determine the exact levels of use by livestock in conformance with the LUP and to meet resource objectives and maintain or enhancing land health. For these reasons the Livestock Grazing Adjustments alternative has been dismissed from further consideration in this LUP revision.

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Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives Decision Tables Chapter 2—Alternatives

2.5.4

SUWA Alternative

In November 2003, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) submitted to the BLM an outline and map for an RMP alternative. It divided the lands managed by the RFO into management zones and provided brief prescriptions for managing each zone. While it provided an outline for management, it fell short of a fully developed alternative because it did not address and attempt to resolve the issues raised during scoping nor the multiple laws, regulations, and policies that BLM must consider in developing an RMP. Consequently, the SUWA Alternative does not meet the purpose and need for this plan revision, and it is largely inconsistent with the FLPMA’s multiple use sustained yield mandate. For these reasons, the RFO dismissed the SUWA Alternative from further consideration in this PRMP/FEIS. However, elements of it are included in Alternatives C and D.

2.6 PROPOSED RMP AND DRAFT RMP ALTERNATIVES DECISION TABLES
The following tables present the details of the proposed management for each resource, resource use, and special designation for the Proposed RMP and DRMP/DEIS Alternatives.

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Air Quality Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

2.6.1

Natural, Biological, and Cultural Resources

Air Quality
Table 2-1. Air Quality
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

• Ensure authorizations and management activities comply with local, state, and federal air quality regulations, requirements, and implementation plans. • Manage all BLM and BLM-authorized activities to maintain air quality within the thresholds established by the NAAQS and ensure that those activities

continue to keep the area in attainment, meet PSD Class II standards, and protect the Class I airsheds.

• Manage BLM and BLM-authorized activities to comply with the Utah Enhanced Smoke Management Plan, August 11, 2003, and the Utah State Law R307-

204 Emission Standards: Smoke Management, August 1, 2007.

• Minimize the impact of management actions in the planning area on air quality by complying with all applicable air quality laws, rules and regulations. • Maintain concentrations of criteria pollutants associated with management actions in compliance with applicable State and Federal Ambient Air Quality

•
Issue: Management of Air Quality Management Actions

Standards (AAQS). Maintain concentrations of Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pollutants associated with management actions in compliance with the applicable increment.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Mitigate potential adverse impacts of site-specific actions identified in NEPA documents prepared at the time an action is proposed, through best available control technology as part of the state permitting process and PSD review.

•

BLM will continue to work cooperatively with state, federal, and tribal entities in developing air quality assessment protocols to address cumulative impacts and regional air quality issues.

• •

BLM will continue to work cooperatively with the Utah Airshed Group to manage emissions from wildland and prescribed fire activities.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards are enforced by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Air Quality (UDEQ-DAQ), with EPA oversight. Special requirements to reduce potential air quality impacts will be considered on a case-by-case basis in processing land use authorizations.

•

BLM will utilize BMPs and site specific mitigation measures, when appropriate, based on site specific conditions, to reduce emissions and enhance air quality. Examples of these types of measures can be found in the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force Report of Mitigation Options, November 1, 2007.

•

Project specific analyses will consider use of quantitative air quality analysis methods (i.e. modeling), when appropriate as determined by BLM, in consultation with state, federal, and tribal entities.

•

Mitigate actions that compromise ambient air quality standards or visibility within the Class I airsheds.

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Soil Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives

Soil Resources
Table 2-2. Soil Resources
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Maintain or improve soil quality and long-term soil productivity through implementation of Standards for Rangeland Health and other soil protection measures.

• •

Manage uses to minimize and mitigate damage to soils.

Manage soil resources to: – Maintain or increase soil productivity – Prevent or minimize accelerated soil erosion – Prevent or minimize flood and sediment damage, as needed – Reduce resource loss from floods and erosion – Maintain vegetation cover at or above the level necessary to avoid accelerated soil erosion.

Issue: Protection of Soil Resources Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Proceed with surface disturbance and reclamation activities consistent with current authorizations and subject to the following:

Utah Standards for Rangeland Health would be followed to maintain or improve soil conditions.

Activities would be the minimum necessary to accomplish the task.

Reclamation would be required for road realignments.

• • • • •

Measures to stabilize soils and minimize surface water runoff would be required, both during project activities and following project completion.

Reclamation of all surface disturbances would be initiated during or immediately upon completion of the authorized project. Reclamation could include recontouring the disturbed area to blend with the surrounding terrain, ripping compacted areas, replacement of topsoil, seeding, planting, and/or providing effective ground cover.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Not specifically addressed in existing plans.

• • •

Implement appropriate BMPs designed to protect water quality for all ground disturbing activities (Appendix 14). Close and reclaim all temporary roads immediately upon completion of the project. Reclaimed roads could be barricaded or signed until reclamation objectives were achieved. Remove facilities or improvements no longer necessary reclaim them, provided no historic properties would be affected.

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Water Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Water Resources
Table 2-3. Water Resources
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Maintain and/or restore overall watershed health and reduce erosion, stream sedimentation, and salinization of water.

• • •

Work to improve water quality on listed streams and prevent listing of additional streams under the Clean Water Act, Section 303(d) (Appendix 4).

Improve quality and quantity of water in all streams, with particular emphasis on streams with populations of native species, or with non-native game fish, as well as other aquatic species.

Maintain and/or restore the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the planning area’s waters.

Protect community watersheds and sources of culinary water.

• • • •

Avoid adverse impacts to floodplains.

Restore and preserve the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains in carrying out BLM’s responsibilities for acquiring, managing, and disposing of federal lands and facilities (Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management).

•
Issue: Water Quality and Quantity Management Actions

Manage resources to reduce salinity loading where possible and make progress toward accomplishing the goals and objectives outlined in the Colorado River Salinity Control Act.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Implement appropriate BMPs designed to protect water quality for all ground disturbing activities (Appendix 14).

Surface water:

•

Utah DEQ-Division of Water Quality identifies impaired watersheds for which total maximum daily loads (TMDL) must be developed. BLM will continue to cooperate and contribute to both the completion of the TMDL process and implementation of recommendations in the final reports.

Recreational water standards:

•

Maintain or improve water quality and quantity for recreational uses

Municipal watershed areas:

•

Manage culinary water sources to preserve the quality and health of water sources.

Public water systems:

•

Continue to operate and maintain public drinking water systems at BLM facilities to comply with transient non-community water system requirements as defined by State of Utah Administrative Code 309—Water Quality Monitoring Standards. The RFO would continue to gather source samples for laboratory analysis when the water system is operating (seasonal use), including coliform samples quarterly; nitrates yearly; and nitrite/sulfate every 3 years.

•

Identify public water systems with surface water or ground water sources (e.g., delineated drinking water source protection zones) that may be affected by BLM-authorized activities. Ensure that BLM-authorized activities do not pose a threat to public water systems.

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Water Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives

Issue: Protection of Groundwater Management Actions Alternative A
Maintain buffer zones of no surface disturbance and/or occupancy around natural springs unless it can be shown that (1) there are no practical alternatives, or (2) all long-term impacts can be fully mitigated, or (3) the activity will benefit and enhance the riparian area. Base the size of the buffer zone on geohydrological, riparian, and other factors necessary to protect the water quality of the springs. If these factors cannot be determined, maintain a buffer zone of the 100-year floodplain or 330 feet on either side from the centerline, whichever is greater.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Maintain a 500-foot buffer zone of no surface disturbance and/or occupancy around natural springs to protect water quality.

Maintain buffer zones of no surface disturbance and/or occupancy around natural springs unless it can be shown that (1) there are no practical alternatives, or (2) all long-term impacts can be fully mitigated, or (3) the activity will benefit and enhance the riparian area. Base the size of the buffer zone on geohydrological, riparian, and other factors necessary to protect the water quality of the springs. If these factors cannot be determined, maintain a 660-foot buffer zone from the outer edge.

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Vegetation Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Vegetation
Table 2-4. Vegetation Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Manage and mitigate activities to restore, sustain, and enhance the health of plant associations.

Manage all resources and resource uses to achieve the Standards for Rangeland Health.

• • • •

Enhance and/or restore native and desirable naturalized plant species.

Manage for a mix of vegetative types, structural stages, and landscape and riparian functions, and provide for native plant, fish, and wildlife (including SSS) habitats.

Enhance biological and genetic diversity of natural ecosystems.

• • •

Maintain relict vegetation communities.

Sustain or reestablish the integrity of the sagebrush biome to provide the amount, continuity, and quality of habitat that is necessary to maintain sustainable populations of the Greater sage-grouse and other sagebrush-dependent wildlife species.

•
Issue: Overall Vegetation Management Management Actions

Manage all riparian areas to maintain, restore, or improve unique habitat characteristics, including diversified plant species composition, plant species structural diversity, and adequate native vegetative cover and density for stream bank stabilization. All riparian areas would be managed to be in properly functioning condition.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Treat areas determined to need reseeding with a variety of plant species that are desirable for wildlife habitat, livestock, watershed management, and other resource values while maintaining vegetation species diversity.

•

Where appropriate, require on-site mitigation when surface disturbance cannot be avoided on a site-specific basis. The BLM will approach compensatory mitigation on an “as appropriate” basis where it can be performed on-site, and on a voluntary basis where it is performed off-site, or, in accordance with current guidance.

•

Maintain existing vegetative treatments to provide suitable habitats for wildlife and adequate forage for livestock.

Issue: Vegetation Treatments Management Actions Alternative A
Maintain existing vegetation treatments and implement additional treatments (including prescribed fire and wildland fire use, mechanical, biological, manual, and

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Maintain existing vegetation treatments and implement additional treatments (e.g., prescribed fire and wildland fire use, mechanical, biological, manual, and

Alternative C

Alternative D
Allow only natural processes (e.g., prescribed fire and wildland fire use, disease, and insects) to achieve or maintain Standards for Rangeland Health and desired vegetation condition. Vegetation treatments could be conducted on up to 520,000 acres over the life of the plan. (An annual average of 26,000 acres would need to receive treatment to reach the

Manipulate vegetation using mechanical, wildland and/or prescribed fire, and chemical treatments on a case-bycase basis to achieve or maintain Standards for

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Vegetation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-4. Vegetation Decisions
chemical) to increase productivity for resource uses and achieve or maintain Standards for Rangeland Health and desired vegetation condition. Vegetation treatments (e.g., wildlife habitat treatments, watershed treatments, livestock grazing treatments, fuels treatments, stewardship contracts, etc.) could be conducted on up to 1,472,000 acres over the life of the plan. (An annual average of 73,600 acres would need to receive treatment to reach the total treatment acreage listed (Table 2-11a). Actual annual treatment acreage would vary depending on conditions, staffing, etc. These acreage figures include all vegetation and fire fuel treatments (Table 2-11)). No action. Allow temporary nonrenewable use of targeted grazing to reduce sitespecific fuels and/or noxious and invasive weeds (e.g. cheat grass). No action. chemical) to achieve or maintain Standards for Rangeland Health and desired vegetation condition. Vegetation treatments (e.g., wildlife habitat treatments, watershed treatments, livestock grazing treatments, fuels treatments, stewardship contracts, etc.) could be conducted on up to 1,472,000 acres over the life of the plan. (An annual average of 73,600 acres would need to receive treatment to reach the total treatment acreage listed (Table 2-11a). Actual annual treatment acreage would vary depending on conditions, staffing, etc. These acreage figures include all vegetation and fire fuels treatments (Table 2-11)). total treatment acreage listed (Table 2-11a). Actual annual treatment acreage would vary depending on conditions, staffing, etc. These acreage figures include all vegetation and fire fuels treatments [Table 2-11]).

Rangeland Health and desired vegetation condition.

No action.

The use and perpetuation of native species would be emphasized. However, when restoring or rehabilitating disturbed or degraded rangelands, non-intrusive, non-native plant species may be used where native species: Are not available Are not economically feasible Cannot achieve desired conditions, desired plant communities (DPC), or other ecological objectives as well as non-native species, and/or Cannot compete with already established non-native species.

• • • •

The use and perpetuation of native species would be emphasized. However, when restoring or rehabilitating disturbed or degraded rangelands, non-intrusive, non-native plant species would be considered appropriate for use where

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Vegetation Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Table 2-4. Vegetation Decisions
Non-native forbs and perennial grasses could be used in preference to monocultures of non-native annuals.

native species (a) are not available, (b) are not economically feasible, (c) cannot achieve ecological objectives as well as nonnative species, and/or (d) cannot compete with already established non-native species.

Issue: Management Activities in Riparian Areas Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Allow uses and activities in riparian areas consistent with Utah BLM Riparian Management Policy and in compliance with Executive Orders 11990 and 11988.

•

Allow no new surface disturbing activities within a specified distance of riparian areas (see specific buffer sizes below), as measured from bank-full width along all perennial streams or streams with perennial reach unless the following criteria can be met: – There are no practical alternatives to the surface disturbance; or – All long-term impacts could be fully mitigated; or – The activity would benefit the riparian area.

•

The Utah BLM Riparian Management Policy identifies that Riparian areas will be retained in the public land system unless it can be clearly demonstrated that specific sites are so small or isolated that they cannot be managed in an effective manner by BLM or through agreement with State or Federal agencies or interested conservation groups.

•
Alternative A
The buffer zone would be 330 feet on each side of the stream.

Coordinate riparian management with interested federal, state, tribal and local governments and private conservation groups, etc.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
The buffer zone would be equal to the 100-year floodplain or 330 feet on either side from the centerline, whichever is greater, and would be included for riparian areas.

Alternative C
The buffer zone would be 660 feet on each side of the stream.

Alternative D
The buffer zone would be 660 feet on each side of the stream.

The buffer zone would be 500 feet in the Cedar/Beaver/ Garfield/Antimony RMP area, and 330 feet throughout the remainder of the RFO.

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Vegetation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-4. Vegetation Decisions
Issue: Management of Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Implement noxious weed and invasive species control actions as per national guidance and local weed management plans in cooperation with state, federal, affected counties, adjoining private land owners, and other partners or interests directly affected.

•

Adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines for All Treatment Methods from the Biological Opinion from the Vegetation Treatments on BLM lands in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Report, 2007.

•

Control invasive and non-native weed species and prevent the introduction of new invasive species by implementing a comprehensive weed program including: coordination with key partners, prevention and early detection, education, inventory and monitoring, and using principles of integrated weed management.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Apply approved weed control methods to noxious weeds in an identified integrated weed management program (including preventive management and education, as well as mechanical, biological, and chemical techniques). Do so in cooperation with state, federal, affected county governments, adjoining private land owners, and other directly affected interests.

Emphasize natural processes (e.g., wildland and/or prescribed fire, disease, and insects), preventative management and education to reduce the spread of noxious and invasive species. Other methods, including biological and hand cutting, could be used to remove noxious weeds and non-native invasive species to restore ecological condition of a site.

Issue: Insect Pest Management Management Actions Alternative A
Treat all insect pests in coordination with the State of Utah, adjacent states, federal agencies, affected counties, adjoining private land owners, and other interests directly affected.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Treat insect pests that exceed an economic threshold on public land adjacent to other landowners or that impact resources in coordination with the State of Utah, adjacent states, federal agencies, affected counties, adjoining private land owners, and other directly affected interests.

Alternative C

Alternative D
Implement no control measures for insect pests.

Develop and implement strategies in cooperation with the State of Utah, adjacent states, federal agencies, affected counties, adjoining private land owners, and other interests directly affected.

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Cultural Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Cultural Resources
Table 2-5. Cultural Resources Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

• •

Preserve and protect significant cultural resources and ensure that they are available for appropriate uses by present and future generations.

Seek to reduce imminent threats from and resolve potential conflicts caused by natural or human-caused deterioration, or potential conflicts with other resource uses.

Identify priority areas for new field inventory, based on their probability for significant resources.

Coordinate with local historic and cultural preservation and interpretation efforts.

Provide opportunities for traditional (American Indian) uses of cultural resources and sites.

• • • •
Issue: Management of Cultural Resources Management Actions

Ensure compliance with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Identify and manage traditional cultural properties (TCP) in coordination with American Indian tribes.

• • •

Mitigate adverse impacts to cultural resources resulting from authorized surface disturbing activities.

Meet responsibilities under the NHPA as addressed in the State Protocol Agreement between the Utah State Director of BLM and the Utah State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Programmatic Agreement among the BLM, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Conference of SHPOs.

•

Complete cultural resources inventories prior to allowing permitted surface disturbing activities, excluding those areas and circumstances identified in BLM-Manual M-8110.23, Identifying & Evaluating Cultural Resources, and Handbook UT-BLM-H-8110, Guidelines for Identifying Cultural Resources, Section II.C and Appendix 1.

•

Coordinate Old Spanish Trail management with the National Park Service (NPS) and other agencies under Public Law 107-325. Specifically: – Provide interpretive information at appropriate locations – Retain public lands in federal ownership – Limit OHV use to designated routes.

•

Protect eligible cultural sites and mitigate impacts.

Issue: Management of Cultural Resource Sites by Allocation to Use Categories Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Mitigate impacts to cultural resources from permitted

•

Allocate and manage cultural resource sites for scientific use, public use, conservation use, traditional use, and experimental use categories described in Manual BLM-M-8110.4, Identifying and Evaluating Cultural Resources.

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Cultural Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-5. Cultural Resources Decisions • •
Reevaluate and revise cultural resources site allocations by site or area when circumstances change or when new data becomes available. Consult with the SHPO and Native American tribes as appropriate. Mitigation actions would not be necessary on cultural resource sites if both of the following conditions are met and documented: – BLM and the SHPO have formally agreed the site is not eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) – The site has no value for other cultural uses (as described in BLM-M-8110.4).

activities.

Issue: Identification of Areas for New Field Inventories Management Actions Alternative A
Inventory the following priority area:

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• •
Horseshoe Canyon South WSA.

Inventory the following priority areas: Horseshoe Canyon South WSA Trough Hollow area Bull Creek Archaeological District Areas of special cultural designation that have not been fully inventoried.

No priority areas for new field inventories are identified in existing LUPs.

Inventory the following priority areas: • Horseshoe Canyon South WSA • Bull Creek Archaeological District • Areas of special cultural designation that have not been fully inventoried.

• • • •

Issue: Coordination with American Indian Tribes Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

(No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Continue coordinating with the Paiute Tribe to identify the types of projects on which it wants to consult.

Work with Native American tribes to accommodate tribal access to sacred sites and traditional cultural properties and prevent or mitigate physical damage or intrusions that might impede their use. Establish agreements with all Native American tribes interested in the lands managed by the RFO to identify the types of projects on which they want to consult.

Issue: Bull Creek Archaeological District Management Actions Alternative A
Same as Alternative N.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Manage the Bull Creek Archaeological District with major constraints (NSO).

Manage Bull Creek Archaeological District as open to oil and gas leasing.

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Paleontological Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Paleontological Resources
Table 2-6. Paleontological Resources Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Protect scientifically significant paleontological resources.

Provide opportunities for scientific, educational, and recreational uses of paleontological resources.

• • •
Issue: Management of Paleontological Resources Management Actions

Cooperate with other federal, state, and local agencies in paleontological resources management activities.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

• •

Mitigate adverse impacts to vertebrate and significant non-vertebrate paleontological resources resulting from surface disturbing activities.

Support and provide public education and interpretive opportunities for paleontological resources, including agreements with visitor information providers, use of special designations, or interpretive sites.

Issue paleontological resource use permits for scientific study as appropriate.

• •

Prohibit commercial collection of invertebrate and plant fossils without a BLM-issued permit.

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Paleontological Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-6. Paleontological Resources Decisions
Alternative A
Require paleontological assessments prior to permitting surface disturbing activities in areas where there is a high potential to affect scientifically significant paleontological resources.

Alternative N

(No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

No similar action in any of the existing plans.

•
Require on-the-ground paleontological inventories prior to permitting surface disturbing activities in areas where there is a high potential to affect scientifically significant paleontological resources. Require paleontological assessments prior to permitting surface disturbing activities in areas where there is a moderate potential to affect scientifically significant paleontological resources.

Require on-the-ground paleontological inventories prior to permitting all surfacing disturbing activities.

•

No similar action in any of the existing plans.

Paleontological inventories would not be required.

•
Conduct paleontological inventories intermittently as resources allow.

• •

Conduct paleontological inventories on a limited but annual basis. Prioritize paleontological resource inventories based on the potential to affect scientifically significant resources.

•

Prioritize paleontological resource inventories based on the potential to affect scientifically significant resources.

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Paleontological Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Table 2-6. Paleontological Resources Decisions
Allow surface collection (as defined in BLM Manual 8270, Paleontological Resources Management ) of common invertebrate and botanical paleontological resources for personal (non-commercial) use without permits and if consistent with other management decisions in this RMP. Significant resources of critical scientific and educational value would be protected. Allow collection of common invertebrate and botanical paleontological resources for personal (non-commercial) use without permits only in specifically designated fossil collecting areas.

Allow collection of common invertebrate and botanical paleontological resources for personal use.

No similar action in any of the existing plans.

When appropriate, target fossil localities with significant scientific value for excavation and curation either by the BLM or by a qualified outside academic or curatorial/research facility to protect them from theft, erosion, and/or vandalism. If excavation is not carried out within one field season, periodically monitor to document the integrity of the locality until excavation and curation are completed. Monitor highly significant (scientific) localities with paleontological resources that are not feasible to excavate, curate, or interpret. Frequency of monitoring for identified localities would be determined by the significance of the resource and the risk of damage by either natural processes or human intrusion. Develop interpretation for significant localities and sites with displays that foster scientific knowledge of the unique nature of the resource and that create opportunities for public education and access to such resources. For all permitted actions occurring in paleontologically sensitive areas, include stipulation(s) to cover unanticipated paleontological discoveries during disturbance. This stipulation would mandate work stoppage (or avoidance), notification to the authorized officer, and protection of the material and geological context if any paleontological resources were discovered during disturbance activities. Other stipulations might be appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

No similar action in any of the existing plans.

No similar action in any of the existing plans.

No similar action in any of the existing plans.

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Visual Resources Chapter 2—Alternatives

Visual Resources
Table 2-7. Visual Resource Management Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Manage public lands for their scenic values while providing for overall multiple use and quality of life for local communities and visitors to public lands.

• •

Manage actions to preserve those scenic vistas that are deemed most important.

Issue: Assignment of Visual Resource Management Classes to All Public Lands in the RFO Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

• •
Alternative A
Designate the following VRM classes, as indicated on Map 2-2: Class I: 446,900 acres Class II: 0 acres Class III: 392,800 acres Class III: 393,100 acres Class IV: 1,038,200 acres. WSAs would be designated as VRM Class I (446,900 acres). Class II: 249,800 acres Class I: 446,900 acres Designate the following VRM classes, as indicated on Map 2-3:

Designate WSAs as VRM Class I to maintain an undeveloped landscape and preserve their natural values according to direction in Instruction Memorandum IM2000-096, Use of Visual Resource Management Class I Designation in Wilderness Study Areas. Ensure all activities authorized by the BLM meet the management objectives for the designated VRM class in that particular area. To the extent practicable, bring existing visual contrasts into VRM class conformance as the opportunity arises.

Alternative N

(No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C
Designate the following VRM classes, as indicated on Map 2-4: Class I: 446,900 acres Class II: 230,600 acres Class III: 509,100 acres Class IV: 941,400 acres. WSAs would be designated as VRM Class I (446,900 acres).

Alternative D
Designate the following VRM classes, as indicated on Map 2-5: Class I: 1,129,600 acres Class II: 66,700 acres Class III: 355,100 acres Class IV: 576,600 acres. WSAs would be designated as VRM Class I (446,900 acres).

Manage the RFO according to the following VRM classes, as indicated on Map 2-1:

Class I: 0 acres

Class II: 529,500 acres Class IV: 1,288,300 acres. WSAs would be designated as VRM Class I (446,900 acres).

Class IV: 1,029,500 acres. In accordance with BLM policy, WSAs would continue to be managed as VRM Class I (446,900 acres).

• • • •

Class III: 569,000 acres

• • • •

• • • •

• • • •

• • • •

Issue: Application of VRM Standards to Existing ROWs Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

To avoid potential conflicts with the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of facilities and improvements located on existing ROWs on public land, apply the following:

• •

Where a ROW grant specifically identifies an area and/or width, the VRM class within the specified area/width would be VRM Class IV.

Where no width is specified, the VRM class within the interior boundaries of the area disturbed when the facility or improvement was initially constructed would be VRM Class IV.

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Special Status Species Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Special Status Species
Table 2-8. Special Status Species Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

• •

Conserve and recover all SSS (including listed species) and the ecosystems on which they depend.

Manage, minimize, and mitigate impacts to plant, fish, and animal species and habitats so that the need to list any of these species as threatened or endangered does not become necessary.

Promote recovery and conservation of special status plant, fish, and animal species, including those listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

• • •

Prevent long-term habitat fragmentation through avoidance and/or site-specific reclamation to return areas to productive levels.

Continue to work with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and others to ensure that plans and agreements are updated and implemented as necessary to reflect the latest scientific data.

•
Issue: Overall Special Status Species Management Guidance Management Actions

Where possible, implement the conservation actions identified in the Utah Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources [UDWR] 2005c), which identifies priority wildlife species and habitats, identifies and assesses threats to their survival, and identifies long-term conservation actions needed, including those on BLM-administered lands.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

For listed species that do not have designated critical habitat, cooperate with the USFWS and other agencies, such as the UDWR, in managing the species and their habitat.

• •

Allow, initiate, or participate in scientific research of listed and sensitive species and their habitats.

Collaborate with the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies to promote public education on species at risk, their importance to the human and biological community, and reasons for protective measures that would be applied to the lands involved.

•

Implement species-specific conservation measures to avoid or mitigate adverse effects to known populations of listed and non-listed special status plant and animal species on public lands.

Prohibit actions that destroy, adversely modify, or fragment listed threatened or endangered species’ habitat.

Maintain the integrity of SSS habitat to provide the quantity, continuity, and quality of habitat necessary to maintain SSS populations.

• • • •

Conduct habitat improvement treatments for SSS. future consultation would be needed for biological controls in SSS habitat.

Retain habitat for federally listed and candidate species in federal ownership. Exceptions may be considered in exchanges with the State of Utah and others after consultation with and concurrence from the USFWS.

Conduct Section 7 consultation with the USFWS if biological treatments as a result of vegetation management actions are proposed in federally listed species habitats. Recovery Plans and Conservation Agreements

• •

Consider SSS habitat in all wildfire suppression efforts.

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Special Status Species Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-8. Special Status Species Decisions

•

Implement the goals and objectives of recovery plans, conservation agreements and strategies, and activity level plans using best available information to recover and conserve species to the point where requirements of the ESA are no longer necessary.

Implement the specific goals and objectives of recovery plans, conservation agreements and strategies, and approved activity-level plans. Recovery Actions for Listed Species

• •

Work with USFWS and others to ensure that plans and agreements are updated and implemented as necessary to reflect the latest scientific data.

Provide habitat improvements and other management actions to promote conservation and recovery of listed species. Reintroduction/Translocation of Special Status Species

• •

Do not adversely modify or destroy designated critical habitats for federally listed species.

•
Issue: Habitat Mitigation Management Actions Alternative A

Allow translocations of listed and non-listed SSS to aid in conservation and recovery efforts. Implement necessary habitat manipulations and monitoring in translocation plans and allow identification and manipulation of Utah prairie dog translocation sites to achieve suitable conditions for successful translocations.

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Decisions for habitat mitigation are not specifically addressed in existing plans.

•

Use strategies to avoid or reduce habitat fragmentation when possible, including: – Collocating communication and other facilities – Employing directional drilling for oil and gas – Closing and reclaiming roads – Landscape scale evaluations – Using topographic and vegetative screening to reduce the influence of intrusions. Mitigate the effects of proposed projects that have the potential to cause long-term or permanent habitat impacts or losses by enhancing, restoring, or creating other habitat within the project’s region of influence. Consider protecting the habitat when the habitat type is rare and under severe development pressures. Protection should only be a portion of the mitigation and must contain elements of restoration or enhancement. Use species-specific buffers and seasonal, temporal, and spatial restrictions to conserve habitat for SSS (Appendix 11 and Appendix 14).

•

•

Issue: Protection of Raptor Habitat Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Manage raptors as required in current LUPs.

•

Employ “Raptor Best Management Practices“ (Appendix 10), using seasonal and spatial buffers, as well as mitigation, to maintain and enhance raptor nesting and foraging habitat, while allowing other resource uses.

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Table 2-8. Special Status Species Decisions •
Issue: Management of OHV Use in Greater Sage-Grouse Habitats Management Actions Alternative A
Limit OHV use to designated routes in sage-grouse leks and nesting habitats. Comply with Suggested Practices for Avian Protection on Power Lines: the State of the Art in 2006 (APLIC 2006) and Avian Protection Plan (APP) Guidelines (APLIC and USFWS 2005) for new powerline construction (including upgrades and reconstruction) to prevent electrocution of raptors.

Alternative N

(No Action) Continue to follow current policy for sensitive species.

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Limit OHV use to designated routes and/or seasonal closure of designated routes in all Greater sage-grouse habitats, including: breeding (leks), nesting, brood-rearing, and wintering habitats.

Issue: Special Stipulations for Surface Disturbing Activities Within Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

(No Action)

Proposed RMP
•
Manage oil and gas leasing as open subject to major constraints (NSO) within ½ mile of greater sage-grouse leks. Allow no surface disturbing or otherwise disruptive activities in greater sage-grouse winter habitat from December 15 through March 14.

Alternative C

Alternative D

Prohibit surface disturbing activities from March 1 through July 15, for protection of species sensitivity during lekking activities.

•

Prohibit surface disturbing activities within 2 miles of sage grouse leks from March 15 through June 1 for protection of species sensitivity during lekking activities. Any surface disturbing activity conducted outside this time frame would not result in an above ground structure within 2 miles of leks from March 15 through June 1. Prohibit long-term surface disturbing activities within sagegrouse brooding/nesting habitat from April 1 through July 15 for protection of brooding and nesting activities. See Appendix 11 for exceptions, modifications, or waivers.

Prohibit surface disturbing activities within sage-grouse brooding habitat from April 1 through June 15 for protection of brooding and nesting activities.

•

•

Prohibit surface disturbing activities within one-quarter mile of sage-grouse leks from March 15 through June 1 for protection of species sensitivity during lekking activities. Any surface disturbing activity conducted outside this time frame would not result in an above-ground structure within one-quarter mile of leks from March 15 through June 1. No special stipulation required for surface disturbing activities within sage-grouse brooding habitat. Allow no surface disturbing or otherwise disruptive activities within 2 miles of a greater sage-grouse lek from March 15 to July 15 to protect sage-grouse breeding and broodrearing habitat. See Appendix 11 for exceptions, modifications, or waivers.

•

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Fish and Wildlife Chapter 2—Alternatives

Fish and Wildlife
Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Maintain, restore, protect, and enhance habitats to support healthy populations of diverse fish and wildlife species, recognizing crucial habitats as management priorities.

Manage habitat to prevent additional listings of species under the federal ESA, or the State of Utah’s Species of Concern List.

Manage for unfragmented blocks of habitat that provide for a variety of wildlife and fish species.

Recognize and support the role of UDWR in managing wildlife and fish populations and regulating hunting and fishing.

Recognize and support the role of USFWS in managing raptors, migratory birds, and threatened and endangered species.

• • • • •
Issue: Overall Fish and Wildlife Management Guidance Management Actions

Recognize and support the role of the Federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in controlling predators.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Recognize and coordinate with UDWR on its Management Plans and associated revisions, and (where appropriate) plans of other cooperating agencies. To the extent practicable, implement future plans on a case-by-case basis through applicable regulations.

• •

Implement BLM wildlife management plans.

Implement the conservation actions identified in Executive Order 13186, Federal Agency Responsibilities under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, with particular emphasis on those migratory birds identified as Priority Species in the Utah Avian Conservation Strategy (Parrish et al. 2002).

•

Consider the USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern and the Utah Partners in Flight Priority Species to identify and conserve priority nesting habitats for migratory birds.

Cooperate with UDWR in the management of fisheries, including habitat improvements and treatments.

• • •

Work with UDWR to establish and maintain Blue Ribbon Fisheries, as defined by the Utah Blue Ribbon Fishery Advisory Council.

Coordinate with UDWR to address population dynamics and habitat conditions for major habitat types that support a wide variety of game and non-game species.

•

Use strategies to avoid or reduce habitat fragmentation, such as collocating facilities, employing directional drilling, reclaiming redundant roads, reclaiming roads no longer serving intended purpose, reducing road densities, and using topographic and vegetative screening to reduce influence of intrusions.

•

The BLM will approach compensatory mitigation on an “as appropriate” basis where it can be performed onsite, and on a voluntary basis where it is performed off-site, or, in accordance with current guidance.

• •

Minor adjustments to crucial wildlife habitat boundaries periodically made by the UDWR would be accommodated through plan maintenance.

Where possible, implement the conservation actions identified in the Utah Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (UDWR 2005c), which identifies priority wildlife species and habitats, identifies and assesses threats to their survival, and identifies long-term conservation actions needed, including those on BLM-administered lands.

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Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions
Issue: Forage Management and Allocations Management Actions Alternative A
Use prescriptive grazing to favor forage production on crucial big game winter range.

Alternative N

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Use prescriptive grazing to favor forage production for big game crucial winter range.

• •

(No Action) Manage big game winter range to maximize browse production, using class of livestock and season of use.

Use prescriptive grazing to favor forage production for big game ranges.

•
On suitable allotments, as determined on a case-by-case basis, authorize livestock grazing only on a nonrenewable basis to meet wildlife habitat objectives. These actions would be limited to crucial wildlife habitat where conventional grazing management practices were not allowing attainment of RMP objectives.

On suitable allotments, as determined on a case-bycase basis, authorize livestock grazing only on a nonrenewable basis to meet wildlife habitat objectives. These actions would be limited to crucial wildlife habitat where conventional grazing management practices were not allowing attainment of RMP objectives.

Accomplish habitat treatments to meet terrestrial, aquatic, and riparian habitat objectives through the use of prescribed fire, chemical, biological, and mechanical methods.

Accomplish habitat treatments to meet terrestrial, aquatic, and riparian habitat objectives through the use of prescribed and/or wildland fire, chemical, biological, and mechanical methods.

Accomplish habitat treatments to meet terrestrial, aquatic, and riparian habitat objectives through the use of prescribed and/or wildland fire and biological methods.

Issue: Management of Henry Mountain Bison and Mule Deer Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP
Develop a Habitat Management Plan (HMP) for bison, mule deer, and other

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Provide no special management for Henry Mountain bison or mule deer.

•

Designate an ACEC in the Henry Mountains (288,200 acres) to recognize bison, mule deer, and scenic values.

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Fish and Wildlife Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions
Manage bison habitat in cooperation with UDWR. Allow manipulation of habitat to benefit wildlife. Allow range improvements outside of wilderness characteristics areas (Alternative D only) that benefit wildlife (water developments, fencing riparian areas, etc.). Develop an HMP for bison and mule deer within the ACEC. Address voluntary relinquishments of grazing preference and reauthorization of AUMs as provided for in Instruction Memorandum IM-2007-67, Relinquishment of Grazing Preference on BLM-Administered Lands. See Table 2-21 (ACEC Decisions) for other management prescriptions.

• • •

• •

big game species within the Henry Mountain area in consultation with UDWR. (The HMP would address management objectives with respect to size of herds (numbers of animals), desired ratio of male to female animals, and the reauthorization of voluntarily relinquished grazing preference and reallocation of forage on specific grazing allotments. The HMP would also address needed improvements for range conditions, including proposed habitat improvement projects for both livestock and big game species to mitigate potential conflicts during seasons of use and the strategies required for herd adjustments during critical droughts.)

•

Issue: Management of Desert Bighorn Sheep Habitat Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Prohibit change in kind of livestock from cattle to domestic sheep within all identified bighorn sheep habitat.

(No Action) Comply with the Henry Mountains Desert Bighorn HMP (1990).

Prohibit change in the kind of livestock from cattle to domestic sheep in those allotments with bighorn sheep habitat identified in the Desert Bighorn Sheep HMP.

Issue: Management of OHV Use in Deer and Elk Habitats Management Actions Alternative A
Require no specific OHV restrictions within crucial deer

Alternative N

Proposed RMP
•
Limit OHV use to designated routes in

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Continue OHV management as outlined in current LUPs.

•

OHV use in 509,000 acres of deer and elk

•

OHV use in 393,000 acres of deer and elk

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Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions
and elk habitat. crucial winter range would be limited to designated routes. crucial winter range would be limited to designated routes.

deer and elk crucial winter habitat (806,700 acres), except for Glenwood and Aurora, Managed Open Areas.

•

•

•
Close 4,500 acres of deer and elk crucial winter range to OHV use.

142,000 acres of deer and elk crucial winter range would be closed to OHV use. (Maps 3-6 and 3-7)

258,000 acres of deer and elk crucial winter range would be closed to OHV use. (Maps 3-6 and 3-7)

Consider seasonal closure of designated routes on a case-bycase basis. (Maps 3-6 and 3-7)

•

Issue: Management of OHV Use in Crucial Bison Habitat Management Actions Alternative A
Limit OHV use to designated routes in crucial bison habitat (251,000 acres).

Alternative N

Proposed RMP
•
OHV use in 257,600 acres of crucial bison habitat would be limited to designated routes. 1,000 acres of crucial bison habitat would be closed to OHV use. Consider seasonal closure of designated routes on a case-bycase basis.

Alternative C

Alternative D
OHV use in 62,000 acres of crucial bison habitat would be limited to designated routes.

(No Action) Close crucial bison habitat to OHV use from December 20–March 20 at Swap Mesa and Cave Flat.

•

•

OHV use in 44,000 acres of crucial bison habitat would be limited to designated routes.

• •

189,000 acres of crucial bison habitat would be closed to OHV use. (Map 3-5)

•

207,000 acres of crucial bison habitat would be closed to OHV use. (Map 3-5)

•

Issue: Management of OHV Use for Game Retrieval Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Manage OHV use for game retrieval consistent with OHV area and route designations.

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Fish and Wildlife Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions
Issue: Seasonal Stipulation for Surface Disturbing Activities in Bison Habitats Management Actions Alternative A
No special stipulation required; however, mitigation may be required for surface disturbing activities in crucial bison habitats (Map 3-5) from November 1 through May 15.

Alternative N

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Restrict oil and gas exploration and leasing activities in crucial bison habitats (Map 3-5) from December 1 through April 15 for protection of winter habitats and species sensitivity during calving season.

Restrict surface disturbing activities in crucial bison habitats (Map 3-5) from November 1 through May 15 for protection of winter habitats and species sensitivity during calving season. See Appendix 11 for exceptions, modifications, or waivers.

Issue: Seasonal Stipulation for Surface Disturbing Activities in Crucial Mule Deer and Elk Habitat Management Actions Alternative A
No special stipulation required; however, mitigation may be required for surface disturbing activities in crucial and high-value mule deer and elk habitats (Maps 3-6 and 37) from December 15 through April 15. Restrict surface disturbing activities in crucial mule deer and elk habitats (Maps 3-6 and 3-7) from December 15 through April 15 for protection of winter habitats, unless the action is carried out to enhance habitats for mule deer, elk, and/or other wildlife. See Appendix 11 for exceptions, modifications, or waivers.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Restrict oil and gas exploration and development in crucial and high-value mule deer and elk habitats (Maps 3-6 and 3-7) from December 15 through May 15 for protection of winter habitats and species sensitivity during fawning season.

Restrict surface disturbing activities in crucial and high-value mule deer and elk habitats (Maps 3-6 and 3-7) from December 15 through April 15 for protection of winter habitats. Grant no exceptions.

Issue: Seasonal Stipulation for Surface Disturbing Activities in Crucial Desert Bighorn Sheep Habitat Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
No special stipulation required; however, mitigation may be required for surface disturbing activities in crucial Prohibit surface disturbing activities in crucial Desert bighorn sheep habitat (Map 3-5) from April 15 through June 15 for protection of species sensitivity during lambing season. See Appendix 11 for exceptions, modifications, and waivers.

No special stipulation required.

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Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions
Desert bighorn sheep habitat (Map 3-5) from April 15 through June 15.

Issue: Special Stipulations for Surface Disturbing Activities in Crucial Pronghorn Habitat Management Actions Alternative A
No special stipulation required; however, mitigation may be required for surface disturbing activities in crucial pronghorn habitat (Map 3-5) from May 15 through June 15.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Prohibit oil and gas exploration and development activities in crucial pronghorn habitat (Map 3-5) from December 1 through April 30 for protection of species sensitivity during fawning season.

Restrict surface disturbing activities in crucial pronghorn habitat (Map 3-5) from May 15 through June 15 for protection of species sensitivity during fawning season. See Appendix 11 for exceptions, modifications, or waivers.

Issue: Special Stipulation for Surface Disturbing Activities in Riparian and Wetland Habitats Management Actions Alternative A
Prohibit surface disturbing activities within the 100-year floodplain or 330 feet on either side from the centerline, whichever is greater, of streams with intermittent or perennial reaches, resulting in NSO in this area, for protection of habitat for riparian-obligate species.

Alternative N

(No Action) Prohibit surface disturbing activities within 500 feet of live water.

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Prohibit surface disturbing activities within 660 feet of streams with intermittent or perennial reaches, resulting in NSO in this area, for protection of habitat for riparian-obligate species.

Issue: Reintroduction, Transplantation, Augmentation, and Reestablishment of Wildlife and Fish Species Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP

(No Action)

• •

•

Analyze UDWR and USFWS proposals to introduce, augment, transplant, and reestablish wildlife species through NEPA evaluation. Allow introduction, translocation, transplantation, augmentation, and reestablishment of both native and naturalized fish and wildlife species in cooperation and collaboration with UDWR.

• •

Analyze UDWR and USFWS proposals to introduce, augment, transplant, and reestablish wildlife species through NEPA evaluation. Allow introductions, translocation, transplantation, augmentation, and reestablishment of native species only in cooperation and collaboration with UDWR.

Cooperate with UDWR and USFWS in reintroducing wildlife species into historic ranges as determined through NEPA analysis.

•

Consider wildlife

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Fish and Wildlife Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-9. Fish and Wildlife Decisions

transplants of big game species and fish.

Issue: Management of Raptor Habitat Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

(No Action) Manage raptors as required in current LUPs.

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Implement the following direction: “Raptor management will be guided by the use of “Best Management Practices for Raptors and Their Associated Habitats in Utah” (BLM 2006) (Appendix 10), utilizing seasonal and spatial buffers, as well as mitigation, to maintain and enhance raptor nesting and foraging habitat, while allowing other resource uses.”

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Wild Horses and Burros Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Wild Horses and Burros
Table 2-10. Wild Horses and Burros Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Manage wild burros at appropriate levels in viable, vigorous, and stable populations to ensure a natural ecological balance among wild burro populations, wildlife, livestock, vegetation resources, and other resource values.

• •
Issue: Overall Wild Horses and Burros Management Guidance Management Actions

Manage for genetic diversity of wild burros within the Canyonlands HMA.

Maintain, enhance, and perpetuate the viable herd’s distinguishing characteristics that were typical at the time of the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act or that are identified in population management plans.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Manage wild burro populations for appropriate age and sex ratios, genetic viability, and adoptability, as well as maintaining AML on the established HMA (Map 3-8). Allow wild burro research, as long as other wild horse and burro program goals are met. Wild burro herd research data that may be collected include, but are not limited to, data to determine population size and characteristics, assess herd health, determine herd history and genetic profile (blood and hair sampling, Instruction Memorandum IM # 2002-095 Gather Policy and Selective Removal Criteria for Wild Horses Program Area: Wild Horse and Burro Program), and conduct immuno-contraceptive research and monitor results as appropriate. Other data that could be useful in population management would include general characteristics such as age ratios, sex ratios, and color, as well as health characteristics such as pregnancy rates, parasite loading, and the general physical condition of the burros. In addition, genetic sampling would determine the genetic health of the herd. BLM will coordinate with the NPS to address burro trespass issues.

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Wild Horses and Burros Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-10. Wild Horses and Burros Decisions
Issue: Management of the Canyonlands Herd Management Area Management Actions Alternative A
Manage Canyonlands HMA as a wild burro HMA with an AML of 60–100 (Map 3-8).

Alternative N

(No Action) Manage Canyonlands HMA as a wild burro HMA. No AML has been set in existing planning documents (Map 3-8).

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage Canyonlands HMA as a wild burro HMA with an AML of 120–200 (Map 3-8).

Allocate 100 AUMs for wild burros.

• •

• • •
Allocate 600 AUMs for wild burros to meet an AML upper limit of 100. Maintain the AML of the Canyonlands HMA at levels to maintain genetic viability. Allow introductions of wild burros from other herd areas to maintain genetic viability, given the burros being introduced have characteristics similar to the burros in the Canyonlands HMA.

Maintain the AML of the Canyonlands HMA at levels to maintain genetic viability.

Allocate 1,200 AUMs for wild burros to meet an AML upper limit of 200. Maintain the AML of the Canyonlands HMA at levels to maintain genetic viability.

•

•

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Fire and Fuels Management
Table 2-11. Fire and Fuels Management Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Manage fire and fuels to protect life, firefighter safety, property, and critical resource values.

• • •

Reduce the threat of wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

Manage fire and fuels, where appropriate, to restore natural systems to their desired future condition, considering the interrelated social and economic components.

•
Issue: Fire Management in the Wildland Urban Interface Management Actions

Manage wildland fires to minimize cost considering firefighter and public safety, benefits, and values to be protected, consistent with resource objectives.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Employ WUI Fire and Fuels Management according to national policy to meet vegetation treatment goals.

• • •

Work with partners in the WUI in prescribed fires, hazardous fuels reduction, prevention and education, and technical assistance.

Apply Resource Protection Measures for fire management practices to protect natural or cultural resource values as described in Appendix 19 (obtained from the Utah Land Use Plan Amendment for Fire and Fuels Management Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record, Table 2.3).

Issue: Appropriate Management Response, Hazardous Fuels Reduction, and Wildland Fire Use Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Manage fire using a full suite of tools that allows for the graduated movement to a more ecologically sustainable condition and reduction of hazardous fuels.

•

Implement appropriate management response (AMR) according to General Risk Categories (GRC), as contained in Appendix 6. The GRCs contain criteria for managing dynamic vegetation communities. Wildland fire use would not be appropriate in the following areas: – Administrative sites – Developed recreation sites – Communication sites – Oil and gas facilities – Mining facilities – Above-ground utility corridors – High-use travel corridors – Crucial wildlife habitats where fire is unwanted – GRC A, such as desert scrub communities. Prioritize other fire management activities as directed and prioritized in the GRCs. Adhere to specific fire suppression directions within Potential ACECs as noted in Table 2-21, for protection of identified relevant and important values from irreparable damage.

• •

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Fire and Fuels Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-11. Fire and Fuels Management Decisions •
Give specific considerations when implementing suppression activities to SSS habitats and cultural resource sites.

Issue: Hazardous Fuels Reduction Management Actions Alternative A
Manage fire and fuels through treatments conducted on up to 1,472,000 acres over the life of the plan. Use the full range of treatment types (e.g., prescribed and wildland fire use, mechanical, chemical, biological, and cultural treatments). An annual average of 73,600 acres would need to receive treatment to reach the total treatment acreage listed (Table 211a). Actual annual treatment acreage would vary depending on conditions, staffing, etc. These acreage figures include all vegetation and fire fuels treatments (Table 2-4).

Alternative N

(No Action) Reduce hazardous fuels to restore ecosystems; protect human, natural, and cultural resources; and reduce the threat of wildfire to communities.

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage fire and fuels through treatments conducted on up to 520,000 acres over the life of the plan. Use prescribed fire, intensively treating areas to create properly functioning ecosystems and desired natural communities. The type of treatment would vary depending on case-by-case environmental conditions. Human management would be applied to protect life and property and to ensure ecosystem function in areas currently at risk of losing key ecosystem components following wildfire. (An annual average of 26,000 acres would need to receive treatment to reach the total treatment acreage listed [Table 2-11a]. Actual annual treatment acreage would vary depending on conditions, staffing, etc. These acreage figures include all vegetation and fire fuels treatment [Table 2-4]).

Issue: Prevention and Mitigation of Wildland Fire Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Prevent human-caused fires through coordination with partners and affected groups and individuals. Use a full range of prevention and mitigation activities. Use prioritization criteria contained in the GRCs (Appendix 6).

(No Action) Prevent human-caused fires through coordination with partners and affected groups and individuals. Use a full range of prevention and mitigation activities.

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Table 2-11. Fire and Fuels Management Decisions
Issue: Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

(No Action) Undertake ESR efforts to protect and sustain ecosystems, public health, and safety, and to help communities protect infrastructure.

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Undertake ESR efforts to protect and sustain ecosystems, public health, and safety, and to help communities protect infrastructure. Prioritize implementation of post-fire emergency stabilization and rehabilitation activities considering the following criteria: • Areas that could pose a threat to life and property

• Table 2-11a. Estimated Treatment Acreages
Estimated Treatment Acreages 20 Year Treatment Acreage—Alternatives C and D
0 7,329 1,927 34,228 7,852 8,189 223,759 171,891 64,930 0 520,105

Areas with potential for invasive species invasion, significant ecosystem alteration (e.g., Condition Class 3 areas), and soil stabilization

20 Year Treatment Acreage— Alternatives A and Proposed RMP

Vegetation Class
Other (Non-Vegetated) Mixed Conifer Aspen Ponderosa Oak Mountain Shrub Pinyon-Juniper Sagebrush Steppe Desert Grassland Desert Brush

0

58,634

5,786

171,140

19,629

16,378

671,277

343,781

185,515

0

1,472,140

Estimated Average Treatment per Year 26,005

73,607

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Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Chapter 2—Alternatives

Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
Table 2-12. Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Protect, preserve, and maintain the wilderness characteristics (appearance of naturalness and outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation) of areas determined to be practicable to manage for the protection of wilderness characteristics by BLM inventory maintenance as appropriate.

•
Issue: Management of Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Management Actions Alternative A
Provide no special management direction for protecting the non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

Manage primitive and backcountry landscapes to preserve their undeveloped character and scenic quality, and to provide opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreational activities and experiences of solitude, as appropriate.

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C
Same as Alternative A.

(No Action) No special direction for managing the non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics is included in the existing LUPs.

Alternative D
Protect the 29 areas (682,600 acres) of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (identified in Chapter 3 and on Map 3-9) through the following land allocations and prescriptions:

• • • • • • • •

Designate as VRM Class I Manage for primitive and semi-primitive nonmotorized recreation Close to motorized use Retain land in public ownership Designate as an Avoidance Area for ROWs Propose for withdrawal from mineral entry Close to oil and gas leasing Close to mineral

Manage the following 12 nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristic areas (78,600 acres) specifically to maintain their wilderness characteristics: (1) Dirty Devil/French Spring (6,100 acres) (2) Dogwater Creek (3,100 acres) (3) Horseshoe Canyon South (12,200 acres) (4) Jones Bench (2,600 acres) (5) Labyrinth Canyon (2,800 acres) (6) Little Rockies (9,500 acres) (7) Mount Ellen-Blue Hill (3,900 acres) (8) Mount Pennell (4,700 acres) (9) Notom Bench

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Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

material sales

(8,200 acres) (10) Ragged Mountain (7,900 acres) (11) Red Desert (8,900 acres) (12) Wild Horse Mesa (8,700 acres). Protect the 12 areas (78,600 acres) of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics through the following land allocations and prescriptions:

•

Designate as unavailable for further consideration for coal leasing.

• Designate as Visual
Resource Management (VRM) Class II • Limit motorized use to designated routes • Retain lands in public ownership • Designate as an Avoidance Area for rights-of-way (ROW) • Designate leasing category as no surface occupancy (NSO), no exceptions, waivers, or modifications • Close to mineral material sales • Designate as unavailable for further consideration for coal leasing • Continue maintenance and use of existing facilities • Prohibit private or commercial woodland harvest or seed collection • Healthy Lands Initiative projects could be

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Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Chapter 2—Alternatives

considered where they improve the overall goals and objectives for managing the wilderness characteristics of these areas • Consider no coal leasing proposals in the 12 (78,600 acres) identified non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

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Forestry and Woodland Products Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

2.6.2

Resource Uses

Forestry and Woodland Products
Table 2-13. Forestry and Woodland Products Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Provide forest and woodland products (including fuelwood, timber, posts, pinyon nuts, and Christmas trees) on a sustainable basis.

Reduce pinyon-juniper encroachment through woodland product use where increased density threatens other resource values.

Provide opportunities for seed and live plant collecting where and when ecologically feasible.

• • • •
Issue: Overall Management of Forests and Woodlands Management Actions

Emphasize forest and woodland health.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Allow use of forest and woodland species to achieve desired conditions.

• • •

Reforest sites after disturbances.

Manage forests and woodlands to meet objectives of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, including: – Develop a Forest and Woodlands Management Plan – Give priority to restoration of destroyed or degraded woodland ecosystems – Employ commercial uses to improve forest and woodland ecosystem health – Emphasize partnerships among internal programs and outside agencies for forest and woodland management – Increase monitoring of forest and woodland conditions – Emphasize public education on forest and woodland health, fire danger, and resource uses – Identify, maintain, and restore old-growth forests.

Issue: Areas Open to Timber Harvest Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C
Allow no commercial timber harvest.

(No Action) West of Capitol Reef National Park: Provide for commercial and non-commercial timber harvest where feasible, sustainable, and compatible with restoring, maintaining, or improving forest health.

Alternative D

Manage commercial timber harvest on a case-by-case basis. East of Capitol Reef National Park:

•

Provide for commercial and non-commercial timber harvest where feasible, sustainable, and compatible with restoring, maintaining, or improving forest health. The 12 non-WSA lands (78,600 acres) with

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Forestry and Woodland Products Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-13. Forestry and Woodland Products Decisions
wilderness characteristics would be closed to commercial and noncommercial use of forest and woodland products. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

•

Continue to prohibit commercial timber harvesting.

(No Action) West of Capitol Reef National Park:

Issue: Areas Open to Woodland Products Harvest: Christmas Trees, Posts, Green Wood Cutting, and Fuelwood Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP

•

Allow harvest of dead and down woodland products by permit on a case-by-case basis

Allow green wood cutting in specified areas by permit. East of Capitol Reef National Park:

•

•

Provide for noncommercial use of woodland products outside WSAs by permit.

Provide for commercial and non-commercial use of forest and woodland products where sustainable and compatible with restoring, maintaining, and improving woodland health, in areas specified by permit. WSAs and suitable WSR corridors would be closed to commercial and noncommercial use of forest and woodland products. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered. Provide for commercial and non-commercial use of forest and woodland products where sustainable and compatible with restoring, maintaining, and improving woodland health, in areas specified by permit. WSAs, the 12 non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (78,600 acres), and suitable WSR corridors would be closed to commercial and non-commercial use of forest and woodland products. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

Provide for commercial and non-commercial use of forest and woodland products where sustainable and compatible with restoring, maintaining, and improving woodland health, in areas specified by permit. WSAs and suitable WSR corridors would be closed to commercial and noncommercial use of forest and woodland products. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

Provide for commercial and non-commercial use of forest and woodland products where sustainable and compatible with restoring, maintaining, and improving woodland health, in areas specified by permit. WSAs, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (682,600 acres), and suitable WSR corridors would be closed to commercial and non-commercial use of forest and woodland products. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

Issue: Management of Seed and Live Plant Collecting Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

Proposed RMP
•
Allow commercial and non-commercial live plant and seed collecting by permit.

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Allow commercial and noncommercial live plant and seed collecting by permit.

•

Allow commercial and non-commercial live plant and seed collecting by permit. Consider designating

•

•

•

Consider designating

Allow commercial and non-commercial live plant and seed collection by permit in areas outside WSAs

•

Allow no commercial or non-commercial live plant and seed collecting within WSAs, non-WSA lands with

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Table 2-13. Forestry and Woodland Products Decisions
specific seed collecting areas for resource benefits. specific seed collecting areas for resource benefits.

• •
Consider designating specific seed collecting areas for resource benefits.

and suitable WSR corridors. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

wilderness characteristics (682,600 acres), and suitable WSR corridors. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

Allow no commercial or non-commercial live plant and seed collecting within WSAs, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (78,600 acres), and suitable WSR corridors. Exceptions for traditional Native American use may be considered.

•

Consider designating specific seed collecting areas for resource benefits.

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Livestock Grazing Chapter 2—Alternatives

Livestock Grazing
Table 2-14. Livestock Grazing Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Provide for the orderly use, improvement, and development of the range for livestock grazing.

• • •

Provide for livestock grazing while maintaining rangelands in properly functioning condition.

Maintain healthy, sustainable rangeland ecosystems and restore degraded rangelands to meet Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health and to provide a wide range of public values, such as wildlife habitat, livestock forage, recreation opportunities, clean water, and functional watersheds.

•
Issue: General Grazing Management Management Actions

Integrate livestock use and associated management practices with other multiple use needs and objectives to maintain, protect, and improve rangeland health.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

• •

Monitor and evaluate grazing allotments to maintain or improve rangeland productivity.

Adjust permit terms and conditions (e.g., permitted use, amount of use, season of use, and kind and class of livestock) when grazing permits are renewed, transferred, or as otherwise deemed necessary by site-specific evaluation of monitoring data and environmental analysis.

•

Use livestock grazing to enhance ecosystem health or mitigate resource problems (e.g., noxious/invasive weed control and hazardous fuel reduction) where supported by site-specific environmental analysis.

During periods of drought, adjust livestock numbers annually based on estimates of the available forage.

Exclude livestock grazing from small areas (such as springs) within allotments that cannot meet Rangeland Health Standards with livestock grazing.

• • • •

Site-specific management actions that protect riparian areas would be addressed at the project level.

Handle on a case-by-case basis voluntary relinquishment of grazing permits and preference, in whole or in part, by a permittee in writing to the BLM. The BLM would not recognize as valid, relinquishments that are conditional on specific BLM actions, and BLM would not be bound by them. Relinquished permits and the associated preference would remain available for application by qualified applicants after BLM considers whether such action would meet Rangeland Health Standards and would be compatible with achieving LUP goals and objectives. Prior to re-issuance of the relinquished permit, the terms and conditions may be modified to meet RMP goals and objectives and/or site-specific resource objectives. However, upon relinquishment, BLM may determine through a site-specific evaluation and associated environmental analysis that the public lands involved would be better used for other purposes. Grazing may then be discontinued on the allotment through an amendment to the RMP. Any decision issued concerning discontinuance of livestock grazing would not be permanent and may be reconsidered and changed through future LUP amendments and updates.

Issue: Forage Allocations Management Actions Alternative A
Permit livestock use on those allotments shown on

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Permit livestock use on those allotments shown on Map 2-7 and in Appendix 7 (Table A7-3).

(No Action) Continue to permit livestock use on those allotments

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Table 2-14. Livestock Grazing Decisions
Acres available for grazing: 1,989,048 Acres unavailable for grazing: 138,952 Available AUMs: 146,202

shown on Map 2-7 and in Appendix 7 (Table A7-1).

•

Acres available for grazing: 1,989,048

• • •

• •
Acres available for grazing: 2,025,998 Acres unavailable for grazing: 102,002 Available AUMs: 147,281

Acres unavailable for grazing: 138,952

• • •
Issue: Grazing Allotment Boundaries Management Actions Alternative A

Available AUMs: 146,202

Map 2-6 and in Appendix 7 (Table A7-2). Fourteen allotments comprising 36,950 acres previously unavailable to livestock grazing would again be available to livestock grazing.

Alternative N

(No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

•

Authorize allotment boundary changes, including combining and splitting allotments, on a case-by-case basis after environmental analysis. Provide for the following allotment combinations: Combine Long Hollow, Terza Flat, and Deleeuw allotments with the Loa Winter Allotment. Combine Flat Top and King Sheep allotments with the Bicknell Winter Allotment. Combine Cedar Peak, Hare Lake, and Smooth Knoll allotments with the Bicknell Spring Allotment. Combine the Cyclone Allotment with the Cyclone Co-Op Allotment.

Continue to manage Long Hollow, Terza Flat, Deleeuw, and Loa Winter allotments as separate allotments.

•

Continue to manage Flat Top, King Sheep, and Bicknell Winter allotments as separate allotments.

• • • •

•

Manage Cedar Peak, Hare Lake, Smooth Knoll, and Bicknell Spring allotments as separate allotments.

•

Manage Cyclone and Cyclone Co-Op allotments as separate allotments.

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Livestock Grazing Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-14. Livestock Grazing Decisions

Issue: Guidelines and Criteria for Adjusting Allotment-Specific Grazing Management Practices Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N

(No Action) Existing LUPs do not specifically address this issue.

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Conversion in Kind of Livestock Authorize conversion in kind of livestock on a case-by-case basis when justified through environmental analysis. Permittees may be required to provide needed range improvements to support the conversion. A conversion may be justified when it meets the following criteria:

• •
Monitoring studies or other acceptable data support the conversion.

Environmental conditions (e.g., vegetation types, topographic features, and water availability) can accommodate the conversion. Change in kind of livestock poses no threat to other resources.

A trial change proves acceptable. Adjusting Livestock Season of Use Consider adjustments to season of use when resource conditions indicate a change is needed. Conduct appropriate environmental analysis prior to any changes. Resource conditions include: Physiological requirements (reproduction and maintenance) of desired plant species are not being met. Range conditions are declining because of season of use.

• •

Conflicts with other resources or uses are identified. Consider the following actions if livestock grazing is contributing to declining range conditions: Shorten the grazing period Temporarily suspend use Implement or change grazing system

• • •

Authorize non-use until conditions improve. Authorize permittee requests for changes to livestock season of use when the following conditions are met: Physiological requirements (e.g., reproduction and maintenance) of desired plants can be met. On community allotments, all permittees in that allotment agree to the change. Requested changes do not conflict with other established land uses. A trial of the change proves acceptable.

• • • •

Permittees may be required to provide needed range improvements to support changing the season of use. Adjusting Permitted Use

• • • • •

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Table 2-14. Livestock Grazing Decisions
Consider changes to permitted use if: Change is supported by monitoring data, field observations, ecological site inventory, or other acceptable data. Conflicts with other uses are identified. There is a change in public land ownership (increase or decrease). Protection of other resources is required. Changes are required by 43 CFR 4180 (Rangeland Health regulations).

• • • • •
Issue: Administrative Access for Grazing Management Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Continue to allow motorized access to range improvements for allotment management purposes.

• •
Issue: Managing Domestic Sheep/Wildlife Conflicts Management Actions Alternative A
Permit domestic sheep grazing in bighorn sheep habitat while following the Guidelines for Domestic Sheep and Goat Management in Native Wild Sheep Habitats. Permit no domestic sheep and goat grazing east of Capitol Reef National Park, subject to existing livestock grazing permits.

Allow access within WSAs according to IMP.

Alternative N

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

(No Action) Permit domestic sheep grazing in bighorn sheep habitat while following the Guidelines for Domestic Sheep and Goat Management in Native Wild Sheep Habitats.

Permit no domestic sheep and goat grazing in bighorn sheep habitat throughout the lands managed by the RFO, subject to existing livestock grazing permits.

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Recreation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Recreation
Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Provide recreational opportunities in a variety of physical, social, and administrative settings, from primitive to near-urban, that allow visitors to have desired recreational experiences and enjoy the resulting benefits.

•

Provide opportunities for recreational experiences unique to the lands managed by the RFO, consistent with resource capabilities and mandated resource requirements; provide for visitor education and interpretation of the recreational opportunities within the RFO.

Work with local communities to foster recreation and tourism.

Provide for public health, education, and safety through interpretation, facility development, and visitor management.

• • •
Issue: Overall Recreation Guidance Management Actions

Maintain important recreational values and sites in federal ownership to ensure a continued diversity of recreation settings, activities, and opportunities.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Implement the Utah BLM Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Recreation Management, as follows:

•

Recognize that various levels of regulations and limits may be necessary, but that restrictions and limitations on public uses should be as minimized gas possible without compromising the primary goal.

Use an on-the-ground presence as a tool to protect public lands.

• • •

Use enhanced off-site interpretation, education, and information as a tool to protect public lands.

Where long-term damage by recreational usage is observed or anticipated, limit or control activities through special management tools such as designated campsites, permits, area closures, and limitations on numbers of users and duration of usage.

• •

Revise recreation management plans and RMPs when they prove to be either overly restrictive or inadequate to protect public land health.

Coordinate with other federal and state agencies, county and local governments, and tribal nations in recreation planning and managing traffic, search and rescues operations, trash control and removal, and public safety.

•

Consider and implement where appropriate, management methods to protect resources while maintaining the quality of the experience of various users. Limitations could include numbers, types, timing, and duration of usage.

•

Encourage the location of public land recreational activities near population centers and highway corridors by the placement of appropriate visitor use infrastructure. Provide restrooms and other facilities adequate for anticipated uses at designated campgrounds, trailheads, and other areas where recreational users concentrate.

Allow non-commercial dispersed camping without permit, throughout the RFO administered lands, unless directed by other management prescriptions.

Allow no rock climbing within 300 feet of cultural sites or within one-quarter mile of raptor nests during nesting seasons.

Allow no camping within one-half mile of any Mexican spotted owl protected activity center (PAC).

• • • •

BLM Back Country Byways may be designated in the future as deemed appropriate with site-specific environmental analysis.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions

National Recreation Trails may be designated in the future as deemed appropriate with site-specific environmental analysis.

Encourage “Leave No Trace” and “Tread Lightly” camping and travel techniques.

• • •
Issue: Management of Extensive Recreation Management Areas (ERMA) Management Actions Alternative A

Site-specific management actions that protect riparian areas would be addressed at the project level.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue managing recreation as directed in current LUPs.

•

Identify portions of the decision area not delineated as a SRMA as an ERMA. ERMAs would receive only custodial management (which addresses only activity opportunities) of visitor health and safety, user conflict, and resource protection issues, with no activity-level planning. Therefore, actions within ERMAs would generally be implemented directly from LUP decisions. Manage the ERMAs to provide a variety of recreational opportunities, including primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized, semi-primitive motorized, roaded natural, and rural. Provide outdoor settings ranging from areas with a high-to-moderate opportunity for solitude and closeness to nature, where visitors should be prepared for a high level of self reliance, challenge, and risk; to areas where visitors have the convenience of facilities and a higher interaction with other users. Consider limiting recreational access, season of use, and numbers of users, if needed, to protect other resources. Provide facilities based on needs for resource protection and user demand. Consider site-specific development on a case-by-case basis, ranging from minimal, rustic facilities to larger developments that would require major site modifications. Manage public lands in the Fiddler Butte, Labyrinth Canyon, Blue Hills, and Little Rockies areas in a primitive, naturally appearing setting for a high probability of experiencing solitude, freedom, closeness to nature, self reliance, challenge, and risk. Interaction and evidence of other users would be low. (In some alternatives, these areas are part of SRMAs.) Achieve this by: – Preserving resources while providing for a sustainable recreational opportunity – Managing access and travel primarily as non-motorized, with motorized travel limited to designated routes (access for people with disabilities would be difficult) – Providing minimum improvements needed for site protection – Providing no on-site interpretative facilities. Manage public lands adjacent to other federal and state lands to complement the recreational experience on the adjoining lands. Designate sites and areas appropriate for large group events and camping, including: – Starr Spring campground – McMillan Spring campground – Sandy Creek Overlook (except in Alternative D) – Apple Brush Flat near McMillan Spring road junction – Turkey Haven

•

• • •

• •

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Recreation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
– – Two sites along Sulphur Creek Others as necessary to meet recreation demand and protect resources

•

Provide signs, trails, trailhead parking, and staging areas to facilitate the use and enjoyment of the ERMA and to protect visitor health, safety, and resources. Maintain and/or improve the Paiute, Great Western, and other motorized trail systems. Designate, maintain, and improve a non-motorized trail system.

• •
Issue: Establishment and Management of Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA) Management Actions Alternative A
Establish and manage SRMAs, as identified below. Manage recreation activities and developments in the SRMA to support SRMA goals and objectives.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Current LUPs identify one SRMA.

• • • •
Five SRMAs, 514,500 acres OHV: Factory Butte Big Rocks Henry Mountains Dirty Devil Big Rocks Dispersed Recreation: Factory Butte Five SRMAs, 860,390 acres OHV:

Establish recreation management zones (RMZ) to address specific recreation uses, user types, and site-specific prescriptions during activity planning for each SRMA, except for the Factory Butte SRMA. Develop recreation facilities in response to resource management needs appropriate to the intent of the SRMA. Four SRMAs, 930,000 acres Dispersed Recreation: Henry Mountains Dirty Devil Capitol Reef Gateway Sevier Canyon (Map 2-10) Seven SRMAs,1,358,100 acres Primitive and semiprimitive recreation: Henry Mountains Dirty Devil Capitol Reef Gateway E. Fork Sevier River San Rafael Swell Little Rockies Labyrinth Canyon Dispersed recreation: E. Fork Sevier River (Map 2-11)

One SRMA, 120 acres Yuba Reservoir (defer management of Yuba SRMA to Fillmore Field Office (FO) in all alternatives) Sahara Sands Dispersed Recreation: Otter Creek (Map 2-8)

• • • • • •

• •

• • • •

• •

Dirty Devil

Capitol Reef Gateway (Map 2-9)

• • • • • • •

• •

Capitol Reef Gateway

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the E. Fork Sevier River (Including Otter Creek Reservoir) Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
Otter Creek Reservoir SRMA Establish the 3,200 acres of public land adjacent to Otter Creek Reservoir as an SRMA (Map 2-8).

Continue managing the area as a part of the ERMA in cooperation with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation (Otter Creek State Park).

•
Manage the area as a part of the ERMA in cooperation with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.

Manage the area as a part of the ERMA in cooperation with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.

East Fork of the Sevier River SRMA Establish the East Fork of the Sevier River SRMA (59,500 acres).

•

•

•

Manage lands around Otter Creek Reservoir for dispersed recreational uses in cooperation with the Utah Division of Park and Recreation.

Manage the SRMA to provide a roaded natural experience, providing users the opportunity to interact with each other in developed sites while providing some chance of privacy. Provide a moderate level of access for people with disabilities. Provide some facilities for user comfort. Allow site modifications if needed. Provide simple wayside interpretive exhibits.

If warranted by demand, enhance and expand recreation opportunities and facilities such as campgrounds, water, restrooms, and other recreation, picnic, and trailhead facilities.

•

• •

Manage non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in and around Kingston Canyon for primitive recreation opportunities.

•

•

Manage remaining lands for a roaded natural experience, providing users the opportunity to interact with each other in developed sites while providing some chance of privacy.

•

Manage the East Fork of the Sevier River in cooperation with the UDWR to enhance the blue ribbon fishing opportunities

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Recreation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions •
Enhance, expand, and market recreation opportunities and facilities such as the Paiute ATV Trail, campgrounds, water, restrooms, and other recreation, picnic, and trailhead facilities as a regional destination location.

Continue to manage the area as open to OHV use.

•
Limit OHV use in the SRMA to designated routes and trails east of the reservoir. Provide an OHV open area west of the reservoir.

Limit OHVs to designated routes, according to the area designations shown in Table 2-16.

•

Close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Elsewhere in the SRMA, limit vehicles to designated routes. Allow permitted access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan. Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of RMP ROD.

Not applicable.

Complete an SRMA activity plan within five years of RMP Record of Decision (ROD).

Not applicable.

Not applicable.

Alternative N (No Action)

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Factory Butte Area Management Actions Alternative C Alternative A Proposed RMP
Manage recreation values in the Factory Butte area as part of the ERMA in concert with the Badlands ACEC designation.

Alternative D

Continue managing the Factory Butte area as part of the ERMA.

Factory Butte SRMA Identify 199,700 acres of public land as the Factory Butte SRMA (Map 2-8) to provide a motorized recreational experience that involves a high degree of self-reliance, challenge, and risk in a natural setting.

Factory Butte SRMA Identify 24,400 acres of public land as the Factory Butte SRMA (Appendix 18) to provide a motorized recreational experience that involves a high degree of self-reliance, challenge, and risk in a natural setting.

•

•

Allow moderate to extensive landscape

•

Allow moderate to extensive landscape

Develop no facilities to support recreation activities unless needed to meet ACEC objectives.

San Rafael Swell SRMA Identify 127,100 acres of public land in the Factory Butte area as part of the San Rafael Swell SRMA (Map 211) for primitive and semiprimitive recreational opportunities. Manage in coordination with the Price FO.

•

Preserve or retain the

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
modifications. modifications. existing character of the landscape.

•
Provide limited signing and interpretation.

• •
Develop facilities to provide for visitor health and safety and support the objectives of the SRMA.

•
Develop facilities to provide for visitor health and safety and support the objectives of the SRMA.

•

Develop facilities to support motorized and non-motorized recreation in a dispersed setting and to provide for health and safety, such as restrooms, staging areas, loading facilities, and parking areas.

•

•

Manage the SRMA for a medium probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment with low interaction or evidence of other users.

•

Establish three RMZs including: – OHV Play Area RMZ (8,500 acres) – Motorized Touring RMZ (11,300 acres) – Landmarks RMZ (4,600 acres) Designate three OHV open areas as the OHV Play Area RMZ: – Factory Butte (5,800 acres) – Caineville Cove Inn (100 acres) – Swing Arm City (2,600 acres) Manage the Factory Butte SRMA according to the prescriptions outlined in Appendix 18.

•

Manage recreational activities to sustain natural resources while meeting social and economic needs, emphasizing the opportunity to experience solitude by recreational vehicle touring, camping, and hiking. Designate SRMA as open to OHV use in the OHV Play Area RMZ (8,500 acres). Limited to Designated Routes in the Motorized Touring RMZ and Closed to Close mesa tops to OHV use. Elsewhere in the ACEC, limit OHVs to designated trails to prevent irreparable damage to cultural resources, badlands Close mesa tops and nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Elsewhere in SRMA, limit vehicles to designated routes. Allow permitted

Continue to manage OHV use in accordance with the Notice of OHV Travel Restriction for motorized use in the Factory Butte area (Table 2-16).

Designate SRMA as open to OHV use (Map 2-8).

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Recreation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
motorized use in the Landmarks RMZ. (Map 2-9). topography, listed species, and scenic values (Map 210). access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan. (Map 2-11). Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD.

Not applicable. Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD. ∗Implementation level decision.

Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD.

Not applicable.

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Big Rocks Area Near Loa Management Actions Alternative A
Big Rocks SRMA Identify Big Rocks SRMA (9,300 acres) and provide for motorized and dispersed recreational use, including competitive motorized recreation events (Map 2-8). Big Rocks SRMA Identify Big Rocks SRMA (90 acres) to provide for motorized recreational use, including competitive motorized recreation events (Map 2-9).

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue to manage the Big Rocks area as part of the ERMA.

Manage the Big Rocks area as part of the ERMA.

•

•

Manage motorized recreational activities to sustain natural resources while meeting social and economic needs.

Manage recreational activities to sustain natural resources while meeting social and economic needs, emphasizing the opportunity to experience solitude.

•

•
Provide access ranging from moderate to easy through a full range of motorized vehicle types with little self-reliance and a high or moderate level of interaction

Provide access ranging from moderate to easy through a full range of motorized vehicle types with little self-reliance and a high or moderate level of interaction between users.

•

Provide signing and

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
between users. interpretation as needed.

•
Provide signing and interpretation as needed.

•
Develop facilities to support motorized and dispersed recreational activities, such as restrooms, staging areas, loading facilities, and parking areas.

•
Develop facilities to support motorized and dispersed recreational activities, such as restrooms, staging areas, loading facilities, and parking areas. Manage SRMA as an OHV open area.

Continue managing as an OHV open area.

Manage SRMA as an OHV open area.

Limit OHVs to designated routes according to Table 2-16.

Not applicable Complete an activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD. ∗Implementation level decision.

Complete an activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD.

Not applicable

Not applicable

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost Area Management Actions Alternative A
Dirty Devil SRMA Identify the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost area as an SRMA (290,000 acres, Map 2-8) to provide recreational experiences complementary with the remote and scenic nature and other resource values of the area. (SRMA includes the Dirty Devil WSA, Horseshoe

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Dirty Devil SRMA Identify the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost area as an SRMA (290,500 acres, Map 2-9) to provide recreational experiences complementary with the remote and scenic nature and other resource values of the area. (SRMA includes Dirty Devil WSA, Horseshoe

Alternative C
Dirty Devil SRMA Identify the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost area as an SRMA (375,800 acres, Map 2-10) in concert with the Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC to provide for recreational experiences complementary with the remote and scenic nature and other resource values of

Alternative D
Dirty Devil SRMA Identify the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost area as an SRMA (383,900 acres, Map 2-11) in concert with the Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC to provide for recreational experiences complementary with the remote and scenic nature and other resource values of

Continue to manage area as part of ERMA.

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Recreation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
Canyon WSA, Happy Canyon—French Springs WSA, and the Beaver Wash ACEC.) Canyon WSA, and the Happy Canyon—French Springs WSA.)

•
Manage the portions of the WSAs within the SRMA according to the IMP.

•
Manage SRMA consistent with prescriptions identified in the Beaver Wash ACEC and direction provided in the IMP for WSAs.

• • •

the area, notably the ACEC values. (SRMA includes the Dirty Devil WSA, Horseshoe Canyon WSA, Fiddler Butte WSA, Happy Canyon— French Springs WSA, proposed Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC and the suitable Dirty Devil River and tributary WSR segments.)

the area, notably the ACEC values. (SRMA includes the Dirty Devil WSA, Horseshoe Canyon WSA, Fiddler Butte WSA, Happy Canyon— French Springs WSA, proposed Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC and the suitable Dirty Devil River and tributary WSR segments.)

•

Manage the portions of the Dirty Devil/French Springs non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in accordance with the management prescriptions identified for these areas. Manage SRMA consistent with prescriptions identified in the Dirty Devil North Wash ACEC, with direction provided in the IMP for WSAs, and with protection for WSR outstandingly remarkable values.

• •

Manage SRMA for a high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment with very low interaction or evidence of other users.

•

Manage SRMA for a high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment with very low interaction or evidence of other users.

•

Provide opportunities for primitive and semiprimitive, nonmotorized recreation within the Dirty Devil River corridor, its tributaries, and the Horseshoe Canyon drainage.

•

Manage SRMA for a high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment with very low interaction or evidence of other users.

•
Provide semi-primitive motorized activity on designated routes.

•

•

Provide opportunities for primitive and semiprimitive, nonmotorized recreation within the Dirty Devil River corridor, its tributaries, and the Horseshoe Canyon drainage.

Manage SRMA consistent with: – Prescriptions identified in the Dirty Devil North Wash ACEC. – Direction provided in the IMP for WSAs. – Protection of WSR outstandingly remarkable values. – Protection of nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics. Manage SRMA for a high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment with very low interaction or evidence of other users.

•

Provide non-motorized access on trails, crosscountry and some primitive roads (access for people with disabilities would be most difficult). Provide semi-primitive motorized activity on designated routes.

• •
Provide no site developments or only

Provide non-motorized access by means of trails, cross-country travel, and some primitive roads (access for people with

Provide non-motorized access on trails, crosscountry and some primitive roads. (Access for people with

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
disabilities would be most difficult).

• •

disabilities would be most difficult.)

• •
Provide no on-site interpretive facilities.

the minimum required for site protection, with user comfort secondary in consideration.

Provide no site developments or only the minimum required for site protection, considering user comfort secondarily.

Provide non-motorized access by means of trails, cross-country travel, and some primitive roads. (Access for people with disabilities would be most difficult.)

•
Manage to allow natural processes to achieve self-sustaining systems.

Provide no site developments or only the minimum required for site protection, with user comfort considered secondarily. Provide no on-site interpretive facilities.

•
Provide no on-site interpretive facilities. Manage to allow natural processes to achieve self-sustaining systems.

•
Provide no site developments or only the minimum required for site protection, considering user comfort secondarily. Provide no on-site interpretive facilities. Manage to allow natural processes to achieve self-sustaining systems. Close WSAs and WSR segments to OHV use except for limited designation in Poison Springs/North Hatch Canyon road corridor. Limit OHV use to designated routes in the portion of the SRMA outside the ACEC (Table 2-16).

• •

•

Manage to allow natural processes to achieve self-sustaining systems.

• •
Limit OHVs to designated routes. Close canyons and portions of WSAs to OHV use. Limit OHVs to designated routes elsewhere (Table 2-16).

Manage OHVs according to existing area designations (Map 2-12).

Close WSAs and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to vehicle use. Elsewhere in the SRMA, limit vehicles to designated roads and trails. Allow permitted access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan (Table 2-16).

Continue dealing with recreation use conflicts on a case-by-case basis.

Consider limiting recreational activities if they conflict with other resources or users, if necessary. (Limitations could include numbers of people, season of use, or area of use.)

Not applicable

•

Develop an activity plan for the SRMA within 5 years to address developed facilities, special recreation permits (SRP), and special rules for protecting resources such as regulating campfire use, camping, sanitation, backcountry permits, group size, spatial and seasonal restrictions. ∗Implementation level decision.

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions • •
Continue to issue current SRPs according to site-specific analysis already completed and according to existing permit stipulations. (SRPs are currently in place for commercial uses such as canyoneering, rock climbing, backpacking, hiking, guided hunting, and vehicle tours.) Prior to completing the activity plan, issue additional similar SRPs, subject to the following stipulations: – Within one-half mile of canyon rims and below the rim, limit group size to 12 or fewer. Allow no commercial or organized group larger than 12 to operate in this area. – Allow only one commercial group to occupy the same side of the canyon at any one time. – Review itineraries prior to each operating season. – Allow no camping within one-half mile of Mexican spotted owl protected activity centers. Require all activities be consistent with the guidelines in the Mexican spotted owl recovery plan. – Allow no camping within the 100-year floodplain or 330 feet on either side from the centerline, whichever is greater, of any spring or water sources in Desert bighorn sheep use areas during the lambing season (April 15–June 15). – Stipulate additional requirements, if needed, to protect sensitive species and their critical habitats. Consider developing facilities to support the objectives of the SRMA, to provide for visitor health and safety, and for resource protection. Locate facilities such as trailheads, instructional signs, group sites, and parking areas on the bench lands near existing access roads. Address changes to OHV route designations, if needed. Conduct environmental analysis on SRP proposals that do not meet the criteria above or that are different than existing SRPs. Manage oil and gas leasing in SRMA (outside WSAs) as follows:

• • • •
Manage oil and gas leasing in SRMA (outside WSA) as follows:

Continue managing oil and gas leasing according to existing LUPs and applicable law (Map 2-35).

•

•

Manage oil and gas leasing in SRMA (outside WSAs, WSR corridors, and VRM Class II areas within Poison Springs Canyon and Happy Canyon) as follows:

Manage oil and gas leasing in SRMA (outside WSAs, WSR corridors and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics) as follows:

• •

Lease remaining areas subject to CSU and/or timing limitations. (Map 2-36)

Lease VRM Class II areas and canyon rims within the viewshed of all canyons (approximately onequarter mile), with major constraints (NSO).

Lease the remainder of the SRMA as NSO or subject to CSU and/or timing limitations. (Map 2-39)

•

Lease the remaining VRM Class II areas and canyon rims within the viewshed of all canyons (approximately onequarter mile) with major constraints (NSO). Lease the remainder of the SRMA subject to CSU and/or timing limitations. (Map 2-37)

•

Lease the remainder of the SRMA subject to CSU and/or timing limitations.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
(Map 2-38)

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities on Lands Adjacent to Capitol Reef National Park Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
Manage the Capitol Reef Gateway area as part of the ERMA. In addition:

Continue managing the Capitol Reef Gateway area as part of the ERMA. In addition:

•
Manage the Fremont Gorge WSA under the IMP.

Manage the Fremont Gorge WSA under the IMP.

•

•

Manage the eligible Fremont Gorge wild river segment to protect its outstandingly remarkable values.

Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA Identify the Capitol Reef Gateway as an SRMA (12,800 acres, Map 2-9) to manage recreation opportunities associated with Capitol Reef National Park. SRMA boundary includes the Fremont Gorge WSA and the suitable Fremont Gorge wild river segment.

•
Manage the Fremont Gorge WSA under the IMP.

Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA Identify the Capitol Reef Gateway as an SRMA (12,800 acres, Map 2-10) to manage recreation opportunities associated with Capitol Reef National Park. SRMA boundary includes Fremont Gorge WSA, the suitable wild river segment of the Fremont River, and the Fremont Gorge Cockscomb potential ACEC.

•

•
Manage the Fremont Gorge suitable wild river segment to protect its outstandingly remarkable values.

Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA Identify the Capitol Reef Gateway as an SRMA (168,800 acres, Map 2-11) to manage recreation opportunities associated with Capitol Reef National Park. SRMA boundary includes Fremont Gorge WSA, the suitable wild river segment of the Fremont River, portions of the Fremont Gorge Cockscomb potential ACEC and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics adjacent to the east boundary of the park. Manage appropriate portions of the SRMA in concert with the Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb ACEC.

• • •
Manage the Fremont Gorge WSA under the IMP. Manage the Fremont Gorge eligible wild river segment to protect its outstandingly remarkable values.

•

Manage appropriate portions of the SRMA in concert with the Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb ACEC.

• • •
Manage the Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA for a moderate probability of experiencing solitude,

Manage the Fremont Gorge WSA under the IMP. Manage the Fremont Gorge eligible wild river segment to protect its outstandingly remarkable values.

Manage the Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA for a moderate probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature and tranquility, high degree of self-reliance, challenge, and risk in a predominately naturalappearing environment with low interaction but often evidence of other

•

Protect non-WSA lands

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
users. with wilderness characteristics.

•
Provide access into the area through motorized and non-motorized routes. (Access for people with disabilities would be difficult.)

•

•
Allow facilities to reduce resource impacts, including campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms, parking and staging areas, and interpretive facilities.

closeness to nature and tranquility, high degree of self-reliance, challenge, and risk in a predominately naturalappearing environment with low interaction but often evidence of other users.

•

Manage the Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA for a moderate probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature and tranquility, high degree of self-reliance, challenge, and risk in a predominately naturalappearing environment with low interaction but often evidence of other users.

•
Explore concession opportunities for management and development of additional facilities.

To facilitate access into the area and staging apply a higher level of interaction with visitors; allow travel through the interior using nonmotorized means on trails or cross-country. (Access for people with disabilities would be difficult.) Provide no interior site developments and only the minimum required for site protection.

•

•

•

Provide no on-site interpretation facilities.

To facilitate access into the area and staging apply a higher level of interaction with visitors; allow travel through the interior using nonmotorized means on trails or cross-country, (access for people with disabilities would be difficult.)

•

Provide no interior site developments and only the minimum required for site protection.

•
Manage OHV use according to designations in Table 2-16.

Provide no on-site interpretation facilities.

Continue managing OHV use according to current LUPs.

•

Close the Fremont Gorge WSA and Fremont Gorge wild river corridor to OHV use.

•

•

Limit OHVs to

Close the Fremont Gorge WSA, Fremont Gorge wild river corridor, and VRM Class II areas to OHV use.

•

Close the Fremont Gorge WSA, Fremont Gorge wild river corridor, and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
designated routes elsewhere.

•
Limit OHVs to designated routes elsewhere.

use.

•

Elsewhere, limit OHVs to designated routes. Allow permitted access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan. Manage oil and gas leasing as follows: Close to oil and gas leasing the portion of the SRMA in the Fremont Gorge WSA. (Map 2-39)

Manage oil and gas leasing as follows:

Manage oil and gas leasing as follows: Manage oil and gas leasing as follows: Close to oil and gas leasing the portion of the SRMA in the Fremont Gorge WSA. (Map 2-38)

Continue managing oil and gas leasing according to existing LUPs and applicable law (Map 2-35).

•
Close to oil and gas leasing the portion of the SRMA in the Fremont Gorge WSA.

•

•

•

•
Lease the remainder of the SRMA subject to CSU and/or timing limitations. (Map 2-37)

Close to oil and gas leasing the portion of the SRMA in the Fremont Gorge WSA and the Fremont Gorge wild river corridor.

Lease the portion of the SRMA in the Fremont Gorge wild river corridor as open to oil and gas leasing subject to major constraints (NSO). (Map 2-36)

•

Not applicable.

Complete a SRMA activity plan within 5 years of RMP ROD. ∗Implementation level decision

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Sahara Sands Area Management Actions Alternative A
Sahara Sands SRMA Identify Sahara Sands SRMA (12,300 acres) as indicated on Map 2-8.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue managing Sahara Sands as part of the ERMA.

Manage Sahara Sands as part of the ERMA.

•

Manage for a roaded natural recreational

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
opportunity providing users the opportunity to interact with others in developed sites, with some chance of privacy.

•
Provide a managed OHV recreation experience, including cross-country all-terrain travel. Develop facilities for user comfort and convenience (as opposed to site protection) to promote and enhance recreation experience as a managed open area. This could include development of parking and staging areas, restrooms, and instructional signing, and could involve moderate or even heavy site modifications. Explore concession opportunities for management and operation of recreation activity in the area. Manage OHV use according to area designations in Table 2-16. Not applicable.

•

•

Continue managing as open to OHV use. Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of RMP ROD.

Designate as an OHV open area.

Not applicable.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Henry Mountains Management Actions Alternative A
Manage the Henry Mountains as part of the ERMA.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue to manage the Henry Mountains as part of the ERMA.

•
Manage WSAs according to the IMP. Manage Bull Creek Archaeological District to protect cultural resource values.

• •

Manage WSAs according to the IMP.

•

Manage Bull Creek Archaeological District to protect cultural resource values.

Henry Mountains SRMA Identify a Henry Mountains SRMA (532,600 acres, Map 2-9). Area includes the Mount Ellen–Blue Hills WSA, Bull Mountain WSA, Mount Pennell WSA, Mount Hillers WSA, and Bull Creek Archaeological District. Henry Mountains SRMA Identify a Henry Mountains SRMA (533,900 acres, Map 2-10). Area includes the Mount Ellen–Blue Hills WSA, Bull Mountain WSA, Mount Pennell WSA, Mount Hillers WSA, and Bull Creek Archaeological District.

Henry Mountains SRMA Identify a Henry Mountains SRMA (479,500 acres, Map 2-11). Area includes the Mount Ellen–Blue Hills WSA, Bull Mountain WSA, Mount Pennell WSA, Mount Hillers WSA, and Bull Creek Archaeological District.

•
Manage WSAs according to the IMP. Manage Bull Creek Archaeological District to protect cultural resource values.

• •

Manage WSAs according to the IMP. Manage Bull Creek Archaeological District to protect cultural resource values. Manage the SRMA in concert with the Henry Mountains ACEC.

• •

Manage WSAs according to the IMP. Manage Bull Creek Archaeological District to protect cultural resource values.

•

•

• •

• • •

Protect non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics. Manage the SRMA in concert with the Henry Mountains ACEC. Emphasize opportunities for a combination of semiprimitive non-motorized and motorized recreational experiences in a natural or predominately natural setting with a high or very high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature,

Emphasize opportunities for a combination of semiprimitive non-motorized and motorized recreational experiences in a natural or predominately natural setting with a high or very high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk (interactions between users would be low with minimal evidence of other users).

•

Provide facilities

Emphasize opportunities for a combination of semiprimitive non-motorized and motorized recreational experiences in a natural or predominately natural setting with a high or very high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk (interactions between users would be low with minimal

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
needed to protect resources and provide for visitor safety. evidence of other users).

•
Provide facilities needed to protect resources and provide for visitor safety.

•
Provide signs, trails, trailhead parking, and staging areas to facilitate the use and enjoyment of the SRMA and protection of resources.

self-reliance, challenge, and risk (interactions between users would be low with minimal evidence of other users).

•

•

Provide facilities needed to protect resources and provide for visitor safety.

• •

Provide signs, trails, trailhead parking, and staging areas to facilitate the use and enjoyment of the SRMA and protection of resources.

•

Provide signs, trails, trailhead parking, and staging areas to facilitate the use and enjoyment of the SRMA and protection of resources.

Maintain and improve non-motorized trails, including: – Panorama Knoll – Mount Ellen – Burro Wash – Cottonwood Wash – Sheets Gulch – Five Mile Wash. Maintain and improve non-motorized trails, including: – Panorama Knoll – Mount Ellen – Burro Wash – Cottonwood Wash – Sheets Gulch – Five Mile Wash.

•

• •

Maintain and improve non-motorized trails, including: – Panorama Knoll – Mount Ellen – Burro Wash – Cottonwood Wash – Sheets Gulch – Five Mile Wash. Designate areas for large group events and camping, including: – Starr Springs Campground – McMillan Spring Overlook – Sandy Creek Overlook – Apple Brush Flat – Turkey Haven.

Designate areas for large group events and camping, including: – Starr Springs Campground – McMillan Spring Overlook – Sandy Creek Overlook – Apple Brush Flat – Turkey Haven.

•

Designate areas for large group events and camping, including: – Starr Springs Campground – McMillan Spring Overlook – Sandy Creek Overlook – Apple Brush Flat – Turkey Haven.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
Manage according to area designations in Table 2-16. Manage according to area designations in Table 2-16. Manage according to area designations in Table 2-16. Close WSAs and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to motorized vehicle use. Elsewhere, limit vehicles to designated routes. Allow permitted access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan.

Continue OHV area designations from current LUPs.

Not applicable.

Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD. ∗Implementation level decision.

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Sevier Canyon Area Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C
Sevier Canyon SRMA Identify a Sevier Canyon SRMA (7,500 acres, Map 210.)

Alternative D
Continue to manage Sevier Canyon as part of the ERMA.

Continue to manage Sevier Canyon as part of the ERMA.

•

Manage the SRMA to protect the scenic values in and around Sevier Canyon.

• •

Manage the SRMA in concert with the Sevier Canyon ACEC. Provide opportunities for semi-primitive motorized and nonmotorized recreation.

Continue OHV area designations from current LUPs.

Manage OHV use according to area designations in Table 2-16.

Limit OHV use to designated routes.

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD. Not applicable.

Not applicable

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in Horseshoe Canyon Management Actions Alternative A
Dirty Devil SRMA Manage as part of the Dirty Devil SRMA (see above)

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D
Labyrinth Canyon SRMA

Continue to manage as part of the ERMA.

•

Manage 75,300 acres in the Horseshoe Canyon area as part of the Labyrinth Canyon SRMA in cooperation with the Price FO (Map 2-11) for primitive and semi-primitive recreational opportunities.

•

To facilitate access into the area and staging apply a higher level of interaction with visitors; allow travel through the interior using nonmotorized means on trails or cross- country.

•

Provide no interior site developments and only the minimum required for site protection elsewhere.

•

Manage SRMA for a high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
with very low interaction or evidence of other users.

•

Provide non-motorized access on trails, crosscountry, and some primitive roads. Provide no on-site interpretation facilities.

•
Manage OHVs per management direction in the Dirty Devil SRMA (above) and Table 2-16.

Manage OHVs per direction in existing LUP.

•

Close WSAs and nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHVs. Elsewhere, limit vehicles to designated routes (Table 2-16).

•

Allow permitted access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan.

Not applicable

Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD. ∗Implementation level decision.

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities in the Little Rockies Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Little Rockies SRMA

Continue to manage as part of the ERMA.

•

Manage the 64,000 acres of the Little Rockies SRMA for primitive and semiprimitive recreational opportunities (Map 2-

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
11).

•

To facilitate access into the area and staging, apply a higher level of interaction with visitors; allow travel through the interior using nonmotorized means on trails or cross-country (access for people with disabilities would be difficult)

•

Provide no interior site developments and only the minimum required for site protection and public safety elsewhere.

•

Manage the SRMA in coordination with National Natural Landmark values.

• •

Preserve or retain the existing character of the landscape. Manage SRMA for a high probability of experiencing solitude, closeness to nature, self-reliance, challenge, and risk in an unmodified and natural appearing environment with very low interaction or evidence of other users.

Manage OHVs in accordance with direction in existing LUP.

Manage OHVs in accordance with management direction in Table 2-16.

•

Close WSAs and nonWSA lands with wilderness

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Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
characteristics to OHVs.

•

Allow permitted access, where needed, to range developments and mining claims as identified in the activity plan.

Not applicable.

Complete an SRMA activity plan within 5 years of the RMP ROD.

Issue: Management of Recreational Opportunities Around Yuba Reservoir Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue implementing the current Yuba Reservoir Management Plan.

Implement the Yuba Reservoir Management Plan, as revised by the Fillmore FO.

Issue: Overall Special Recreation Permit (SRP) Guidance Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives
Issue: Criteria for Commercial SRPs Management Actions Alternative A

Permit no competitive events in WSAs.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Current plans provide no guidance on SRPs. Issue SRPs on a case-by-case basis.

Authorize commercial use permits that provide recreational opportunities, enhance recreational experiences, and protect resources on a case-by-case basis, subject to environmental analysis.

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Recreation Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-15. Recreation Decisions
Issue: Criteria for Competitive SRPs Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Current plans provide no guidance on competitive events.

• •
Permit no competitive events in the Dirty Devil/Robbers Roost SRMA.

Authorize motorized and non-motorized competitive events consistent with OHV area and route designations on a caseby-case basis, subject to environmental analysis.

Issue: Criteria for Organized Group SRPs Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Current plans provide no guidance on regulating organized groups.

Require SRPs for organized groups outside designated large group areas meeting any one of the following criteria: • Group includes 50 or more participants. • Group uses 10 or more vehicles.

Issue: Criteria for Vending Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
• • •

Alternative C

Alternative D
Allow no vending in conjunction with organized events. Authorize no vending along scenic byways and backways.

Current plans provide no guidance on vending.

•
Authorize vending on a case-by-case basis subject to environmental analysis in conjunction with organized events or when the vending is necessary to support protection of resources or recreational use. Authorize vending permits for uses that enhance recreational experiences.

•

•

•

Authorize vending on a case-by-case basis subject to environmental analysis in conjunction with organized events or when the vending is necessary to support protection of resources or recreational use. Authorize vending permits for uses that enhance recreational experiences. Authorize no vending along scenic byways and backways.

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Travel Management
Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Maintain existing access, where needed and allowed, to meet public and administrative needs, including acquiring or maintaining necessary access across non-Federal land.

•

Continue compatible traditional, current, and future use of the land by establishing a route system that contributes to protection of sensitive resources, accommodates a variety of uses, minimizes user conflicts, and is sustainable.

Consider public access, resource management, and regulatory needs through transportation planning.

• •
Issue: OHV Area Designations Management Actions

Coordinate OHV management with other agencies where possible (USFS, NPS, State of Utah, counties, and communities).

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

The BLM, in preparing its RMP designations and its implementation-level travel management plans, is following policy and regulation authority found at: 43 C.F.R. Part 8340; 43 C.F.R. Subpart 8364; and 43 C.F.R. Subpart 9268.

•

Where the authorized officer determines that OHVs are causing or would cause considerable adverse impacts, the authorized officer shall close or restrict such areas. The public would be notified.

•

The BLM could impose limitations on types of vehicles allowed on specific designated routes if monitoring indicates that a particular type of vehicle is causing disturbance to the soil, wildlife habitat, cultural or vegetative resources, especially by off-road travel in an area that is limited to designated routes.

Site-specific management actions that protect riparian areas would be addressed at the project level.

• • •
Alternative A

Designate WSAs as closed or limited to designated ways for OHV use (Table 2-19, WSA decisions for details).

If OHV use in areas designated as open or limited causes threats or adverse impacts to resources, take appropriate steps, including, but not limited to, use restrictions or closures, installation of additional signs and barricades, restoration of affected areas, etc.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue existing OHV area designations as follows (Map 2-12):

• • • •
Open: 449,000 acres Limited: 1,679,000 acres

Open: 1,636,400 acres

Provide motorized access to the public lands with the minimum restrictions needed to protect other resources. Designate areas as follows (Map 2-13):

Balance motorized access to public lands with other resource and resource use needs. Designate areas as follows (Map 2-14): Open: 9,890 acres Limited: 1,908,210 acres

Restrict motorized access to public lands to protect other resources and resource uses. Designate areas as follows (Map 2-15): Open: 0 acres Limited: 1,445,000 acres

Restrict motorized access to public lands to protect other resources and resource uses. Designate areas as follows (Map 2-16): Open: 0 acres Limited: 972,800 acres

Limited: 277,600 acres – Existing routes: 271,000 acres – Designated routes: 4,900 acres

• • •

• •
Closed: 209,900 acres.

• • • •
Closed: 683,000 acres.

Closed: 1,155,200 acres.

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Travel Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions •
Closed: 0 acres.

–

Maintained routes: 1,700 acres

• Closed: 214,000 acres. Continue to manage OHV use in accordance with the Notice of OHV Travel Restriction for motorized use in the Factory Butte Area, published September 20, 2006 (2,602 acres open to OHV use, 142,023 acres limited to designated routes, and 3,843 acres of North Caineville Mesa closed to OHV use). This restriction will remain in effect until the RFO RMP becomes final.
Issue: Designation of Managed Open Areas Management Actions Alternative A
Designate the following managed open areas: Designate the following managed open areas:

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C
Designate no OHV open areas.

Alternative D

Continue to manage existing open areas.

•

•

Factory Butte Play Area (5,800 acres)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area to provide a unique OHV riding experience on Mancos shale badlands to accommodate existing use and future growth.

•

Swing Arm City Play Area (2,600 acres)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area.

Ticaboo Play Area (19,000 acres. Cane Spring Desert east of Ticaboo)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate existing use and growth, provide alternative modes of recreation adjacent to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA), and provide opportunities for economic development.

•

Caineville Cove Inn

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions •
Play Area (100 acres)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area.

•
Big Rocks Trials Play Area (90 acres)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area to provide trials motorcycle/rock crawling OHV recreational opportunity.

Sahara Sands Play Area (12,000 acres. Northeast of Hwy 95/276 junction)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area to provide a sand dune riding opportunity, accommodate existing use and growth, provide alternative modes of recreation adjacent to Glen Canyon NRA, and provide opportunities for economic development.

•

•
Roost Play Area (19,000 acres. Northwest of Antelope Valley)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to provide a sand dune riding opportunity and to accommodate existing use and future growth.

Glenwood Play Area (1,000 acres)— Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area. Aurora Play Area (300 acres)—Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area.

•

•
Factory Butte Play Area (200,000 acres. Near Caineville and Notom)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to provide a Mancos shale riding opportunity and to accommodate existing use and future growth. Miners Mountain (9,500 acres. Southeast

•

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Travel Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
of Torrey)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate dispersed camping, prospecting, firewood cutting, game retrieval, and other traditional uses of the land.

•
Beas Lewis Flat (4,500 acres. East of Torrey)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate dispersed camping, prospecting, firewood cutting, game retrieval, and other traditional uses of the land. Big Rocks Dispersed Recreation Area (9,000 acres. South of Loa)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate trials motorcycle/rock crawling use and dispersed camping. Dry Wash (6,500 acres. East of Antimony)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate dispersed camping, prospecting, firewood cutting, game retrieval and other traditional uses of the land.

•

•

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions •
Hunter Spring (4,500 acres. West of Antimony)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate dispersed camping, prospecting, firewood cutting, game retrieval, and other traditional uses of the land. Otter Creek Reservoir (1,000 acres. Public land around the reservoir)—Designate and manage as an OHV open area west of the reservoir to accommodate dispersed camping and access to Otter Creek Reservoir and nearby OHV trails. Antelope Range/Kingston Canyon (102,000 acres. Southern Sevier County and western Piute County)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area to accommodate prospecting, firewood cutting, game retrieval, dispersed camping, and other traditional uses of the land. Glenwood Play Area (3,500 acres. East of Glenwood)—Designate

•

•

•

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area.

•
Richfield to Aurora Play Area (7,000 acres. West of I-70)— Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area. Rocky Ford Play Area (12,500 acres. East of Rocky Ford Reservoir)—Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area. White Hills Play Area (16,500 acres. North of Aurora.)—Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area. Fayette Play Area— (4,500 acres. West of Fayette)—Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area. Salina to Mayfield (12,500 acres. North and east of Salina and west of Mayfield)— Designate as an OHV open area and manage as a community OHV area. Gunnison Reservoir (5,500 acres. West of

•

•

•

•

•

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
Gunnison Reservoir)— Designate and manage as an OHV open area to provide access to the west side of the reservoir and an associated open OHV area.

Issue: Management of OHV Play Areas Adjacent to Communities Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Consider and promote leasing the identified OHV open areas near communities such as Caineville, Glenwood, Aurora, and Loa (e.g. Big Rocks SRMA) under Recreation and Public Purposes Act (R&PP) authorities to encourage local management of OHV play areas. Generally these would include areas with existing surface disturbance. Requests would be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to an environmental analysis

Consider no requests for R&PP leases for OHV open play areas.

Issue: Designation of Areas as Closed to All Motorized Vehicular Traffic Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Prohibit all motorized travel in closed areas, with the following exceptions: – For emergency and other purposes as authorized under 43 CFR 8340.0-5(a)(2),(3),(4) and (5); – Minimum use necessary to exercise a valid existing right or authorized use.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A
Close no areas to motorized use. (Map 2-13)

Proposed RMP
Close the following areas to motorized use. (Map 2-14)

Alternative C
Close the following areas to motorized use. (Map 2-15)

Alternative D
Close the following areas to motorized use. (Map 2-16)

Continue existing closed areas. (Map 2-12)

•

•

•

WSAs: All WSAs, to prevent impairment of the areas’ suitability for preservation as wilderness.

•

WSAs: All WSAs, to prevent impairment of the areas’ suitability for preservation as wilderness.

WSAs: To prevent impairment of the areas’ suitability for preservation as wilderness. – Little Rockies WSA – Portions of the Dirty Devil, Fiddler Butte, Mount Ellen/Blue Hills, and Mount

WSAs: To prevent impairment of the areas’ suitability for preservation as wilderness. – Little Rockies WSA – Portions of the Dirty Devil, Fiddler Butte, Fremont Gorge, French

•

WSRs: All segments proposed to protect outstandingly remarkable river-related values. (Refer to Table

•

Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics: All non-WSA lands with wilderness

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Travel Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
2-20, Wild and Scenic River Decisions)

Hillers WSAs.

• •

Spring/Happy Canyon, Horseshoe Canyon North, Horseshoe Canyon South and Mount Ellen/Blue Hills WSAs.

characteristics, to protect their naturalness and opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation.

•

•

WSRs: All segments proposed to protect outstandingly remarkable river-related values. (Refer to Table 2-20, Wild and Scenic River Decisions)

•

• •

WSRs: to protect outstandingly remarkable values. (Refer to Table 2-20, Wild and Scenic River Decisions) – Fremont Gorge Suitable Wild River. ACECs: to protect R & I values (Refer to Table 2-21, ACEC Decisions) – North Caineville Mesa ACEC – Old Woman Front ACEC.

ACECs: As specified by management prescriptions to protect relevant and important values. (Refer to Table 2-21, ACEC Decisions) – Old Woman Front ACEC – Rainbow Hills ACEC – A portion of the Badlands ACEC (mesa tops) – A portion of the Henry Mountains ACEC (No Man’s Mesa).

ACECs: All of the existing ACECs as specified by management prescriptions to protect relevant and important values. – North Caineville Mesa ACEC – South Caineville Mesa ACEC (overlaps a portion of Mt. Ellen/Blue Hills WSA) – Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC (overlaps a portion of Dirty Devil WSA) – Gilbert Badlands ACEC (overlaps a portion of Mt. Ellen/Blue Hills WSA).

•

•

Trough Hollow: to protect cultural resources in this area.

SRMAs: Portions of the proposed SRMAs to retain the desired recreation setting and for consistency with other management decisions. (Refer to Table 2-15, Recreation Decisions) – Dirty Devil SRMA – Fremont Gorge SRMA – Factory Butte SRMA (Landmarks RMZ).

SRMAs: Portions of the proposed SRMAs to retain the desired recreation setting, scenic values, and for consistency with other management decisions. In areas where the proposed SRMAs overlap WSAs and/or WSRs, the decisions in those sections would apply to the SRMA. (Refer to Table 2-15, Recreation Decisions) – Dirty Devil SRMA – Henry Mountains SRMA – Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA.

ACECs: As specified by management prescriptions to protect relevant and important values and for consistency with other management decisions. In areas where the potential ACECs overlap WSAs, nonWSA lands and/or WSRs, the decisions in those sections would apply to the ACEC. (Refer to Table 2-21, ACEC Decisions) – All of the Old Woman Front, Rainbow Hills, Dirty Devil, Horseshoe Canyon, and Lower Muddy Creek ACECs – Portions of the Badlands, Bull Creek, Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb, Henry Mountains,

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
Kingston Canyon, Little Rockies, Quitchupah, and Thousand Lakes Bench ACECs

•

SRMAs: As identified by management actions to retain the desired recreation settings, scenic values and for consistency with other management decisions. In areas where the proposed SRMAs overlap WSAs, nonWSA lands and/or WSRs, the decisions in those sections would apply to the SRMA. (Refer to Table 2-15, Recreation Decisions) – Little Rockies SRMA – Portions of the E. Fork Sevier, San Rafael Swell, Dirty Devil, Capitol Reef Gateway, Henry Mountains, and Labyrinth Canyon SRMAs.

Issue: Designation of Limited Areas Management Actions Alternative A
Manage 1,679,000 acres identified on Map 2-13 as limited to designated routes or designated routes with seasonal closures or size/

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Manage 1,908,210 acres identified on Map 2-14 as limited to designated routes or designated routes with seasonal closures or size/

Alternative C
Manage 1,445,000 acres identified on Map 2-15 as limited to designated routes or designated routes with seasonal closures or size/

Alternative D
Manage 972,800 acres identified on Map 2-16 as limited to designated routes or designated routes with seasonal closures or size/

Continue managing 277,600 acres identified on Map 2-12 as limited to OHV use as identified in current LUPs.

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Travel Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
width restrictions. width restrictions. width restrictions. width restrictions.

Issue: Route Designation and Vehicle Use within Limited Areas Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Prohibit all cross-country (off-transportation system) motorized travel in limited areas, with the following exceptions: – For emergency and other purposes as authorized under 43 CFR 8340.0-5(a)(2),(3),(4) and (5).

• •

Coordinate OHV route designations with USFS, NPS, State of Utah, counties, and communities, where possible.

Rehabilitate closed OHV routes on a case-by-case basis as required to mitigate impacts to resources. Closed or non-designated routes would be allowed to rehabilitate naturally unless a specific resource impact was occurring that warranted expedited rehabilitation of the route (e.g., soil erosion, water quality concerns, and/or continued illegal use).

•

Route designations are implementation decisions that are subject to change based upon future site-specific environmental analysis. Appendix 9 provides additional details of the travel management/route designation process, the implementation process, and the process that would be required to add or remove route designations following completion of the RMP.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Where routes would remain available for motorized use within WSAs, such use could continue on a conditional basis. Use of the existing routes in the WSAs (“ways” when located within WSAs – see Glossary) could continue as long as the use of these routes does not impair wilderness suitability, as provided by the IMP (BLM 1995). If Congress designates the area as wilderness, the routes will be closed. In the interim, if use and/or non-compliance are found through monitoring efforts to impair the area’s suitability for wilderness designation, BLM would take further action to limit use of the routes, or close them. The continued use of these routes, therefore, is based on user compliance and non-impairment of wilderness values.

Not applicable (all WSAs are closed to motorized travel).

Designate existing, inventoried routes for motorized use in accordance with existing LUP direction.

Designate routes or ways for motorized use unless significant, undue damage to or disturbance of the soil, wildlife, wildlife habitat, improvements, cultural or vegetative resources, or other authorized uses of the public lands is imminent, or to prevent impairment of an area’s suitability for wilderness (within WSAs).

•

Designate routes for motorized use unless significant, undue damage to or disturbance of the soil, wildlife, wildlife habitat, improvements, cultural or vegetative resources, or other authorized uses of the public lands is imminent.

•

Designate routes for motorized use unless significant, undue damage to or disturbance of the soil, wildlife, wildlife habitat, improvements, cultural, or vegetative resources or other authorized uses of the public lands is imminent.

•

•

Designate routes to

Designate routes for motorized use unless significant, undue damage to or disturbance of the soil, wildlife, wildlife habitat, improvements, cultural or vegetative resources, or other authorized uses of the public lands is imminent, and to

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions •
Designate routes to minimize harassment of wildlife or significant disruption of wildlife habitats. Give special attention to protecting SSS and their habitats. prevent impairment of wilderness characteristics.

prevent harassment of wildlife or significant disruption of wildlife habitats. Give special attention to protecting SSS and their habitats.

•

•

•
Designate routes to minimize conflicts between OHV use and other existing or proposed recreational uses of the same or neighboring public lands, and to ensure the compatibility of such uses with existing conditions in populated areas, taking into account noise and other factors.

Designate routes to prevent harassment of wildlife or significant disruption of wildlife habitats. Give special attention to protecting SSS and their habitats.

Designate routes to prevent conflicts between OHV use and other existing or proposed recreational uses of the same or neighboring public lands, and to ensure the compatibility of such uses with existing conditions in populated areas, taking into account noise and other factors.

•

•

Designate no ways within WSAs.

Designate routes to prevent conflicts between OHV use and other existing or proposed recreational uses of the same or neighboring public lands, and to ensure the compatibility of such uses with existing conditions in populated areas, taking into account noise and other factors.

• •

Designate no ways within WSAs. Designate no routes in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

Issue: Identification of Routes Where Seasonal Closures Are Needed to Protect Deer and Elk Management Actions Alternative A
No specific restrictions within crucial habitat.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Limit OHV use to designated routes in deer and elk crucial winter range, except for Glenwood and Aurora Managed Open Areas.

Alternative C

Alternative D
Close identified routes in deer and elk crucial winter range seasonally (December 1–April 15) to protect wildlife values.

Not specifically addressed in existing plans.

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Travel Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
Consider seasonal closure of designated routes on a caseby-case basis, subject to environmental analysis. (Maps 3-6 and 3-7)

Issue: Identification of Routes Where Seasonal Closures Are Needed to Protect Bison in the Henry Mountains Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
Limit OHV use to designated routes in bison crucial habitat. Consider seasonal closure of designated routes on a case-bycase basis. (Map 3-5) Manage OHV use in bison habitat as closed or limited to designated routes, according to the prescriptions outlined in the Henry Mountains ACEC (Table 2-21).

Continue seasonal (December 20–March 20) closures in bison crucial habitat at Swap Mesa and Cave Flat.

Summary of Route Designations, For Proposed RMP and Draft Alternatives* Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives
Alternative A

Route designations are implementation decisions that are subject to change in the future based on site-specific environmental analyses.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
•
Designated routes: 3,739 miles decision.

Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Designated routes: 4,063 miles

Designated routes: 4,315 miles

• •
Designated routes with seasonal closures or size/ width restriction: 249 miles

• •

• •

Designated routes with seasonal closures or size/ width restriction: 0 miles

∗Implementation level

Designated routes: 2,601 miles Designated routes with seasonal closures or size/ width restriction: 591 miles Closed routes: 1,188 miles (Map 2-19)

• •

Designated routes: 2,493 miles Designated routes with seasonal closures or size/ width restriction: 591 miles

•

Closed routes: 65 miles

• Closed routes: 68 miles (Map 2-17) •

Designated routes with seasonal closures or size/ width restriction: 538 miles *Implementation level decision. Closed routes: 345 miles *Implementation level decision.

•

Closed routes: 1,296 miles (Map 2-20)

•

∗ This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
(Map 2-18)

Issue: Motor Vehicle Access for Parking/Staging in OHV Limited Areas Outside WSAs Management Actions Alternative A
Allow motor vehicles to pull off a designated route up to 100 feet of either side of the centerline for the purposes of parking/staging. Allow motor vehicles to pull off a designated route up to 50 feet of either side of the centerline for the purposes of parking/staging.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Place no restrictions on motorized use off a designated route for the purposes of parking/staging.

Allow motor vehicles to pull off of a designated route up to 25 feet of either side of the centerline for the purposes of parking/staging.

Issue: Motor Vehicle Access to Campsites in OHV Limited Areas Outside WSAs Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
• • • •

Alternative C

Alternative D

Place no restrictions on motorized access to campsites, in accordance with current LUPs.

•

Designate campsites for motor vehicle use where compatible with other resources and resource uses. Prohibit motorized travel ways between multiple campsites, establishment of motorized play areas, race tracks, or travel across wet meadows or riparian areas. Prohibit motorized access to camping areas where conflicts with other resources are identified.

Allow motor vehicles to use existing spur routes for ingress and egress to established campsites within 300 feet of the centerline of designated routes. (Previous campsites can be distinguished by evidence of rock fire rings, old tent sites, and tracks from earlier vehicle access.) This does not authorize creation of new campsites or travel ways. Prohibit motorized travel ways between multiple campsites, establishment of motorized play areas, race tracks, or travel across wet meadows or

Allow motor vehicles to use existing spur routes for ingress and egress to established campsites within 150 feet of designated routes. (Previous campsites can be distinguished by evidence of rock fire rings, old tent sites, and tracks from earlier vehicle access.) This does not authorize creation of new campsites or travel ways.

•

•

Prohibit motorized travel ways between multiple campsites, establishment of motorized play areas, race tracks, or travel across wet meadows or

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Travel Management Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-16. Travel Management Decisions
riparian areas. riparian areas.

•
Prohibit motorized access to camping areas where conflicts with other resources are identified. Prohibit motorized access to camping areas where conflicts with other resources are identified.

•

Issue: Motor Vehicle Access to Campsites and for Parking/Staging in OHV Limited Areas Within WSAs Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives
Not applicable (All WSAs are closed to motorized travel.)

Require vehicles to stay on designated ways or cherry-stemmed routes within WSAs, in accordance with IMP direction.

Issue: Game Retrieval Management Actions Alternative A
Do not allow use of non-motorized wheel carriers to retrieve game kills inside of WSAs.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Not specifically addressed in existing plans.

Preclude the use of game carriers off designated routes.

Issue: Management of Paiute ATV Trail and Great Western Trail Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Cooperatively manage with the USFS, State of Utah, and local governments the portions of the Paiute ATV Trail and Great Western Trail systems that lie on public lands managed by the RFO.

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Lands and Realty
Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Retain public lands in federal ownership, unless it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the public interest.

• • •

Emphasize a balanced program of disposals, acquisitions, and land exchanges in conducting land tenure adjustments.

Consider land tenure adjustments to improve land ownership patterns, accomplish resource management goals, and accommodate community expansion and economic development needs.

• •

Support alternative energy development purposes, such as wind and solar energy resources, and coordinate with other resource objectives.

Use ROW corridors and collocate new proposals within existing sites or ROW areas, to the extent practical, in order to minimize adverse environmental impacts and the proliferation of separate ROWs.

Retain in federal ownership, public lands that enhance multiple-use management, allow access to public lands, or contain sensitive or rare resources.

Acquire lands or interests in lands to complement existing resource values and uses.

• • • •

Consider for disposal lands or interests in lands that are difficult and/or uneconomical to manage, or are no longer needed for federal purposes.

Consider land or interest in land for disposal if: 1) it was acquired for a specific purpose and is no longer required for that or any other federal purpose; 2) said land would serve important public objectives that cannot be achieved prudently or feasibly on lands other than public lands and that outweigh other public objectives and values, or; 3) because of its location or other characteristics is difficult and uneconomic to manage as part of the public lands and is not suitable for management by another federal department or agency. The method used to identify the parcels considered for disposal (Appendix 5) included: FLPMA Section 203 sales criteria, land tenure adjustment criteria (identified in Appendix 5), a BLM inter-disciplinary team review of land status ownership maps, historical index, the LR 2000 database, and resource information.

• As per the State of Utah v. Andrus, Oct. 1, 1979 (Cotter Decision), the BLM would grant the State of Utah reasonable access to state lands for economic
Issue: Land Tenure Adjustments General Direction Management Actions

purposes, on a case-by-case basis.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

For any form of land tenure adjustment (including, but not limited to, exchanges, in lieu selections, state grants, desert land entries, R&PP patents, easement acquisitions, etc.), except for FLPMA Section 203 sales, ensure it meets one or more of the following criteria: – Is in the public interest and accommodates the needs of state, local, or private entities, including needs for the economy, community growth and expansion, and be in accordance with other land use goals, objectives, and planning decisions – Results in a net gain of important and manageable resource values on public lands such as crucial wildlife habitat, significant cultural sites, high-value recreation areas, high-quality riparian areas, live water, SSS habitat, or areas key to maintenance of productive ecosystems – Ensures the accessibility of public lands in areas where access is needed and cannot otherwise be obtained; – Is essential to allow effective management of public lands in areas where consolidation of ownership is necessary to meet resource management objectives – Is not suitable for management by another federal department or agency

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Lands and Realty Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions

–

Results in the acquisition of lands that serve a national priority as identified in national policy directives.

•

In addition to the above criteria, require a site-specific environmental analysis in accordance with NEPA for all future land disposal actions. Critical Elements of the Human Environment and other resource issues identified through public and agency involvement would be adequately considered and appropriately evaluated. Certain elements of the human environment are subject to requirements specified in statutes, regulations, or executive orders. Program-specific consultation would occur (if required), and respective on-site surveys and documented clearances would be obtained prior to any land disposal action. This subsequent analysis and documentation may reveal resource conditions that could not be mitigated to the satisfaction of the authorized officer and may, therefore preclude disposal.

• •

Ensure all land tenure adjustments must be in conformance with other decisions (goals, objectives, management actions) within this RMP.

Habitat for listed and candidate T&E species are generally required to be retained in Federal ownership. Consider exceptions in disposal actions with the State of Utah and others with consultation with and concurrence of the USFWS.

•

Permit surface lands identified for disposal with unpatented mining claims to be conveyed if the purchaser is the mining claimant, or the mining claims are relinquished if the purchaser is other than the mining claimant.

•

Issue patents for existing shooting ranges [Appendix 5, Table A5-11]). No portions of these R&PP patented lands, under any circumstances, would revert to the United States if any such portion was used for solid waste disposal or for any other purpose that may result in the disposal, placement, or release of any hazardous substance.

•

Where consistent with the goals and objectives of the RMP, classify as suitable for lease and/or disposal under Section 7 of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, as amended, lands disposed of or leased under the R&PP Act, Desert Land Entry (DLE) Act, Color of Title, Carey Act, and state grants.

•

As the preferred method, manage OHV Open Play Areas located near communities by issuing a lease or patent under the R&PP Act, and have the relevant state, county, or local community manage the areas.

•

Pursue land acquisitions from willing sellers when lands: – Are within or adjacent to WSAs, ACECs, WSRs, or other special designations – Are associated with key fisheries or wildlife habitats and riparian zones – Provide linkage or public access to other public lands – Have significant paleontological or cultural resources – Provide high recreation or other significant resource or public values – Are needed to improve manageability of public lands.

•
Alternative A

Give land exchanges with the State of Utah priority consideration to resolve inholdings issues.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
• •

Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Maintain important recreational values and sites in federal ownership Management Policy identifies that Riparian

•

•

Retain all eligible WSR segments (12 segments—135 miles) in federal ownership, unless such action would benefit outstandingly

• The Utah BLM Riparian

Retain the suitable WSR segment (1 segment—5 miles) in federal ownership, unless such action would benefit outstandingly

Retain all suitable WSR segments (12 segments—135 miles) in federal ownership, unless such action would benefit outstandingly

Retain all suitable WSR segments (12 segments—135 miles) in federal ownership, unless such action would benefit outstandingly

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Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
remarkable values and improve WSR management potential. remarkable values and improve WSR management potential. remarkable values and improve WSR management potential.

remarkable values and improve WSR management potential.

•
Retain non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics carried forward (78,600 acres) in federal ownership. Maintain important recreational values and sites in federal ownership

•

•

• •

Retain non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (682,600 acres) in federal ownership. Maintain important recreational values and sites in federal ownership

•
Maintain important recreational values and sites in federal ownership

•

The Utah BLM Riparian Management Policy identifies that Riparian areas will be retained in the public land system unless it can be clearly demonstrated that specific sites are so small or isolated that they cannot be managed in an effective manner by BLM or through agreement with State or Federal agencies or interested conservation groups.

•

areas will be retained in the public land system unless it can be clearly demonstrated that specific sites are so small or isolated that they cannot be managed in an effective manner by BLM or through agreement with State or Federal agencies or interested conservation groups. • Retain identified, relatively undisturbed Old Spanish Trail segments in federal ownership. • Retain habitat for federally listed and candidate species in federal ownership. Exceptions may be considered in exchanges with the State of Utah and others after consultation with and concurrence with the USFWS.

•

Retain identified, relatively undisturbed Old Spanish Trail segments in federal ownership.

The Utah BLM Riparian Management Policy identifies that Riparian areas will be retained in the public land system unless it can be clearly demonstrated that specific sites are so small or isolated that they cannot be managed in an effective manner by BLM or through agreement with State or Federal agencies or interested conservation groups. Retain identified, relatively undisturbed Old Spanish Trail segments in federal ownership.

•

The Utah BLM Riparian Management Policy identifies that Riparian areas will be retained in the public land system unless it can be clearly demonstrated that specific sites are so small or isolated that they cannot be managed in an effective manner by BLM or through agreement with State or Federal agencies or interested conservation groups. Retain identified, relatively undisturbed Old Spanish Trail segments in federal ownership.

•

Retain habitat for federally listed and candidate species in federal ownership. Exceptions may be considered in exchanges with the

Retain habitat for federally listed and candidate species in federal ownership. Exceptions may be considered in exchanges with the State of Utah and others after consultation with and concurrence with the

•

Retain habitat for federally listed and candidate species in federal ownership. Exceptions may be considered in exchanges with the

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Lands and Realty Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
State of Utah and others after consultation with and concurrence with the USFWS. USFWS. State of Utah and others after consultation with and concurrence with the USFWS.

Issue: FLPMA Section 203 Sales Management Actions Alternative A
Make approximately 13,400 acres of public land available for FLPMA Section 203 sales (as listed in Appendix 5 and shown on Maps 2-21 through 2-25) subject to NEPA compliance and consistent with other decisions in this RMP.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue to offer for sale lands identified in the Mountain Valley MFP (280 of the acres identified are still available).

Consider no lands for FLPMA Section 203 sales.

Alternative N (No Action)

Issue: Withdrawals, Classifications, and Segregations Management Actions Alternative C Alternative A Proposed RMP

Alternative D

•

Review existing withdrawals to determine whether they are serving the purposes for which they were withdrawn. (Existing withdrawals are listed in Table A5-7 in Appendix 5.)

• •
Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres).

Manage any lands becoming unencumbered by withdrawals in a manner consistent with adjacent or comparable public land within the RFO.

Review existing classifications and segregations on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the classification or segregation is appropriate and should be continued, modified, or terminated. Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following areas from mineral entry (Map 2-27): Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following areas from mineral entry (Map 2-28): North Caineville Mesa ACEC Rainbow Hills ACEC Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following areas from mineral entry (Map 2-29): Rainbow Hills ACEC

Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following developed recreation sites from mineral entry:

• • •

•

Lonesome Beaver Campground

• •
Old Woman Front ACEC Fremont (Fremont Gorge) suitable wild river within one-quarter mile of each side of

Old Woman Front ACEC

• • • •
All suitable WSRs within one-quarter mile each side of those rivers

Old Woman Front ACEC

•

McMillan Spring Campground

•

Starr Springs Campground

All suitable WSRs within one-quarter mile each side of those rivers

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Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
high water mark on each bank of the river

• • •
Developed recreation sites, including Lonesome Beaver Campground, McMillan Spring Campground, Starr Springs Campground, Dandelion Flat Picnic Area, Hog Springs Picnic Area, Otter Creek Reservoir Recreation Sites, Kingston Canyon Recreation Site, and Koosharem Picnic Area Recommend withdrawing the VRM Class II portions of the following ACECs from mineral entry (see ACEC prescriptions for details):

Dandelion Flat Picnic Area

•

•

Hog Springs Picnic Area. Recommend withdrawing the four existing ACECs (14,780 acres) from mineral entry. Total acres: 169,480

•

All areas identified as non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

Developed recreation sites, including Lonesome Beaver Campground, McMillan Spring Campground, Starr Springs Campground, Dandelion Flat Picnic Area, Hog Springs Picnic Area, Otter Creek Reservoir Recreation Sites, Kingston Canyon Recreation Site, and Koosharem Picnic Area. New recommended acres: 21,500 Total acres: 176,200

• •

Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC Badlands ACEC Henry Mountains ACEC Horseshoe Canyon ACEC

Developed recreation sites, including Lonesome Beaver Campground, McMillan Spring Campground, Starr Springs Campground, Dandelion Flat Picnic Area, Hog Springs Picnic Area, Otter Creek Reservoir Recreation Sites, Kingston Canyon Recreation Site, and Koosharem Picnic Area Recommend withdrawing the VRM Class II portions of the following ACECs from mineral entry (see ACEC prescriptions for details):

• • • • • •

Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC Badlands ACEC Henry Mountains ACEC Horseshoe Canyon ACEC Little Rockies ACEC. New recommended acres: 176,400 Total acres: 331,100

• • •

• Little Rockies ACEC. New recommended acres: 749,200 Total acres: 903,900

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Lands and Realty Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
Issue: Management of ROWs Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

In existing ROWs, authorize culinary water source developments (Culinary Water Sources Table A5-12 in Appendix 5) subject to valid existing rights and future land use authorizations to ensure that they do not lead to degradation, pollution, or contamination of water supply. When compatible, require multiple communication site users to share the same sites and buildings, and use the same facilities. See Existing Communication Sites Table A5-10 in Appendix 5. Continue to maintain roads for resource management purposes. Consider obtaining easements across non-federal land to:

Provide public access

Enhance resource management in key fishery and wildlife habitats and riparian zones

Cooperate with other federal, state, and local governing agencies, organizations, tribes, and private individuals in obtaining ROW easements

• • • •
Issue: ROW Avoidance and Exclusion Areas Management Actions Alternative A

Enhance resource management.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Apply the spatial and temporal restrictions outlined in Table 2-9, Fish and Wildlife Decisions to ROW construction and maintenance activities. These restrictions do not apply to emergency maintenance. Manage the following as ROW avoidance or exclusion areas (Map 2-31): WSAs Areas closed to oil and gas leasing. ACECs Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics Areas closed to oil and gas leasing Manage the following as ROW avoidance areas (Map 2-32): Manage the following as ROW avoidance or exclusion areas (Map 2-33): WSAs ACECs Suitable WSR corridors Areas closed to oil and gas leasing Manage the following as ROW avoidance or exclusion areas (Map 2-34): WSAs ACECs Suitable WSR corridors Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics

Manage the following as ROW avoidance areas (Map 2-30):

WSAs

ACECs

• • • •

• •

• • • •

Eligible WSR corridors

Areas closed to oil and gas leasing

• • • • •

• • • •
Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations.

•

Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations.

• • •
Areas closed to oil and

Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations. Manage the following areas as exclusion areas:

Areas closed to oil and gas leasing Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations.

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Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
gas leasing

• •
WSAs. Suitable WSR corridorFremont Gorge

Consider exceptions in the avoidance areas on a case-by-case basis if the proposed ROW would:

Not create substantial surface disturbance or would cause only temporary impacts

• • •

Be compatible with the resource values being protected by the goals and objectives of the avoidance areas

Be consistent with management prescriptions for ACECs and WSRs and pose no irreversible or irretrievable impacts (Proposed RMP and Draft Alternatives N, C and D)

•
Issue: Management of Wind and Solar Energy Development Management Actions Alternative A

Be consistent with the goals and objectives of the identified non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Proposed RMP and Draft Alternative D).

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Not specifically addressed in existing plans. Consider proposals for wind and solar energy exploration and development throughout the RFO with the following exceptions: Consider proposals for wind and solar energy development throughout the RFO except within the following areas:

For authorization of any ROW for wind or solar energy development, incorporate best management practices (BMP) and provisions contained in the Wind Energy Development Program Record of Decision (Appendix 15 of this Proposed RMP/Final EIS and BLM 2005d) and BLM’s Solar Energy Policy. Consider proposals for wind and solar energy development throughout the lands administered by the RFO except within the following areas: Consider proposals for wind and solar energy development throughout the lands administered by the RFO except within the following areas:

Consider wind and solar energy exploration and development on a case-bycase basis.

•
WSAs (ROW exclusion areas in accordance with IMP).

• •

WSAs (ROW exclusion areas in accordance with IMP) Fremont (Fremont Gorge) suitable wild river corridor ACECs Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO and areas closed to leasing.

•

WSAs (ROW exclusion areas in accordance with IMP) Suitable WSR corridors ACECs

• • • • •

WSAs (ROW exclusion areas in accordance with IMP) Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics

• •

Suitable WSR corridors ACECs

Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO and areas closed to leasing

• • • • •
VRM Class I and II VRM Class I and II areas

Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO and areas closed to

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Lands and Realty Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-17. Lands and Realty Decisions
areas

•
Migratory bird habitats and raptor nesting complexes

leasing.

•
Migratory bird habitats and raptor nesting complexes

• •

VRM Class I and II areas Migratory bird habitats and raptor nesting complexes

Threatened & Endangered Species habitats Consider proposals for wind and solar energy exploration throughout the RFO managed lands. Except for WSAs, exploration may be allowed within special management areas if the proposal would not adversely affect the resources of concern.

•

• SSS habitats Consider proposals for wind and solar energy exploration throughout the RFO managed lands. Except for WSAs, exploration may be allowed within special management areas if the proposal would not adversely affect the resources of concern.

• SSS habitats Consider proposals for wind and solar energy exploration throughout the RFO managed lands. Except for WSAs, exploration may be allowed within special management areas if the proposal would not adversely affect the resources of concern.

Issue: Transportation and Utility Corridors Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

To minimize adverse environmental impacts and the proliferation of separate ROWs, use common ROWs whenever possible, including collocation of new utility transmission lines and other facilities within existing utility and highway corridors.

•
Alternative A

Carry forward to or amend the Richfield RMP with any decisions on designation of energy corridors contained within the “West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS” currently being developed separately from this RMP analysis that affect public lands in the RFO.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Designate no transportation and utility corridors.

Designate those transportation and utility corridors listed in Appendix 5.

Issue: Leases (Including R&PP Leases), Permits, and Easements Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Consider authorizing leases, permits, and easements that are compatible with other decisions throughout this RMP.

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Minerals and Energy
Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

•

Manage conservation of leasable mineral resources using appropriate best management practices, and without compromising the long-term health and diversity of public lands.

•

Manage mining claim location, prospecting, and mining operations in a manner that would not cause unnecessary or undue degradation of public lands and resources.

• •

Provide salable minerals needed for community and economic purposes while minimizing impacts to other resource values.

Encourage and facilitate the development by private industry of public land mineral resources in a manner that satisfies national and local needs and provides for economical and environmentally sound exploration, extraction, and reclamation practices using appropriate BMPs.

•

Support the domestic need for energy resources.

Issue: Management of Fluid Mineral Leasing (Oil and Gas, and Coalbed Natural Gas) Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Issue oil and gas leases and allow for oil and gas exploration and development.

• • •

Continue closure of WSAs to leasing, pursuant to the federal onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987.

To the extent allowed by a site-specific environmental analysis that justifies a constraint, consistent with 43 CFR 3101.1-2, and consistent with the terms of an existing lease, apply the constraints and requirements for leasing implemented in this RMP to leases that were authorized prior to the signing of the ROD and the approval of the RMP.

•

•

Manage the following sites as closed to leasing: – Incorporated municipalities. Manage the following additional sites as open to leasing with NSO, except as otherwise provided in other management decisions: – All cemeteries – Culinary water sources – Landfills—existing and closed – Lands managed under a R&PP lease – Sites listed on the NRHP – Developed recreation sites – BLM administrative sites.

•

Lease split-estate lands according to BLM RMP stipulations for adjacent or nearby public lands or plans of other surface management agencies as consistent with federal laws, 43 CFR 3101, and the surface owner’s rights.

•

Work cooperatively with stakeholders to research interim measures, such as those presented by the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force (i.e., limits of 2g/bhp-hr on engines less than 300 HP), to determine which emission mitigation strategies should be required as conditions for future lease and land use authorizations.

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Minerals and Energy Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions

• •

Site-specific management actions that protect riparian areas would be addressed at the project level.

In accordance with an UDEQ-DAQ letter dated June 6, 2008, (see Appendix 21) requesting implementation of interim nitrogen oxide control measures for compressor engines; BLM will require the following as a Lease Stipulation and a Condition of Approval for Applications for Permit to Drill: – All new and replacement internal combustion gas field engines of less than or equal to 300 design-rated horsepower must not emit more than 2 gms of NOx per horsepower-hour. This requirement does not apply to gas field engines of less than or equal to 40 design-rated horsepower. – All new and replacement internal combustion gas field engines of greater than 300 design rated horsepower must not emit more than 1.0 gms of NOx per horsepower-hour.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A
Area closed to leasing: 446,900 acres Manage fluid mineral leases as shown on Map 2-36: Manage fluid mineral leases as shown on Map 2-37: Manage fluid mineral leases as shown on Map 2-38: Area closed to leasing: 447,300 acres Area closed to leasing: 586,300 acres

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D
Area closed to leasing: 1,160,500 acres Manage fluid mineral leases as shown on Map 2-39:

Area closed to leasing: 459,700 acres

Manage fluid mineral leases as shown on Map 2-35:

•
Areas open to leasing with standard lease terms: 860,600 acres Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: 820,500 acres Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: 0 acres Areas open to leasing with standard lease terms: 608,700 acres Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: 917,500 acres Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: 154,500 acres

Areas open to leasing with standard lease terms: 1,236,500 acres

• • • •

•

•

Areas open to leasing with standard lease terms: 491,900 acres Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: 901,100 acres

• •

Areas open to leasing with standard lease terms: 290,200 acres Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: 634,000 acres

•

Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: 409,200 acres

•

Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: 22,600 acres

•

•

•

Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: 148,700 acres

•

Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: 43,300 acres

Issue: Management of Geophysical Operations Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Subject geophysical operations under 43 CFR 3150 to the oil and gas leasing restrictions with the following exception:

Geophysical operations are subject to the oil and gas leasing categories.

•

Consider geophysical operations proposed for lands that are designated as NSO or closed to leasing for approval when (1) the circumstances or relative resource values in the area have changed, (2) less restrictive requirements could be developed to protect the resource of concern, or (3) operations could be conducted without causing unacceptable impacts to the resource of concern.

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Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
Issue: Management of Geothermal Resources Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Lease split-estate lands according to BLM RMP stipulations for adjacent or nearby public lands or plans of other surface management agencies, consistent with federal laws, 43 CFR 3101, and the surface owner’s rights.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Continue to allow geothermal leasing on a case-by-case basis. Use the oil and gas leasing designations as a guide for geothermal resources.

Lease geothermal resources in conformance with the oil and gas leasing restrictions (open, open with moderate constraints, open with major constraints, and closed) for oil and gas leasing, consistent with the authorities granted at 43 CFR 3200, including 3201 and 3250. Note: exploration operations under 43 CFR 3250 proposed for lands that are designated as NSO or closed to leasing may be considered for approval when (1) the circumstances or relative resource values in the area have changed, (2) less restrictive requirements could be developed to protect the resource of concern or (3) operations could be conducted without causing unacceptable impacts to the resource or concern.

Issue: Management of Tar Sands Areas Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Areas available for future consideration for tar sands leasing will be identified in the ROD for the National Oil Shale and Tar Sands Programmatic EIS, being conducted by BLM separately from this analysis. If lands are identified, future leasing considerations will be conducted under site-specific NEPA analyses, and would be subject to the oil and gas leasing restrictions identified in the Proposed RMP and DRMP/DEIS Alternatives.

Issue: Surface Mining of Coal Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Consider leasing coal resources on the following lands identified in the existing LUPs as acceptable:

• •

Consider applications for exploration licenses for lands that are subject to leasing as defined at 43 CFR 3400.2. Licenses would be subject to the surface disturbing restrictions and the provisions for exceptions, modifications, and waivers, similar to the oil and gas restrictions consistent with the regulations at 43 CFR 3400. Consider proposals for coal leasing on public lands determined to be acceptable for further consideration for leasing in the coal unsuitability analysis (Appendix 8), if and when there is interest. Prior to leasing, complete a multiple use analysis (43 CFR 3420.1 (3)), consult with other surface owners (43 CFR 3420.1-5 (4) (i)), and address other applicable requirements of 43 CFR 3400 Coal Management. – In the Henry Mountains coal field, 14,719 acres are acceptable for consideration for leasing by surface mining methods. – In the Wasatch Plateau and Emery coal fields, 0 acres are acceptable for consideration for leasing by surface mining

•

25,446 acres of federal mineral estate in the Henry Mountains are identified as acceptable for consideration of coal leasing by surface mining methods.

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Minerals and Energy Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
methods.

•

30,052 acres of federal mineral estate in the Wasatch Plateau and Emery coal fields are identified as acceptable for consideration of coal leasing by surface mining methods. • Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I or II areas.

Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I areas. VRM Classes II, III, and IV areas would be subject to coal exploration and development mitigation requirements, with VRM Class II being most restrictive and VRM Class IV least restrictive. Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I areas. VRM Classes II, III, and IV areas would be subject to coal exploration and development mitigation requirements, with VRM Class II being most restrictive and VRM Class IV least restrictive. Consider no coal leasing proposals in the 12 (78,600 acres) identified non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

•

Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I or II areas.

•

Consider no coal leasing proposals in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (682,600 acres).

•

Issue: Subsurface Mining of Coal Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Consider leasing coal resources on the following lands currently identified as acceptable:

• •

Consider applications for exploration licenses for lands that are subject to leasing as defined at 43 CFR 3400.2. Licenses would be subject to the surface disturbing restrictions and the provisions for exceptions, modifications, and waivers, similar to the oil and gas restrictions consistent with the regulations at 43 CFR 3400. Consider proposals for coal leasing on public lands determined to be acceptable for further consideration for leasing in the coal unsuitability analysis (Appendix 8), if and when there is interest. Prior to leasing, complete a multiple use analysis (43 CFR 3420.1 (3)), consult with other surface owners (43 CFR 3420.1-5 (4) (i)), and address other applicable

•

107,414 acres of federal mineral estate

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Minerals and Energy Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
requirements of 43 CFR 3400 Coal Management. – In the Henry Mountains coal field, 41,842 acres of BLM lands are acceptable for consideration for leasing by underground mining methods. – In the Wasatch Plateau coal field, 18,672 acres of National Forest, and in the Emery coal field, 9,624 acres of BLM lands and 3,542 acres of National Forest are acceptable for consideration for leasing by underground mining methods.

in the Henry Mountains are identified as acceptable for consideration of leasing by underground mining with 19,255 acres subject to no surface facilities.

•

73,952 acres of federal mineral estate in the Wasatch Plateau and Emery coal fields are identified as acceptable for consideration of leasing with 43,567 acres subject to no surface facilities. Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I or II areas.

Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I areas. VRM Class II, III, and IV areas would be subject to coal exploration and development mitigation requirements, with VRM Class II being most restrictive and VRM IV least restrictive.

•

Consider no coal leasing proposals in VRM Class I or II areas.

•

Consider no coal leasing proposals in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

Issue: Management of Non-Energy Solid Leasable Minerals Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Mineral use authorizations for non-energy solid leasable minerals include: prospecting permits, exploration licenses, preference right leases, competitive leases, fringe acreage leases, lease modifications, and use permits. As used herein, the term leasing is used to refer to any of the mineral use authorizations, because if the area is not open to leasing, then an exploration authorization or lease modification would not be considered. Any mineral use authorization issued after the RMP is approved would be subject to the stipulations developed in the RMP. The open and closed areas for leasing of non-energy solid leasable minerals would be the same as provided for oil and gas leasing, including exceptions, modifications, and waivers.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
•
Manage leasing as

Alternative C

Alternative D

•

Continue to prohibit leasing in WSAs, within

•

Manage leasing as

•

Manage leasing as

•

Manage leasing as

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Minerals and Energy Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
shown on Map 2-40. shown on Map 2-41. shown on Map 2-42. shown on Map 2-43.

one-quarter mile of eligible wild and scenic rivers, and within ACECs.

•
Areas closed to leasing (WSAs): – 446,900 acres Areas open to leasing subject to standard conditions of approval: – 860,600 acres Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 820,500 acres

•

•

•

• •

Allow leasing where it is consistent with the existing LUPs and has been addressed in a NEPA analysis.

Closed to leasing in WSAs and, within onequarter mile of the high water mark on each bank of the Fremont Gorge WSR recommended as suitable. Areas closed to leasing: – 447,300 acres Areas open to leasing subject to standard conditions of approval: – 608,700 acres

•

•

•

•
Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: – 0 acres

•
Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 917,500 acres

Closed to leasing in WSAs, within onequarter mile of the 12 WSRs recommended as suitable, and within the following ACECs: – Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC – Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC – Badlands ACEC – Henry Mountains ACEC – Horseshoe Canyon ACEC – Little Rockies ACEC – Rainbow Hills ACEC Areas closed to leasing: – 586,300 acres

•

Closed to leasing in WSAs, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics, within one-quarter mile of the 12 WSRs recommended as suitable, and within the following ACECs: – Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC – Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC – Badlands ACEC – Henry Mountains ACEC – Horseshoe Canyon ACEC – Little Rockies ACEC – Rainbow Hills ACEC

•
Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: – 154,500 acres

•

•

Areas closed to leasing: – 1,160,500 acres Areas open to leasing subject to standard conditions of approval: – 491,900 acres

• •

Areas open to leasing subject to standard conditions of approval: – 290,200 acres Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 901,100 acres

• •
Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: – 148,700 acres

Areas open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 634,000 acres

•

Areas open to leasing subject to NSO: – 43,300 acres

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Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
Issue: Management of Locatable Minerals Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Continue to make existing operations subject to the stipulations developed for the notice or plan of operations. The BLM would evaluate all operations authorized by the mining laws in the context of its requirement to prevent unnecessary and undue degradation of federal lands and resources and the nonimpairment standards of the federal regulations at 43 CFR 3802 and the IMP for WSAs. Consistent with the rights afforded claimants under the mining laws, operations conducted after the RMP is approved would be required to conform to the stipulations developed in the RMP and as generally provided in the oil and gas stipulations. The oil and gas stipulations would be a general guideline and may not apply uniformly to all operations under the mining laws. Operations on BLM-administered lands open to mineral entry must be conducted in compliance with all of the BLM’s surface management regulations The BLM surface management regulations apply to public lands, including split estate lands where the minerals are reserved to the United States, but the regulations do not apply to surface lands managed by other federal agencies. All public lands with federal mineral estate are open to mining claim location unless specifically withdrawn from mineral entry by Secretarial order or by a public land law. Therefore, other than the existing withdrawals and those recommended by this RMP, all public lands within the RFO remain open to mineral entry under the mining laws. The BLM may recommend future withdrawals in areas identified as closed or with a NSO stipulation for oil and gas leasing, if it becomes necessary to prevent unacceptable resource impacts.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
•
Allow location, exploration, and development of locatable minerals on public lands while preventing unnecessary and undue degradation of other resources and preventing impairment to wilderness suitability of WSAs. Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following areas from mineral entry: – Developed recreation sites, including Lonesome Beaver Campground,

Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Allow location, exploration, and development of locatable minerals while preventing unnecessary and undue degradation of other resources and preventing impairment to wilderness suitability of WSAs.

Continue to allow location, exploration, and development of locatable minerals while preventing unnecessary and undue degradation of other resources and preventing impairment to wilderness suitability of WSAs.

•

•

•
Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Total acres: 154,700

• •

Allow location, exploration, and development of locatable minerals on public lands while preventing unnecessary and undue degradation of other resources and preventing impairment to wilderness suitability of WSAs.

•

Allow location, exploration, and development of locatable minerals on public lands while preventing unnecessary and undue degradation of other resources and preventing impairment to wilderness suitability of WSAs.

Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing four existing ACECs (14,780 acres) from mineral entry. Total acres: 169,480

•

Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following areas from mineral entry: – Developed recreation sites, including Lonesome Beaver Campground,

•

Continue existing withdrawals (154,700 acres). Recommend withdrawing the following areas from mineral entry: – Developed recreation sites, including Lonesome Beaver Campground,

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Minerals and Energy Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
McMillan Spring Campground, Starr Springs Campground, Dandelion Flat Picnic Area, Hog Springs Picnic Area, Otter Creek Reservoir Recreation Sites, Kingston Canyon Recreation Site, and Koosharem Picnic Area – North Caineville Mesa ACEC – Old Woman Front ACEC – Fremont Gorge Suitable WSR (within one-quarter mile of the high water mark of each bank of the river). The proposed new withdrawals would encompass 21,500 acres. Total acres: 176,200 McMillan Spring Campground, Starr Springs Campground, Dandelion Flat Picnic Area, Hog Springs Picnic Area, Otter Creek Reservoir Recreation Sites, Kingston Canyon Recreation Site, and Koosharem Picnic Area – Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Badlands ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Henry Mountains ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Horseshoe Canyon ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Little Rockies ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Rainbow Hills ACEC – All suitable WSRs within a one-quarter mile corridor along each side of the river. The proposed new withdrawals would encompass 176,400 acres. Total acres: 331,100 McMillan Spring Campground, Starr Springs Campground, Dandelion Flat Picnic Area, Hog Springs Picnic Area, Otter Creek Reservoir Recreation Sites, Kingston Canyon Recreation Site, and Koosharem Picnic Area – Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Badlands ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Henry Mountains ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Horseshoe Canyon ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Little Rockies ACEC (VRM Class II area) – Rainbow Hills ACEC – All suitable WSRs within a one-quarter mile corridor along each side of the river – All non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics. The proposed new withdrawals would

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Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
encompass 749,200 acres. Total acres: 903,900

Issue: Management of Salable Minerals (Mineral Materials) Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Authorizations for mineral materials include: exploration permits, exclusive sale contracts, free use permits, community pits, and common use areas. As used herein, the term disposal is used as inclusive of any mineral material authorization, because exploration permits would not be issued in areas closed to disposals. Existing disposals would continue to be subject to the existing stipulations and conditions for that disposal. Disposals issued or designated after the RMP is approved would be subject to the stipulations developed in the RMP. The open and closed areas for mineral material disposals would be the same as provided for oil and gas leasing, including exceptions, modifications, and waivers.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Manage disposal of mineral materials as shown on Map 2-40. Areas closed to mineral material disposals (WSAs): – 446,900 acres Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to standard conditions of approval: – 860,600 acres Manage disposal of mineral materials as shown on Map 2-41.

• • •

•

Manage disposal of mineral materials as shown on Map 2-42.

• •

Manage disposal of mineral materials as shown on Map 2-43.

•

Continue to prohibit disposal of mineral materials in WSAs, within one-quarter mile of eligible WSRs, and ACECs. Allow mineral material disposals on a caseby-case basis subject to sitespecific environmental analysis outside of these areas.

•

Allow no disposal of mineral materials in WSAs, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics, and within one-quarter mile of the high water mark on each bank of the Fremont Gorge suitable WSR. Areas closed to mineral material disposals: – 601,800 acres

•

•

Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 820,500 acres

•

•
Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to NSO: – 0 acres

Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to standard conditions of approval: – 608,700 acres

Allow no disposal of mineral materials in WSAs, within onequarter mile of suitable WSRs, and within the following ACECs: – Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC – Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC – Badlands ACEC – Henry Mountains ACEC – Horseshoe Canyon ACEC – Little Rockies ACEC – Rainbow Hills ACEC

• •
Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to CSU and/or

Areas closed to mineral material disposals: – 586,300 acres

Allow no disposal of mineral materials in WSAs, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics, within one-quarter mile of suitable WSRs, and within the following ACECs: – Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC – Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC – Badlands ACEC – Henry Mountains ACEC – Horseshoe Canyon ACEC – Little Rockies ACEC – Rainbow Hills ACEC

•

Areas open to disposal

•

Areas closed to mineral

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Minerals and Energy Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-18. Minerals and Energy Decisions
timing limitations: – 917,500 acres material disposals: – 1,160,500 acres

of mineral materials subject to standard conditions of approval: – 491,900 acres

•

•

Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to standard conditions of approval: – 290,200 acres

Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 901,100 acres

•

•
Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to NSO: – 148,700 acres

Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to CSU and/or timing limitations: – 634,000 acres

•

Areas open to disposal of mineral materials subject to NSO: – 43,300 acres

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Wilderness Study Areas Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

2.6.3

Special Designations

Wilderness Study Areas
Table 2-19. Wilderness Study Areas Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Continue to manage WSAs in a manner that does not impair their suitability for designation as wilderness in accordance with FLPMA Section 603 and the Interim Management Policy for Lands Under Wilderness Review.

Issue: Interim Management of Wilderness Study Areas Management Action

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Manage WSAs according to the IMP (BLM-H-8550-1). The BLM is statutorily (FLPMA Section 603(c)) required to manage these areas to protect their suitability for congressional designation to the National Wilderness Preservation System unless and until Congress either designates an area as wilderness or releases it from further consideration. The BLM’s discretion to make planning decisions on management of WSAs is limited to designating WSAs as VRM Class I and determining whether the WSAs will be limited or closed to OHV use.

Issue: Oil and Gas Leasing in WSAs Management Action

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives
Issue: Visual Resource Management and Designation in WSAs Management Actions Alternative A
Designate all WSAs as VRM Class I.

Close all WSAs to leasing pursuant to the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage WSAs as VRM Class I.

Issue: Off-Highway Vehicle Area and Route Designation in WSAs Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Where routes would remain available for motorized use within WSAs, such use could continue on a conditional basis. Use of the existing routes in the WSAs (“ways” when located within WSAs – see Glossary) could continue as long as the use of these routes does not impair wilderness suitability, as provided by the IMP (BLM 1995). If Congress designates the area as wilderness, the routes will be closed. In the interim, if use and/or non-compliance are found through monitoring efforts to impair the area’s suitability for wilderness designation, BLM would take further action to limit use of the routes, or close them. The continued use of these routes, therefore, is based on user compliance and non-impairment of wilderness values.

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Wilderness Study Areas Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-19. Wilderness Study Areas Decisions
Alternative A
Designate the following WSAs as closed for OHV use (as shown on Map 2-14): Close WSAs to OHV use as shown on Map 2-15.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D
Close WSAs to OHV use as shown on Map 2-16.

Continue managing WSAs as closed or limited for OHV use as identified in existing LUPs and shown on Map 2-12.

• Little Rockies (40,700
acres)

• Dirty Devil (70,500 acres) • Fiddler Butte (2,200
acres),

• Fremont Gorge (2,800
acres),

• French Spring/Happy
Canyon (11,400 acres)

• Horseshoe Canyon North
(500 acres)

• Horseshoe Canyon South
(7,500 acres) Mount Ellen/Blue Hills (39,700 acres) Designate the following WSAs as limited to OHV use (as shown on Map 2-14):

•

• Bull Mountain (13,200
acres)

• Mount Hillers (19,300
acres)

• Mount Pennell (77,100
acres)

• Dirty Devil ( 1,600 acres) • Fiddler Butte (71,800
acres)

• Fremont Gorge (16 acres) • French Spring/Happy
Canyon (12,900 acres)

Designate WSAs as limited for OHV use as shown on Map 2-13. A total of 51.6 miles of inventoried vehicle ways would be designated for use subject to the IMP (Table 2-16, Travel Management). Where routes would remain available for motorized use within WSAs, allow such use to continue on a conditional basis. Use of the existing routes in the WSAs (“ways” when located within WSAs) could continue as long as the use of these routes did not impair wilderness suitability, as provided by the BLM Handbook 8550 (Interim Management for Lands Under Wilderness Review). If the Congress designates the area as wilderness, the routes would be closed. In the interim, if use and/or noncompliance were found through monitoring efforts to impair the area’s suitability for wilderness designation, BLM would take further action to limit use of the routes, or close them. The continued use of these routes, therefore, is based on user compliance and nonimpairment of wilderness values.

• Horseshoe Canyon North (
1,600 acres)

• Horseshoe Canyon South

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Table 2-19. Wilderness Study Areas Decisions
(32,400 acres) Mount Ellen/Blue Hills (41,700 acres) A total of 44.0 miles of inventoried vehicle ways would be designated for use subject to the IMP (Table 2-16). *Implementation level decision.

•

• Bull Mountain: 2.8 miles • Dirty Devil: 6.8 miles • Fiddler Butte: 4.1 miles • Fremont Gorge: 0.2 miles • French Spring/Happy
Canyon: 3.6 miles

• Horseshoe Canyon South: • •
Mount Ellen/Blue Hills: 8.7 miles Mount Hillers: 5.0 miles Mount Pennel: 6.4 miles 5.6 miles Little Rockies: 0.8 miles

• •

Issue: Wilderness Study Areas if Released by Congress Management Action

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

Only Congress can release a WSA from wilderness consideration. Should any WSA, in part or in whole, be released from wilderness consideration, examine proposals in the released area on a case-by-case basis for consistency with the goals and objectives of the RMP decisions. Actions inconsistent with RMP goals and objectives would be deferred until completion of requisite plan amendments. Because the management direction of the released land would continue in accordance with the goals and objectives established in the RMP, no separate analysis is required in this LUP to address resource impacts if any WSAs are released by Congress.

* This is an implementation-level decision that cannot be protested under the planning regulations. Please see the cover letter for further information.

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Chapter 2—Alternatives

Wild and Scenic Rivers
Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, tentative classifications, and free-flowing nature of eligible/suitable river segments.

Issue: Determination of Suitability of Eligible Wild and Scenic River Segments Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

BLM would work with the State of Utah, local and tribal governments, and other federal agencies, in a state-wide study, to reach consensus regarding recommendations to Congress for the inclusion of rivers in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Besides applying consistent criteria across agency jurisdictions, the joint study would avoid piece-mealing of river segments in logical watershed units in the state. The study would evaluate, in detail, the possible benefits and effects of designation on the local and state economies, agricultural and industrial operations and interests, outdoor recreation, natural resources (including the outstandingly remarkable values for which the river was deemed suitable), water rights, water quality, water resource planning, and access to and across river corridors within, and upstream and downstream from the proposed segments(s). Actual designation of river segments would only occur through congressional action or as a result of Secretarial decision at the request of the Governor in accordance with provisions of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (the Act). BLM will work with the State, local and tribal governments, and the agencies involved to coordinate its decision making on wild and scenic river issues and to achieve consistency wherever possible. BLM recognizes that water resources on most river and stream segments within the State of Utah are already fully allocated. Before stream segments that have been recommended as suitable under this Proposed RMP are recommended to Congress for designation, BLM will continue to work with affected local, state, federal, and tribal partners to identify in-stream flows necessary to meet critical resource needs, including values related to the subject segments(s). Such quantifications would be included in any recommendation for designation. BLM would then seek to jointly promote innovative strategies, community-based planning, and voluntary agreements with water users, under State law, to address those needs. Should designations occur on any river segment as a result of Secretarial or congressional action, existing rights, privileges, and contracts would be protected. Under Section 12 of the Act, termination of such rights, privileges, and contracts may happen only with the consent of the affected non-federal party. A determination by the BLM of eligibility and suitability for the inclusion of rivers on public lands to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System does not create new water rights for the BLM. Federal reserved water rights for new components of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System are established at the discretion of Congress. If water is reserved by Congress when a river component is added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, it would come from water that is not appropriated at the time of designation, in the amount necessary to protect features which led to the river’s inclusion into the system. BLM's intent would be to leave existing water rights undisturbed and to recognize the lawful rights of private, municipal, and state entities to manage water resources under state law to meet the needs of the community. Federal law, including Section 13 of the Act and the McCarren Amendment (43 U.S.C. 666), recognizes state jurisdiction over water allocation in designated streams. Thus, it is BLM's position that existing water rights, including flows apportioned to the State of Utah interstate agreements and compacts, including the Upper Colorado River Compact, and developments of such rights would not be affected by designation or the creation of the possible federal reserved water right. BLM would seek to work with upstream and downstream water users and applicable agencies to ensure that water flows are maintained at a level sufficient to sustain the values for which affected river segments were designated.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Recommend and manage the following eligible river as

Alternative C

Alternative D
Recommend and manage all of the eligible rivers as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System:

•

Existing LUPs contain no decisions regarding

•

Recommend no eligible river segments as

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Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Dirty Devil River (54 miles)* Beaver Wash Canyon (6.8 miles)* Larry Canyon (4 miles)* No Man’s Canyon (7.1 miles)* Robbers Roost Canyon (31 miles)* Sams Mesa Box Canyon (9.5 miles)* Twin Corral Box Canyon (9 miles)* Fish Creek (0.25 mile) Fremont River – Fremont Gorge (5 miles) – Below Capitol Reef National Park to Caineville Ditch Diversion (4 miles) Maidenwater Creek (3 miles)

WSRs. suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System:

• •
Provide no special management for outstandingly remarkable values. Fremont River in Fremont Gorge with a tentative classification as “wild” (5 miles)

suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System.

•

• • • • • • • • •

Quitchupah Creek (1.4 miles). *All or portions of these eligible WSRs overlay WSAs that are managed pursuant to the IMP.

• •

•

As directed by BLM Instruction Memorandum IM-2004196, Clarification of Policy in the BLM Manual Section 8351, Wild and Scenic Rivers, with Respect to Eligibility Criteria and Protective Management, manage all of the eligible river segments (135 miles) to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, free-flowing nature, and tentative classification, as follows: – 126.4 miles of river segments tentatively classified as “wild” – 3.25 miles of river segments tentatively classified as “scenic” – 5.4 miles of river segments tentatively classified as “recreational” In accordance with BLM Manual 8351, make no suitability determinations for any of the eligible river segments. They would remain eligible and would be managed to protect their

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions

outstandingly remarkable values, free-flowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Issue: Management of Fremont River—Fremont Gorge (5 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage the Fremont River in Fremont Gorge (5 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable scenic values. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Do not manage the Fremont River—Fremont Gorge as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Manage the Fremont River in Fremont Gorge (5 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Management would protect the outstandingly remarkable scenic values. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of the high water mark on each bank of the river include:

• • •

• • •

Closed to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend for withdrawal from mineral entry.

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Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Issue: Management of Dirty Devil River (54 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage the Dirty Devil River (54 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic, recreation, geologic, and fish and wildlife. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to OHVs except for Poison Spring Road crossing Close to oil and gas leasing Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible segments to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Do not manage the Dirty River as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Do not manage the Dirty River as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• • •

Issue: Management of Fremont River—Capitol Reef National Park to Caineville Ditch Diversion (4 miles) Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
Manage the Fremont River from Capitol Reef National Park to Caineville Ditch Diversion (4 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a recreational river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic and geologic. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry. Do not manage the Fremont River—Capitol Reef National Park to Caineville Ditch Diversion as eligible or suitable for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A. Do not manage the Fremont River—Capitol Reef National Park to Caineville Ditch Diversion as eligible or suitable for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g. public lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

• • •

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Issue: Management of Beaver Wash Canyon (6.8 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage Beaver Wash Canyon (6.8 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic and ecologic. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made. Beaver Wash Canyon is also located within the Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC and would be managed according to those management prescriptions. Do not manage Beaver Wash Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

Do not manage Beaver Wash Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

• • •

Issue: Management of Larry Canyon (4 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Manage Larry Canyon (4 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic, recreation, wildlife, and ecologic. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability

Do not manage Larry Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Do not manage Larry Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• • •

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Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions

determinations are made.

Issue: Management of No Man’s Canyon (7.1 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage No Man’s Canyon (7.1 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic and recreation. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made. Do not manage No Man’s Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

Do not manage No Man’s Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A

• • •

Issue: Management of Robbers Roost Canyon (31 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Manage Robbers Roost Canyon (31 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic, recreation, and cultural (historic). Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Do not manage Robbers Roost Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Do not manage Robbers Roost Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• • •

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Issue: Management of Sams Mesa Box Canyon (9.5 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage Sams Mesa Box Canyon (9.5 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values including scenic and wildlife. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made. Do not manage Sams Mesa Box Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

Do not manage Sams Mesa Box Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

• • •

Issue: Management of Twin Corral Box Canyon (9 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Manage Sams Twin Corral Box Canyon (9 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a wild river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic and wildlife. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Do not manage Twin Corral Box Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Do not manage Twin Corral Box Canyon as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• • •

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Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Issue: Management of Fish Creek (one-quarter mile) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage Fish Creek (one-quarter mile) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a scenic river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable cultural resource values. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of each side of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Do not manage Fish Creek as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Do not manage Fish Creek as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• • •

Issue: Management of Maidenwater Creek (3 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Manage Maidenwater Creek (3 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a scenic river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including scenic, recreation, geologic, fish, wildlife, and cultural. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made.

Do not manage Maidenwater Creek as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Do not manage Maidenwater Creek as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• • •

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-20. Wild and Scenic Rivers Decisions
Issue: Management of Quitchupah Creek (1.4 miles) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Manage Quitchupah Creek (1.4 miles) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System and tentatively classified as a recreational river. Manage to protect the outstandingly remarkable values, including cultural. Specific management prescriptions within one-quarter mile of the river include: Close to oil and gas leasing Close to OHV use Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

Manage all eligible streams to protect their outstandingly remarkable values, freeflowing nature, and tentative classification to the degree that BLM has authority (e.g., BLM lands within the corridor) and within the parameters of decisions made in the previous planning documents until such time as suitability determinations are made. Do not manage Quitchupah Creek as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

Do not manage Quitchupah Creek as eligible or suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. Manage the river corridor in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

• • •

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Manage ACECs with special management attention to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, cultural, or scenic values; fish, wildlife, and plant resources, or other natural system or processes; or to protect life and safety from natural hazards.

Issue: Designation and Management of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Management Actions Alternative A
Designate no ACECs. Designate and manage the following areas as ACECs (Map 2-45):

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

Continue designation and management of four existing ACECs (Map 3-16):

Designate and manage the following areas as ACECs (Map 246):

• • • • • •

•
North Caineville Mesa (2,200 acres) Old Woman Front (330 acres) Total acres: 2,530

North Caineville Mesa (2,200 acres)

• •

Badlands (includes existing North and South Caineville Mesas and Gilbert Badlands ACECs, 88,900 acres)* Bull Creek Archaeological District (4,800 acres) Dirty Devil (includes Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC, 205,300 acres)* Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb (34,300 acres)* Henry Mountains (includes No Man’s Mesa Potential ACEC, 288,200 acres)* Horseshoe Canyon (Richfield RFO portion only, 40,900 acres)* Kingston Canyon (22,100 acres) Little Rockies (49,200 acres)* Lower Muddy Creek (Richfield RFO only, 16,200 acres) Old Woman Front (330 acres) Parker Mountain (107,900 acres) Quitchupah (180 acres) Rainbow Hills (4,000 acres) Sevier Canyon (8,900 acres) Thousand Lakes Bench (500 acres)

•

South Caineville Mesa (4,100 acres)*

•

Gilbert Badlands (3,680 acres)*

Beaver Wash Canyon (4,800 acres)* Total acres: 14,780 *All or portions of these potential ACECs overlay WSAs, which are managed pursuant to the IMP.

•

SSS (15,100 acres)* Total acres: 886,810

• • • • • • • • • •

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
*All or portions of these potential ACECs overlay WSAs, which are managed pursuant to the IMP.

Issue: Designation and Management of North Caineville Mesa ACEC (2,200 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Do not designate the North Caineville Mesa ACEC.

Manage the North Caineville Mesa area as part of the Badlands ACEC. (See the Badlands ACEC for special management prescriptions.)

Continue designation of the North Caineville Mesa ACEC (Map 3-16). Manage to protect the relevant and important relict vegetation values:

•
Manage the North Caineville Mesa area in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Continue designation of the North Caineville Mesa ACEC (Map 2-45). Manage to protect the relevant and important relict vegetation values:

•
Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values Close to OHV use

Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values

•

• •
Manage as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints (NSO) Designate as unavailable for livestock grazing Identify area as unsuitable for surface coal mining Acquire inholdings within ACEC

Close to OHV use

Manage as closed to oil and gas leasing

• •

• • • • •

Designate as unavailable for livestock grazing

•

Identify area as withdrawn from consideration for leasing for surface coal mining

•

Acquire inholdings within ACEC

•

Consider withdrawing from mineral entry.

Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry.

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Issue: Designation and Management of South Caineville Mesa ACEC (4,100 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Do not designate the South Caineville Mesa ACEC. Do not designate the South Caineville Mesa ACEC.

• •
Manage the South Caineville Mesa area in the manner identified under other resource headings for The Proposed RMP.

Manage the South Caineville Mesa area as part of the Badlands ACEC. (See the Badlands ACEC for special management prescriptions.)

Continue designation of the South Caineville Mesa ACEC (Map 3-16). Manage the area to protect the relevant and important values:

•
Manage the South Caineville Mesa area in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

•

Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values

• •

Close to OHV use

Manage as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints (NSO)

•

Unavailable for livestock grazing

•

Identify area as withdrawn from consideration for leasing for surface coal mining

•

Nominate cabin on South Caineville Mesa to NRHP

•

Increase public awareness of cultural resources, increase law enforcement presence, and if necessary, fence or otherwise directly protect important sites,

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions

and maintain stability of cabin on South Caineville Mesa

•

Consider withdrawal from mineral entry if area is released from wilderness consideration.

Issue: Designation and Management of Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC (4,800 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Do not designate the Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC. Manage the Beaver Wash Canyon area in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A. Do not designate the Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC. Manage the Beaver Wash Canyon area in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• •

Manage the Beaver Wash Canyon area as part of the Dirty Devil ACEC. See Dirty Devil ACEC (below) for special management prescriptions.

Continue Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC designation, to be managed for protection of relevant and important ecologic (riparian) values (Map 3-16). Manage Beaver Wash with the following special management to protect the relevant and important values from irreparable damage:

•

• •

Close to OHV use

Close to oil and gas leasing Pursue land tenure adjustment, including acquisition through exchange of all state sections in the area

•

Designate as unavailable for livestock grazing from south boundary of Section 25 northward

•

Recommend

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions

withdrawing from mineral entry

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Issue: Designation and Management of Gilbert Badlands ACEC (3,680 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Do not designate the Gilbert Badlands ACEC or RNA. Manage the Gilbert Badlands area in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A. Do not designate the Gilbert Badlands ACEC or RNA. Manage the Gilbert Badlands area in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP.

• •

Manage the Gilbert Badlands area as part of the Badlands ACEC. (See the Badlands ACEC for special management prescriptions.)

Continue Gilbert Badlands ACEC and RNA designations, to be managed for protection of relevant and important natural systems or processes and in accordance with 43 CFR 8223.1 (Map 316). Manage the Gilbert Badlands ACEC with the following special management to protect the relevant and important values from irreparable damage:

•

• •

Close to OHV use

Manage as closed to oil and gas leasing

•

Consider withdrawing from mineral entry

•

Prohibit all surface disturbing activities

•

Acquire in-holdings within ACEC.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Badlands ACEC (88,900 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
•
Do not designate the Badlands ACEC or Research Natural Area.

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Badlands ACEC or Research Natural Area. Manage identified under other resource headings

Continue managing the existing North Caineville, South Caineville, and Gilbert Badlands ACECs to protect their relevant and important values as prescribed above.

•

Manage identified

Designate the Badlands ACEC and RNA, to be managed to protect relevant and important values, including scenic, special status plants, natural processes, and riparian and relict vegetation from irreparable damage (Map 2-46). Special management of the area to protect these values includes:

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
for Alternative A. under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP. Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Vegetation Continue unavailability for grazing on North and South Caineville Mesas to protect relict vegetation. Cultural Resources Increase public awareness of cultural resources, increase law enforcement presence, and if necessary, fence or otherwise directly protect important sites, and maintain stability of cabin on South Caineville Mesa. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Visual Resources Designate Class A scenery (outside of WSAs and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics [Alternative D only]) as VRM Class II, and implement VRM BMPs. Special Status Species Increase law enforcement patrols, educate the public about values of listed cacti, evaluate proposed upstream water developments to determine impacts on fish species, and, based on that evaluation, take appropriate action to protect SSS. Travel Management Close mesa tops to OHV use. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Limit OHV use to designated routes in the remainder of the ACEC to prevent irreparable damage to cultural resources, badlands topography, listed species of cacti, and scenic values. Lands and Realty Recommend withdrawing the non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) and Class A scenery outside WSA from mineral entry. Minerals

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions •
Close to oil and gas leasing.

Issue: Management of Potential Bull Creek Archaeological ACEC (4,800 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Bull Creek Archaeological District as an ACEC.

Manage the Bull Creek Archaeological District consistent with properties listed on the NRHP.

Designate the Bull Creek Archaeological District as an ACEC for the purpose of protecting relevant and important cultural resource values (Map 2-46). Special management to protect these values from irreparable damage includes: Cultural Resources Increase public awareness of cultural resource values, increase law enforcement presence, and if necessary, install fencing or other direct protection of important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Travel Management

•

•

Limit OHV use to designated routes to protect cultural resources from damage. In Alternative D, close nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Dirty Devil/North Wash ACEC (205,300 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
• •
Do not designate the Dirty Devil/North Wash potential ACEC.

Alternative C

Alternative D

•
Do not designate the Dirty Devil/North Wash potential ACEC.

• •
Manage the Dirty Devil/North Wash area in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

Designate the Dirty Devil/North Wash area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including scenic, cultural, paleontological, wildlife, and SSS (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Riparian

Manage Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC (a portion of the potential Dirty Devil ACEC) according to the management prescriptions outlined above for that ACEC.

•

•

• •

Restore, maintain, and improve riparian areas to proper functioning condition (PFC). Fence riparian areas to exclude livestock. Fencing or

Manage remainder of the potential Dirty Devil ACEC according to other decisions outlined in the 1982 Henry

Manage the area included in the Dirty Devil SRMA, according to those prescriptions. Manage areas not included within the Dirty Devil SRMA in the manner identified under other resource headings for

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
the Proposed RMP. other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Plant willows and cottonwoods. Fire and Fuels Management

Mountain MFP, as amended.

• •

Rehabilitate springs.

• •

Allow no prescribed or wildland fire use in Mexican spotted owl core areas and nest protection areas at any time.

Suppress wildfires that threaten Mexican spotted owl core areas and nest protection areas. Cultural Resources Reduce vandalism of cultural resources by increasing public awareness of their value, increasing law enforcement presence and, if necessary, fencing or otherwise directly protecting important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Visual Resources

•

•

Designate Class A scenery outside of WSAs (Alternatives C and D) and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D) as VRM Class II.

• •

Designate remainder of ACEC (outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics— Alternative D only) as VRM Class III. Implement BMPs appropriate to the VRM class to protect scenic values. Special Status Species

• • •

Manage the Mexican spotted owl in cooperation with USFWS and UDWR. Restrict motorized access in sensitive plant areas. Increase law enforcement patrols. Wildlife

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions •
Manage Desert bighorn sheep in cooperation with UDWR.

Allow water developments that would benefit Desert bighorn sheep. Water developments would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only). Livestock grazing

•

• •

Permit no domestic sheep grazing to protect bighorn sheep from disease.

Keep Beaver Wash unavailable for grazing to protect riparian values. Recreation

• • •

Construct no camping facilities in the Mexican spotted owl nest protection core areas or within non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only). Reduce harassment of bighorn sheep and Mexican spotted owls by regulating the number of recreational parties, party size, and season of use.

Limit recreation use through use of permits, if determined necessary to protect relevant and important values. Travel Management

•

Limit OHVs to designated routes to protect scenic values. During management plan development for this ACEC, OHV route designations would be reviewed and revised if necessary (with appropriate NEPA review) to protect scenic values. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Discourage recreation use within one-half mile of known Mexican spotted owl nest sites during breeding season (February 1 to August 31). Lands and Realty Avoid authorizing ROWs in VRM Class I or II areas. Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings within the ACEC from willing sellers.

•

• • •

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Recommend withdrawing Class A scenery designated as VRM Class II from mineral entry. Minerals

•

• • • • •

Manage VRM Class II areas as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints, such as NSO. Close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to oil and gas leasing (Alternative D only). Manage remainder of ACEC as open to oil and gas leasing subject to controlled surface use and/or timing limitations. Use BMPs to protect scenic values. Include seasonal restriction stipulations in lease permits during the Mexican spotted owl breeding season (February 1 to August 31) for all mineral development activities within one-half mile around known nest sites. Restrict oil and gas exploration and development activities from February 1 through August 31 in Mexican spotted owl nest protection areas.

•

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb ACEC (34,300 acres) Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)

•
Do not designate the Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC.

Do not designate the Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC.

• •
Manage the Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb area in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

• •

Do not designate the Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb ACEC.

•

Designate the Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including cultural, scenic, riparian, plant, and wildlife (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Riparian

Manage the Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb area in accordance with existing LUP.

•

• •

Evaluate proposed upstream water developments to determine possible adverse impacts on riparian areas. Limit recreation use in riparian areas, if needed to protect riparian values. Cultural Resources

Portions of this area are included in the Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA and the Fremont Gorge Suitable WSR corridor and would be managed according to the prescriptions identified in those sections. Areas not included within the

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Capitol Reef Gateway SRMA and Fremont Gorge WSR corridor would be managed in the manner identified under other resource headings for the Proposed RMP. Reduce vandalism of cultural resources by increasing public awareness of their value, increasing law enforcement presence, and, if necessary, fencing or otherwise directly protecting important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under Alternative D. Visual Resources

•

•

Designate Class A scenery outside of WSAs (Alternatives C and D) and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D) as VRM Class II. Designate remainder of ACEC (outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics— Alternative D only) as VRM Class III. Implement VRM BMPs appropriate to VRM Class to protect scenic values.

• •
Fire

Suppress wildfire in crucial mule deer habitat containing browse species. Recreation Limit recreation use in Fish Creek Cove and Beas Lewis Flats to protect cultural resources, if needed. Travel Management Manage OHVs as limited to designated routes to protect scenic values. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Lands and Realty Recommend withdrawing Class A scenery outside WSA and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) from mineral entry. Minerals

•

•

•

• •

Maintain crucial mule deer habitat in public ownership.

•

Manage VRM II areas as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints, such as NSO.

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions • •
Issue: Designation and Management of Proposed Henry Mountains ACEC (288,200 acres) Management Actions Alternative A
Manage VRM III areas as open to leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations. Manage VRM Class I areas in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) as closed to oil and gas leasing.

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Henry Mountains ACEC.

Manage the Henry Mountains area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

Designate the Henry Mountains area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including wildlife (e.g., bison and deer), SSS (e.g., Townsend’s big-eared bat, ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl, hole-in-the-rock prairie clover, Dana’s milkvetch, and Barneby milkvetch), scenic, and ecological values (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Riparian

•

•

Restore, maintain, and improve riparian areas to bring them into PFC. Surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under Alternative D. Maintain erosion control structures in Nasty Flat area. Vegetation

•

•

Manage vegetation to benefit mule deer and bison habitat.

• Manage No Man’s Mesa to protect relict vegetation. Cultural Resources •
Reduce vandalism of cultural resources by increasing public awareness of their value, increasing law enforcement presence and, if necessary, fencing or otherwise directly protecting important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Alternative D. Close Starr Ranch to recreation/interpretation use until stabilization can be accomplished. Visual Resources

•

•

Designate Class A scenery outside of WSAs (Alternatives C and D) and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D) as VRM Class II.

Designate remainder of ACEC as VRM Class III to allow manipulation of habitat to benefit wildlife and mule deer; in all cases, apply appropriate VRM class BMPs. Special Status Species Increase law enforcement patrols. Wildlife

•

• •

Restrict motorized access in sensitive plant areas.

• • •

Manage mule deer and bison habitat in cooperation with UDWR. Allow manipulation of habitat to benefit wildlife. Surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Allow range improvements that benefit wildlife. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under Alternative D.

Develop a Habitat Management Plan for bison and mule deer within the ACEC. Fire and Fuels Management

•

• •

Use appropriate management response to protect and enhance relevant and important values. Suppress all wildfires near Starr Ranch to protect historical values. Livestock Grazing

•

Change class of livestock on the Pennell Allotment from sheep to cattle.

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Recreation Allow continued maintenance, upgrade, and use of existing campgrounds and picnic facilities within the ACEC at Starr Springs, Lonesome Beaver, McMillan Spring, and Dandelion Flat. Additional recreation facilities may be developed in response to user demand and for resource protection if it would not cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Travel Management

•

• •

Limit OHV use in the Nasty Flat area to designated routes. Limit OHV use to designated routes to protect scenic and cultural resources and bison habitat. During management plan development for this ACEC, OHV route designations would be reviewed and revised if necessary (with appropriate NEPA review) to protect these relevant and important values.

Close No Man’s Mesa to OHVs. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Lands and Realty Authorize no ROWs in VRM Class I and II areas. Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings from willing sellers within the ACEC. Recommend withdrawing No Man’s Mesa and areas with Class A scenery designated as VRM Class II from mineral entry. Minerals

•

• • • •

• • •

Manage VRM Class II areas and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) as closed to oil and gas leasing. Manage VRM Class III areas as open to oil and gas leasing subject to controlled surface use and/or timing limitations. Close No Man’s Mesa to oil and gas leasing.

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Horseshoe Canyon ACEC (40,900 acres—RFO only) Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
Designate the Horseshoe Canyon area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values including scenic, cultural (e.g., Cowboy Cave), riparian, and SSS (e.g., Townsend’s big-eared bat) (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Riparian Plant willows and cottonwoods in riparian areas. Cultural Resources Reduce vandalism of cultural resources by increasing public awareness of their value, increasing law enforcement presence and, if necessary, fencing or otherwise directly protecting important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Visual Resources Designate Class A scenery outside of WSAs (Alternatives C and D) and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D) as VRM Class II. Livestock Grazing Fence riparian areas to exclude livestock. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Recreation

• •

Do not designate the Horseshoe Canyon ACEC.

Manage the Horseshoe Canyon area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP.

•

• •

Rehabilitate springs to bring them into PFC.

•

•

•

•

Limit recreation use through use of permits, if needed, to protect sensitive resources.

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Travel Management Limit OHVs to designated routes to protect scenic, SSSSSS, and cultural values. During management plan development for this ACEC, OHV route designations would be reviewed and revised if necessary (with appropriate NEPA review) to protect these relevant and important values. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Lands and Realty Authorize no new ROWs in VRM Class I and II areas. Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings from willing sellers within the ACEC.

•

Recommend withdrawing areas with Class A scenery designated as VRM Class II from mineral entry. Minerals

• • • •

• •

Manage VRM Class II areas as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints, such as NSO. Manage VRM Class I areas in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) as closed to oil and gas leasing.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Kingston Canyon ACEC (22,100 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Kingston Canyon ACEC.

Manage the Kingston Canyon area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP (such as non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics).

Designate and manage the Kingston Canyon area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values including riparian and mule deer habitat (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage

•
Fire

Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values.

• Suppress wildfire in crucial deer winter range. Travel Management

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions • •
Limit OHV use to designated routes. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use.

Limit OHV use with seasonal closures (December 15 through April 15) to protect mule deer habitat. Lands and Realty Acquire in-holdings in the riparian corridor. Retain the ACEC in public ownership.

•

• •
Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Little Rockies ACEC (49,200 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Little Rockies ACEC.

Manage the Little Rockies area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

Designate the Little Rockies area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including scenic and wildlife values, notably Desert bighorn sheep and Townsend’s bigeared bat, special status plant species, including hole-in-therock prairie clover, and ecologic values (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Visual Resources Designate Class A scenery outside of WSAs (Alternatives C and D) and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D) as VRM Class II. Wildlife

•

•

• • •

Manage Desert bighorn sheep in cooperation with UDWR in accordance with the Henry Mountains Desert Bighorn Habitat Management Plan, as revised. Continue to cooperate with UDWR in transplants of Desert bighorn sheep into the area consistent with carrying capacity. Allow range improvements that would benefit Desert bighorn sheep, primarily water developments. Surface

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under Alternative D. Livestock Grazing Convert domestic sheep use in Trachyte Allotment to cattle to prevent transmitting disease to Desert bighorn sheep. Recreation

•

• •

Regulate recreation impacts by limiting party size, season of use, and/or location to minimize harassment of Desert bighorn sheep, if needed.

Limit recreation access and party size in Maidenwater and Trachyte canyons to protect ecological values, if needed. Travel Management Limit OHV use to designated routes. In Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Lands and Realty

•

•

Authorize no new ROWs in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) or in areas with Class A scenery. Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings from willing sellers within the ACEC. Recommend withdrawing Class A scenery designated as VRM Class II from mineral entry. Minerals

• • •

• •

Manage VRM II areas as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints, such as NSO. Close in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only) to oil and gas leasing.

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Lower Muddy Creek ACEC (16,200 acres—RFO portion) Management Actions Alternative N Alternative A Alternative C Alternative D Proposed RMP (No Action)
Designate the Lower Muddy Creek area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including scenic, riparian, and special status plant (e.g., Wright fishhook and Heil’s beavertail cacti) values (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Visual Resources Designate Class A scenery outside of WSAs (Alternatives C and D) and outside of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D) as VRM Class II. Special Status Species

• •

Do not designate the Lower Muddy Creek ACEC.

Manage the Lower Muddy Creek area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

•

•

•

Increase law enforcement patrols to deter illegal cacti collecting.

• Increase public education. Travel Management
Limit OHVs to designated routes to protect listed plant species. During management plan development for this ACEC, OHV route designations would be reviewed and revised if necessary (with appropriate NEPA review) to protect listed plant species. In Alternative D, close nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Lands and Realty

•

•

Authorize ROWs consistent with VRM Class II objectives. No new ROWs would be authorized in nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Alternative D only). Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings within the ACEC from willing sellers.

• •

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Minerals

•
Close area to oil and gas leasing.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Old Woman Front ACEC (330 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• • •

Do not designate the Old Woman Front ACEC and RNA.

Designate the Old Woman Front area as an RNA ACEC for protection of the relevant and important values of relict vegetation. Coordinate special management for protection of relict vegetation with the USFS Old Woman Cove RNA Plan.

Manage the Old Woman Front area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A.

• Manage the area for multiple use, while protecting the relict vegetation. Ecological Processes • Permit no human activities that directly or indirectly modify ecological processes. Wildlife
Prohibit the introduction or spread of exotic animal species. Fire and Fuels Management

• •

Allow no wildlife habitat manipulation.

•

Allow wildland fire use within the parameters of an approved fire plan and only under a prescription designed to accomplish the objectives of the area. Suppress fires using minimal impact tools and techniques. Avoid the use of heavy equipment.

Avoid post-fire rehabilitation; if needed, use seed of indigenous species, and locally adapted ecotypes. Forest Products Allow no logging or harvest of woodland products, fuelwood gathering, or Christmas tree cutting. Livestock Grazing Construct no range improvements. Recreation Issue no SRPs. Travel Management

• • •

•

• •

Unavailable for livestock grazing.

•

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions • Close area to OHV use. Facilities
Authorize no roads, new trails, fences, signs, buildings, or other physical improvements. Lands and Realty Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry. Minerals

•

•

•

Manage as open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints, such as NSO.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Parker Mountain ACEC (107,900 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate Parker Mountain ACEC.

Designate Parker Mountain area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including sagebrush-steppe habitat and wildlife values, notably the Greater sage-grouse, Utah prairie dog, and pygmy rabbit (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Vegetation Evaluate potential vegetation treatments to ensure they are beneficial to sagebrush-steppe habitat and pygmy rabbits, Greater sage-grouse, and Utah prairie dogs. Wildlife

Manage the Parker Mountain area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP. Continue to consider ongoing land management practices, vegetative treatments, and grazing regimes, and continue to coordinate management efforts with Parker Mountain Adaptive Resource Management (PARM), BLM, UDWR, USFWS, and Utah State University to address vegetative treatments specific to improving the sagebrush-steppe community.

•

• •

Actively manage invasive species.

• Educate hunters on pygmy rabbit identification. Fire and Fuels Management • Suppress wild fire in sagebrush-steppe habitat. Livestock Grazing • •
Continue to implement proper grazing management through coordination with PARM. Base stocking rates on timing and amount of precipitation and the condition of the range.

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Travel Management Limit OHV use to designated routes. Lands and Realty Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings within the ACEC from willing sellers.

•

• •
Issue: Management of Potential Quitchupah ACEC (180 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• • •

Do not designate the Quitchupah ACEC.

Manage the Quitchupah area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

Designate the Quitchupah area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important cultural and riparian values (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Cultural Resources Reduce vandalism of cultural resources by increasing public awareness of their value, increasing law enforcement presence and, if necessary, fencing or otherwise directly protecting important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in Alternative D. Travel Management Restrict OHV use to designated routes to protect cultural and ecological resources and riparian areas from damage. Under Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use. Lands and Realty

•

•

•

Avoid granting new ROWs; if ROWS are granted, mitigate impacts to ACEC values. Under Alternative D, new ROWS would not be authorized in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Rainbow Hills ACEC (4,000 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Rainbow Hills ACEC.

Manage the Rainbow Hills area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

Designate the Rainbow Hills area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including mule deer habitat, natural systems, and SSS, including Utah phacelia, Arapien stickleaf, Ward’s penstemon, rainbow rabbitbrush, Sigurd townsendia, and Glenwood milkvetch (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Mule Deer Suppress wildfire in crucial mule deer winter range to protect important browse species. Travel Management

•

•

• Close to OHV use. Lands and Realty
Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings from willing sellers. Avoid granting new ROWs. Recommend withdrawing from mineral entry. Minerals

• • • •

•

Allow leasing with NSO to protect special status and endemic plants and the naturally functioning system from major human disturbances.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Sevier Canyon ACEC (8,900 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D
Designate the Sevier Canyon area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including mule deer habitat, riparian, and SSS values (Map 2-46). Special management for

• •

Do not designate the Sevier Canyon ACEC.

Manage the Sevier Canyon area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in a manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Fire and Fuels Management Suppress wildfire in crucial mule deer winter range to protect important browse species. Travel Management Limit OHVs seasonally (December 15 through April 15) to protect mule deer habitat. Lands and Realty Retain ACEC in public ownership. Acquire inholdings from willing sellers.

RMP.

•

•

• •

Limit OHV use to designated routes.

• •

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Thousand Lakes Bench ACEC (500 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• •

Do not designate the Thousand Lakes Bench ACEC.

Manage the Thousand Lakes Bench area in accordance with the existing LUP (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource heading for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

Designate the Thousand Lakes Bench area as an ACEC for protection of relevant and important values, including cultural resources, special status plants, and riparian areas (Map 246). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Cultural Resources

•

•

Reduce vandalism of cultural resources by increasing public awareness of their value, increasing law enforcement presence and, if necessary, fencing or otherwise directly protecting important sites. Fencing or other surface disturbing activities would not be allowed in non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under Alternative D.

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Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Chapter 2—Alternatives

Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
Special Status Species Increase law enforcement presence to deter collection of Wright fishhook cactus. Travel Management

•

•

Limit OHVs to designated routes to protect cultural resources, riparian areas, and special status plants. During management plan development for this ACEC, OHV route designations would be reviewed and revised if necessary (with appropriate NEPA review) to protect these relevant and important values. Under Alternative D, close non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to OHV use.

Issue: Designation and Management of Potential Special Status Species ACEC (15,100 acres) Management Actions Alternative A

Alternative N (No Action)

Proposed RMP

Alternative C

Alternative D

• • •

Do not designate the Special Status Species ACEC.

Manage the Special Status Species ACEC area in accordance with existing LUPs (Alternative N) and in the manner identified under other resource headings for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP.

Designate the Special Status Species ACEC to protect relevant and important SSS values (Map 2-46). Special management for protection of these values includes: Prevent Irreparable Damage Allow no uses that would cause irreparable damage to relevant and important values. Vegetation Avoid or mitigate impacts to SSS and their habitats when conducting vegetative treatments. Special Status Species Increase law enforcement patrols to deter collecting and poaching. Recreation If monitoring shows that adverse impacts are or could occur to SSS, limit recreation use as necessary. Travel Management

•

Manage SSS and their habitats in coordination with the USFWS, UDWR, and other resource management agencies.

•

•

•

•

Limit OHVs to designated routes in SSS habitat. During management plan development for this ACEC, OHV route designations would be reviewed and revised if

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Table 2-21. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Decisions
necessary (with appropriate NEPA review) to protect these SSS. Lands and Realty

• • •

Retain SSS documented locations in public ownership. Where determined necessary to acquire important habitat for SSS, pursue acquisition of non-federal lands from willing sellers.

Avoid granting ROWs and other land use authorizations that would affect SSS and their habitats. Minerals

• •

Manage SSS areas as open to oil and gas leasing subject to CSU and/or timing limitations. Manage SSS areas as open to disposal of mineral materials subject to CSU and/or timing limitations.

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Transportation Chapter 2—Alternatives

2.6.4
Table 2-22. Transportation Facilities Decisions
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives) Issue: Management of Transportation Facilities Management Actions

Transportation

Provide a safe and effective transportation system across public lands.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

As per the State of Utah v. Andrus, Oct. 1, 1979 (Cotter Decision), the BLM would grant the State of Utah reasonable access to state lands for economic purposes, on a case-by-case basis.

•

Continue to support Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Garfield and Wayne counties and the State of Utah in providing a network of roads for movement of people, goods, and services across public lands.

Review requests for administrative access on a case-by-case basis.

• • •

Develop, implement, and maintain cooperative agreements with counties and the State of Utah for maintenance of the transportation system.

Require reclamation of redundant road systems and/or roads that no longer serve their intended purpose in order to reduce road density and reduce habitat fragmentation.

Manage designated scenic byway and backway corridors for the purposes for which they were designated.

Coordinate with the NPS and the State of Utah for management and interpretation of scenic byway and backway corridors.

• • • •

Install directional, informational, regulatory, and interpretive signs at appropriate locations throughout the planning area.

There are a number of locations throughout the RFO that are commonly known and consistently used for aircraft landing and departure activities that, through such casual use, have evolved into backcountry airstrips (the definition contained in Section 345 of Public Law 106-914, the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriation Act of 2001). In accordance with that law, require full public notice, consultation with local and state government officials, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and compliance with all applicable laws, including NEPA, when considering any closure of an aircraft landing strip.

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2.6.5
Table 2-23. Health and Safety
Desired Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

Health and Safety

• •

Strive to ensure that human health and safety concerns on public lands remain a major priority.

Mitigate or eliminate all hazardous or potentially hazardous sites and situations, including hazardous materials, hazardous or solid wastes, abandoned mine sites, abandoned well sites, and other potential hazards on public lands.

•
Issue: Management of Abandoned Mine Lands Management Actions

Minimize or eliminate the potential for intentional or accidental releases of hazardous materials or wastes and solid wastes onto public lands.

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

In conformance with BLM’s long-term strategies and National Policies regarding Abandoned Mine Lands (AML), work with state agencies toward identifying and addressing physical safety and environmental hazards at all AML sites on public lands. To accomplish this long-term goal, establish the following criteria to assist in determining priorities for site and area mitigation and reclamation. Use the following criteria to establish physical safety hazard program priorities:

•

The highest priority of the AML physical safety program would be cleaning up those AML sites where (a) a death or injury has occurred, (b) the site is situated on or in immediate proximity to developed recreation sites and areas with high visitor use, and (c) upon formal risk assessment, a high or extremely high risk level is indicated.

AML would be factored into future recreation management area designations, land use planning assessments, and all applicable use authorizations.

AML hazards should be, to the extent practicable, mitigated or remediated on the ground during site development. The criteria that would be used to establish water-quality based AML program priorities are:

• • •

Sites listed or eligible for listing would be entered in the Abandoned Mine Site Cleanup Module of Protection and Response Information System.

•

Watersheds identified by the state as a priority based on (a) one or more water laws or regulations; (b) a threat to public health or safety; and (c) a threat to the environment

Projects reflecting a collaborative effort with other land managing agencies

Projects that would be funded by contributions from collaborating agencies. The State Multi-Year Work Plan would be maintained and updated as needed to reflect current policies for identifying program physical safety and water quality AML sites priorities for reclamation or remediation.

• • •

Sites listed or eligible for listing in the Abandoned Mine Site Cleanup Module of the Protection and Response Information System

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Issue: Management of Hazardous Materials Management Actions

Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft RMP Alternatives

•

Identify and clean up unauthorized dumping sites and hazardous materials spills in the RFO as required to comply with applicable state, local, and federal laws and regulations.

•

Clean up and restore areas known to have hazardous materials, hazardous wastes, or solid wastes. Areas that have been cleaned up and restored would be maintained and monitored.

•

Actively seek responsible parties to reimburse hazardous materials cleanup costs.

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Impacts Summary Table Chapter 2—Alternatives Proposed RMP/Final EIS

2.7 IMPACTS SUMMARY TABLE

Table 2-24 provides a summary of impacts that would occur from implementing the five alternatives described in this chapter. Chapter 4 provides more detailed impact analysis. Table 2-24. Summary Comparison of Impacts
Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Resource

Proposed RMP
Alternative C

Alternative D

None of the proposed decisions in Chapter 2 would have a major impact on air quality. Rather, it is more likely that impacts to air quality within the planning area would result from activities on private lands, including growth of cities and towns, increased vehicle traffic on highways and roads, and industrial development (e.g., coal-fired power plants). The public land activity likely to have the greatest impact on air quality would be wildland fire and fuels management, which varies by alternative as shown below.

Air Quality

Alternative N’s minimal wildland fire use, prescribed fire, and nonfire fuel treatments would minimize smoke and other emissions in the short term but would result in increased fuel build-up, more frequent and larger wildland fires, and greater emissions in the long term. The types of impacts experienced under these alternatives would be similar to those described for Alternative N except that under Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP. Treatments would average 73,600 acres annually with a maximum acreage limit set over the life of the plan (up to 1,472,000 acres). In contrast with Alternative N, Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP would potentially decrease the level of suppression being used on wildfires through AMR, a strategy to meet Fire Management Unit (FMU) objectives. In the short term, more acres could burn and smoke and particulate emissions could increase. In the long term, the potential for severe and uncontrollable types of wildfires would be predicted to decrease, enabling BLM to manage wildfire and associated emissions more effectively. In the short term, smoke management is a critical component of wildland fire use planning, and it is considered in developing the management response for each wildland fire use event.

The types of impacts experienced under these alternatives would be similar to those described for Alternative A and the Proposed RMP except that under Alternatives C and D, the average annual treatment acres (26,000) and maximum acreage over the life of the plan (520,000) would be less. Similar to Alternative A and the Proposed RMP, Alternatives C and D would potentially decrease the level of suppression being used on wildfires through adoption of AMR (including smoke management considerations). In the short term, relying on prescribed fire as the main fuels management tool would likely increase the acres burned by wildfires and accompanying smoke and particulate emissions compared with Alternative A and the Proposed RMP. In the long term, the potential for severe and uncontrollable types of wildfires may decrease but not as much as under Alternative A and the Proposed RMP because of the limitations on fuels treatments. The consequent impacts to air quality could be greater than under Alternative A and the Proposed RMP but less than under Alternative N.

Soil Resources

The potential for impacts to soils under Alternative N would be greatest among all the alternatives, due to:

The potential for impacts to soils under Alternative A would be less than under Alternative N but greater than under Alternatives C or D or

The potential for impacts to soils under the Proposed RMP would be less than under Alternatives N or A but greater than under

The potential for impacts to soils under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than

The potential for impacts to soils would be least under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

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Impacts Summary Table Chapter 2—Alternatives

Resource

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

•
Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO

• •

the Proposed RMP because of the potential for surface disturbing activities resulting from: Alternatives C and D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

•
Allowing oil and gas leasing on 78 percent of the RFO

•
Allowing no crosscountry OHV use Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 21 percent of the RFO Allowing crosscountry OHV use on less than 1 percent of the RFO

• •
Closing to oil and gas leasing or allowing NSO on 35 percent of the RFO

•

Closing to oil and gas leasing or allowing NSO on 57 percent of the RFO

•
Designating 75 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes III or IV.

•
Allowing oil and gas leasing on 79 percent of the RFO

•
Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 28 percent of the RFO

•

Designating 56 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

• •
Designating 33 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II Designating 79 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes III or IV

•

•

Soil Resources

Designating 32 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•
Recommending no ACECs or suitable WSRs.

•

•
Recommending one eligible WSR segment as suitable.

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 35 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

• • • •
Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSR segments as suitable.

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 8 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSR segments as suitable.

•

Protecting all nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics. Surface disturbing activities would be restricted within 660 feet of all waters, which would protect water sources more than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP.

Water Resources

Surface disturbing activities would be restricted within 500 feet of all waters, limiting damage to riparian vegetation and sedimentation into streams.

Surface disturbing activities would be restricted within the 100-year floodplain or 330 feet on either side from the centerline, whichever is greater, of all waters, which would protect water sources, although less than under Alternatives N, C, or D.

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Resource
Allowing cross-country use on 21 percent of the RFO and designating 4,312 miles of routes with 443 stream crossings would have less potential for impacts to water resources than Alternative N, but greater than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D. Allowing cross-country OHV use on less than 1 percent of the RFO would reduce potential impacts compared with Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP, and would be similar to impacts under Alternatives C and D. There would be 4,277 miles of designated routes with 400 stream crossings, which would have greater potential for impacts to water resources than under Alternatives C and D. No cross-country OHV use would be allowed, which would be similar to the Proposed RMP and Alternative D. The potential for impacts to water resources under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than under Alternative D because of the designation of 3,192 miles of routes with 273 stream crossings. As in Alternative C, no cross-country OHV use would be allowed. The potential for impacts to water resources would be least under Alternative D because of the designation of only 3,043 miles of routes with 266 stream crossings.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Allowing cross-country OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO and designating 4,315 miles of routes with 539 stream crossings would result in the greatest potential for impacts to water resources.

Vegetation

Managing fire using a full suite of tools would allow for the graduated movement to a more ecologically sustainable condition and reduction of hazardous fuels. Continuing minimal treatments on a case-bycase basis could continue the existing trend of pinyon-juniper woodland encroachment and increase the risk of large or intense wildfires. Vegetation across a large portion of the RFO (77 percent) would continue to be subject to potential impacts from cross-country OHV use.

Adopting an appropriate management response strategy to wildfire would reduce pinyon-juniper woodland encroachment and decrease the risk of large or intense wildfires and their effects on vegetation. Vegetation on 21 percent of the RFO would continue to be subject to potential impacts from crosscountry OHV use, less than under Alternative N but more than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D. Options for managing vegetation would be greatest under Alternative A because it would provide the most tools for managing

Adopting an appropriate management response strategy to wildfire would reduce pinyon-juniper woodland encroachment and decrease the risk of large or intense wildfires (same as under Alternative A). Managing less than 1 percent of the RFO as open for cross-country OHV use could result in the removal of existing vegetation and soil compaction, but on dramatically fewer acres than under Alternatives N and A. Tools for managing vegetation are the same as under Alternative A, but visual resource management and other restrictions

Adopting an appropriate management response strategy to wildfire would reduce pinyon-juniper woodland encroachment and decrease the risk of large or intense wildfires (same as under the Propose RMP and Alternatives A and D). There would be no areas open for cross-country OHV use, eliminating these impacts to vegetation. Alternative C would protect existing vegetation from disturbance because of its restrictions on VRM, OHVs, and vegetation management tools. However, it would provide less flexibility for vegetation management

Adopting an appropriate management response strategy to wildfire would reduce pinyon-juniper woodland encroachment and decrease the risk of large or intense wildfires (same as under Alternative A and C and the Proposed RMP). There would be no areas open for cross-country OHV use, eliminating these impacts to vegetation. Alternative D would best protect existing vegetation from disturbance because of its restrictions on VRM, OHVs, and vegetation management tools. However, it would provide the least flexibility for vegetation

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Impacts Summary Table Chapter 2—Alternatives

Resource
vegetation and the fewest restrictions. would reduce opportunities for vegetation management in some areas. than under Alternative N and A and the Proposed RMP because some of these same restrictions could limit the effective management of pinyonjuniper woodland and sagebrush-steppe vegetation communities. management among the alternatives because some of these same restrictions could limit the effective management of pinyonjuniper woodland and sagebrush-steppe vegetation communities.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Surface disturbing activities are the primary cause of adverse impacts to riparian resources. Conversely, proposed decisions to limit surface disturbing activities would help protect riparian resources. Significant impacts to riparian resources would not be anticipated under any of the alternatives. Under all alternatives, actions in riparian areas would be guided by the Utah Riparian Management Policy and the decisions made through this planning effort. Impacts would be similar to those under Alternative N except that the size of the buffer zone in which no surface disturbance would be allowed is within the 100-year floodplain or 330 feet on either side from the centerline, whichever is greater. Thus, Alternative A and the Proposed RMP would protect a smaller area around the riparian/wetland zones from surface disturbance than under Alternative N. However, projects to improve habitat conditions within these riparian zones could still be performed, even within the buffer zone. The types of impacts experienced as a result of riparian management would be similar to those described for Alternative N except that the size of the buffer zone in which no surface disturbance would be allowed would be 660 feet on each side of the riparian area. Thus, these alternatives would protect a larger area around the riparian/wetland zones from surface disturbing activities than under Alternatives N or A, or the Proposed RMP.

Management of riparian and wetland areas would include the avoidance of surface disturbing activities within 500 feet of riparian areas. This would benefit riparian vegetation.

Vegetation— Riparian

The potential for impacts to riparian resources under Alternative N would be greatest among all the alternatives, due to: Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO

•

The potential for impacts to riparian resources would be least under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

The potential for impacts to riparian resources under Alternative A would be less than under Alternative N but greater than the Proposed RMP or Alternatives C or D because of the potential for surface disturbing activities resulting from:

The potential for impacts to riparian resources under the Proposed RMP would be less than under Alternatives N or A, but greater than under Alternatives C and D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

• • • •
Allowing crosscountry OHV use on less than 1 percent of the RFO Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

•
Allowing 539 stream crossings from OHV routes.

•

The potential for impacts to riparian resources under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use Allowing 266 stream crossings from OHV routes

Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 21 percent of the RFO Allowing 443 stream crossings

• •
Allowing 400 stream crossings

•

•

Allowing 273 stream crossings

Closing to oil and gas leasing or allowing NSO on

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Resource
from OHV routes from OHV routes from OHV routes

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D
56 percent of the RFO

•
Recommending no ACECs or suitable WSRs. Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 28 percent of the RFO Closing to oil and gas leasing or allowing NSO on 35 percent of the RFO

• •

•

•
Designating 33 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II.

Designating 56 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•
Designating 32 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

•
Recommending one eligible WSR as suitable

•

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 35 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

•
Designating two ACECs (2,530 acres).

• •

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 8 percent of the RFO from mineral entry Designating all potential ACECs

Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable

• •

•
Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable.

Protecting all nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics. Alternatives C and D would preclude the use of mechanical, manual, and chemical methods. Control of some noxious weeds under these alternatives would not be possible in some areas because of lack of suitable substitute treatments, potentially allowing the weeds to spread.

Alternatives N, A, and the Proposed RMP would allow a full range of weed control methods (mechanical, biological, manual, fire, and chemical) to be used and would afford the best opportunity for controlling weeds.

Vegetation— Invasive, NonNative Species

Weed seeds are often transported from one place to another on the tires and undercarriages of vehicles. Allowing motorized access into more areas and on more routes would increase the potential for expanding noxious weeds infestations; limiting access decreases the potential. The potential for the spread of weeds by vehicles under Alternative A would be less than under Alternative N but greater than under the Proposed The potential for the spread of weeds by vehicles under the Proposed RMP would be less than under Alternatives N and A but greater than Alternatives The potential for the spread of weeds by vehicles under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but The potential for the spread of weeds by vehicles under Alternative D would be least among all alternatives because no cross-country OHV use

The potential for the spread of weeds by vehicles would be greatest under Alternative N because cross-country OHV use would continue to be

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Impacts Summary Table Chapter 2—Alternatives

Resource
RMP or Alternatives C or D because cross-country OHV use would be allowed on 21 percent of the RFO and no areas would be closed to OHV use. C or D because crosscountry OHV use would be allowed on less than 1 percent of the RFO and 10 percent would be closed to OHV use. greater than Alternative D because no crosscountry OHV use would be allowed and 32 percent of the RFO would be closed to OHV use. would be allowed and 54 percent of the RFO would be closed to OHV use.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

allowed on 77 percent of the RFO and 10 percent would be closed to OHV use.

All permitted activities regulated by BLM are subject to the legal and policy protections and mitigation afforded cultural resources. Unregulated uses that could affect cultural resources include dispersed recreation, and OHV use in areas designated as open. Special designations such as WSAs, ACECs, and WSRs, and decisions to protect, preserve, and maintain the wilderness characteristics associated with non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Proposed RMP and Alternative D) would have a largely beneficial impact on cultural resources because the management prescriptions associated with those designations limit surface disturbing activities.

The potential for inadvertent impacts to cultural resources under Alternative N would be greatest among all the alternatives, due to:

•
Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO

The potential for inadvertent impacts to cultural resources would be least under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

Cultural Resources

The potential for inadvertent impacts to cultural resources under Alternative A would be less than under Alternative N but greater than the Proposed RMP or Alternatives C or D because of the potential for surface disturbing activities resulting from: The potential for inadvertent impacts to cultural resources under the Proposed RMP would be less than under Alternatives N or A but greater than Alternatives C and D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

• • •
Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 57 percent of the RFO

•
Allowing oil and gas leasing on 78 percent of the RFO

•
Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 21 percent of the RFO Allowing oil and gas leasing on 79 percent of the RFO Designating 79 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes III or IV Recommending no ACECs or suitable WSRs.

•

The potential for inadvertent impacts to cultural resources under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

•
Designating 75 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes III or IV.

Allowing crosscountry OHV use on less than 1 percent of the RFO

• •

•

Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 28 percent of the RFO

•

Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 35 percent of the RFO

•

Designating 56 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

•

Designating 33 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

Designating 32 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

•

Recommending one eligible WSR as suitable.

•

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 35 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

•

Designating all

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potential ACECs withdrawal of 8 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

• •

•
Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable.

Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable Protecting, preserving, and maintaining all non-WSA with wilderness characteristics.

•

All permitted activities regulated by BLM are subject to the legal and policy protections and mitigation afforded paleontological resources. Impacts on paleontological resources occur from natural weathering and erosion, surface disturbing activities, excavation, and theft or vandalism. Unregulated uses that could affect paleontological resources include dispersed recreation, and OHV use in areas designated as open. Special designations, such as WSAs, ACECs, and WSRs, and decisions to protect, preserve, and maintain wilderness characteristics associated with non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (Proposed RMP and Alternative D) would have a largely beneficial impact on paleontological resources because the management prescriptions associated with them would limit surface disturbing activities. The potential for inadvertent impacts to paleontological resources would be least under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

The potential for inadvertent impacts to paleontological resources under Alternative N would be greatest among all the alternatives, due to: Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO

Paleontological Resources

•

• •

The potential for inadvertent impacts to paleontological resources under the Proposed RMP would be less than under Alternatives N or A but greater than under Alternatives C and D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

•
Allowing oil and gas leasing on 78 percent of the RFO

The potential for inadvertent impacts to paleontological resources under Alternative A would be less than under Alternative N but greater than under the Proposed RMP or Alternatives C or D because of the potential for surface disturbing activities resulting from:

•

The potential for inadvertent impacts to paleontological resources under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

•

• • •

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 57 percent of the RFO Allowing crosscountry OHV use on less than 1 percent of the RFO

•
Designating 75 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes III or IV.

Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 21 percent of the RFO

•
Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 35 percent of the RFO

• •

Designating 56 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II Allowing oil and gas leasing on 79 percent of the RFO Designating 79 percent of the RFO Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 28 percent of the RFO

• •
Designating 33 percent of the RFO

Designating 32 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I

•

In addition to existing withdrawals,

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as VRM Classes III or IV as VRM Classes I or II or II

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

• • • •
In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 8 percent of the RFO from mineral entry Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable.

•
Recommending no ACECs or suitable WSRs. Recommending one eligible WSR as suitable.

•

recommending withdrawal of 35 percent of the RFO from mineral entry Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable Protecting, preserving, and maintaining all non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics. Under Alternative C, 56 percent of the RFO would be designated VRM Classes I or II, providing the greatest protection for scenic resources among the alternatives.

• •

Visual Resources Under Alternative A, 21 percent of the RFO would be open to crosscountry OHV use. The potential for impacts to scenic resources from OHV use would be less than under Alternative N, but greater than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D.

Under Alternative N, 25 percent of the RFO would be designated VRM Classes I or II. This would provide more protection for scenic resources than under Alternative A and less than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D. Under the Proposed RMP, less than 1 percent of the RFO would be open to crosscountry OHV use, reducing the potential for impacts substantially compared with Alternatives N and A.

Under Alternative A, 21 percent of the RFO would be designated VRM Classes I or II, providing the least protection for scenic resources among the alternatives.

Under the Proposed RMP, 33 percent of the RFO would be designated VRM Classes I or II. This would provide more protection for scenic resources than under Alternatives N or A and less than under Alternatives C and D.

Under Alternative C, 32 percent of the RFO would be designated VRM Classes I or II. This would provide more protection for scenic resources than under Alternatives N or A or the Proposed RMP and less than under Alternative D.

Under Alternative N, 77 percent of the RFO would be open to crosscountry OHV use, including 206,000 acres in VRM Class II areas. The potential for impacts to scenic resources from OHV use would be greatest under Alternative N.

No cross-country OHV use would be allowed, eliminating the potential for impacts to scenic resources from OHV use. Alternatives C and D would provide the greatest protection for scenic resources.

Special Status Species

The implementation of decisions that would have the greatest potential adverse effects on SSS would be actions that allow surface disturbing activities. The implementation of decisions that would have the greatest potential beneficial effects to SSS would be actions

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SSS management Protecting, preserving, and maintaining non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics Special Designations (ACECs, WSRs, WSAs) Visual Resource Management Class I or II designations. The potential for impacts to SSS would be least under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

that would directly protect SSS and their habitat or indirectly protect SSS through surface restrictions. These actions would include:

• • • •

The potential for impacts to SSS under Alternative N would be greatest among all the alternatives, due to: Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO

•

• •

The potential for impacts to SSS under Alternative A would be less than under Alternative N but greater than under the Proposed RMP or Alternatives C or D because of the potential for surface disturbing activities resulting from:

The potential for impacts to SSS under the Proposed RMP would be less than under Alternatives N or A, but greater than under Alternatives C and D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from: The potential for impacts to SSS under Alternative C would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than under Alternative D because of limitations on surface disturbing activities resulting from:

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

• •
Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 21 percent of the RFO Allowing crosscountry OHV use on less than 1 percent of the RFO

• •

Maintaining minimal restrictions on other surface disturbing activities.

•

Allowing no crosscountry OHV use

Closing to oil and gas leasing or allowing NSO on 57 percent of the RFO Closing to oil and gas leasing or allowing NSO on 35 percent of the RFO

•
Maintaining minimal restrictions on other surface disturbing activities Recommending no ACECs or suitable wild and scenic rivers.

•

Closing to leasing or allowing NSO on 28 percent of the RFO Designating 33 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

Designating 56 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

•

•

Designating 32 percent of the RFO as VRM Classes I or II

•

• • •
Recommending one eligible WSR as suitable Designating two ACECs (2,530 acres).

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 35 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

• • • •
Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSRs as

In addition to existing withdrawals, recommending withdrawal of 8 percent of the RFO from mineral entry

Designating all potential ACECs Recommending all eligible WSRs as suitable

•

Protecting, preserving, and

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suitable. maintaining all non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Fish and Wildlife

Under Alternative N, managing fire using a full suite of tools would allow for the graduated movement to a more ecologically sustainable condition and reduction of hazardous fuels. However, continuing minimal treatments on a case-by-case basis could contribute to fuel loading, setting the stage for catastrophic fires, and consequent loss of wildlife habitat. Current forage allocations would continue, providing no additional benefits to wildlife. Seventy-seven percent of the lands managed by the RFO would remain open to cross-country OHV use, leaving wildlife vulnerable to displacement and harassment and habitat susceptible to degradation. The Proposed RMP would balance the impacts of development with the need to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Establishing a formal

Under Alternative A, implementing an appropriate management response strategy would allow the use of wildland fire as a vegetation management tool, benefiting wildlife species and habitat. A full range of tools would be available for fuels management and other vegetation treatments, allowing the greatest flexibility to enhance wildlife habitats. Current forage allocations would continue, providing no additional benefits to wildlife. Twenty-one percent of the lands managed by the RFO would remain open to cross-country OHV use, reducing the potential for wildlife displacement and harassment, and habitat degradation compared with Alternative N.

Under the Proposed RMP, implementing an appropriate management response strategy would allow the use of wildland fire as a vegetation management tool, benefiting wildlife species and habitat (same as Alternative A). A full range of tools would be available for fuels management and other vegetation treatments, allowing the greatest flexibility to enhance wildlife habitats (same as Alternative A). Less than 1 percent of the lands managed by the RFO would remain open to cross-country OHV use, greatly reducing the potential for wildlife displacement and harassment, and habitat degradation compared with Alternatives N and A.

Under Alternatives C and D, implementing an appropriate management response strategy would allow the use of wildland fire as a vegetation management tool, benefiting wildlife species and habitat (same as Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP). Only prescribed fire and other natural means would be used to manage fuel and other vegetation, limiting options for treatment that in some cases might not be effective, reducing the benefit to wildlife compared with Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP. None of the lands managed by the RFO would remain open to cross-country OHV use, eliminating the possibility of displacement, harassment, and habitat degradation. Establishing the Henry Mountains ACEC for bison and mule deer values would recognize the relevance and importance of these resources and provide special management emphasis to enhance them.

Alternatives N and A, with their accommodation for oil and gas development and cross-country OHV use, would have the greatest adverse impacts on fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

Alternatives C and D, with their special designations and emphasis on conservation, would be most beneficial to fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

Wild Horses and

The preliminary AML for the wild burros would

The wild burro AML would be the largest of the

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wild burro AML would maintain the viability of the population and result in the long-term maintenance of wild burro habitat components. The Proposed RMP could eliminate habitat competition between livestock and wild burros, but displacement from OHV use would continue. None of the impacts are anticipated to be significant. alternatives, which could increase competition for habitat resources with wildlife and livestock.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Burros

maintain a viable population. Forage allocations are sufficient for the wild burros in the northern portions of the HMA; however, there could be competition for forage resources in the southern portions. The potential for displacement of wild burros from OHV use exists.

•

Maintaining State of Utah air quality standards could result in fewer acres burned using prescribed fires or wildland fire use because NAAQS could be exceeded. If the air quality of Class I airsheds were adversely affected, wildland fire use and prescribed fires could be suspended. Consideration of regional haze could increase the restrictions on wildland fire use or prescribed fire. Managing WSAs under the IMP precludes the use of mechanical (chaining, harrowing) and manual (chainsaw) fuels reduction treatments. This could limit the ability to maintain or restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous fuels in WSAs, including those in the Dirty Devil, Horseshoe Canyon, and Henry Mountains areas.

•

•

•

•

•

•
Restrictions on the use of non-fire treatments would limit the ability to maintain or restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous fuels in some areas.

Fire and Fuels Management

Restrictions on the use of non-fire treatments which would limit the ability to maintain or restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous fuels in some areas.

Allowing vegetation treatment using mechanical, wildland, and/or prescribed fire, and chemical treatments on a case-by-case basis would move vegetation toward a more ecologically sustainable condition over a multi-year period. Proposed decisions for visual resource management could

•

•
Proposed decisions for visual resource management could preclude some types of treatments within the 21

•

Allowing use of a full range of vegetation management tools, including mechanical, biological, manual, prescribed and wildland fire use, and chemical (herbicides) would complement the ability to maintain and restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous

Allowing use of a full range of vegetation management tools, including mechanical, biological, manual, prescribed and wildland fire use, and chemical (herbicides) would complement the ability to maintain and restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous

Proposed decisions for visual resource management could preclude some types of treatments within the 53

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fuels. fuels. affect the design of non-fire treatment projects, particularly within the 25 percent of the RFO designated as VRM Class II.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C
percent of the RFO designated as VRM Class I and affect the design of non-fire fuels treatment projects, particularly in VRM Class II areas (3 percent) in the Henry Mountains and near the towns of Torrey, Grover, and Teasdale. Alternative D would restrict treatment projects on the greatest amount of acres.

Alternative D

•
Proposed decisions for visual resource management could preclude some types of treatments within the 21 percent of the RFO designated as VRM Class I, less than under Alternative N.

•

percent of the RFO designated as VRM Class I and affect the design of non-fire fuels treatment projects, particularly in VRM Class II areas (11 percent) in the Henry Mountains and near the towns of Torrey, Grover, and Teasdale. Treatment acres and success would be reduced compared with Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP, but would be greater than under Alternative D.

•

Proposed decisions for visual resource management could preclude some types of treatments within the 21 percent of the RFO designated as VRM Class I and affect the design of non-fire fuels treatment projects, particularly in VRM Class II areas (12 percent) in the Henry Mountains and near the towns of Torrey, Grover, and Teasdale. Treatment acres and success may be reduced compared with Alternative N and A, but would be greater than under Alternative C and D.

•

Proposed management direction for suppressing wildfires in the Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb, Henry Mountains, Kingston Canyon, Parker Mountain, and Sevier Canyon ACECs could limit the ability to maintain or restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous fuels. Proposed management direction for suppressing wildfires in the Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb, Henry Mountains, Kingston Canyon, Parker Mountain, and Sevier Canyon ACECs could limit the ability to maintain or restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous

•

Protecting, preserving, and maintaining the non-WSA lands

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fuels. with wilderness characteristics would preclude the use of mechanical (chaining, harrowing) and manual (chainsaw) fuels reduction treatments on these lands. This could limit the ability to maintain or restore properly functioning vegetation and reduce hazardous fuels in some areas, such as parts of the Henry Mountains. Impacts to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics would be the least among the alternatives:

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Impacts to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics would be the greatest among the alternatives:

• •
Nine-six percent of these lands would be open to crosscountry OHV use.

Impacts to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics would be less than Alternative N and greater than the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D:

Impacts to the non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics would be less than Alternatives N and A and greater than Alternatives C and D:

Impacts to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics would be less than Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP but greater than Alternative D:

• •

•
Thirty-two percent of these lands would be open to cross-country OHV use.

None of these lands would be open to crosscountry OHV use. Less than 1 percent of these lands would be open to crosscountry OHV use. None of these lands would be open to crosscountry OHV use.

Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

• •

• • •

None of these lands would be open to oil and gas leasing.

Eight-five percent of these lands would be open to oil and gas leasing with standard stipulations. Forty-eight percent of these lands would be open to oil and gas leasing with standard stipulations. Fifty-two percent of these lands would

•

• •

Thirty percent of these lands would be open to oil and gas leasing with standard stipulations.

All of the non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics would be open to oil and gas leasing subject to major constraints (NSO).

• •
Two percent of

All of these lands would be recommended for withdrawal from mineral entry. Thirty-nine of these lands would be open to oil and gas

Thirteen percent of these lands would be open to oil and gas leasing with moderate

•

All would be designated Class I

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constraints. VRM. be open to oil and gas leasing with moderate constraints. these lands would be recommended for withdrawal from mineral entry. leasing with moderate constraints.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

•
One percent of these lands would be open to oil and gas leasing with major constraints (NSO).

•
One percent of these lands would be recommended for withdrawal from mineral entry.

Forestry and Woodland Products

Alternative N would continue restrictions on timber harvesting and commercial woodland product sales included in current management plans. The potential production of forest and woodland resources would likely be less than under Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP but more than under Alternatives C and D. The Proposed RMP would allow timber sales, woodland products harvesting, and seed and live plant collecting with the same tools as Alternative A but on slightly fewer acres because of the addition of one suitable WSR corridor that would be restricted and decisions to protect, preserve, and maintain the wilderness characteristics associated with nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics. The potential production of forest and woodland products and potential forest and woodland health could be slightly less than under Alternative A but more than under Alternatives N, C or D.

Alternative A would allow timber sales, woodland products harvesting, and seed and live plant collecting on the most acres with the most tools and fewest restrictions among the alternatives. Alternative A would provide the greatest availability of forest and woodland products and the greatest opportunities to restore, maintain, and improve forest and woodland health.

Under Alternative C, commercial timber sales would be precluded, greatly diminishing the availability of timber products for commercial use. Woodland products harvesting and seed and live plant collecting would be the same as Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP but on fewer acres because of restrictions in all 12 suitable WSR corridors. The potential production of forest and woodland products and potential forest and woodland health would be less than under Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP, similar to that under Alternative N, but more than under Alternative D.

Under Alternative D, commercial timber sales would be precluded, and no commercial or noncommercial use of forest and woodland products or seed and live plants would be allowed within suitable WSR corridors and non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics. Alternative D would result in the least production of forest and woodland products and could result in the greatest impacts to forest and woodland health.

•

Livestock Grazing

Oil and gas development could reduce land available for livestock grazing under all alternatives by a maximum of 3,080 acres based on the Reasonably Foreseeable Development (RFD) Scenario for Oil and Gas, equating to a loss of 385 AUMs and possibly affecting the viability of some allotments. Increasing recreational use could increase conflicts between recreationists and livestock.

•

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Increasing OHV use could increase conflicts between OHVs and livestock in some areas. Decisions likely to affect grazing opportunities include: Decisions likely to affect grazing opportunities include: Under Alternatives C and D, decisions likely to affect grazing opportunities include:

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

•

Decisions likely to affect grazing opportunities include:

• •

•
Continuing to allow cross-country OHV use on 77 percent of the RFO. Allowing crosscountry OHV use on 21 percent of the RFO

•

•

Fewer acres identified for vegetation treatment than Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP. Limitations on the use of chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) for treating noxious weed and insect pest problems.

•

Disposing of 13,400 acres of public land (Section 203 sales) that would reduce available AUMs and could affect the viability of some allotments. Under the Proposed RMP, 600 AUMs would be allocated to burros in the Canyonlands HMA, to meet an AML upper limit of 100.

Disposing of 13,400 acres of public land (Section 203 sales) that would reduce available and could affect the viability of some allotments.

•

Recreation

Alternative N would provide the greatest opportunities for motorized recreation uses and would cause the greatest adverse impacts to nonmotorized uses. Seventy-seven percent of the RFO would continue to be open to cross-country OHV use, and 4,315 miles of routes would continue to be open to motor vehicles, the most under any of the alternatives. One SRMA (managed

Alternative A would provide fewer opportunities for motorized recreation than Alternative N, but more than the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D. Twenty-one percent of the RFO would be open to crosscountry OHV use. The open areas include those currently used for cross-country travel, plus additional areas for growth. OHV use in 79 percent of the RFO would be limited to

The Proposed RMP would provide a balance of motorized and nonmotorized recreation opportunities. It would provide fewer opportunities for motorized recreation than Alternatives N and A, but more than Alternatives C and D. Less than 1 percent of the RFO would be open to cross-country OHV use; however, the four open areas, Big Rocks, Factory Butte, Glenwood, and Aurora,

Alternative C would provide more opportunities for nonmotorized recreation than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP and more opportunities for motorized recreation than under Alternative D. No areas would be open to cross-country OHV use. OHVs would be limited to designated routes on 68 percent of the RFO. Designated routes would total 3,192 miles, 73 percent of the

Alternative D would provide the greatest opportunities for nonmotorized recreation, the fewest opportunities for motorized recreation uses, and have the greatest adverse impact on motorized users. No areas would be open to cross-country OHV use. OHVs would be limited to designated routes on 46 percent of the RFO. Designated routes would total 3,043 miles, 71 percent of the routes open under Alternative

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designated trails. Designated routes would total 4,312 miles, essentially the same as those open under Alternative N. No areas would be closed to OHVs. The Dirty Devil SRMA would provide opportunities for primitive and semiprimitive motorized and non-motorized recreation; the Factory Butte, Sahara Sands and Big Rocks SRMAs would provide opportunities for crosscountry OHV use; and the Otter Creek SRMA would provide opportunities for dispersed camping. Twenty-one percent of the RFO would be designated as VRM Class I supporting primitive recreation. No lands would be designated as VRM Class II. Seventy-nine percent of the RFO would be designated as VRM Classes III and IV supporting all types of recreation, including motorized use. The decisions in Alternative A would help resolve conflicts between motorized and nonmotorized users. are the areas currently most used by riders. OHVs would be limited to designated trails on 90 percent of the RFO’s land. Designated routes would total 4,277 miles. Ten percent of the lands managed by the RFO would be closed to OHVs. The Henry Mountains, Capitol Reef Gateway, and Dirty Devil SRMAs would provide opportunities for primitive and semiprimitive motorized and non-motorized recreation; the Factory Butte and Big Rocks SRMAs would provide opportunities for crosscountry OHV use. Thirtythree percent of the RFO would be designated as VRM Classes I and II supporting primitive and semi-primitive recreation, 67 percent would be designated as VRM Classes III and IV supporting all types of recreation, including motorized use. The decisions in the Proposed RMP would help resolve conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users. routes open under Alternative N. Thirty-two percent of the lands managed by the RFO would be closed to OHVs. The Henry Mountains, Capitol Reef Gateway, Dirty Devil, and Sevier Canyon SRMAs would provide opportunities for primitive, semi-primitive motorized and nonmotorized, and roaded natural recreation. Thirty-two percent of the RFO would be designated as VRM Classes I and II supporting primitive and semi-primitive recreation; and 68 percent would be designated as VRM Classes III and IV, supporting all types of recreation, including motorized use. While Alternative C would reduce adverse effects on primitive and semiprimitive recreation settings, conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users could be exacerbated because of the limited opportunities for motorized use. N. Fifty-four percent of the RFO would be closed to OHVs. Seven SRMAs would be established to provide opportunities for primitive, semi-primitive motorized and nonmotorized recreation. Portions of two of these SRMAs would provide some areas with opportunities for dispersed recreation. Fifty-six percent of the RFO would be designated as VRM Classes I and II supporting primitive and semi-primitive recreation; 44 percent would be designated as VRM Classes III and IV supporting all types of recreation, including motorized use. While Alternative D would reduce adverse effects on primitive and semiprimitive recreation settings, conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users could be exacerbated because of the limited opportunities for motorized use.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

by the Fillmore FO) would continue, but no new SRMAs would be established. There would be no VRM Class I areas, and 25 percent of the RFO would be managed as VRM Class II, which supports primitive and semiprimitive recreation opportunities. Seventyfive percent of the RFO would be managed as VRM Classes III and IV supporting all types of recreation, including motorized use. Conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users would continue, and adverse effects on primitive and semiprimitive recreation settings would continue to increase.

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Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Management decisions that involve changes to miles of roads open for public or administrative use, number of acres open to off-road travel, or specific travel restrictions (vehicle size, season restrictions, etc.) would affect access into and across the RFO.

Travel Management

Alternative N provides the greatest opportunity for unrestricted motorized use and access with 77 percent of the RFO designated as open to motorized use, and 13 percent limited to designated routes (4,315 miles). Access would be restricted within 10 percent of the RFO designated as closed for the protection of WSAs, ACECs and cultural resources.

Under Alternative A, open motorized use areas would be reduced to 21 percent, with the remainder of the RFO limited to designated routes (4,312 miles). Alternative A provides fewer acres for unrestricted motorized use than Alternative N, but more than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C and D. The miles of routes available would only be reduced by 3 miles from Alternative N. SRMA management within 49 percent of the open areas could enhance the open motorized experiences in those areas. No areas would be closed under Alternative A.

Under the Proposed RMP, open motorized use would be reduced significantly compared with Alternatives N and A, to less than 1 percent, which would affect motorized use and access. Limited acres would be 90 percent, the most under any alternative. Motorized use would be allowed on 4,277 miles of routes, which would be less than under Alternatives N and A, but more than under Alternatives C and D. SRMA management within 86 percent of the open areas could enhance the open motorized experiences in those areas. Access would be restricted within 10 percent of the RFO designated as closed for the protection of WSAs, WSR corridors, ACECs, and SRMAs. The potential for impacts from closed areas would be the same as under Alternative N, greater than under Alternative A, and less than under Alternatives C and D. Under Alternative C, no open motorized use areas would be designated, eliminating cross-country travel. Access would be allowed in 68 percent of the RFO with use limited to designated routes (3,192 miles). The acres and miles of routes available for travel would be less than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP, but more than Alternative D. Access would be restricted within 32 percent of the RFO designated as closed for the protection of WSAs, WSR corridors, ACECs, and SRMAs. The potential for impacts from closed areas would be greater than under Alternatives N and A, but less than under Alternative D. One hundred and eighteen parcels totaling 13,400

Under Alternative D, no open motorized use areas would be designated, eliminating cross-country travel. Access would be allowed in 46 percent of the RFO with use limited to designated routes (3,043 miles). The acres and miles of routes available for travel would be the least of any of the alternatives. Access would be restricted within 54 percent of the RFO designated as closed for the protection of WSAs, WSR corridors, nonWSA lands with wilderness characteristics, ACECs, and SRMAs. The potential for impacts from closed areas would be the greatest under Alternative D.

Lands and Realty

Under Alternative N, 280

No lands would be identified as available for sale

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acres would be available for sale under FLPMA Section 203. These sales would improve the manageability of the public land estate by disposing of parcels isolated and/or difficult to manage and could provide opportunities for community expansion. Conversely, grazing land, open space, wildlife habitat and land available for other public land uses would be lost. Inholdings within the WSAs (under Alternative A and the Proposed RMP), one suitable WSR corridor and two areas of critical environmental concern would be priorities for acquisition (the Proposed RMP only). The potential for impacts to ROWs because of management of avoidance/exclusion areas would be the least under Alternative A and would include: WSAs Areas closed to oil and gas leasing. WSAs ACECs Suitable WSR corridor Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics under FLPMA Section 203; hence there would be no beneficial or adverse impacts. Inholdings within the WSAs, 12 suitable WSR corridors, and 16 areas of critical environmental concern would be priorities for acquisition, the most among the alternatives.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

acres would be identified as available for FLPMA Section 203 sales. Inholdings within the wilderness study areas and four existing ACECs would be priorities for acquisition.

The potential for impacts to ROWS because of management of avoidance/exclusion areas would be the greatest under Alternative D and would include: WSAs ACECs WSAs ACECs Suitable WSR corridors Suitable WSR corridors

The potential for impacts to ROWs under Alternative N would be greater than under Alternative A, but less than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C, and D, because of management of avoidance/exclusion areas for:

• •

The potential for impacts to ROWS under the Proposed RMP would be greater than under Alternatives N and A, but less than under Alternatives C and D, because of management of avoidance/exclusion areas for:

The potential for impacts to ROWs under Alternative C would be greater than under Alternatives N, A, and the Proposed RMP, but less than under Alternative D, because of management of avoidance/exclusion areas for:

WSAs ACECs Eligible WSR corridors

• • • • • •
Areas closed to oil and gas leasing Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations.

• • •

• • • • • • • •
Areas closed to oil and gas leasing

Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics

•

•
Areas closed to oil and gas leasing Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations. Seventy-nine percent of the RFO would be open to oil and gas leasing

Areas closed to oil and gas leasing

•

•

Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations.

•

Areas open to oil and gas leasing with NSO stipulations.

Leasable Minerals

Seventy-eight percent of the RFO would be open to oil and gas leasing,

Seventy-nine percent of the RFO would be open to oil and gas leasing,

Seventy-two percent of the RFO would be open to oil and gas leasing,

Forty-five percent of the RFO would be open to oil and gas leasing,

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providing the greatest opportunity for oil and gas exploration and development among the alternatives. (similar to Alternative A). However, more acres would be under CSU and timing stipulations. Fewer acres would be open under standard stipulations. providing less opportunity than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP and more opportunity than under Alternative D. providing the least opportunity for oil and gas leasing among the alternatives.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

providing slightly less opportunity than under Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP and more opportunity than under Alternatives C or D.

Under all alternatives, 154,700 acres (7 percent of the RFO) currently withdrawn from mineral entry would remain withdrawn, precluding opportunities for mining on those lands.

Locatable Minerals

Under Alternative N, 14,780 acres are proposed for withdrawal from mineral entry. Mining opportunity would be less than under Alternative A but greater than under the Proposed RMP and Alternatives C or D. Under the Proposed RMP, 21,500 acres are proposed for withdrawal from mineral entry. Mining opportunity would be less than under Alternatives N or A but greater than under Alternatives C or D.

Under Alternative A, no additional lands are proposed for withdrawal from mineral entry, providing the greatest opportunity for mining.

Under Alternative C, 176,400 acres are proposed for withdrawal from mineral entry. Mining opportunity would be less than Alternatives N and A or the Proposed RMP but greater than under Alternative D.

Under Alternative D, 749,200 acres are proposed for withdrawal from mineral entry. Mining opportunity would be the least among the alternatives.

Salable Minerals

Seventy-eight percent of the RFO would be open to mineral material disposal, providing slightly less opportunity than under Alternatives A and the Proposed RMP and more opportunity than under Alternatives C or D.

Seventy-nine percent of the RFO would be open to mineral material disposal, providing the greatest opportunity for the disposal of mineral materials among the alternatives.

Seventy-nine percent of the RFO would be open to mineral material disposal, which is virtually identical to that proposed under Alternative A.

Seventy-two percent of the RFO would be open to mineral material disposal, providing less opportunity than under Alternatives N and A and the Proposed RMP and more opportunity than under Alternative D.

Forty-five percent of the RFO would be open to mineral material disposal, providing the least opportunity for disposal of mineral materials among the alternatives.

Under all alternatives, WSA management is guided primarily by BLM Handbook H-8550-1, Interim Management Policy for Lands under Wilderness Review. The IMP directs that WSAs are managed not to impair their suitability for preservation as wilderness. Additionally, BLM policy requires that WSAs be closed to oil and gas leasing and designated as VRM Class I. Collectively, this management direction protects the wilderness characteristics of the WSAs. All WSAs would be designated as limited to OHV use, and 51.6 miles of ways would be designated as open to motorized vehicles, the most of any alternative. Area designations under the Proposed RMP would be the same as Alternative N. An additional 2.5 miles of ways would be designated as open to All WSAs would be closed to motorized use, which would preclude impacts to wilderness characteristics from motorized vehicles.

Wilderness Study Areas

Within 10 of the 11 WSAs, 41.5 miles of inventoried ways would continue to be designated for use by motor vehicles, which would temporarily affect

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The potential impacts to naturalness and solitude from vehicle intrusions would be the greatest among the alternatives.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

•
The continued use of these ways would be conditioned on non-impairment of wilderness suitability.

motor vehicle use (44.0 miles total), resulting in more potential impacts to wilderness characteristics than under Alternatives N, C, and D but less than Alternative A.

solitude and opportunities for primitive recreation in areas adjacent to the open ways. The rugged terrain of these areas has presented a barrier to vehicle intrusions in the past and would likely continue to do so in the future, although advancing vehicle technology could allow vehicles to enter and affect areas they have not been able to access in the past.

•
The continued use of these ways would be conditioned on non-impairment of wilderness suitability.

•
The continued use of these ways would be conditioned on non-impairment of wilderness suitability.

Under all alternatives, all or parts of seven eligible rivers totaling 98 river miles are within WSAs, including most of the Dirty Devil River and its side drainages. This represents 73 percent of the eligible river miles. The outstandingly remarkable values of these river segments would be protected by WSA management, which would preclude oil and gas leasing, designate them as VRM I (under Alternative A, the Proposed RMP, Alternative C, and Alternative D), and otherwise protect the values as prescribed by the IMP.

Wild and Scenic Rivers

There would be no impacts to outstandingly remarkable values because no suitability determination would be made and all eligible river segments would be protected.

There could be potential impacts to the outstandingly remarkable values of eligible segments outside WSAs because no eligible river segments would be recommended as suitable.

There would be no impacts to outstandingly remarkable values within the Fremont Gorge eligible river segment (5 miles) which would be recommended as suitable.

Under Alternatives C and D, all eligible river segments (135 miles) would be recommended as suitable, precluding impacts to outstandingly remarkable values.

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Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Continue designation and management of the four existing ACECs: North Caineville Mesa South Caineville Mesa Gilbert Badlands

•

All potential ACECs would be designated under Alternatives C and D. Consequently, decisions under Alternatives C and D would pose no threat of irreparable harm to any relevant and important values in any of the potential ACECs.

•

• •

No ACECs would be designated under Alternative A, with no special management prescriptions for the relevant and important values. Other decisions under Alternative A could pose a threat of irreparable harm to relevant and important values.

ACECs

Beaver Wash Canyon. Decisions under Alternative N could pose a threat of irreparable harm to relevant and important values in the following potential ACECs: Badlands (that portion outside the existing South Caineville and Gilbert Badlands ACECs)

•

The North Caineville Mesa and Old Woman Front would be designated as ACECs and special management prescriptions would apply to these areas under the Proposed RMP. Resource decisions under the Proposed RMP, as well as existing laws, rules, and regulations would protect the relevant and important values of the remaining potential ACECs. Management decisions that provide protection to relevant and important values include, but are not limited to:

•

•
Bull Creek

VRM Class I and II designation for Class A scenery

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Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

•
Special management to protect SSS Dirty Devil/North Wash (that portion outside the existing Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC)

• •
Special management to protect fish and wildlife and their habitats

•
Fremont Gorge/ Cockscomb Henry Mountains Horseshoe Canyon Kingston Canyon Little Rockies Lower Muddy Creek Old Woman Front Parker Mountain Quitchupah Rainbow Hills Sevier Canyon Thousand Lake Bench Special Status Species. Closing or limiting OHV use to designated routes, except in small managed open areas More oil and gas leases subject to moderate or major constraints

•
Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics

•

ACECs

• • • • •

•

• • • • • • •
Other management prescriptions, such as those for WSR and WSAs.

•

Socioeconomic Environment

Alternative N would continue current management practices. It would continue to allow commodity development and resource extraction to occur at current trends supporting jobs and associated income in the local economy. Continued development of minerals would also

Alternative A gives priority to commodity and resource extraction. Employment and income associated with motorized access, commodity development, and resource extraction could cause a slight increase in employment and income in the local economy compared to Alternative N.

The Proposed RMP seeks to provide a balanced approach to resource management. Managing 78,600 acres of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics to protect, preserve, and maintain their wilderness characteristics, 5 miles of WSR segments, and more ACEC areas than

Alternative C would allow for resource uses for economic benefits while increasing protection of natural values. Employment and income associated with motorized access, commodity development, and resource extraction could decrease compared with Alternative N because of

Alternative D would allow for resource uses for economic benefits while maximizing protection of natural values, including 1,160,500 acres of the study area unavailable for oil and gas leasing and 682,600 acres of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics.

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Additionally, slightly increased mineral development could provide additional tax revenues to the State of Utah and local government entities and could result in increased demands on community services. Existing conflicts between conservationminded individuals and groups and the prodevelopment community are expected to rise with increases expected in commodity and resource extraction. In addition, conflicts between certain types of recreationists (motorized and nonmotorized) and livestock grazing are expected to continue. Alternative A’s limitations to 449,000 acres open to OHV use could produce some impacts on local custom and culture such as some motorized recreation users of BLM lands could be restricted. At the same time provision of increased facilities and no WSR or ACEC designations would improve some recreational experiences for many motorized recreation users and could reduce some Alternative A (but less than Alternative N) could affect employment and income associated with motorized access, commodity development, and resource extraction, However, employment and income levels are expected to be similar to Alternative A. Additionally, tax revenue from mineral development could be slightly less than Alternative A. Existing conditions and social trends would generally remain the same. Conflicts between conservation-minded individuals and groups and the pro-development community are expected to decline in some areas where resource extraction is restricted. The Proposed RMP would have some favorable impacts on individuals and groups who favor preservation over resource development compared to Alternative A. Specifically management of SRMAs areas would improve some recreational experiences for many non-motorized recreation users and could reduce some increased restrictions on use of the public lands and harvesting of natural resources. However, businesses that rely on more primitive land uses would benefit. Additionally, restricting mineral development is expected to provide decreased tax revenues to the State of Utah and local government entities, compared to Alternative N. Alternative C could have some adverse impacts on individuals and groups who favor resource development over preservation. Alternative C would somewhat favor persons and groups interested in non-motorized recreation and preservation of habitat, ecosystem, visual, and similar values of natural landscapes from special designations for 135 miles of WSR segments and 886,810 acres of ACECs. However, opportunities for commodity and mineral development, motorized recreation (including 2,601 miles of designated routes of OHV use), and other more traditional uses of Employment and income associated with motorized access, commodity development, and resource extraction could experience the most affects compared to all the other alternatives because of increased restrictions on use of the public lands and harvesting of natural resources. However, businesses that rely on more primitive land uses would benefit the most from Alternative D. Additionally, restricted mineral development of oil and gas could provide the greatest decrease in tax revenues to the State of Utah and local government entities including slightly reduced state revenues from potential losses to SITLA. Alternative D would have more pronounced adverse impacts on individuals and groups who favor resource development over preservation. Alternative D would most favor persons and groups interested in nonmotorized recreation and preservation of habitat, ecosystem, visual, and similar values of natural

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

provide tax revenues to the State of Utah and local government entities. Alternative N continues most current land management policies and practices, which would be welcomed by some users in and beyond the socioeconomic study area but found less desirable by many others, who see a variety of adverse impacts and foregone opportunities under current management. Specifically, most of the RFO (77%) would be open for OHV use throughout 1,636,400 acres that could continue to provide ample opportunities for motorized recreation while resulting in increased user conflicts between those interested in motorized recreation and those interested in preservation and nonmotorized recreation. It is likely that given current trends, conflicts between these and other resource users would increase.

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conflicts with nonmotorized users. Alternative A would include land and vegetation treatments to increase livestock forage availability that would be welcomed by livestock grazing interests. conflicts with motorized users. In addition, conflicts between certain types of recreationists (motorized and nonmotorized) and livestock grazing are expected to decline in some areas. BLM lands would still exist. Impacts are not expected to affected government services. landscapes. However, opportunities for commodity and mineral development, motorized recreation, and other more traditional uses of BLM lands would still exist. Impacts are not expected to affected government services.

Alternative N (No Action) Alternative A

Proposed RMP
Alternative C Alternative D

Socioeconomic Environment

Livestock grazing would continue to generate some economic benefits from livestock operations (depending on available AUMs), and social values of ranching would continue.

Environmental Justice

There are no environmental justice populations in the socioeconomic study area, and actions required to identify and mitigate impacts to such populations are not required. None of the land allocations or prescriptions proposed in Chapter 2 would affect BLM’s ability to deal with hazardous and solid wastes within the RFO. None of the management actions proposed in Chapter 2 would increase public exposure to the risks associated with abandoned mines within the RFO.

•

Health and Safety

•

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Introduction Chapter 3—Affected Environment

CHAPTER 3—AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT
3.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter describes the existing conditions for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) resources, resource uses, special designations, and the socioeconomic environment within the Richfield Field Office (RFO) planning area. A variety of laws, regulations, policies, and other requirements direct management of resources and resource uses on public lands administered by the BLM. The affected environment is used as the baseline of existing conditions against which the impacts of the different alternatives are analyzed and compared in Chapter 4.

3.2 OVERVIEW OF THE PLANNING AREA
The planning area encompasses 5.4 million acres in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, and Wayne counties, and portions of Garfield County. There are also 21,500 acres of Kane County within the planning area. These acres, however, lie entirely within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) so no decisions within this RMP will affect those lands. Within this area, BLM manages 2.1 million acres of public land surface and mineral estate, and an additional 95,000 acres of split estate lands (federal minerals where the surface estate is in state or private ownership). The BLM also has administrative responsibility for 2,082,865 acres of mineral estate where the surface is managed by other federal agencies (U.S. Forest Service [USFS] and National Park Service [NPS]). Noted geographic features of the RFO include the Henry Mountains, Parker Mountain, Fremont River, Dirty Devil River, Gilbert Badlands, and Factory Butte. Acreage calculations used in this chapter and elsewhere in this document reflect current data in BLM’s geographic information system (GIS) and may differ from acreages displayed in older documents that were calculated by other methods. In this document, the term “planning area” applies to all lands within the 5 county area regardless of surface ownership. The term “Richfield Field Office” (RFO) applies only to the BLM-administered public lands and resources within the planning area. All acres in text and tables represent surface acres unless otherwise noted.

3.2.1

Physiography

The planning area is located primarily in south-central Utah and lies almost entirely within the Colorado Plateau and the Colorado Plateau-Basin and Range Transition physiographic provinces (Hunt 1974, Stokes 1986) except for a small portion of northern Sanpete County, which is within the Middle Rocky Mountains province. As shown on Map 3 of the Mineral Potential Report (BLM 2005b), the eastern part of the planning area is in the Colorado Plateau province. This area is characterized by relatively flat-lying sedimentary strata uplifted to elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level, and that are predominantly Paleozoic to Mesozoic in age. In places, the strata are deeply incised as canyons; in others, they are relatively broad bench lands. Strata in the eastern part of the planning area are intruded by igneous rocks that form the Henry Mountains. The western part of the planning area is in the Colorado Plateau-Basin and Range Transition Zone. This province has similarities to the Colorado Plateau to the east and to the Basin and Range to the west. Similarly to the Colorado Plateau, the sedimentary strata in the Transition Zone are relatively flat lying. Similarly to the basin and range, the physiography of the Transition Zone includes fault-bounded, north-

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trending ranges that are separated by valleys. In addition, the Sevier and Sanpete Valleys and adjacent ranges are part of one of the world’s classic fold-and-thrust belts (DeCelles and Coogan 2006). Many of the ranges are capped by Tertiary volcanic rocks. One of the largest volcanic fields in the United States is the Marysvale Volcanic Field, which includes the Tushar Mountains and parts of adjacent plateaus. The southern end of the Middle Rocky Mountains province extends into the northern highlands of Sanpete County along the drainage divide between the Spanish Fork and San Pitch rivers. Rocks in the area include Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary strata similar to those present in the Colorado Plateau to the east, along with Middle Tertiary volcanic deposits of the Moroni Formation.

3.2.2

Topography and Drainage

Overall, elevations across the planning area range from a high of 12,173 feet on Mount Delano, located on the crest of the Tushar Mountains in the Fishlake National Forest, to a low of around 3,700 feet on Lake Powell in Glen Canyon NRA. Mountain summits are typically 9,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation, with valley bottoms at 5,000 feet. The Green and Colorado rivers drain the eastern portion of the planning area, whereas areas to the west have internal drainage to either the Sevier or Utah Lake basin. The Sevier River, which drains most of the western portion of the planning area, discharges to Sevier Lake.

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Air Resources Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.3 PHYSICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
3.3.1 Air Resources

This section describes the climate and existing air quality in the region potentially affected by alternatives described in Chapter 2. Air pollutants addressed in this Proposed RMP/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) include criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants, and compounds that could cause visibility impairment or atmospheric deposition. Regional air quality is influenced by the interaction of several factors, including meteorology, climate, the magnitude and spatial distribution of local and regional air pollutant sources, and the chemical properties of emitted air pollutants. Elements of air quality addressed in this analysis include ambient air quality concentrations, visibility, and atmospheric deposition. Chapter 3 of the Management Situation Analysis (MSA) contains detailed information concerning air quality (BLM 2004a).

3.3.1.1

Global Climate Change

Ongoing scientific research has identified potential impacts of climate changing pollutants on the global climate. These pollutants are commonly called “greenhouse gases” and include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and several trace gas emissions. Through complex interactions on a regional and global scale, these emissions cause a net warming effect of the atmosphere, primarily by decreasing the amount of heat energy radiated by the Earth back into space. Although climate changing pollutant levels have varied for millennia (along with corresponding variations in climatic conditions), recent industrialization and burning of fossil carbon sources have caused CO2 concentrations to increase dramatically and are likely to contribute to overall climatic changes, typically referred to as global warming. Increasing CO2 concentrations also lead to preferential fertilization and growth of specific plant species. Global mean surface temperatures have increased nearly 1.0°C (1.8°F) from 1890 to 2006 (Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2007). However, observations and predictive models indicate that average temperature changes are likely to be greater in the Northern Hemisphere. Figure 3-1 demonstrates that northern latitudes (above 24° N) have exhibited temperature increases of nearly 1.2°C (2.1°F) since 1900, with nearly a 1.0°C (1.8°F) increase since 1970. Without additional meteorological monitoring systems, it is difficult to determine the spatial and temporal variability and change of climatic conditions, but increasing concentrations of these greenhouse gases are likely to accelerate the rate of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently completed a comprehensive report assessing the current state of knowledge on climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation. At printing of this PRMP/FEIS, this assessment is available on the IPCC website at www.ipcc.ch/. According to this report, global climate change may ultimately contribute to a rise in sea level, destruction of estuaries and coastal wetlands, and changes in regional temperature and rainfall patterns, with major implications to agricultural and coastal communities. The IPCC has suggested that the average global surface temperature could rise 1 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) in the next 50 years, with significant regional variation. The National Academy of Sciences (2006) confirmed these findings but also indicated that there are uncertainties regarding how climate change may affect different regions. Computer models indicate that such increases in temperature will not be equally distributed globally but are likely to be accentuated at higher latitudes, such as in the Arctic, where the temperature increase may be more than double the global average (BLM 2007a). Also, warming during the winter months is expected to be greater than during the summer, and increases in daily minimum

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temperatures are more likely than increases in daily maximum temperatures. Vulnerabilities to climate change depend considerably on specific geographic and social contexts. BLM recognizes the importance of climate change and the potential effects it may have on the natural environment. Several activities occur within the planning area that may generate emissions of climate changing pollutants. For example, oil and gas development, large fires, and recreation using combustion engines can potentially generate CO2 and methane. Wind erosion from disturbed areas and fugitive dust from roads along with entrained atmospheric dust have the potential to darken glacial surfaces and snow packs, resulting in faster snowmelt. Other activities may help sequester carbon, such as managing vegetation to favor perennial grasses and increase vegetative cover, which may help build organic carbon in soils and function as “carbon sinks.”

Figure 3-1. Annual Mean Temperature Change for Northern Latitudes (24 - 90° N)

Source: Goddard Institute for Space Studies (2007)

3.3.1.2

Climate

Indicators of climate include temperature, precipitation, wind, barometric pressure, humidity, sunshine and cloudiness. Issues of concern with respect to climate include climate variability (how changes in climate may affect resources) and climate change (how human activities and other factors may affect climate). Climate change indicators reported in this RMP include monitored (measured by an instrument) values.

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An area’s climate is determined mainly by latitude, distance from the ocean and elevation. The world’s eco-regions are characterized by typical climate and are classified by domain, division and province. Domains include polar, humid temperate, humid tropical and dry. The west coast and the eastern half of the United States are classified as humid temperate, the southern tip of Florida and Hawaii are classified as humid tropical, most of Alaska is classified as polar, with southern Alaska classified as humid temperate, and most of the western United States is classified as dry. Dry climates are the most extensive climate group, occurring on more than one quarter of the earth’s surface. Eco-region divisions of the dry domain include desert (temperate, temperate mountainous and tropical/sub-tropical) and steppe (temperate, temperate mountainous, tropical/sub-tropical, and tropical/sub-tropical mountainous). Steppes are typically grasslands of short grasses, with shrubs and trees. The eco-region of most of the Richfield planning area is classified as temperate, dry (semidesert), intermountain and mountain area. (http://www.fs.fed.us/land/ecosysmgmt/ecoreg1_home.html).

3.3.1.3

Ambient Air Quality Standards

The Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendment of August 7, 1977 (Section 160) identifies the following air quality areas: • • • Class I—the most restrictive class applies to areas in which practically any change in air quality would be considered significant. Class II—this class applies to areas in which deterioration normally accompanying moderate, well-controlled growth would be considered insignificant. Class III—this class applies to areas in which deterioration to ambient standards is allowed.

Most of the RFO and all of the lands managed by the BLM are generally classified as a Class II air quality area (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Part 81.345). Five Class I areas are in close proximity or within the boundaries of the planning area: Capitol Reef National Park and a portion of Canyonlands National Park are within the planning area boundary; and Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and the remainder of Canyonlands National Park are located adjacent to or near the planning area (Map 3-2). Protection of air quality in these Class I areas may require additional mitigation or protection measures to avoid potential impacts from BLM authorized activities. Overall air quality in the RFO is good. Based on the region’s remoteness, low population, limited industrial development and a lack of major urban communities, counties in the planning area are designated as “attainment” or “unclassifiable” with respect to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for all criteria pollutants. As of May 2006, the air quality in the planning area had not been designated as “non-attainment” for any criteria pollutant. In addition, based on the 2006 Division of Air Quality Annual Report, the area is likely to be in attainment with respect to the new particulate matter (PM) 2.5 standards enacted in September 2006, although the final determination has not yet been made (Utah Department of Air Quality [UDAQ] 2007). The air pollutant of most concern on public lands that could affect the Class I areas is particulate matter, which may originate from fire, fugitive dust, or vehicle use. Air resources are affected predominantly by existing concentrations of various pollutants and the climatic and meteorological conditions. Map 3-2 shows the Class I air quality areas within and adjacent to the planning area.

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3.3.1.4

Air Pollutant Concentrations

Air pollutant concentration usually refers to the mass of pollutants present in a volume of air and can be reported in units of micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). Concentration can also be reported on a volume basis as parts per billion (ppb) and parts per million (ppm). Air pollutant concentration monitoring networks in Utah include the State & Local Air Monitoring System (SLAMS), Tribal monitoring networks and the Clean Air Status & Trends Network (CASTNet). SLAMS stations are located in urban areas and measure “criteria pollutants”. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality operates the SLAMS network to establish compliance with regulatory concentration standards. CASTNet stations are located in remote areas and measure concentrations of compounds that are of interest to ecosystem health.

Criteria Air Pollutants
Criteria air pollutants are those for which national concentration standards have been established. Measured pollutant concentrations greater than these standards represent a risk to human health or welfare. Criteria air pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5) and lead (Pb). Criteria air pollutant concentrations are compared to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Some criteria air pollutant modeled concentrations are compared to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) increments. The goal of the PSD program is to protect public health and welfare from air pollution effects, notwithstanding attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS, and “to preserve, protect and enhance the air quality in national parks, national wilderness areas, national monuments, national seashores and other areas of special national or regional natural, recreation, scenic or historic value.” PSD increments have been established for NO2, SO2 and PM10. Specific monitoring protocols, known as reference (or equivalent) methods, must be followed to determine compliance with UAAQS and NAAQS. The UDEQ performs regulatory monitoring throughout the State of Utah for CO, NO2, O3, PM10 and PM2.5.

Carbon Monoxide
CO is an odorless, colorless gas formed during combustion of any carbon-based fuel, such as operation of engines, fireplaces, furnaces, etc. High concentrations of CO affect the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and can lead to unconsciousness and asphyxiation. Forest fires are natural sources of CO. No CO monitoring has been performed in the Richfield area. However, CO data has been collected at Provo, Utah since 1997. Figure 3-2 shows the results. CO levels have been decreasing and no violations of the ambient air quality standards are noted. (Since CO levels are directly related to automobile traffic, these data should be considered high for Richfield.)

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Figure 3-2. Carbon Monoxide Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
CO 2nd maxima (percent of NAAQS) 100

75

50

1 hour 8 hour

25

0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Data taken from State & Local Air Monitoring System North University Avenue, Provo, Utah SLAMS station 490490005

Nitrogen Dioxide
NO2 is a highly reactive compound formed at high temperatures during operation of fossil fuel combustion, At high concentrations, it can form a red-brown gas. At concentrations in excess of the EPA air quality standard, it is a respiratory irritant, however, all areas of the United States are in compliance with this air quality standard. During fossil fuel combustion, NO is released into the air which reacts in the atmosphere to form NO2. NO plus NO2 is a mixture of nitrogen gases, collectively called nitrogen oxides (NOx). NOx emissions can convert to ammonium nitrate particles and nitric acid which can cause visibility impairment Bacterial action in soil can be a natural source of nitrogen compounds. No NO2 monitoring has been performed in the Richfield area. However, NO2 data has been collected at Salt Lake City, Utah since 1997. Figure 3-3 shows the results. NO2 levels have been decreasing and no violations of the ambient air quality standards are noted. (Since NO2 levels are related to automobile traffic and industrial emissions, these data should be considered high for Richfield.)

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Figure 3-3. Mean Annual Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
mean annual NO2 (percent of NAAQS) 100

75

50

S 1400 E S 600 E

25

0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Data taken from State & Local Air Monitoring System SLAMS station 490350003 Salt Lake City SLAMS station 490353006 Salt Lake City

Ozone
O3 is a faint blue gas that is generally not emitted directly into the atmosphere, but is formed from NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Internal combustion engines are the main source of NOx. Sources of VOC include paint, varnish and some types of vegetation (i.e., sage brush and conifers). O3 is a strong oxidizing chemical that can burn lung and eyes, and damage plants. Ozone data has been collected at Zion National Park since 1999 and Canyonlands national Park since 2006. Figure 3-4 shows the results. It is noted that ozone levels could exceed the newly proposed ambient air quality standard. The current 8-hour NAAQS for ozone is 0.075 ppm.

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Figure 3-4. Ozone Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area

(3 year rolling average of 8 hour 4th maxima)
0.09 0.08 0.07 ozone (ppm) 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Data taken from the National Park Service Canyonlands station: 490370101 Zion station: 490530130 Utah

Canyonlands NP Zion NP

Particulate Matter
Particulate matter (i.e., soil particles, hair, pollen, etc.) is essentially the small particles suspended in the air which settle to the ground slowly and may be re-suspended if disturbed. Separate allowable concentration levels for particulate matter are based on the relative size of the particle: • • Particulate Matter (PM10), particles with diameters less than 10 micrometers, are small enough to be inhaled and can cause adverse health effects. Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5), particles with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers, are so small that they can be drawn deeply into the lungs and cause serious health problems. These particles are also the main cause of visibility impairment.

PM concentrations for monitoring sites near the Richfield area are shown in Figure 3-5 through Figure 3-8. The measured concentrations show compliance with ambient air quality standards, except with the new 24 hour average PM2.5 standard. The current 24-hour NAAQS for PM2.5 is 35 micrograms/m3 and the annual arithmetic mean is 15.0 micrograms/m3.

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Figure 3-5. Twenty Four Hour PM2.5 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
70 PM2.5 concentration (ug/m3) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Data taken from State & Local Air Monitoring System SLAMS station 490494001 Lindon, Utah

Figure 3-6. Mean Annual PM2.5 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
100

PM2.5 (percent of NAAQS)

80

60

40

20

0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Data taken from State & Local Air Monitoring System SLAMS station 490494001 Lindon, Utah

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Figure 3-7. Twenty Four Hour PM10 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area

3 year average of 2nd maxima
PM10 concentration (percent of NAAQS) 100 80 60 40 20 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Data from State & Local Air Monitoring System Duchesne County Tribal station 490137011 Moab SLAMS station 490190006 Uintah County Tribal station 490477022

Duchesne County Moab Uintah County

Figure 3-8. Mean Annual PM10 Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
100 PM10 (percent NAAQS) 80 60 40 20 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Data from State & Local Air Monitoring System Duchesne County Tribal station 490137011 Moab SLAMS station 490190006 Uintah County Tribal station 490477022

Duchesne County Moab Uintah County

Sulfur Dioxide
SO2 forms during combustion from trace levels of sulfur in coal or diesel fuel, and can convert to ammonium sulfate (SO4--) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4) which can cause visibility impairment and acid rain. Volcanoes are natural sources of SO2.

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SO2 monitoring has been performed at by the State of Utah in and around Salt Lake City. Figure 3-9 shows the annual results at Salta Lake City. SO2 levels have been slightly decreasing and no violations of the ambient air quality standards are noted.

Figure 3-9. Mean Annual Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
100 mean annual SO2(percent of NAAQS)

75

50

25

0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Data taken from State & Local Air Monitoring System SLAMS station 490350012 Salt Lake City

Nitrogen and Sulfur Compounds
Other air pollutants of interest include nitrogen compounds such as particulate nitrate (NO3), nitric acid (HNO3) and ammonium (NH4), and sulfur compounds such as particulate sulfate (SO4) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Although monitoring of these air pollutants typically does not adhere to reference methods, these concentration data contribute to our understanding of air quality. The Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNet) has measured concentrations of nitric acid, nitrate and ammonium, as well as ozone, sulfur dioxide and sulfate, in the United States since the late 1980's. There is one CASTNet stations in Utah at Canyonlands NP. Figure 3-10 shows mean annual concentrations of nitrogen compounds in Canyonlands National Park from 1995. These data are representative of the area potentially affected by BLM actions within the Richfield Planning area and are less than those typical for remote areas.

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Figure 3-10. Mean Annual Nitrogen Compounds Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
2 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Data taken from Clean Air Status & Trends Netw ork CASTNet Canyonlands National Park station CAN407 Typical concentrations for remote areas: HNO3: .05 - 8 ug/m3

Concentration (ug/m3)

HNO3 NH4 NO3

Figure 3-11 shows mean annual concentrations of sulfur compounds in Canyonlands National Park from 1995. These data are representative of the area potentially affected by BLM actions within the Richfield Planning area and are less than those typical for remote areas.

Figure 3-11. Mean Annual Sulfur Compounds Concentrations Near the Richfield Planning Area
2.5 Concentration (ug/m3) 2 1.5 SO2 1 0.5 0 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Data taken from Clean Air Status & Trend Netw ork CASTNet Conyonlands National Park station: CAN407 Typical concentrations for remote areas SO2: 2.6 - 26 ug/m3

SO4

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Hazardous Air Pollutants
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems, such as chronic respiratory disease, reproductive disorders or birth defects. The EPA has classified 189 air pollutants as HAPs, including formaldehyde (CH20), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and n-hexane. Potential concentrations of HAPs are compared to inhalation reference concentrations to estimate the risk of health effects.

3.3.1.5

Visibility

Visibility can be defined as the ability to see color, texture and contrast at a distance and can be reported as visual range, in units of distance such as miles. Visibility can be expressed in terms of deciview (dv), a measure for describing perceived changes in visibility. One dv is defined as a change in visibility that is just perceptible to an average person. Visibility data are calculated for each day, ranked from cleanest to haziest, and reported into three categories: • • • 20% cleanest: mean visibility for the 20% of days with the best visibility average: the annual mean visibility 20% haziest: mean visibility for the 20% of days with the poorest visibility

The IMPROVE network has measured visibility in Class I areas throughout the US. There are 7 IMPROVE stations in Utah: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Lone Pine, Zion and Zion Canyon National Parks. Visibility data have been measured in Canyonlands National Park from 1988 through the present. Mean annual visual range varies from 130 to 162 miles on clear days, 93 to 121miles on average days and 61 to 90 miles on hazy days (Figure 3-12). These data are representative of the area potentially affected by BLM actions within the Richfield planning area.

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Figure 3-12. Annual Visibility Near the Richfield Planning Area
180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0
19 90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04

Standard Visual Range (miles)

20% cleanest average 20% haziest

Data taken from Inter-Agency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments IMPROVE Canyonlands National Park station: CANY1

3.3.1.6

Atmospheric Deposition

Atmospheric deposition refers to the processes by which air pollutants are removed from the atmosphere and deposited on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and is reported as the mass of material deposited on an area (kilogram per hectare - year). dry deposition (gravitational settling of particles and adherence of gaseous pollutants to soil, water and vegetation). Atmospheric deposition can cause acidification of lakes and streams. One expression of lake acidification is change in acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), the lake’s capacity to resist acidification from atmospheric deposition. Acid neutralizing capacity is expressed in units of micro-equivalents per liter (μeq/l).

Wet Deposition
Wet deposition refers to air pollutants deposited by precipitation, such as rain and snow. One expression of wet deposition is precipitation pH, a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the precipitation. There are 5 NADP stations in Utah: Logan, Murphy Ridge, Green River, Bryce Canyon NP and Canyonlands NP. The NADP stations in Bryce Canyon NP and Canyonlands NP have assessed precipitation chemistry from 1985 and 1997 through to the present. Figure 3-13 shows precipitation pH has ranged from 4.9 to 6.8.

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Figure 3-13. Mean Annual Precipitation pH Near the Richfield Planning Area
7 6.5 precipitation pH 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 Canyonlands Bryce Canyon Green River

Dry Deposition
Dry deposition refers to the transfer of airborne gaseous and particulate material from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface. The Clean Air Status and Trends network (CASTNet) has measured dry deposition of ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitric acid (HNO3), sulfate (SO4--), nitrate (NO3-), and ammonium (NH4++), in the United States since the late 1980's. There is one CASTNet stations in Utah at Canyonlands NP.

Total Deposition
Total deposition refers to the sum of airborne material transferred to the Earth’s surface by both wet and dry deposition. Total nitrogen deposition is calculated by summing the nitrogen portion of wet and dry deposition of nitrogen compounds, and total sulfur deposition is calculated by summing the sulfur portion of wet and dry deposition of sulfur compounds. Total deposition has been measured at Canyonlands National Park from 1995 through the present. Total nitrogen deposition has ranged from 1.7 to 2.2 kg/hectare-year since 1995 (Figure 3-14).

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19 8 19 5 8 19 6 8 19 7 8 19 8 8 19 9 9 19 0 9 19 1 9 19 2 9 19 3 9 19 4 9 19 5 9 19 6 9 19 7 9 19 8 9 20 9 0 20 0 0 20 1 0 20 2 0 20 3 0 20 4 0 20 5 06
Data taken from National Atmospheric Deposition Program NADP Canyonlands station: UT09 NADP Bryce Canyon station: UT99 NADP Green River station: UT98 Normal range of precipitation pH:

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Figure 3-14. Total Nitrogen Deposition at Canyonlands National Park

Total sulfur deposition has ranged from 0.7 to 1.1 kg/hectare-year since 1995 (Figure 3-15).

Figure 3-15. Total Sulfur Deposition at Canyonlands National Park

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Lake Chemistry
Atmospheric deposition can cause acidification of lakes and streams. One expression of lake acidification is change in acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), the lake’s capacity to resist acidification from atmospheric deposition. Acid neutralizing capacity is expressed in units of micro-equivalents per liter (μeq/l). Lakes with ANC values of from 25 to 100 μeq/l are considered to be sensitive to atmospheric deposition, lakes with ANC values of from 10 to 25 μeq/l are considered to be very sensitive, and lakes with ANC value of less than 10 are considered to be extremely sensitive. Lakes within the Uinta Mountains have ANC values 10-150 μeq/l.

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3.3.2

Soil Resources

Soil data and associated ecological site descriptions are used in evaluating the site’s potential productivity and are critical to evaluating rangeland health as well as determining impacts of various management activities. Soil erosion is one indicator of rangeland health. Soil surveys have been completed for about three-quarters of the planning area, although some surveys are more than 20 years old. Published surveys include Fairfield-Nephi Area (1984), Millard County, East (2003), Sanpete Valley (1981), and the Henry Mountains Area (1990). The National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently revising the survey for Sevier County. Piute County and the western portion of Wayne County lack soil surveys and ecological site inventories.

3.3.2.1

Soil Resource Condition

Soil composition is one factor that determines vegetation growth and wildlife habitats. Soil types also influence water quality, salinity, and erosion throughout the planning area. BLM considers impacts of various management decisions on soils and related impacts to salinity control, water quality, and erosion. A comprehensive inventory of the condition of soil resources has not been conducted across the planning area, although rangeland health assessments and other site-specific project monitoring reports may contain some of this kind of information. This section provides an overview of the general soil resource concerns in the RFO. Soil management problems may arise in the lands managed by the RFO depending on a combination of factors, including soil type, climate, geologic setting, vegetative cover, and how the resources are affected by multiple uses (e.g., recreation, mineral development, grazing). Vegetation is sparse in some of the planning area because of high salinity, a short growing season, and distribution of effective moisture in some soils. Erosion and compaction are two important factors of concern in the planning area. Several areas in the planning area contain soils that are considered to be highly susceptible to wind and water erosion. Vehicle traffic, herbivore trampling, foot traffic, or any activity that repeatedly causes an impact on the soil surface can cause a compaction layer (Chanasyk and Naeth 1995, Cole 1985, and Thurow et al. 1988). Compaction becomes a problem when it begins to limit plant growth, water infiltration, or nutrient cycling processes (Wallace 1987, Willat and Pullar 1983, Thurow et al. 1988, Hassink et al. 1993). Moist soil is more easily compacted than dry or saturated soil (Hillel 1998). Soils developed on marine formations are high in gypsum and other salts. High concentrations of these salts at or near the soil surface limit the types and amounts of vegetation present. Badland and gypsum land, which are natural sources of large amounts of salt and sediment, often lack significant vegetation cover but frequently have a thin protective layer, such as rock fragments and/or soil crusts (physical and/or cryptobiotic) that provide some stability. Surface disturbance in these areas may increase the potential for erosion. Biological soil crusts can be an important ecological component of the stability of certain soil and plant communities. Areas in the eastern portion of the RFO on the Colorado Plateau contain biological soil crusts as a component of the community. There are no inventories of the spatial extent or the condition of the soil crusts within the RFO. The standards and guidelines portion of the Fundamentals of Rangeland Health and Standards and Guidelines for Grazing Administration (43 CFR Subpart 4180) and Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Management (BLM 1997) compare current soil crust cover to that identified in the ecological site descriptions to determine if current management strategies are meeting standards.

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Salt and sediment yield is of major concern in the Colorado River Basin, and erosion from public lands is an important source of sediment and associated salts in the area. Some of this yield is natural or results from relatively stable conditions in an arid or semiarid climate with periodic high-intensity storms and active erosion. The actual contribution of salt and sediment yield to the total Colorado River Basin from drainages in the planning area is unknown. The Colorado River Salinity Control Act guides actions in watersheds of the Colorado River Basin.

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3.3.3

Water Resources

The United States is divided and subdivided into successively smaller hydrologic units classified into 4 levels: regions, subregions, accounting units, and cataloging units. In general terms, a hydrologic unit can be defined as any geographic area containing water that naturally drains to a specific outlet. The hydrologic units are arranged within each other from the smallest (cataloging units) to the largest (regions). The first level of classification divides the nation into major geographic areas, or regions. These geographic areas contain either the drainage area of a major river, such as the Upper Colorado River region, or the combined drainage areas of a series of rivers, such as the Texas-Gulf region, which includes a number of rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico. The second level of classification divides the regions into subregions. A subregion includes the area drained by a river system, a reach of a river and its tributaries in that reach, a closed basin(s), or a group of streams forming a coastal drainage area. The third level of classification subdivides many of the subregions into accounting units, and the fourth level of classification is the cataloging unit, which is the smallest element in the hierarchy of hydrologic units. A cataloging unit, which is roughly equivalent to a local watershed, is a geographic area representing part or all of a surface drainage basin, a combination of basins, or a distinct hydrologic feature (U.S. Geological Survey [USGS] no date). The planning area lies within portions of 11 separate watersheds located in the Upper Colorado Hydrologic Region and the Great Basin Hydrologic Region. The RFO is located within both the Colorado River Hydrologic Basin and the Great Basin Hydrologic Region. The Henry Mountains portion of the RFO is located in the Upper Colorado River Sub-basin of the Colorado River Basin, whereas most of the Mountain Valley portion of the RFO is located in the Sevier River Sub-basin of the Great Basin Hydrologic Region. The northernmost portions of the RFO are contained in the Jordan River/Utah Lake Sub-basin of the Great Basin, and the easternmost extent of the Mountain Valley area is located in the Upper Colorado River Sub-basin. The RFO encompasses 120 perennial streams (Table 3-1) and a larger number of intermittent streams.

Table 3-1. Perennial Stream Segments—Richfield Field Office
Antimony Creek Benson Creek Box Creek Browns Creek Bullfrog Creek Burro Creek Cass Creek Coaly Wash Stream Cottonwood Creek Crescent Creek Deep Creek Divide Canyon Creek Dugout Creek Government Creek Ax Handle Canyon Creek Big Hollow Creek Brimhall Springs Creek Bullberry Creek Bullfrog Creek North Fork California Gulch Creek Cedar Creek Copper Creek Cottonwood Wash Dark Canyon Creek Deer Creek (Mitchell Creek) Dry Canyon Creek Fish Creek Granite Creek Beaver Creek Birch Creek Brine Creek Bull Creek Burr Creek Carcass Creek Coal Mine Wash Copper Springs Creek Cow Creek Daves Fork Dirty Devil River Dry Creek Fremont River Greenwich Creek

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Halls Creek Hells Kitchen Canyon Creek Hoodle Creek Left Hand Fork Ax Handle Creek Maidenwater Creek Maple Creek Mt. Ellen North Fork Creek Muddy Creek North Wash South Fork Otter Creek Petes Canyon Creek Pistol Creek South Fork Poison Spring Quaking Aspen Creek Raggy Canyon Creek Road Creek Salt Wash San Pitch River Skumtumpah Creek South Willow Creek Spring Creek North Fork Sulphur Creek Swett Creek Thompson Creek Timber Canyon Creek Water Creek Willow Patch Creek

Hansen Creek Hogg Canyon Creek Ivie Creek Little Table Creek Manning Creek Milk Creek Mt. Ellen South Fork Muley Creek Oak Creek Pennell Creek Pine Creek Pleasant Creek Pole Canyon Creek Quitchupah Creek Reese Creek Robber’s Roost Canyon Sand Creek Sevier River Slate Creek Speck Creek Starr Creek Sulphur Creek Tr. Pleasant Swift Spring Creek Threemile Creek Trachyte Creek Water Hollow Creek Willow Spring Creek (Forest Creek)

Happy Canyon Holt Draw Larrys Fork Lost Creek Maple Canyon Creek Mill Creek Mud Creek North Wash Oak Spring Creek Peterson Creek Pistol Creek North Fork Poison Creek Praetor Canyon Creek Quitchupah Creek North Fork Riley Canyon Creek Saleratus Creek Sandy Creek Sevier River East Fork South Creek Spring Branch Straight Creek Sweetwater Creek Tenmile Creek Ticaboo Creek Twin Corral Box Canyon Wild Horse Creek Yogo Creek

The majority of the streams in the RFO, whether perennial or intermittent, originate at higher elevations on National Forest or BLM lands and flow through private and BLM-administered lands. Many of these streams are characterized by steep streambed gradients and are subject to flooding during rapid snowmelt or high-intensity thunderstorms. As the perennial streams run through public lands, they provide water for livestock, wildlife, fisheries, and downstream irrigation. Some intermittent and ephemeral streams in the area yield water during periods of spring snowmelt or intense thunderstorm activity. However, much of the water in most of these streams is used for irrigation and does not reach the major rivers. The Sevier River and its tributaries are regulated by storage reservoirs. Because of this, the Utah State Engineer must approve changes to any water regime. A considerable amount of water from the snowmelt period is stored and then released from July to September. Lakes and reservoir storage facilities are an

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important part of the water resource scheme. Major reservoirs in the area include Otter Creek, Koosharem, Piute, Willow Creek, Gunnison, and Sevier Bridge Reservoirs. Springs, seeps, and wells in the area provide high-quality water for domestic and livestock use.

3.3.3.1

Water Quality

Baseline surface water quality within the planning area is influenced by the geology and soil with which the water has been in contact. Water quality also varies depending on flow conditions. Human-induced impacts in the planning area, such as changes in thermal and turbidity conditions in water bodies and impacts from increased salinity, heavy metals, and nutrients from irrigation or other discharges also affect baseline water quality. Surface water quality impacts within the planning area may be associated with agricultural runoff, road maintenance, removing riparian vegetation, channel modification, stream bank destabilization, atmospheric deposition, resource extraction, oil and gas activities, urban runoff, and grazing activities. Table 3-2 lists the impaired stream and river segments located within the RFO, listed on Utah’s 2006 303(d) list of impaired waters (Appendix 4). Table 3-3 lists the lakes and reservoirs located within the planning area needing total maximum daily load (TMDL) analysis. TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards, and an allocation of that amount to the pollutant’s sources. The State sets water quality standards. The State identifies the uses for each water body, for example, drinking water supply, contact recreation (swimming), and aquatic life support (fishing), and the scientific criteria to support that use. A TMDL is the sum of the allowable loads of a single pollutant from all contributing point and non-point sources. The calculation must include a margin of safety to ensure that the water body can be used for the purposes that the State has designated. The calculation must also account for seasonal variation in water quality. The Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 303, establishes the water quality standards and TMDL programs.

Table 3-2. Utah’s 2004 303(d) List of Impaired Stream and River Segments Requiring a TMDL Analysis
Water Body Name
East Fork Sevier River

Water Body Description
East Fork Sevier River and tributaries from confluence with Sevier River upstream to Antimony Creek confluence, excluding Otter Creek and tributaries Lost Creek and tributaries from confluence with Sevier River upstream about 6 miles Sevier River from Clear Creek confluence to HUC unit boundary Peterson Creek and tributaries from confluence with Sevier River to USFS boundary Ivie Creek and tributaries from confluence with Muddy Creek to U-10 highway San Pitch River and tributaries from beneficial U132 to Pleasant Creek confluence excluding Cedar Creek, Oak Creek, Pleasant Creek, and Cottonwood Creek Muddy Creek from confluence with Fremont River to Ivie Creek confluence

Causes
Temperature Total phosphorus Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Temperature TDS TDS

Lost Creek Sevier River Peterson Creek Lower Ivie Creek

San Pitch River

Temperature

Lower Muddy Creek

Selenium

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Table 3-3. Lakes and Reservoirs within Planning Area Identified as Needing TMDL Analysis
Water Body Name
Piute Reservoir Nine Mile Reservoir Otter Creek Reservoir Koosharem Reservoir
Source: UDEQ 2006

Water Body ID
UT-L-16030001-011 UT-L-16030004-001 UT-L-16030002-004 UT-L-16030002-011

Pollutant
Total phosphorus Total phosphorus Dissolved oxygen Total phosphorus Total phosphorus

As surface water quality decreases, the ability of aquatic animals and plants to maintain themselves diminishes. Stressors associated with increasing temperatures, lower dissolved oxygen levels, changing pH, and smothering from sediments adversely affect the aquatic ecosystem and diminish the ability of surface waters to sustain baseline conditions.

3.3.3.2

Drinking Water

Several municipal water sources and associated watersheds originate on public lands. BLM coordinates with local communities to protect and allow appropriate development of municipal water resources. Table 3-4 lists the culinary water sources located on public lands within the planning area.

Table 3-4. Culinary Water Sources on Public Lands
Name of Water User
William Murray Town of Kingston Utah Division of Water Resources (Town of Greenwich) Town of Annabella Utah Division of Water Resources (Town of Lyman) Town of Bicknell Town of Loa Town of Sigurd Kings Meadow Ranches City of Aurora Caineville Special Service District Town of Koosharem Town of Hanksville Town of Antimony Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) U-24 Rest Stop

Location and Source
T. 27 S., R. 3 W., Section 7—Spring T. 30 S., R. 3 W., Section 24—Spring T. 27 S., R. 1 W., Section 35—Spring T. 24 S., R. 2 W., Section 19—Spring T. 27 S., R. 3 E., Section 35—Spring T. 28 S., R. 3 E., Sections 3 and 4—Spring T. 28 S., R. 3 E., Section 25—Spring T. 29 S., R. 3 E., Section 3—Spring T. 28 S., R. 2 E., Section 3—Spring and Well T. 23 S., R. 1 W., Section 6, 21, and 28—Springs T. 23 S., R. 1 W., Section 28—Spring T. 22 S., R. 2 W., Sections 1 and 6—Springs T. 28 S., R. 8 E., Section 33—Well T. 26 S., R. 1 E., Section 30—Spring T. 29 S., R. 11 E., Section 1—Well T. 31 S., R. 2 W., Section 19—Spring T. 26 S., R. 1 E., Section 29—Spring

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3.3.3.3

Groundwater

Groundwater recharge primarily originates as precipitation in the mountain areas surrounding the planning area where geologic formations outcrop or where water resources were deposited during past geologic periods. Groundwater quality is highly variable and dependent on the formations where the aquifers are located. Groundwater contamination is a concern. Fresh water in the Navajo Formation is contaminated with high levels of TDS adjacent to Muddy Creek.

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3.3.4

Vegetation

Vegetation communities provide the foundation for many resources and resource uses on public lands. Plant communities provide habitat for wildlife, provide forage for livestock, influence recreation use, and are components of scenic quality. Healthy vegetation communities stabilize soils, increase infiltration of precipitation, slow runoff, reduce erosion, and enhance visual quality. Soil, climate, topography, and disturbance influence patterns of vegetation structure and species composition. Disturbances (such as fire) influence the structure and species composition of vegetation communities. Increases in the interval between fire disturbances in nearly all vegetation communities have resulted in increased vegetation density and change in vegetation structure and species composition. The vegetation community and association descriptions that follow refer to the combination of plants forming natural vegetation in an area. These descriptions combine Utah Land Cover Geographical Analysis Program (GAP) data into 3 broad categories: desert shrub, sagebrush steppe, or forest and woodlands (USGS 2004). Each category contains one or more vegetation community or association, as illustrated in Map 3-3, Vegetation Cover Types. The vegetation associations are defined by the dominant plant species of either the tree or shrub vegetation layer (Jennings et al. 2004). The primary vegetation associations within the lands managed by the RFO are desert shrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands, sagebrush steppe, ponderosa pine, mixed-conifer, oak, mountain shrub, aspen, and nonvegetated. Table 3-5 lists the acreage and percentage of each vegetation association in the RFO.

Table 3-5. Vegetation Communities and Associations
Vegetation Community and Association
Desert shrub Pinyon-juniper woodlands Sagebrush steppe Ponderosa pine Mixed-conifer Oak Mountain shrub Aspen Nonvegetated Total
Source: USGS 2004

Richfield Field Office Acres Percentage
1,051,000 552,000 337,000 43,000 29,000 20,000 16,000 12,000 67,000 2,127,000 49% 26% 16% 2% 1% 1% 1% <1% 3% 100%

3.3.4.1

Desert Shrub

Desert shrub includes the salt shrubs: shadscale, greasewood, blackbrush, and desert grassland vegetation cover types (see Table 3-6). Desert shrub vegetation comprises nearly half of the RFO (1,051,000 acres), including much of the lower elevation public land mostly east of Capitol Reef National Park. This is the largest vegetation community in the RFO. Located primarily on the valley floors, this vegetation community is most common on well-drained, sandy to rocky soils. It can, however, tolerate saline and alkaline soils. Plants within this community are adapted to a wide temperature range, and many are

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capable of photosynthesis at temperatures as low as 11°F (Simonin 2001). Precipitation in these areas ranges from 6 to 14 inches annually but is mostly from 8 to 12 inches per year. Table 3-6 lists species prevalent in this vegetation community. Wildlife and livestock use of desert shrub vegetation varies depending on the species present. Fourwing saltbush is very palatable and provides high-quality forage for wildlife and livestock even during drought conditions (Kindschy 1996). Black greasewood is a valuable browse for livestock and wildlife, particularly during fall and winter; however, when consumed in large quantities, the soluble oxalates that black greasewood contains are poisonous to livestock (Anderson 2004). The forage value for blackbrush is principally as browse for bighorn sheep. Domestic sheep and goats, and to a lesser extent cattle, also browse blackbrush. During the winter in southwestern Utah, blackbrush provides fair forage for domestic sheep and cattle (Anderson 2001). Desert shrub areas provide browse and shelter for small mammals, and fourwing saltbush provides a source of water for black-tailed jackrabbits.

Table 3-6. Typical Desert Shrub Plant Species
Life form Common Name
Shadscale Winterfat Saltcedar Rabbitbrush species Shrubs Hopsage Mormon Tea Blackbrush Black Greasewood Fourwing Saltbush Indian Ricegrass Galleta Alkali Sacaton Grasses Saltgrass Purple Threeawn Blue Grama Sand Dropseed Cheatgrass Broom Groundsel Forbs Hairy Daisy Longleaf Phlox Scarlet Globemallow
Source: USFS 2004 and Welsh et al. 2003.

Scientific Name
Artiplex confertifolia Krascheninnikovia lanata Tamarix chinensis Chrysothamnus spp. Grayia spinosa Ephedra spp. Coleogyne ramosissima Sarcobatus vermiculatus Artiplex canescens Achnatherum hymenoides Hilaria jamesii Sporobolus airoides Distichlis spicata Aristida purpurea Bouteloua gracilis Sporobolus cryptandrus Bromus tectorum Senecio spartioides Erigeron incertus Phlox longifolia Sphaeralcea coccinea

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3.3.4.2

Sagebrush Steppe

Widely distributed in the Colorado River Basin and Great Basin, the sagebrush-steppe vegetation community is primarily found in the western portion of the RFO. Sixteen percent (337,000 acres) of the RFO is considered sagebrush steppe. Sagebrush steppe communities generally occur on the drier portions of pinyon-juniper woodlands and mesic portions of the desert shrub community. Precipitation in these areas averages 8–15 inches per year, and soils are dry, with a thin organic horizon. Forbs with shallow root systems are favored in wetter years, whereas deeply rooted shrubs have the competitive advantage during droughts and survive by tapping deeply infiltrated moisture (West 2000). Sagebrush species include big sagebrush, Wyoming big sagebrush, and basin sagebrush. Table 3-7 lists species in the sagebrush steppe vegetation community. Sagebrush steppe communities in Utah have declined because of drought, changes in disturbance regimes, and the invasion of cheatgrass and other invasive plant species. A recent sagebrush die-off in Utah affected approximately 600,000 acres of sagebrush habitat below 7,000 feet, primarily on public lands. The die-off was attributed to stress on the plants caused by an extended drought. In addition, most of the sagebrush in the RFO are mature plants, with little new growth being found. About 100 bird species and 70 mammal species are found in sagebrush steppe communities. These species can be grouped into sagebrush obligates (e.g., sage-grouse, sage thrasher, sage sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, pygmy rabbit, sagebrush vole, sagebrush lizard, and pronghorn); shrubland species (e.g., greentailed towhee, black-throated sparrow, and lark sparrow); and shrubland-grassland species (e.g., Swainson’s hawk, ferruginous hawk, prairie falcon, sharp-tailed grouse, and loggerhead shrike).

Table 3-7. Typical Sagebrush Steppe Plant Species
Life form Common Name
Rabbitbrush species Broom Snakeweed Shadscale Shrubs Antelope Bitterbrush Fringed Sagebrush Wyoming Sagebrush Basin Big Sagebrush Fourwing Saltbush Indian Ricegrass Bluebunch Wheatgrass Crested Wheatgrass (non-native) Desert Needlegrass Grass Basin Wildrye Poa species Salina Wildrye Slender Wheatgrass Cheatgrass Forbs Yarrow

Scientific Name
Chrysothamnus spp. Gutierrezia sarothrae Artiplex confertifolia Purshia tridentata Artemisia frigida Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis Artemisia tridentata vaseyana Artiplex canescens Achnatherum hymenoides Pseudoroegneria spicata Agropyron cristatum) Achnatherum speciosum Leymus cinereus Poa spp. Leymus salinus Elymus trachycaulus Bromus tectorum Achillea millefolium

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Life form

Common Name
Arrowleaf Balsamroot Scarlet Globemallow Desert Phlox Pricklypear Cactus Fleabane species

Scientific Name
Balsamorhiza sagittata Sphaeralcea coccinea Phlox tenuifolia Opuntia spp. Erigeron spp. Selaginella mutica

Mosses and Lichens

Awnless Spikemoss

Source: USFS 2004 and Welsh et al. 2003.

3.3.4.3

Forests and Woodlands

Forest and woodland vegetation is generally restricted to areas where soil moisture is adequate to establish seedlings or where the disturbance regime has changed. Adequate soil moisture is usually found at higher elevations and in riparian areas. Forest species usually dominate areas above 7,000 feet. Pinyonjuniper woodlands dominate lower elevations with adequate soil moisture. Typical forest and woodland types found within the RFO are ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), aspen (Populus spp.), mixed-conifer, and pinyon-juniper woodlands. Forested areas above 10,000 feet elevation are usually a mix of several conifer species. At the lower elevations, forest types vary from pure juniper to a mix of woodland species and ponderosa pine. Table 3-8 lists species commonly found in forest and woodland areas.

Table 3-8. Typical Forest and Woodland Species
Life form Common Name
Utah Juniper Rocky Mountain Juniper Pinyon Pine Singleleaf Pinyon Ponderosa Pine Trees Bristlecone Pine Engelmann Spruce Subalpine Fir White Fir Douglas Fir Aspen Curleaf Mountain-Mahogany Shrubs Greenleaf Manzanita Black Sagebrush Gambel Oak Mountain Snowberry Serviceberry species Chokecherry

Scientific Name
Juniperus osteosperma Juniperus scopulorum Pinus edulis Pinus monophylla Pinus ponderosa Pinus longaeva Picea engelmannii Abies lasiocarpa Abies concolor Psuedotsuga menziesii Populus tremuloides Cercocarpus ledifolius Arctostaphylos patula Artemisia nova Quercus gambelii Symphoricarpus oreophilus Amelanchier spp. Prunus virginiana

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Life form

Common Name
Oregon Grape Wood’s Rose Myrtle Pachistima Redberry Elder Gooseberry species Mountain Muhly Idaho Fescue Rosa woodsii

Scientific Name
Berberis repens

Pachistima myrsinites Sambucus racemosa Ribes spp. Muhlenbergia montana Festuca idahoensis Festuca ovina Poa fendleriana Bouteloua gracilis Antennaria parviflora Arnica cordifolia Castilleja spp. Lupinus spp.

Grasses

Sheep Fescue Mutton Grass Blue Grama Littleleaf Pussytoes

Forbs

Heartleaf Arnica Indian Paintbrush species Lupine species

Source: USFS 2004 and Welsh et al. 2003.

Pinyon-Juniper
Pinyon-juniper woodlands occupy the driest woodland sites in Utah and provide important resources for people, wildlife, and plants. Pinyon-juniper woodland communities cover 552,000 acres—about onequarter of the RFO. Pinyon-juniper stands grow on foothills, low mountains, mesas, and plateaus ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation, depending on precipitation and soil conditions. The upper limits of the pinyon-juniper woodland community in Utah are 6,500 feet on north-facing slopes and 8,400 feet on south-facing slopes. Plant species present in these areas vary widely (Evans 1988). Typically, juniper dominates at lower elevations and pinyon dominates at higher elevations (Anderson 2002, Zlatnik 1999). Pinyon-juniper woodlands provide little forage for livestock and big game. Pinyon-juniper woodlands are increasing in the western United States as they replace other vegetation communities. Juniper is expanding into open meadows, grasslands, sagebrush steppe communities, quaking aspen groves, riparian communities, and forest lands. Increases in canopy cover results in significant amounts of bare ground, litter, and desert pavement at the soil surface (USGS 2004). On lower edges of the woodland zone, Utah juniper is frequently the only tree species. Utah juniper is more adapted to dry conditions than pinyon, with junipers often serving as nurse trees for pinyons in well-developed forests. The undergrowth is variable and dependent upon canopy closure, soil texture, elevation, and aspect (Welsh et al. 2003). In healthy pinyon and juniper communities, height ranges from 15 to 30 feet. Health and relative density of pinyon and juniper vary widely within the RFO; however, canopy densities over 50 percent occur over large areas. Pinyon pine and Utah juniper vigorously compete with other plants for available soil water. They crowd out grasses and shrubs that usually are present as understory vegetation. The lack of protective vegetative cover in pinyon and juniper stands leaves the soil surface particularly susceptible to erosion. The replacement of shrub steppe communities with juniper woodland is attributed to the reduced role of fire caused by the reduction of the fine fuels through livestock grazing (Miller and Rose 1995). A combination of climatic changes, fire suppression, and the removal of understory vegetation has facilitated this expansion of pinyon-juniper woodlands.

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Ponderosa Pine
Ponderosa pine forest types within the RFO (Map 3-3) are found primarily in the Henry Mountains and bordering USFS lands in the western portion of the RFO. Ponderosa pine can be either a climax or a seral species. It is a climax species at the lower limits of the coniferous forests and a seral species in higher elevation mixed-conifer forests. Ponderosa pine is considered shade intolerant and tends to grow in evenaged stands; however, in the drier limits of its range, such as the Henry Mountains, uneven-aged stands appear common. In reality, these apparently uneven-aged ponderosa pine stands are a mosaic of small even-aged groups. Ponderosa pines lose vigor in dense stands (Burns and Honkala 1990). Fires have had a profound effect on the distribution of ponderosa pine. Although the seedlings are readily killed by fire, larger trees possess thick bark that offers effective protection from fire damage. Competing tree species, such as Douglas fir, are considerably less fire tolerant, especially in the sapling and pole size classes. Because of successful fire control during the past 50 years, many of these stands have developed understories of Douglas fir and true firs. Type conversion has been accelerated by harvest of the ponderosa pine, leaving residual stands composed of true fir, Douglas fir, or lodgepole pine (Burns and Honkala 1990).

Quaking Aspen
Quaking aspen is found on relatively moist sites between 7,500 and 10,500 feet in mountainous areas within the planning area. It also grows at lower elevations in riparian communities and at other sites with deep soil and adequate soil moisture. In very high exposed places, aspen becomes stunted, with the stem bent or almost prostrate from snow and wind. At its lower elevation limit, it is a scrubby tree growing along creeks (Burns and Honkala 1990). Aspen trees grow together in clones or in groups of stems that share the same root system and genetic makeup. Quaking aspen seedlings at 1 year of age are capable of reproducing by root sprouts (suckers), and mature stands reproduce vigorously by this means. Root collar sprouts and stump sprouts are produced only occasionally by mature trees, but saplings commonly produce them (Burns and Honkala 1990). Aspen clones may regenerate readily after clearcutting or burning by producing numerous root sprouts. Root damage during logging can reduce sprouting. Clearcutting of a mixed aspen-conifer stand may lead to replacement with pure aspen stands, depending on location. This forest type is very important for landscape diversity, aesthetics, and wildlife habitat. The fast-growing quaking aspen tree is short–lived, and pure stands are gradually replaced by slower growing species. Areas once dominated by aspen in the State of Utah have decreased by 60 percent since the late 1800s (Shepperd et al. 2001). The diversity and abundance of understory plants in an aspen stand can be 10 times that found in coniferous forest types. In addition, aspen forests yield more water than conifer types in similar environments.

Spruce-Fir
Spruce-fir forest types within the planning area occur at the highest elevations, usually above 10,000 feet. These forest types include Douglas fir, subalpine fir, and Englemann spruce. Spruce-fir forests can be very complex in structure and age distribution. Their species are shade tolerant and generally not considered resistant to fire. Fires are infrequent but important in dry years, and windthrow is a prime disturbance factor.

3.3.4.4

Riparian Resources

The BLM’s 1987 policy statement on riparian area management defines a riparian area as “an area of land that is directly influenced by permanent water. It has visible vegetation or physical characteristics reflective of permanent water influence. Lake shores and stream banks are typical riparian areas. Excluded are such sites as ephemeral streams or washes that do not exhibit the presence of vegetation

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dependent upon free water in the soil.” A riparian area identified as lentic is usually a meadow/spring riparian area whereas a riparian area identified as lotic has running water such as a creek or river. Riparian areas cover less than 1 percent of the planning area. The most extensive areas of riparian vegetation on public land are those found along the Dirty Devil River and the Fremont River east of Capitol Reef National Park. The ecological significance of riparian areas far exceeds their limited physical area. They are located along streams and rivers or lands with a water table that is capable of influencing soils and vegetation. They are major contributors to ecosystem productivity and structural and biological diversity, and they provide important habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife species. Riparian areas affect the quantity and quality of water onsite and downstream, and help store floodwaters, recharge groundwater, reduce the risk of flash floods, and filter sediments. The objective of the Utah BLM Riparian Policy is to improve or maintain riparian areas in proper functioning condition (PFC). Regardless of the type of riparian or wetland ecosystem, functioning condition is assessed for each stream or varying segments. Functioning condition is rated by category to reflect ecosystem health as affected by management practices. Riparian areas are classified as in PFC when there is adequate vegetation and landform structure present to dissipate stream energy from high flows. This results in a reduction in erosion, improvement in water quality, filtration of sediment, capturing of bedload, and an aid in floodplain development. Properly functioning riparian areas also improve flood water retention and ground water recharge, promote development of root masses that stabilize stream banks against cutting action, promote development of diverse ponding and channel characteristics necessary for fish production and other uses, and support greater biodiversity. “Functioning at Risk” riparian areas are in functional condition, but at least one soil, water, or vegetation attribute makes them susceptible to degradation following high flow events. Management practices that can make them “At Risk” include livestock grazing, the presence of roads, off-highway vehicle (OHV) activities, and commercial recreation and development. “Non-Functioning” riparian areas are clearly not providing adequate vegetation, landform, or large wood debris to dissipate stream energy associated with high flows, and thus are not reducing erosion, improving water quality, etc. BLM has inventoried riparian areas throughout the RFO. About 455 miles of lotic riparian habitat and 1,423 acres of lentic riparian habitat have been inventoried on public lands in the RFO. The BLM has completed a condition assessment of all inventoried riparian areas in allotments. All riparian areas in allotments were inventoried in the early 1990s. More recently, under the Utah Standards and Guidelines for Rangeland Health, the BLM expanded the definition for riparian areas to include seeps and springs. To date, approximately 59 percent of riparian areas under the more comprehensive definition have been inventoried. Estimates of functional conditions of these riparian areas are displayed in Table 3-9. It should be noted that this does not represent a comprehensive total of riparian habitats within the RFO because not all have been surveyed. Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health (BLM 1997) establish PFC as the minimum standard for BLM management of riparian areas.

Table 3-9. Riparian Conditions Inventory
Proper Functioning Condition
Lotic Riparian Miles 305 mi

Functioning-At-Risk Trend Trend Trend Total Not Up Down Apparent
30 mi 61 mi 11 mi 102 mi

NonFunctional
48 mi

Total
455 mi

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Proper Functioning Condition
% surveyed Lentic Riparian Acres % surveyed 67% 1,236 ac 87%

Functioning-At-Risk Trend Trend Trend Total Not Up Down Apparent
7% 16 ac 1% 13% 137 ac 10% 2% 10 ac 1% 22% 163 ac 11%

NonFunctional
11% 24 ac 2%

Total

1,423 ac

*Source: Riparian Inventories, Richfield Field Office, 2008

Riparian areas are dynamic and, compared with upland habitats, extremely responsive to changes. Variations in seasonal water flows influence the productivity and density of riparian vegetation and channel development. Flooding is an essential part of system development and stability. Minor changes are normal and are part of the resilience of the riparian ecosystem. A system’s ability to withstand major disturbances depends on the integrity and balance of stream bank, hydrology, and vegetation components. Degraded conditions in any of those components can result in impacts that may be beyond the riparian area’s capacity to withstand or repair following disturbance. The combined effects of small-scale, repeated degradation without recovery cause incremental declines in functional condition and increase vulnerability to further degradation. It is BLM policy to maintain, restore, or improve riparian ecosystems to achieve a healthy and properly functioning condition that ensures biological diversity, productivity, and sustainability. Riparian areas depend on a balanced combination of physical (stream bank, channel, and soil characteristics), hydrologic (regular occurrence of surface water), and vegetation (hydrophytic communities) components. When any of these 3 components—soils, water, or vegetation—are adversely affected, the functional capacity of a riparian habitat may degrade. Riparian-wetland areas are properly functioning when adequate vegetation, landform, or large woody debris is present to dissipate stream energy associated with high water flows and flooding, thereby reducing erosion and improving water quality. Deep soil-binding root masses stabilize stream banks against erosion.

3.3.4.5

Invasive, Non-native Species

The BLM defines a weed as “a plant that interferes with management objectives for a given area of land at a given point in time” (BLM 2007b). Noxious weeds are designated by federal or state law as generally possessing one or more of the following characteristics: aggressive and difficult to manage; parasitic; a carrier or host of serious insects or disease; or non-native, new, or not common to the United States. Noxious weeds are defined in Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Livestock Grazing (BLM 1997) as non-native plants that are especially undesirable because they have no forage value and are sometimes toxic, or are capable of invading plant communities and displacing native species. The BLM recognizes noxious weed invasions as one of the greatest threats to the health of rangelands nationwide. Invasive species include plants able to establish on a site where they were not present in the original plant composition. Invasive species aggressively out-compete native species within a community and often alter the physical and biotic components enough to affect the entire ecological community. Invasive species are of particular concern following a disturbance. They are often exotic species that do not have naturally occurring, local predators. Although the invasive weed species occur throughout the RFO, most infestations are small and sparsely scattered through Sevier, Piute, Garfield, and Wayne counties. The areas with the highest noxious weed

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concentration occur in the Sanpete County portion of the planning area. Due to weed treatments over the past 25 years, infestations are small and localized; and they are treated as soon as they are identified. Cheatgrass is located throughout the planning area and is generally most prevalent below 8,000 feet. There are several small areas of cheatgrass monoculture throughout the planning area, generally in areas post wildfire, or post grasshopper invasion. Additionally, some areas have higher concentrations of cheatgrass due to historic vegetative disturbance. The Utah Noxious Weed Act defines a noxious weed as any plant that is determined by the Commissioner of Agriculture to be especially injurious to public health, crops, livestock, land, or other property. There are 19 species which have been designated as state noxious weeds, and 15 have been additionally classified as new and invading weeds that have the potential to become noxious weeds. The state noxious weed list is presented in Table 3-10.

Table 3-10. Utah Noxious Weeds
Common Name
Bermudagrass Bindweed (Wild Morning Glory) * Canada Thistle * Diffuse Knapweed * Dyers Woad Perennial Sorghum species including Johnsongrass (Perennial sorghum) * Leafy Spurge Medusahead Musk Thistle * Perennial Peppergrass * Purple Loosestrife Quackgrass * Russian Knapweed * Scotch Thistle * Spotted Knapweed Squarrose Knapweed * Whitetop * Yellow Star Thistle Cynodon dactylon Convolvulus arvensis Cirsium arvense Centaurea diffusa Isatis tinctoria Sorghum almum Sorghum halepense Euphorbia esula Taeniatherum caput-medusae Carduus nutans Lepidium latifolium Lythrum salicaria Agropyron repens Centaurea repens Onopordum acanthium Centaurea maculosa Centaurea squarrosa Cardaria draba Centaurea solstitialis

Scientific Name

Note: Species marked with an asterisk (*) occur within the RFO. The remaining species have been identified on adjacent private, state, or USFS lands. Source: Utah Department of Agriculture and Food 2003b.

In addition to the list generated by the State of Utah, each county weed control board has the authority to develop its own list. Table 3-11 lists weeds designated as noxious in any of the 5 counties within the planning area.

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Table 3-11. County Noxious Weeds 2003
Common Name
Black Henbane Houndstongue Velvet Leaf Russian Olive

Scientific Name
Hyoscyamus niger Cynoglossum officinale Abutilon theophrasti Elaeagnus angustifolia Sanpete Sanpete Sanpete

County Listed

Sevier, Wayne

Source: Utah Department of Agriculture and Food 2003b.

Utah BLM has designated several other invasive plants as new and invading weeds. These plants, although not listed by the State or any of the 5 counties, are identified based on their potential to invade and possibly alter plant communities in the RFO. Table 3-12 identifies these species.

Table 3-12. Utah BLM New and Invading Weeds
Common Name
Black Henbane Camel Thorn Dalmatian Toadflax Goatsrue Jointed Goatgrass Poison Hemlock Purple Starthistle Silverleaf Nightshade St. John’s Wort Velvetleaf Water Hemlock Wild Proso Millet Yellow Nutsedge Yellow Toadflax
Source: BLM 2004b.

Scientific Name
Hyoscyamus niger Alhagi camelorum Linaria dalmatica Galega officinalis Aegilops cylindrica Conium maculatum Centaurea calcitrapa Solanum elaeagnifolium Hypericum perforatum Abutilon theophrasti Cicuta douglasii (C. maculata) Panicum miliaceum Cyperus esculentus Linaria vulgaris

Finally, the RFO has identified 4 invasive species in addition to the state, county, and Utah BLM plants. These additional species, which are known to cause problems within the local plant communities in the RFO, are: • • • • Puncture vine, which is also known as Goat’s head (Tribulus terristris) Salt cedar, which is commonly referred to as tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis or T. ramosissima) Small flowered tamarisk (Tamarix parviflora) Buffalobur (Solanum rostratum).

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Russian knapweed (Centarea repens), salt-cedar (Tamarix chinensis), and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) are all problematic species occurring in riparian areas of the RFO. Salt-cedar channelizes rivers with its deep roots and chokes out other vegetation. The foregoing lists are changed as new plant species become problems. It should be noted that a species’ absence from the lists does not mean that the species is not considered in management decisions. For example, although large areas of uplands and rangelands are being converted to invasive annual species, including cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), neither species is included in any of the above lists. Once cheatgrass has established on a site and gone through a couple of cycles of seed production and dispersal, the seed bank can contain 2 or 3 times as many viable cheatgrass seeds as there are established plants in the community (Zouhar 2003). Cheatgrass invasion may be accelerated by disturbance, but disturbance is not required for its establishment. Cheatgrass can also thrive in areas that have little or no history of cultivation or grazing by domestic livestock. It may establish in these relatively undisturbed areas when seed disperses from nearby patches and establishes on sites of small natural disturbances, such as where rodents or predators dig in the soil (Zouhar 2003). It has changed plant species composition in all 3 vegetation communities.

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3.3.5

Cultural Resources

Overviews of known cultural resources in the RFO show a wide range of and potential for cultural resources. Cultural resource inventories have been conducted in the lands managed by the RFO for more than 30 years at varying levels using a variety of methods. Most of the inventories were conducted in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) as part of impact mitigation from surface disturbing activities, although academic institutions have performed some research excavations. Inventories have identified several thousand cultural properties throughout the RFO, representing a wide variety of site types and chronological periods. Overall, less than 5 percent of the RFO has been inventoried. Compared with other areas in the Southwest, site densities in inventoried areas are low throughout the RFO. Site densities increase near Capitol Reef National Park and in some of the canyons in eastern Wayne and Garfield counties. Site densities are much lower in Sevier County, with the lowest densities being found in Sanpete and Piute counties. Known cultural resources include various site types ranging in age from about 10,000 years ago through the present. The site types are listed and described below.

3.3.5.1

Site Types

Cultural resources in the RFO have been classified according to one or more site types. Site types are groupings of sites with similar physical or cultural characteristics. During original recordation, sufficient information may not have been readily available to determine the functional or cultural site type. Consequently, some sites may be recategorized after further research. Sites fitting into more than one category are usually more complex and have more information potential than do single-category sites. At the broadest level, cultural resources sites are categorized as either prehistoric or historic types.

Prehistoric Site Types
Prehistoric sites can be associated with one or more of 4 broad thematic periods: Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Formative (Fremont or Anasazi), and Late Prehistoric. There are sites within the RFO from each period, with an especially large representation of Formative sites. Some of the site types in the RFO are as follows: • Rock Art. Rock art can be of two types, petroglyphs and pictographs. Petroglyphs are designs pecked or incised into the surface of the rock; pictographs are painted on the rock surface with various shades of pigment. At some sites, designs have been pecked into the rock and then painted; at other sites, images were painted, then features were created by pecking away the paint and the rock surface. Rock art has not been attributed to specific human groups with any degree of assurance, but it is believed that rock art within the RFO represents groups living from before 9000 B.C. to the present. Rockshelter. A rockshelter consists of a rock outcrop or large boulder that provides shelter from wind, sun, rain, and other elements. Rockshelters were used by both prehistoric and historic people. Lithic Scatter. A lithic scatter is any group of stone artifacts or artifact fragments. Lithic scatters are usually composed of flaked stone tools or debitage. Ground stone tools and tool fragments also fit into this category. This type ranges from sites with only a single tool present to sites with thousands of artifacts, diverse in type and function. Ceramic Scatter. A ceramic scatter is any group of ceramic artifacts or artifact fragments and can result from either prehistoric or historic activity. Most prehistoric ceramics represent the Fremont Indian culture or tradeware from the Anasazi culture to the south, but a small amount of Numic (e.g., Ute or Paiute) pottery has been recorded.

•

•

•

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•

• • •

• •

•

Cairn. A cairn is an intentionally created pile of stones. Most cairns in the RFO are from the historic period (e.g., sheepherders’ monuments, mining claim markers, etc.). However, some may be prehistoric. Hearth. A hearth is the remains of a feature where humans purposely used fire. This includes clay- or rock-lined fire pits, ash pits, ash stains, and fire-cracked rock concentrations or scatters. Rock Alignment. A rock alignment is any human arrangement of rock not usually recognized as part of a structure. Cist. Cists are small structures usually built for storage. They are slab-lined or coursed masonry, generally about 1 meter in diameter. They are usually semi-subterranean but can occur on the surface, freestanding, or attached to a cliff face or ledge. Burial. Burial sites contain human physical remains below the surface or exposed, whether marked or not. Structural. These sites are constructed from a wide range of material types and include various features within the structure. They consist of structures of brush and trees, mud and sticks, coursed masonry, and slab-lined, boulder-lined, or unlined pits occurring in open or naturally protected areas. Midden. Middens are concentrations of all or several of the following: ash, charcoal, bone, sherds, lithic fragments, human excrement, and general garbage.

Historic Site Types
Historic sites are cultural resources with a period of significance ranging from 1700 A.D. to the present. Because features such as ditches, fences, and houses cannot be understood or interpreted outside the functional complex of which they are a part, historic resources are grouped into several themes. Some of these themes are organized chronologically, although most are functionally organized. • Anglo Exploration: The pre-settlement category includes historic features from the period before the settlement of the 5 counties in the planning area. Limited features of this period have been identified. There are several records of individuals and groups passing through this area along what became known as the Old Spanish Trail. Remains of their activities may possibly be found. The Old Spanish Trail was designated a National Historic Trail in late 2002. Ranching: The ranching category includes features resulting from the raising of domestic livestock, such as fences, water developments, cabins, corrals, camps, and sheepherders’ monuments. There is a long history of ranching in the RFO, and the features remaining from these developments are useful historic resources. Farming: The farming category includes features resulting from raising crops; digging or drilling wells; building barns, sheds, and cisterns; using farm implements; and constructing canals, ditches, and residences. Mining: The mining category includes features resulting from exploration and extraction of mineral resources, such as shafts and adits, drill sites, prospect holes, tailing dumps and waste rock piles, ore bins, loading chutes, kilns, tramways, residences, and other buildings. Transportation: The transportation category includes features resulting from attempts to transport people or goods across the RFO, such as abandoned rail lines, railroad grades, construction camps, bridges, roads, trails, and possible remains of river navigation. Government Management: The government management category includes features resulting from government attempts to manage the land and its resources. Many of these features are the result of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) activities through the 1930s. They include dams, fences, land treatments or manipulations, spring developments, roads, and bridges.

•

•

•

•

•

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3.3.5.2

National Register of Historic Places

There are 3 sites within the lands managed by the RFO which have been formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). They are: • Cowboy Caves. This site consists of two adjacent caves: Cowboy Cave and Walters Cave. Together they make up one of the richest archaic sites on the Colorado Plateau and outline almost 5,000 years of intermittent human habitation in the area. Bull Creek Archaeological District. This area of roughly 1,900 acres contains 104 identified significant archaeological sites, including habitations, storage structures, camps, and quarries. These sites represent a 400-year occupation (A.D. 800–A.D. 1200) of the area by peoples from the Formative period. Starr Ranch. The stone cabin here is a remnant of a 1890s stock-raising boom, when large cattle herds were introduced in the Henry Mountains. Starr Ranch is situated on the south slopes of Mount Hillers, and its stone buildings are still standing.

•

•

Many other sites throughout the RFO meet the eligibility criteria for NHRP listing. Current laws protect sites that are listed on the NHRP and those that are eligible for such a listing.

3.3.5.3

Cultural History Overview

Cultural resources in the RFO are categorized into two major time periods separated by the presence of European influence in the region. Prehistoric sites can be associated with one or more of 4 broad cultural periods that are distinguished based on differences in material culture traits or artifacts and subsistence patterns. Prehistoric sites can be associated with one or more of 4 broad thematic periods: Paleo-Indian (before 5500 B.C.), Archaic (5500 B.C. to 700 A.D.), Formative (700 A.D. to 1300 A.D.), and Late Prehistoric (1300 A.D. to ca. 1776 A.D.).

Paleo-Indian (Before 5500 B.C.)
There is no firm date for the earliest human use of the lands managed by the RFO; however, there is evidence of human use about 12,000 years ago. Chronologically, Paleo-Indians were contemporaries with extinct megafauna, and evidence outside the planning area shows the early human dependency on these animals (Spangler 2001). No sites that can definitely be assigned to this period have been found in the planning area, although many Paleo-Indian projectile points have been found throughout the Henry Mountains. Based on the period artifacts found throughout the area, it is safe to assume that Paleo-Indians did use the Henry Mountains; therefore, a potential for future discovery remains. Because of the rare nature of these resources, any discovery of Paleo-Indian sites would be significant.

Archaic (5500 B.C. to A.D. 700)
The Archaic tradition may be defined as a generalized hunter-gatherer adaptive strategy, with peoples employing “common adaptive strategies to exploit a variety of desert environments” (Spangler 2001). The warmer, dryer environment following the Paleo-Indian period resulted in a change from the big-game subsistence pattern of the Paleo-Indian to a small game hunting, seed, and nut-gathering subsistence pattern. It is thought that Archaic peoples “followed an annual round in response to changing resource availability, living in small, kin-related groups throughout most of the year” (Tipps 1988). These highly adaptive groups could easily move from where resources were depleted to where resources were abundant, roving from location to location, with their diet focusing on a new staple food source at each different location. Toward the end of the Archaic period, the hunter-gatherer tradition was gradually incorporated into supplemental agricultural subsistence. Evidence of agriculture exists in southern and southeastern Utah, dated to early Anasazi cultures around 1000 B.C. (Craig Harmon, BLM RFO, Personal

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communication 2003). Archaic sites are common in the RFO. A few places in the area that were inhospitable to later Formative occupation seemed to favor earlier Archaic use. Because these Archaic sociopolitical groups were small, the few seasonal cave and overhang dwellings thus far discovered are estimated to represent only a portion of the sites used. Potential for further Archaic site discoveries remains throughout the RFO.

Formative (A.D. 700 to A.D. 1300)
The Formative Period saw the continued growth of the Anasazi or ancestral Puebloan cultures in addition to the Fremont culture. Evidence of the Anasazi is limited to areas east of Capitol Reef National Park, and it does not extend much farther north than the Henry Mountains area. Archaeological evidence of the Fremont people is generally found north of the Puebloan areas throughout much of central and eastern Utah (Craig Harmon, BLM RFO, Personal communication 2003). Archaeological evidence from north of the Henry Mountains area contains evidence of the Fremont and Puebloan cultures. Formative cultures led a more sedentary life than did their Archaic predecessors. Consequently, Formative cultures resulted in more permanent settlements. The Formative Fremont are “archaeologically characterized by the use of ceramics and the bow and arrow, habitation of deep pithouses in small riverine settlements, and a metate with a shelf, termed the Utah metate” (Miller 2002). Much of the rock art in the RFO is attributed to Formative cultures, although rock art from Archaic and Numic cultures also has been noted. Most sites in the RFO identified as belonging to a specific cultural group are either wholly from or contain components of Formative cultures.

Late Prehistoric (A.D. 1300 to ca. 1776)
Following the seemingly abrupt decline and disappearance of the Fremont culture around A.D. 1300, archaeological evidence suggests that Numic-speaking tribes (Paiute, Shoshone, Goshute) and the Navajo entered the area (Craig Harmon, BLM RFO, Personal communication 2003). According to the idea of Numic Expansion, suggested earlier in the 20th century, Late Prehistoric peoples used the bow and arrow and had pottery which significantly altered their hunting, food gathering, and food consumption practices from Archaic traditions. However, most records and diaries kept by the early settlers in Utah contain references to the many small farming communities that they encountered in the mid-19th century along the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers in southwestern Utah. This evidence seems to contradict the Numic Expansion theory. More research on this topic is necessary. Sites from this period begin to be located in the planning area. They have probably been observed many times before but were ascribed to and recorded as Fremont.

Historic (After ca. 1776)
The first documented Europeans in Utah arrived in 1776–1777, led by the Spanish Catholic Fathers Dominguez and Escalante. Trappers, explorers, and emigrants passing through to the Pacific coast followed them. Between the early 1830s and the late 1840s, users of what is now known as the Old Spanish Trail navigated numerous routes, many of which cross portions of the RFO (NPS 2001). European settlement of the planning area ranged from 1848 in Sanpete County to the 1880s in Wayne County (Powell 1994) and was predominantly accomplished by Mormon pioneers. These early communities focused on farming and ranching for subsistence. A gold and silver boom in the Tushar Mountains in the 1890s and early 20th century spawned several small towns in Piute County. When the mines were no longer productive, the population boom reversed itself. Later, lead, zinc, alunite, and uranium were mined (Powell 1994). Over the years, ranching has continued as a use of public lands. Although most historic period cultural resources in the 5 county area are not located on public land, there are exceptions, such as the Wolverton Historic Mill and Starr Ranch.

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3.3.5.4

Cultural Relationships

Several tribes maintain active interests in use and management of the lands managed by the RFO. Continuing consultation efforts with these groups have identified a few areas of tribal religious significance and/or traditional use within the RFO. Tribes have also expressed concerns about the preservation and protection of specific archaeological sites and impacts to prehistoric sites from disturbance.

3.3.5.5

Cultural Resource Condition and Trend

The condition and trend of cultural resources in the RFO vary considerably as a result of the diversity of terrain, geomorphology, access and visibility, and past and current land use patterns. Because recorded sites are manifested by discovery of exposed artifacts, features, and/or structures, they are easily disturbed by natural elements such as wind and water erosion, natural deterioration and decay, as well as animal and human intrusion and development and maintenance activities. On the basis of limited site monitoring, the trend of site conditions in the RFO is considered to be downward. Indications of active vandalism or collecting (unauthorized digging and “pothunting”) have been observed in limited instances. Archaeological and historic sites are known to be deteriorating from a variety of causes. Many sites are deteriorating from natural causes and many others from the illegal activities of artifact collectors. Inadvertent damage from construction projects also affects resources. Collectively, these agents have adversely affected and continue to adversely affect many known cultural resources.

3.3.5.6

Consultation

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires the BLM and other federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties, and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) a reasonable opportunity to comment. The historic preservation review process mandated by Section 106 is outlined in regulations issued by ACHP. The BLM first determines whether it has an undertaking that is defined in the regulations as a type of activity that could affect historic properties. Historic properties are properties that are included in the NRHP or that meet the criteria for the NRHP. If so, BLM must consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). If BLM determines that it has no undertaking, or that its undertaking is a type of activity that has no potential to affect historic properties, the agency has no further Section 106 obligations. In most of Utah, the BLM operates under the State Protocol Agreement with the Utah SHPO that defines the manner in which the BLM will meet its responsibilities under the NHPA as well as the National Programmatic Agreement among the BLM, the ACHP, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. The agreement established certain review thresholds under which the BLM will request the review of the Utah SHPO and the ACHP in certain situations. These include: • • • • • • • Non-routine interstate and/or interagency projects or programs Undertakings that directly and adversely affect National Historic Landmarks or National Register eligible properties of national significance Highly controversial undertakings, when council review is requested by the BLM, SHPO, a Native America tribe, a local government, or an applicant for a BLM authorization Undertakings affecting National Register eligible or listed properties Land exchanges, land sales, Recreation and Public Purposes Act (R&PP) leases, and transfers When BLM professional staff lack the appropriate regional experience or professional expertise, and until performance is mutually acceptable to the BLM Deputy Preservation Officer and SHPO When BLM’s professional cultural resources staff wishes to bring a particular project to the attention of the SHPO.

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The Protocol Agreement allows the BLM to streamline the review process significantly on projects that do not affect historic properties. The following steps would be followed in determining that there would be “no potential to affect”: (1) identify the area of potential effect (APE); (2) conduct a Class I (literature) search and/or review other relevant records for historic properties/eligible historic properties within the APE; (3) notify the tribes or other entities that would have consulting party status of the proposed action and provide them with the opportunity to identify traditional cultural and religious properties and/or other historic and potentially eligible properties; (4) communicate/consult with tribes and other entities that would have consulting party status through letter and phone calls which, if properly documented, should demonstrate a “good faith” effort on the BLM’s part; and (5) carefully and thoroughly document the BLM’s findings and communications/consultation. The BLM will not request the review of the SHPO in the following situations: • • • • No Potential to Affect determinations by qualified BLM staff No Historic Properties Affected; no sites present, determined by qualified BLM staff No Historic Properties Affected; no eligible sites present, determined by qualified BLM staff No Historic Properties Affected; eligible sites present, but not affected as defined by 36 CFR 800.4.

During the life of this plan a number of actions—such as vegetation treatments, land disposals, range improvements, or energy development—may occur. Before any of the activities are implemented, the field office will take into account the effects these actions will have on cultural resources. This process is accomplished through the regulations of National Historic Preservation Act contained in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800, and agreements between BLM and the Utah State Historic Preservation Officer. Native American tribes having an interest in the area are also consulted prior to any federal undertaking.

3.3.5.7

Native American Religious Concerns

The area encompassed by the planning area boundary has seen considerable prehistoric and historic Native American use. Several federally recognized Native American tribes identified to date have either a history of traditional use in or ancestral ties to this area (although there may be other tribes interested in the area). These tribes are: • • • • • • • • • • Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah (headquartered in Cedar City, Utah) Uintah and Ouray Ute (headquartered in Ft. Duchesne, Utah) Hopi Tribe (headquartered in Kykotsmovi, Arizona) Navajo Nation (headquartered in Window Rock, Arizona) Southern Ute Tribe (headquartered in Ignacio, Colorado) Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (headquartered in Towaoc, Colorado) Kaibab Paiute Tribe (headquartered in Pipe Springs, Arizona) San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe (headquartered in Tuba City, Arizona) Moapa Paiute Band (headquartered in Moapa, Nevada) White Mesa Ute Band (headquartered in White Mesa, Utah).

In addition to these tribes, the BLM also includes the Navajo Utah Commission in Montezuma Creek, Utah, and the Utah Division of Indian Affairs in Salt Lake City, Utah, in discussions related to BLM actions (including land use planning). The BLM is the present custodian of the public land in the planning area, but this was not always the case. Innumerable Native American groups were present in this area for thousands of years prior to EuroAmerican contact and occupation that began a few hundred years ago. Spiritual, emotional, and physical

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ties between these Native Americans and their traditional homelands have existed for a long time and will no doubt continue to exist. Native Americans practice their religions in many places on federal lands. Many of the lawful activities that are permitted or authorized on federal lands can compromise the integrity of sacred places and the privacy of religious practices. With this in mind, Executive Order (EO) 13007 on Indian Sacred Sites was signed “to protect and preserve Indian religious practices.” The order obligates federal land managers to work with Native American tribes to help protect their basic rights and the practice of their religions. When planning and implementing land uses, BLM generally has the ability to accommodate tribal access to sacred sites and to prevent physical damage or intrusions that might impede their use—if the existence of the sites is known.

3.3.5.8

Tribal Interest

The Paiutes claim both traditional use of and ancestral ties to the area managed by the RFO. Their interest includes specific claims relating to important and sacred areas as well as to certain other site locations. Some of these claims have recently been documented and supported in an ethnographic study conducted by Dr. Richard Stoffle of the University of Arizona (September 2004). The Hopi claim ancestral ties to the prehistoric groups represented here and believe that they can trace Hopi clan migrations through symbols present in area rock art. The Utes have ancestral ties to central Utah. Both the Uintah and Ouray Ute and the Hopi Tribe have been willing to enter into consultation with BLM and comment on proposals in the RFO that have the potential to affect tribal interests. The Navajo interest in this area is confined to that part of the planning area east of Capitol Reef National Park and stems from the 1850s, when Kit Carson and the U.S. Army attempted to round up the Navajos and move them from their ancestral homeland into New Mexico. During this “Long Walk” or “Big Roundup” time, many Navajo people escaped north into the Henry Mountains and remained there for some time. As a result, the Navajo Nation claims this area as a traditional cultural property, although no formal nomination as such has been made to date. The Navajo interest also extends to the Dirty Devil River corridor and the Horseshoe Canyon drainage. Meetings to discuss the RMP have been held with all the tribes mentioned above. A more detailed discussion of consultation with Native American tribes can be found in Chapter 5 of this Proposed RMP/Final EIS.

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3.3.6

Paleontological Resources

Paleontological resources are integrally associated with the rock formations in which they are located. The geographic extent of the lands managed by the RFO contains approximately 40 sedimentary geologic formations at the surface, most containing paleontological resources. Sedimentary formations are formed through depositional processes that lead to characteristic traits and varying potential for certain types of fossils. If extensive excavation of a certain formation in one geographic area results in substantial fossil resources, a potential exists that similar fossils will be found elsewhere in the formation, although such consistency is not a guarantee. A comprehensive paleontological resource inventory has not been completed within the RFO; however, a review of paleontological research on formations contained within the RFO has identified the types of fossil resources known to be present. Table 3-13 identifies the geologic formations within the RFO, their predominant depositional environments, and the types of fossils present. The geologic map of the planning area (Map 6 of the Mineral Potential Report [BLM 2005b]) displays these formations in relation to the planning area boundaries.

Table 3-13. Geologic Formations Present in the Planning Area
Formation Age
Quaternary

Formation Name
Surficial Alluvium and Colluvium Surficial Older Alluvium and Colluvium Sevier River Formation Volcanic Rocks, Undivided Dipping Vat Formation (not noted on map) Grey Gulch Formation (also Bald Knoll and Aurora)

West1
X X X X X

East1
X X

Depositional Environment
Several Several Fluvial, Lacustrine Volcanic with some Fluvial Fluvial

Fossils Present
Vertebrate Vertebrate Vertebrate; Invertebrate Invertebrate Plant

X

Lacustrine

Invertebrate; Plant

Tertiary

Claron Formation (not noted on map) Green River Formation

X

Fluvial/Lacustrine Freshwater Lacustrine and Fluvial Primarily Alluvial with Marginal Lacustrine and Deltaic Facies Lacustrine/Marine

Invertebrate; Plant Vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant

X

Colton Formation (not noted on map)

X

Vertebrate; Invertebrate Vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant; Trace Vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant; Trace

Flagstaff Formation

X

CretaceousTertiary

North Horn Formation

X

Lacustrine/Fluvial

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Formation Age

Formation Name
Price River Formation (Mesa Verde Group) Blackhawk Formation (Mesa Verde Group) Star Point Sandstone (Mesa Verde Group) Indianola Group (Sixmile Canyon Fm; Funk Valley Fm; Allen Valley Shale; Sanpete Fm)

West1
X X

East1

Depositional Environment
Fluvial and Floodplain Deltaic and Interdeltaic Beach Sand and Intermediate Marine Shale

Fossils Present
Plant Trace vertebrate; Plant Plant; Trace

X

X

Fluvial

Invertebrate

Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation X

Coastal Plain Interfingering with Marine

Vertebrate; Trace vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant Vertebrate; Trace vertebrate; Invertebrate; Trace invertebrate; Plant Vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant; Trace Vertebrate; Trace vertebrate; Plant Vertebrate; Trace vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant Trace vertebrate Invertebrate Invertebrate Trace vertebrate; Plant Trace vertebrate; Invertebrate, Plant Invertebrate; Plant Trace vertebrate; Plant Trace vertebrate; Plant Trace vertebrate Vertebrate; Trace vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant (wood)

Mancos Shale (including Tununk and Wahweap Members)

X

X

Marine

Dakota Sandstone Cedar Mountain Formation Morrison Formation (Brushy Basin and Salt Wash Members) Summerville Formation Curtis Formation (not noted on map) Jurassic Twist Gulch Formation (not noted on map) Entrada Sandstone Carmel Formation Arapien Shale Triassic-Jurassic Triassic Navajo Sandstone Kayenta Formation Wingate SS (not noted on map)

X

X

Beach to Marginal Marine (Deltaic) Fluvial

X

X

X X X

Fluvial Tidal Flat Marine Marginal Fluvial, Nearshore

X X X X X X X X X X

Nearshore Eolian Shallow Marine Supratidal, Marginal Nearshore Fluvial Eolian Fluvial Eolian

Chinle Formation

X

X

Fluvial

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Formation Age

Formation Name

West1

East1

Depositional Environment
Marine/Tidal Flat

Fossils Present
Vertebrate; Trace vertebrate; Invertebrate; Trace invertebrate; Plant Invertebrate Vertebrate; Invertebrate; Plant; Trace vertebrate; Trace Plant Invertebrate

Moenkopi Formation

X

X

Kaibab Limestone/Toroweap Formation Permian Cutler Group

X

X

Marine

X

Eolian, Fluvial, and Shallow Marine Marine

Pennsylvanian

Hermosa Group

X

Note 1—East and West refers to the eastern and western portions of the planning area, with Capitol Reef National Park forming the dividing line between the two sides. Sources: Condon 1997; Doelling 2004; Graffam and Bourdon 1999; M. Hayden, Utah Geological Survey, Personal communication, 2004; Hintze et al. 2003; Rowley et al. 2002; Rowley, et. al. 2004; Steven et al. 1990; Stokes 1986.

More than half of the sedimentary formations (23 of 40) in the planning area are known to contain vertebrate or trace vertebrate fossils. However, some formations have a higher potential than others to contain significant numbers of vertebrate fossils. The Morrison and Cedar Mountain formations are noted for vertebrate fossils. Several complete fossil skeletons have been scientifically excavated from several specific localities in the planning area. In addition to the potential for containing paleontological resources, paleontological localities identify areas where the presence of fossils is known. Roughly 587 paleontological localities are in the 5 counties composing the planning area. The BLM is responsible for managing about one-third of these localities.

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Visual Resources Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.3.7

Visual Resources

The planning area contains a broad range of visual settings, ranging from mountain landscapes and steep canyons, to agricultural settings, to desert. The purpose of visual resource management (VRM) is to manage the quality of the visual environment and reduce the visual impact of development activities while maintaining the viability of all resource programs. VRM involves applying methods for evaluating landscapes and determining appropriate techniques and strategies for maintaining visual quality and reducing adverse impacts.

3.3.7.1

Visual Resource Inventory

Before the current land use plans (LUP) were completed, visual resource inventories were conducted for most of the area now encompassed by the RFO. In those inventories, each acre of land was evaluated and assigned a scenic quality rating: A, B or C, with “A” representing the most scenic lands and “C“ the least scenic. Criteria for determining the ratings are included in BLM Manual H-8410-1, Visual Resource Inventory. The BLM relied on these existing scenic quality evaluations for the purposes of this RMP revision. The earlier inventories excluded a small portion of public land in Garfield County between the Dixie National Forest and the Wayne County border. In July 2003, the BLM inventoried this area for this RMP revision.

3.3.7.2

Visual Resource Management

The BLM’s VRM methodology begins with the inventory process. Landscapes are evaluated based on scenic quality, visual sensitivity, and distance zones (the distance from the existing network of travel routes). VRM class recommendations are based on the inventory process, and final class determinations are established by the RMP. The VRM Class objectives are: • • • • Class I—Preserve the existing character of the landscape. Management activity should be very limited. Change to scenery: very low and must not attract attention. Class II—Retain the existing character of the landscape. Management activities may be seen. Change to scenery should be low and not attract the attention of the casual observer. Class III—Partially retain the existing character of the landscape. Management activities may be seen and may attract the attention of the casual observer but should not dominate the view. Class IV—Allow major modifications of the existing character of the landscape. Management activities may dominate the view and be the major focus of viewer attention.

Current VRM classes for the RFO are shown below in Table 3-14 and on Map 2-1.

Table 3-14. Visual Resource Management Classes
VRM Class
Class I Class II Class III Class IV
Source: BLM LUPs

Acres (BLM-Administered Surface)
0 529,500 569,000 1,029,500

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It should be noted that although current LUPs for the RFO did not inventory or classify any lands as VRM Class I, the BLM’s visual resource management direction for lands within wilderness study areas is guided by BLM Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2000-96. This memorandum requires that all Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) be managed according to VRM Class I management objectives until such time as the Congress decides to designate the area as wilderness or release it for other uses. The RFO contains 11 WSAs (446,900 acres) that are managed as VRM Class I. The RFO encompasses many areas with a high degree of scenic quality and a high level of visual sensitivity. In general, high scenic quality within the RFO occurs where the area has varied topography, unique geology, and striking vistas. Areas with high visual sensitivity are the result of a high degree of visitor interest in and public concern for a particular area’s visual resources, an area’s high degree of public visibility, the level of use of an area by the public, and the type of visitor use that an area receives. These visual resources are appreciated by the local population and by the visiting public. The area’s scenic qualities attract visitors. The main locations in the RFO with outstanding scenic quality and/or high visual sensitivity include, but are not limited to: • • • • • Class A scenery (VRM Class II) Eleven WSAs (VRM Class I) Scenery in the foreground, middle distance, and background zones of major paved recreation highways (U-12, U-24, U-95, U-276) Scenery in the foreground and middle distance zones of unpaved roads designated as Scenic Byways (Fishlake Scenic Byway and Bull Creek Pass Backcountry Byway) Scenery in the foreground and middle distance zones of unpaved roads designated as Utah Scenic Byways (Kimberly/Big John Road, Cove Mountain Road, Cathedral Valley Road; Thousand Lake Mountains Road, Gooseberry/Fremont Road, Notom Road, and Posey Lake Road) Areas along the public land/urban interface such as the Red Gates in Wayne County and the low hills surrounding the communities of Glenwood and Annabella in Sevier County.

•

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Special Status Species Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.3.8

Special Status Species

Special status species (SSS) are plants, fish, and animals that require particular management attention as a result of population or habitat concerns. There are 5 categories— • • • • • Federally Listed Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species and Designated Critical Habitats Federally Proposed Species and Proposed Critical Habitats Federal Candidate Species BLM Sensitive Species State Listed Species.

Federally listed species can have habitat designated as critical to species viability. Only the Mexican spotted owl has designated critical habitat within the planning area (Map 3-4). In the case of species that are listed and do not have critical habitat designated, BLM cooperates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to determine and manage habitats of importance. BLM is working with local working groups in developing management plans for several SSS. USFWS has responsibility under a number of federal laws, treaties, EOs, and memoranda of agreement (MOA) for the conservation and management of many fish, wildlife, and plant species, and habitat. USFWS provides recommendations for protective measures for T&E species in accordance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as amended. Protective measures for migratory birds are provided in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA) and Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940. Wetlands are afforded protection under EOs 11990 (wetland protection) and 11988 (floodplain management) and Section 404 of the CWA. Other fish and wildlife resources are considered under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. BLM has entered into an MOA with USFWS and the USFS to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of plan-level Section 7 consultation processes under the ESA. Through this MOA, BLM agrees to promote the conservation of candidate, proposed, and listed species and to informally and formally consult on listed and proposed species and designated and proposed critical habitat during planning to protect and improve the condition of species and their habitats to a point where their special status recognition is no longer necessary.

3.3.8.1

Species Listed Under the Endangered Species Act

Table 3-15 identifies the federally listed species in the planning area. The Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS) included Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia jonesii) as a threatened species. However, further review and surveys did not find the species within the RFO; therefore, it is not included in Table 3-15.

Table 3-15. Federally Listed Species
Common Name Birds
California Condor Mexican Spotted Owl Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo Gymnogyps californianus Strix occidentalis Empidonax traillii extimus Coccyzus americanus Experimental Threatened Endangered Candidate

Scientific Name

Status

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Common Name Mammals
Utah Prairie Dog

Scientific Name
Cynomys parvidens

Status
Threatened

Fish
Bonytail Chub Colorado Pikeminnow Humpback Chub Razorback Sucker Gila elegans Ptychocheilus lucius Gila cypha Xyrauchen texanus Endangered Endangered Endangered Endangered

Plants
Wright Fishhook Cactus Barneby Reed-Mustard San Rafael Cactus Winkler Cactus Last Chance Townsendia Ute Ladies’-tresses Maguire Daisy
Source: USFWS 2004.

Sclerocactus wrightiae Schoencrambe barnebyi Pediocactus despainii Pediocactus winkleri Townsendia aprica Spiranthes diluvialis Erigeron maguirei

Endangered Endangered Endangered Threatened Threatened Threatened Threatened

California Condor
The California condor was listed as endangered on March 11, 1967, and noted to occur only in California. USFWS has reintroduced California condors into northern Arizona and southern Utah, and designated these birds as nonessential experimental populations under the ESA. The purpose of the reintroduction was to achieve a primary recovery goal: the establishment of a second noncaptive population, spatially disjunct from the noncaptive population in southern California. California condors are among the largest flying birds in the world, with adults weighing up to 22 pounds. Condors are opportunistic scavengers, feeding only on carcasses. Since European settlement of California, condor populations have steadily declined. Poisoning, shooting, egg and specimen collecting, collisions with artificial structures, and loss of habitat contributed to the decline of the species. By 1987, the last wild condor was captured and taken to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Beginning with the first successful breeding of California condors in 1988, the population (in 1996) was 121 individuals, including 104 in the captive flock and 17 in the wild. The condor experimental reintroduction imposes two requirements on federal agencies: (1) that they use their authority to conserve the condors, and (2) that they informally confer with USFWS on actions likely to jeopardize the condor (50 CFR Part 17). Birds from northern Arizona frequently forage and roost in Utah and are likely to nest in southern Utah (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources [UDWR] 2005c). To date there are no known California condor nesting or roosting sites in the RFO. Threats to the condors include inadequate protection of suitable nesting sites and foraging areas near nesting sites (UDWR 2005c). The planning area includes habitat that contains both the experimental population (Areas South of I-70) and habitat that could be occupied by California condors in non-experimental areas (North of I-70). Therefore, one analysis in the Biological Assessment (BA) includes the endangered California condor that may migrate north of I-70 and another analysis is made to determine effects on the experimental population south of I-70.

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Mexican Spotted Owl
The Mexican spotted owl was listed as a threatened species on March 16, 1993. The range of the Mexican spotted owl extends from the southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the Colorado Plateau in central and southern Utah, southward through Arizona and New Mexico. Mexican spotted owls primarily forage at night. Their diet consists of a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects, with mammals constituting the bulk of the diet throughout the owl’s range. Wood rats, voles, and gophers are the primary mammal food base. Steep slopes and canyons with rocky cliffs characterize much of the owl’s habitat in the planning area. A recovery plan was completed for the Mexican spotted owl in 1995. Mexican spotted owls in the RFO are located within the Colorado Plateau Recovery Unit. Threats to Mexican spotted owls include habitat loss associated with human disturbance and past and current timber harvest activity. Designated critical habitat was established for the Mexican spotted owl in 2001 and revised in 2004. This designated habitat contains important nesting and foraging habitat for the owl. The critical habitat designation clarified that areas within critical habitat boundaries are considered critical habitat only when they contain or have the potential to contain habitat characteristics essential to the conservation of the species. For canyon habitats, the primary constituent elements include one or more of the following attributes: (1) cooler and often more humid conditions than the surrounding area; (2) clumps or stringers of trees and/or canyon walls with crevices, ledges, or caves; (3) a high percentage of ground litter and woody debris; and (4) riparian or woody vegetation. The primary constituent elements related to forest structure include the following: (1) a range of tree species; (2) a shade canopy created by the tree branches, covering 40 percent or more of the ground; and (3) large, dead trees with a trunk diameter of at least 12 inches (measured at 4.5 feet above ground surface).

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher
The southwestern willow flycatcher was listed as an endangered species on February 27, 1995. It breeds primarily in the southwestern United States and winters in Central America and southern Mexico. The southwestern willow flycatcher is found in the southern and eastern parts of the State of Utah, along riparian zones of the Colorado Plateau. Current population status and trends for the southwestern willow flycatcher are unknown in Utah. Critical habitat for the southwestern willow flycatcher has been designated along the Virgin River in the southwestern part of Utah near St. George. Habitat for this species exists in Wayne County (UDWR 2005a, NatureServe 2004), and there has been a sighting of the species in the Fremont Valley gateway area (Suzanne Grayson, BLM RFO, Personal communication 2004). The southwestern willow flycatcher is rare in southern Utah during the summer and is found most frequently in riparian habitats, especially in areas of dense willows associated with rivers and wetlands. The major factor in the decline of the flycatcher is the alteration/loss of the riparian habitat necessary for the species (UDWR 2005a).

Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo
This species is considered a riparian obligate and is usually found in large tracts of dense cottonwood/willow habitats (below 33 feet in height). Population status and trends within the planning area are unknown; however, a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos was heard during breeding season before 1983. More recent breeding has been recorded outside the planning area. Yellow-billed cuckoo nesting behavior may be closely tied to food abundance. The species is one of the latest migrants to arrive and breed in Utah. The yellow-billed cuckoos arrive in late May or early June and breed in late June through July. Nesting habitat is classified as dense lowland riparian characterized by a dense subcanopy or shrub layer (regenerating canopy trees, willows, or other riparian shrubs) within 333 feet of water. Threats to the species include the alteration of riparian corridors from invasive species, livestock use, and development (UDWR 2005a, NatureServe 2004).

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Utah Prairie Dog
The Utah prairie dog was listed as an endangered species on June 4, 1973. On May 29, 1984, the prairie dog was downlisted to threatened. Historically, the Utah prairie dog was found in southwestern and central Utah. The habitat of a prairie dog consists of continuous grassland and other vegetation on flat plains. The prairie dog is found at elevations from 5,400 feet in Iron County to 9,500 feet in Wayne County, and lives both above ground and underground. The most obvious feature of a prairie dog colony is the abundance of mounds and holes. Utah prairie dog habitat is commonly divided into 3 recovery areas: the West Desert, the Paunsaugunt Plateau, and the Awapa Plateau. Portions of the Awapa Plateau and Paunsaugunt recovery areas are in the RFO. Major threats to the Utah prairie dog include habitat loss (through development and drought), poisoning, and the plague. Prairie dogs are susceptible to several diseases. These factors lead to rapid decline and even disappearance of entire colonies. A recovery plan was completed for the Utah prairie dog in 1991. A Utah Prairie Dog Interim Conservation Strategy was completed in 1997 (IM-UT 2002-040). A current management practice for the prairie dog is a translocation program. Translocation of prairie dogs is authorized by USFWS under authority of the ESA, as amended. It is anticipated that translocations will be a major part of the management of the Utah prairie dog in the future. No critical habitat has been designated for the Utah prairie dog.

Colorado River Fish
There are 4 species of fish endemic to the Colorado River Basin listed as endangered under the ESA. None of these species or their designated critical habitat occurs within the public lands administered by the RFO. Some historic habitat was found on the Dirty Devil River; however, due to fluctuations in flows, this river is not current habitat. However, because these species and their designated critical habitat are located downstream from the RFO and because some streams that traverse the RFO are tributaries to the Colorado River Basin, they are briefly discussed here.
Bonytail Chub

The bonytail chub was listed by USFWS as an endangered species in 1980. The bonytail is found in larger channels of the Colorado River system. They are endemic to the large rivers (Colorado, Green, and San Juan) of the Colorado River Basin. In April 1994, USFWS designated 1,980 miles of critical habitat for all 4 Colorado River fish in portions of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California (50 CFR Part 17). UDWR has documented populations of bonytail chub within eastern Emery, Wayne, and Garfield counties (UDWR 2005a). Bonytail prefer eddies, pools, and backwaters near swift current in large rivers. Because the historic and occupied range of the bonytail is restricted to the mainstem of the Green River, it does not substantially extend into any tributaries, such as the Dirty Devil River, originating from the planning area (USFWS 1990a). The historical distribution of bonytail is poorly documented, but on the basis of former collections, the optimum habitat of bonytail chubs appears to be the open river areas of relatively uniform depth and current velocity. Adults are found mainly in pools and eddies with silt, sand, or boulder substrates. Young occur in still water or shallow pools with silt or gravel (Bosworth 2003). Threats of extinction stem from habitat loss (including alterations to natural flows and changes to temperature and sediment regimes), proliferation of non-native introduced fish, and other artificial disturbances (USFWS 1994b). Goals for management and conservation of bonytail are described in Bonytail (Gila elegans) Recovery Goals: Amendment and Supplement to the Bonytail Chub Recovery

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Plan (USFWS 2002a), and incorporated in Appendix 14 of this Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS).
Colorado Pikeminnow

The Colorado pikeminnow (formerly known as the Colorado squawfish) is a large minnow native to the Colorado River system of the western United States and Mexico. USFWS designated this species as endangered in 1967, and the species is also included in the UDWR Sensitive Species List (2003). The species is distributed within Wayne and Garfield counties in large mainstem rivers (Green River and Colorado River) and in the lower reaches of major tributaries. In the Green River drainage, the mainstem is occupied from the confluence with the Colorado River upstream through Dinosaur National Monument. Because the historic and occupied range of the pikeminnow is restricted to the mainstem of the Green River, it does not substantially extend into any tributaries, such as the Dirty Devil River, originating from the planning area (USFWS 1991). Changes in sediment deposition patterns, flow, and temperature caused by dams have resulted in loss and alteration of aquatic habitats and have favored non-native competitors and predators (Bosworth 2003). Threats of extinction stem from habitat loss (including alterations to natural flows and changes to temperature and sediment regimes), proliferation of non-native introduced fish, and other artificial disturbances (USFWS 1994b). Recovery goals have been formulated to guide management and conservation efforts and are described in Colorado Pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus lucius) Recovery Goals: Amendment and Supplement to the Colorado Squawfish Recovery Plan (USFWS 2002b), and are incorporated as conservation measures in Appendix 14 of this PRMP/FEIS.
Humpback Chub

The humpback chub is a rare minnow native to the upper Colorado River system. Because of the severe declines in humpback chub numbers and distribution, the species was listed as endangered in 1967 and is also included in the UDWR Sensitive Species List (2003). USFWS designated critical habitat in April 1994, as described under bonytail chub, above. Humpback chub originally thrived in the fast, deep whitewater areas of the Colorado River and its major tributaries; but flow alterations, which have changed the turbidity, volume, current speed, and temperature of the water in those rivers, have had significantly adverse impacts on the species. Humpback chub in Utah are now confined to a few whitewater areas in the Colorado, Green, and White rivers (Bosworth 2003). Because the historic and occupied range of the humpback chub is restricted to the mainstem of the Green River, it does not substantially extend into any tributaries, such as the Dirty Devil River, originating from the planning area (USFWS 1990b). Threats of extinction stem from habitat loss (including alterations to natural flows and changes to temperature and sediment regimes), proliferation of non-native introduced fish, and other artificial disturbances (USFWS 1994b). Recovery goals to guide management and conservation of the species are documented in Humpback Chub Recovery Goals: Amendment and Supplement to the Humpback Chub Recovery Plan (USFWS 2002c), and incorporated as conservation measures in Appendix 14.
Razorback Sucker

The razorback sucker was listed as endangered in 1991 and is also included in the UDWR Sensitive Species List (UDWR 2003). The species is believed to have historically occupied much of the Green, Colorado, and San Juan rivers, as well as the lower portions of large tributaries such as the White and Duchesne rivers. Razorback sucker occur in water of desert and submontane elevations. Habitat may vary seasonally and includes pools, slow runs, backwaters, and flooded off-channel areas (Bosworth 2003). Current distribution patterns are difficult to interpret, primarily because the species is rarely encountered.

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USFWS designated critical habitat in April 1994, as described under bonytail chub. A subpopulation of approximately 100 adults was found in the 1990s occupying the middle Green River, and UDWR has noted population distribution within Wayne County (Bosworth 2003, UDWR 2005a). Because the historic and occupied range of the razorback sucker is restricted to the mainstem of the Green River, it does not substantially extend into any tributaries, such as the Dirty Devil River, originating from the planning area (USFWS 1998). The razorback sucker eats mainly algae, zooplankton, and other aquatic invertebrates. Successful reproduction has not been documented in the last 25 years. Spawning occurs during a 6-week period in April and May when water temperatures reach 53°F–64°F. Threats of extinction stem from habitat loss (including alterations to natural flows and changes to temperature and sediment regimes), proliferation of non-native introduced fish, and other artificial disturbances (USFWS 1994b). The USFWS has developed recovery goals to guide management and conservation efforts (USFWS 2002d).

Wright Fishhook Cactus
Wright fishhook cactus is a federally listed endangered plant that occurs in Emery, Sevier, and Wayne counties. The species is found in soils that range from clays to sandy silts to fine sands, typically in areas with well-developed biological soil crusts (Clark and Clark 1999). Wright fishhook cactus grows in salt desert shrub and widely scattered pinyon-juniper woodlands at elevations ranging from 4,280 to 6,440 feet (Utah Native Plant Society 2004). The species and its habitat are vulnerable to disturbance from domestic livestock grazing, mineral resource development, and OHV use (USFWS 1979).

Barneby Reed-Mustard
Barneby reed-mustard is a federally listed endangered plant found only in Emery and Wayne counties. The species grows on red clay soils rich in selenium and gypsum, overlain with sandstone talus derived from the Moenkopi and Chinle geologic formations (USFWS 1994a). Barneby reed-mustard grows in sparsely vegetated sites in mixed desert shrub and pinyon-juniper woodlands, at elevations ranging from 4,788 to 6,510 feet (Clark and Clark 1999). Potential threats to the population of Barneby reed-mustard include mining, trampling by hikers, and road or recreation development (USFWS 1994a).

San Rafael Cactus
San Rafael cactus is a federally listed endangered plant that grows in Emery and Wayne counties. It is found in fine-textured soils rich in calcium derived from the Carmel Formation and the Sinbad Member of the Moenkopi Formation. The species grows on benches, hilltops, and gentle slopes in pinyon-juniper woodlands and mixed desert shrub-grassland communities, at elevations ranging from 4,756 to 6,822 feet (Utah Native Plant Society 2004; USFWS 1995c). The habitat of San Rafael cactus is vulnerable to surface disturbance from OHV use, trampling by humans and livestock, and mineral resource exploration and development (Clark and Clark 1999).

Winkler Cactus
Winkler cactus is a federally listed threatened plant that occurs in Emery and Wayne counties. The species is a small, nearly round cactus with solitary or clumped stems. The crown of the stem is at or very near ground level (Utah Rare Plant Society 2004). Winkler cactus is found in fine-textured soils derived from the Dakota Formation and the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation (Utah Native Plant Society 2004). It occurs on benches, hilltops, and gentle slopes on barren, open sites in salt desert shrub communities, at elevations ranging from 4,888 to 6,592 feet (USFWS 1995c). The habitat of the species is vulnerable to surface disturbance from OHV use, trampling by humans and livestock, and mineral resource exploration and development (Clark and Clark 1999).

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Last Chance Townsendia
Last Chance townsendia is a federally listed threatened plant that occurs in Emery, Sevier, and Wayne counties. The species is found in clay, clay-silt, or gravelly clay soils derived from the Mancos Formation. These soils are often densely covered with biological soil crusts. Last Chance townsendia grows in salt desert shrub and pinyon-juniper woodlands at elevations ranging from 5,531 to 8,396 feet (USFWS 1985). Threats to Last Chance townsendia populations include poor rangeland conditions, trampling by OHV recreation use, trampling by livestock, and mining (USFWS 1993a).

Ute Ladies’-Tresses
Ute ladies’-tresses was first listed as threatened on January 17, 1992. It is currently designated as threatened across the entire range. The species is known to occur in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming (USFWS 1992). Ute ladies’-tresses is found in moist to very wet meadows, along streams, in abandoned stream meanders, and near springs, seeps, and lake shores. It grows in sandy or loamy soils that are typically mixed with gravels. In Utah, the species ranges in elevation from 4,301 to 7,001 feet. Populations have been documented in wetlands near Utah Lake in northern Utah (2 populations) and in low-elevation riparian areas in the Colorado River drainage in eastern Utah (6 populations) (USFWS 1992). The species occurs in Garfield and Wayne counties in the planning area. A member of the orchid family, Ute ladies’-tresses is a perennial herb with a flowering stem (8–20 inches tall) that rises from a basal rosette of grass-like leaves. The flowers are ivory-colored, arranged in a spike at the top of the stem, and bloom mainly from late July through August. Recovery objectives for the species are documented in the Ute Ladies’-Tresses Recovery Plan (USFWS 1995b). Threats to the species include loss of habitat from fragmentation of land due to conversion to suburban and urban areas and management of water and stream systems for municipal, agricultural, and recreation uses (USFWS 1995b). The Ute ladies’-tresses is not currently known to occur on lands administered by the BLM RFO. The species exists within the boundary of the planning area; however, it is located only on lands administered by the Fish Lake National Forest and the Capitol Reef National Park. Surveys have been conducted on BLM land, and to date, this species has not been identified. BLM lands in the planning area provide limited habitat that could support the Ute ladies’-tresses.

Maguire Daisy
Maguire daisy is a federally listed threatened plant that occurs in Emery, Garfield, and Wayne counties. The species grows on the sand and rubble weathered from Wingate, Chinle and Navajo Sandstone, and rarely, the Kayenta Formation (Utah Native Plant Society 2004 and Clark and Clark 1999). It is found in slickrock-crevices, on ledges, and in the bottoms of washes, at elevations ranging from 5,248 to 8,200 feet (Clark and Clark 1999). In 1996, the Maguire daisy was downlisted from endangered to threatened based on the discovery of 12 additional populations. Threats to existing Maguire daisy populations are primarily from OHV use and livestock trampling (USFWS 1995d).

3.3.8.2

BLM Sensitive Species

Table 3-16 identifies those non-listed special status plant and animal species that are known or thought to occur on public lands administered by the RFO (IM-UT 2003-027). The Utah BLM Sensitive Species list changes periodically and is updated accordingly as species are added to or deleted from the list. Changes to the Utah BLM Sensitive Species list would be incorporated into the RFO RMP as they occur.

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Table 3-16. Utah BLM Sensitive Species
Common Name Mollusks
California Floater Ninemile Pyrg Otter Creek Pyrg Southern Bonneville Pyrg Carinate Glenwood Pyrg Smooth Glenwood Pyrg Black Canyon Pyrg

Scientific Name
Anodonta californiensis Pyrgulopsis nonaria Pyrgulopsis fusca Pyrgulopsis transversa Pyrgulopsis inopinata Pyrgulopsis chamberlini Pyrgulopsis plicata Bufo boreas Bufo cognatus Rana luteiventris Sauromalus ater Xantusia vigilis Haliaeetus leucocephalus Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Buteo regalis Centrocercus urophasianus Numenius americanus Speotyto cunicularia Asio flammeus Cypseloides niger Melanerpes lewis Picoides dorsalis Accipiter gentilis Ammodramus savannarum Myotis thysanodes Lasiurus blossevillii Euderma maculatum Corynorhinus townsendii Idionycteris phyllotis Nyctinomops macrotis Brachylagus idahoensis Vulpes macrotis Oncorhynchus clarkii utah Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus Lepidomeda aliciae Gila robusta

UDWR Status
Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Conservation Agreement Species Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Conservation Agreement Species Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Species of Concern Conservation Agreement Species Conservation Agreement Species Species of Concern Conservation Agreement Species

Amphibians
Western (Boreal) Toad Great Plains Toad Columbia Spotted Frog

Reptiles
Common Chuckwalla Desert Night Lizard

Birds
Bald Eagle American White Pelican Ferruginous Hawk Greater Sage-Grouse Long-Billed Curlew Burrowing Owl Short-Eared Owl Black Swift Lewis’s Woodpecker American Three-Toed Woodpecker Northern Goshawk Grasshopper Sparrow

Mammals
Fringed Myotis Western Red Bat Spotted Bat Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat Allen’s Big-Eared Bat Big Free-Tailed Bat Pygmy Rabbit Kit Fox

Fish
Bonneville Cutthroat Trout Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Southern Leatherside Chub Roundtail Chub

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Common Name
Bluehead Sucker Flannelmouth Sucker

Scientific Name
Catostomus discobolus Catostomus latipinnis Gilia cespitosa also known as Aliciella cespitosa Phacelia utahensis Astragalus subcinereus var. basalticus Cymopterus beckii Cryptantha creutzfeldtii Dalea flavescens var. epica Eriogonum corymbosum var. cronquistii Eriogonum corymbosum var. smithii Euphorbia nephradenia Gilia latifolia var imperialis Gilia tenuis Also known as Aliciella tenuis Habenaria zothecina Haplopappus lignumviridis Lepidium montanum var. claronense Lygodesmia grandiflora var. entrada Psorothamnus polydenius var. jonesii Mentzelia argillosa Sphaeralcea janeae Sphaeralcea psoraloides Thelesperma subnudum var. alpinum also known as Thelesperma windhamii Townsendia jonesii var. lutea

UDWR Status
Conservation Agreement Species Conservation Agreement Species

Plants
Rabbit Valley Gilia, also known as Wonderland Alice-flower Utah Phacelia Basalt Milkvetch Pinnate Spring Parsley Creutzfeldt cryptanth Hole-in-the-Rock Prairie-Clover Cronquist Wild Buckwheat Smith Wild Buckwheat Utah Spurge Cataract Gilia Mussentuchit Gilia Alcove Bog-Orchid Greenwood’s Goldenbush Claron Pepperplant Entrada Rushpink Jones’ Indigo Bush Arapien Blazingstar Jane’s Globemallow Psoralea Globemallow Alpine Greenthread Sigurd Townsendia
Note: Central Utah Navajo Sandstone Endemics Conservation Agreement for Aliciella caespitosa (Rabbit Valley gilia or Wonderland alice-flower), Aliciella tenuis (Mussentuchit gilia), Astragalus harrisonii (Harrison’s milkvetch), Cymopterus beckii (Pinnate springparsley), Erigeron maguirei ( Maguire’s Daisy). 2006. Forest Service, Fishlake National Forest; Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Office; National Park Service, Capitol Reef National Park; Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Field Office.
1

Conservation Agreement Species

1

Conservation Agreement Species

1

Conservation Agreement Species

1

Unless otherwise noted, the information presented below for non-listed special status plant and animal species comes from the UDWR website (www.wildlife.utah.gov). Additional information on these species can be obtained at this site.

Mollusks
California floater (Anodonta californiensis)

The California floater has been found in Piute and Otter Creek reservoirs within the RFO planning area. At least 2 other extant occurrences are known in Utah and Millard counties. Known habitat ranges from muddy bottoms with depths of 6 to 10 inches among watercress to creeks 5 to 15 feet wide, up to 18

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inches deep, with a bottom of gravel and sand in flowing areas and mud in pools. It is thought that populations of this species may be declining due to pesticides in agricultural run-off, habitat degradation by cattle, and water diversion.
Ninemile Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis nonaria)

The Ninemile pyrg is known to inhabit 2 springs near Ninemile Reservoir in Sanpete County. It is not known to inhabit public land administered by the RFO; however, springs on BLM land may provide habitat for the species. The species is “abundant” in 1 of the 2 springs it inhabits, but actual population size and trends are unknown. The limited occurrence of this species and the vulnerability of its habitat suggest that potential threats to the species are great. Inventories for this species within potential habitat on RFO-administered land would be beneficial.
Otter Creek Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis fusca)

The Otter Creek pyrg is associated with habitats produced by the outflow of springs. Only 3 known populations of this species exist; 1 population is in Piute County and 2 are in Sevier County. None of these populations is on public land administered by the RFO; however, springs on BLM land may provide potential habitat for the species. It is reported to be “common” at 2 of the 3 localities, but due to its limited distribution, its overall population should be regarded as very low. The restricted habitat and distribution of the species suggest that threats to its survival are potentially great. Inventories for this species within potential habitat on RFO-administered land would be beneficial.
Southern Bonneville Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis transversa)

This species is known from 6 springs, all in north-central Utah; 4 of these localities are in Tooele County, 1 is in Utah County, and 1 is in Sanpete County. Although the population in Sanpete County is within the RFO planning area, it is not on BLM-administered land. Despite the relative abundance of this species being reported as “common” to “abundant,” its restriction to 6 springs implies a low population. Inventories for this species within potential habitat on RFO-administered land would be beneficial.
Carinate Glenwood Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis inopinata)

There are 2 known populations of this species, both inhabiting springs near Glenwood in Sevier County. Neither population is on public land administered by the RFO; however, springs on BLM land may provide potential habitat for this species. This species is considered “scarce” at one locality, and at the other, it may be hybridizing with another species. Habitat degradation due to recreational use has occurred at these springs. The limited distribution and habitat degradation are threats to this species. Inventories for this species within potential habitat on RFO-administered land would be beneficial.
Smooth Glenwood Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis chamberlini)

There are 2 known populations of this species, both inhabiting springs near Glenwood in Sevier County. Neither population is on public land administered by the RFO; however, springs on BLM land may provide potential habitat for this species. This species was reported as “abundant”; however, because it occurs only in 2 closely associated springs, its overall abundance must be considered very low. The habitat used by this species is highly disturbed from recreational use. The threat to the continued existence of the species is considered high due to its limited distribution and the degradation of its habitat. Inventories for this species within potential habitat on RFO-administered land would be beneficial.

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Black Canyon Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis plicata)

The single locality of occurrence for this species is described as a series of small springs emerging from a steep hillside in Black Canyon, East Fork Sevier River, Garfield County, Utah. It is reported as “common” at this locality; however, its overall abundance must be extremely low because it occurs in only one spring complex. This known population is on private land within the RFO planning area. Inventories for this species within potential habitat on RFO-administered land would be beneficial.

Amphibians
Western (Boreal) toad (Bufo boreas)

Often known as the Western toad, this species is widely scattered throughout the northwestern United States and Canada. It is found throughout much of Utah in a variety of habitats, including slow moving streams, wetlands, desert springs, ponds, lakes, meadows, and woodlands. Many of these habitats are located on lands administered by the RFO.
Great Plains toad (Bufo cognatus)

The Great Plains toad inhabits the central United States, much of Mexico, and limited areas of Canada. In Utah, the Great Plains toad occurs in scattered areas throughout the State, including portions of the RFO planning area, where it prefers desert, grassland, and agricultural habitats. This species breeds in shallow water after rains during spring and summer months. Females lay clutches of approximately 3,000 eggs, which hatch in several days. Adult toads eat insects primarily, whereas tadpoles eat plants, detritus, and algae. In cold winter months, the Great Plains toad burrows underground and becomes inactive. The Great Plains toad is usually light brown with darker brown or brownish-green irregular splotches.
Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris)

This species is on the UDWR Sensitive Species List (UDWR 2003) as a Conservation Species, and a multi-agency conservation agreement was completed in 1998. In Utah, isolated Columbia spotted frog populations exist in the West Desert and along the Wasatch Front. Within these regions, populations are tied to aquatic habitat and perennial sources of water (Bosworth 2003). UDWR has documented populations of Columbia spotted frog in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, and Garfield counties. Adult frogs eat a wide variety of food items, ranging from insects to snails, whereas tadpoles eat algae, plants, and small aquatic organisms. Typically, breeding sites have little or no current and are surrounded by dense aquatic vegetation. The Columbia spotted frog breeds as early in the spring as winter thaw allows, with eggs hatching in 3–21 days depending on temperature. During cold winter months, spotted frogs burrow in the mud and become inactive. Populations are vulnerable to the loss and degradation of aquatic habitat. Historically, wetland destruction associated with development, as well as water withdrawal, pollution, livestock use, or competition from non-native species, have contributed to the species’ decline (UDWR 2005a, NatureServe 2004).

Reptiles
Common chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)

Chuckwallas are large lizards, sometimes exceeding 8 inches in length not including the tail. They occur in the southwestern United States and in parts of Mexico. In Utah, the species occurs only in the southern portion of the State, including areas of Garfield County administered by the RFO. Chuckwallas are predominantly found near cliffs, boulders, or rocky slopes, where they use rocks as basking sites and rock crevices for shelter. Chuckwallas are primarily herbivores, although they also consume insects. Female

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chuckwallas lay 1 clutch of 5 to 15 eggs during the summer months. They are most active from spring through fall, remaining inactive in deep rock crevices during the cold of winter. They will also retreat into rock crevices during extreme heat.
Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis)

The desert night lizard is found in the southwestern United States and in Baja, California. In Utah, it occurs in a few small areas in the southern part of the State. It has been found in Garfield County on lands administered by the RFO. The desert night lizard is rarely seen because it is extremely secretive and spends much of its time under cover. It is a small lizard, only about 1.5 inches long, not including the tail. This species breeds in May and June. Females give birth to live young (usually 1 to 3) in late summer or early fall. The desert night lizard eats a variety of insects and other small invertebrates.

Birds
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

The bald eagle, the national symbol of the United States, was first protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940, and then later listed as an endangered species in most of the lower 48 states in 1966 and again in 1973. Since DDT was banned in 1972, the bald eagle has made a remarkable recovery throughout the United States. Its status was changed to threatened in 1995, and the bald eagle was delisted in 2007. Even though they are delisted, bald eagles are still protected by the MBTA and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. These Acts require some measures to continue to prevent bald eagle “take” resulting from human activities. The bald eagle is found throughout the State of Utah (more often seen in winter than summer). Habitat consists of communal winter roosting habitat and foraging habitat that is located within the RFO. Feeding areas, diurnal perches, and night roosts are fundamental elements of bald eagle winter range. In Utah, eagles nest in mature cottonwoods. Nesting has been documented in Wayne County (UDWR 2003). Wintering habitat exists within Sanpete, Sevier, Piute and Wayne counties. Fish and waterfowl are the primary sources of food for bald eagles, but they will also feed on rabbits, carrion, and small rodents.
American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

The primary breeding habitat for this species is in the northern part of the State. However, during spring migration, the breeding season, and fall staging and migration periods, American white pelicans can be observed at many reservoirs throughout the State. Fall migration can extend from October through December, and birds typically return to Utah in early March. Within the RFO area, this species can be found on Piute and Otter Creek reservoirs. The white pelican’s primary food is fish, which is often sought in water less than 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) deep. White pelicans are diurnal and nocturnal foragers, and cooperative foraging is often used in shallow water. They forage mainly on “rough fish,” which are often small (less than one-half bill length). Nesting in colonies and using cooperative flight and foraging strategies, pelicans are among the most gregarious and social of avian species. They are often observed sleeping, roosting, and sun bathing together. They are monogamous; pair formation occurs after arrival in Utah, typically the last week in March. For the colony as a whole, nest initiation extends over 3 months in Utah. The 2-egg clutch is incubated for 30 days. Nestlings are attended by parents for about 3 weeks; then the young congregate into pods.
Ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis)

This species is distributed throughout much of Utah, although it is rare and productivity may not be sufficient to maintain the State’s populations. Use of nesting substrate varies throughout this species’

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range and includes trees, shrubs, cliffs, utility structures, and ground outcrops. Haystacks and abandoned buildings have also been used. Ferruginous hawk density varies regionally and temporally as prey densities vary. Their primary food source is small mammals, such as rabbits and hares, prairie dogs, and pocket gophers. Ferruginous hawk habitat is found in much of the area administered by the RFO. Threats include human disturbance (recreation, mineral development, etc.) and loss of preferred pinyon-juniper woodland habitats. The species is prone to abandon nest sites with low levels of human disturbance.
Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

This species inhabits sagebrush plains, foothills, and mountain valleys. Sagebrush is the predominant plant of quality habitat. The largest population of Greater sage-grouse in Utah is found in Wayne County. The species is also distributed throughout Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, and Garfield counties in areas dominated by sagebrush. An understory of grasses and forbs, as well as wet meadow areas, are essential elements of sage-grouse habitat, especially for survival of young chicks. The Greater sage-grouse is an herbivore, and insectivore and is associated with both tall and short sagebrush types. Sage-grouse use the same breeding grounds, or “leks,” over several consecutive breeding seasons. Greater sage-grouse are ground nesters and are susceptible to predators and human disturbance, including mineral exploration and development and OHV use. Greater sage-grouse rely entirely on sagebrush for their winter diet and are found in sagebrush habitats during the winter months where the sagebrush remains above the level of the snow, or on windswept ridges where sagebrush is available as both forage and cover. Additional threats to the species include habitat loss, invasive plants, and conversion of large areas from shrub steppe to nonnative grasslands (UDWR 2005a, NatureServe 2004). Several research projects targeting the Greater sage-grouse population in the Parker Mountain area indicate that the population has increased from about 600 birds in 1997 to about 6,000 birds in 2007 (Guttery et al. 2007). The vitality of the Parker Mountain sage-grouse population is evidenced by the fact that this population is one of the few areas in Utah where sufficient numbers of breeding individuals are present to allow a limited annual harvest. (UDWR 2007). Monitoring indicates that the vegetation treatments in the Parker Mountain area provide greater vegetation diversity than untreated or control plots (Guttery et al. 2007). Monitoring in 2007 also discovered that most-sage-grouse pellets were found within fewer than 131 feet (40 meters) of intact sagebrush or treatment areas (Guttery et al. 2007).
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)

In Utah, this species is a fairly common summer resident and migrant. The curlew lives and breeds in higher and drier meadowlands than many other shorebird species. Uncultivated rangelands and pastures located within the planning area support the majority of breeding populations. Food sources include crustaceans, mollusks, worms, toads, insects, and sometimes berries. According to the UDWR, longbilled curlews have 4 essential nesting habitat requirements: short grass (less than 12 inches [30 cm]), bare ground components, shade, and abundant vertebrate prey.
Burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia)

This species prefers open areas within deserts, grasslands, and sagebrush steppe communities. Both primary and secondary breeding habitat exists in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, and Garfield counties. Habitat consists of well-drained, level-to-gently-sloping areas characterized by sparse vegetation and bare ground, such as moderately or heavily grazed pasture. Burrowing owls breed in native prairie as well as in cultivated pasture, hay fields, fallow fields, road and railroad rights-of-way (ROW), and in a number of urban habitats. They are obligate nesters that nest in ground burrows of prairie dogs or other burrowing mammals. Threats to the population include habitat loss, declining prairie dog populations, and pesticides (UDWR 2005a, NatureServe 2004).

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Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)

This is a medium-sized owl that frequently flies during daylight, especially at dusk and dawn, as it forages for rodents. The short-eared owl is usually found in grasslands, shrublands, and other open habitats common in the RFO. It is nomadic, often choosing a new breeding site each year, depending on local rodent densities. The owls nest on the ground in a small depression that is usually lined with a small amount of grass and other plant material. There is some concern that short-eared owl populations are declining in Utah.
Black swift (Cypseloides niger)

The black swift occurs in mountainous regions of the western United States and Canada. Little is known of the historic range of this species. Currently, black swifts occur in 3 widely separated areas, 1 of which is central Colorado through central Utah. They are thought to be extremely rare in Utah, with only 2 confirmed breeding locations. Black swifts are aerial insectivores and feed exclusively on flying insects. They nest is small colonies near and often behind waterfalls. Adults are long lived. Nesting sites are typically surrounded by coniferous forests, often mixed conifer or spruce-fir forests. The preferred habitat for the black swift is limited in the RFO.
Lewis’s woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis)

This species ranges from southern British Columbia to its wintering grounds in northwestern Mexico. In Utah, it is primarily found in the central part of the State. The Lewis’s woodpecker is a cavity nester, excavating a hole in tall trees that are often dead or blackened by fire. It will also nest in utility poles or stumps but prefers ponderosa pine, cottonwood, or sycamore, all of which are found within the RFO. The diet of this woodpecker consists of insects, nuts, and berries depending on the time of the year. Areas with a good understory of grasses and shrubs to support insect prey populations are preferred.
American three-toed woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis)

This species of woodpecker extends from Canada through Utah and into New Mexico. It is found in Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, tamarack, aspen, and lodgepole pine forests. This woodpecker tends to stay in its territory year-round, although insect outbreaks, such as spruce bark beetle infestations, may cause irregular movements. Habitat of the American three-toed woodpecker is found in the higher elevations of the RFO.
Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

The northern goshawk is found in much of the northern hemisphere. It is a permanent resident in Utah, but is not common in the State. The hawk prefers mature mountain forest and riparian zone habitats, both of which are found in the planning area. Nests are constructed in trees in mature forests. The northern goshawk often nests in the previously used nests of northern goshawks or other bird species. This species cruises low through forested areas and also perches to hunt prey. Major prey includes rabbits, hares, squirrels, and birds.
Grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)

This species of sparrow is a grasslands bird; therefore, potential habitat is limited in the RFO. In Utah, breeding populations have been found only in the northern parts of the State. Nests are built of grass on the ground at the base of grass clumps. As its name implies, this species’ primary diet is grasshoppers.

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Mammals
Fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes)

This small bat is found in much of the western United States. It is widely distributed throughout Utah but is not very common in the State. The fringed myotis commonly inhabits caves, mines, and buildings, most often in desert and woodland areas, which are common in the RFO. Beetles are the major prey for this species.
Western red bat (Lasiurus blossevilli)

The Western red bat is found in the western United States. It is extremely rare in Utah and is known to inhabit only a few locations in the State. As a result, it is included on the UDWR Sensitive Species List. This species of bat is normally found near water, often in wooded areas. While some individuals hibernate during cold times, most will migrate south to warmer climates for the winter. The species is nocturnal. It feeds on insects, often foraging near riparian areas.
Spotted bat (Euderma maculatum)

This species occurs throughout much of the western United States. It is found statewide in Utah, but has probably never been abundant in any particular location. The spotted bat may be found in a variety of habitats, ranging from deserts to forested mountains. It roosts and hibernates in caves and rock crevices. These types of habitats are scattered throughout the RFO. Spotted bats eat insects, primarily moths, which are captured in flight. Current data suggest that populations of this species may be declining in Utah. Consequently, the spotted bat is now included on the UDWR Sensitive Species List.
Townsend’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus stownsendii)

This species occurs in western North America from southwestern Canada to Mexico. In Utah, it occurs statewide at elevations below 9,000 feet. Townsend’s big-eared bat can be found in many types of habitat, but is often found near forested areas. Caves, mines, and buildings are used for day roosting and winter hibernation. The species is nocturnal, and individuals typically do not leave their roosts until well after sunset. This species is thought to be declining in population in Utah due to human disturbances of caves and the closings of abandoned mines.
Allen’s big-eared bat (Idionycteris phyllotis)

Allen’s big-eared bat is one of the most poorly known bat species in North America. It was not known to inhabit Utah until 1969. It is known to occur only in the southern portion of the State. Because of its rarity, this species is included on the UDWR Utah Sensitive Species List. Preferred habitats include rocky and riparian areas in woodland and scrubland regions. Allen’s big-eared bat is an insectivore, eating insects captured in flight or plucked from vegetation. It is nocturnal, roosting in caves or rock crevices during the day.
Big free-tailed bat (Nyctinomops macrotis)

This species is found in the western United States. It is rare in Utah, occurring primarily in the southern half of the State. The big free-tailed bat prefers rocky and woodland habitats. Roosting occurs in caves, mines, old buildings, and rock crevices. It is typically active year-round, migrating to warmer areas in the south during the winter months. This species eats insects, primarily moths.

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Pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis)

This species can be found throughout Utah, including within the RFO. The pygmy rabbit habitat in the RFO is limited to 1 percent of the planning area. The species prefers areas with tall, dense sagebrush and loose soils. Pygmy rabbits occur in isolated patches because of their specific life history requirements. Their habitat consists of deep soils and tall, dense sagebrush and high shrub cover. Pygmy rabbits are active throughout the year and are most often above ground near dawn and dusk. Inactive periods are spent in underground burrows. Pygmy rabbits depend on sagebrush for their winter diets and during summer shift to more grasses and forbs. Declines in population are related to the degradation or loss of sagebrush steppe habitat. If actions were proposed in pygmy rabbit habitat, site-specific National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provisions would be needed to address restrictions (e.g., avoidance or mitigation) around pygmy rabbit habitat.
Kit fox (Vulpes macrotis)

The kit fox is the smallest canid in North America. It is found exclusively in arid and semi-arid landscapes and occupies habitats that provide favorable combinations of low predator abundance, sufficient prey, and soils suitable for denning. The kit fox is one of the few canids in the world to use year-round dens which provide protection from predators, aid in thermoregulation, and reduce water loss. The kit fox opportunistically eats small mammals (primarily rabbits and hares), small birds, invertebrates, and plant matter. It is capable of meeting all its water requirements metabolically without the need for drinking water. The fox is primarily nocturnal. It mates in late winter, with 4 to 7 pups being born about 2 months later. There are many threats to the kit fox in Utah. Invasive weeds affect their prey base by decreasing small mammal diversity and abundance. To compensate for a reduced prey base, kit fox home ranges become larger, fecundity declines, and dispersing young are required to travel further making them more vulnerable to predators. Water developments for game and livestock effectively decrease the amount of arid lands suitable only for kit fox occupation. Increased year-round availability of water in the most arid areas of Utah serves to extend the distribution of coyotes and red fox, which prey upon kit fox, into areas previously too arid to support them. Competitive interactions with larger canids, especially when populations are already depressed, can have major effects on kit fox populations.

Fish
Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki utah)

The Bonneville cutthroat trout is a subspecies of the cutthroat trout native to the Bonneville Basin of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada. Pure Bonneville cutthroat trout are rare throughout their historic habitat, but several populations exist in Utah, including within the RFO. Major threats to this species include habitat loss/alterations, predation by and competition with non-native fishes, and hybridization with non-native fishes, such as the rainbow trout. This species feeds primarily on insects, but large individuals also eat fishes. It can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from high-elevation mountain streams and lakes to low-elevation grassland streams. In all of these habitat types, the Bonneville cutthroat trout requires a functioning stream riparian zone that provides structure, cover, shade, and bank stability.
Colorado River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus)

This species is a race, or subspecies, of the cutthroat trout that is native to the upper Colorado River drainage of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This subspecies is restricted to the upper Colorado River drainage and occurs in headwater streams and mountain lakes of the Uinta, La Sal,

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and Abajo Mountains; the Tavaputs Plateau; and the Escalante and Fremont River drainages (Bosworth 2003). UDWR has documented cutthroat trout populations within Sevier, Wayne, and Garfield counties within the planning area (UDWR 2005a). The Colorado River cutthroat trout eats primarily invertebrates, but adults also eat small fishes. Like other cutthroat trout, the subspecies spawns in streams over gravel substrate in the spring. The cool, clear water of high-elevation streams and lakes is the preferred habitat for Colorado River cutthroat trout (Bosworth 2003). Threats to the species include land and water use activities such as grazing, mining, and the construction of water impoundments, as well as the introduction of non-native fish. In addition, fragmentation of metapopulations, which affects gene flow and seasonal movements, is thought to be an especially important factor in population declines (Bosworth 2003). UDWR is currently working to restore pure Colorado River cutthroat trout to historic areas in Utah. Since 1999, large numbers of Colorado River cutthroat trout have been raised in hatcheries and then released into lakes in the Uinta Mountains in the northeastern part of the State.
Southern leatherside chub (Lepidomeda aliciae)

Recent genetic evidence shows that the leatherside chub, Gilia copei, separated into two distinct species—the northern leatherside chub, Lepidomeda copei, and the southern leatherside chub, Lepidomeda aliciae, whose range includes portions of the RFO. The leatherside chub is a small minnow native to streams and rivers of the southwestern portion of the Bonneville Basin. It was once common throughout its native range but presently is listed as a State sensitive species due to substantial decreases in population levels.
Roundtail chub (Gilia robusta)

This species is a fairly large minnow native to the Colorado River system of the western United States. It prefers large rivers and is most often found in murky pools near strong currents in the main-stem Colorado River and tributaries. Locally common in places, the roundtail chub has been reduced in numbers and distribution due to flow alteration and the introduction of exotic fishes. It eats terrestrial and aquatic insects, mollusks, and other invertebrates, fishes, and algae.
Bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus)

The bluehead sucker is native to parts of Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Specifically, the species occurs in the upper Colorado River system, the Snake River system, and the Lake Bonneville Basin. In Utah, bluehead suckers have been reduced in numbers and distribution due to stream flow alteration, habitat loss/alteration, and the introduction of non-native fishes. It is a benthic (bottom dwelling) species with a mouth modified to scrape algae from the surface of rocks. Fast-flowing water in high gradient reaches of mountain rivers has been identified as important habitat for this species.
Flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis)

This species is native to the Colorado River system of the western United States and northern Mexico. In Utah, the species occurs in the main-stem Colorado River and in many of the Colorado’s large tributaries. Flannelmouth suckers are usually absent from impoundments. The species prefers large rivers, where it is often found in deep pools of slow-flowing, low-gradient reaches. The sucker is a benthic (bottom dwelling) fish that eats primarily algae. Invertebrates and many types of plant matter are also consumed. Utah flannelmouth sucker populations have recently been reduced in numbers and distribution, primarily due to flow alteration, habitat loss/alteration, and the introduction of non-native fishes.

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Plants
Rabbit Valley gilia (Gilia cespitosa or Alicella cespitosa)

Rabbit Valley gilia (also known as Wonderland Alice-flower) is a federal candidate for listing under the ESA and occurs in Wayne County. Rabbit Valley gilia is primarily associated with Navajo Sandstone and to a lesser extent, the Kayenta and Wingate Formations. Growing in sand-filled crevices, sand pockets, and on detrital slopes, it is found in open pinyon-juniper woodlands, often mixed with mountain brush, sagebrush, or ponderosa pine, at elevations ranging from 5,198 to 8,997 feet (Clark and Clark 1999). Rabbit Valley gilia is known from 15 populations scattered over a distance of about 19 miles near the Fremont River from the northern portion of the Waterpocket Fold westward to Rabbit Valley in Wayne County, an area locally known as Wayne Wonderland. Threats to the population include plant collection and trampling associated with recreation and livestock grazing (NatureServe 2004).
Utah phacelia (Phacelia utahensis)

This central Utah endemic species occurs in portions of Sanpete and Sevier counties. It is found on oftenprecipitous, barren slopes of the Arapien Shale Formation. The plant grows in desert shrub and pinyonjuniper woodland communities. Alder-leaf mountain mahogany, shadscale, and Utah greasebush communities are also known to contain populations. The plant grows at elevations ranging from 5,500 to 6,200 feet. Evidence of gypsum mining has been observed over much of the habitat, and the plants were never observed occupying disturbed locations. Livestock grazing and off-highway vehicle use are present, but due to the often steep habitat, are not a concern at all locations. The recent discovery of oil in the Sevier Valley may add another potential impact to this plant’s habitat (Utah Native Plant Society 2007, UDWR 2005d).
Basalt (or Silver) milkvetch (Astragalus subcinereus var. basalticus)

The basalt milkvetch is found in eastern Sevier and western Garfield and Emery counties in Utah. It prefers pinyon-juniper woodland and ponderosa pine communities on igneous gravels between 4,500 and 8,000 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Pinnate spring parsley (Cymopterus beckii)

This species is found in pinyon-juniper woodland, mountain brush, ponderosa pine/Manzanita, conifer/oak, and Douglas fir communities in sandy or stony soils. It is often found in rock crevices and near cliff bases on north and east exposures between 5,600 and 7,500 feet in elevation. It is endemic to San Juan and Wayne counties in Utah and Navajo Tribal Lands in Arizona (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Creutzfeldt cryptanth (Cryptantha creutzfeldtii)

This species is endemic to central Utah in Carbon, Emery, and Sevier counties. It inhabits shadscale and mat Atriplex communities on the Mancos shale formation between 5,250 and 6,500 feet. It flowers from late April through June (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Hole-in-the-Rock prairie-clover (Dalea flavescens var. epica)

This species is endemic to Utah in Carbon, Emery, Garfield, Kane, San Juan, and Wayne counties. It grows on sandstone bedrock and sandy areas in blackbrush and mixed desert shrub communities between 4,700 and 5,000 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).

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Cronquist wild buckwheat (Eriogonium corymbosum var. cronquistii)

Cronquist wild buckwheat is endemic to the Henry Mountains in Garfield and Wayne counties in Utah. It is found almost entirely on public lands administered by the BLM RFO. The species prefers pinyon, Holodiscus, rabbitbrush, mountain brush, and rock-spirea communities. It occurs on steep talus slopes between 8,800 and 8,900 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Smith (or Flat Tops) wild buckwheat (Eriogonum corymbosum var. smithii)

This species is located in the San Rafael Desert portion of Emery and Wayne counties in Utah. It is endemic to the Colorado Plateau. The plant is a perennial shrub with bright yellow flowers and shiny green leaves. It is found in purple sage, matchweed, Ephedra-Indian rice grass, desert shrub, and rabbitbrush communities on the Entrada Formation and on stabilized sand dunes between 4,500 and 5,600 feet in elevation. Livestock currently graze in the habitat of this species but do not appear to be a threat to the plant. The potential also exists for oil and gas related activity to occur within the habitat of this species (Utah Native Plant Society 2007; UDWR 2007).
Utah spurge (Euphorbia nephradenia)

Endemic to the Colorado Plateau, the Utah spurge is found in Emery, Garfield, Kane, and Wayne counties. It is found in mat saltbush, blackbrush, Ephedra, mixed sandy desert shrub, and grassland communities on dark clay hills, blown sand, and stabilized dunes mainly on Tropic Shale and Entrada Formations between 3,800 and 4,800 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Cataract gilia (Gilia latifolia var. imperialis)

Cataract gilia is endemic to Emery, Garfield, Grand, Kane, San Juan, and Wayne counties, Utah. It is found in shadscale and other mixed desert shrub communities, especially in wash bottoms and at the bases of ledges between 3,800 and 5,200 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Mussentuchit gilia (Gilia tenuis)

This species is known from 7 locations in Emery and Sevier counties (NatureServe 2004 and Utah Native Plant Society 2004). The species is restricted to a discontinuous stretch of habitat of sandstone outcrops and sandy slopes in association with mountain brush, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and cushion plants (NatureServe 2004). Often Mussentuchit gilia is located on material derived from the Curtis Formation and the Dakota and Navajo sandstones, between 5,198 and 7,117 feet in elevation (Welsh et al. 1993 and Utah Native Plant Society 2004). The number of plants is not recorded for the population located within the planning area, and no threats have been identified to either the populations or habitat (UNHP 2004, NatureServe 2004).
Alcove bog-orchid (Habenaria zothecina)

Alcove bog-orchid is located in Emery, Garfield, Grand, San Juan, and Uintah counties in Utah and in Arizona and Colorado. It is found in seeps, hanging gardens, and moist stream banks in mixed desert shrub, pinyon-juniper woodland, and oak brush communities between 4,000 and 6,200 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Greenwood’s goldenbush (Haplopappus lignumviridis)

The habitat of this very rare species is restricted to riparian areas with willows, nettles, and Conyza in Sevier County, Utah. It is found at about 6,200 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).

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Claron pepperplant (Lepidium montanum var. claronense)

The Claron pepperplant is endemic to the Paunsaugunt and Table Cliff Plateau in Garfield, Kane, and Piute counties in Utah. It is restricted to sagebrush, pinyon-juniper woodland communities, and ponderosa pine/bristlecone pine communities on the Claron member of the Wasatch Limestone Formation and other fine textured substrates between 6,400 and 8,000 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Entrada pinkrush (Lygodesmia grandiflora var. entrada)

This species is endemic to Emery, Grand, and San Juan counties with potential habitat within the RFO area. It occurs in mixed desert shrub and juniper communities between 4,400 and 4,800 feet in elevation and flowers in June (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Arapien blazingstar (Mentzelia argillosa)

The Arapien blazingstar is a rare plant endemic to the Arapien shale in Sevier and Sanpete counties. It occurs at elevations ranging from about 5,600 to 6,300 feet. It is sympatric with Phacelia utahensis and Townsendia jonesii var. lutea, both BLM sensitive species.
Jones’ indigo-bush (Psorothamnus polydenius jonesii)

This species is endemic to Emery, Grand, and Wayne counties. It inhabits shadscale, mat-saltbush, Ephedra, and galleta communities on the Mancos shale formation (Blue Gate and Tununk members) and less commonly sandy terrace gravels. It occurs at elevations ranging from 4,200 to 4,900 feet and flowers late May–July (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Jane’s globemallow (Sphaeralcea janeae)

This rare species is endemic to Wayne and San Juan counties in Utah. It prefers warm and salt desert shrub communities on the White Rim and Organ Rock members of the Cutler Formation between 4,000 and 4,600 feet in elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).
Psoralea globemallow (Sphaeralcea psoraloides)

This species is endemic to the Colorado Plateau and is found on the southeastern footslopes of the San Rafael Swell in Wayne and Emery counties, Utah. It is typically found in Zuckia-Ephedra, shadscale, Eriogonum, Lepidium, and pinyon-juniper woodland communities. Soil types on which the psoralea globemallow is found include saline and gypsiferous Mancos Shale, Buckhorn Conglomerate, Curtis sandstone, Entrada siltstone, Carmel, and Kaibab Limestone between 4,000 and 6,300 feet in elevation. Researchers visiting populations of this species have noted OHV use, grazing, recreation, exotic weed encroachment, mining, and urbanization occurring within the habitat. However, the species appears to be stable at this time (Utah Native Plant Society 2007, UDWR 2005d).
Alpine greenthread (Thelesperma subnudum var. alpinum also known as Thelesperma windhamii)

The alpine greenthread is a rare species endemic to portions of Wayne County, Utah. It occurs in pinyonjuniper communities, mountain brush, and western bristlecone pine communities. The plant grows in sandy soil pockets, cracks of slickrock, and on ledges and clay flats on Carmel Limestone and Navajo Sandstone between 6,000 and 8,000 feet in elevation. The known populations of this species are fairly isolated (Utah Native Plant Society 2007; UDWR 2005d).

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Sigurd townsendia (Townsendia jonesii var. lutea)

This very rare species is found in Juab, Piute, Sanpete, and Sevier counties in Utah. Its habitat is salt desert, mixed desert shrub, and juniper-sagebrush communities on Arapien shale and clays in volcanic rubble at 3,500 to 6,300 feet elevation (Utah Native Plant Society 2007).

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3.3.9

Fish and Wildlife

The BLM manages public lands to provide habitat for fish and wildlife. The diverse ecosystems and mosaic landscapes of the lands managed by the RFO provide habitat for more than 600 species of fish and wildlife. Fish and wildlife habitat are managed according to principles outlined by Utah Fish and Wildlife 2000 (BLM 1993b). The BLM implements this general guidance through specific management actions associated with species located in the public lands managed by the RFO. The BLM manages wildlife habitat, and the UDWR manages wildlife populations. To the extent practicable, the BLM collaborates with UDWR to achieve the habitat management goals and objectives of the various UDWR Wildlife Management Unit Plans, as well as species-specific management plans, by providing appropriate quantities and quality of habitats on public lands, consistent with the principles of multiple-use management. These habitats reflect the influence of various past and ongoing human activities and disturbances, resulting in significant increases in some species populations, declines in others, and the modification of large blocks of habitat. The habitats and the wildlife species that rely on them rarely exist solely on BLM lands and often extend across administrative boundaries to other federal, state, and private lands. Fish and wildlife species can be broadly defined in 2 management categories that reflect preferences in public interest. Some species, commonly called game species, are economically important for hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Others that do not have direct economic importance for hunting and fishing are referred to as non-game species. Both categories have economic importance that varies locally and nationally. Species not specifically discussed in this plan are also important and contribute to the diversity and health of plant and animal communities on public land. Many species fill ecological roles that are important but not fully understood.

3.3.9.1

Fish and Fisheries Habitat

Fisheries habitat includes perennial and intermittent streams and flat water (e.g., lakes and reservoirs) that support fish through at least a portion of the year. The condition of fisheries habitat is related to riparian habitat and stream channel characteristics. Riparian vegetation moderates water temperatures and provides bank structures that reduce erosion and provide overhead vegetation cover for fish. Intact riparian communities also serve to slow overland flow, capture sediments, and provide a filter that enhances water quality. Water quality, especially factors such as sediment, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, also greatly affects fisheries habitat. Streams and lakes in the RFO provide habitat for at least 30 species of warm- and cool-to cold-water fish species, with 18 of these considered game fish (Sigler and Sigler 1996). Past stocking efforts have established many non-native fish species in streams, lakes, and reservoirs. Aquatic invertebrates and amphibians are integral components of all fish communities. The factors limiting or affecting fish habitat in the RFO include excess siltation, elevated water temperatures, stream dewatering, riparian areas in less than PFC, livestock impacts, and past mining practices. Factors limiting or affecting native fish production include competition and predation from nonnative species, stream dewatering, hybridization, fish loss through irrigation diversions, excess siltation, and isolation of populations.

3.3.9.2

Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat

Wildlife habitat can be segregated into 7 types: desert shrub, sagebrush steppe, pinyon-juniper woodland, forested, riparian/wetland, aspen, and non-vegetated (cliff talus). These habitat types are used as a basis

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for describing existing conditions, focusing on a broader scale approach as opposed to single-species management. Livestock grazing, fire suppression, development patterns, natural conditions, and introduced plant species have influenced the condition of the habitats. When management focuses on habitat condition and composition rather than on individual species, a more ecological effect is achieved on wildlife species than when focused on an individual species. Disturbances enhance habitat for some species but limit opportunities for others. Generally, disturbances promote use by mobile species or species that tolerate a broad range of habitat conditions. The availability of habitat may vary during the year as a result of elevation, aspect, and proximity of disturbance. Habitat use is also limited by wildlife species’ different levels of social tolerance and by learned or inherent behavior. These factors may limit movement of wildlife species into new habitats even if the habitat appears suitable for the species’ needs. Wildlife habitat needs vary significantly by species. It is generally true that healthy and sustainable wildlife populations can be supported where there is a diverse mix of vegetation communities to supply structure, forage, cover, and other specific habitat requirements.

Desert Shrub
Desert shrub includes numerous upland vegetation communities with a shrubland component and a variable understory of grass and forbs. Desert shrub contains a large number of reptile species. A variety of other wildlife occupies salt desert habitats. Herbaceous plants are vital to the majority of all wildlife species because they provide food, cover, and structure. Shrub cover helps wildlife survive the rigors of summer heat and winter cold. It supplies browse, seeds, and cover for birds and small and large mammals. Intermingled areas of desert grasslands add diversity to vegetation and habitat structure in desert shrub communities.

Sagebrush Steppe
Sagebrush habitat is prevalent in the western and central portions of the RFO. At mid to lower elevations, Wyoming big sagebrush is the dominant vegetation type, providing important winter habitat for highly mobile wildlife species (e.g., mule deer, pronghorn, and Greater sage-grouse) and localized yearlong habitat for sagebrush-obligate species (e.g., pygmy rabbit). Sagebrush also provides crucial breeding, nesting, and brood-rearing habitat for these species. Intermingled occurrences of grasslands and several low sages add to the diversity of vegetation and habitat structure. Sagebrush-obligate species are restricted to sagebrush habitats during the breeding season or year round, and near-obligate species occur in both sagebrush and grassland habitats. As a consequence of the regional losses of sagebrush communities and the number of sagebrush-obligate wildlife, maintenance and improvement of existing sagebrush habitat are crucial for community structure and diversity and for providing critical habitat for obligate species.

Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands
Pinyon-juniper woodlands are widely dispersed and have expanded into sagebrush and other vegetation communities. Pinyon-juniper woodlands provide some wildlife habitat. Although understory vegetation is reduced beneath pinyon-juniper stands, pinyon-juniper woodlands provide greater structural diversity than desert shrub or sagebrush steppe shrubland habitats.

Forested Areas
Coniferous habitats are a small but important habitat component within the RFO and are primarily located along national forest boundaries and in the Henry Mountains. Forested habitats, which provide security areas (e.g., hiding cover) for big game species, can provide important linkage corridors for wildlife movement between other seasonal habitats.

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Riparian Ecosystems
Riparian habitats are crucial components in the landscape. They serve as important use areas for wildlife in providing various life-cycle requirements such as foraging, nesting, roosting, and hiding cover, as well as travel corridors for numerous highly mobile species. Usually a high degree of plant diversity occurs along riparian corridors, exhibiting variable density and composition, allowing both openness and ground cover. Invasive species, such as tamarisk, are degrading the health of riparian systems, shifting the systems to a vegetation monoculture.

Aspen
Aspen stands provide habitat for many wildlife species. Many predaceous birds are adapted to aspen forest and the adjacent open brush, meadows, and grasslands. Aspen ecosystems provide cover, calving, and fawning habitat for big game, and nesting habitat for migratory birds.

Non-Vegetated (Cliff Talus)
Talus slopes are accumulations of angular rock debris at the bases of cliffs or steep slopes. Talus provides wildlife species with basking sites and crevices for hiding. Slopes with large boulders provide caves that may be large enough for a species such as bobcat to occupy. Cliffs are faces of vertical exposed rock that sometimes have a talus slope at their base. Several raptor species and non-perching birds, such as black swifts, use cliff and talus areas for nesting and brood-rearing habitat. Prairie falcons generally nest on rock outcrops and cliffs that range from 30 to 400 feet high. Canyon and rock wrens nest in the fractured talus slope below cliff faces, particularly in areas interspersed with open, patchy forests of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and sagebrush steppe communities.

3.3.9.3

Wildlife Species of Interest

Wildlife species of interest include big game animals, raptors, upland game birds, and other species. Big game populations are managed cooperatively by the BLM and UDWR based on habitat condition, longterm vegetative trends, annual monitoring of wildlife utilization levels, and the desired age class of animals produced in each Wildlife Management Unit. UDWR establishes Wildlife Management Unit boundaries to encompass the seasonal habitat requirements of large, free-roaming wildlife species, and they are frequently bounded by such physical features as ridgetops or drainages, or artificial features such as major roads or highways. Boundaries of Wildlife Management Units rarely match the administrative boundary of the RFO. Seasonal habitats are mapped in the GIS and represent an outside perimeter within which a particular seasonal use could be expected to occur by a particular species. However, the mapping is not precise because distribution varies annually as a result of weather, forage availability, and population size and distribution. Some areas do not lend themselves to a particular use as a result of topography, different vegetation, or disturbances that are too small to map on a broad scale (e.g., north slopes on winter ranges, forested patches in sagebrush). The RFO includes all or portions of the following UDWR Wildlife Management Units— • • • • • • • • • Beaver Central Mountains, Manti South Fillmore Henry Mountains Monroe Mount Dutton Plateau Boulder Plateau Fishlake Plateau Thousand Lake

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•

San Rafael.

Game Wildlife Species
Crucial habitats for big game species are included within the RFO (Maps 3-5, 3-6, and 3-7). Crucial-value habitat is any range or habitat component that directly limits a community from reproducing or maintaining a certain population level over the long term. Moderate-value and low-value habitat is abundant in the planning area, and includes any particular habitat that is common or of intermediate importance. Wildlife may be displaced due to development activities in these habitats.

Bison
The Henry Mountains are the habitat of the only free-roaming and huntable herd of American bison on public land in the 48 contiguous United States. The herd was transplanted to the San Rafael Desert in the 1940s and migrated into the Henry Mountains in the 1960s (Map 3-5). Bison are grazers, feeding mainly on grasses and other vegetation. Although bison typically give birth in spring, young may be born as late as midsummer. An annual hunt is held to maintain a harvest population of about 275 animals. Conflicts with livestock and bison grazing occur on allotments where both are present. Drought increases the potential for conflict between livestock and bison.

Bighorn Sheep
Desert bighorn sheep are found in the Dirty Devil portion of the San Rafael Wildlife Management Unit. Desert bighorn sheep are considered to be yearlong residents of their range—they do not have seasonal ranges like mule deer and elk (Map 3-5). Bighorn sheep prefer very open vegetation types, such as low shrub, grassland, and other treeless types typically associated with steep talus and rubble slopes. Bighorn sheep diets comprise a variety of shrubs, forbs, and grasses. Bighorn sheep lambing occurs on steep talus slopes, typically within 1 to 2 miles of reliable water sources. Bighorn sheep are extremely vulnerable to a variety of viral and bacterial diseases carried by livestock, principally by domestic sheep. In some cases reported in the literature, exposures to some of these diseases have resulted in the decimation of entire bighorn populations. The diseases are transmitted in numerous ways, including nose-to-nose contact and wet soils associated with areas of concentrated use, such as stock watering ponds. The BLM has adopted guidelines for domestic sheep grazing in or near bighorn sheep habitat to prevent the spread of disease. Management of bighorn sheep is guided by 3 herd management plans and guidelines: The Utah BLM Statewide Desert Bighorn Sheep Management Plan (BLM 1986), Revised Guidelines for Domestic Sheep and Goat Management in Native Wild Sheep Habitats (BLM 1998a), and the Utah Bighorn Sheep Statewide Management Plan (UDWR 1999). Additional guidance is found in the Henry Mountains Desert Bighorn Sheep Habitat Management Plan (BLM 1990a).

Pronghorn
There are 5 Wildlife Management Units that contain pronghorn habitat within the planning area (San Rafael, Henry Mountains, Plateau, Monroe, and a portion of Mt. Dutton). Pronghorn prefer very open vegetative habitat types, such as salt desert shrub, grassland, and other treeless types. Typically, pronghorn avoid slopes greater than 20 percent. Pronghorn fawning occurs throughout the range of the species (Map 3-5). Pronghorn diets comprise a variety of forbs, shrubs, and grasses. Forbs are of particular importance during spring and summer, and shrubs are more important during the winter.

Mule Deer
There are 6 mule deer Wildlife Management Units that occur in the planning area. Mule deer are migratory, moving seasonally between summer and winter ranges (Map 3-6). Mule deer usually summer at high elevations and winter at low elevations. Their diet consists largely of sagebrush, primarily

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Wyoming sagebrush. Shrubs such as true mountain mahogany, fourwing saltbush, and antelope bitterbrush are important winter forage species. Mule deer fawn during the spring on their migration back to their summer range. Mule deer have a high degree of fidelity to specific winter ranges, where high population densities concentrate on relatively small areas. Because of the relatively small winter range area, high population densities, and the natural stress of winter survival, mule deer are vulnerable to stress caused by human activity in winter range areas, such as antler hunting and other recreational activities. Mule deer are displaced an average of 600 feet from areas of human activity.

Elk
The planning area includes portions of 4 elk Wildlife Management Units: Plateau, Monroe, Beaver, and Mt. Dutton (Map 3-7). Elk are migratory, moving seasonally between summer and winter ranges. They summer at higher elevation ranges in aspen and forested habitats, where their diet consists primarily of grasses and forbs. Elk calve during late spring and early summer in aspen-mountain browse, intermixed vegetation types. Elk winter at mid-to-lower elevation ranges, occupying the sagebrush and woodland habitat types and congregating in herds of 50 to 200 or more. Human activity in elk winter range intensifies the natural stress of winter survival.

Black Bear
Black bear is currently the only bear species inhabiting Utah. Black bears are native to Utah and are fairly common. In the planning area, black bears are present in Wayne and Garfield counties, where they can be found primarily in large forested areas.

Cougar
Cougar, or mountain lions, are found statewide in Utah, occupying habitat types ranging from rugged desert areas to above the timberline. The species is fairly common throughout Utah, but individuals are rarely seen because of their secretive nature. Seasonally, their movements follow their main prey: mule deer. Cougar will also feed on rabbits, elk, or other animals, but about 80 percent of their diet consists of deer. Cougars are active year-round, during day and night, although most activity occurs at dawn and dusk. They are hunted on a limited and closely monitored basis in Utah.

Furbearers
Several furbearer species are found in the planning area. Furbearers, as defined by UDWR, include bobcats, raccoons, badgers, weasels, red fox, and beavers. Red fox are found throughout the planning area, and numbers are relatively high. Bobcats are fairly common in Utah; however, they are rarely seen due to their secretive nature.

Upland Game Birds
The lands managed by the RFO provide important migration, nesting, and winter habitats for upland game birds. Upland species include Greater sage-grouse, blue grouse, pheasants, and quail. (Greater sagegrouse are discussed in more detail in Section 3.1.1, Special Status Species.) Upland species feed frequently on upland grasses and forbs in grassy fields and meadows, where such vegetation is succulent and sufficiently open to enable rapid flight and avoidance of harboring predators. Such habitats support upland game birds year round.

Other Non-game Species
Information on small mammals, bats, reptiles, and amphibians is lacking. Databases maintained by the Utah Natural Heritage Program document general occurrences and potential for many of these groups of wildlife, but site-specific inventories have not been conducted for most of the RFO. However, as

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inventories are conducted, new occurrences and range extensions are being discovered, which emphasizes the need for more comprehensive work.

3.3.9.4

Migratory Birds

Migratory birds have been protected by treaty (with Great Britain) since 1916 and by law under the MBTA since 1918. In EO 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds, signed by President Clinton in 2001, federal agencies were directed to “design migratory bird habitat and population conservation principles, measures, and practices into agency plans and planning processes….” Bird Habitat Conservation Areas (BHCA) were identified in an effort to focus cooperative migratory bird habitat enhancement or restoration efforts in these important areas. The BHCAs are not special designations and do not require additional regulation. In the Coordinated Implementation Plan for Bird Conservation in Utah (IWJV 2005), 3 BHCAs were identified on lands managed by the RFO: • • • BHCA 30: Sevier Bridge/Chicken Creek Reservoirs—open water with large marsh areas BHCA 43: Parker Mountain—sagebrush-steppe habitat BHCA 51: Henry Mountains (north of Mount Ellen)—mountain riparian habitat.

Neotropical migratory birds are found in all habitats within the planning area (Parrish et al. 2002). These birds include a diverse array of species, such as hummingbirds, finches, flycatchers, warblers, thrushes, and orioles. Most of these birds are summer residents that use habitats ranging from lower elevation wetlands to high-elevation forests for breeding and raising young. Some species, such as the American robin and mallard, are migratory, but small populations may be present yearlong depending on seasonal conditions. Winter residents, such as rough-legged hawk, snow buntings, and rosy-crowned gray finches, arrive from arctic breeding grounds or high-elevation, alpine areas to use winter habitats in lower elevation foothills and major river valleys, seasonally replacing summer residents. The following list includes birds on the USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern (BCC) 2002 list and the Utah Partners in Flight (PIF) Priority Species for Conservation that may inhabit the RFO area based on RFO data and information in the UDWR’s Utah Conservation Data Center (http://dwrcdc.nr.utah.gov/ucdc/).

Table 3-17. Birds of Conservation Concern within the Richfield Field Office
Common Name
Marbled Godwit Wilson’s Phalarope American Avocet Solitary Sandpiper Long-billed Curlew American White Pelican Black-necked Stilt Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo Black Swift Broad-tailed Hummingbird Golden Eagle

Scientific Name
Limosa fedoa Phalaropus tricolor Recurvirostra americana Tringa solitaria Numenius americanus Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Himantopus mexicanus Coccyzus americanus Cypseloides niger Selasphorus platycercus Aquila chrysaetos

BCC List1
X X X X X

PIF List2

X

X X X

X X

X X X

X

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Common Name
Peregrine Falcon Prairie Falcon Swainson’s Hawk Ferruginous Hawk Northern Harrier Burrowing Owl Flammulated Owl Short-eared Owl Loggerhead Shrike Pinyon Jay Greater Sage-grouse Gambel’s Quail Lewis’s Woodpecker Williamson’s Sapsucker American Three-toed Woodpecker Virginia’s Warbler Grace’s Warbler Black-throated Gray Warbler Black Rosy-finch Gray Vireo Sage Sparrow Brewer’s Sparrow

Scientific Name
Falco peregrinus Falco mexicanus Buteo swainsonii Buteo regalis Circus cyaneus Anthene cunicularium Otus flammeolus Asio flammeus Lanius ludovicianus Gymnorhinus cyancephalus Centrocercus urophasianus Callipepla gambelii Melanerpes lewis Sphyrapicus thyroideus Picoides dorsalis Vermivora virginiae Dendroica graciae Dendroica nigrescens Leucosticte atrata Vireo vicinior Amphispiza belli nevadensis Spizella breweri

BCC List1
X X X X X X X X X X X

PIF List2

X

X X

X X

X

X X X X X X X X X X X X X

Notes: 1—Based on bird lists for Bird Conservation Regions 16 (Colorado Plateau) and 9 (Great Basin), which cover the RFO area. 2—The PIF list of 24 priority species for conservation actions can be found in the document entitled Coordinated Implementation Plan for Bird Conservation in Utah, prepared by Utah Steering Committee, Intermountain West Joint Venture, 2005 (http://iwjv.org/Images/UTPlan2005.pdf).

3.3.9.5

Raptors

Raptor management on public lands in Utah is guided by the use of best management practices (BMP) (Appendix 10), which are BLM-specific recommendations for implementation of the USFWS, Utah Field Office’s Guidelines for Raptor Protection from Human and Land Use Disturbances. The guidelines were originally developed by USFWS in 1999 and were updated during 2002 to reflect changes brought about by court decisions, policy changes, and new EOs. The guidelines were provided in an attempt to ensure project compatibility with the biological requirements of raptors and to encourage an ecosystem approach to raptor management. Raptors have very specific requirements for nesting territories, including vegetation structure and diversity. Requirements for physiographic features (e.g., elevation, slope), as well as prey availability, vary by species. Raptors typically reuse the same nesting territory for years, and alterations to these areas could reduce the viability of raptor populations. Threats to raptors include loss of habitat, reduction in

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food supply, and disturbance during nesting. Habitat loss from changing land use to industrial, agricultural, or recreational could reduce available food supply or alter nesting territories. Each raptor nest, its offspring, and supporting habitat are considered important to the long-term viability of raptor populations. Changes in vegetation structure and diversity could reduce the areas meeting nest site requirements. Generally, courtship, nest construction, incubation, and early brooding are considered higher risk periods during which adults are easily prone to temporarily or permanently abandoning nests in response to disturbance. This may result in abandonment of eggs or young. Loss or alteration of habitat for any raptor species can also result in a loss of or change in the raptor prey base or historical nesting territories (USFWS 2002e).

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3.3.10

Wild Horses and Burros

The goal of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act is to manage wild horses and burros, “in the area where presently [1971] found as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” The Act and subsequent regulations direct that wild horses and burros be managed to ensure a thriving natural ecological balance with the minimum feasible management required to maintain the populations. The management of wild horse and burro populations to maintain a sufficient size to be genetically viable is an important aspect of this goal. Some management decisions could affect the viability of wild horse or burro populations. Long-term intensive management actions on burro populations, that fail to meet the minimum feasible management regulations, would be noted as an impact. Following passage of the Wild, Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, BLM identified 2 wild horse and burro management areas in the planning area: the Robbers Roost Herd Management Area (HMA) for wild horses and the Canyonlands HMA for wild burros.

3.3.10.1 Robbers Roost Herd Management Area
The Robbers Roost HMA straddles the Wayne-Emery County line. Vegetation in the area is largely desert grassland, with desert shrub interspersed throughout. As is common throughout the area, the lack of water limits the habitat available for horses. Management intervention is required to maintain a viable population level of 15 to 25 horses. In 2003, it was estimated that there were about 17 horses in the HMA. A 1975 agreement between the Moab and Richfield district managers directed the Moab District to administer the Robbers Roost HMA. This agreement was updated in 1995, again directing that the Moab District, now part of the Price Field Office (FO), manage the wild horses within the HMA. Thus, the management of and planning for the Robbers Roost HMA is the responsibility of the Price FO and is consequently not addressed in this PRMP/FEIS.

3.3.10.2 Canyonlands Herd Management Area
The Canyonlands HMA is more than 89,000 acres, including several State of Utah parcels. It is located in eastern Wayne County, adjacent to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the east and the Horseshoe Canyon unit of Canyonlands National Park on the west. The HMA overlaps portions of the French Spring/Happy Canyon WSA, Horseshoe Canyon South WSA, Horseshoe Canyon North WSA, and Dirty Devil WSA. Vegetation in the area is a mix of desert grasses and desert shrub, although areas with deeper soils support sagebrush and juniper. Existing planning allocates forage for fewer than 20 burros. However, a recent grazing use adjustment on a portion of a grazing permit and preference has resulted in additional forage for burros and has eliminated most competition with livestock for habitat resources, such as forage and water on the HMA. Throughout the area, the lack of water resources limits the habitat available for burros. Current herd management includes regular inventories to monitor burro numbers. Data gathering in the Canyonlands wild burro herd has historically been aerial and on-the-ground. The most recent inventory of the Canyonlands HMA identified nearly 60 burros. An appropriate management level of 60 to 100 burros is required to maintain a viable herd unit. The isolated and remote location of this burro HMA makes extensive management intervention and monitoring difficult. The burros of the Canyonlands HMA are unique in that pinto coloration, usually rare in wild burros, predominates. The remote nature of the Canyonlands HMA, coupled with the rough terrain, limit opportunities for the public to view these unique animals.

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3.3.11

Fire and Fuels Management

Fire is a natural phenomenon. Vegetation communities in the planning area have adapted to the presence or absence of wildland fire over several thousand years. Geographic, topographic, elevational, and climatic variances throughout the planning area have resulted in an array of conditions in which fire has historically (from 200 to 400 years ago) affected vegetation differently. Consequently, forests, woodlands, and rangelands throughout the planning area have adapted to fire. In addition to natural fire regimes, many vegetation communities were affected by Native American use of fire to manipulate the environment (Williams 2003). Therefore, the role of anthropogenic (human-caused) fires cannot be separated from the role of natural fires for at least the last 10,000 years. Research has shown that many of the forest, woodland, and rangeland ecosystems in the planning area are not functioning properly. Vegetation communities are considered as functioning properly when they can withstand and/or recover from fire naturally. Appendix 6 provides detailed information concerning the fire ecology of each major vegetation cover type potentially affected by the decisions made in this Proposed RMP/Final EIS. The historic fire-return intervals are identified, as are the responses to fire disturbance of each cover type. Appendix 6 also includes information about the general condition cover type and departure from historic conditions.

3.3.11.1 Wildland Fire Occurrence
Studies of fire-scarred trees in the Henry Mountains and national forest lands within the planning area indicate that before European settlement, fires burned the areas in a relatively consistent pattern. Tree rings from ponderosa pines in a predominantly Douglas-fir stand indicated that the area burned an average of every 19 years (Bartos and Campbell 1998). Note that this does not indicate that the entire planning area burned this regularly. However, areas of similar vegetation types would have been adapted to similar fire intervals. Yearly wildfire occurrence data for the RFO is available from 1979 to 2003. (Note: Earlier data is for the old Richfield District, which encompassed what is now both the Richfield and Fillmore FOs.) Figure 3-16 lists the yearly number of wildfires and acres burned over this time. As displayed in Figure 3-17, most wildfires (81 percent) in the RFO occur from June through August. Figure 3-18 displays the size distribution of the 300 wildfires since 1979. Figure 3-19 illustrates the distribution of the 300 wildfires by cause. Approximately 76 percent of the wildfires in the RFO were ignited by lightning.

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Figure 3-16. Richfield Planning Area Wildfires and Acreages (1979–2003)

35

42,000

30

36,000

25

30,000

Number of Fires

20

24,000

Acres

15

18,000

10

12,000

5

6,000

0

0

1979

1981

1983

1985

1987

1989

1991

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

Fires

Acres

Figure 3-17. Richfield Field Office Wildfire Occurrence by Month (1979–2003)

120

113

48,000

100

40,000

Number of Fires

81
80 32,000

Acres

60

50

24,000

40

16,000

26
20

14 0 0 5
ar ch

8,000

2
M ay Ap ril Ju ly Au gu st Ju ne be r

7

1

1
0

0
Ja nu ar y Fe br ua ry Se pt em O ct ob er N ov em be r D ec em be r M

Number

Acreage

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Figure 3-18. Richfield Field Office Wildfires by Size (1979–2003)
200

189

150

Fires

100

64
50

25 12
0

6 500 - 999

2 1,000 4,999

2 < 5,000

<1

1 - 9.9

10 - 99

100 - 499 Acres

Figure 3-19. Richfield Field Office Wildfire Causes (1979–2003)
250

229
200

150

Fires
100 50

9
0

7

8 Debris Burning

17

10 Railroads

16 4 Youth Misc.

Lightning Campfire Smoking

Arson

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3.3.11.2 Hazardous Fuels Reductions
Many areas in the lands managed by the RFO have changed from historic disturbance regimes. Aspen forest types, which reproduce through suckering rootstock, need disturbance or dieback to stimulate regeneration (O’Brien and Waters 1998). In the absence of disturbance, areas once dominated by aspen have been supplanted by conifers or sagebrush (Bartos and Campbell 1998). Areas with small amounts of aspen in a stand may indicate that the area was once dominated by aspen (Bartos and Campbell 1998). “An approximately 60% decline in aspen dominated landscapes has occurred on National Forest System lands across Utah” (Bartos and Campbell 1998, pp. 23). Aspen in the planning area, either adjacent to USFS land or in the Henry Mountains, is intermingled with and adjacent to stands of mixed conifer. Conditions noted throughout Utah are not expected to be different from those in the planning area. The exclusion of frequent, low-intensity fires in ponderosa pine stands has resulted in a buildup of understory fuels in these stands. This change threatens the pine stands, which are resistant to low-intensity fire but susceptible to larger crown fires. Understory fuels act as ladders, allowing fire to jump to the trees’ crown, burning ponderosa pine stands. Using Forest Inventory and Analysis data collected on public lands administered by the RFO, the Rocky Mountain Research Station found that more than 67 percent of plots had a stand age of less than 150 years. These stands form a closed-canopy “belt” between lower valley shrub lands and higher mountain forests. Reduction of fine fuels and decreases in fire return intervals have encouraged pinyon-juniper encroachment, leading to large acreages of closed canopy pinyon-juniper in formerly treeless areas (USFS 2000). As a result, structural stages are strongly weighted to stands much denser than typical conditions. Stands are considered as functioning properly when they can withstand and/or recover from disturbance. Many vegetation communities, specifically those described above, are not considered in PFC. For further discussion on fire ecology of the various vegetation types, refer to Appendix 6. Table 3-18 identifies existing vegetation acreages and their estimated departure from historic (200–400 years before the present) acreages. It is estimated that Native American -initiated fires composed approximately 40 percent of historic fires (Williams 2003). Therefore, allowing wildland fires at natural levels would not include the Native American –initialed fires. The increasing size, intensity, and severity of wildfires pose greater threats to human life and property. More people are recreating on and adjacent to public lands and building homes in wildland areas, increasing their exposure to naturally ignited wildland fires and increasing the risk of human-caused wildfires. Additionally, the threat to other resource values from uncharacteristically intense and severe wildfires has increased, resulting from uncharacteristic changes in vegetation, fuel loadings, and fire behavior. Consequently, fire suppression costs have also increased.

Table 3-18. Vegetation Departure from Historic Acreages
Class Name
Other Non-Vegetation Spruce-Fir Aspen Ponderosa Pine Oak Mountain Shrub
3

Historic Acreages
67,858 17,022 20,251
1

Percentage of Total
3.2% 0.8% 1.0% 2.1% 1.2% 1.2%

Existing Acreages
67,858 29,317 5,786 42,785 19,629 16,378

Percentage of Total
3.2% 1.4% 0.3% 2.0% 0.9% 0.8%

44,463 26,330 24,781

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Class Name
Pinyon-Juniper Sagebrush Steppe Desert Grassland Desert Brush Total

Historic Acreages
216,036
2

Percentage of Total
10.2% 31.0% 15.3% 34.1%

Existing Acreages
551,674 343,781 324,652 726,085 2,127,945

Percentage of Total
25.9% 16.2% 15.3% 34.1%

660,468 324,652 726,085 2,127,946

Notes— 1—Desired aspen figure created by dividing existing acreage by 0.4, basing this figure on Campbell and Bartos (1998) conclusion that aspen in Utah has undergone a 60% reduction in coverage. 2—Forest Inventory and Analysis data collected and determined from public lands within the planning area indicates that approximately 67.6% of the pinyon-juniper woodland type in the RFO is 150 years old or younger. It is assumed that 90% of that 67.6% is not in PFC and requires treatment within the next 100 years. The trees older than 150 years and 10% of those younger than 150 years, are assumed to be stable stands that are not adapted to the 10–30 year fire interval (e.g., those located on dry, rocky ridges, very xeric soils). 3—The highest elevations of the spruce/fir type have very long fire return intervals, and these ecosystems have not been adversely affected by fire exclusion. Sources: Fishlake National Forest Prescribed Natural Fire Plan (1998); USFS, 2000; USFS, 2004

3.3.11.3 Fuels Treatments
Over the last 20 years, the construction of homes and businesses in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) has compounded the problem of fuels accumulation. The resulting risk of exposure to high-intensity fires that could threaten safety and property has increased. Declining vegetation conditions and increased construction have required a more active hazardous fuel treatment program to reduce the number and severity of wildfires. Before implementation of the 1995 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy, fewer than 1,000 acres of vegetation per year were treated in the RFO. This acreage included prescribed fire and other means of treating fuels. Since 1995, hazardous fuel reduction efforts within the RFO have treated roughly 4,000 acres per year. The focus of most of these treatments has been on reducing hazardous fuels in WUI areas, although treatments were also implemented to improve ecosystem health, improve rangeland production, and enhance wildlife habitat.

3.3.11.4 Fire Regimes and Condition Classes
Fire regimes address the nature of disturbance by fire by describing its historic intensity, frequency, and effect on vegetation. Knowledge of fire regimes is a critical component in managing landscapes and analyzing changes in fire frequencies and intensities. Table 3-19 lists the natural fire regimes by which vegetation is classified in the RFO. Categorization of vegetation types by fire regimes was based on information that is provided in Appendix 6.

Table 3-19. Fire Regime Classifications and RFO Estimated Acreage
Regime
Fire Regime I Fire Regime II Fire Regime III

Fire Frequency
0–35 years 0–35 years 35–100 years

Fire Intensity
Low Severity Stand Replacing Mixed Severity

Estimated Acres in RFO
43,600 903,000 34,700

Percentage of Total
2.1% 44.0% 1.7%

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Regime
Fire Regime IV Fire Regime V

Fire Frequency
35–100 years More than 200 years

Fire Intensity
Stand Replacing Stand Replacing or Mixed Severity

Estimated Acres in RFO
1,070,600 300

Percentage of Total
52.2% <0.1%

Source: U.S.C. 2003; USFS 2001; USGS 2004.

As they relate to fire, vegetation conditions are evaluated by the degree of departure from fire regimes that a specific vegetation community demonstrates. Departure from fire regimes is indicated by changes to key ecosystem components (e.g., species composition, structural stage, stand age, canopy closure, and fuel loadings). The degree of departure is ranked using 3 condition classes that categorize vegetation communities by evaluating the difference between their historic fire regime and related indicating characteristics, and their current condition and its indicating characteristics. Simply put, fire regime “condition classes are a qualitative measure describing the degree of departure from historical fire regimes” (Schmidt K.M. et al. 2002). Table 3-20 shows the estimated acreage of vegetation in the RFO in each condition class.

Table 3-20. Fire Regime Condition Class Description and RFO Estimated Acreage
Condition Class
1

Description
Fire regimes are within a historical range, and the risk of losing key ecosystem components is low. Vegetation attributes (species composition and structure) are intact and functioning within a historical range. Fire regimes have been moderately altered from their historical ranges. The risk of losing key ecosystem components from fire is moderate. Fire frequencies have departed from historical frequencies by one or more return intervals (either increased or decreased), resulting in moderate changes to the size, intensity, or severity of fires or to landscape patterns. Vegetation attributes have been moderately altered from their historical range of attributes. Fire regimes have been significantly altered from their historical ranges. The risk of losing key ecosystem components from fire is high. Fire frequencies have departed from historical frequencies by multiple return intervals, resulting in dramatic changes to the size, frequency, intensity, or severity of fires or landscape patterns. Vegetation attributes have been significantly altered from their historical range of attributes.

Estimated Acres in RFO
2,300

Percentage of Total
<1%

2

281,000

14%

3

1,768,900

86%

Sources: Schmidt K.M. et al. 2002; U.S.C. 2003; USGS 2004.

Areas in Condition Classes 2 and 3 are of most concern because they often need management intervention before allowing fire to return naturally. Acreage of vegetation in Condition Class 3 is high because much of the RFO has converted to pinyon-juniper and sagebrush vegetation types.

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Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.3.12

Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

Since WSAs were established in the 1980s, designation of wilderness in Utah has become a prominent state and national issue. For more than 20 years, the public has debated which lands have wilderness characteristics and should be considered by Congress for wilderness designation. As a result of the debate (and a significant passage of time since BLM’s original inventories), in 1996 the Secretary of the Interior directed the BLM to take another look at some of the lands in question. In response to this direction, the BLM inventoried these lands and found approximately 2.6 million acres of public land statewide (outside of existing WSAs) to have wilderness characteristics (BLM 1999). In September 2005, the BLM and the State of Utah, the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA), and the Utah Association of Counties (collectively “Utah”) reached an agreement negotiated to settle a lawsuit originally brought in 1996 by the State of Utah, which challenged the BLM’s authority to conduct new wilderness inventories. The settlement stipulated that the BLM’s authority to designate new WSAs expired no later than October 21, 1993. Pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C. § 1712(c), the BLM, however, does have the authority to conduct inventories for characteristics associated with the concept of wilderness and to consider management of these values in its land use planning process. The BLM’s Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1) states that decisions on whether or not to protect wilderness characteristics are to be considered during planning. This section addresses lands outside existing WSAs that have been identified as having wilderness characteristics. Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics are those that have the appearance of naturalness and outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation, and also comprise an area of 5,000 acres, or areas less than 5,000 acres that are contiguous to designated wilderness, WSAs, or other administratively endorsed for wilderness management lands, or, in accordance with the Wilderness Act’s language, areas “of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition.” BLM used the same criteria for determining wilderness characteristics as in the 1979 wilderness inventory. The 5,000-acre value was helpful to BLM in making preliminary judgments, but it was not considered a limiting factor. The size criterion of 5,000 acres was applied only to standalone units, that is, units not contiguous with other federal lands previously determined to possess wilderness characteristics (e.g., WSAs and NPS and USFS lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness). Units contiguous with federal lands with wilderness characteristics were evaluated for all wilderness characteristics found in the inventoried area. Opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation were assumed present in association with the larger contiguous area. Detailed information about non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics is part of the administrative record for this Proposed RMP/Final EIS. The following records are available for public review at the RFO: 1) 1999 Utah Wilderness Inventory; 2) 1999 Utah Wilderness Inventory Revision Document for the Richfield Field Office (December 2002); 3) 1999 Utah Wilderness Case Files for the RFO; 4) Reasonable Probability Determinations for the RFO; and 5) Documentation of Wilderness Characteristics Review for the RFO. Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics that were inventoried by BLM in the 1999 Utah Wilderness Inventory included approximately 511,200 acres in 20 wilderness inventory areas (WIA). On the basis of subsequent public comments and after conducting additional field checks, the BLM revised the inventory in December 2002. The revised inventory identified a total of 551,770 acres in 20 WIAs within the RFO possessing wilderness characteristics. The inventory and the inventory revision also identified areas in portions of WIAs that did not have wilderness characteristics.

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In addition to the lands that were inventoried in the 1999 Utah Wilderness Inventory and its revision, additional lands in the RFO have been reviewed for wilderness characteristics by BLM. These lands are currently proposed for wilderness as part of S.1179, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2007, and are neither WSAs nor WIAs. (Note: The Act has been introduced in Congressional Term 110 as S.1170). The wilderness characteristics review process involved a BLM interdisciplinary team that reviewed available information and followed up with field trips where necessary. The BLM interdisciplinary team evaluated information provided by the public about these areas, their on-the-ground knowledge of these areas, information in case files and field files, master title plats, aerial photos, GIS data layers, and field inspections, and determined that all or parts of these areas have wilderness characteristics. When the initial review process was completed, the interdisciplinary team reviewed about another 200,000 acres, of which 130,830 acres were found to have wilderness characteristics. In summary, since the beginning of the 1999 Utah wilderness inventory process, the BLM has evaluated 31 areas totaling 848,500 acres for their wilderness characteristics in the RFO. Of these, the BLM determined that 29 areas totaling 682,600 acres met the criteria for wilderness characteristics of size, naturalness, and outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation (Table 3-21 and Map 3-9). These lands, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics, have been carried through this land use planning process to determine how their wilderness characteristics will be managed. Of the 38 total areas evaluated in table 3-21, 9 of the inventoried areas were found to lack wilderness characteristics, and are also summarized in the table. During the comment period for the DRMP/DEIS, 7 new submittals were received and evaluated for their wilderness characteristics. None of these areas were found to possess wilderness characteristics. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS includes management prescriptions for 12 of the 29 areas totaling 78,600 acres. Wilderness characteristic areas generally fall into one (or 2) of 3 broad categories: • • • Areas contiguous to BLM WSAs Areas adjacent to NPS lands administratively endorsed for wilderness designation Areas (generally over 5,000 acres) that stand alone as separate units.

Table 3-21. Non-WSA Lands With Wilderness Characteristics Evaluation
#
1 2 3

Area Evaluated
Bull Mountain Bullfrog Creek Cane Spring Desert Dirty Devil/ French Spring Dogwater Creek Fiddler Butte Flat Tops

County
Garfield Garfield Garfield Garfield Wayne Garfield Garfield Wayne

Acres Evaluated
4,800 42,600 18,300

Acres Found to Possess Wilderness Characteristics
3,800 33,700 0

Comments
Contiguous to Bull Mountain WSA.

4

149,500

133,100

Contiguous to Dirty Devil and French Spring WSAs. Includes Dirty Devil eligible wild and scenic river (WSR) segment. Contiguous to Capitol Reef National Park lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation. Contiguous to Fiddler Butte WSA. Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price FO (Emery County)

5 6 7

3,500 22,000 23,000

3,500 19,700 23,000

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#

Area Evaluated

County

Acres Evaluated

Acres Found to Possess Wilderness Characteristics

Comments
Contiguous to Fremont Gorge WSA and Capitol Reef National Park lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation. Includes Fremont Gorge eligible WSR segment Contiguous to Horseshoe Canyon South WSA, Canyonlands National Park (Horseshoe Canyon Unit) and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation Contiguous to Capitol Reef National Park lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation

8

Fremont Gorge

Wayne

20,100

16,000

9

Horseshoe Canyon South

Wayne

20,600

20,600

10

Jones Bench Kingston Ridge

Sevier

3,300

3,300

11

Piute

10,200

10,200 Adjoins Horseshoe Canyon North WSA, Canyonlands National Park (Horseshoe Canyon Unit) and Glen Canyon NRA lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price Field Office (Emery County) Within Little Rockies National Natural Landmark, contiguous to Little Rockies WSA and Glen Canyon NRA lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation Contiguous to Capitol Reef National Park lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation Contiguous to Mount Ellen/Blue Hills WSA Contiguous to Mount Hillers WSA. Contiguous to Mount Pennell WSA Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price Field Office (Emery County) Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price FO (Emery County) Contiguous to Capitol Reef National Park lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation

12

Labyrinth Canyon

Wayne

27,100

12,300

13

Limestone Cliffs

Sevier

24,900

24,800

14

Little Rockies

Garfield

23,300

23,200

15

Long Canyon Mount Ellen— Blue Hills Mount Hillers Mount Pennell Muddy Creek/Crack Canyon Mussentuchit Badlands

Garfield Garfield Wayne Garfield Garfield Wayne

16,600

16,600

16 17 18 19

66,900 2,300 77,000 65,600

49,800 1,800 65,600 61,800

20

Sevier

700

700

21 22

Notom Bench Phonolite Hill

Wayne Piute

8,700 7,900

8,000 7,900

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#

Area Evaluated
Pole Canyon/Hunte r Spring Ragged Mountain Red Desert Robbers Roost Flats

County

Acres Evaluated

Acres Found to Possess Wilderness Characteristics
6,000

Comments

23

Garfield

6,000

24

Garfield

30,100

25,900 Contiguous to Capitol Reef National Park lands that are administratively endorsed for wilderness designation

25

Wayne

40,900

40,700

26

Wayne

7,700

0 Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price FO (Emery County)

27

Rock Canyon

Sevier

1,300

1,300

28

Rocky Ford Sweetwater Reef

Piute

6,700

6,700 Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price FO (Emery County) Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price Field Office (Emery County) Adjacent to non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Price FO (Emery County)

29

Wayne

6,200

6,200

30

Wild Horse Mesa

Wayne

88,300

49,700

31

Wildcat Knolls

Sevier

22,400

6,700

32

Aquarius Plateau North Sevier Plateau Pahvant Range South Sevier Plateau Thousand Lakes Tushar Mountains Wasatch Plateau Total

Garfield and Wayne Piute and Sevier Sevier Piute Wayne Piute and Sevier Sevier

16,500

0

33

35,900

0

34 35 36

3,800 17,100 3,000

0 0 0

37

4,300

0

38

1,100 930,200

0 682,600

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Forestry and Woodland Products Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.4 RESOURCE USES
3.4.1
3.4.1.1

Forestry and Woodland Products
Forest and Woodland Types and Products

Forested and woodland areas within the RFO range from oak and pinyon-juniper stands to aspen, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, white fir, Englemann spruce, and limber pine. Generally, lower elevations (6,000 feet to 8,400 feet) are dominated by woodland species, such as juniper. Middle elevations (7,000 feet to 7,500 feet) are a mix of pinyon-juniper, whereas in higher elevations (7,500 feet to 8,000 feet) pinyon and oak brush dominate with the occasional juniper. Pinyon-juniper stands compose the largest forest cover type within the RFO (see Section 3.3.4, Vegetation). As elevation increases, timber species dominate the cover type. Between 8,000 feet and 9,600 feet, ponderosa pine and aspen are the major species, whereas Douglas fir, white fir, subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, aspen, and limber pine are found at elevations above 9,600 feet. Generally, timber species are located on north- and northwest-facing slopes or in canyon bottoms where there is enough soil moisture to sustain timber. The largest concentrations of timber cover types are found in the Henry Mountains and along the border between BLM and USFS-administered lands (Map 3-3). Pinyon-juniper woodlands cover 552,000 acres, about one-quarter of the RFO. In contrast, true forests— including ponderosa pine, mixed-conifer, and aspen—represent only 5 percent of the RFO and are located primarily in the Henry Mountains. Forests and woodlands within the RFO are of limited commercial value because of their low productivity and distance from markets. By and large, the aesthetic and ecological importance of forests far outweighs their limited economic value.

Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands
Pinyon-juniper woodlands are increasing in size and density over a large portion of the RFO. This increase is attributed to the absence of wildland fire for the last century and long-term pinyon-juniper management. Where pinyon-juniper canopy cover is dense with large trees, very few, if any, desirable forage species are present. Plant species diversity is decreasing because of the increasing tree canopy cover. The boundaries of the pinyon-juniper woodlands are also increasing. Pinyon-juniper woodlands are invading sagebrush areas and are outcompeting desirable forage species. Shrubs and herbaceous plants reduce erosion better than pinyon-juniper trees. Increasing pinyon-juniper density adversely affects watershed health. Areas with steep slopes and erodible soils in pinyon-juniper tree cover are vulnerable to serious soil erosion. Pinyon-juniper woodlands do not burn in normal precipitation years but during years of drought, the buildup of continuous fuels is a fire hazard. Because these woodlands have expanded into areas formerly occupied by other vegetation types, management attention has focused on reducing, rather than the sustaining them. Pinyon pine provides utilitarian value in the form of firewood, Christmas trees, and pine nuts. Juniper is used for fence posts and firewood. Both are unsuitable for lumber because of their small size, irregular shape, and lack of self-pruning lower limbs. Approximately 600 cords of firewood (both commercial and non-commercial) and 150 Christmas trees are harvested from the RFO per year.

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Ponderosa Pine
Ponderosa pine forests cover 43,000 acres, or about 2 percent of the RFO. In the inland west and southwest, ponderosa pine is a commercially valuable and productive timber tree. Currently, this species is less important economically in the planning area, but there have been limited sales of ponderosa pine in the past. Permits for ponderosa pine harvesting are limited to a few trees each and occur primarily for fire salvaged trees. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Mixed-Conifer
Less than 2 percent of the RFO (29,000 acres) is forested by mixed-conifer stands, which include Engelmann spruce, white fir, subalpine fir, Douglas fir, and several pine species. Although commercially important elsewhere, these forests are of limited economic value within the RFO. Requests for harvesting of mixed conifer species are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and there have been no known recent sales.

Aspen
Quaking aspen forests cover 12,000 acres, less than 1 percent of the RFO. Because it is easy to cut, aspen is sometimes used for firewood. It has no commercial value within the RFO. No recent permits have been issued for aspen. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

3.4.1.2

Current Level of Forest and Woodland Activity

In 2001, RFO and Henry Mountain Field Station issued 647 permits for forest products; 268 of these permits were for collecting seeds from wildland sources. In 2002, the 2 offices issued 456 permits for forest products, with 109 of them for collecting seeds from wildland sources. Because of the serious drought and the decrease in seed production in 2002, the RFO did not issue as many seed permits in 2002, and did not issue any seed permits at all in the fall/winter of 2002–2003.

3.4.1.3

Forest and Woodland Health

The RFO has many areas of diseased or insect killed trees in the pinyon-juniper woodlands. This is generally limited to single trees, but some small patches, usually less than an acre, are scattered throughout the area. During the prolonged drought of the late 1990s and early 2000s, areas of pinyonjuniper woodlands died. Forests in the Henry Mountains also suffered from disease and insect infestations. In 2003, a large number of pinyon and juniper trees died on the north end of the Henry Mountains and in other areas. Portions of Mount Ellen, Mount Pennell, and Mount Hillers burned during 2003. In 2001 and 2002, in accordance with the National Fire Plan, the RFO and the Interagency Fire Management organization began a cooperative effort to reduce fuels and restore forest and woodland health on a much larger scale. In 2002, mechanical methods were used to reduce fuels and restore woodland health on 4,061 acres within the RFO.

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Livestock Grazing Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.4.2

Livestock Grazing

Passage of the Taylor Grazing Act in 1934 initiated the federal effort to regulate livestock grazing on public lands to provide for the orderly use, improvement, and development of the range. The act established a system for allotting grazing privileges to livestock operators based on grazing capacities and priorities of use, and to delineate allotment boundaries. It also established standards for rangeland improvements and implemented grazing fees. The act placed 142 million acres of land in western states under the jurisdiction of the Grazing Service, which evolved into the BLM in 1946. FLPMA and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA) of 1978 provide additional authority for the management of livestock grazing on public land.

3.4.2.1

Grazing Authorization

Within the RFO, the BLM manages livestock grazing on public lands in Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, and Piute counties; portions of Garfield County; and some allotments within Glen Canyon NRA and Capitol Reef National Park. Livestock grazing on public land is administered through livestock grazing allotments, shown on Map 2-7. Through an inter-district agreement, the Price FO manages several allotments within the RFO, and the RFO manages several allotments within the Price FO. In 2002, 194 allotments in the RFO were used by 143 livestock operators. The total forage available for livestock use in the RFO is 109,951 animal unit months (AUM). The total AUMs authorized for the past 15 years are shown in Table 3-22. Grazing permits are usually issued for 10 years. Active use varies from the permitted use shown in the table as a result of fluctuations in forage availability and decisions of livestock operators to use or not use the public range in a given year. Appendix 7 (Table A7-1) provides detailed information on existing grazing allotments in the RFO.

Table 3-22. Comparison of Total Permitted Use to Active Use
Year
1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Cattle
40,467 35,337 30,202 35,837 39,783 42,768 43,338 47,532 48,996 48,894 59,930 62,295 50,246 63,743 52,287 31,011

Active Use Sheep
9,426 8,282 7,793 6,423 7,478 9,393 8,913 11,514 8,788 10,051 9,664 10,062 9,160 12,848 7,647 8,910

Total
49,893 43,619 37,995 42,260 47,261 52,161 52,251 59,046 57,784 58,945 69,594 72,357 59,406 76,591 59,934 39,921

Permitted Use
109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951 109,951

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Year
Average

Cattle
45,792

Active Use Sheep
9,147

Total
54,939

Permitted Use
109,951

Source: RFO Grazing Files.

3.4.2.2

Allotment Categorization and Management

Allotments in the RFO are divided into 3 selective management categories. These categories were developed in 1981 to prioritize grazing allotments to achieve cost-effective improvement of rangeland condition and production. This selective management process emphasized those allotments with the most need and the best potential for return on the investment of public funds. Most allotments have been placed into one of the 3 categories according to management needs, resource conflicts, potential for improvement, and funding and/or staffing constraints. The 3 management categories are: Improve, Maintain, and Custodial. Improve category allotments are managed to improve current resource conditions on allotments with resource issues and which have a high potential for return on investment. They receive the highest priority for funding and management actions. Maintain category allotments are managed to maintain current satisfactory resource conditions. They are actively managed to ensure that resource values do not decline. Custodial category allotments are under custodial management by the BLM to protect resource conditions and values. As watersheds are evaluated, the allotment category is reviewed. The RFO has 91 Improve category allotments covering 1,657,475 acres, 25 Maintain category allotments covering 589,884 acres, and 25 Custodial category allotments covering 80,339 acres. There are 10 allotments that have not been categorized because they were unallotted at the time the allotment categorization process was implemented. Information specific to each of the 184 allotments in the RFO is provided in Appendix 7.

3.4.2.3

Rangeland Improvement Projects

The BLM and its cooperators have completed structural and nonstructural projects on public lands to improve and manage rangelands since 1943. The nonstructural projects include seeding, plowing, harrowing, chaining, contour furrowing, and herbicide spraying. The structural projects have included wells, pipelines, troughs, fences, guzzlers, reservoirs, and cattle guards. Non-native seeding has occurred since the 1950s, with most activity occurring in the 1960s. Seeding has been implemented on a very limited scale from the 1970s to the present. The original objectives of rangeland seeding with non-native species were watershed protection and increases in wildlife and livestock forage. Seeding in the Henry Mountains was undertaken to increase forage to accommodate both bison and livestock. Development of various grazing systems resulted in implementing a variety of vegetation treatments (including seedings), which were used to take grazing pressure off adjacent native vegetative communities. Most seedings completed since the 1970s have been developed because of emergency fire rehabilitation on sites that were susceptible to erosion and the invasion of noxious weeds and non-native annual grass species (such as cheatgrass). As mandated in FLPMA and PRIA, a portion of the grazing fees is invested in range improvements, with the expectation that these improvements may benefit wildlife, watersheds, and livestock producers. Using emergency fire rehabilitation funds, additional public land resources have been protected through rehabilitation of burned areas, thereby reducing soil loss and decreasing the ability of noxious weeds and annual non-native grasses to become established. Livestock operators, state and federal agencies, and other interested public entities have continued to fund rangeland improvement construction.

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3.4.2.4 Fundamentals of Rangeland Health and Standards and Guidelines for Grazing Administration
In May 1997, under the authority of the regulations at 43 CFR 4180 (Fundamentals of Rangeland Health and Standards and Guidelines for Grazing Administration), the Utah State Director approved Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Livestock Grazing. These standards and guidelines provide a clear statement of agency policy and direction for those who use public lands for livestock grazing and for those who are responsible for their management and accountable for their conditions. The fundamentals of rangeland health combine the basic precepts of physical function and biological health with elements of law relating to water quality and plant and animal populations and communities. The standards are goals for the desired condition of the biological and physical components and characteristics of the rangelands. These standards are measurable and attainable, comply with various federal and state statutes, policies, and directives applicable to BLM rangelands, and are the minimum resource condition that must be achieved and maintained. An interdisciplinary team conducts watershed assessments with participation from permittees and other interested parties. The assessments determine whether the Standards for Rangeland Health are being met. The 4 standards for rangeland health are as follows: • • • • Standard 1: Uplands soils are in PFC. Standard 2: Riparian and wetland areas are in PFC. Standard 3: Desired species, including native, threatened, endangered, and SSS, are maintained at an appropriate level. Standard 4: Water quality meets state standards.

In accordance with the regulations at 43 CFR 4180, if existing grazing management and livestock use is a significant factor in the non-attainment of a standard, appropriate actions must be taken that will result in significant progress toward attainment of the standard(s).

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3.4.3

Recreation

The recreational resources of the lands managed by the RFO represent some of the most unusual and least explored recreation opportunities in the region. However, in certain parts of the RFO, increased visitor use is affecting soil, water, vegetation, and wildlife. Conflicts among recreationists are also beginning to increase. In some areas, recreation use conflicts with other resources and uses, such as livestock grazing, wildlife habitat needs, and wilderness characteristics. All of the RFO is included in a recreation fee project in the Henry Mountains/Sevier River area. Participation in the recreation fee program is authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) and allows an FO to collect fees for specific types of recreational uses, and then expend the fees to manage the lands where they were collected. Monies collected have been used to maintain and improve campgrounds and picnic areas, install new informational signs, replace waterlines and hydrants to supply drinking water, monitor recreation uses, improve hiking trails, and generally improve the recreational experience within the RFO.

3.4.3.1

Recreation Management Areas

Recreation Management Areas (RMA) are BLM’s primary means of managing recreational use of the public lands. Public land falls within either a Special RMA (SRMA) or Extensive RMA (ERMA). SRMAs are areas that require a recreation investment, where more intensive recreation management is needed, and where recreation is a principal management objective. These areas often have high levels of recreation activity and valuable natural resources. Under existing LUPs, only a small area at the head of Yuba Lake is established as an SRMA. The Yuba Lake SRMA is and will continue to be managed by the Fillmore FO. All other lands are managed as an ERMA. The ERMA consists of areas in which recreation is nonspecialized and dispersed and does not require intensive management (although such areas may contain recreation sites). Although the primary management objective of the ERMA is not necessarily recreation, the large number of attractive recreation sites and areas make recreation management an important consideration.

3.4.3.2

Special Recreation Permitting

As authorized by 43 CFR 2932, 4 types of uses exist for which special recreation permits (SRP) are required: commercial use, competitive events, organized groups, and recreation use in special areas. The BLM issues SRPs for noncommercial use in certain special areas, including long-term visitor areas, river use areas, and backcountry hiking or camping areas. The RFO issues noncommercial recreation use permits (RUP) for individual use of 3 fee-site campgrounds. The RFO issued 254 RUPs during the 2004 fiscal year (FY). Commercial SRPs are issued for commercial and competitive uses of public lands and organized events. SRPs may be issued for 10 years or less, with annual renewal, after which time outfitters must reapply for permits. The permits are issued as a means of managing visitor use, protecting natural and cultural resources, and for providing a mechanism for accommodating commercial recreational uses. The RFO issued 32 SRPs during the 2004 fiscal year. The total number of participants in recreational activities authorized by SRPs during 2004 was 12,008, generating $109,077 in revenue.

3.4.3.3

Recreation Visitation

BLM recreation visitation is recorded in the Recreation Management Information System (RMIS). RMIS estimates recreation participation for 65 types of recreation activities recorded at BLM sites and areas

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based on registrations, permit records, observations, and professional judgment. Visitation is estimated by numbers of participants as well as counted by actual visitor days. Participants are the actual number of people who take part in a recreational activity. A visitor day is a common recreation unit of measure used among federal agencies. One visitor day represents an aggregate of 12 visitor hours at a site or area. In the past decade several activities made substantial contributions to total visitation (e.g., total visitor days) within the RFO. Camping, driving for pleasure, and backpacking were the most common forms of recreation. Aggregate OHV use (attributed to all-terrain vehicles [ATV] as well as cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles [SUV]) is another common form of recreation. Picnicking, hiking, and viewing wildlife, as well as fishing and big game hunting, were also common recreation activities. Table 3-23 lists the RMIS figures for the RFO for the FY 2001 through 2004.

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Table 3-23. Recreation Visitation
Oct. 2000–Sept. 2001 Visitor Participants Days1
72,368 128,418 2,122 156,429 2,320 26,815 4,885 80,699 4,905 22,364 9,770 990 75,751 76,600 2,076 112,439 8,110 4,128 2,064 977 9,125 9,770 46,832 16,228 117 876,302 141 443,886 1,373 7,356 814 760 9,360 9,650 41,131 14,732 104 707,354 81 965 2,069 1,476 1,032 2,951 1,352 8,290 1,382 738 1,476 80 780 804 5,897 1,203 106 338,192 9,811 81,422 7,213 2,078 1,478 1,476 43,785 58,804 31,954 29,652 60,945 22,254 165 1,055 176 2,675 63,062 56,483 1,413 78,082 13,471 2,826 1,413 936 16,181 9,360 50,721 14,528 155 758,737 2,035 9,650 2,010 9,419 15,878 18,684 12,240 17,955 1,026 4,825 1,005 4,680 42,967 62,744 31,152 65,323 975 11,720 1,950 446 21,750 30,625 1,413 6,916 2,245 706 1,413 78 1,348 780 6,586 1,177 154 341,004 1,221 4,825 1,206 4,680 1,170 30,247 5,890 28,075 6,215 56,103 13,246 800 1,769 639 1,722 620 73,151 129,200 55,149 132,402 53,477 583 1,514 414 1,413 353 1,480 132,195 1,882 53,296 4,455 66,189 4,455 17,871 8,910 2,540 63,834 57,787 1,480 81,055 12,800 2,960 1,480 891 15,375 8,910 49,481 14,206 95 759,541 125,787 98,951 96,285 103,968 100,783 105,128 74,079 54,754 56,338 49,766 50,826 50,786

Activity

Oct. 2001–Sept. 2002 Visitor Participants Days1

Oct. 2002–Sept. 2003 Visitor Participants Days1

Oct. 2003–Sept. 2004 Visitor Participants Days1
51,610 102,144 370 55,034 670 12,581 1,114 31,507 928 11,945 1,856 423 22,492 31,836 1,480 7,148 2,133 740 1,480 74 1,281 743 6,594 1,026 86 347,295

Backpacking

Camping

Climbing (Mountain/Rock)

Driving for Pleasure

Environmental Education

Fishing (Freshwater)

Gather Non-Commercial Products

Hiking/Walking/Running

Horseback Riding

Hunting—Big Game

Hunting—Small Game

Hunting—Waterfowl

OHV (ATV)

OHV (Cars/Trucks/SUVs)

Pack Trips

Picnicking

Powerboating

Rockhound/Mineral Coll.

Row/Float/Raft

Snow Play (General)

Swimming/Water Play

Target Practice

Viewing (Wildlife)

Viewing (All Other)

Other

Total

Note: 1—A recreation visitor day is equivalent to 12 hours of participation in a given recreational activity. Source: Bureau of Land Management, Recreation Management Information System.

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3.4.3.4

Developed Recreation Sites

The RFO manages a small number of developed recreation sites as shown in Table 3-24.

Table 3-24. Developed Recreation Sites—Richfield Field Office
Site Name
Otter Creek Reservoir Fisherman’s Beach Tamarisk Point South Point Wolverton Mill Hog Springs Picnic Area Lonesome Beaver Campground McMillan Spring Campground Starr Springs Campground/ Picnic Area Dandelion Flat Picnic Area Koosharem Reservoir

Description
Minimal day-use facilities, dispersed camping areas, and fishing access to the reservoir. Primary activities are fishing and boating. Day-use and interpretive facilities at a relocated cultural site adjacent to the BLM office in Hanksville. Day-use facility. The site serves primarily as a roadside rest stop, picnic site, and trailhead. Fee site with day-use and camping facilities, along with culinary water. Primary use is camping. Fee site with day-use and camping facilities with culinary water. Primary uses are camping, OHV driving, and viewing bison. Fee site that features day-use and camping facilities with culinary water. Panorama Knoll Nature Trail and the Starr Ranch are at the site. Site is primarily used for camping. Day-use and primitive camping facilities with culinary water. Serves picnicking and primitive camping uses. Also serves as a trailhead for Mount Ellen. Minimal day-use facilities. Primarily serves as a roadside rest stop.

3.4.3.5

Recreation Use Conflicts

Recreational activities can conflict with one another and affect the available opportunities and experiences. For example, heavy use of an area by motorized users can displace non-motorized users. Various recreation activities also affect other resources, such as riparian areas, cultural resources, vegetation, wildlife, soils, grazing, and mineral extraction. Specific areas where recreation and/or resource conflict occurs include the Dirty Devil region, Factory Butte, and the Henry Mountains.

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3.4.4

Travel Management

Development of the existing transportation system in the RFO has been associated with providing access for resource uses such as mineral development, livestock grazing, and recreation. Increased demand for access to public lands, combined with the research on the impacts of roads to resources and resource uses, has increased the need for a well designed and managed transportation system. The transportation system includes state, county and BLM system roads, some of which receive regular maintenance. For portions of the transportation system roads that cross BLM-administered land, various government entities and individuals acquire ROWs from BLM. Issuance of ROWs is based on access needs and resource considerations. State and county system roads (depending on class of the road) are usually constructed and maintained to higher standards than BLM roads and provide the primary arterial and collector road systems for access to and through BLM lands. These state and county system roads are not maintained by BLM. Some locations within the RFO are known and occasionally used for aircraft landing and departure activities that, through such casual use, have evolved into backcountry airstrips. Backcountry airstrips in the RFO receive occasional use by backcountry pilots to camp, explore, or for safety purposes. In addition to arterial and collector routes, numerous smaller routes lace throughout the RFO that connect more remote locations to the larger roads. These routes are used for recreational purposes, access to range improvements, mineral developments, and non-BLM managed inholdings. Most of these routes are not paved, and most are unimproved in nature; they are of native surface (dirt, gravel, or sand). The BLM used a variety of methods to inventory existing routes/ways within the RFO for consideration in the planning process, including Global Positioning System data (when available), data provided by the counties, map and orthophoto data, and staff/cooperator knowledge. Based on this inventory, the BLM identified 4,380 miles of routes/ways (Map 3-10) within the RFO. It should be noted that route designations are implementation decisions and that the resulting transportation network could change over time. Detailed route inventory maps by alternative will be available for review at the RFO and on the project website for the Richfield PRMP//FEIS at http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/richfield/planning.html. Appendix 9 provides additional details on the travel management/route designation process, the implementation process, and the process that would be required to add or remove route designations following completion of the RMP.

3.4.4.1

Off-Highway Vehicles

Management direction for off-highway vehicles is provided in 43 CFR 8340, BLM Manual 8340, and the BLM National OHV Management Strategy. Resource management plans designate areas as open, closed, or limited, with regards to OHV use. Under the existing LUPs, 77 percent (1,636,400 acres) of the RFO is open to cross-country OHV use, 13 percent (277,600 acres) is limited to existing/designated/maintained routes, and 10% (214,000 acres) is closed to OHV use (Map 2-12). The number of OHVs registered in Utah grew nearly 70 percent between 2001 and 2004. Registrations of OHVs within counties in the planning area have grown as well. County and statewide OHV registrations are shown in Table 3-25.

Table 3-25. OHV Registrations
County
Garfield County

2001
353

2002
585

2003
569

2004
745

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County
Piute County Sanpete County Sevier County Wayne County State Total

2001
195 2,594 3,523 277 95,569

2002
256 3,060 3,819 344 127,556

2003
281 2,969 3,708 341 124,954

2004
367 3,885 4,554 462 161,350

Note: Registrations are for State of Utah fiscal year (July 1–June 30). Source: Eric Stucki, Utah Division of State Parks, Personal communication 2004.

The 11 WSAs within the RFO are designated as either closed or limited for OHV use. There are 188,600 acres closed to OHV use and 258,300 acres where OHV use is limited to identified routes. Within the use areas, there are 42 miles of inventoried ways within WSAs that are currently open to motorized travel. The Factory Butte area in the eastern portion of the RFO was identified as open to OHV use under 43 CFR 8342.1 in the 1982 Henry Mountain Management Framework Plan (MFP). One section of land (640 acres), commonly referred to as Swing Arm City, was identified as an OHV activity area. This section of land is where the most intensive use was occurring. OHV use in the Factory Butte area has continued to increase and expand beyond the OHV activity area to the point that OHVs are causing or will cause considerable adverse effects on T&E plant species in the area. In September 2006, a restriction order notice was published in the Federal Register for the Factory Butte area. The restriction order limited OHV use to designated routes on 142,023 acres of the Factory Butte area. The order did not affect OHV use within Swing Arm City; 2,602 acres remained open as an OHV activity area, and the 2,200 acres of North Caineville Mesa remained closed to OHV use. This restriction order will remain in effect until the RFO Record of Decision (ROD) becomes final. BLM proposes to designate the Factory Butte area as a SRMA to allow for recreational opportunities while protecting the T&E species. The Paiute and Great Western Trail systems run through the western and central portions of the planning area. They are managed under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the BLM, USFS, the State of Utah, and several local governments. The Paiute Trail System is a 900-mile system that crosses several BLM FO jurisdictions, as well as USFS, state, Native American reservation, and private lands. The RFO manages 136 miles of the Paiute Trail System. A portion of the Great Western Trail System also crosses the planning area, the majority of which is on USFS lands. The Great Western Trail totals 138 miles within the planning area, with only 4 miles on BLM-administered land. Use of these trail systems has been monitored over the past 9 years using trail counters to provide readings of use trends over time. During the 2003 season, the BLM used 25 infrared trail counters strategically located across the 2 trail systems. Use data are also based on observations and comparisons offered by Paiute Trail rangers, district trail managers, trail hosts, and representatives from the BLM, state parks, Paiute ATV Trail Committee, and the Southern Utah OHV Club. Most use (90 percent) was via ATVs, with motorcycles and jeeps accounting for the remaining 10 percent. The OHV monitoring report does not include snowmobile use. The Paiute system sustained a 16% use increase between 2002 and 2003, while the Great Western Trail experienced a 4% increase during the same period. Results are reported in Table 3-26.

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Table 3-26. Paiute ATV and Great Western Trail Systems Estimated Use
Trail
Paiute ATV Trail Great Western Trail Total Annual OHV Use
Source: USFS 2003.

1995
18,000 5,600 23,600

1996
17,268 5,450 22,718

1997
24,866 11,755 36,621

1998
29,663 11,571 41,234

1999
38,618 13,514 52,132

2000
43,367 12,137 55,504

2001
45,310 14,851 60,161

2002
43,152 13,579 56,731

2003
50,245 14,167 64,412

Growth of OHV use has become a significant issue within the planning area because of concerns related to the potential resource degradation that can result from unmanaged use.

3.4.4.2

Transportation and Access (SITLA Lands)

Throughout much of Utah, the State owns and manages four isolated sections in each 36-section township. These are generally sections 2, 16, 32, and 36, and are ordinarily one mile square (640 acres). They are primarily administered by the SITLA for the purpose of economic support of the state’s public schools and institutional trust funds. Activities on state land generally are not substantially different from those on the surrounding land administered by BLM. Many of the SITLA lands generate funds through grazing permits, ROW easements and permits, and hydrocarbon or other mineral leases. Many BLM lands with management restrictions, such as WSAs, have state lands that are adjacent to or within their boundaries. State lands that are completely or almost entirely surrounded by BLM lands with management restrictions, or that are managed with administratively endorsed NPS lands, are termed state inholdings. Existing access to inheld state lands varies. Some of the parcels have direct access through cherrystemmed or boundary roads of WSAs. Inheld parcels may or may not currently have access, depending upon whether or not existing vehicle routes lead to them. BLM policy, as required by the Cotter decision, is that “the state must be allowed access to the state school trust lands so that those lands can be developed in a manner that will provide funds for the common school...” This decision confined the issue of access to situations directly involving economic revenues generated for the school trust. For example, if a holder of a state oil and gas lease on a parcel of state land that is completely surrounded by a WSA requires access to develop that lease, BLM must grant the leaseholder reasonable access with consideration given to minimize impacts to wilderness character.

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3.4.5

Lands and Realty

Public land policy in the United States fundamentally changed with passage of FLPMA in 1976, which directed that “public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless as a result of the land use planning procedure provided for in this Act, it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the national interest….” The lands and realty program is a support program to all other resources and resource uses. The goals of the lands and realty program are to manage the public lands to support the goals and objectives of other resource programs, provide for uses of public lands in accordance with applicable laws and regulations while protecting sensitive resources, and improve management of the public lands through land tenure adjustments. The program responds to requests for ROWs, permits, leases, withdrawals, and land tenure adjustments from other programs or outside entities. The frequency of such requests is anticipated to increase as neighboring communities grow and the demand for use of public lands increases. As a result, future management of the lands and realty program will likely become more intense, complex, and costly. The primary responsibilities of the lands and realty program include land tenure adjustments, withdrawal review, ROWs, and other land use authorizations. The following sections describe the current conditions and status of the lands and realty program within the RFO. The planning area comprises approximately 5.4 million acres in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, and Wayne counties, and portions of Garfield County (Map 1-1). (There are also 21,500 acres of Kane County within the planning area; however, these acres lie entirely within Glen Canyon NRA so no decisions within this RMP will affect those lands.) Within this area, BLM manages 2.1 million acres of public land surface and mineral estate, and an additional 95,000 acres of split estate lands (federal minerals where the surface estate is in state or private ownership). Acreage of split estate lands by county is as follows: • • • • • Garfield County: 7,600 acres Piute County: 2,800 acres Sanpete County: 40,400 acres Sevier County: 36,300 acres Wayne County: 7,900 acres.

The BLM also has administrative responsibility for 2,082,865 acres of mineral estate where the surface is managed by other federal agencies (USFS and NPS). Chapter 1 summarizes the surface land ownership within the planning area.

3.4.5.1

Land Tenure Adjustment

Land tenure adjustments are often associated with accommodating public and private needs, fulfilling State of Utah entitlements, allowing community expansion, consolidating public land, acquiring and protecting important resources, acquiring access to public lands, or serving a national priority. All land tenure adjustments must be in conformance with applicable LUPs and be subject to valid and existing rights. BLM uses several authorities to make land tenure adjustments through disposal and acquisition, including FLPMA and the R&PP Act.

Disposals
Lands can be disposed of through sale, exchange, state quantity grant, color of title, state In Lieu selection, desert land entry, Carey Act entry, patent under the R&PP Act or through federal legislation. Public lands have potential for disposal when they are isolated and/or difficult to manage. Disposal actions are usually in response to public request, such as community expansion. Disposals result in a title transfer, wherein the lands leave the public domain. All disposal actions are coordinated with adjoining

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landowners, local governments, and current land users. Disposal actions require a site-specific environmental analysis in accordance with NEPA (unless the disposal is a result of federal legislation and is exempted from NEPA review). This NEPA analysis may reveal resource conditions that could not be mitigated to the satisfaction of the authorized officer and may therefore preclude disposal. Public sales of BLM lands are managed under the disposal criteria set forth in Section 203 of FLPMA and the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act. Public lands determined suitable for sale are offered on the initiative of BLM unless their disposal was directed by federal legislation. The lands are sold at not less than fair market value. Specific lands suitable for sale must be identified in the applicable LUP. Any lands to be disposed of through sale that were not identified in the LUP would require a plan amendment before a sale could occur. Public lands classified, withdrawn, reserved, or otherwise designated as not available or subject to sale are unavailable. Lands can also be disposed of as directed by federal legislation. Two past examples of this within the planning area are: • • Public Law 98-219 (dated February 17, 1984) provided for the transfer of title to 1,273.54 acres of public land within the RFO to the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah. Public Law 102-292 (dated May 26, 1992) transferred title and jurisdiction of 10,172.89 acres of public land within the RFO to the Secretary of Agriculture. These lands were added to and are administered as part of the Fishlake National Forest.

Disposal actions were considered in previous LUPs Of the 5 existing LUPs that cover lands currently administered by the RFO, only the Mountain Valley MFP originally identified lands for sale. These LUPs have subsequently been amended to allow additional land sales. To date, a total of 3,557.63 acres have been sold in the RFO under authority of Section 203 of FLPMA. In addition, since the existing LUPs were prepared, 335.48 acres of public land have been disposed of through exchange; 1,171.94 acres have been disposed of by R&PP sales; 83.02 acres have been disposed of by placer mineral patent; and 640 acres have been disposed of by state grants. Future disposal actions are anticipated, as lands are identified for consideration for disposal to consolidate public land, facilitate community expansion, and remove from federal jurisdiction land parcels that are isolated or difficult to manage.

Acquisitions
Acquisition of lands can be pursued to facilitate various resource management objectives. Acquisitions, including easements, can be completed through exchange, purchase, or donations. Land exchanges are initiated in direct response to public demand, or by BLM to acquire sensitive resources and/or improve management of the public lands. Exchange proposals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the proposed exchange would be in the public interest and would achieve RMP goals and objectives. A total of 36.37 acres of private land within the RFO have been acquired by BLM since the existing LUPs were prepared. Future land acquisitions are anticipated, as opportunities arise to acquire access to public lands and protect important resources.

3.4.5.2

Withdrawals

A withdrawal is a formal land designation that has the effect of reserving land for a certain use. Withdrawals remove certain public lands from the operation of one or more of the public land laws, excluding lands from settlement, sale, location, or entry, including under the general mining laws and mineral leasing laws. Withdrawals are used to protect major federal investments in facilities or other improvements, reserve lands for specific purposes and use, support national security, protect resources, and provide for public health and safety.

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Section 204(l) of FLPMA requires the review of existing withdrawals to determine whether they are still serving the purposes for which they were made. If the withdrawals are no longer serving their intended purpose, they are to be revoked and the lands opened or partially opened to the uses that were previously prohibited. If withdrawals are determined to still meet the purposes for which they were made, they are recommended for extension for a specific term. While BLM can make recommendations to designate, revoke, or extend withdrawals, only the Secretary of the Interior has the authority to actually take these actions. Approximately 154,700 acres of public land in the RFO are currently withdrawn for various purposes, as shown in Table 3-27. More detailed information on these existing withdrawals can be found in Appendix 5 (Table A5-7). There are currently no withdrawal applications pending. The lands listed in Table 3-27 are subject to withdrawal review.

Table 3-27. Existing Withdrawals on Public Lands within the RFO
Withdrawal Type
Public Water Reserve Henry Mountain Administrative Site Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Power Site Oil Shale Total
Source: BLM 2004c.

Segregative Effect
Lands included within public water reserves are withdrawn from settlement, location, selection, sale, or entry. They are withdrawn from location of non-metalliferous minerals. Lands are withdrawn from settlement, sale, location, or entry under the general land laws, including the mining laws, but not to leasing under the mineral leasing laws. When an application is filed with FERC, the lands are withdrawn from operation of the public land laws. However, the lands remain open to location, lease, or disposal of the mineral estate. The issuance of a FERC permit or license withdraws the lands from operation of the mining laws. Lands are withdrawn from all forms of entry, selection, disposal, settlement, or location. Lands are withdrawn from lease, except oil and gas and sodium leasing, or other disposal, and from appropriation under the general mining laws.

Affected Acres
12,230.77

41.21

1,207.08

72.80 141,144.65 154,696.51

3.4.5.3

Rights-of-Way

Approximately 475 ROWs exist within the RFO, authorizing construction, operation, and maintenance of powerlines, electric substations, telephone lines and cables, irrigation and culinary water pipelines, springs and wells used for irrigation and culinary purposes, reservoirs, communication sites, ditches and canals, roads, highways, material sites, and other similar uses. The BLM has granted these ROWs to the State of Utah, various counties, individuals, corporations, rural electric associations, partnerships, and other entities. Whenever feasible, BLM encourages joint use and placement of new facilities in previously disturbed areas such as existing communications sites, roads, and highways. There are no officially designated ROW corridors in the planning area; however, several physical corridors containing facilities are not formally designated by an LUP. The BLM is currently addressing designation of energy corridors in an interagency Programmatic EIS (PEIS) for the Western United States (see Section 1.6.4 in Chapter 1).

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Prior to 1982, ROWs for federal aid highway projects were issued using the same procedures as for other ROWs. After 1982, these ROWs were processed in accordance with an interagency agreement. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) can request the appropriation of public lands from BLM for highway or mineral material site ROWs for highway purposes only. The BLM then issues a Letter of Consent to FHWA, and FHWA, in turn, issues a Highway Easement Deed to the respective state agency. FHWA administers the deed. Since 1982, the BLM has issued more than 90 authorizations for federal aid highway projects statewide. Several of these projects were connected with the construction and/or associated maintenance of Interstate 70 (I-70), Highway 50, Highway 24, and other major highways in the RFO. Several major power transmission lines in the western part of the RFO connect to the substation located near Sigurd and to numerous power distribution lines scattered across the RFO. Currently, 16 ROWs authorize culinary water sources within the RFO. Details on these ROWs can be found in Appendix 5. Communication sites host communication equipment and facilities for various uses, such as television, radio, microwave, seismographic, and cellular services. There are currently 37 communication sites throughout the RFO; the BLM has issued 38 ROW grants for various communication uses at these sites. Detailed information is included in Appendix 5 (Table A5-10).

3.4.5.4

Leases and Permits

Land use permits authorize short-term uses of public land involving little or no land improvement, construction, or investment. They can also authorize uses that cannot be authorized under other authorities. A temporary use permit authorizes short-term use of public land for activities connected with construction, operation, maintenance, or termination of a ROW. Leases are usually issued for longer periods of time than permits. The BLM can issue the following types of leases: • • • Leases issued under the authority of Section 302(b) of FLPMA R&PP leases Airport leases.

Section 302(b) leases authorize uses such as residential, agricultural, industrial, and commercial, as well as uses that cannot be authorized under other authorities and that involve substantial construction, development, or land improvement and investment. R&PP leases authorize uses such as parks, shooting ranges, cemeteries, sanitary landfills, and other recreation and public purposes. Airport leases, as the name implies, authorize public airports. R&PP leases have been issued for landfill sites, shooting ranges, parks, and other recreation and public purposes. Since 1982, the BLM has issued approximately 35 R&PP leases for public lands within the RFO, of which 9 are currently active. The decrease in R&PP leases can be partially attributed to a conversion of some leases to patents and also to a change in BLM policy that occurred in 1988. The policy was (and is) that no new sanitary landfill sites would be authorized on public land, that all existing R&PP leases for such sites would be terminated as quickly as possible, and that existing landfill sites would either be sold or closed and rehabilitated. This policy was adopted to minimize the potential liability associated with such sites. The R&PP Act was amended in 1988 to allow the disposal (sale) of public lands to be used for solid waste disposal or for any other purpose that includes the disposal, placement, or release of any hazardous substance. Sites other than landfills that qualify include shooting ranges, municipal water treatment plants, and municipal equipment storage facilities. Presently, all R&PP leases for sanitary landfill sites have been terminated. Of the 9 active R&PP leases in the RFO, 4

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authorize shooting ranges. Information about these ranges is included in Appendix 5 (Table A5-11). The other 5 existing leases authorize parks and a riding arena.

3.4.5.5

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy generally is defined as energy derived from sources such as wind, solar, and biomass. Wind energy refers to the kinetic energy generated from wind produced by power-generating turbines. Solar energy includes electricity generated from photovoltaic panels. Bioenergy from biomass refers to energy from organic waste products that are either burned directly or converted to fuels that can be burned to produce energy. A recent study, Assessing the Potential for Renewable Energy on Public Lands (USDI and U.S. Department of Energy [USDOE] 2003), presented a nationwide overview of renewable resources on BLM lands in the western United States. The study employed several screening criteria to consider factors that would affect the economic and technical feasibility of renewable power production. This would help to determine the true potential of an area to produce renewable energy. Screening criteria used in the assessment included access to roads and transmission facilities, available land surface, site condition, land use restrictions, distance to population centers, government policies, and regional market conditions. The primary goal of the assessment was to identify BLM planning units in the western United States with the highest potential for development of renewable energy. The assessment indicates that portions of the RFO have a high potential for solar, wind, and biomass energy. However, the potential for development of these resources is moderate to low due to their distance from roads, transportation facilities, and population centers. There are no renewable energy facilities currently present within the RFO. In June 2005, the BLM published the Wind Energy Development, Final PEIS (BLM 2005c). This PEIS evaluates the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with wind energy development on BLM-administered lands in 11 western states over the next 20 years (i.e., 2005–2025). To determine where potential development might occur on the basis of land status and wind energy resources, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) constructed a maximum potential development scenario to project the amount of wind power that might be generated over the next 20 years in the 11-state study area. The projection included an assessment of the potential wind power supply and demand. Maps depicting BLM-administered lands with low, medium, and high potential for wind energy development were constructed for each of the BLM FOs in the 11-state study area. These maps serve as only a preliminary screening tool for site selection. Developers must still investigate the properties of the wind regime at any candidate site in much greater detail before assigning a practical value to the site and deciding on a course of development. High and medium wind resource levels are identified within the easternmost portion of Sevier County, Utah, which is located near 345–500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines. High and medium wind resource levels are also identified between Loa and Bicknell, east of Hanksville, Wayne County, Utah; and several isolated locations disbursed throughout Garfield County, Utah. Because of the remote nature and lack of existing infrastructure at the Wayne and Garfield County locations, the wind energy may not be economically developable and may create potential economic and resource impacts. Solar resources are considered minimum to low throughout the RFO (5 to 6 kilowatt hours per square meter per day). The 6 kilowatt hours concentration is primarily located within the northwestern portion of Wayne County, while the 5 kilowatt hours concentration is primarily concentrated within Sanpete, Sevier, and Piute counties.

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The programmatic policies and BMPs in the proposed Wind Energy Development Program are appropriate for wind energy development activities in the RFO (see Appendix 15).

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3.4.6

Minerals and Energy

BLM minerals management policy falls into 3 categories: leasable minerals, locatable minerals, and salable minerals, which are respectively subject to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the general mining laws, and the Materials Act of 1947, and their respective amendments and implementing regulations. Leasable fluid minerals include oil and gas, coalbed natural gas (CBNG), geothermal resources, and tar sands. Leasable solid minerals include coal and sodium. Locatable minerals include metals such as uranium, molybdenum, gold, copper, and manganese, and can include non-metals such as gypsum and limestone. Salable minerals (mineral materials) include sand and gravel, clay, stone, and humate. The following sections contain summary information concerning mineral resources within the planning area. More specific information is contained in the Mineral Potential Report (BLM 2005b) and the coal resource evaluation reports (Appendix 8). The Reasonably Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources (RFD) contains information about anticipated activities related to those fluid minerals (Appendix 12).

3.4.6.1

Leasable Minerals

Exploration and development of leasable minerals occurs in several stages of activity. For the BLM, the process of leasing has 3 stages. The first stage (land categorization through land use planning) involves determining which public domain lands are available for leasing and under what conditions. The second stage is leasing. The third stage includes exploration, development, and production operations. Leasing for fluid minerals and solid minerals follows different regulatory requirements specific to 43 CFR 3100 for oil and gas, 43 CFR 3200 for geothermal resources, 43 CFR 3400 for coal resources, and 43 CFR 3500 for non-energy solid minerals. For oil and gas, geophysical operations do not require a lease. Leases include the right to explore (usually drilling) and to develop any producible oil and gas. All oil and gas leases are offered competitively, and if not bid on, noncompetitively for 2 years. Leasing of geothermal resources is similar to oil and gas. Coal resources require a license for exploration, and a lease for development (production). All coal leasing is by competitive bidding. Non-energy solid minerals require a prospecting permit or license for exploration, and leases are offered competitively, by preferential right, or noncompetitively. For oil and gas leasing, the BLM has developed leasing categories to apply to all public lands to indicate availability for such leasing. The first 3 categories are open subject to the terms of the lease. The fourth category precludes oil and gas leasing altogether. These categories are described below. • • Open Subject to Standard Lease Terms—Areas identified as open to exploration and development subject to standard lease terms and conditions. Open Subject to Timing Limitations and/or Controlled Surface Use (CSU) (minor constraints)—Areas identified with these stipulations are open to exploration and development with relatively minor constraints. A timing limitation would preclude activities during specified time frames to protect resource values such as wildlife species. A CSU stipulation would require proposals for oil and gas activities to be authorized according to the controls or constraints specified, such as a distance or buffer from a particular area. No Surface Occupancy (NSO) (major constraint)—Areas identified as NSO are open to exploration and development, but with the major constraint of precluding oil and gas activities that use the surface of the land. Closed—Areas identified as closed are not available for oil and gas leasing.

•

•

Leasing for coal involves identifying lands that may have a minable coal resource, applying unsuitability criteria, and considering the impacts of coal exploration and development on other resources and vice

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versa. For non-energy solid leasable minerals, lands that are open or closed to leasing must be identified along with any area-wide terms, conditions, or other special considerations needed to protect other resource values during exploration or development.

Oil and Gas
The USGS has identified 8 oil and gas plays within the planning area. These are discussed in detail in the Mineral Potential Report (BLM 2005b). In simplest terms, oil and gas are most often found in the pore spaces of sedimentary rocks, such as sandstone and limestone, having migrated there from source rocks, such as marine shales, rich in organic material. When rocks containing this organic material are subjected to heat and pressure, the organic compounds break down over time, resulting in oil and natural gas. As the oil and gas are generated, they migrate through the pore spaces of the rock or along fractures until they encounter a structural or stratigraphic trap with an impermeable seal. The Mineral Potential Report identifies high and moderate potential for oil and gas for the planning area. Most of the planning area has a high potential with a variable degree of certainty. It assigns moderate potential to most of Piute County and a relatively small area east of Factory Butte in Wayne County. CBNG is a gas associated with coal beds. During the coalification process that accompanies burial, organic matter is converted into coal, and natural gas is produced, along with water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and heavier hydrocarbon fractions (Rice 2000). A portion of this natural gas becomes trapped as the coal seam is compacted and can later be extracted as an energy resource. CBNG is produced by pumping water out of the coal, thereby lowering the hydrostatic pressure, which causes the natural gas to desorb from the coal and migrate through the coal cleats and fractures to the production well. Initially, large amounts of water are produced before natural gas can desorb and begin to flow toward the well bore. As the coal beds are de-watered, natural gas production from the well increases over time. Eventually, gas production declines as ground water production diminishes in the last stages of a well’s production. CBNG production poses some significant environmental issues, most notably the production of large volumes of water, particularly in the early stages of well development. Although water produced from CBNG wells can be potable, it is frequently saline to hypersaline and may contain TDS at concentrations up to 170,000 milligrams/liter (mg/L) (USGS 2000). Produced water from CBNG wells can also have high concentrations of dissolved organic constituents and metals. Depending on the water quality, the produced water is disposed of as waste or used for beneficial purposes, although some treatment is often required. Disposal includes surface discharge, including evaporation or injection in subsurface formations. Uses include livestock watering, irrigation, watering artificial wetlands, or water supplies. Exploration and development of CBNG differs somewhat from conventional gas within the planning area. Two CBNG plays are identified within the planning area, both associated with Cretaceous coal beds. The Uintah and Piceance Basin play is associated with the Ferron Trend that extends approximately from Price southward onto the Wasatch Plateau. The other play is generally on the west side of the Henry Mountains, east of Capitol Reef. The Ferron Trend is assigned a high potential for the occurrence of CBNG, and the play west of the Henry Mountains is assigned a moderate potential, except for low potential near Factory Butte. An RFD scenario predicting the likelihood of oil and gas exploration and development over the next 15 years within the planning area was developed as part of this planning effort and is included in Appendix 12. The RFD scenario is summarized in the following paragraphs.

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The USGS estimates the distribution of undiscovered, technically recoverable hydrocarbon resources in the planning area to be 0 to 20,000 barrels of oil per square mile. As of 2004, some 220 exploration wells had been drilled in the planning area (IHS Energy Well Data 2004). The historical number of wells drilled each year is slightly more than three. A discovery of oil in 2004 in western Sevier County at the Covenant field near Sigurd has promoted interest in oil and gas exploration in the western part of the planning area. Since then, the interest in leasing, the number of miles of seismic surveys, and the number of exploration wells has increased substantially and focuses mainly on the Sevier and Sanpete valleys, although other areas within the thrust play are being explored. Since the discovery, a large area of public land near the Sevier and Sanpete valleys has been nominated for leasing, and the bidding for leases has been very competitive. Map 3-11 shows the current leases in the planning area. The RFD scenario assigns a high level of activity (high development potential) and predicts 360 wells to be drilled in the western part of the planning area near the Sevier and Sanpete valleys. Additionally, 2 other areas have been of interest for leasing in recent years. On the Manti-LaSal National Forest, federal leases are authorized on the Wasatch Plateau and are associated with the Cretaceous Sandstone and CBNG plays. Only a few leases are authorized on the Fishlake National Forest on the Wasatch Plateau or elsewhere in the Forest at this time, but the BLM anticipates additional leasing in these areas in the future. The RFD scenario predicts 49 wells near the southern part of the Wasatch Plateau with a moderate level of activity (moderate development potential). The other area that has been of interest for leasing in recent years is in the general vicinity of the Dirty Devil River and the benchlands above the river. As of August 2007, there has been no on-the-ground activity. Aside from the Sevier and Sanpete valleys and the southern Wasatch Plateau, the planning area is assigned a low activity level (low development potential). In these areas, the historic drilling rate is applicable at 3 wells per year or 45 wells during the next 15 years. As of April 2007, there are 223 oil and gas leases on BLM land, 3 leases on the Fishlake National Forest, and 30 leases on the Manti-LaSal National Forest.

Geothermal Resources
Geothermal resources found on the federal mineral estate are considered leasable minerals. As such, the same laws governing other leasable minerals cover exploration and development of these resources. Interest in the potential geothermal resources in Utah increased in the early 1970s, and lease applications were filed for all areas around hot springs or with other evidence of geothermal activity, including the hot springs near Monroe and Joseph within the planning area. The Monroe-Joseph Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA) was designated in 1974 due to anticipated interest in leasing geothermal resources in the Sevier Valley. The KGRA contained 16,363 acres in 2 separate parcels surrounding the Joseph hot spring and Monroe-Red Hill springs. Designation of this area as a KGRA meant that future leases could be obtained only through competitive bidding. For the town of Monroe, a limited number of gradient holes and one test production hole were drilled under a USDOE grant to explore the potential of using the geothermal resource for space heating. While the drilling did not locate an adequate resource of high enough temperature for the proposed use, the exploration was very limited.

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In the 1980s, interest in geothermal resources waned, and in 1988, the KGRA was declassified after a competitive lease sale without any public interest. Currently, federal geothermal resources in the Sevier Valley or elsewhere in the RFO are not leased. The Mineral Potential Report identifies areas with high, moderate, and low potential for the occurrence of geothermal resources in the planning area. In general, the western part of the planning area is assigned to high and moderate potential, and the eastern part is assigned to low potential. The area with high potential is centered on the Sevier and Sanpete valleys and flanking ranges. The high potential is based on the known hot springs, including Monroe, Red Hills, and Joseph, and a favorable geologic setting with a relatively high heat flow and with faulting that would appear to provide conduits for the migration of geothermal resources. Monroe and Red Hill springs are located one-half mile east of the town of Monroe, while Joseph hot spring is located 5 miles southeast of the Town of Joseph, all in southwestern Sevier County. Maximum water temperature measured at Monroe, Red Hills, and Joseph range from 151° F. to 171° F. (Utah Geological Survey 2004). Reservoir temperatures have been estimated at slightly over 212° F., which is low for energy production; however, the resource potential has not been extensively explored. Commercial development includes the use of the hot springs at Red Hills and Monroe and a spring at Richfield, both non-federal minerals ownership, for heating swimming pools, a direct use. The area with moderate potential generally encompasses the Southern High Plateaus and adjacent valleys not included in the area of high potential in the western part of the planning area. The eastern part of the planning area is considered low potential. The Mineral Potential Report characterizes geothermal resource development as unlikely in the next 15 years. However, the first competitive geothermal resource lease sale will be held this year (2007) for federal minerals at the Cove Fort-Sulphurdale KGRA, west of the planning area in Beaver and Millard counties, and interest in geothermal resources for energy production is increasing statewide. The lands managed by the RFO are open to geothermal leasing, subject to the oil and gas leasing categories. As previously stated, no federal lands are currently leased for geothermal resources in the RFO.

Oil Shale and Tar Sands
Oil Shale

Oil shale is a very fine-grained, dense, sedimentary rock that is rich in organic material. This organic material can be converted into low viscous oil during thermal decomposition. In the planning area, oil shale deposits occur in the Green River Formation in Sanpete County and Sevier County. In the planning area, lands with surface exposure of the Green River Formation were withdrawn from lease or other disposal by EO in 1930 in order to reserve the oil shale for the purposes of investigation, examination, and classification. Subsequent EOs and public land laws have modified the original EO. The withdrawal generally overlaps parts of the Gunnison Plateau, the Valley Mountains, and the Wasatch Plateau. The lands withdrawn for oil shale investigation are open to oil and gas as well as sodium leasing but are closed to mineral entry (mining claim location and operations) and certain realty actions. The federal lands withdrawn for oil shale investigation are shown on Map 11 in the Mineral Potential Report and are classified as prospectively valuable for oil shale. The Mineral Potential Report does not address oil shale because only limited information is available on the mineral potential in the RFO. Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the BLM is required to develop regulations for leasing oil shale deposits. This leasing of oil shale, as well as tar sands, is being addressed in the ongoing Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing PEIS for the Western United States (Section 1.6.3 in Chapter 1).

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Tar Sands

Tar sands are loosely defined as any sedimentary rock impregnated with heavy, viscous crude oil that cannot be recovered by conventional techniques but rather requires an external energy source (e.g., heat) to mobilize the oil. Tar sands are also called bituminous sandstone, oil sands, and oil-impregnated rocks. In the planning area, the heavy oil is contained in sandstone, not sand as in Alberta, Canada, where these types of resources are currently being developed. Areas of high and moderate tar sand occurrence potential were identified in the planning area. In eastern Wayne and Garfield counties, high potential is assigned to the Tar Sand Triangle, which is primarily east of the Dirty Devil River, and to the Circle Cliffs in the vicinity of Capitol Reef National Park. The Tar Sand Triangle encompasses approximately 230 square miles with an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil. At the Circle Cliffs, the Waterpocket Fold (Capitol Reef) is the eastern limb of the Circle Cliffs structure, and the western limb is in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The Circle Cliffs are estimated to contain more than 860 million barrels of oil. The Tar Sand Triangle and the Circle Cliffs, in part, are defined as Special Tar Sand Areas (STSA) because they contain known and delineated tar sand occurrences. In addition to the STSAs, there are indications of tar sand deposits in scattered outcrops along the Waterpocket Fold, and the occurrences are assigned a moderate potential for tar sand resources. Tar sands contain heavy oil that could be mined or developed by drilling, depending on the depth of the deposit below the surface and the extraction method chosen. In addition, the federal lands with tar sand deposits also have a high potential for oil and gas. In an attempt to address the leasing of both oil and gas and tar sands, the Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act was passed in the early 1980s authorizing exploration and development of both conventional oil and gas and tar sands in a combined lease for both, which were called combined hydrocarbon leases (CHL). Existing oil and gas leases within the STSAs were to be converted to CHLs; however, this conversion process was never completed and the market for oil and gas declined starting in about 1985. A number of existing oil and gas leases are pending conversion to CHLs in the STSAs (Maps 10 and 22 of the Mineral Potential Report). Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the BLM is required to develop new regulations for leasing tar sand deposits. As stated above, this leasing of tar sands, as well as oil shale, is being addressed in the ongoing Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing PEIS for the Western United States (Section 1.6.3 in Chapter 1).

Coal
Significant coal resources are delineated in 3 coal fields within the planning area—the Wasatch Plateau, Emery, and Henry Mountains coal fields (Map 3-12). The coal resources within the planning area were evaluated for development potential based on available coal data; assumptions for depth, thickness, and continuity of the deposits; and assumptions on the parameters for certain mining methods. The most data exist for the Wasatch Plateau coal field; and the least are available for the Henry Mountains. The estimated unleased coal resources with development potential at each coal field are as follows: more than 290 million tons at the Wasatch Plateau, 199 million tons at the Emery, and 1,750 million tons at the Henry Mountains. The coal at the Wasatch Plateau would be mined by underground methods; the Emery, underground mostly (190 million tons); the Henry Mountains, surface and underground methods (466 million tons and 1,284 million tons, respectively). Federal coal leases were authorized at all 3 coal fields in the past, mainly in the 1970s and early 1980s. Development has only occurred at the Wasatch Plateau coal field. At present, the Wasatch Plateau coal field is the only coal field within the planning area with a producing coal mine. The SUFCO Mine in Sevier County includes 7 federal coal leases and accounts for about one-quarter of the total coal production in Utah; the coal production exceeds any other coal mine in Utah. Approximately, 24,000 acres of public lands are under lease at the SUFCO Mine.

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BLM acknowledges that the Flat Canyon Tract for the Skyline Mine is located on the Manti-LaSal National Forest and contains lands in Sanpete County (located in the west part of T. 13-14 S., R. 6 E.) with federal coal reserves. This new tract could have the potential for coal development that is not considered in the current unsuitability reports (Appendix 8). Production and revenue figures are contained in Table 3-28.

Table 3-28. Sevier County Coal Production1 (1984–2001)
Year
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

Units2
2,141,000 1,797,000 2,360,000 2,228,000 2,625,000 3,059,000 2,887,000 3,079,000 2,580,000 3,553,000 3,569,000 3,906,000 4,214,000 4,939,000 5,719,000 5,763,000 5,906,000 6,111,000

Revenues3
$96,113,384 $74,079,461 $94,657,512 $80,983,867 $82,325,371 $88,794,500 $79,919,360 $81,211,800 $67,144,882 $87,581,011 $81,639,793 $83,269,860 $85,263,758 $97,173,834 $107,867,625 $104,468,169 $102,298,887 $108,531,360

Notes: 1—No coal production was reported in Garfield, Piute, Sanpete, or Wayne counties between 1980 and 2001. 2—Units are shown in short tons (2000 pounds). 3—Revenues are in 2001 dollars. Source: BLM 2003b.

On the basis of coal resource evaluations prepared in 2004–2005, exploration and development of coal resources in the Wasatch Plateau coal field are anticipated; however, coal resources in the Emery and Henry Mountains coal fields are not anticipated to be developed within the planning time frame, i.e., before 2030. This forecast for coal resources is likely to change because market conditions for coal are likely to change.

Non-Energy Solid Leasable Minerals
Non-energy solid minerals include sodium and potassium. Such minerals in the RFO include salt and alunite. There are currently no prospecting permits or leases for non-energy solid leasable minerals in the RFO. The Sevier and Sanpete valleys, in part, are underlain by deposits of salt and other evaporitic

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minerals, and near Marysvale, alunite deposits are associated with the volcanic rocks. Salt is currently mined on private land near Redmond, but there is no current interest in leases on BLM-administered lands. Alunite is an alteration of volcanic rock as clay. Depending on the composition and the proposed use, alunite could be a leasable mineral.
Salt

Saline deposits are loosely defined to include all minerals that have precipitated through evaporation from waters of either marine or continental origin (USGS 1969). Saline potassium minerals, such as sylvite and carnallite, are often referred to as potash, and the most common sodium mineral is halite, which is composed of sodium chloride. Other valuable salts include potassium sulfate, sodium carbonate, sodium sulfate, and salts of magnesium, lithium, bromine, and boron. Saline deposits, explored and prospected for their sodium and potassium content, would be considered as non-energy solid minerals. Within the planning area, salt deposits occur in the Arapien Shale in Sevier and Sanpete valleys and in the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation in the subsurface in the eastern part of the planning area. Salt mining has a long history in the Sevier Valley, dating back to 1879; it was the first mineral resource produced in the valley. Salt has been prospected at several locations in the Arapien Shale in the Sevier and Sanpete valleys, but there is only 1 mine now operating, which is the RCS salt mine located on private land near Redmond. This is the only current salt-producing mine in Utah besides those on the Great Salt Lake (UGS 2002). Areas of high salt occurrence potential were identified in the Sevier-Sanpete Valley and in eastern Wayne County. Development of salt deposits on BLM-administered lands within the planning area is considered unlikely in the next 15 years.
Potassium (Alunite)

Alunite may be a non-energy leasable mineral if it is explored and developed for its potassium content. Alunite is either a vein deposit or a clay alteration product, both associated with Tertiary volcanic terranes near Marysvale. The altered alunite deposits are closely associated with other clays such as kaolinite. In the Mineral Potential Report, clays including alunite were considered as clay only, rather than differentiating specific clays as alteration types. Alunite was historically mined near Marysvale. The vein deposits, southwest of Marysvale, were extensively mined during World War I, as were some altered alunite deposits north and east of Marysvale. The alunite was mined for potassium for use as an explosive material. Subsequently, during World War II, the alunite deposits were investigated as a possible source for alumina; however, alumina deposits in the Pacific Northwest were more prevalent and cheaper to process into aluminum. Following World War II, primarily in the 1950s and 1960s, the deposits were still evaluated as an alumina source as well as for potassium for fertilizer. Since then, given the variable chemical composition of alumina, potassium, and other constituents, the deposits have generated only limited interest.

3.4.6.2

Locatable Minerals

Locatable minerals include base metals (such as copper, lead, and zinc), precious metals (such as gold and silver), and some industrial minerals. Locatable minerals are subject to the U.S. mining laws, including the 1872 Mining Law, and are subject to location as mining claims and mineral entry (patenting). Open, unappropriated public land is open to entry and location, unless it has been withdrawn from the operation of the mining laws. Operations under the mining laws are subject to the “undue and unnecessary” standard in the regulations at 43 CFR Part 3809, and operations in WSAs are subject to the provision under the Interim Management Policy for Lands Under Wilderness Review (IMP) regarding non-

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impairment of suitability for inclusion in the Wilderness Preservation System. Another locatable mineral management tool is 43 CFR 3715 regulations. These regulations limit use and occupancy of public lands for locatable development to that which is reasonably incident. Developers of these minerals stake a mining claim (location) over the deposit and then acquire the necessary permits to explore or mine. As of October 2004, there were 4,199 active (recorded) mining claims in the planning area, and 3,158 of those are located on BLM-administered lands (March 2007, LR2000 database) (Map 3-13). In addition, 9 authorized Mining Law Notices are filed in the RFO, 1 plan of operation is pending approval, and 1 plan of operations is pending closure when reclamation is complete (May 2007, LR2000 database).

Metals
Historically, metals have been prospected near Marysvale, the Henry Mountains, and the Colorado Plateau. Historically, gold, lead, and zinc have been mined in the vicinity of the Tushar Mountains near Marysvale; gold and copper have seen limited development in the Henry Mountains; and uranium has been mined in the Antelope Range north of Marysvale and in the Colorado Plateau. These mines were generally small-scale, underground operations. The Mineral Potential Report assigns high, moderate, and low potential for the occurrence of metals in the planning area. The Colorado Plateau in the eastern part of the planning area is rated as having high potential for metals, including uranium, vanadium, and copper (due to favorable sedimentary deposits, known occurrences, and historic mining), as well as gold (due to known occurrences and favorable intrusive rocks). The western part of the planning area, generally near Marysvale, is assigned high potential for metals, including uranium, due to the presence of volcanic and intrusive rocks, known occurrences of precious and base metals and uranium, and historic mining. In the western part of planning area, moderate potential is assigned to the volcanic terrane outside the area of prevalent mineral occurrences and historic mining, and low potential is assigned to the area not associated with volcanic deposits. The Mineral Potential Report, prepared in 2005, is based largely on market conditions in 2003 when metal prices were generally low. Since that time, the market value of uranium and other metals, including gold, has increased significantly, and exploration and development for metals are more likely under current market conditions. A substantial number of new mining claims have been located since 2005, most notably for uranium, and exploration activity for uranium in the RFO has increased. Between October 2004 and March 2007, the number of mining claims increased from approximately 1,000 to 5,000. In September 2007, the RFO granted an operating permit for the Tony M Mine uranium mine in Ticaboo in Garfield County. A few exploratory permits were also issued in 2007. Although development was considered unlikely in the Mineral Potential Report, exploration activity is likely to increase, and development is more likely than that reflected in the Mineral Potential Report due to current market conditions in 2007.

Gypsum
Gypsum is formed by the evaporation of seawater and precipitation of calcium sulfate. Gypsum frequently occurs interbedded with limestone and calcareous shales. Most gypsum mined in Utah, as well as in the United States, is processed for plaster and used in the manufacture of wallboard, lath, and other prefabricated gypsum products. Raw gypsum is used in Portland cement as a setting retardant and in agriculture as a soil amendment. Within the planning area, exploration and development of gypsum resources has been focused in the Sevier and Sanpete valleys. Gypsum has been mined from the Arapien Shale since 1918. The gypsum deposits in the Sevier Valley are centrally located in Utah, and wallboard and other products are shipped

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to regional markets. Mills for processing gypsum are operated by U.S. Gypsum and Georgia-Pacific Corporation near Sigurd; the primary product being wallboard. In addition, Diamond K has constructed a mill at Richfield that processes pulverized gypsum for pharmaceutical uses; the gypsum for that use is mined within the San Rafael Swell. In Utah, gypsum production was 500,000 tons in 2000 and 390,000 tons in 2001. In the Mineral Potential Report, high potential for the occurrence of gypsum was assigned within the planning area. In the Sevier and Sanpete valleys in the western part of the planning area, high potential is assigned to the known occurrence of gypsum associated with the Arapien Shale. In the eastern part of the planning area, gypsum also occurs in the Summerville and other formations; however, gypsum does not occur in beds that are economic to develop at this time. Development in the Sevier and Sanpete valleys will likely continue over the next 20 years. The Mineral Potential Report considers commercial development elsewhere unlikely.

3.4.6.3

Salable Minerals

Salable minerals are mineral materials, subject to the Materials Act of 1947, the Surface Resource Act of 1955, and the regulations at 43 CFR 3600. Mineral materials include sand, gravel, clay, and stone. These minerals are disposed by sale contracts and by free use to government agencies and non-profit organizations. Disposal sites may be authorized for exclusive use and non-exclusive use; non-exclusive use disposal sites are community pits and common-use areas. The BLM will not dispose of salable minerals in areas not available by law (e.g., wilderness areas) or in areas identified in LUPs as not appropriate for disposal. As of May 2007, 18 authorized community pits in the RFO provide commodities such as sand, gravel, topsoil, fill material, and stone. There are 7 exclusive, negotiated sales that provide riprap, sand and gravel, oyster shell, humate, and stone; and also 15 exclusive, free-use permits in the RFO that provide sand and gravel and fill material. Most of these mineral material sites are for the disposal of sand and gravel material (LR2000 database). The FHWA also obtains sand and gravel and other mineral materials for federal highways and federal aid highways. These disposal sites are not authorized as salable minerals under the regulations at 43 CFR 3600. The disposals are authorized as a mineral material ROW under the regulations at 43 CFR 2800. These ROWs are obtained by the FHWA.

Sand and Gravel
Past and present exploration and development of sand and gravel deposits in the planning area has been for local public works projects. The largest single project was the construction of I-70 in the 1970s through the early 1990s. Because sand and gravel are generally the lowest-priced of industrial mineral products, transportation costs from the pit to the point of end use are a large part of the cost to consumers. Consequently, even short transportation distances can adversely affect the cost of the final product, and it is imperative that sand and gravel sources be located as close as possible to the point of use and major roadways. For this reason, the sand and gravel industry is widely dispersed across Utah, and disposal sites are generally associated with roadways and near population centers. Most sand and gravel disposals in recent years have been to county road departments. Typically, the counties permit disposals between 10,000 and 20,000 cubic yards per year. Commercial disposals vary in volume, and most contracts are issued from community pits where the volume ranges from 30 to 500 cubic yards per individual sale.

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Clay
Clay is generally a salable mineral and is used for a variety of commercial and industrial purposes, including bricks, drilling and quarrying mud, sealants, liquid dyes, paints, china, ceramics, absorbents, molecular sieves, fillers, binders, cosmetics, and inert ingredients in pharmaceutical tablets. The end use of the clay is determined by its physical properties and purity. Physical properties that determine clay usage include plasticity, bonding strength, color, vitrification range, deformation with drying and heating, gelation, crystal structure and size, viscosity, and swelling capacity (USGS 1969). Bentonite and bentonitic clays are among the most desirable; they swell when saturated with water and can be used as natural sealants for reservoirs, stock ponds, ditches, and landfills. High-swelling bentonite is used primarily by the petroleum industry as a component of drilling mud and by the iron industry as a binder in casting molds and casts. As discussed under Section 3.4.6.1, alunite may be a non-energy solid leasable mineral if it is explored and developed for its potassium content, or a salable mineral as a clay (as an alteration product of volcanic rocks). In Utah, the most common use for clay is for brick and tile. Within the planning area, clay has been used for swelling clays such as bentonitic clay, reservoir liner material, Fuller’s earth, and other applications. Most of the clay resources in the planning area have a volcanic association. On the western side of the planning area, high potential for the occurrence of clay has been assigned near Marysvale because of the alteration zones in the Tertiary Volcanics and known clay deposits in the Sevier Valley, which are also associated with volcanic deposits. This high potential includes alunite deposits. Moderate potential is assigned to the area with volcanic rocks, but where clay alteration is unreported. Two active clay mines exist at Box Creek on the Sevier Plateau in the Fishlake National Forest and at the Redmond clay mine north of Redmond on private land. Other clay deposits have been explored and/or mined in the past on a small scale in the western part of the planning area. In the last 3 or 4 years, a clay prospect in the Antelope Range, north of Marysvale, has been explored for the manufacture of cement and other possible uses. In the eastern part of the planning area, high potential for clay is associated with outcrop (surface exposure) of the Morrison Formation and Dakota Sandstone. These deposits have been prospected mainly for swelling clays with minor, small-scale development, mostly for local use. As stated in the Mineral Potential Report, clay is likely to be developed on BLM-administered land during the planning horizon of 15 years, but such development is likely to remain relatively small scale.

Stone
Stone quarries are found throughout Utah and generally are small-scale operations. Transportation cost is a factor in the location of quarries. Most of the stone quarried in Utah and in the planning area is used by the construction industry for building stone, aggregate (crushed rock), or cement (pulverized limestone). Volcanic tuffs in Sevier and Sanpete counties have been quarried for use as dimension stone, crushed for lightweight aggregate in the manufacture of building block, and used as a soil amendment or as nutritional supplement for certain livestock animals, primarily poultry. In the planning area, stone has been quarried from the following formations for the specified use: • • • • • • Limestone of the Green River Formation—building stone Sandstone of Crazy Hollow—building stone Limestone of the Flagstaff Formation—rock dust, kiln material, and cement manufacturing Tuff of the Moroni Formation—poultry feed and agricultural uses Tuff of the Joe Lott Tuff—building stone and crushed aggregate as an insulating block Tuff of the Bullion Canyon Volcanics—decorative rock (landscape and aquarium display)

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• •

Sandstone of the Moenkopi Formation—building stone Navajo Sandstone—decorative rock.

In addition to quarried stone, the public has used pick-up stone or field stone. This material is generally boulders or cobbles and is present in numerous locations in the planning area. The areas that have the most use for collection are generally close to the population centers, and the material of interest has mainly included basalt, tuff, sandstone, or limestone. The demand has been relatively low, and the material is disposed in small tonnages. Although field stone is present throughout the planning area, the principal areas of interest have been in the Sevier Valley and near Loa. Most of the stone quarries in the planning area are relatively small disposal sites, generally less than 5 to 10 acres. The disposals from BLM public lands range from a few tons to a few thousand tons per year. Development on a small scale at many quarries is likely to continue.

Humate
Humates are carbonaceous shale associated with weathered coal beds. The material is mined as a dietary colloidal mineral supplement and as a soil amendment for agricultural applications. Humate increases the water holding and ion exchange capacity of the soil, acts as a pH buffer for alkaline soils, and may aid animal and plant growth as humic acids. Most humate in Utah is mined from coal beds in the Ferron Sandstone of the Mancos Shale. The only active mining in the planning area is near Factory Butte in Wayne County. In the planning area, high potential for occurrence of humate has been assigned to Ferron Sandstone outcrop in the vicinity of Factory Butte, north of the Henry Mountains and to the east side of the Wasatch Plateau. Moderate potential is assigned to the west side of the Henry Mountains, and low potential is identified in the central and western part the Wasatch Plateau. As stated above, the only authorized active mining for humates in the planning area is north of Highway 24, near Factory Butte; 2 sites are BLM-authorized contracts, and 1 is on State land. The mines are relatively small and only active periodically. Exploration and development are likely to continue near Factory Butte on a small scale and are not considered likely elsewhere in the planning area.

Other Minerals
Other mineral materials considered in the Mineral Potential Report include oyster shell, petrified wood, jasper, agate, and chalcedony. Oyster shell from the Dakota Formation has been used for road surfacing in Wayne County. There is also interest in oyster shell for agricultural use. It is considered unlikely that the other mineral materials considered will be developed beyond hobby or casual use within the next 15 years.

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3.5 SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS
3.5.1 Wilderness Study Areas

In 1964, Congress passed the Wilderness Act establishing (1) a national system of lands to preserve a representative sample of ecosystems in their natural condition for the benefit of future generations, and (2) a process for reviewing other lands for their wilderness potential. The act originally applied only to national forests, national parks, and national wildlife refuges. With the passage of FLPMA in 1976, Congress directed BLM to also inventory, study, and recommend which public lands under its administration should be designated wilderness. In 1979, the BLM began a wilderness inventory of 22 million acres of public land in Utah. By 1986, following the inventory and public inventory process, and the settlement of appeals, the BLM designated 11 WSAs within what is now the RFO (Table 3-29 and Map 3-14). These WSAs total 446,900 acres, about 21 percent of the RFO. A discussion of the current resource values and uses in each WSA, established in 1980 under the authority of Section 603(c) of FLPMA, can be found in the Utah BLM Statewide Wilderness Final Environmental Impact Statement (BLM 1990b). Those values and resources described in the 1990 document have not changed significantly since that time, as documented in monthly WSA monitoring reports available in the RFO. Although WSAs are, by definition, roadless, several of the WSAs in the RFO do include inventoried ways. During the 1979–1980 Utah Wilderness Inventory, it was necessary to divide routes used by motorized vehicles into “roads” and “ways.” To be considered a road, 3 criteria must be met: (1) constructed; (2) maintained by mechanical means; and (3) regular and continuous use. All other motorized routes were defined as ways, which could be left open to motorized travel as long as their use did not “impair” the suitability of the area for wilderness designation. Decisions on which ways will remain open and which will be closed will be made as part of this land use planning process. The miles of inventoried ways are identified by WSA in Table 3-29. Map 3-10, Route Inventory for the RFO, depicts routes and how they overlay with WSAs.

Table 3-29. Wilderness Study Areas
Wilderness Study Area
Bull Mountain Dirty Devil Fiddler Butte Fremont Gorge French Spring/Happy Canyon Little Rockies Mount Ellen/Blue Hills Mount Hillers Mount Pennell Horseshoe Canyon (south) Portion of the Horseshoe Canyon (north)

Acreage
13,200 72,100 74,000 2,800 24,300 40,700 81,400 19,300 77,100 39,900 2,100

Number of Inventoried Routes
7 21 8 1 3 3 12 9 9 4 0

Miles of Inventoried Ways
3.9 15.6 5.5 0.2 3.6 1.3 9.3 6.6 8.1 5.6 0

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Wilderness Study Area
Total

Acreage
446,900

Number of Inventoried Routes
77

Miles of Inventoried Ways
59.7

FLPMA Section 603(c) directs the BLM to manage the WSAs in a manner that does not impair their suitability for designation as wilderness. The Interim Management Policy for Lands Under Wilderness Review (BLM Handbook 8550-1) provides policy guidance to manage WSAs to a non-impairment standard. The wilderness characteristics that must be protected include the appearance of naturalness and outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation. The status of the existing WSAs will not change as a result of the Richfield RMP. Only Congress can designate the WSAs as wilderness or release them for other uses. BLM policies and guidance providing for management of existing WSAs and consideration of values associated with wilderness characteristics in land use planning are detailed in: • • Handbook H-1601-1, Land Use Planning Handbook Hand book H-8550-1, Interim Management Policy and Guidelines for Lands Under Wilderness Review.

The BLM’s IMP provides specific policy and guidance for management of most resource values and uses in WSAs. However, VRM decisions and OHV designations and route designations are made during land use planning. A summary of some aspects of WSA management are as follows: • • The non-impairment standard applies to all uses and activities except those specifically exempted from this standard by FLPMA (grandfathered uses and valid existing rights). Activities that are permitted in WSAs (except valid existing rights and grandfathered uses) must be temporary, create no new surface disturbance, and not involve the permanent placement of structures. There are exceptions to this standard. Grazing, mining, and mineral leasing uses that existed as of the passage of FLPMA (October 21, 1976) may continue in the same manner and degree, even if this would impair wilderness suitability. WSAs may not be closed to location under the mining laws in order to preserve their wilderness character (although the wilderness character of the area cannot be impaired through actions to perfect claims located after October 21, 1976). Valid existing rights will be recognized. WSAs will be managed to prevent unnecessary and undue degradation, as required by law.

•

•

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3.5.2

Wild and Scenic Rivers

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 established legislation for a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System to protect and preserve designated rivers throughout the nation in their free-flowing condition and to protect and preserve their immediate environments. The act includes policy for managing designated rivers and created processes for designating additional rivers for the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Section 5(d) of the Act directs federal agencies to consider the potential for national wild, scenic, and recreational river areas in all planning for the use and development of water and related land resources. The first phase of the WSR review was to inventory all potentially eligible rivers within the RFO to determine which of those rivers were eligible for consideration as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. To be eligible, rivers must be free-flowing and possess at least one outstandingly remarkable value. Outstandingly remarkable values are evaluated in the context of regional and/or national significance, and must be river-related. Each river/segment determined to be eligible is then given a tentative classification based on the current level of human development associated with that river/segment. The tentative classification is based on the criteria listed in the classification table from Wild and Scenic River Review in the State of Utah (BLM 1996) as noted below. • • • A “wild” river is free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds essentially primitive, and with unpolluted waters. A “scenic” river may have some development, and may be accessible in places by roads. A “recreational” river is accessible by road (or railroad), may have more extensive development along its shoreline, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

The BLM conducted a WSR review as part of this planning process. The BLM inventoried 304 drainages/rivers/streams in the lands managed by the RFO. Of those, 12 segments totaling 135 miles were determined to be free-flowing and possess one or more outstandingly remarkable values, making them eligible for further consideration for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The eligible rivers, along with their outstandingly remarkable values, tentative classifications, and river miles, are shown in Table 3-30 and on Map 3-15. Detailed descriptions and analysis can be found in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3. BLM policy requires protection of the outstandingly remarkable values, tentative classification, and free-flowing nature of eligible river segments on a case-by-case basis until a suitability determination is made. For rivers designated as suitable as a result of this planning effort, protections for wild and scenic values will continue, and the decisions in the RMP will support such protection. Rivers designated as not suitable will not be managed for wild and scenic purposes but rather in conjunction with other decisions in the RMP.

Table 3-30. Eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers
River or River Segment
Dirty Devil River Beaver Wash Canyon Larry Canyon No Mans Canyon Robbers Roost Canyon Sams Mesa Box Canyon

Outstandingly Remarkable Value(s)
Scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, cultural Scenic, ecological Scenic, recreational, wildlife, ecological Scenic, recreational, cultural Scenic, recreational, historic, cultural Scenic and wildlife

Tentative Classification
Wild Wild Wild Wild Wild Wild

BLM Miles
54 6.8 4 7.1 31 9.5

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River or River Segment
Twin Corral Box Fish Creek Fremont River—Fremont Gorge Fremont River—Capitol Reef NP to Caineville Diversion Maidenwater Creek Quitchupah Creek Total BLM Miles:

Outstandingly Remarkable Value(s)
Scenic and wildlife Cultural Scenic Scenic and geologic Scenic, recreational, geologic, wildlife, ecological Cultural

Tentative Classification
Wild Scenic Wild Recreational Scenic Recreational

BLM Miles
9 .25 5 4 3 1.4 135.05

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3.5.3

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern

FLPMA defines an area of critical environmental concern (ACEC) as an area “within the public lands where special management attention is required to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish and wildlife resources, or other natural systems or processes, or to protect life and safety from natural hazards“ (43 CFR 1601.0-5 (a)). Private lands and lands administered by other agencies are not included in the boundaries of ACECs. FLPMA states that the BLM will give priority to the designation and protection of ACECs in the development and revision of LUPs. ACECs differ from some other special designations in that designation by itself does not automatically prohibit or restrict other uses in the area. The special management attention is designed specifically for the relevant and important values, and therefore varies from area to area. The one exception is that a mining plan of operation is required for any proposed mining activity that would create surface disturbance greater than casual use within a designated ACEC (in accordance with 43 CFR 3809). To qualify as a potential ACEC, both relevance and importance criteria outlined in 43 CFR 1610.7-2 must be met. These criteria are defined as: • • Relevance: A significant historic, cultural, or scenic value; a fish or wildlife resource or other natural system or process; or a natural hazard must be present. Importance: The value, resource, system, process, or hazard must have substantial significance and value. This generally requires qualities of more than local significance and special worth, consequence, meaning, distinctiveness, or cause for concern.

3.5.3.1

Existing Areas of Critical Environmental Concern

There are currently 4 ACECs in the RFO. These ACECs, and their relevant and important values, are listed in Table 3-31. Refer to Map 3-16 for their locations.

Table 3-31. Existing Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
Area
North Caineville Mesa ACEC South Caineville Mesa ACEC Gilbert Badlands Research Natural Area ACEC Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC Total Acreage:

Acreage
2,200 4,100 3,680 4,800 14,780

County
Wayne Wayne Wayne Wayne

Relevant and Important Values
Relict vegetation Relict vegetation Natural systems or processes— badlands Natural processes, riparian

North Caineville Mesa ACEC (2,200 acres)
The 1982 Henry Mountain MFP designated the North Caineville Mesa ACEC as an ACEC to protect the relict vegetation found on the top of the mesa. The ACEC is located north of Highway 24, about 12 miles west of Hanksville. Current management for this ACEC includes the following: • • • Closed to OHV use Unavailable to livestock grazing Consider withdrawing from mineral entry

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• •

Aquire inholdings within the ACEC Open to leasing for oil and gas with major constraints (NSO).

South Caineville Mesa ACEC (4,100 acres)
The 1982 Henry Mountain MFP designated the South Caineville Mesa ACEC as an ACEC to protect the relict vegetation found on top of the mesa, as well as the historic resources that include a circa 1920 bilevel stone cabin associated with early area sheep and goat grazing. South Caineville Mesa is located south of Highway 24, about 12 miles west of Hanksville. Located entirely within the Mount Ellen/Blue Hills WSA, the South Caineville Mesa ACEC is subject to management under the IMP (BLM H-8550-1). Current management for this ACEC includes the following: • • • • Closed to OHV use Unavailable for livestock grazing Closed to leasing for oil and gas Consider withdrawing from mineral entry.

Gilbert Badlands Research Natural Area ACEC (3,680 acres)
The Gilbert Badlands Research Natural Area (RNA) ACEC was designated in 1987 to protect the scientific and educational (research) values of the geomorphology found in the Gilbert Badlands. Located in Wayne County south of Highway 24, the Gilbert Badlands are about 15 miles west of Hanksville. Located entirely within the Mount Ellen/Blue Hills WSA, the Gilbert Badlands ACEC is subject to management under the IMP. Current management for this ACEC includes the following: • • • • • Closed to OHV use Closed to leasing for oil and gas Consider withdrawing from mineral entry No surface disturbing activities Acquire inholdings within the ACEC boundary.

Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC (4,800 acres)
Beaver Wash Canyon contains a unique area identified as a cold riparian ecosystem located in an otherwise desert environment. In 1982, it was noted of Beaver Wash Canyon that, “special management is needed to prevent irreparable damage to the ecological refugia (e.g., an isolated habitat that has preserved suitable environmental conditions for those species adapted to it and is unique in its ecological and geographical position in the region), which could be significantly impaired from certain surface disturbing activities” (BLM 1982). Beaver Wash Canyon is a tributary of the Dirty Devil River, east of Highway 95 and about 13 miles southeast of Hanksville. The majority of the Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC (99 percent) is located within the Dirty Devil WSA and is subject to management under the IMP. Current management for this ACEC includes the following: • • • • • Closed to OHV use Unavailable for grazing in the majority of the ACEC Closed to oil and gas leasing Consider withdrawing from mineral entry Acquire inholdings within the ACEC boundary.

3.5.3.2

Potential Areas of Critical Environmental Concern

During scoping for the Richfield RMP, the public nominated 30 areas for designation as ACECs. Of these 30 areas, 4 were primarily within the Price FO (with small acreages within the RFO) and were evaluated for relevance and importance by the Price FO. The remaining 26 areas, totaling 1.6 million acres, were

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evaluated for relevance and importance by the RFO staff as part of the planning process. Based on these evaluations, the RFO identified 16 areas totaling approximately 886,810 acres as potential ACECs (see Table 3-32 and Maps 2-43 and 2-44). Information concerning all 26 nominated areas, as well as their evaluations, is summarized in Appendix 1. More detailed information can be found in the Evaluations of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern report (2005), which is available for review in the RFO.

Table 3-32. Potential Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
Area
Badlands Potential ACEC Bull Creek Archaeological District Potential ACEC Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC Henry Mountains Potential ACEC Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC Kingston Canyon Potential ACEC Little Rockies Potential ACEC Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC Old Woman Front RNA Potential ACEC Parker Mountain Potential ACEC Quitchupah Potential ACEC Rainbow Hills Potential ACEC Sevier Canyon Potential ACEC Thousand Lake Bench Potential ACEC Special Status Species Potential ACEC Total Acreage:

Acreage
88,900 4,800 205,300 34,300 288,200 40,900 22,100 49,200 16,200 330 107,900 180 4,000 8,900 500 15,100 886,810

County(ies)
Wayne Wayne Wayne and Garfield Wayne Wayne and Garfield Wayne Piute Garfield Wayne Sevier Wayne Sevier Sevier Piute and Sevier Wayne Wayne, Garfield and Sevier

Badlands Potential ACEC (Includes North and South Caineville Mesas and Gilbert Badlands Existing ACECs) (88,900 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Badlands Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important scenic, special status plant, natural processes (wind erosion), and riparian and relict vegetation values. Description: The potential ACEC is located in central Wayne County, east of Capitol Reef National Park, north and south of State Highway 24. Notable geographic features include North Caineville Mesa, South Caineville Mesa, Factory Butte, and the surrounding Mancos Shale badlands. Portions of the Badlands potential ACEC are within the Mount Ellen/Blue Hills WSA and, as such, are subject to management under the IMP. Area: The potential ACEC is defined by Class A Scenery, and the badlands formations and relict vegetation areas within the nominated and existing ACECs named above. The potential ACEC contains additional acreage beyond that of the existing ACECs and overlaps the northern portion of the Mount Ellen/Blue Hills WSA.

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Bull Creek Archaeological District Potential ACEC (4,800 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Bull Creek Archaeological District Potential ACEC is to recognize and protect the relevant and important archaeological values in the area. Description: The Bull Creek Archaeological District is located along Bull Creek in the foothills of the Henry Mountains, directly south of Hanksville. It was listed on the NRHP in 1981. Area: The potential ACEC boundary is coincident with the Bull Creek Archaeological District boundary for which the relevant and important cultural resource values were identified.

Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC (includes existing Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC) (205,300 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important scenic, cultural, paleontological, wildlife, and SSS values. Description: The Dirty Devil River and side canyons are located southeast of Hanksville in Wayne and Garfield counties. Area: The potential ACEC is defined by Class A Scenery, Mexican spotted owl suitable habitat, and desert bighorn sheep crucial yearlong habitat within the nominated areas. The potential ACEC includes the existing Beaver Wash Canyon ACEC. The potential ACEC overlaps portions of the Dirty Devil, French Spring/Happy Canyon, and Fiddler Butte WSAs; thus management would be governed by the IMP for these areas. The Dirty Devil River and several of its side canyons were determined to be eligible as WSRs.

Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC (34,300 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important cultural, scenic, riparian, plant, and wildlife resources. Relevant and important values were determined by evaluating the Fish Creek Cove/Cockscomb, Fremont Gorge/Miners Mountain, and Fremont Gateway nominated ACECs. Description: The potential ACEC is located on public lands east of the Red Gate and west of Capitol Reef National Park in the Torrey-Teasdale-Grover area of central Wayne County. Area: The potential ACEC is defined by mule deer crucial habitat within the boundary of the 3 nominated ACECs. The potential ACEC contains the entire Fremont Gorge WSA, which is subject to management under the IMP. The potential ACEC also contains the Fremont River in Fremont Gorge, identified by the BLM as an eligible WSR.

Henry Mountains Potential ACEC (288,200 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Henry Mountains Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important scenic, wildlife (bison and deer), SSS (i.e., Townsend’s big-eared bat, ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl, and hole-in-the-rock prairie clover), and ecological values. The No Man’s Mesa portion of the ACEC would be designated as an RNA. Description: Discovered by the Powell Expedition in the 1870s, the Henry Mountains, south of Hanksville, tower over the surrounding desert country. Area: The potential ACEC is defined by crucial bison habitat, crucial mule deer habitat, and Class A Scenery. Other relevant and important values are included within this boundary. The potential ACEC includes portions of the following nominated ACECs: Bull Creek/Birch Creek, Bullfrog Creek, Granite

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Creek, Mount Hillers, No Man’s Mesa, Ragged Mountain/Slate Creek, and Upper Sweetwater/Tarantula Mesa. The potential ACEC also overlaps all or parts of 4 WSAs: Mount Hillers, Mount Pennell, Bull Mountain, and Mount Ellen/Blue Hills; management of these lands would be governed by the IMP.

Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC (40,900 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important scenic and cultural values, notably Cowboy Cave. Other relevant and important values include riparian corridors and SSS (e.g. Townsend’s big-eared bat). Description: Horseshoe Canyon is a tributary of the Green River in northeastern Wayne County and is noted for its rock art. Part of the canyon is included within Canyonlands National Park. Area: The Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC is defined by the Class A Scenery within the nominated area. Cultural, riparian, and SSS (e.g. Townsend’s big-eared bat) values are included within this boundary. The potential ACEC overlaps portions of the Horseshoe Canyon North and Horseshoe Canyon South WSAs, which would be governed by the IMP.

Kingston Canyon Potential ACEC (22,100 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Kingston Canyon potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important riparian and mule deer habitat in the area. Description: The potential ACEC encompasses the canyon north and south of the Sevier River between the towns of Kingston and Antimony in Sevier County. Area: The potential ACEC is defined by the mule deer habitat within the nominated ACEC. The riparian area is included in the mule deer habitat boundary. (Note: The riparian area is largely in state and private ownership.)

Little Rockies Potential ACEC (49,200 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Little Rockies Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for scenic and wildlife values, notably desert bighorn sheep. Other relevant and important values within the ACEC include SSS (Townsend’s big-eared bat and hole-in-the-rock prairie clover), and ecologic values. Description: The potential ACEC is located in the southwest corner of Garfield County, north of Ticaboo. It overlaps the entire Little Rockies National Natural Landmark and most of the Little Rockies WSA, which would be governed by the IMP. Area: Class A Scenery defines the ACEC boundary.

Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC (16,200 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for the relevant and important scenic, riparian, and special status plant values in the area. Description: The potential ACEC is located along Lower Muddy Creek in north-central Wayne County and south-central Emery County. Area: Class A Scenery defines the ACEC boundary.

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Old Woman Front RNA Potential ACEC (330 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Old Woman Front RNA Potential ACEC is to recognize and protect the relevant and important relict vegetation in the area. This RNA ACEC would complement the existing National Forest RNA. Description: The potential ACEC is located in eastern Sevier County adjacent to the Fishlake National Forest. Area: The potential ACEC is on public land adjacent to the USFS Old Woman Cove RNA in the Fishlake National Forest.

Parker Mountain Potential ACEC (107,900 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Parker Mountain Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for sagebrush-steppe habitat and wildlife values, notably Greater sage-grouse, Utah prairie dog, and pygmy rabbit. Description: Parker Mountain, also known as the Awapa Plateau, is located in western Wayne County, southwest of the town of Loa. Area: The potential ACEC includes all of the area that was nominated by the public.

Quitchupah Potential ACEC (180 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Quitchupah Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important cultural resource and riparian values. Description: Quitchupah Creek is located in eastern Sevier County. The creek flows off the Fishlake National Forest across public lands managed by the Richfield and Price BLM FOs. Area: The potential ACEC boundary includes the riparian corridors and associated cultural resource sites and areas that have spiritual value to Native Americans.

Rainbow Hills Potential ACEC (4,000 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Rainbow Hills Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important mule deer habitat, natural systems, and SSS values in the area. Description: The Rainbow Hills are located just east of Richfield, in a colorful Arapien shale formation. The potential ACEC nomination includes the shale and other lands adjacent to it. Area: The potential ACEC boundary is defined by the crucial mule deer range. Plant and natural system values are included within this boundary.

Sevier Canyon Potential ACEC (8,900 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Sevier Canyon Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important mule deer habitat, riparian, and SSS values in the area. Description: Sevier Canyon (also known as Marysvale Canyon) is a gorge bordering the Sevier River between the towns of Sevier and Marysvale. Big Rock Candy Mountain (privately owned) is located in the canyon. Area: The potential ACEC boundary is defined by the mule deer habitat and the riparian corridor on public land along the Sevier River. (Note: The riparian area is largely in private ownership.)

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Thousand Lake Bench Potential ACEC (500 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Thousand Lake Bench Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for relevant and important cultural resources, special status plants, and riparian areas. Description: The potential ACEC is located in southeastern Sevier County, south of Interstate 70 and east of Thousand Lake Mountain. Area: The potential ACEC is defined by riparian areas and the locations of cultural resources and special status plants.

Special Status Species Potential ACEC (15,100 acres)
Purpose: The purpose of the Special Status Species Potential ACEC is to recognize and provide special management for isolated and scattered locations of specific plant and wildlife species identified in the evaluations of the various ACEC nominations as relevant and important and not included in other potential ACECs. Species include Winkler cactus, Wright fishhook cactus, last chance townsendia, rabbit valley gilia, Cronquist wild buckwheat, basalt milkvetch, hole-in-the-rock prairie clover, Psoralea globemallow, Jane’s globemallow, Townsend’s big-eared bat, Allen’s big-eared bat, big free-tailed bat, fringed myotis, ferruginous hawk, bald eagle, burrowing owl, long-billed curlew, southwestern willow flycatcher, Greater sage-grouse, bluehead sucker, flannelmouth sucker, leatherside chub, and desert night lizard. Description: See “Purpose” above. Area: The Special Status and Endemic Species ACEC is represented by documented locations of the above-listed species. In contrast with the other potential ACECs, this ACEC is composed of many small, discrete areas rather than a large contiguous area.

3.5.4

Other Designations

National Trails
National Historic Trails are “extended trails which follow as closely as possible and practicable the original route or routes of travel of national historical significance” (NPS 2001a). The purpose of the National Historic Trails is “the identification and protection of the historic route and its historic remnants and artifacts for public use and enjoyment” (NPS 2001a). The Old Spanish National Historic Trail, designated December 4, 2002, by the Old Spanish Trail Recognition Act of 2002, is a 2,700-mile trade route extending from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles, California, passing through the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. The trail splits into 2 routes before entering Utah and continues through the State of Utah within the planning area (Map 3-24). The trail corridor is defined topographically based on local land features because no actual trail tread or associated sites have been identified within the decision area. The Northern Route of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail enters Utah near Moab, splits into two sections at Fremont Junction near I-70, and rejoins near the town of Circleville. From there, the Northern Route continues southwest along the Sevier River and U.S. Highway 89, through the Markagunt Plateau along SR 20 in the decision area, and into the Parowan Valley, where it heads southwest out of Utah to rejoin the Armijo Route south of St. George, Utah.

National Scenic Byways
The National Scenic Byways Program was established under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and reauthorized in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st

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Century. Under the program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. All-American Roads must exhibit multiple intrinsic qualities. For a highway to be considered for inclusion within the National Scenic Byways Program, it must provide safe passage for passenger cars year-round, it must be designated a State Scenic Byway, and it must have a current corridor management plan in place. Installation of offsite outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards) is not allowed along byways. There are two national scenic byways in the planning area. All American Road-Scenic Byway 12 (State Route 12). Scenic Byway 12 takes the visitor to the heart of the American West. This exceptional 124-mile route negotiates an isolated landscape of canyons, plateaus, and valleys ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. The visitor encounters archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities while driving this exhilarating byway. The portion on the RFO is the descent from the forested slopes of Boulder Mountain past scenic views of Miners Mountain, the Cocks Comb ridge, and the Red Gate formation to the junction with Utah State Highway 24 at the town of Torrey (near Capitol Reef National Park). Trail of the Ancients (State Route 95). This allows the visitor to explore the long and intriguing occupation of the Four Corners region by Native American peoples, traveling through the archaeological heartland of America while crossing the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. The RFO portion begins at Hanksville. The Bicentennial Highway, which is a portion of the Trail of the Ancients, runs south with expansive views of the Burr Desert and the Henry Mountains. The Dirty Devil Scenic overlooks at Burr Point and west Angel Point are accessible from the Highway, as is the Bull Creek Pass Backcountry Byway, the Poison Springs road, and the Hog Springs Picnic area and hiking trail.

Utah Scenic Byways
Highways that have been designated by official state declaration for their scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological, or natural qualities. The byways are paved roads that are generally safe yearround for passenger cars. Installation of offsite outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards) is not allowed along byways. Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway. Highway 24 is the only route through the heart of Capitol Reef National Park and leads to Fishlake National Forest, the sprawling San Rafael Swell, and the colorful Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Fishlake Scenic Byway (U-25). Fishlake Scenic Byway U-25 runs through the Fish Lake Basin, which is about 8,850 feet in elevation. In the basin lies a geological wonder, a 2,500 acre lake, formed by the shifting of the Earth‘s faults.

BLM Back Country Byways
The Back Country Byway Program was developed by BLM to complement the National Scenic Byway Program. These byways highlight the spectacular nature of the western landscapes. Back Country Byways vary from narrow, graded roads that are passable only during a few months of the year to two-lane paved highways with year-round access. There is 1 BLM Back Country Byway in the planning area. Bull Creek Pass National Back Country Byway. This Byway winds for 68 miles through Utah’s Henry Mountains. The view from the route includes colorful canyons, steep cliffs, vast badlands, and rugged alpine mountains. The Byway climbs nearly a mile as it loops through this colorful, vibrant mountain range set between Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks.

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Utah Scenic Backways
State Scenic Backways are roads that do not generally meet federal safety standards for safe year-round travel by passenger cars and have been designated by official state declaration for their scenic, historic, and recreational qualities. Utah Scenic Backways often require use of four-wheel drive, and road conditions vary with factors such as season and weather. There are 7 Utah Scenic Backways within the planning area. Cathedral Valley Scenic Backway. The road starts at I-70, runs south approximately 55 miles to Highway 24 one-half mile west of Caineville past the Limestone Cliffs, through the Red Desert, and the Last Chance Desert. There are striking views of the Mussentuchit badlands, and on the NPS lands, the Temple of the Moon and Sun formations are accessible. The road is a single-lane road with a dirt base. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Cove Mountain Road. The Cove Mountain Road in the Fishlake National Forest extends from Koosharem on SR-62 north to Glenwood on SR-119. The route is particularly popular because of its spectacular autumn scenery and panoramic views of the Sevier and Koosharem Valleys. Gooseberry/Fremont Road. Beginning 2 miles north of Fremont on SR-72, this Backway runs 40 miles through the Fishlake National Forest to its end at I-70 in Salina Canyon. The abundance of trees makes this road a popular fall color trek. Kimberly/Big John Road. The route begins at the city of Junction on US-89. Turning onto SR-153, it continues past Puffer Lake and Elk Meadows. On Fishlake National Forest Road, the Backway turns north to Big John Flat and climbs over the Tushar Mountains. The route continues through the historic Kimberly mining district to the freeway interchange near Fremont Indian State Park at I-70. Notom Road and Burr Trail Backway. Notom Road runs from Utah Highway 24 at the eastern boundary of Capitol Reef National Park to the junction of Burr Trail Road. The Burr Trail runs south to Bullfrog on Lake Powell. The Notom Road segment parallels the Waterpocket Fold and provides an excellent opportunity to view the magnitude of this colorful and desolate rock spine. East of the Backway are expansive views of the Henry Mountains and Mancos Mesa foothills. The Burr Trail road crosses softly rolling Mancos hills and then follows a deeply incised canyon to Lake Powell. Posey Lake Road Backway. The Scenic Backway starts at the town of Bicknell and ends at the town of Escalante. The portion of the Scenic Backway managed by the RFO crosses the Awapa Plateau, also known as Parker Mountain. This road is primarily single-lane dirt with gravel in places. It is closed in winter. The lands are sagebrush steppe and home to pronghorn antelope, sage-grouse, pygmy rabbits, as well as prairie dogs. Thousand Lake Mountain Road. From SR-72, 5 miles north of Fremont, this Backway travels southeast through the Fishlake National Forest to join the Cathedral Valley Scenic Backway. The route provides access to Elkhorn Campground in Fish Lake National Forest and continues back to its point of origin at SR-72.

National Heritage Areas
A “national heritage area” is a place designated by Congress where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These areas tell nationally important stories about the nation and are representative of the national experience through both the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved within them. There is 1 national heritage area in the planning area.

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National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area. The national designation recognizes the history, architecture, and culture along “the heritage highway,” and includes U.S. Highway 89 from Fairview to Kanab, the Boulder Loop (state highways 12 and 24), the All American Road (Highway 12) and the 6 counties through which the route passes: Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield, and Kane.

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3.6 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
The socioeconomic study area includes all of 4 counties (Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne) and the eastern portion of Garfield County. (As stated previously, there are also 21,500 acres of Kane County within the RMP planning area. However, because those lands lie entirely within Glen Canyon NRA and no decisions within this RMP will affect those lands, Kane County is not included within the socioeconomic study area.) This section summarizes demographic and economic trend information, including descriptions of the key industries in the 5 county socioeconomic study area that could be affected by BLM management actions. Study area industries most affected by BLM land management policies and programs are (1) production agriculture, in particular cattle grazing and production, (2) mining and oil and gas production, and (3) travel, tourism, and recreation. BLM lands provide areas for activities such as hunting and fishing, hiking, camping or picnicking, traditional natural resource uses (e.g., firewood or pine-nut gathering), and sightseeing. Although some resources managed by the RFO may be of regional or national interest, this Proposed RMP/Final EIS assumes that RFO management decisions primarily affect the economies of the counties and towns within the 5 counties encompassed by the planning area boundary. This section presents baseline information used to help analyze the socioeconomic impacts of the alternatives considered in this Proposed RMP/Final EIS. More detailed information is provided in the Baseline Socioeconomic Profile (BLM 2003b), and this section refers to numerous figures and tables from that document.

3.6.1

Social Background

The Baseline Socioeconomic Profile (BLM 2003b) discusses characteristics of the study area in some detail. The 5 counties in the study area are predominantly rural, with large land areas and dispersed populations. The number of persons per square mile ranges from 0.9 in Garfield County to 14.3 in Sanpete County, well below state and national averages. At least half of the lands in each county within the socioeconomic study area are publicly owned and federally managed. As shown in Table 3-33, the socioeconomic study area comprises more than 80 percent federally managed land, with 12.5 percent in private ownership. Lands managed by the RFO total 2.1 million acres, about 39 percent of the planning area.

Table 3-33. Land Ownership in the Socioeconomic Study Area
Area
Garfield County Piute County Sanpete County Sevier County Wayne County Socioeconomic Study Area Utah

Total Population (2000 Census)
4,735 1,435 22,763 18,842 2,509 50,284 2,193,000

Land Area (Sq. Miles)
5,176 757 1,598 1,910 2,464 11,905 84,583

Persons Per Square Mile
0.9 1.9 14.2 9.9 1.0 4.2 25.9

Federally Owned Land
90.0% 74.3% 51.7% 76.0% 85.6% 80.7% 63.9%

Privately Owned Land
5.1% 12.7% 42.5% 19.1% 3.5% 12.5% 21.6%

Note: The Garfield County figures include all land in the socioeconomic study area, not just land in the field office study area. Source: Utah Division of Travel Development 2004; U.S. Census Bureau 2004.

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The socioeconomic study area has sustained human populations for thousands of years. The people of this region, dating back to the origins of the Ute, Paiute, Navajo, and Hopi tribes, and even earlier civilizations such as the Fremont and ancestral Puebloan peoples, maintained very close connections to the land. As these native people lived in or moved through the area, the area’s plants and animals provided them with food, medicine, and clothing. European settlement began in 1849 with the establishment of Manti in Sanpete County. Settlement expanded throughout the area over the next 30 years, with Hanksville in eastern Wayne County being settled in 1882. Settlers supported themselves by irrigating the valleys, running livestock on the rangelands, and, to a lesser extent, mining and lumbering. Settlements were closely tied to locations where water was available for farming and forage available for livestock. The Sevier-Sanpete Valley proved fertile land for farm production, whereas the areas around Parker Mountain and Monroe Mountain and extending through what is now Capitol Reef National Park into the Henry Mountains were used for grazing livestock. Some of the current livestock permittees are heirs of families who have grazed stock on the public land for generations. As early pioneers labored to make a living with agricultural products, prospectors were exploring the mountains of the area in search of metals and minerals that could be sold for a profit. Specifically, what is now Piute County supported a rich mining boom in the late 1800s. With industrialization and mechanization of agriculture, many of the initial pioneer settlements in the region matured. Throughout the 20th century, the roots of the natural resource–related industries and the persons associated with them became well established in the area. Although today, few families earn their livelihoods solely from these basic industries, agriculture and, to a lesser extent, mining are still an integral part of the social structure of the area. Over time, the connection to public lands has changed from economic to social and traditional. The historical uses of public lands that continue today include hunting, wood gathering, pinenut collecting, family picnics and other family gatherings, wildlife viewing, Christmas tree cutting, and other traditional activities. These uses provide opportunities for socialization within and between families and other social groups. Large population centers resulting from industrialization and urbanization have heightened social regard for areas without much human development. The socioeconomic study area provides several opportunities for such areas. Use of these areas for outdoor recreation activities has increased over the past 20 years. Major recreational resources in the area, such as the Paiute and Great Western Trails, hiking and canyoneering opportunities in the Dirty Devil region, and bison viewing and hunting in the Henry Mountains attract many people each year to the region. Hunting and fishing opportunities in the socioeconomic study area and in the nearby Fishlake and Manti-LaSal National Forests complement camping, wildlife viewing, and other recreational activities, as people look for a break from urban life. Residents in the socioeconomic study area understand and enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living in the area. The recreation component has created yet another connection to the public lands that is important not only to local residents but also to those who come from other areas in Utah, other states, and other countries to enjoy these natural resources. A statewide social survey was conducted by Utah State University (USU) in 2007 to assess the ways in which Utah residents use and value public land resources and their views about public lands management. A complete analysis of the results had not been completed as of February 2008. “Public lands.” as described in the study, consist of all federal and state managed lands, not just BLM lands. Surveys were mailed to a random sample of residents of all 29 Utah counties. According to the authors, the study and sample sizes are designed to produce results generalizable at the statewide level, with generalization increasingly risky as the sample area diminishes. For example, the data may lose much of their statistical validity at the individual county level. The areas sampled do not necessarily coincide with FO planning area boundaries—that was not the focus of the study. Nonetheless, the study provides current and interesting results not available elsewhere and shows the dependence of Utah residents on public lands for a variety of economic and recreational pursuits. Appendix 17 contains initial summary results for

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Garfield, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties. Due to the considerations noted above, these results cannot be used as the basis for significant conclusions regarding the relationship of local residents to RFO lands. Thus, the preliminary USU results do not affect the formulation of alternatives in Chapter 2 or the analysis of impacts in Chapter 4. USU also reviewed the socioeconomic analysis in the RFO DRMP/DEIS in a report under contract to the Six County Association of Governments, which includes Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties. A section of the report contains summaries of two earlier social surveys, both also conducted by USU for (or included portions of) Wayne and Garfield counties in 2001 and 2004. These two studies show Wayne and Garfield County residents have similar dependence on public lands for a variety of economic and recreational pursuits as found in the results in the 2007 statewide social survey. Another section of the report summarizes a large body of information on OHV users that provides additional insights into the social significance of OHV use in the socioeconomic study area. It cites several regional studies, not in the socioeconomic study area, that found that riders place great importance on the social and environmental aspects of the OHV experience, OHV activities tend to be more popular with rural residents than those from urban areas, and OHV management concerns vary on topics such as facility development, enforcement, and environmental items. The report also cites national studies that show there has been a large increase in OHV participants and riders over the past 20 years. This body of OHV-related research suggests OHV recreation has become an important way for local residents, and OHV recreationists worldwide, to connect to the public lands.

3.6.1.1

County Perspectives

The following statements, taken from county plans, represent county perspectives on the management of public lands occurring in the 5 county area. County plans are summarized in Appendix 13. Garfield County: “The county deems it critical that Resource Management Plans provide for range improvements, that current grazing on public lands be preserved, that county water rights be maintained, that public lands timber harvesting be continued, and that mining leases be considered and encouraged” (Garfield County 1998). Piute County: “It is in the county’s best interest that BLM and USFS lands be managed for multiple use and that access is maintained on public lands” (Piute County 1994). Sanpete County: “The culture and sentiment of Sanpete County residents is such that they…will want input on the management and use of public lands in the county” (Sanpete County 1997). Sevier County: “Multiple use activities on public lands in Sevier County should continue and should include uses such as agricultural grazing, fishing and hunting, mineral exploration and mining, recreation, wildlife habitat, and timber sales”(Sevier County 1998). Wayne County: “It is the county’s desire that each resource be managed for the optimal economic return, but in ways which do not sacrifice the county’s natural aesthetic values” (Wayne County 1994).

3.6.1.2

Population

Approximately 85 percent of the people residing in the socioeconomic study area live in Sanpete and Sevier counties. In contrast, the eastern portion of the socioeconomic study area is very sparsely populated because of its isolation, aridity, and ruggedness.

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Population trends for the 5 counties are plotted in Figure 3-20. Population growth in the 5 counties is on an upward trend, although Garfield, Piute, and Wayne counties are growing at a very slow rate. The higher growth rates of Sanpete and Sevier counties have been sustained by increased business opportunities following the construction of I-70, construction of an annex of the Utah State Prison, and expansion of other business related to retail trade.

Figure 3-20. Population Estimates, 1970–2000
25,000

20,000

Population

15,000

10,000

5,000

0
1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000

Year
Garfield Co.
Source: BLM 2003b.

Piute Co.

Sanpete Co.

Sevier Co.

Wayne Co.

The population of the socioeconomic study area increased by almost 8 percent during the 1980s and grew by 24.9 percent in the 1990s. Population growth in the socioeconomic study area lagged significantly behind the state’s population growth during the 1980s but outpaced the state’s growth during the 1990s (BLM 2003b). The 1980s were marked by a 6.5-percent decline in net migration (i.e., the net result of persons moving in and out of the area). However, the 1990s showed a marked change in this trend. Net migration increased in the socioeconomic study area by nearly 16 percent. These trends are similar to the statewide pattern during both the 1980s and 1990s, with the socioeconomic study area doubling the statewide trends (BLM 2003b).

3.6.2

General Economic Characteristics

All of the counties within the socioeconomic study area, as well as the entire State, showed large increases in the civilian labor force throughout the 1990s. Only Sevier and Garfield counties had percentage increases lower than the State of Utah as a whole, and their increases were more than 20 percent and nearly 19 percent, respectively. The 9-year average annual increase in the civilian labor force for the socioeconomic study area was 2.53 percent, slightly higher than the State’s 2.49 percent average. The increases varied within the socioeconomic study area, from a 2.1-percent annual increase in Garfield County to a 3.75-percent increase in Wayne County (BLM 2003b). Total employment in the socioeconomic study area increased more than 50 percent over the last decade, from 17,202 jobs in 1990 to 25,876 jobs in 2000. This growth rate exceeded the national rate but lagged behind the Utah growth rate.

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Throughout the 1990s, unemployment in the socioeconomic study area showed a downward though sometimes unsettled trend. Except for 1993, when the national and socioeconomic study area rates were the same, the unemployment rate for the socioeconomic study area was higher than the national and state rates. All trends show a reversal between 2000 and 2001, with marked increases in the unemployment rate. The yearly average unemployment rate for the years 1990–2001 was 7 percent for the socioeconomic study area, 5.5 percent for the nation, and 3.9 percent for the State of Utah (BLM 2003b). Total personal income for the socioeconomic study area well exceeded $844 million for 2000, an increase of more than $254 million since 1990. This represents a total growth in real (inflation-adjusted) personal income of more than 43 percent in 10 years (BLM 2003b). The socioeconomic study area has shown minor changes in how income is earned. Labor income (e.g., wages, salaries, and self-employment income) during 2000 was 63.6 percent of total personal income, whereas investment income was 17.1 percent. These numbers represent small decreases over the last two decades. During the same period, transfer payment income (largely derived from Social Security or other retirement benefits, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and other income support and assistance) has absorbed the decreases in investment and labor income, growing from 14.6 percent of total personal income in 1980 to 17.5 percent in 1990 and 19.3 percent in 2000 (BLM 2003b). These trends are similar to state and national trends. Per capita income (in 2002 dollars) in the socioeconomic study area has increased at a much slower rate than statewide per capita income, resulting in an increasingly large disparity between socioeconomic study area and state income levels. In 1990, socioeconomic study area per capita income was 79.3 percent of the per capita income throughout the state. That percentage decreased to 70 percent of state per capita income in 2000. In 2000, the socioeconomic study area per capita income was $16,793, significantly below the national figure ($30,150) and state figure ($23,977). All 5 counties had a higher poverty rate (percentage of individuals living in households with an income below thresholds defined by the U.S. Census Bureau) than state or national rates in 1989, but in 1999, Sevier County and Garfield County each had a lower poverty rate than the United States. The percentage of individuals within the socioeconomic study area living below the poverty level declined from 17 percent in 1989 to 13 percent in 1999 (BLM 2003b).

3.6.2.1

Employment and Earnings by Industry

Rural areas like the socioeconomic study area are often more dependent on traditional natural resourcebased industries, such as mining and agriculture. For example, the socioeconomic study area is more dependent on mining and agriculture jobs than the State of Utah as a whole. Mining and farm employment made up just over 2 percent of Utah’s total employment in 2000, whereas those same industries provided for just over 11 percent of jobs in the socioeconomic study area. The mining and agriculture industries are also important as an economic base for the socioeconomic study area because they export their goods outside the region and in turn support ancillary industries such as retail trade, construction, and services (BLM 2003b). Services, government, and retail trade comprised more than 60 percent of employment in the socioeconomic study area in 2000 (BLM 2003b). Figure 3-21 shows the trends in employment by industry during the last decade. Industries showing the greatest numerical increase in employment from 1990 to 2000 included services (2,744 new jobs), trade (1,751 new jobs), government (1,253 new jobs), and construction (815 new jobs). Industries reporting the slowest growth in the socioeconomic study area included farm and agricultural services and mining, both increasing by 12 percent over the last decade.

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Transportation and utilities; construction; and finance, insurance, and real estate (F.I.R.E.) showed significant growth but accounted for relatively small percentages of total employment. Mineral development, transportation, and utilities continue to provide the highest-paying jobs in the socioeconomic study area, although both industries have experienced a decline in average real earnings per job over the last decade, as shown in Figure 3-22. The government and manufacturing sectors have shown growth in average real earnings per job and now provide the third and fourth highest paying jobs in the area. Farm and agricultural services, trade, and F.I.R.E. reported the lowest earnings per job throughout much of the latter part of the 1990s. Agriculture and mining showed the most volatility in average earnings per job over the course of the decade. Gross real earnings for all socioeconomic study area industries grew by more than 40 percent from 1990 to 2000. Earnings from government jobs have consistently been higher than all other industries, totaling more than $157 million in 2000 and accounting for nearly 29 percent of all earnings. The service sector has become an integral part of the economy, growing from $59 million and 16 percent of total earnings in 1990 to $104 million and 21 percent of total earnings in 2000. After growing sharply (207 percent) in the 1980s, earnings from jobs in the farm sector dipped (by 36 percent) in the 1990s. The farm sector accounted for $38 million and 7.2 percent of total socioeconomic study area earnings in 2000. Mining also reported a decline in real earnings during the last decade, falling by 6 percent, from $18 million in 1990 to $17 million (3.1 percent of total earnings) in 2000 (BLM 2003b).

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Figure 3-21. Trends in Full-Time and Part-Time Employment by Industry, 1990–2000
7,000 6,000 Farm and Ag. Services 5,000 Mining Construction 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Manufacturing Trans. & Utilities Trade F.I.R.E. Services Government

Employment

Year
Source: BLM 2003b.

Figure 3-22. Average Earnings Per Job (2002$)
$60,000

Annual Earnings Per Job

$50,000

Farm and Ag. Services Mining

$40,000

Construction Manufacturing

$30,000

Trans. & Utilities Trade

$20,000

F.I.R.E. Services

$10,000

Government

$0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Year
Source: BLM 2003b.

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3.6.2.2

Government Revenue from Natural Resources

Revenues to the Federal Government
The Federal Government’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) collects royalties and rents from leases of federal lands for production of coal, oil, gas, and other leasable minerals. For coal leases issued or readjusted after August 4, 1976, the royalty rate is 8 percent of the value of production for underground mines and 12.5 percent for surface mines. However, there are no surface coal mines in the planning area at this time. Coal leases are offered competitively with a bonus bid in either dollars-per-acre or cents-perton; the minimum bid is $100.00 per acre or its equivalent in cents-per-ton. Annual rents on a coal lease are $3.00 per acre. For oil and gas leases issued after December 22, 1987, royalties are 12.5 percent of the amount or value of production. Oil and gas leases are offered competitively with a minimum bonus bid of $2.00 per acre. The rents for an oil and gas lease are $1.50 per acre for the first 5 years and $2.00 per acre for subsequent years. Royalties, bid prices, and rents are collectively referred to as lease revenue. Leases for non-energy solid leasable minerals are also subject to royalties, competitive bidding as required by regulation, and rents, but at this time, there are no non-energy solid mineral leases in the planning area. Revenues, collected as royalties, rents, and bonus bids on a federal lease, are distributed within the Federal Government and to the State of origin of the revenue. The Federal Government returns 50 percent of the lease revenues to the State of origin of the revenues, and the other 50 percent is variously distributed within the Federal Government, depending on the type of lease, which varies depending on when the lease was issued. In Utah, the revenues distributed to the State flow through the Utah Department of Community and Economic Development to various state funds and other state and local agencies. The Federal Government also receives bonus bid revenue from minerals underlying former federal lands exchanged with the State of Utah’s SITLA in accordance with the Utah School and Lands Exchange Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-335). Only two counties in the state, Carbon and Emery, produce significant mineral lease revenue from exchanged lands. In the socioeconomic study area, only Sevier County has produced any such revenue in FY 2000 through FY 2004—a total of $500.00 in FY 2000. Because this was lease revenue and not bonus bid revenue, all of this revenue went to SITLA (none to the Federal Government). Table 3-34 provides figures by county for mineral revenue collections by MMS and subsequent disbursements to the State, over the time period FY 2001 through FY 2004.1 These figures encompass all federal lands in the included counties. Tracing revenues and disbursements to BLM lands in particular was not feasible for this study. Most of the revenue in Table 3-34 is generated in Sevier County as a result of coal production. The RFO collects fees and other revenues for a variety of uses on BLM lands. These revenue sources include ROW rents, recreation fees, mineral material and vegetative material permit fees, and grazing fees. Table 3-35 provides figures for the most significant local BLM revenue sources for FY 2002 to FY 2004. The table also indicates how each type of revenue is distributed. Most revenue from sales of land and materials, along with ROW rents, leaves the RFO. Recreation fees are retained. Fifty percent of grazing fees go to the BLM Range Improvement Fund and are returned to the district of origin.

1 Revenue generated from oil production at the Covenant Field after FY 2004 is not included in the table.

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Table 3-34. Mineral Lease and Bonus Revenues Collected and Disbursed by the Federal Government, State of Utah Fiscal Years 2001–2004
Garfield County
$798,451 $0 $798,451 $399,226 $241,975 $0 $241,975 $120,988 $526,921 $111,054 $637,975 $318,988 $576,836 $27,845 $604,681 $302,340 $1,218 $2,436 $0 $2,436 $1,552 $297,448 $299,001 $149,500 $1,185 $83,408 $2,371 $166,816 $0 $163,070 $2,371 $3,746 $10,121,739 $3,447,920 $13,569,660 $6,784,830 $8,375,727 $3,621,065 $11,996,792 $5,998,396 $1,173 $19,581 $3,777,292 $2,345 $39,163 $7,554,584 $0 $0 $3,203,946 $0 $1,431 $716 $0 $1,431 $1,431 $716 $0 $1,908 $1,908 $954 $2,345 $39,163 $4,350,638 $1,431 $1,145 $53,362 $6,835,788 $8,890 $2,290 $106,725 $13,671,577 $17,779 $0 $0 $3,203,946 $0 $2,290 $106,725 $10,467,631 $17,779 $11,392,876 $3,203,946 $14,596,822 $7,298,411 $4,635,553 $3,203,946 $7,839,499 $3,919,749 $10,654,777 $3,723,475 $14,378,252 $7,189,126 $8,956,551 $3,948,266 $12,904,817 $6,452,409

State Fiscal Year and Collections/Disbursements 2001

Piute County

Sanpete County

Sevier County

Wayne County

Study Area Total

State Total

Federal Mineral Lease Collections

$92,368,329 $6,723,764 $99,130,862 $49,565,431 $27,021,330 $3,526,947 $30,548,276 $15,274,138 $63,953,116 $15,767,107 $79,720,223 $39,860,112 $115,121,675 $19,310,291 $134,431,966 $67,215,983

Federal Mineral Bonus Collections

Total Federal Collections

Total Disbursed to State

2002

Federal Mineral Lease Collections

Federal Mineral Bonus Collections

Total Federal Collections

Total Disbursed to State

2003

Federal Mineral Lease Collections

Federal Mineral Bonus Collections

Total Federal Collections

Total Disbursed to State

2004

Federal Mineral Lease Collections

Federal Mineral Bonus Collections

Total Federal Collections

Total Disbursed to State

Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest dollar. Source: Utah Division of Housing and Community Development (2004). State receipts data grossed-up to federal collections based on 50–50 state-federal split (U.S. Minerals Management Service 2004b).

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Table 3-35. Richfield Field Office Revenue Collections, Federal FY2002–FY2004, and Primary Distribution of Funds
Data Source 2002
$71,693 $207,394 $5,089 $8,725 $21,599 $14,036 $0 $0 $99,964 $109,833 $71,203 $61,648

Type of Revenue
1 2 1 1

2003

2004

Distribution (3)
To national BLM account and Federal Treasury general fund Retained by BLM (Recreation Fee Demo Program) Retained by BLM (Recreation Fee Demo Program) 76% to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Reclamation Fund, 20% to Federal Treasury General Fund, 4% to state 76% to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Reclamation Fund, 20% to Federal Treasury General Fund, 4% to state 76% to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Reclamation Fund, 20% to Federal Treasury General Fund, 4% to state 50% to BLM Range Improvement Fund (returned to the district of origin), 37.5% to Federal Treasury General Fund, 12.5% to state Retained by BLM Retained by BLM

ROW and communication site annual rents

Commercial/group SRPs; campground fees

Little Sahara recreation site entrance fees

Mineral material permit fees (sand and gravel, stone, soil, and other)

Vegetative material permit fees (native seed collection, firewood, posts/poles, Christmas trees, and other) 2 $10,633 $3,767 $3,476 1 $0 $167,440 $0

Sale of public land

Grazing fees, related maintenance, and trespass fees 1 $87,826 $40,604 $6,323 $1,566 $36,019 $0 $1,397 $41,360 $68,019 1 1

ROW (primarily monitoring fees)

Road maintenance (vegetative materials)

Sources: 1 – Data provided by RFO accounting office, October 2004; figures are net collections taking into account reversals and transfers. 2 – Figures provided by RFO resource specialists, October/November 2004. 3 – BLM National Business Center, Collections and Billing Branch, interviews November 2004 and “Distribution of Receipts Synopsis.”

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Revenues to State Government
As noted above, the Federal Government, through the MMS, pays the State of Utah 50 percent of the mineral lease and bonus revenues it collects from federal leases in the state. These disbursements are shown in Table 3-36. State exchange lands, as noted above, produce negligible revenue in the socioeconomic study area. Other lands in the socioeconomic study area administered by SITLA may produce mineral revenues, but because these lands are not managed by the BLM, these data were not collected for this study. The State of Utah collects several taxes and fees that derive from natural resources on both private lands and public lands: • Mining Severance Tax. The tax is 2.6 percent of the taxable value of all metals or metalliferous minerals sold or otherwise disposed of (Utah Code 2004). Every person or business engaged in mining metals or metalliferous minerals must file an annual report with the Utah State Tax Commission. However, the first $50,000 of value is exempt from the tax. Oil and Gas Severance Tax. The tax is 3 or 5 percent, depending on the value at the well per barrel of oil or per million cubic feet of gas, and 4 percent for natural gas liquids, minus certain credits and reductions (Utah Code 2004). Statewide severance tax revenue totaled $18,893,082 in FY 2002 and $26,745,279 in FY 2003 (Utah State Tax Commission 2003). The state does not report this revenue by county. However, production from the socioeconomic study area for FY 2000 to FY 2003 was limited to Garfield County, averaging about 1.5 percent of state production for oil, and considerably less than 0.001 percent for gas (UDOGM 2004). Thus, oil and gas severance tax revenue to the State from the socioeconomic study area had been negligible. However, in FY 2004, the Covenant Field was discovered in Sevier County, providing a second source of oil production in the socioeconomic study area and a new severance tax revenue stream to the State. Statewide severance tax revenue totaled $71,513,869 in FY 2006 and $65,429,873 in FY 2007 (Utah State Tax Commission 2008). The large increase in severance tax is mainly due to increases in prices of crude oil (Utah State Tax Commission 2008). While oil and gas production in Garfield County slightly declined over the time period FY 2004 to FY 2007 compared with its production levels in FY 2003, Covenant Fields oil production increased dramatically accounting for about 1.1 percent of state production in FY 2004 and reaching 9.3 percent in FY 2007 after peaking at 11.5 percent of state production in FY 2006 (UDOGM 2008). As a result, oil severance tax revenue to the State from the socioeconomic study area has been growing in recent years. Coal Severance Tax. Utah does not have a state severance tax on coal. Oil and Gas Conservation Fee. The fee is 0.2 percent of the value at the well (Utah Code 2004). Statewide conservation fee revenue totaled $1,710,219 in FY 2002 and $1,943,755 in FY 2003 (Utah State Tax Commission 2003). The State does not report this revenue by county. Conservation fee revenue to the State from the 5 county area has been negligible in recent years for the same reason noted for the severance tax. Income Taxes. State income tax rates vary depending on individual or corporate status, type of corporation, taxable income, and other factors. The state requires 5-percent withholding on most mineral production income (Utah Code 2004). The State does not report state income tax revenue derived from income on natural resources in the 5 county area by county, and total revenue from this source cannot be reliably estimated for this study.

•

• •

•

Revenues to Local Governments
Most of the federal and state mineral revenue is disbursed to local government. The major means for the disbursements are as follows:

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•

•

•

UDOT. Most of Utah’s share of federal land mineral lease revenue is deposited in the state Mineral Lease Account. In addition, 39.5 percent of state exchange land mineral lease revenue (minus 3 percent taken by SITLA for administration) is deposited in the Mineral Lease Account. Forty percent of the funds in the Mineral Lease Account are returned to the county of origin through UDOT in proportion to the amount generated by that county. Permanent Community Impact Fund. A total of 32.5 percent of the revenue in the Mineral Lease Account (plus a remainder after other funds are paid, if available) goes to this special fund set up by the Utah Legislature to award grants and loans to state and local agencies that are socially or economically affected by mineral resource development. In addition, 12.16 percent of exchange lands bonus revenue goes into the Community Impact Fund. The funds are awarded competitively and can be used for planning, construction, and maintenance of public facilities, and provision of public services. Special Service Districts. Approximately 5 percent of the revenue in the Mineral Lease Account is distributed to 11 counties that are affected by mineral extraction but receive limited funds through UDOT or the Community Impact Fund. These counties include 4 of the 5 counties in the planning area—Garfield, Piute, Sanpete, and Wayne. Each county receives an equal base payment and a portion based on population.

Table 3-36 shows these distributions of mineral lease and bonus revenues by county for recent years.

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Table 3-36. Distribution of Mineral Revenues by County, State of Utah Fiscal Years 2001–2004
Garfield County
$219,434 $168,349 $127,000 $514,783 $138,518 $99,391 $28,916 $266,825 $154,878 $136,263 $697,700 $988,841 $148,853 $216,541 $59,000 $424,394 $486 $167,563 $980,000 $1,148,049 $106,057 $0 $105,442 $304,637 $918,000 $1,223,961 $309 $484,112 $1,532,400 $2,016,821 $615 $1,324 $76,910 $396,001 $0 $160,000 $1,027,500 $2,807,457 $1,614,650 $0 $8,992,961 $10,607,611 $1,672,796 $0 $892,000 $2,564,796 $76,910 $222,204 $0 $0 $13,797 $1,779,957 $902 $84,227 $430,000 $515,129 $0 $115,473 $207,000 $322,473 $0 $183,503 $1,390,000 $1,573,503 $309,185 $4,846,133 $6,233,944 $247,242 $176,000 $4,450,000 $4,160,000 $100,000 $132,727 $374,995 $0 $143,686 $819,757 $9,013,000 $12,151,287 $1,933,174 $482,732 $1,646,416 $4,062,322 $1,771,467 $661,815 $10,815,661 $13,248,943 $1,822,444 $1,051,719 $4,853,400 $7,727,563 $458 $21,138 $2,073,944 $3,556 $2,318,530

Data Source FY2001

Revenue Source

Piute County

Sanpete County

Sevier County

Wayne County

Study Area State Totals Total
$20,609,660 $2,476,644 $34,274,472 $57,360,776 $11,120,386 $1,476,957 $20,933,850 $33,531,193 $16,221,449 $2,024,878 $38,410,192 $56,656,519 $25,564,750 $3,217,821 $28,797,224 $57,579,795

1

State Distribution to Counties—UDOT

2

State Distribution to Special Service Districts

3

State Distribution to Counties— Community Impact Fund

Sum of Above Distributions*

FY2002

1

State Distribution to Counties—UDOT

2

State Distribution to Special Service Districts

3

State Distribution to Counties— Community Impact Fund

Sum of Above Distributions*

FY2003

1

State Distribution to Counties—UDOT

2

State Distribution to Special Service Districts

3

State Distribution to Counties— Community Impact Fund

Sum of Above Distributions*

FY2004

1

State Distribution to Counties—UDOT

2

State Distribution to Special Service Districts

3

State Distribution to Counties— Community Impact Fund

Sum of Above Distributions*

*Counties may benefit from additional mineral revenues distributed by other state funds/agencies. Sources: 1. Spreadsheets provided November 2004 by Kevin Anderson, Financial Manager, UDOT. Also available at http://www.dot.utah.gov/index.php/m=c/tid=135 (accessed November 4). 2. Spreadsheets provided November 2004 by Arthur Peterson, HCD Accountant, Utah Department of Community and Economic Development. 3. Utah Department of Community and Economic Development, Division of Community Development. Legislative Report of the Permanent Community Impact Fund. Reports for FYs 2001–2004 used.

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The State of Utah assesses the value of natural resource properties—specifically oil and gas wells, metal mines, coal mines, sand and gravel mines, and nonmetal mines. County treasurers then set and collect taxes from these properties. On public lands, the taxes are based on either—(a) the value of equipment on the site or (b) discounted cash flow from production if the well or mine is producing—whichever is greater. Table 3-37 shows the natural resource property tax amounts collected by the 5 counties in the planning area in 2003 for all lands. A breakdown for BLM lands only is not available. Natural resource properties are a significant source of tax revenue for local government, totaling $1.3 million in the 5 county area in 2003. This represents 5 percent of all property taxes collected by local government (i.e., real and personal property taxes, taxes on utility and natural resource properties, and motor vehicle fees in lieu of taxes). Of this amount, coal mines contributed 70 percent, with nearly $908,144 in taxes paid on coal mines in Sevier County, the third-highest coal-producing county in the State.

Table 3-37. Property Taxes Charged Against Natural Resource Property, 2003
Area
Garfield Piute Sanpete Sevier Wayne Total-Study Area

Oil and Gas Extraction
$67,885 $0 $212 $0 $0 $68,097

Metal Mines
$53,556 $7,446 $347 $477 $0 $61,826

Coal Mines
$0 $0 $0 $908,144 $0 $908,144

Total Sand and Non-Metal Natural Gravel Mines Resource Taxes
$8,582 $0 $22,113 $21,429 $1,131 $53,255 $0 $1,557 $24,165 $186,229 $2,499 $214,450 $130,023 $9,003 $46,837 $1,116,279 $3,630 $1,305,772

Total as Percentage of Total Property Taxes
3.2% 1.4% 0.5% 11.0% 0.3% 5.1%

Source: Utah State Tax Commission 2004

A source of local government revenue directly attributable to the public lands in each of the counties is Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT). PILT payments are made by the Federal Government to compensate counties for lost property tax revenue attributed to federal lands, which are not taxable. PILT payments are calculated using a complex formula that considers numerous factors, including acreage of eligible lands; population; and other federal transfers, such as mineral royalties. In FY 2004, PILT payments for all federal lands in the 5 county socioeconomic study area totaled nearly $2.5 million—$113,302 to Piute County, $240,126 to Wayne County, $428,693 to Garfield County, $724,561 to Sanpete County, and $951,083 to Sevier County (USDI 2004). These payments are from all federal lands and therefore cannot be readily attributed to BLM specifically.

Mineral Economics
The mineral industries produce direct and indirect labor earnings that circulate throughout the socioeconomic study area. Mining is a cyclical industry; in the past, mineral development has played a smaller role in the economy of the socioeconomic study area than at the present time. Coal production is at record levels, and there is continuing activity in mining of aggregate, salt, and gypsum. Mining and mining-related employment makes a significant contribution to Sevier County. There are undeveloped mineral resources located throughout the socioeconomic study area. Development of these resources is dependent on economic and other factors within and outside the area. The main mineral production in the socioeconomic study area is the coal resource within Sevier County. Sevier County is the third-highest producer of coal in Utah and contains the highest-producing coal mine in the State: the SUFCO Mine in Convulsion Canyon. Between 1984 and 2001, coal production rose and

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fell from year to year, with a low production value of $67.1 million in 1992 and a high production value of $108.5 million in 2001 (BLM 2003b). Oil production in the 5 county area (Sevier, Garfield, and Sanpete counties are the only producing counties) generated nearly $5 million in sales in 2001 (BLM 2003b). Gas production, which occurs only in Garfield and Sanpete counties, is associated with the production of oil and generated $33,764 in sales in 2001 (BLM 2003b). Production in Sanpete County is from 1 well that has minor production on an intermittent basis. Production in Garfield County is primarily oil at the Upper Valley field in the western part of the county, outside the planning area. The Covenant Field in the Sevier Valley is the newest discovery of oil in the State, increasing production of oil in the State by more than 11 percent in FY 2006 then slightly decreasing to about 9 percent in FY 2007 (UDOGM, 2008). The discovery of oil at the Covenant Field has increased interest in leasing and exploration in the western part of the planning area. It should be noted that Garfield County’s oil and gas production occurs in the western part of the county, outside the planning area, and a large portion of the oil production in the Sevier Valley is located on lands not managed by BLM. Recent drilling in the Sevier Valley area could lead to increased exploration and development within the planning horizon. Increased leasing activity has occurred in the Sevier–Sanpete Valley.

Grazing Economics
The farm sector, which includes grazing on public lands, provided 2,508 jobs in the 5 county area throughout 2000. Although this number is marginally higher than numbers for 1980 and 1990, total employment in the farm sector has dropped from nearly 16 percent in the area in 1980 to nearly 10 percent in 2000 (BLM 2003b). Total earnings in the farm sector were reported as approximately $38.6 million during 2000, or 7.2 percent of total earnings in the 5 county area (BLM 2003b). These figures result in an average yearly income of $15,385 for jobs in the farm sector. Total numbers of cattle in the 5 county area have remained mostly constant over the past 14 years, whereas the number of sheep has declined by more than 35 percent (BLM 2003b). Within the RFO, the number of permitted AUMs available for livestock grazing has been constant at 109,951 to as far back as at least 1988. An AUM is a standardized measure of the amount of forage necessary for the sustenance of one cow unit or its equivalent (e.g., 5 sheep) for 1 month. Active use, as represented by the number of AUMs licensed (purchased) yearly, has increased from a low of nearly 38,000 in 1990 to a high of nearly 76,600 in 2001. The discrepancy between permitted AUMs and active AUMs can be attributed to the variability of range conditions year to year, fluctuations of prices in the livestock markets, individual permittees taking voluntary nonuse, or combinations of the 3. BLM grazing fees rose to their highest point ($1.98 per AUM) in the mid-1990s but quickly declined and have held steady at or near the base rate of $1.35 per AUM through 2004. The number of livestock operators using BLM lands managed by the RFO has increased steadily, from a low of 120 in 1990 to a high of 148 in 1999 (BLM 2003b). Calculation of the value of livestock grazing within the RFO is based on the 10-year average of active AUMs (see the livestock grazing section of this chapter). Active AUMs in this period averaged 50,827 for cattle and 9,756 for sheep. The average value of production per AUM in 2003 dollars for the State of Utah is $41.22 for cattle AUMs and $22.93 for sheep AUMs, based on the methodology described in the Socioeconomic Baseline Report. Applying these values to the active AUM figures shows that the average value of production for livestock grazing within the RFO in recent years is about $2.1 million per year for cattle and $223,700 for sheep in 2003 dollars (Table 3-38). Combined with information on livestock production across the entire 5 county socioeconomic study area (BLM 2003b, USDA 2004; both updated to 2003 dollars), these data show that 1.5 percent of the $154.2 million 10-year annual average of cash receipts for livestock and livestock products can be attributed to grazing on BLM lands. However, this small figure may not reflect the full significance of grazing on BLM lands; for instance, this grazing could

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be critical to certain operators at certain times of the year when other forage or feed is unavailable or expensive.

Table 3-38. Value of Grazing Output on Richfield Field Office Public Lands
Stock Type
Cattle Sheep Total
Notes: 10-year Average 1994–2003 Source: USDA 2004.

Active (Licensed) AUMs*
50,827 9,756 60,583

Estimated Value of Production per AUM (2003$)*
$41.22 $22.93

Value of Grazing Output (2003$)
$2,095,100 $223,700 $2,318,800

Recreation and Tourism Economics
Recreation visitation to the 5 county socioeconomic study area has declined in the past several years, mirroring trends for the state and nation. Figures from the Utah Division of Travel Development (2004) indicate visitation to most area state and national parks peaked in 1999 and in most cases has declined steadily through 2002 (Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument—minus 41 percent, Yuba State Park—minus 22 percent since peak in 2000, Capitol Reef National Park—minus 19 percent, Glen Canyon NRA—minus 19 percent, Canyonlands National Park—minus 17 percent, Goblin Valley State Park— minus 13 percent, and Palisade State Park—minus 5 percent since peak in 2000). Visitation continued to decrease through 2007 with minus 17 percent in Capitol Reef National Park, 10 percent in Canyonlands National Park, and 26 percent in Glen Canyon NRA. Despite these declines, the recreation and tourismrelated sectors have the greatest potential for growth among sectors that use public land resources. Longterm increases in recreation visits are likely a result of projected state and regional population growth and an aging population that will demand increased opportunities for leisure and recreation. Employment and earnings provided by recreation and tourism are typically within the service and retail sectors, although not all employment and earnings from these sectors can be directly attributed to tourism and recreation. The Utah Division of Travel Development (2004) estimates that there were 2,979 travel and tourism-related jobs in the 5 county area in 2003. According to the Division, 44 percent of total employment in Garfield County in 2003 occurred in tourism-related jobs. Figures for this measure for other counties are as follows: Wayne County—26 percent; Piute County—17 percent; Sevier County—17 percent; and Sanpete County—7 percent. For all 5 counties, the 2007 Economic Report to the Governor (Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget 2007) estimates that 15.4 percent of all jobs (in 2005) were in the leisure and hospitality industries; this is more than double the percentage for Utah as a whole (7.3 percent). The Division estimates that travelers spent a total of $92 million in the 5 county area in 2003, resulting in $1.9 million in tax revenues to local governments. Recreation participation and visitor days (i.e., 12 hours of participation in any recreational activity) for the lands managed by the RFO for FY 2001 through FY 2004 are detailed in Table 3-23. For the FY ending September 30, 2004, the greatest number of recreationists participated in driving for pleasure (132,195), camping (105,128), picnicking (81,055), hiking/walking/running (66,189), and OHV/ATV use (63,834), whereas the greatest number of visitor days were spent camping (102,144), driving for pleasure (55,034), backpacking (51,610), hiking/walking/running (31,507), and using OHVs (cars/trucks/SUVs) (31,836).

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3.6.3

Environmental Justice

“Environmental justice” refers to the fair and equitable treatment of individuals regardless of race ethnicity, or income level, in the development and implementation of environmental management policies and actions. In February 1994, President Clinton issued EO 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low Income Populations. The objective of this EO is to require each federal agency to “make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low income populations” (EO 12898, 1994). Where the impacts of a proposed federal action may involve such populations, an analysis of the potential for disproportionate impacts and meaningful community outreach and public involvement is required.

3.6.3.1

Minority Populations

BLM IM 2002-164, Guidance to Address Environmental Justice in Land Use Plans and Related NEPA Documents, provides policy and guidance for addressing environmental justice in BLM land use planning. IM 2002-164 defines minority persons as “Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut and other non-white persons.” Further, IM 2002-164 indicates that an area should be considered to contain a minority population when either the minority population of the affected area exceeds 50 percent, or the percentage of minority population in the affected area is meaningfully greater than the percentage in the general population. Populations of the 5 counties encompassed within the socioeconomic study area are predominately Caucasian and non-Hispanic. All 5 counties have a larger proportion of Caucasian residents than does the State. Table 3-39 summarizes the population by race and ethnicity in 2004.

Table 3-39. Racial and Ethnic Groups for Richfield Planning Area Counties and Utah (Percentage of Population)
Race or Ethnicity
Caucasian persons African American persons American Indian/Alaska Native Asian persons Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander Persons reporting two or more races

Garfield County
97.4%

Piute County
98.4%

Sevier County
97.0%

Sanpete County
96.6%

Wayne County
99.0%

State of Utah
93.8%

0.2%

0.1%

0.3%

0.5%

0.2%

0.9%

1.8%

1.2%

1.8%

1.0%

0.3%

1.3%

0.4%

0.1%

0.3%

0.7%

0.0%

1.9%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.7%

0.3%

0.7%

0.2%

0.1%

0.5%

7.6%

0.2%

1.3%

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Race or Ethnicity
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin White persons, not Hispanic

Garfield County
3.3%

Piute County
5.0%

Sevier County
2.8%

Sanpete County
7.6%

Wayne County
2.6%

State of Utah

10.6%

94.5%

93.7%

94.5%

89.4%

96.4%

83.8%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2004. Notes: 1—Detail may not add up to 100% due to rounding. 2—Hispanic breakout is separate because Hispanics can be of any race. 3—Figures for Garfield County represent the entire county, not just the portion within the planning area.

As Table 3-39 shows, the percentage of minority residents does not exceed 50 percent of the total population in any of the 5 counties in the socioeconomic study area. Thus, none of the 5 counties contain a minority population that is meaningfully greater than the general population.

3.6.3.2

Low-Income Populations

With respect to low-income populations, IM 2002-164 indicates that low income populations can be identified according to poverty thresholds published by the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, the IM notes that “when considering these definitions, it is important to recognize that some low-income and minority populations may comprise transitory users of the public lands and thus not be associated with a particular geographic area.” As shown in Table 3-40, 10 percent of the persons living in Utah had incomes below the poverty level in 2003. Persons with incomes below the poverty level in the counties within the planning area ranged from 10 to 13.8 percent. For the purposes of this analysis, this range was not determined to represent a substantial concentration of persons living in poverty or to be meaningfully greater than the statewide percentage.

Table 3-40. Persons Below the Poverty Level for Richfield Socioeconomic Study Area by County (Percentage of Population, 2003)
Income
Persons below poverty level

Garfield County
10.0%

Piute County
13.8%

Sevier County
11.8%

Sanpete County
13.5%

Wayne County
11.5%

State of Utah
10%

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3.7 HEALTH AND SAFETY
3.7.1 Introduction

A major priority in land management for the RFO is ensuring health and human safety on its public lands. The BLM’s goals are to effectively manage hazardous materials and safety hazards on the public lands to protect the health and safety of public land users; protect the natural and environmental resources; minimize future hazardous materials and related risks, costs, and liabilities; and to mitigate physical hazards in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies. The BLM follows its national, state, and local contingency plans as they apply to emergency responses. These plans are also consistent with federal and state laws and regulations.

3.7.2

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials are generally defined as a usable product or substance that may cause harm to humans, natural resources, or the environment when spilled, released, or contacted. Hazardous materials are used in everyday activities and may be in the form of a solid, liquid, or gas. Regardless of their physical state, hazardous materials may be toxic, flammable, combustible, reactive, and/or corrosive. These can include, but are not limited to, discarded chemicals, chemical spills, and discarded wastes. Once hazardous materials are disposed of, spilled, or dumped, they are classified as “hazardous waste.” Hazardous waste problems within the RFO can result from programs conducted by state and local governments, by local businesses and industries, and/or by illegal dumping of hazardous materials on lands administered by the BLM. In coordination with cooperating agencies, BLM-administered public land sites contaminated with hazardous wastes would be reported, secured, and cleaned up according to applicable federal and state regulations and contingency plans. Parties responsible for contamination would be liable for damage assessment, removal, and restoration costs as prescribed in federal and state regulations. Currently no hazardous waste sites listed on the National Priority List or Superfund Cleanup List exist within the RFO.

3.7.2.1

Potential Hazards

The various hazardous waste generators pose a potential threat to the health and safety of area residents, visitors, and to the physical environment itself. Both commercial and illegal activities can lead to the creation of hazardous waste sites. Spills, illegal dumping, and the discovery of abandoned hazardous materials are likely to occur within the RFO. Contaminants from these sites can pose an imminent threat to public safety and adversely impact the environment by affecting soils, ground water, air, and surface water quality. Potential hazardous waste generators within the RFO include the following: oil and gas drilling operations, natural gas pipelines, mining operations, uranium tailings, storage tanks, landfills, and illegal dumps.

3.7.2.2

Hazardous Materials Management

The RFO Hazardous Materials Program is responsible for hazardous materials handling, storage, transport, and emergency response. Several state and federal mandates, authorities, and handbooks provide the BLM with management guidelines, objectives, and actions pertaining to hazardous materials management. The federal and state prescribed mandates ensure the RFO’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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Health and Safety Chapter 3—Affected Environment

3.7.3

Abandoned Mines

The early mining practices within the planning area were subject to minimal safety and environmental regulations. Prior to 1981, the BLM did not regulate surface disturbance related to mining operations and did not have regulations for public safety in association with mining operations. Prior to 1981, mine openings such as shafts, adits, and other access to mine workings, were left open in many cases when the mining operations ceased. These open, abandoned mine workings are a safety and/or health concern to the public because the workings can pose a risk of serious injury and/or toxic threat to humans. In addition, abandoned mines can contribute heavy metals and other contaminants to surface and ground water. This uncontrolled drainage can pose a health risk to humans and be a source of environmental degradation. The BLM has conducted inventories of abandoned mine sites and some remediation, such as stabilizing sites, closing mine openings, and/or reclaiming mine-related land disturbances within the RFO. In the RFO, the areas most likely to have abandoned mine openings are near Marysvale and the Henry Mountains. In the 1990s, many abandoned mines around Marysvale were closed as part of Abandoned Mined Land projects completed by the State of Utah in cooperation with the BLM; however, many abandoned mine workings are still present. The BLM and the State will continue to inventory and close abandoned sites that are a safety and/or health concern for the public and an environmental concern.

3.7.3.1

Potential Hazards

Abandoned mine sites may pose hazards to human health, the environment, and physical safety. Threats to health and the environment include acid drainage, heavy metal contamination, metal-contaminated tailings impoundments, stored chemicals, and leaking containers. Changes in the chemical composition or soil loss near abandoned mine sites can result in alterations or loss of natural habitat for native wildlife. Abandoned mines may also affect surface and ground water. The impacts to water quality are generally the result of contaminated sediments or metal salts that can affect human health, fisheries, wildlife, and vegetation. Contaminants from tailings impoundments, waste rock piles near abandoned mill sites, and mine workings can become airborne or water transported and become a risk to public health. Releases of hazardous substances from waste piles and acid drainage can affect lands beyond abandoned mine sites. Open, abandoned, underground mines are unstable; mine adits (horizontal openings at the surface) may collapse, internal supports for levels (passages within the mine) may fail, and mine shafts (vertical openings at the surface) and winzes or raises (vertical connections between mine levels) may be obstructed or unseen. Toxic or lethal air conditions may exist due to low concentration of oxygen or high concentrations of other gases. Exposure to radiation in the mine, particularly radon gas, can be a hazard, especially in abandoned uranium mines in southern Utah. Abandoned, unreclaimed surface mines can include hazards related to physical safety. Such features could include abandoned unstable highwalls, waste dumps, and other slopes, and can also include equipment. Water can be a hazard in flooded underground mines; the water may cover and conceal sharp or other hazardous objects and winzes or raises to a lower level. Water at surface mines can also be a hazard and safety risk by concealing objects or concealing abrupt changes in surface. Hazardous wastes, such as explosive materials and chemicals could be present. Explosive materials can be a safety hazard and can be in a deteriorated, unstable condition. Containers of chemicals can be damaged, in a state of deterioration, or otherwise leaking. Tanks, holding or processing ponds, or other fluid containment structures may have lost integrity and may allow for leakage and seepage into soils,

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transport by surface and ground water, or other contamination of the environment and threat to human health. Illegal dumping of hazardous wastes within abandoned mines is also a possibility.

3.7.3.2

Abandoned Mine Management/Reclamation Activities

The BLM has recently developed the Abandoned Mine Lands program (AML) that addresses the environmental and safety hazards associated with AML sites on public lands. Once the sites are identified, they are prioritized and appropriate actions are taken on those historic mine sites that pose health and safety risks. The BLM’s priority for reclamation of environmentally contaminated sites is based on risk assessments that address threats to human health and the environment. For example, abandoned mine land sites that affect water quality are usually a greater concern and receive a higher priority for reclamation than those that do not affect water quality. See Chapter 2 for AML program priorities.

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BLM Mission
To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

BLM-UT-PL-08-004-1610 UT-050-2007-090 EIS FES 08-25

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Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Abstract

Richfield Field Office Planning Area Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement
Lead Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management Type of Action: Final, Administrative Jurisdiction: Comprising all of Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Piute, and portions of Garfield and Kane Counties, Utah. Abstract: The Richfield Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (PRMP/FEIS) describes and analyzes the Proposed RMP and other alternatives presented in the Draft RMP and EIS (DRMP/DEIS) for the planning and management of public lands and resources administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Richfield Field Office in Utah. The Proposed RMP is open for a 30-day review and protest period beginning, August 8, 2008, the date the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final EIS in the Federal Register. The Proposed RMP was crafted primarily from the Preferred Alternative presented in the DRMP/DEIS (Alternative B) and includes other decisions within the range of alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) in response to public comments and internal review. The No Action Alternative (Alternative N) reflects current management. The BLM has removed the DRMP/DEIS Alternative B (Preferred Alternative) from the PRMP/FEIS. The other DRMP/DEIS Alternatives (Alternatives N, A, C, and D) and analyses are carried forward in the PRMP/FEIS only for comparative purposes and to correct some mistakes that were identified during the public comment period. Protest: Protests must be postmarked or received no later than 30 days after publication of the NOA by the EPA in the Federal Register. The 30-day protest period (identified above) will not be extended. Refer to the instructions in the dear reader letter for additional information on how to protest. The close of the protest period will be announced in news releases, newsletters, and on the Richfield RMP website at http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/richfield/planning.html.
For Further Information Contact: Bureau of Land Management, Richfield Field Office Attn: John Russell, RMP Project Manager 150 East 900 North Richfield, Utah 84701

Telephone (435) 896-1500

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
VOLUME I
PREFACE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 — INTRODUCTION, PURPOSE AND NEED CHAPTER 2 — ALTERNATIVES CHAPTER 3 — AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT

VOLUME II
CHAPTER 4 — ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES CHAPTER 5 — PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT, CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION

VOLUME III
GLOSSARY ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS REFERENCES APPENDICES MAPS CD OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES ON THE DRAFT RMP/EIS

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VOLUME II TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 4 —ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES ...................................................................................... 4-1 4.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................... 4-1 4.2 ANALYSIS BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................... 4-1 4.2.1 Approach to the Analysis ..................................................................................................................... 4-1 4.2.2 Impact Analysis Terminology.............................................................................................................. 4-2 4.2.3 Assumptions for Analysis .................................................................................................................... 4-2 4.2.4 Availability of Data and Incomplete Information ................................................................................ 4-3 4.3 IMPACTS TO PHYSICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND CULTURAL RESOURCES ....................................... 4-4 4.3.1 Air Resources....................................................................................................................................... 4-4 4.3.2 Soil Resources.....................................................................................................................................4-21 4.3.3 Water Resources..................................................................................................................................4-38 4.3.4 Vegetation ...........................................................................................................................................4-53 4.3.5 Cultural Resources ..............................................................................................................................4-77 4.3.6 Paleontological Resources...................................................................................................................4-99 4.3.7 Visual Resources...............................................................................................................................4-115 4.3.8 Special Status Species .......................................................................................................................4-137 4.3.9 Fish and Wildlife...............................................................................................................................4-176 4.3.10 Wild Horses and Burros ....................................................................................................................4-210 4.3.11 Fire and Fuels Management ..............................................................................................................4-217 4.3.12 Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics ...........................................................................4-230 4.4 IMPACTS TO RESOURCE USES ..........................................................................................................4-296 4.4.1 Forestry and Woodland Products ......................................................................................................4-296 4.4.2 Livestock Grazing .............................................................................................................................4-306 4.4.3 Recreation .........................................................................................................................................4-321 4.4.4 Travel Management ..........................................................................................................................4-336 4.4.5 Lands and Realty...............................................................................................................................4-348 4.4.6 Minerals and Energy .........................................................................................................................4-359 4.5 IMPACTS TO SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS............................................................................................4-405 4.5.1 Wilderness Study Areas ....................................................................................................................4-405 4.5.2 Wild and Scenic Rivers .....................................................................................................................4-410 4.5.3 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern .........................................................................................4-427
4.5.3.1 Existing ACECs ......................................................................................................................................... 4-429 North Caineville Mesa ACEC .............................................................................................................................. 4-429 South Caineville Mesa ACEC .............................................................................................................................. 4-432 Beaver Wash ACEC ............................................................................................................................................. 4-437 Gilbert Badlands RNA ACEC .............................................................................................................................. 4-442 4.5.3.2 Potential ACECs ........................................................................................................................................ 4-446 Badlands Potential RNA ACEC ........................................................................................................................... 4-446 Bull Creek Potential ACEC .................................................................................................................................. 4-458 Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC ............................................................................................................. 4-462 Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC ....................................................................................................... 4-475 Henry Mountains Potential ACEC........................................................................................................................ 4-484 Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC ..................................................................................................................... 4-498 Kingston Canyon Potential ACEC........................................................................................................................ 4-506 Little Rockies Potential ACEC ............................................................................................................................. 4-511 Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC .................................................................................................................. 4-520 Old Woman Front Potential ACEC ...................................................................................................................... 4-527 Parker Mountain Potential ACEC......................................................................................................................... 4-532 Quitchupah Potential ACEC................................................................................................................................. 4-536 Rainbow Hills Potential ACEC ............................................................................................................................ 4-540 Sevier Canyon Potential ACEC ............................................................................................................................ 4-546 Special Status Species Potential ACEC ................................................................................................................ 4-550 Thousand Lakes Bench Potential ACEC .............................................................................................................. 4-556

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4.6 IMPACTS TO THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT......................................................4-561 4.6.1 Social and Economic Conditions ......................................................................................................4-561 4.6.2 Impacts to Population........................................................................................................................4-589 4.6.3 Impacts to Community Services .......................................................................................................4-589 4.6.4 Impacts on Public Finance ................................................................................................................4-590 4.6.5 Environmental Justice .......................................................................................................................4-591 4.6.6 Public Health and Safety ...................................................................................................................4-591 4.7 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS .....................................................................................................................4-592 4.7.1 Methodology .....................................................................................................................................4-592 4.7.2 Past and Present Actions ...................................................................................................................4-593 4.7.3 Reasonably Foreseeable Future Actions ...........................................................................................4-595 4.7.4 Cumulative Impacts of the Proposed RMP and Draft Alternatives- Cumulative Impacts by Resource Category .......................................................................................................................4-597 4.8 IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES ................................4-609 4.9 UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE IMPACTS................................................................................................4-610 4.10 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES AND LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY ....................................................................................................................................4-612 CHAPTER 5 —PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT, CONSULTATION, AND COORDINATION .................................. 5-1 5.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................... 5-1 5.2 CONSULTATION ...................................................................................................................................... 5-1 5.2.1 Consultation With Native American Tribes ......................................................................................... 5-1 5.2.2 State Historic Preservation Office........................................................................................................ 5-4 5.2.3 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service............................................................................................................. 5-4 5.2.4 Environmental Protection Agency ....................................................................................................... 5-4 5.3 COORDINATION AND COOPERATION ................................................................................................ 5-6 5.3.1 Coordination With Other Federal Agencies ......................................................................................... 5-6 5.3.2 Cooperating Agencies .......................................................................................................................... 5-8 5.4 PLANNING CONSISTENCY .................................................................................................................... 5-9 5.5 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT........................................................................................................................5-29 5.5.1 Scoping................................................................................................................................................5-30 5.5.2 Mailing List.........................................................................................................................................5-31 5.5.3 Planning Posts .....................................................................................................................................5-31 5.5.4 Website................................................................................................................................................5-31 5.5.5 Informal Communication ....................................................................................................................5-32 5.5.6 Notice of Availability of Draft RMP/EIS............................................................................................5-32 5.5.7 Draft RMP/EIS Public Comment Meetings ........................................................................................5-32 5.5.8 Draft RMP/EIS Public Comment Response Process...........................................................................5-33 5.5.9 Public Comments ................................................................................................................................5-33 5.5.10 Summary of Public Comments ...........................................................................................................5-37
Sanpete County ............................................................................................................................................................ 5-37 Piute County ................................................................................................................................................................ 5-43 Wayne County ............................................................................................................................................................. 5-48 Garfield County ........................................................................................................................................................... 5-58 Emery County .............................................................................................................................................................. 5-81 Sevier County .............................................................................................................................................................. 5-85 State of Utah ................................................................................................................................................................ 5-91 Utah Department of Education................................................................................................................................... 5-110

5.6 5.7 5.8

RECORD OF DECISION ........................................................................................................................5-115 DISTRIBUTION LIST.............................................................................................................................5-115 LIST OF PREPARERS ............................................................................................................................5-117

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TABLES
Table 4-1. Base Year Emission Summary .................................................................................................4-7 Table 4-2. Alternative N Emissions Summary ..........................................................................................4-8 Table 4-3. Alternative A Emissions Summary ........................................................................................4-10 Table 4-4. Proposed RMP Emissions Summary ......................................................................................4-12 Table 4-5. Alternative C Emissions Summary.........................................................................................4-13 Table 4-6. Alternative D Emissions Summary ........................................................................................4-15 Table 4-7. Effectiveness and Costs of Fugitive Dusk Mitigation Measures (PM10) ..............................4-16 Table 4-8. Efficiency of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Mitigation Measures ..................................................4-16 Table 4-9. Additional Mitigation Measures with Approximate Costs and Benefits ................................4-17 Table 4-10. VOC Mitigation Measures....................................................................................................4-18 Table 4-11. Total Emissions for Alternatives (Tons Per Year) ...............................................................4-19 Table 4-12. Increase in Annual Air Emissions From 2007 Conditions on BLM-Administered Lands Within the RFO Area (Tons Per Year)..................................................................................4-19 Table 4-13. Off-Highway Route Designations and Stream Crossings.....................................................4-41 Table 4-14. VRM Classes, Acres, and Percentage of RFO Lands.........................................................4-116 Table 4-15. Reasonably Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas ......................................4-121 Table 4-16. Oil and Gas Lease Stipulations in Bighorn Sheep Habitat .................................................4-187 Table 4-17. Oil and Gas Lease Stipulations in Bison Habitat................................................................4-187 Table 4-18. Oil and Gas Lease Stipulations in Elk Habitat ...................................................................4-188 Table 4-19. Oil and Gas Stipulations in Mule Deer Habitat ..................................................................4-188 Table 4-20. Oil and Gas Stipulations in Pronghorn Antelope Habitat...................................................4-188 Table 4-21. Average Annual Treatment Acreage by Alternative ..........................................................4-217 Table 4-22. Comparison of Key Decisions within Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics................................................................................................................................4-230 Table 4-23. VRM Class Designations, by Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Area (Acres)...................................................................................................................................4-235 Table 4-24. OHV Management in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics .........................4-242 Table 4-25. OHV Route Designations in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Alternative N..................................................................................................................................4-245 Table 4-26. Acres Closed to OHVs in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Alternative N..................................................................................................................................4-245 Table 4-27. Acres of Avoidance or Exclusion for ROWs in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics.............................................................................................................4-246 Table 4-28. Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics and Leasing Stipulations, by Alternative.................................................................................................................................4-248 Table 4-29. Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics in Piute, Wayne, and Garfield Counties within RFD Areas 1 and 2 ................................................................................4-251 Table 4-30. Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics in Sevier County within RFD Area 3 ....................................................................................................................................4-252 Table 4-31. OHV Route Designations in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Alternative A..................................................................................................................................4-261 Table 4-32. OHV Route Designations in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Proposed RMP ...............................................................................................................................4-270 Table 4-33. Acres Closed to OHVs in Non-WSA Lands Not Proposed for Management of Wilderness Characteristics in the Proposed RMP..........................................................................4-272 Table 4-34. Acres of Avoidance/Exclusion for Rights-of-Way in Non-WSA Lands Not Managed for Wilderness Characteristics in the Proposed RMP ....................................................4-274

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Table 4-35. OHV Route Designations in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Alternative C..................................................................................................................................4-279 Table 4-36. Acres Closed to OHVs in Non-WSA Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Alternative C..................................................................................................................................4-281 Table 4-37. Impacts from Special Status Species on Travel Management, by Alternative ...................4-341 Table 4-38. Oil and Gas Leasing Categories, Acres, and Percentage of RFO.......................................4-359 Table 4-39. Reasonably Foreseeable Development for Oil and Gas .....................................................4-359 Table 4-40. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Crucial Wildlife Habitat—Alternative N...........4-363 Table 4-41. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Crucial Wildlife Habitat—Alternative A...........4-367 Table 4-42. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Crucial Wildlife Habitat—Proposed RMP ........4-370 Table 4-43. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Crucial Wildlife Habitat—Alternative C...........4-373 Table 4-44. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Crucial Wildlife Habitat—Alternative D...........4-376 Table 4-45. Technically Recoverable, Undiscovered Resources in Designated Open and Closed Areas—Alternative N ........................................................................................................4-378 Table 4-46. Technically Recoverable, Undiscovered Resources in Designated Open and Closed Areas—Alternative A ........................................................................................................4-379 Table 4-47. Technically Recoverable, Undiscovered Resources in Designated Open and Closed Areas—Proposed RMP......................................................................................................4-380 Table 4-48. Technically Recoverable, Undiscovered Resources in Designated Open and Closed Areas—Alternative C.........................................................................................................4-381 Table 4-49. Technically Recoverable, Undiscovered Resources in Designated Open and Closed Areas—Alternative D ........................................................................................................4-382 Table 4-50. VRM Classes of Coal Resources, Alternative N ................................................................4-386 Table 4-51. VRM Classes of Coal Resources, Alternative A ................................................................4-388 Table 4-52. VRM Classes of Coal Resources, Proposed RMP..............................................................4-389 Table 4-53. VRM Classes of Coal Resources, Alternative C ................................................................4-390 Table 4-54. VRM Classes of Coal Resources, Alternative D ................................................................4-392 Table 4-55. OHV Area and Way Designations within WSAs ...............................................................4-405 Table 4-56. Wild and Scenic River Eligibility and Tentative Classification .........................................4-411 Table 4-57. Suitability Recommendations by Alternative.....................................................................4-412 Table 4-58. Oil and Gas Leasing in Eligible River Segments Outside WSAs.......................................4-415 Table 4-59. Existing and Potential Areas of Critical Environmental Concern ......................................4-427 Table 4-60. VRM Class Designations within Badlands Potential ACEC..............................................4-447 Table 4-61. OHV Area Designations within Badlands Potential ACEC ...............................................4-449 Table 4-62. Leasing Stipulations within Badlands Potential ACEC......................................................4-449 Table 4-63. VRM Class Designations within Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC......................4-463 Table 4-64. OHV Area Designations within Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC .......................4-464 Table 4-65. Leasing Stipulations within Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC..............................4-465 Table 4-66. Eligible/Suitable Wild and Scenic Rivers within Dirty Devil/North Wash Potential ACEC..............................................................................................................................4-466 Table 4-67. VRM Class Designations within Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC ................4-476 Table 4-68. OHV Area Designations within Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC..................4-477 Table 4-69. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC ....4-478 Table 4-70. Eligible/Suitable Wild and Scenic Rivers within Fremont Gorge/Cockscomb Potential ACEC..............................................................................................................................4-478 Table 4-71. VRM Class Designations within Henry Mountains Potential ACEC.................................4-486 Table 4-72. OHV Area Designations within Henry Mountains Potential ACEC ..................................4-487 Table 4-73. Leasing Stipulations within Henry Mountains Potential ACEC ........................................4-488 Table 4-74. VRM Class Designations within the Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC ........................4-499 Table 4-75. OHV Area Designations within the Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC..........................4-500 Table 4-76. Leasing Stipulations within the Horseshoe Canyon Potential ACEC ................................4-500

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Table 4-77. OHV Area Designations within the Kingston Canyon Potential ACEC ............................4-507 Table 4-78. VRM Class Designations within Little Rockies Potential ACEC ......................................4-512 Table 4-79. OHV Area Designations within Little Rockies Potential ACEC .......................................4-513 Table 4-80. Leasing Stipulations within Little Rockies Potential ACEC ..............................................4-513 Table 4-81. VRM Class Designations within Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC ...........................4-521 Table 4-82. OHV Area Designations within Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC.............................4-522 Table 4-83. Lease Stipulations within Lower Muddy Creek Potential ACEC ......................................4-522 Table 4-84. OHV Area Designations within Parker Mountain Potential ACEC ...................................4-533 Table 4-85. Oil and Gas Leasing Stipulations within Parker Mountain Potential ACEC .....................4-533 Table 4-86. OHV Area Designations within Rainbow Hills Potential ACEC.......................................4-541 Table 4-87. OHV Area Designations within Sevier Canyon Potential ACEC ......................................4-547 Table 4-88. OHV Area Designations within Thousand Lakes Bench Potential ACEC.........................4-557 Table 4-89. Population Projections in the Five-County Area ................................................................4-561 Table 4-90. Assumptions for Oil and Gas Economic Impact Analysis .................................................4-568 Table 4-91. Producing Wells and Employment in the Oil and Gas Industry—Uintah County, 2001–2006........................................................................................................................4-570 Table 4-92. Total Annual Coal Production for Sevier County, Utah.....................................................4-571 Table 4-93. Management Prescriptions in ACECs Potentially Affecting Socioeconomics—Alternative C....................................................................................................4-583 Table 4-94. Management Prescriptions in ACECs Potentially Affecting Socioeconomics—Alternative D....................................................................................................4-588 Table 4-95. Predicted Population Growth in Counties within the Planning Area .................................4-595 Table 4-96. Growth in the Planning Area and Utah...............................................................................4-595 Table 4-97. Number and Acreage of Farms in the Planning Area.........................................................4-596 Table 4-98. 2005 Criteria Pollutant Inventory (tons per year)...............................................................4-597 Table 5-1. Coordination, Cooperation, and Consultation Actions.............................................................5-5 Table 5-2. Garfield County General Plan ................................................................................................5-10 Table 5-3. Garfield County General Management Plan Resource Management Amendment (12/2007)..........................................................................................................................................5-11 Table 5-4. Garfield County Economic Development Plan (2007)...........................................................5-20 Table 5-5. Sevier County General Plan (12/2006)...................................................................................5-20 Table 5-6. General Plan of Wayne County (5/1994) ...............................................................................5-22 Table 5-7. Sanpete County General Plan (6/1997) ..................................................................................5-24 Table 5-8. General Plan for Piute County (12/1994) ...............................................................................5-25 Table 5-9. Consistency with State of Utah Code 63j-4-401 ....................................................................5-26 Table 5-10. Public Scoping Meetings ......................................................................................................5-30 Table 5-11. Draft RMP/EIS Public Comment Meetings .........................................................................5-32 Table 5-12. Organizations That Submitted Substantive Comments ........................................................5-35 Table 5-13. Individuals That Submitted Substantive Comments.............................................................5-36 Table 5-14. List of Preparers..................................................................................................................5-117

FIGURES
Figure 4-1. Percentage of Public Lands in each Open and Closed Designation—Alternative A ..........4-380 Figure 4-2. Percentage of Public Lands in each Open and Closed Designation—Proposed RMP........4-381 Figure 4-3. Percentage of Public Lands in each Open and Closed Designation—Alternative C ..........4-382 Figure 4-4. Percentage of Public Lands in each Open and Closed Designation—Alternative D ..........4-383

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Introduction Chapter 4

CHAPTER 4—ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES
4.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter describes environmental consequences that may result from implementing each of the four DRMP/DEIS alternatives and the Proposed RMP described in Chapter 2. The purpose of this chapter is to analyze and disclose potential impacts of the federal action on the human environment. An impact is defined as a modification of the existing environment that is brought about by an outside action. The federal action for this Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land use plan (LUP) revision for the Richfield Field Office (RFO), including the Proposed RMP that will direct future land management within the RFO. This chapter is organized by resource topic and contains potential impacts that could or would result from the management actions under DRMP/DEIS Alternatives N, A, C, D, and the Proposed RMP. Topics are presented in the same order as in Chapter 3. Discussions of cumulative impacts, irretrievable and irreversible commitment of resources, unavoidable adverse impacts, and the relationship between local short-term and long-term uses concludes this chapter. The baseline data used for determining the potential impacts are the current resource conditions described in Chapter 3.

4.2 ANALYSIS BACKGROUND
4.2.1 Approach to the Analysis

This impact analysis identifies effects that result from a management action and discusses whether those effects would enhance and improve a given resource or would have the potential to degrade a resource. The analysis describes the actions that have direct and immediate effects, as well as those that result in indirect effects. If an activity or action is not addressed in a given section, no impacts are expected or the impact is expected to be negligible, based on existing knowledge. The detailed impact analyses and conclusions are based on the BLM’s knowledge of resources and the planning area, reviews of existing literature, and information provided by experts in the BLM, cooperating agencies, other agencies, interest groups, and concerned citizens. Impacts on resources and resource uses are analyzed and discussed in detail commensurate with resource issues and concerns identified throughout the process. Geographic information system (GIS) analyses and data from field investigations were used to quantify effects when possible. However, in the absence of quantitative data, qualitative information and best professional judgment were used. Acreage calculations and other numbers used in this analysis are approximate and provided for comparison and analytic purposes; they do not necessarily reflect exact, on-the-ground measurements. At times, impacts are described using ranges of potential impacts or in qualitative terms. Many management actions presented in Chapter 2 would not result in direct, on-the-ground changes. However, the analysis considers impacts that could eventually result in on-the ground changes, by planning for uses on BLM-administered surface estate and federal mineral estate during the life of the Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP). Impacts could occur from management of both BLMmanaged surface estate and federal mineral estate. BLM-administered federal minerals occur beneath surface estate managed by BLM as well as beneath surface estate within state or private jurisdiction (known as split-estate lands). Some BLM management actions may affect only certain resources and alternatives.

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4.2.2

Impact Analysis Terminology

This chapter describes the direct, indirect, and cumulative impact of implementing the DRMP/DEIS No Action Alternative and each of the four action alternatives including the Proposed RMP. Direct impacts are caused by an action and occur at the same time and place as the action. Indirect impacts are caused by the action and occur later or farther away but are still reasonably foreseeable. Cumulative impacts are the effects on the environment that result from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, or reasonably foreseeable future actions, regardless of which agency (federal or non-federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time. Impacts are also described as to their context, intensity, and duration. Context relates to environmental circumstances at the location and in the immediate vicinity of the impact, affected interests, and locality. Intensity refers to the severity or extent of the impact or the magnitude of change from existing conditions. Duration refers to the permanence or longevity of the impacts and is depicted as short term or long term. Short-term duration is defined as anticipated to begin and end within the first 5 years after the action is implemented. Long-term duration is defined as lasting more than 5 years.

4.2.3

Assumptions for Analysis

Assumptions regarding level of land use activity, resource condition, and resource response are made in the analysis. Potential impacts and their significance are determined based on these assumptions. The following assumptions were used in the analysis and apply to all DRMP/DEIS alternatives and the Proposed RMP, unless otherwise noted: • Management actions proposed in the DRMP/DEIS alternatives and the Proposed RMP would apply to BLM-administered public lands and resources only. However, cumulative impacts analyses consider potential actions by individuals or entities other than the BLM. The DRMP/DEIS alternatives and the Proposed RMP would be implemented as described in Chapter 2 and would be implemented in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and standard management guidelines. BLM policies, including Fundamentals of Rangeland Health and Standards and Guidelines for Grazing Administration, and Utah’s Standards for Rangeland Health (SRH) and Guidelines for Grazing Management would be applied as appropriate across all DRMP/DEIS alternatives and the Proposed RMP. Rangeland health would be assessed according to the Standards, and the Guidelines would provide strategies to achieve Standards and other desired resource conditions and management objectives. Funding would be available to implement the Proposed RMP, as described in Chapter 2. Appropriate maintenance would be carried out to maintain the functional capability of all developments (e.g., roads, fences, and other facilities). Restrictions or prohibitions on activities in specific areas would protect sensitive resources. Mitigation requirements would be applied as described and would prevent or limit direct impacts associated with land use activities or would result in reclamation of the land after the activity has been completed. Monitoring would be completed as indicated, and adjustments or revisions would be made as identified. The level of activity on BLM-administered land would increase. This expectation is based on historical trends, existing land use agreements such as leases or permits, and statements of interest in land use by individuals and industry organizations.

•

•

• • • •

• •

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Analysis Background Chapter 4

4.2.4

Availability of Data and Incomplete Information

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) require that agencies that evaluate, in an EIS, the reasonably foreseeable significant adverse effects on the human environment identify incomplete or unavailable information, if that information is essential to a reasoned choice among alternatives (43 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1502.22). As is typical in programmatic planning efforts, site-specific data are used to the extent possible but may not be entirely available. The best available information that is pertinent to management actions was used in developing this Proposed RMP. Considerable effort has been taken to acquire and convert resource data into digital format for use in this Proposed RMP. Data was acquired from both BLM and outside sources such as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR). However, certain information was unavailable for use in developing this Proposed RMP. The following types of data were unavailable for all or portions of the planning area: • • • • • • Field inventory of soils and water conditions Field inventory of wildlife and special status species (SSS) occurrence and condition Native American traditional use areas Baseline air quality data Baseline recreation data Surveys for cultural or paleontological resources.

For these resources (and others for which information was unavailable or incomplete), estimates were made regarding the number, type, and significance, based on previous surveys and existing knowledge. Additionally, some impacts cannot be quantified, given the proposed management actions. Where this gap occurs, impacts are projected in qualitative terms. In many situations, subsequent project-level analysis will provide the opportunity to collect and examine the site-specific inventory data required to determine appropriate application of RMP-level guidance. In addition, ongoing inventory efforts by BLM and other agencies within the planning area continue to update and refine information that will be used to implement this Proposed RMP.

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4.3 IMPACTS TO PHYSICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
4.3.1 Air Resources

This section presents the impacts on air resources from management actions for the resources and resource uses discussed in Chapter 2. Existing conditions concerning air resources are described in Chapter 3. A qualitative emission comparison approach was selected for the Richfield Proposed RMP analysis of impacts on air quality. This approach was selected because of uncertainties about the number, nature, and specific location of future sources and activities. The emissions calculations were based on the best available engineering data and assumptions; on air, visibility, and emission inventory procedures; and on professional and scientific judgment. However, assumptions were used when specific data or procedures were unavailable. A general statement about National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and Utah Ambient Air Quality Standards can be made for this qualitative analysis. This emission comparison approach is defensible and provides a sound basis for comparing base year air quality emissions with those expected to be produced from the alternatives. For any future project, BLM will utilize BMPs and site specific mitigation measures, as appropriate and based on site specific conditions, to reduce emissions and comply with local, state, tribal, and federally enforced legal requirements and standards. Impacts to air quality come primarily from sources outside the planning area, such as regional haze, or from activities on private lands within the planning area (including increased vehicle traffic on highways and roads and industrial development, such as coal-fired power plants) and are thus outside the scope of this Proposed RMP. However, short-term air quality effects could result from fugitive dust and smoke that both directly and indirectly relate to proposed management actions. Main sources of fugitive dust include vehicle and equipment use on unpaved roads, road construction and maintenance activities, and mineral operations. Main sources of smoke are wildland fire use and prescribed fires. Wildfire smoke is outside the scope of this document but will likely remain the largest source of emissions in the next 15 years. Global Climate Change The assessment of climate changing pollutant emissions and climate change is in its formative phase; therefore, it is not yet possible to know with confidence the net impact to climate. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) recently concluded that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and “most of the observed increase in globally average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic [man-made] greenhouse gas concentrations.” The lack of scientific tools designed to predict climate change on regional or local scales limits the ability to quantify potential future impacts. Currently BLM does not have an established mechanism to accurately predict the effect of resource management-level decisions from this planning effort on global climate change. However, potential impacts to air quality due to climate change are likely to be varied. For example, if global climate change results in a warmer and drier climate, increased particulate matter impacts could occur due to increased wind blown dust from drier and less stable soils. Cool season plant species’ spatial ranges are predicted to move north and to higher elevations, and extinction of endemic threatened/endangered plants may be accelerated. Due to loss of habitat, or due to competition from other

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species whose ranges may shift northward, the population of some animal species may be reduced. Less snow at lower elevations would be likely to impact the timing and quantity of snowmelt, which, in turn, could impact aquatic species. In the future, as tools for predicting climate changes in a management area improve and/or changes in climate affect resources and necessitate changes in how resources are managed, BLM may be able to re-evaluate decisions made as part of this planning process and adjust management accordingly. Methods and Assumptions The emissions inventory was developed for the RFO by using the best available information provided by the RFO about activities on BLM land. The calculations used emissions factors that are accepted and recognized by state and federal regulatory agencies. This analysis selected two time frames to evaluate future emissions. The time frames reflect the current base-year conditions and the long-term impacts. It is assumed that emission growth will always be constant and linear in time. The two inventory time frames are: • • Current emissions (using the year 2007 as a basis) 15-year potential emissions for the long term (2022).

The analysis is based on the following assumptions: • • • • • The emission factors recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (EPA 1995b) would be appropriate for all activities. Activity factors would be appropriate for the base year and in future time frames. Any anticipated growth in recreation would follow growth trends for Utah during the past 10 years. For the qualitative analysis, only emissions from BLM-administered activities would be included. Coal production would be stabilized at 13.9 million tons per year. Because underground coal mining does not have specific emissions factors, appropriate factors from surface mining facilities would be used. Hydrocarbon emissions, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), would include hazardous air pollutants (HAP).

•

The qualitative analysis used reasonable-but-conservative assumptions for air quality. When there were ranges of activity factors, the upper limit of the range was used to complete calculations for future time frames. BLM would consider performing quantitative dispersion modeling analyses for a project-specific EIS associated with a proposed project. Visibility is potentially affected by many factors (including emissions), so the qualitative emissions analysis cannot be used to assess potential visibility impacts on nearby Class I areas from activities within the decision area. However, implementation and compliance with the State Implementation Plan, specifically with Section XVII Visibility Protection, is expected to meet visibility goals under all management alternatives. In addition, site-specific EISs and environmental assessments (EA) will include a quantitative visibility analysis, if warranted by the project. Emissions were calculated for the following activities: conventional oil and coal mining, lands and realty actions, livestock grazing, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, resource roads use, salable mineral development, and vegetation management. Activities related to cultural resources, paleontology, recreation, transportation and access, OHV use, noxious weed control, wild horses, and fish and wildlife are assumed to be minor sources of air emissions.

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Impacts Common to the Proposed RMP and Draft Alternatives
Because this air quality analysis is qualitative, specific impacts of resource activities on air quality cannot be determined. However, it is BLM’s judgment that several resource programs (cultural resources, paleontology, forestry and woodlands, wild horses and burros, and fish and wildlife) have only minor or negligible impacts on air quality and will not be discussed further in this analysis. Impacts on air quality would not be anticipated from implementing actions for soil, water, and riparian; visual resources management (VRM); SSS; special designations (Wilderness Study Areas [WSA], Areas of Critical Environmental Concern [ACEC], Wild and Scenic Rivers [WSR]); other special designations; and hazardous materials and waste. Trucks and heavy equipment (e.g., fire engines, bulldozers) used in vegetation management and manipulation would produce dust when traveling over unpaved roads. Areas receiving vegetation treatment would also add to particulate matter (PM) emissions in the short term until the vegetation recovers sufficiently to stabilize exposed soil. Wildland and prescribed fires would cause short-term emissions of particulate matter and carbon monoxide (CO) that could spread over large portions of the RFO area, depending on the size of the fire and the wind conditions. In addition, the use of heavy equipment during fire suppression activities would result in particulate emissions (i.e., CO, nitrogen oxides [NOx], and VOCs). Livestock grazing and support of grazing activities, which include trucking of livestock into and out of the RFO and checking or constructing livestock range improvements and fences, generate vehicular exhaust emissions and dust. These emissions are produced by both construction activities and regular travel on unpaved and paved roads. The major recreation impact on air quality would be from OHV use. Use of equipment such as all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles would cause fugitive emissions of PM from traffic on unpaved trails, as well as causing vehicular emissions of PM, CO, NOx, and VOCs. This impact is expected to peak during weekends and holidays. The various construction activities authorized under lands and realty for rights-of-way (ROW) (e.g., wind power, communication sites, transmission lines, and pipeline projects) produce PM emissions. The main causes of short-term emissions are soil disturbing activities (e.g., grading, bulldozing, trench digging, traveling on unpaved roads). Exhaust emissions from vehicular travel and emissions from equipment use would also occur. Air emissions would be produced during all phases of oil development, including exploration, well development, production, and well abandonment and reclamation. During exploration and development, traffic on unpaved and paved roads would cause emissions of PM, CO, NOx, sulfur dioxide [SO2], and VOCs. In addition, during well development, drilling activities and construction activities would cause particulate emissions and gaseous emissions as a result of heavy equipment use. Air emissions would be produced during mining operations and reclamation activities. During mining activities, PM emissions would be produced from overburden removal, blasting, truck loading, bulldozing, grading, storage piles, railroad loading, and travel of heavy equipment over unpaved roads. Gaseous emissions from vehicular exhaust (CO, NOx, SO2, and VOCs) would occur from heavy equipment, trains, and vehicular travel.

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Base Year Emissions were calculated for all existing activities and oil well development for the base year (2007) to compare the potential increase in emissions from these activities over a 15-year time horizon (2022). Table 4-1 displays a summary of total emissions that BLM estimates for the base year (2007), broken down by activity. Emissions are calculated on an annual basis (tons per year). The total estimated emissions calculated for 2007 are 1,243 tons per year.

Table 4-1. Base Year Emission Summary
Activity PM10
Tons

PM2.5
Tons

NOx
Tons

SO2
Tons

CO
Tons

VOC
Tons

HAPsb
Tons

Oil Well Development and Exploration
Oil Well Construction Oil Well Operations Oil Well Maintenance Subtotal: Oil Well 21 0 0 21 5 0 0 5 61 3 0 64 3 0 0 3 36 1 0 37 4 0 0 4 0 0 0 0

Non-Oil Well Activities
Coal Mininga Lands and Realty Livestock Grazing OHVs
a

111 18 5 5 0 26 5 171 192

111 3 1 5 0 5 1 125 131

142 1 3 2 0 0 0 148 213

16 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 19

251 0 7 353 0 0 0 611 648

13 0 0 153 0 0 0 166 171

1 0 0 15 0 0 0 16 16

Resource Roads Salable Minerals Vegetation Subtotal: Non-Oil Well Activities Grand Total
a b

PM2.5 assumed = PM10 for this activity HAPs assumed = VOCs * 0.1 Note: The values in this table may not sum exactly due to rounding.

Alternative N: No Action
Emissions Calculations Table 4-2 summarizes total and specific pollutant emissions for Alternative N. These emissions have been estimated for the base-year time frame (2007) and for the 15-year time horizon (2022). Under this alternative, total emissions would increase from the base-year level of 1,243 tons of pollutants per year to 2,250 tons per year by 2022. Given the low ambient concentrations for some pollutants that exist in the RFO, it is expected that the increase in emissions of CO, NOx, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 for Alternative N would not cause concentrations to exceed NAAQS or state ambient air quality standards.

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Table 4-2. Alternative N Emissions Summary
Activity PM10
Tons

PM2.5
Tons

NOx
Tons

SO2
Tons

CO
Tons

VOC
Tons

HAPsb
Tons

Oil Well Development and Exploration
Oil Well Construction Oil Well Operations Oil Well Maintenance Subtotal: Oil Well 44 8 0 52 13 2 0 15 247 44 0 292 6 1 0 7 60 10 0 70 12 1 0 13 1 0 0 1

Non-Oil Well Activities
Coal Mininga Lands and Realty Livestock Grazing OHVs
a

111 18 5 11 0 26 5 177 229

111 2 1 11 0 5 1 131 146

142 1 3 5 0 0 151 443

16 0 0 0 0 16 23

252 0 7 877 0 0 1,136 1,206

13 0 0 322 0 0 335 348

1 0 0 32 0 0 33 35

Resource Roads Salable Minerals Vegetation Sub-total: Non-Oil Well Activities Grand Total: Alternative N Development
a b

PM2.5 assumed = PM10 for this activity HAPs = assumed = VOCs * 0.1 Note: The values in this table may not sum exactly due to rounding.

Impacts from Air Quality, Soil Resources, and Water Resources Application of best management practices (BMP) (as listed in Appendix 14) and specific mitigation measures identified in activity-level planning and NEPA-level review would prevent or reduce impacts to air quality. Mitigation during surface-disturbing projects would reduce or eliminate the potential for fugitive dust. Impacts from Vegetation and Fire and Fuels Management Wildland fires are a source of air pollutant emissions during combustion of vegetation. The amount of emissions depends on the size and intensity of the fire, the fuel type and moisture content, and the available fuel load. The level of resulting air quality impact depends on the amount and duration of emissions, atmospheric dispersions conditions, and terrain. Under the Proposed RMP and DRMP/DEIS Alternatives, BLM intends to comply with the Utah Smoke Management Plan (Utah Department of Air Quality [UDAQ] 2003); implementing actions and mitigations designed to minimize impacts from both wildland fire and prescribed fire. Alternative N, under the 2005 Land Use Plan Amendment for Fire and Fuels Management, allows for the full range of fire- and fuels-management actions to achieve ecosystem sustainability. This alternative allows a wide range of vegetation treatment (including mechanical, wildland or prescribed fire, and chemical methods). Some of the treatment methods proposed (e.g., mechanical, chemical) would result in localized and short-term impacts to air quality, including fugitive dust, emission/exhaust from equipment, and chemical fumes. The use of naturally ignited wildland fire and prescribed fire would result in smoke

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emissions in the immediate area. In general, these impacts would be minor, although moderate-intensity impacts could be experienced in the immediate vicinity of the treatment areas. The effects on air quality from wildland fires would potentially be of longer duration than those from planned ignitions, depending on the vegetation types involved. Wildland fires would result in greater, direct impacts resulting from smoke and fire abatement efforts. Indirect impacts from wildfires could stem from reduced or eliminated vegetation cover, which would expose the underlying soil to wind and water erosion. Until the area revegetated, that erosion would increase levels of fugitive dust (in the short term) during wind events. Alternative N's wildland fire use, prescribed fire, and non-fire fuel treatments would minimize smoke and other emissions in the short term but could result in increased fuel build-up, more frequent and larger wildland fires, and greater emissions in the long term, until enough treatment has occurred to bring ecosystems within properly functioning parameters. Impacts from Travel Management OHV use impacts air quality by increasing fugitive dust levels, particularly in heavily used areas during times of drought, when soil is drier and the potential to generate dust is greater. Because OHV use contributes to air impairments from fugitive dust and vehicular exhaust emissions, closing areas to crosscountry, OHV use—except for authorized administrative and emergency purposes—and limiting travel to designated routes would limit impacts to air quality. OHV emissions would be minimal or nonexistent on 214,000 acres (10%) of the RFO that are closed to motorized vehicle use, although some emissions could be transported from adjacent routes along the boundaries of such areas. The public would have access to 4,315 miles of unpaved routes in the RFO under Alternative N. Use of these routes would continue to create localized air pollution. Because of their often rough condition, unimproved routes help keep vehicle speeds down, further reducing the levels of dust. Route-maintenance activities, although minimal and designed solely to correct those conditions that are unsafe or hazardous, would also result in fugitive dust. Watering and the use of chemical dust suppressants would greatly reduce the amount of dust emissions. Closing 65 miles of routes would result in reduced amounts of OHV emissions within the immediate vicinity of the closed routes. Overall impacts to air quality from travel on unpaved routes and maintenance or improvement activities would be localized and short term and could be rated from negligible to minor. Under Alternative N, motor vehicles would be limited to existing, designated, and maintained routes on 277,600 acres (13%) of the RFO. Because the vast majority of routes are unpaved, use of these routes would result in fugitive dust. In addition, 1,636,400 acres (77%) of public lands would be open to motorized cross-country vehicle use under Alternative N. Vehicle use, specifically OHV use, in open areas compared to designated and existing routes has the potential to cause the greatest amount of direct impacts to air quality. These impacts on the overall air quality of the planning area would be negligible to minor, depending upon the level of use, speed of vehicle, and climatic conditions (e.g., amount of wind, humidity, soil moisture). Route-maintenance activities, which would be limited to existing route types, maintenance levels, and frequencies, would also result in emissions. Watering and the use of chemical dust suppressants would greatly reduce the amount of dust emissions from maintenance and on haul roads from gravel pits, mines, and oil drilling sites. Impacts from Minerals and Energy Air quality could be impacted during all phases of oil and gas development, including exploration, well development, production, and well abandonment. Equipment used for exploration and development emits PM, CO, NOx, SO2, and VOCs, including HAPs. Heavy equipment used in well development, drilling, and construction activities could cause increases in PM and tailpipe emissions. Additionally, vehicle traffic on unpaved roads could cause increases in fugitive dust. Oil and gas production could cause

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emissions of PM, CO, NOx, SO2, and VOCs, including HAPs. Glycol operations and flashing activities could produce PM, SO2, NOx, and VOCs. Additionally, flaring of gases would impact air quality from produced methane, hydrogen sulfide, soot or PM, CO, and NOx. Adherence to BMPs outlined in mining laws, plans of operation, pertinent restrictions, and standard terms and conditions would help minimize such impacts (Appendices 10 and 14). Closing 459,700 acres to fluids mineral leasing, withdrawing 169,480 acres to mineral entry, and closing 459,700 acres to mineral material disposal would virtually eliminate emissions from mineral management within those areas. Overall impacts to air quality would be minor.

Alternative A
Emissions Calculations Table 4-3 summarizes total and specific pollutant emissions for Alternative A. The total emissions for this alternative would increase from the base-year level of 1,243 tons per year of pollutants to 2,271 tons per year by 2022. Although the differences are small, Alternative A has the largest increase along with the Proposed RMP. Emissions would also increase relative to the No Action Alternative. Given the low ambient concentrations that exist in the RFO for some pollutants, it is expected that the increase in emissions of CO, NOx, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 for Alternative A would not cause concentrations to exceed NAAQS or state ambient air quality standards.

Table 4-3. Alternative A Emissions Summary
Activity PM10
Tons

PM2.5
Tons

NOx
Tons

SO2
Tons

CO
Tons

VOC
Tons

HAPsb
Tons

Oil Well Development and Exploration
Oil Well Construction Oil Well Operations Oil Well Maintenance Subtotal: Oil Wells 44 8 0 52 13 2 0 15 247 44 0 291 6 1 0 7 60 10 0 70 12 1 0 13 1 0 0 1

Non-Oil Well Activities
Coal Mininga Lands and Realty Livestock Grazing OHVs
a

111 18 5 11 0 26 26 198 250

111 3 1 11 0 5 4 135 150

142 1 3 5 0 0 152 443

16 0 0 0 0 16 23

252 0 7 877 0 0 1,136 1,206

13 0 0 322 0 0 335 348

1 0 0 32 0 0 33 35

Resource Roads Salable Minerals Vegetation Sub-total: Non-Oil Well Activities Grand Total: Alternative A Development
a b

PM2.5 assumed = PM10 for this activity. Assumed = VOCs * 0.1 Note: The values in this table may not sum exactly due to rounding.

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Impacts from Air Quality, Soil Resources, and Water Resources Impacts would be the same as those described under Alternative N. Impacts from Vegetation and Fire and Fuels Management The types of impacts experienced as a result of vegetation and fire and fuels management would be similar to those described under Alternative N; although under Alternative A, maximum acreage limits would be set (averaging 73,600 annually for all treatments). Although no maximum treatment acreage limits exist under Alternative N, it is likely that more acres would actually be treated under that alternative in some years (active fire years) because Alternative N generally employs full use of wildland fire and allows for treatment of vegetation to reduce hazardous fuel and to restore ecosystem function. Impacts to air quality under Alternative A would likely result in reduced smoke and other emissions in the short term (compared to Alternative N) but would also likely result in increased fuel build-up, more frequent and larger wildland fires, and increased emissions in the long term. Impacts from Travel Management The types of impacts experienced as a result of travel-management decisions under Alternative A would be similar to those described under Alternative N. OHV use, which contributes to air impairments from fugitive dust and exhaust emissions, would continue on public lands within the RFO. Under Alternative A, motorized vehicles would be limited to designated routes on 1,679,000 acres (79%) of the RFO; 449,000 acres (21%) of public lands would be open to cross-country motorized vehicle use; and no areas would be closed to motorized use. The amount of open areas, although greatly reduced compared to Alternative N, would still result in the potential for air quality impacts (e.g., fugitive dust, emissions) from vehicle use in and near such areas. The remainder of the RFO would limit motorized use to designated routes (no areas would be closed). The public would have access to 4,312 miles of unpaved routes (slightly more than Alternative N), which could result in increased impacts to air quality. The BLM would close 68 miles of routes (slightly more than those closed in Alternative N). Impacts from route maintenance or improvement activities would be the same as those described under Alternative N. Overall impacts to air quality would be negligible to minor, depending upon the level of use, speed of vehicle, and climatic conditions (e.g., amount of wind, humidity, soil moisture). Impacts from Minerals and Energy Under Alternative A, similar amounts of BLM lands would be closed to fluid mineral leasing (446,900 acres), withdrawn from mineral location (154,700 acres), and closed to mineral material disposal (446, 900 acres) as proposed under Alternative N. Thus, impacts would be similar to those under Alternative A.

Proposed RMP
Emissions Calculations Table 4-4 summarizes total and specific pollutant emissions for the Proposed RMP. The total emissions for this alternative would increase from the base-year level of 1,243 tons of pollutants per year to 2,271 tons per year by 2022, equivalent to Alternative A. Total emissions would also increase, relative to the No Action Alternative. Given the low ambient concentrations that exist in the RFO for some pollutants, it is expected that the increase in emissions of CO, NOx, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 for the Proposed RMP would not cause concentrations to exceed NAAQS or state ambient air quality standards.

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Table 4-4. Proposed RMP Emissions Summary
Activity PM10
Tons

PM2.5
Tons

NOx
Tons

SO2
Tons

CO
Tons

VOC
Tons

HAPsb
Tons

Oil Well Development and Exploration
Oil Well Construction Oil Well Operations Oil Well Maintenance Subtotal: Oil Wells 44 8 0 52 13 2 0 15 247 44 0 292 6 1 0 7 60 10 0 70 12 1 0 13 1 0 0 1

Non-Oil Well Activities
Coal Mininga Lands and Realty Livestock Grazing OHVs
a

111 18 5 11 0 26 26 198 250

111 3 1 11 0 5 4 135 150

142 1 3 5 0 0 151 443

16 0 0 0 0 16 23

252 0 7 877 0 0 1,136 1,206

13 0 0 322 0 0 335 348

1 0 0 32 0 0 33 35

Resource Roads Salable Minerals Vegetation Subtotal: Non-Oil Well Activities Grand Total: Proposed RMP Development
a b

PM2.5 assumed = PM10 for this activity Assumed = VOCs * 0.1 Note: The values in this table may not sum exactly due to rounding.

Impacts from Air Quality, Soil Resources, and Water Resources Impacts would the same as those described under Alternative N. Impacts from Vegetation and Fire and Fuels Management Impacts would the same as those described under Alternative A. Impacts from Travel Management The types of impacts experienced as a result of travel management decisions under the Proposed RMP would be similar to those described under Alternative N. OHV use, which contributes to air impairments from fugitive dust and exhaust emissions, would continue on public lands within the RFO. Under the Proposed RMP, motorized vehicles would be limited to designated routes on 1,908,210 acres (90%) of the RFO; 9,890 acres (less than 1%) would be open to motorized vehicle use; and 209,900 acres (10%) would be closed to motorized use. Although motorized vehicle use would be limited to designated routes on a similar number of acres as Alternative A, substantially fewer areas would be open to motorized vehicle use under the Proposed RMP; thereby eliminating impacts from vehicle use i