[Federal Register: April 22, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 77)]
[Page 21034-21035]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Agua Fria 
National Monument and Bradshaw-Harquahala Resource Management Plan/
Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability 
of the Record of Decision (ROD)/Approved Resource Management Plan (RMP) 
for the Agua Fria National Monument and Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning 
Area, located in central Arizona. The Arizona State Director has signed 
the ROD on April 22, 2010, which constitutes the final decision of the 
BLM and makes the Approved RMP effective immediately.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD/Approved RMP are available upon request 
from the Field Manager, Hassayampa Field Office, Bureau of Land 
Management, 21605 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85027 or via the 
Internet at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/planning/afria_plan.html. 
Copies of the ROD/Approved RMP are available for public inspection at 
the Hassayampa Field Office, the BLM Arizona State Office, and at 
public libraries in Phoenix (Central Avenue branch), Prescott, Peoria, 
Black Canyon City, Mayer, and Wickenburg. Interested persons may also 
review the ROD/Approved RMP on the Internet at http:// www.blm.gov/az/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Steven 
Cohn, Field Manager, telephone 623-580-5500; address Bureau of Land 
Management, Hassayampa Field Office, 21605 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix, 
Arizona 85027; or e-mail AZ_AFNM_BRADSHAW@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Through communication media such as 
meetings, newsletters, and news releases, the BLM described 
opportunities for the public to identify issues that needed to be 
addressed and to participate in the development of plan alternatives. 
The public also provided comments during the 90-day public comment 
period on the Draft RMP/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
which were addressed in the Final EIS. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS was 
developed in cooperation with the following agencies: The U.S. Bureau 
of Reclamation, the Prescott National Forest, the Tonto National 
Forest, the Luke Air Force Base, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, 
the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway 
Administration, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, the City of Peoria, 
and the City of Phoenix. The BLM also conducted consultation with 
Indian tribes who have oral traditions or cultural concerns relating to 
the planning area or who are documented as having occupied or used 
portions of the planning area during prehistoric or historic times.
    The Agua Fria National Monument includes 70,900 acres of BLM-
administered lands. The Approved RMP for the Monument provides for the 
protection of the significant cultural and natural resources that were 
identified as objects in the Presidential Proclamation establishing the 
Agua Fria National Monument. The Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning Area 
encompasses 896,100 surface acres of BLM-administered lands. In 
addition to the surface acres, there are 346,300 acres of BLM-
administered mineral estate, with non-Federal surface ownership, within 
the boundaries of the planning area. The Hassayampa Field Office also 
administers another 181,200 acres of mineral estate in Coconino County 
in northern Arizona, which are addressed in the Approved RMP. The 
Approved RMP includes strategies for protecting and preserving the 
biological, cultural, recreational, geological, educational, 
scientific, and scenic values that balance multiple uses of the BLM-
administered lands throughout the area.
    The Bradshaw-Harquahala ROD and Approved RMP identify four new 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): Tule Creek ACEC (640 
acres); Vulture Mountain ACEC (6,120 acres); Black Butte ACEC (8,260 
acres); and Harquahala Mountains ACEC (74,950 acres). The following 
types of resource-use limitations generally apply to these ACECs: (1) 
Allowable uses are limited to those which are compatible with the 
important natural or cultural resources for which the area is 
designated; (2) recreation facilities are limited to projects that 
protect ACEC values; (3) travel is permitted only on designated open 
and signed routes; and (4) no new mineral material disposal sites would 
be authorized. Detailed information is described in the Special 
Designations section of the Approved RMP.
    The Agua Fria National Monument ROD and Approved RMP remove 
designations of the Perry Mesa ACEC and the Larry Canyon ACEC, 
established in the Phoenix RMP (1988). The protective management 
prescriptions for the two ACECs are incorporated into the ROD and 
Approved RMP, or in the case of lands and minerals actions, are more 
restrictive under the ROD and Approved RMP.
    The Preferred Alternative in the Draft RMP/Draft EIS (published 
January 6, 2006) was revised to address comments received during the 
90-day public comment period. The resultant alternative became the 
Proposed Plan in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, published on August 8, 
2008 and has been carried forward as the Approved RMP. Six protests 
were received during the 30-day protest period following the release of 
the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. These protests were dismissed or denied by 
the BLM Director. Minor clarifications and changes between the Proposed 
Plan/Final EIS and the ROD/Approved Plan include change to text to 
clarify certain decisions, provide an additional map of the Black 
Canyon utility corridor, and make minor corrections to Proposed RMP 
Maps 2-83, 2-84, 2-86 and 2-90. Depictions of potential route 
designations have been deleted from these maps, as the Approved RMP 
does not contain route designations for the Bradshaw-Harquahala 
Planning Area. Route designations will be addressed in a future phase 
of plan implementation with opportunities for public participation.
    The BLM has determined that the Approved RMP for the Agua Fria 
National Monument provides for long-

[[Page 21035]]

term protection of the Monument's objects, while allowing for 
authorized uses, recreation activities, scientific studies, and 
interpretive facilities that are consistent with the protection of 
monument values. The Approved RMP for the Bradshaw-Harquahala Planning 
Area provides an optimal balance between authorized resource use and 
the protection and long-term sustainability of sensitive resources 
within the planning area.
    The Arizona Governor's Office did not identify any inconsistencies 
between the Proposed RMP/Final EIS and state or local plans, policies, 
and programs following the 60-day Governor's Consistency Review 
(initiated April 15, 2008) in accordance with planning regulations at 
43 CFR 1610.3-2(e).
    The Approved RMP for the Agua Fria National Monument contains 
implementation level decisions that identify individual roads and 
trails within designated areas as open, closed, or limited. These 
decisions, which are contained in Appendix C of the Approved RMP, are 
appealable under 43 CFR part 4. Any party adversely affected by an 
implementation decision may appeal within 30 days of publication of 
this Notice of Availability pursuant to 43 CFR, part 4, subpart E. The 
appeal should state the specific route(s), as identified in Appendix C 
of the Approved RMP, on which the decision is being appealed. The 
appeal must be filed with the Hassayampa Field Manager at the above-
listed address. Please consult the appropriate regulations (43 CFR, 
part 4, subpart E) for further appeal requirements.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6.

James G. Kenna,
Arizona State Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-9177 Filed 4-21-10; 8:45 am]