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BLM Seeks Comments on Proposed Marine Corps Withdrawal

BLM Barstow Field Manager Roxie Trost said the lands remain open to public access and recreation use while these studies are underway.  She explained that the lands have been segregated or unavailable for settlement, sale, and location of mining claims since September 2008, when the Marines began the legislative withdrawal process to expand the base in San Bernardino County.  Today's action provides more time for the preparation of an environmental impact statement on the base expansion proposal. A draft EIS is expected to be released in January 2011.

A 90-day comment period on the proposal closes December 13, 2010. Comments should be sent to Ms. Roxie Trost, BLM Barstow Office Field Manager, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, California 92311.  A notice of the proposed withdrawal was published in today's Federal Register, and is available online at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/fed_reg_archives.html

In 2008, the Department of the Navy filed an application requesting the Secretary of the Interior to process a proposed withdrawal of public lands for military training and exercises.  Several thousand comments were received generally supporting military operations, but others expressing concerns about loss of public access into Johnson Valley, a popular off-highway vehicle recreation area. Those comments will be addressed in the draft EIS.

For more information, contact Ms. Roxie Trost, BLM Barstow Office Field Manager, 760-252-6000 or Mr. Rusty Lee, BLM Needles Office Field Manager, at 760-326-7000.

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Public Workshop Announced for Piute Travel Management Plan

The first meeting will be held on October 7, 2010, at the Kernville Odd Fellows Hall at 50 Tobias Street, Kernville, CA, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Subsequent meeting dates and potential field trips will be discussed at this first meeting.

The travel management planning process for the Piute Mountains was put on hold after the Piute Fire burned through the area in July 2008 to allow this area to recover. The Forest Service is now reinitiating the process by organizing a stakeholder group to collaboratively develop a mutually acceptable proposal for the forest transportation system in the Piute Mountains.

If you are interested in being an active participant of the working group, or would like to learn more about the Piute Mountains Travel Management Planning Process, please plan to attend the initial meeting.

For more information, please contact Warren Niemi, Team Leader at (559)784-1500 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you are interested in actively participating in this collaborative effort, please contact Anna West at (415) 391-7900, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by October 1st.

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BLM Seeks Input on Revised Historic Preservation Agreement

The programmatic agreement was signed in 1997 between the BLM and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.  The agreement guides BLM’s planning and decision making as it affects historic properties as defined under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).  The law requires BLM to consider, plan for, protect, and enhance historic properties and other resources that may be affected by its actions.

Among other things, the draft revised programmatic agreement emphasizes the requirement for the BLM to consult with tribes in order to obtain their views on the potential effects of actions on resources of significance to tribes and  resolution of any adverse effects stemming from those actions.  The proposed revision requires tribal consultation on BLM-State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) protocols for alternative NHPA consultation among BLM and SHPOs under the agreement.  It also adds the BLM national tribal coordinator to the BLM Preservation Board that advises the BLM on policies and procedures for NHPA implementation.

“When examining proposals for activities on the public lands, we must be mindful of our unique relationship with the tribes and carefully consider their views and concerns,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “Through consultation and with a spirit of mutual respect and understanding, we can help preserve treasured resources on public lands for generations to come.”

Comments on the draft revised programmatic agreement are due November 1, 2010, and can be submitted electronically to Robin Burgess, Ph.D., BLM’s Preservation Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by mail to Richard C. Hanes, Ph.D., Division Chief of Cultural, Paleontological Resources and Tribal Consultation, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street, NW, (Mail Stop-204LS), Washington, DC, 20240.

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Clear Creek Management Area Comment Period Re-opened

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sky Murphy, BLM Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, California 95023, (831) 630-5039.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The original Notice of Availability provided for comments on the Draft RMP/Draft EIS to be received through March 5, 2010. The BLM is re-opening the comment period in response to and in light of the land use restrictions considered in the plan. Comments on the Draft RMP and EIS will now be accepted through April 19, 2010.


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Public Invited to Comment on Draft Plan for Imperial Sand Dunes

Daniel Steward, acting BLM's El Centro Field manager, said the RAMP/EIS outlines future management of public lands administered by BLM in the 160,000-acre Dunes located in eastern Imperial County. The public assisted BLM in identifying key land use issues in this area through a formal scoping process conducted in 2008.

The draft RAMP/EIS analyzes the environmental impacts of many land management issues, including recreation, renewable energy, and species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including the threatened Peirson's milk-vetch. A range of alternatives are analyzed in the RAMP/EIS, including closure of areas designated as critical habitat by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to off-highway vehicle use.

The BLM has scheduled the following public meetings:
Tuesday, April 13th – San Diego, CA
Handlery Hotel
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA  92108

Wednesday, April 14th – El Centro, CA
Imperial Irrigation District William R. Condit Meeting Room
1285 Broadway
El Centro, CA  92243

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