ePlanning Arizona Strip Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment related to the Kanab Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern  
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07/16/2018 12:29:18 MDT
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona Strip Field Office, St. George, Utah, intends to amend a portion of the Arizona Strip Field Office (ASFO) Resource Management Plan (RMP) related to the Kanab Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The BLM will incorporate the analysis for the RMP amendment into a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lake Powell Pipeline Project. FERC is the lead agency and the BLM is a cooperating agency. FERC's EIS will analyze the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline Project and the proposed RMP amendment to consider allowing development of the Lake Powell Pipeline within the Kanab Creek ACEC. By this notice the BLM is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues pursuant to BLM's land use planning regulations.

The planning area is located in Coconino and Mohave Counties, Arizona in a portion (900 acres) of the Kanab Creek ACEC. 

Approximately 1 mile of the proposed pipeline would run within an existing utility corridor, designated by the BLM pursuant to Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which overlaps a portion of the ACEC. Approximately 0.5 mile of the proposed pipeline would run inside the ACEC, but outside the existing utility corridor; this pipeline route is proposed due to steep rugged terrain which could be avoided by routing the pipeline outside of the utility corridor. The ASFO RMP encourages new utility rights-of-way (ROW) to be located within the utility corridor to the greatest extent possible. However, the ASFO RMP also established ACECs as “avoidance areas” for new ROWs. The BLM proposes to amend the ASFO RMP to: (1) Resolve the conflict between the designated Section 368 utility corridor and the ACEC decisions; and (2) Determine whether to allow the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline outside of the utility corridor, and if so, change the visual resource management class for that portion of the ACEC from Class II (where changes to the landscape should be low) to either Class III or Class IV in order to be compatible with utility development.

The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the planning process. Preliminary issues for the RMP amendment area have been identified by BLM personnel; Federal, State, and local agencies; and other stakeholders. These issues include: Cultural resources, specifically tribal resources and values; special status species; riparian habitat; visual resources; special designations (i.e., Kanab Creek ACEC); and lands and realty, specifically the existing designated utility corridor—Corridor No. 113-116. The analysis will also consider mitigation.

Public scoping meetings will be held to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis.  The BLM invites members of the public to attend the meetings in Fredonia, AZ and St. George, UT.

Public Scoping Meeting Locations

Fredonia, AZ                                               St. George, UT
Tuesday, July 17, 2018                                Wednesday, July 18, 2018
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. (AZ Time)                             5 p.m. - 8 p.m.  (UT Time)
Fredonia Elementary School Gym               Dixie Center - Entrada Room
222 N. 200 E.                                               1835 Convention Center Drive
Fredonia, AZ 86022                                     St. George, UT 84790

In addition to the scoping meetings, the BLM plans to host an Economic Strategies Workshop to discuss regional economic and social conditions and trends to the RMP Amendment.

Economic Strategies Workshop

Pipe Spring, AZ
Thursday , July 19, 2018
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. (AZ Time)
Kaibab Village Community Center
2230 N. Pipe Spring 
Fredonia, AZ 86022

You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria related to the Kanab Creek ACEC RMP amendment by any of the following methods:This Website: Comment Submissions Email: BLM_AZ_ASFO_comments@blm.gov.
Fax: 435-688-3258 
Mail: BLM, Arizona Strip Field Office, Attention: Lorraine Christian/Kanab Creek ACEC RMP Amendment, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah 84790-6714.  

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your comment to withhold your personally-identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.