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[Federal Register: March 21, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 55)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13949-13950]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21mr03-82]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[CA-610-1610-DP]

 
West Mojave Planning Area; California Desert Conservation Area 
Plan and Enviromental Assessment Off-Road Vehicle Designations

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of draft amendment to the California 
Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for off-road vehicle designations in West Mojave Planning Area.

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SUMMARY: Off-road vehicle designations are being considered by the 
California Desert District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for 
the West Mojave Desert Planning Area in accordance with the criteria 
and procedures of 43 Code of Federal Regulations subpart 8342. These 
designations, when approved by BLM, will amend the existing 
designations established under the CDCA plan in the West Mojave Area. 
This planning area encompasses approximately 3.3 million acres of 
public land managed by the BLM's California Desert District, located in 
Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties in southern 
California.

DATES: This notice initiates the public review process on the Draft 
Off-Road Vehicle Designation Plan Amendment and EA. The public is 
invited to review and comment on the document. The comment period will 
end 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. 
Comments on the Draft Plan Amendment should be received on or before 
the end of the comment period at the address listed below.
    Written comments should be sent to the Bureau of Land Management, 
California Desert District Office, Attn. West Mojave Plan Staff, 22835 
Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553. For comments to 
be most helpful they should relate to specific concerns or conflicts 
that are within the legal responsibilities of the BLM and are feasible 
to be resolved in this planning process.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the BLM 
California Desert District Office, the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 
South Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, California 93555, and the BLM Barstow 
Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, California 92311during 
regular business hours from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except holidays. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. If 
you wish to withhold your name or street address from public review or 
from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must state 
this prominently at the beginning of your written comment. Such 
requests will be honored to the extent allowed by law. All submissions 
from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The West Mojave Off-Road Vehicle 
Designations would establish a network of motorized vehicle routes that 
would provide access to more than 3.3 million acres of public lands 
administered by the BLM within Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles and San 
Bernardino Counties, all of which are within the State of California. 
The BLM's Ridgecrest and Barstow field offices administer most of these 
public lands. A small amount of acreage administered by the BLM's 
Needles and Palm Springs field offices is also affected. All public 
lands are within the California Desert Conservation Area, and all lie 
within the jurisdiction of the BLM's California Desert District.
    Motorized vehicle access would be provided for recreational and 
commercial pursuits, and to enable private property owners to visit 
their lands. The network was developed with the assistance of the 
public, and was based upon the results of a comprehensive field 
inventory that identified the location of routes, type of routes, and 
destination points. The network is designed to be compatible with the 
conservation of the desert's natural and cultural resources, including 
sensitive plants and animals.
    The West Mojave Off-Road Vehicle Designations would complement the 
bioregional conservation strategy that is currently being developed for 
these same public lands through the West Mojave planning process. A 
``West Mojave Plan'' plan is being prepared by the BLM in collaboration 
with state agencies and local jurisdictions. When completed, it will 
present strategies for conserving the threatened desert tortoise, the 
Mohave ground squirrel and nearly 100 other sensitive species,

[[Page 13950]]

while providing a streamlined program for compliance with the 
California and federal endangered species acts. The West Mojave Off-
Road Vehicle Designations have been closely coordinated with the 
preparation of the West Mojave Plan, to ensure that they are mutually 
compatible. An Environmental Impact Statement for the West Mojave Plan 
will be available for a 90-day public review during the spring of 2003. 
The West Mojave Plan EIS will review the impacts of the West Mojave 
Off-Road Vehicle Designations to ensure that any additional cumulative 
impacts resulting from the West Mojave Plan are addressed. A final 
decision regarding the West Mojave Off-Road Vehicle Designations will 
be made by the end of June 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to our mailing list, contact William Haigh, Project 
Manager, at (760) 252-6080 (Phone), e-mail at whaigh@ca.blm.gov.

    Dated: February 20, 2003.
Linda Hansen,
District Manager, California Desert District.
[FR Doc. 03-6779 Filed 3-20-03; 8:45 am]

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