Message #266:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: BLM Kearny/Casa Grande Land Exchange Public Hearings July 21-23
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 20:03:10 -0700


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Bureau of Land Management [AZA-28350]

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Plan Amendment to the Phoenix and 
Safford District Resource Management Plans Combined With an 
Environmental Impact Statement Analyzing the Impacts of the Proposed
Exchange of Approximately 10,336 Acres of Public Land Near Kearny,
Arizona
and 640 Acres of Federal Mineral Estate Near Casa Grande, Arizona for
Private Lands of Equal Appraised Value in Central and Western Arizona

agency: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.
action: Notice of intent.
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summary: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be directing the 
preparation of a combined plan amendment and an environmental impact
statement (EIS) for the exchange of public lands near Kearny and Casa
Grande, Arizona for private lands of equal value (approximately 8,994
acres) in central and western Arizona. The plan amendment/EIS will
consider
amending the Phoenix and Safford District Resource Management Plans
under
BLM planning regulations (43 CFR part 1600) for the purpose of
exchanging
public lands pursuant to Section 206 of the Federal Land Policy and
Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1617) as amended. The exchange has
been
proposed by ASARCO Incorporated to support mining operations and mineral
development.

    1. Description of the proposed planning action: In response to an
exchange proposal, the plan amendment will consider amending the 
Phoenix and Safford District Resource Management Plans, specifically
considering whether to change the land tenure decision for 10,336 acres
from retention and management as public lands to disposal by exchange.
    2. Identification of the geographic areas involved: The plan 
amendment involves 10,336 acres near Kearny, Arizona, most situated 
within the White Canyon Resource Conservation Area currently managed by
the
BLM Phoenix Field Office. The proposed land exchange involves these same
acres plus 640 acres near Casa Grande for a total of 10,976 acres.
    3. Alternatives to be analyzed: At a minimum, the no action 
alternative and an alternative that considers the proposed action will
be
analyzed.
    4. General types of issues anticipated: The planning area and 
proposed land exchange involves issues related to the natural and 
cultural values and uses of the public lands in question. Issues to be
fully analyzed involve impacts on water resources, native vegetation,
wilderness, riparian areas, wildlife, recreation, socioeconomics, public
access, grazing allotments, county tax base, minerals, and cultural
resources.
    5. Disciplines to be represented and used to prepare the 
environmental impact statement: Hydrology, biology, botany, wildlife,
recreation, realty, range, socioeconomics, geology, and archaeology.
    6. The kind and extent of public participation: Public open houses
scoping meetings will be held at: Kearny Open House, July 21, 1997 4 to
8
p.m., Constitution Hall (Senior Citizen Center), 912 East Tilbury Drive,
Kearny, Arizona (520-363-5547); Mesa Open House, July 22, 1997 4 to 8
p.m.,
Mesa Community Center, Rendezvous Center, 201 North Center Street, Mesa,
Arizona (602-644-2178); Kingman Open House, July 23, 1997 4 to 8 p.m.,
Council Chambers, City of Kingman Council Building, 310 North 4th
Street,
Kingman, Arizona (520-753-8102).

dates: Public comments may be submitted during the public meeting or in
writing to the address below. Public

[[Page 33675]]

comments will be accepted if postmarked by August 4, 1997.

addresses: Written comments concerning the plan amendment/EIS should be
submitted to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Shela McFarlin, Project
Manager, Arizona State Office (AZ-917), 222 N. Central, Phoenix, Arizona
85004.

for further information contact; Shela McFarlin, at the above address,
phone (602) 417-9568.

supplementary information: Federal (public) lands (in Pinal and Gila
counties) being analyzed for exchange include federal mineral estate
(2,780
acres) and federal surface and mineral estate (8,196 acres). Most of
these
parcels surround the Ray Mine and Hayden Complex operated by ASARCO
Incorporated; or, these consist of future prospects for mineral
development, including 640 acres near Casa Grande. The non-federal lands
to
be offered to the BLM include high resource values such as: wilderness
inholdings or areas adjacent to the Mt. Tipton and New Water Wilderness,
hydroriparian zone along the Gila River, desert tortoise category I and
II
habitat, and checkerboard inholdings within the McCracken Area of
Critical
Environmental concern. These parcels are located within Mohave (mainly),
Gila and LaPaz counties.

    The plan amendment/EIS will be developed by a third party 
contractor approved by the BLM. The contractor will use an 
interdisciplinary team to develop the document. The BLM will have the
responsibility for the review of the plan amendment/EIS.
    
	Complete records of all phases of the environmental documentation
process
will be available for public review at the BLM, Phoenix field Office,
2015
W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85027, and at the BLM, Arizona
State
Office, 222 N. Central, Phoenix, Arizona 85004.

    Dated: June 17, 1997.
Ken R. Drew, Program Manager, Phoenix Field Office.