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. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.