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Full text of "Record of decision and approved resource management plan for the Grass Creek Planning Area of the Worland Bureau of Land Management Office"

U.S. Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 
Wyoming State Office 

Worland District Office 



September 1998 



RECORD OF DECISION and 

APPROVED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 

for the Grass Creek Planning Area 




BLM LIBRARY 
BLDG50,ST-150A 
DENVER FEDERAL CENTS 

P.O. BOX 25047 
DENVER, COLORADO 8022f 



MISSION STATEMENT 

It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, 
and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future 
generations. 



BLM/WY/PL-98/025+4410 



^o r?-3<*i^ 



f^G>V76 



RECORD OF DECISION 



G-73-7 
II- 



and 



APPROVED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 

for the 

Grass Creek Planning Area 

of the 

Worland Bureau of Land Management Office 



Prepared by: 

United States Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 

Worland Office 

Worland, Wyoming 



September 1998 




Wyoming State Director 




Date 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



ABBREVIATIONS 1 

RECORD OF DECISION for the GRASS CREEK RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 

PLAN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 3 

DECISION 3 

WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS 3 

WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS 3 

WITHDRAWALS AND CLASSIFICATIONS 3 

SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA DESIGNATIONS 3 

Area of Critical Environmental Concern 3 

Special Recreation Management Areas 4 

PROTESTS 4 

CHANGE BASED ON ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW 5 

ALTERNATIVES 5 

Alternatives Considered in Detail 5 

Management Options Considered but Not Analyzed in Detail 5 

The Selected Plan 5 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND CONSISTENCY 5 

MONITORING AND EVALUATION 6 

PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF THIS DOCUMENT 6 

GRASS CREEK RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 7 

INTRODUCTION 7 

PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT DECISIONS (BY RESOURCE) 8 

Air Quality Management Decisions 8 

Management Objectives 8 

Management Actions 8 

Cultural, Paleontological, and Natural History Resources Management Decisions 9 

Management Objectives 9 

Management Actions 9 

Fire Management Decisions 10 

Management Objective 10 

Management Actions 10 

Forestland Management Decisions 10 

Management Objective 10 

Management Actions 10 

Hazardous Materials and Wastes Management Decisions 1 1 

Management Objective 11 

Management Actions , 11 

Lands and Realty Management Decisions 12 

Management Objective 12 

Management Actions 12 

Access 12 

Landownership Adjustments 12 

Rights-of-Way 12 

Withdrawals 13 

Livestock Grazing Management Decisions < 13 

Management Objective 13 

Management Actions 13 

Minerals Management Decisions 15 

Management Objective 15 

General 15 



CONTENTS 



Leasable Minerals 15 

Locatable Minerals 15 

Salable Minerals 15 

Geophysical 16 

Off-Road Vehicle Management Decisions 16 

Management Objective ., 16 

Management Actions 16 

Recreation Management Decisions 16 

Management Objective 16 

Management Actions 16 

Vegetation Management Decisions 17 

Management Objective 17 

Management Actions 17 

General 17 

Noxious Weeds 17 

Desired Plant Communities 18 

Visual Resource Management Decisions 20 

Management Objective 20 

Management Actions 20 

Watershed Management Decisions 20 

Management Objectives 20 

Management Actions 21 

Wild Horse Management Decisions 21 

Management Objective 21 

Management Actions 21 

Wildlife and Fish Habitat Management Decisions 22 

Management Objective 22 

Management Actions 22 

General 22 

Wildlife Habitat 22 

Fish Habitat 23 

Area of Critical Environmental Concern Management Decisions 23 

Upper Owl Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern 23 

Management Objective 23 

Management Actions 23 

GLOSSARY 37 

APPENDIXES 

APPENDIX 1: WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS REVIEW 41 

APPENDIX 2: STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES 48 

APPENDIX 3: MITIGATION FOR SURFACE-DISTURBING AND DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES ....53 

APPENDIX 4: POSSIBLE LANDOWNERSHIP ADJUSTMENTS 75 

APPENDIX 5: LIVESTOCK GRAZING MANAGEMENT 77 

TABLES 

Table 1: Land and Mineral Ownership in the Grass Creek Planning Area 7 

Table 2: Desired Plant Community Objectives and Vegetation Requirements for Wildlife 19 

FIGURES 

Figure 1: "RANGELAND DESIRED PLANT COMMUNITIES" 24 



CONTENTS 



Map 


1 


Map 


2 


Map 


3 


Map 


4 


Map 


5: 


Map 


6: 


Map 


7: 


Map 


8: 


Map 


9: 


Map 10 


Map 


11 



MAPS 

General Location Map 25 

Cultural Resource Management Areas 26 

Forest Management Areas 27 

Land Potentially Suitable for Sale or Exchange 28 

Rights-of-way 29 

Mineral Withdrawals and Areas of "No Surface Occupancy" for Oil and Gas 

Exploration and Development and Other Surface-Disturbing Activities 30 

Off-Road Vehicle Management 31 

Recreation Management Areas 32 

Visual Resource Management Areas 33 

Wild Horse Management Area 34 

Upper Owl Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern 35 



in 



ABBREVIATIONS 



ACEC area of critical environmental concern 

AMP allotment management plan 

APHIS U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 

BLM U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management 

BOR U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation 

CFR Code of Federal Regulations 

CRM coordinated resource management plan 

DEQ Wyoming State Department of Environmental Quality 

DPC desired plant communities 

EIS environmental impact statement 

EPA Environmental Protection Agency 

FLPMA Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 

FS U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service 

HRM holistic resource management plan 

NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 

NRCS U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service 

RMP resource management plan 

SRMA special recreation management area 

VRM visual resource management 

WGFD Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

WSA wilderness study area 



RECORD OF DECISION 

for the 

GRASS CREEK RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 



DECISION 

The decision is to select and approve the attached 
Grass Creek Resource Management Plan (RMP) to 
guide the future management of the public lands and 
resources administered by the Worland Office of the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Grass Creek 
RMP supersedes all previous land-use planning deci- 
sion documents for the Grass Creek Planning Area. The 
Grass Creek RMP was prepared pursuant to regulations 
(43 CFR 1600) for implementing the land-use planning 
requirements of the Federal Land Policy and Manage- 
ment Act of 1976 (FLPMA). An environmental impact 
statement (EIS) was prepared for the RMP in compli- 
ance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1 969 
(NEPA). A copy of the EIS is on file in the Worland BLM 
office. 

The decisions in the Grass Creek RMP provide gen- 
eral management direction and allocation of uses for the 
BLM-administered public lands and resources in the 
planning area. The selection and approval of the Grass 
Creek RMP is based upon the analysis of environmental 
impacts of four alternative management plans, public 
comments, and consultation with federal, state, and 
local governments and agencies, and upon the consid- 
eration of three planning issues: (1) Vegetation Man- 
agement, (2) Special Management Area Designations, 
and (3) Public Land and Resource Accessibility and 
Manageability. 

The attached Grass Creek RMP is the proposed RMP 
presented in the Grass Creek RMP Final EIS, published 
in June 1 996, with minor editorial modifications to reflect 
agencywide policy changes and wording clarification. 
The Grass Creek RMP provides a balance between 
resource production on public lands and protection of 
the environment. It represents the BLM's preferred 
management plan alternative for the Grass Creek Plan- 
ning Area and one of the environmentally preferred 
alternatives in terms of minimizing environmental im- 
pacts and guiding the uses of the public lands in the 
planning area. This alternative best meets the BLM's 
statutory mission under the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act to provide for multiple use of the public 
lands, and identifies actions to protect resources and 
avoid or minimize environmental harm. Alternative C of 
the EIS, which would place more restrictions on land 
uses than the approved RMP, also qualifies as an 
environmentally preferred alternative. 



WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS 

The BLM's recommendations to the Secretary of the 
Interior on Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in the Grass 
Creek Planning Area have been made under separate 
documentation. These areas were addressed in sepa- 
rate wilderness EIS and wilderness report documents 
which are also on file in the Worland BLM office. The 
decisions regarding wilderness area designations are 
made by Congress. When Congress makes the wilder- 
ness decisions for the WSAs in the Grass Creek Plan- 
ning Area, they will be incorporated into the Grass Creek 
RMP. 

WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS 

In the course of conducting the planning effort and 
preparing the Grass Creek RMP, public lands along all 
waterways in the planning area were reviewed to deter- 
mine their eligibility for inclusion in the National Wild and 
Scenic River System. No public lands were found to 
meetthe eligibility criteria. (See Appendix 1 totheRMP.) 

WITHDRAWALS AND 
CLASSIFICATIONS 

All coal and phosphate withdrawals and classifica- 
tions on approximately 1 80,780 acres will be terminated 
and the lands will be returned to operation of the 1872 
Mining Law. 

SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA 
DESIGNATIONS 

There are unique or important areas, values, and 
resources on BLM-administered public lands within the 
Grass Creek Planning Area that meet the criteria for 
protection and management under special manage- 
ment area designations. 

Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern 

The Upper Owl Creek Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern (ACEC) is designated on approximately 1 6,300 
acres of BLM-administered public lands. 



RECORD OF DECISION 



Special Recreation Management 
Areas 

The BLM-administered public lands in the following 
areas are designated Special Recreation Management 
Areas (SRMAs). These are the Absaroka Mountain 
Foothills (comprising about 68,000 acres of public land), 
Badlands (comprising about 208,600 acres of public 
land), and Bighorn River (comprising about 1 ,200 acres 
of public land). The remainder of the BLM-administered 
public lands in the planning area are designated an 
Extensive Recreation Management Area (ERMA). 

PROTESTS 

Thirteen protests were submitted to the Director of the 
Bureau of Land Management during the 30-day protest 
period for the Proposed Grass Creek RMP. Each 
protest letter was responded to by the Director. Reso- 
lution of the protests did not result in changes to any of 
the proposed land-use planning decisions. 

One other letter, addressed to the Worland District 
Office, was determined not to be a protest and was 
answered by the Wyoming State Director. 

Altogether, ninety-one concerns or comments were 
raised. The major concerns and comments are listed 
below. 

Marathon Oil Company submitted a protest citing 
eight concerns or comments. These addressed such 
things as BLM's response to public comments, the 
length of the protest period, NEPA compliance, the 
effects of ACEC designations and land-use restrictions 
on oil and gas development, and the basis for BLM's oil 
and gas resource potential determinations in the upper 
Owl Creek area. 

The Wyoming State Grazing Board submitted a pro- 
test citing nine concerns or comments. These ad- 
dressed such things as riparian area condition, consul- 
tation with grazing permittees, desired plant community 
objectives, cumulative impacts, and the definition of 
carrying capacity. 

The Budd-Falen Law firm submitted a protest on 
behalf of Hillberry Cattle Company and Tim Hart citing 
four concerns or comments. These included comments 
that the proposed RMP favored wildlife and recreation 
over livestock grazing and that the proposed RMP was 
not in compliance with court decisions regarding Range- 
land Reform. 

The Wyoming Outdoor Council submitted a protest 
on behalf of itself and American Wildlands, Biodiversity 
Associates, Friends of the Wild Wyoming Deserts, 
Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Sierra Club, and the 



Wyoming Wilderness Association citing eighteen con- 
cerns or comments. These addressed such things as 
the Federal Advisory Committee Act, ACEC and wilder- 
ness designations, off- road vehicle impacts, water 
quality, air quality, visual resources, mitigation mea- 
sures, alternatives for oil and gas leasing, multiple use, 
protection of ecological values, monitoring, and animal 
damage control. 

The Meeteetse Conservation District submitted a 
protest citing eight concerns or comments. These 
involved such things as the conservation district's status 
as local government, the use of precipitation data for 
rangeland monitoring, the BLM's definition of carrying 
capacity, the development of desired plant community 
objectives, the "Clementsian" theory of range condition, 
and the use of oil and gas lease stipulations on split- 
estate lands. 

The Wyoming Wool Growers Association submitted a 
protest citing one concern, that the proposed RMP was 
based on and tiered to the Rangeland Reform EIS. 

The Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park, and Washakie 
county commissioners submitted a protest citing sixteen 
concerns or comments. These involved such things as 
the extension of comment periods, socioeconomic infor- 
mation and impacts, the effects of ACEC designation, 
consultation with local government, and the range of 
alternatives in the EIS. 

The Gould Ranch Company submitted a protest 
citing five concerns or comments. These included such 
things as the importance of private land in maintaining 
wildlife habitat and the improvement of soil fertility by 
livestock grazing. 

Mr. Randy Bruner of Marathon Oil Company submit- 
ted a protest with one concern disputing BLM's oil and 
gas resource potential determinations in the upper Owl 
Creek area. 

The Meeteetse Multiple Use Association submitted a 
protest with one concern about the BLM's definition of 
carrying capacity. 

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming submitted a 
protest citing three concerns or comments. These 
involved oil and gas resource potential determinations, 
the economic impacts of oil and gas lease restrictions, 
and the need for the BLM and the State Historic Preser- 
vation Office to comply with an agreement on the man- 
agement of cultural resources. 

A private individual submitted a protest citing six 
concerns or comments. These involved such things as 
removal of wild horses, BLM's assumptions regarding 
exploratory drilling for oil and gas, the analysis of stan- 
dard oil and gas lease conditions, and the effects of 
predators on wildlife. 



RECORD OF DECISION 



Another private individual submitted a protest citing 
two concerns or comments. These involved BLM's 
response to public comments and the redaction of 
personal information before comment letters were pub- 
lished in the final EIS. 

Finally, the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation wrote 
a letter to the Worland District Office citing nine concerns 
or comments. These involved such things as compli- 
ance with the state of Wyoming's strategic plan for 
agriculture, BLM's data on past grazing use, the lack of 
ecosystem maps in the EIS, trends relating to biological 
diversity, and the discussion of habitat fragmentation 
within the planning area. 

CHANGE BASED ON 
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW 

As a result of Administrative Review, a "no surface 
occupancy" requirement for oil and gas leasing will be 
applied in the immediate vicinity surrounding petroglyphs 
in the Meeteetse Draw area. (The immediate vicinity 
would include about 20 acres.) In the proposed RMP 
these areas had been recommended for closure to 
mining claim location and development and would be 
avoided for the construction of rights-of-way. This 
decision to require "no surface occupancy" establishes 
consistent management for the area and protection from 
major surface-disturbing activities. 

ALTERNATIVES 

Alternatives Considered in Detail 

Each of the four alternative plans examined in detail 
in the Grass Creek RMP EIS provided a different empha- 
sis for managing the planning area, and each resolved 
the planning issues differently. 

Alternative A, the "no action" alternative, continued 
current management practices on the basis of existing 
land use plans. 

Alternative B reduced the level of land use restrictions 
while emphasizing timber and livestock forage produc- 
tion, developed forms of recreation, and vehicle access. 

Alternative C had higher levels of land use restrictions 
and emphasized wild horse management, wildlife habi- 
tat enhancement, and the interpretation of historic and 
cultural resources. 

The Preferred Alternative (and Proposed Plan) placed 
greater emphasis on protection of the natural environ- 
ment than Alternatives A and B while prescribing fewer 
restrictions on land use than Alternative C. This alterna- 



tive was developed to balance production of commodity 
resources with protection of the environment. 

Management Options Considered 
but Not Analyzed in Detail 

Management options, which were considered but not 
analyzed in detail, were eliminating livestock grazing, 
eliminating timber harvesting, eliminating oil and gas 
leasing, use of only oil and gas standard lease terms and 
conditions, and maximum or unconstrained alternatives 
which would exclude other land and resource uses. 

The Selected Plan 

The Grass Creek RMP consists of the proposed RMP 
described in the final EIS, with minor editorial modifica- 
tions to reflect agencywide policy changes and wording 
clarification, and with one change based on administra- 
tive review. The land use plans of local and state 
governments and other federal agencies in and around 
the Grass Creek Planning Area were considered during 
the planning process to insure the approved Grass 
Creek RMP will be compatible with them, to the extent 
consistent with federal law. 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND 
CONSISTENCY 

Public participation occurred throughout the planning 
process. Both formal and informal involvement methods 
were encouraged and used. The public participation 
that occurred is described in Chapter 5 of the final EIS. 

Government agencies, organizations, and individu- 
als received copies of both the draft and final EIS 
documents. Comment letters were received at the draft 
EIS stage and the BLM's responses to those comments 
were printed in the final EIS. 

The Wyoming Governor's Office was supplied 20 
copies of the final EIS for review by state agencies. A 
letter from the Governor dated September 1 6, 1 996 did 
not cite any consistency problems between the Pro- 
posed Grass Creek RMP and State of Wyoming plans 
and programs. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) concurred 
with the BLM's "no effect" conclusion on the Proposed 
Grass Creek RMP for threatened and endangered spe- 
cies. Since the proposed decisions are not being 
changed in any way that would reduce the protection of 
threatened or endangered species, the "no effect" con- 
clusion still applies. 

Some changes have been made in the fire manage- 
ment section and in the Glossary to reflect new federal 



RECORD OF DECISION 



wildland fire management policy adopted by the Depart- 
ments of Interior and Agriculture, with other Depart- 
ments and federal agencies. References to "limited" 
and "full" wildfire suppression, along with Map 3 of the 
final EIS, have been dropped to comply with new ele- 
ments of the policy. While continuing to emphasize 
firefighter and public safety, the policy highlights the 
beneficial uses of fire to manage natural resources, with 
federal agencies taking an "appropriate management 
response" to wildland fire, in place of limited or full 
suppression. (See Glossary.) 

The Standards for Healthy Rangelands and Guide- 
lines for Livestock Grazing Management for Public Lands 
Administered by the Bureau of Land Management in the 
State of Wyoming (approved August 12, 1997), are 
described in Appendix 2 to the RMP. The standards and 
guidelines were developed in compliance with the De- 
partment of the Interior's final rule for grazing adminis- 
tration, effective August 21, 1995. The Standards for 
Healthy Rangelands address the health, productivity, 
and sustainability of the BLM-administered public range- 
lands and represent the minimum acceptable conditions 
for the public rangelands. These standards apply to all 
public land resource uses addressed in the Grass Creek 
RMP. The Guidelines for Livestock Grazing Manage- 
ment provide for and guide the development and imple- 
mentation of reasonable, responsible, and cost-effec- 
tive management practices at the grazing allotment and 
watershed level. These guidelines apply specifically to 
livestock grazing management practices. 

The public is invited to continue to participate in the 
implementation of the Grass Creek RMP through in- 
volvement in the activity or implementation planning 
phase of the planning process. This phase deals with 
site-specific and detailed decisionmaking and project 
implementation or approval in support of the general 
land-use planning determinations presented in the RMP. 



The Grass Creek RMP is consistent with officially 
adopted plans, programs, and policies of other federal 
agencies and state and local governments, as well as 
those of the Department of the Interior and BLM. 

MONITORING AND 
EVALUATION 

Management actions and decisions of the Grass 
Creek RMP will be tracked and evaluated to determine 
their effectiveness and to determine if the objectives of 
the RMP are being met. If evaluation indicates that the 
RMP is not working as expected or needed, or if situa- 
tions in the planning area change, it may become 
necessary to amend or revise the RMP. Intervals and 
standards for monitoring and evaluation will be estab- 
lished as necessary. 

All mitigation measures identified directly or refer- 
enced or implied in the Grass Creek RMP are adopted. 
Additional or revised mitigation identified through activ- 
ity or implementation planning or individual analysis, 
and that are in conformance with the RMP objectives, 
will be considered a supporting part of the Grass Creek 
RMP. 

PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF THIS 
DOCUMENT 

Copies of the Grass Creek RMP are available on 
request from the Worland BLM office located at 101 
South 23rd Street, Worland, Wyoming, Telephone (307) 
347-5100, or by writing to the Bureau of Land Manage- 
ment, P.O. Box 119, Worland, Wyoming 82401-0119. 



GRASS CREEK RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



INTRODUCTION 

This resource management plan (RMP) provides the 
management direction for approximately 968,000 acres 
of public land surface and 1,171,000 acres of federal 
mineral estate administered by the Worland office of the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This Grass Creek 
RMP supersedes all previous land-use planning docu- 
ments for the Grass Creek Planning Area. 

The Grass Creek RMP Planning Area includes por- 
tions of Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park, and Washakie 
counties in north central Wyoming. (See Map 1 located 
at the end of the "Planning and Management Decisions" 
section.) The RMP planning area includes the commu- 
nities of Worland, Thermopolis, Basin, Meeteetse, Grass 
Creek, Hamilton Dome, Kirby, and Otto. 

As provided by the Federal Land Policy and Manage- 
ment Act, the BLM has the responsibility to plan for and 
manage the public lands. As defined by the Act, public 
lands are those federally-owned lands, and any interest 
in lands (for example, federally-owned mineral estate) 
administered by the Secretary of the Interior, specifically 
through the Bureau of Land Management. Within the 
planning area boundary, there are varied and overlap- 



ping land and mineral ownerships. There are a few 
thousand acres of land administered by other federal 
agencies, and other lands and minerals owned and 
administered by private individuals and by local and 
state governments. Providing management for the 
surface of these lands is not within the BLM's jurisdiction 
and, in certain instances, management of the federal 
minerals under these lands is not an objective of the 
RMP. For example, the Grass Creek RMP will not 
include any management decisions for withdrawn fed- 
eral lands administered by the Bureau of Reclamation 
(BOR). Therefore, any BLM administrative responsibili- 
ties for these lands, such as grazing or mineral leasing, 
are handled individually and are guided by the BOR's 
policies, procedures, and plans and in accordance with 
memoranda of understanding or cooperative agree- 
ments between the two agencies. The decisions in this 
RMP only apply to the approximately 968,000 acres of 
BLM-administered public land surface and 1,171,000 
acres of BLM-administered federal mineral estate, as 
described in Table 1. 

Table 1 is a summary of the administrative authority 
and ownership of land surface and mineral estate in the 
planning area. 



Table 1 
Land and Mineral Ownership in the Grass Creek Planning Area 



Areas the Grass Creek RMP Decisions COVER 



Approximate 
Acreage 



A. Areas where BLM administers both the federal land surface and the federal 
minerals under those lands. 1 



B. Areas of BLM-administered federal land surface where the minerals under those lands 
are owned by private individuals, the state of Wyoming, or local governments. 2 

C. Areas of BLM-administered federal minerals where the surface of those lands 
is owned by private individuals, the state of Wyoming, or local governments. 3 

Total BLM-administered federal land surface to be covered by RMP decisions. (A + B) 

Total BLM-administered federal minerals to be covered by RMP decisions. (A + C) 



960,000 

8,000 

211,000 

968,000 

1,171,000 



Areas the Grass Creek RMP Decisions DO NOT COVER 

D. Areas where the federal land surface is administered by the Bureau of Reclamation and the 

federal minerals under those lands are administered by the BLM. 4,700 

E. Areas where the land surface and the minerals under those lands are both owned by 
private individuals, the state of Wyoming, or local governments and the BLM has no 

administrative authority. 302,000 

Total Surface Acres of All Lands in the Grass Creek Planning Area (A + B + C + D + E) 1,485,700 



'Throughout this RMP these BLM-administered federal lands will be called "public lands." According to FLPMA, sec. 1 03(e), "The term 'public 
lands' means any land and interest in land owned by the United States within the several States and administered by the Secretary of the 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 

Table 1 (Continued) 
Land and Mineral Ownership in the Grass Creek Planning Area 



Interior through the Bureau of Land Management, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership, except— ( 1 ) lands located 
on the Outer Continental Shelf; and (2) lands held for the benefit of Indians. Aleuts, and Eskimos." 

2 The surface of these lands will also be described as "public lands" in this RMP, although BLM will make no planning or management decisions 
for the minerals. 

3 The interest in these lands administered by BLM consists of the minerals. These will not be called "public lands" in this RMP but BLM's 
interest will be described as "BLM-administered minerals" or "BLM-administered mineral estate." 



The multiple-use planning decisions in the Grass 
Creek RMP consist of management objectives and 
management actions, listed in the next section, which 
maintain environmental quality while meeting the fore- 
seeable needs of the people and communities within the 
planning area. All public land and resource uses in the 
planning area must conform with the decisions, terms, 
and conditions of use described in this RMP. Detailed 
decisions for the implementation of specific projects will 
be made through activity planning and environmental 
review that will be completed prior to the implementation 
of the project. Likewise, the authorization of specific 
uses will be based on conformance with RMP decisions 
and completion of environmental analyses. 

Maps 2 through 1 1 , which are located at the end of the 
"Planning and Management Decisions" section, show 
the general management direction associated with the 
planning decisions and in some cases the location of 
important resources. With the exception of Map 1 1 , the 
page-sized maps do not distinguish between private, 
state, and federal lands. However, it must be remem- 
bered that RMP decisions only apply to the approxi- 
mately 968,000 acres of BLM-administered public land 
surface and 1,171 ,000 acres of BLM-administered fed- 
eral mineral estate cited above. More detailed maps are 
on file at the Worland BLM office. The information on 
these maps is dynamic and subject to change as new 
information and data are acquired. Appendix material 
referenced in this RMP provides resource information 
and general guidance to be used for implementing the 
RMP decisions. 

The Grass Creek RMP also incorporates the Stan- 
dards for Healthy Rangelands and Guidelines for Live- 
stock Grazing Management for Public Lands Adminis- 
tered by the Bureau of Land Management in the State of 
Wyoming, approved August 12, 1997. (Appendix 2.) 



PLANNING AND 
MANAGEMENT DECISIONS 
(BY RESOURCE) 

The planning and management decisions in the Grass 
Creek RMP resolve the planning issues and provide for 
sustained multiple-use management of the public lands 
and resources. The RMP decisions are presented in 
bold type. 

Air Quality Management Decisions 

Management Objectives 

Maintain or enhance air quality, protect public 
health and safety, and minimize emissions resulting 
in acid rain or degraded visibility. Also see Appendix 
2. 

Management Actions 

All BLM-initiated or authorized actions, such as 
the use of prescribed fire, will avoid violation of 
Wyoming and national air quality standards. This 
will be accomplished through the coordination of BLM- 
managed activities with the Wyoming Department of 
Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmen- 
tal Protection Agency (EPA). 

Requirements will be applied to authorized ac- 
tions on a case-by-case basis to alleviate air quality 
problems. These requirements could include such 
things as limiting emissions and covering conveyors. 

Air quality standards are monitored by the Wyoming 
DEQ. Air quality permits will be obtained from DEQ 
before prescribed fires are set on public land. Smoke 
and pollution will be minimized as described in the 
Smoke Management Guidebook (BLM 1985). 

The BLM will coordinate with the Wyoming DEQ and 
the EPA on developing air quality standards and guide- 
lines as needed. 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Cultural, Paleontological, and 
Natural History Resources 
Management Decisions 

Management Objectives 

Protect and preserve important cultural, paleon- 
tological, and natural history resources. Expand 
opportunities for scientific and educational uses of 
these resources. (See Map 2 and Appendix 2). 

Protect and study rock art in the Meeteetse Draw 
and Coal Draw areas. Expand public education and 
interpretation in these areas, if appropriate, follow- 
ing additional consultation with Native Americans 
and the preparation of environmental analyses. 

Management Actions 

Site-specific inventories for cultural resources 
will be required before the start of surface- disturb- 
ing activities. Adverse effects on significant re- 
sources will be mitigated, or the resources them- 
selves will be avoided by surface-disturbing activi- 
ties. 

Sites listed on the National Register of Historic 
Places will be appropriately protected. Any viola- 
tions of the Archaeological Resources Protection 
Act will be investigated. 

The BLM's consultation with the Advisory Coun- 
cil for Historic Preservation and the State Historic 
Preservation Office will be consistent with a cultural 
resources programmatic agreement signed in 1 995. 

Rock art, as well as other prehistoric and historic 
archaeological sites and districts associated with 
specific time periods or cultures, will be managed 
for scientific, public, and sociocultural use. General 
areas will be managed for research, with emphasis 
on interpreting former ecosystems. Specific sites 
or areas will be preserved for future study and use. 
Near rock art the use of heavy equipment to con- 
struct fire lines and the use of chemical and dye 
retardants will be restricted or prohibited. 

The Legend Rock Petroglyph Site will be man- 
aged for public education in cooperation with the 
state of Wyoming. 

A cooperative management agreement will be 
pursued with private landowners to enhance and 
conserve the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site. 

In the Meeteetse Draw and Coal Draw areas, 
interpretive sites will be developed to highlight rock 
art, making use of scenic overlooks and interpretive 
signs and trails, if warranted, following additional 



consultation with Native Americans and the prepa- 
ration of environmental analyses. 

Additional public access will be pursued in the 
Meeteetse Draw area, if warranted, following con- 
sultation with Native Americans. 

To protect Native American cultural values, the 
construction of rights-of-way will be avoided on 
public lands in the Meeteetse Draw area. 

Portions of the town of Gebo and adjacent coal 
mining areas on public land will be managed for 
preservation and interpretation of cultural and his- 
toric values. Management could include actions like 
development of an interpretive road loop. 

Other cultural resource interpretive sites will be 
developed, making use of scenic overlooks, signs, 
and walking trails. Sites could include historic trails 
such as the Thermopolis to Meeteetse Trail, the Fort 
Washakie to Red Lodge Trail, the Mexican Pass 
Trail, and the Jim Bridger Trail. 

As appropriate, specific sites on public lands will 
be managed for their traditional Native American 
cultural values. 

Historic resources in ten oil and gas fields will be 
managed for scientific and public use. The purpose 
will be to improve knowledge of the historic significance 
of the fields and facilitate the approval of future develop- 
ment and reclamation activities. The following fields 
will be included: Hamilton Dome, Grass Creek, Little 
Buffalo Basin, Walker Dome, Enos Creek, Golden 
Eagle, Gooseberry, Hidden Dome, Little Grass Creek, 
and Gebo. 

Adverse effects will be avoided on public lands 
and resource values listed in National Park Service 
inventories of possible National Natural Landmarks. 
These lands and resources include paleontological 
and scenic values at Tatman Mountain and in the 
badlands north of Wyoming Highway 431. 

Important paleontological resources will be man- 
aged for scientific and public use. 

Potential effects on paleontological resources 
will be considered in site-specific environmental 
analyses before the authorization of surface-dis- 
turbing activities. As appropriate, site-specific in- 
ventories will be required where significant fossil 
resources are known or anticipated to occur. 

Closing lands or restricting uses to protect pale- 
ontological resources will be evaluated case by 
case. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with the construction and use of interpre- 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



tive sites and facilities will be subject to appropriate 
mitigation developed through use of the mitigation 
guidelines described in Appendix 3. 

Fire Management Decisions 

Management Objective 

The objectives of the fire program are to: (1 ) cost- 
effectively protect life, property, and resource val- 
ues from undesired wildland fire (see Glossary); and 
(2) use prescribed and wildland fire to achieve mul- 
tiple-use management goals. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

The "Worland District Fire Management Plan" will 
be maintained and revised, as necessary, and imple- 
mented. The plan will address fire management on 
a watershed or landscape scale, in order to meet 
desired plant community and other resource man- 
agement objectives identified in this RMP and in 
future activity plans. 

The use of minimal impact suppression tech- 
niques will restrict fire vehicles to existing roads 
and trails on public lands near the Legend Rock 
Petroglyph Site and within 0.25 mile of the high- 
water mark at Wardel Reservoir, to protect riparian 
habitat and a great blue heron rookery. Other travel 
restrictions will be considered in future activity 
planning. 

The construction of fire lines will be avoided if 
natural fire breaks can be used. 

The use of bulldozers generally is prohibited in 
riparian and wetland areas, in areas of significant 
cultural resources or historic trails, and in important 
wildlife birthing areas. 

Fire retardant drops by air tankers are prohibited 
within 200 feet of water. Near rock art the use of 
heavy equipment to construct fire lines and the use 
of chemical and dye retardants will be restricted or 
prohibited. 

Prescribed and wildland fire will be used to ac- 
complish resource management objectives. These 
objectives include use of fire to rehabilitate old timber 
sale areas and recycle nutrients to the soil, reduce 
hazardous fuels, remove trees infested by the mountain 
pine beetle, rid timber sale areas of slash, maintain 
certain age classes of trees, improve timber stand 
diversity and productivity, improve riparian areas, modify 
sagebrush stands to benefit wildlife habitat, reestablish 
and invigorate aspen stands, improve watershed val- 
ues, and remove sagebrush, juniper, and limber pine to 
increase livestock forage production. 



When prescribed fires are planned, and when 
wildland fires are managed, the potential for habitat 
fragmentation will be evaluated. Actions that would 
disrupt or divide habitat blocks, other than tempo- 
rarily, will be avoided. 

When fire and mechanical or biological treat- 
ments can be used effectively to manage vegeta- 
tion, they will be preferred over chemical treat- 
ments. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of fire management will be 
subject to appropriate mitigation developed through 
use of the mitigation guidelines described in Appen- 
dix 3. 

Forestland Management Decisions 
Management Objective 

Maintain and enhance the health, productivity, 
and biological diversity of forest and woodland 
ecosystems. A balance of natural resource benefits 
and uses will be provided, including opportunities 
for commercial forest production. Also see Appendix 
2. 

Management Actions 

Road construction for harvesting timber or for 
conducting forest management practices is prohib- 
ited on slopes greater than 25 percent, unless site- 
specific environmental analyses demonstrate that 
adverse effects can be mitigated or avoided. 

Skidder-type yarding is prohibited on slopes 
greater than 45 percent. Other logging operations 
on slopes steeper than 45 percent are limited to 
technically, environmentally, and economically ac- 
ceptable methods such as cable yarding. 

Emphasis for silvicultural practices and timber 
harvesting will be placed on areas where forest 
health is the primary concern (including forests that 
are infested by mistletoe or mountain pine beetles). 
Forest management areas are shown on Map 3. 

A variety of forest silvicultural and cutting meth- 
ods will be used such as clearcutting, shelterwood, 
individual tree selection, and various regeneration 
treatments. 

Severely mistletoe-infested stands will be clearcut. 
Stagnated and overstocked pole timber stands will 
be thinned if there is a chance that they would 
respond with further growth and produce wildlife 
thermal cover. 



10 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Overstocked seedling, sapling, and pole stands 
will be precommercially thinned on up to 800 acres 
to increase timber production and improve long- 
term wildlife thermal cover. 

All harvest areas will be regenerated by natural or 
artificial means consistent with BLM policy. If at the 
end of fifteen years any clearcut area fails to regen- 
erate naturally, planting and other methods will be 
used to assure regeneration unless converting veg- 
etation to another type is the objective. 

Emphasis for silvicultural practices and timber 
harvesting will be placed on conifer stands to in- 
crease the viable component of aspen, when pos- 
sible. Other methods to improve aspen will include 
use of prescribed and wildland fire, noncommercial 
thinning of conifers, and fencing of aspen stands to 
protect them from wildlife and livestock use. 

In important seasonal wildlife habitat areas, 
clearcuts generally will not exceed 300 yards (ap- 
proximately 15 acres) in any direction. Wildlife 
escape cover will be maintained by keeping a corri- 
dor of timber around, or on one or more sides of, 
roads, clearcuts, parks, wetlands, and wallows. Trees 
and snags will not be cut if they provide important 
habitat for cavity or snag-nesting wildlife. 

The BLM will evaluate the size, extent, distance 
from roads, and characteristics of forestland veg- 
etation, when forest harvests are considered, to 
maintain or improve the effectiveness of residual 
wildlife security areas. 

When harvests are planned, the potential for habi- 
tat fragmentation will be evaluated. Actions that 
would disrupt or divide habitat blocks, other than 
temporarily, will be avoided. 

Slash disposal will be tailored to promote refores- 
tation, minimize erosion, and allow ease of move- 
ment for wildlife. 

Forest products will be sold from limber pine and 
juniper woodland areas to meet public demand for 
posts, poles, firewood, and specialty wood consis- 
tent with wildlife habitat requirements. 

Harvesting firewood on public lands along desert 
waterways and the Bighorn and Greybull rivers is 
prohibited. 

Prescribed and wildland fire will be used to im- 
prove aspen stands, regenerate old age forest stands, 
manage for desired successional stages and forest 
species composition, and rehabilitate harvest ar- 
eas. 



Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of forest management will be 
subject to appropriate mitigation developed through 
use of the mitigation guidelines described in Appen- 
dix 3. 

Hazardous Materials and Wastes 
Management Decisions 

Management Objective 

Protect public health and safety and the environ- 
ment on public lands, emphasize waste reduction 
and pollution prevention for BLM-authorized and 
initiated actions, comply with applicable federal and 
state laws, prevent waste contamination from any 
BLM-authorized actions, minimize federal exposure 
to the liabilities associated with waste management 
on public lands, and integrate hazardous materials 
and waste management policies and controls into 
all BLM programs. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

For BLM-authorized activities that involve haz- 
ardous materials or their use, precautions will be 
taken to guard against releases into the environ- 
ment. In the event of a release of hazardous mate- 
rials on the public land, appropriate warnings will be 
provided to potentially affected communities and 
individuals, and precautions will be taken against 
public exposure to contaminated areas. 

Sale, exchange, or other transfer of public lands 
on which storage or disposal of hazardous sub- 
stances has been known to occur will require public 
notification of the type and quantity of the sub- 
stances. 

Public lands contaminated with hazardous wastes 
will be reported, secured, and cleaned up according 
to federal and state laws, regulations, and contin- 
gency plans, including the federal Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Li- 
ability Act. Parties responsible for contamination 
will be liable for cleanup and resource damage 
costs, as prescribed by law. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of hazardous materials and 
waste management will be subject to appropriate 
mitigation developed through use of the mitigation 
guidelines described in Appendix 3. 



11 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Lands and Realty Management 
Decisions 

Management Objective 

Support the multiple-use management goals of 
the various BLM resource programs; respond to 
public requests for land-use authorizations, sales, 
and exchanges; and acquire access to serve admin- 
istrative and public needs. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

Access 

The BLM will pursue public access on important 
roads and trails identified in the BLM transportation 
plan. The transportation plan will be updated as 
necessary and implemented to provide access to 
large blocks of public land or to smaller parcels of 
land having high public values. 

The BLM will maintain or improve existing oppor- 
tunities for public access in the upper Grass Creek 
area. 

Emphasis will be placed on acquisition of access 
to public lands on the Bighorn and Greybull rivers to 
enhance recreational opportunities and wildlife man- 
agement. 

The BLM will pursue a combination of motorized 
and nonmotorized vehicle access in the Enos Creek, 
the upper Cottonwood Creek, and the upper South 
Fork of Owl Creek areas of the Absaroka Mountain 
foothills. Goals are to provide vehicle access to the 
South Fork of Owl Creek to improve fishing and 
other recreational opportunities and to acquire foot 
and horseback access to the Shoshone National 
Forest. All access will be limited seasonally and to 
specific routes as appropriate. 

The BLM will pursue limited motorized vehicle 
access on roads in the Red Canyon Creek area 
consistent with an overall objective to emphasize 
primitive recreation. 

Access to specific areas may be closed or re- 
stricted to protect public health and safety. Before 
access is upgraded in the vicinity of important 
cultural, paleontological, natural history, wildlife 
habitat, or other sensitive resources, the security 
and protection of these resources will be carefully 
considered. 

Landownership Adjustments 

Before any public lands are exchanged or sold, or 
before the BLM would attempt to acquire any other 



lands in the planning area, the BLM will consult with 
county commissioners and other representatives of 
local government in the affected areas. Other af- 
fected and interested citizens will be given opportu- 
nities to comment as well. 

About 1,220 acres will be considered for subur- 
ban expansion, community landfills, industrial and 
commercial development, and other public needs 
near the communities of Worland, Thermopolis, 
Meeteetse, and Basin. 

Agricultural trespass on public land generally will 
be resolved by prohibiting the unauthorized use; 
however, land sales, exchanges, or leases could 
resolveagricultural trespass in some cases. Leases 
might be used to develop the lands as wildlife food 
and cover areas. 

Proposals for sale, exchange, or transfer of pub- 
lic land will be subject to criteria described in Ap- 
pendix 4. Priority will be given to landownership 
adjustments that meet community needs. The pre- 
ferred method of adjusting landownership is ex- 
change. 

Approximately 33,700 acres of public lands that 
are difficult or uneconomic to manage (Map 4) will 
have priority consideration for public sale, Recre- 
ation and Public Purposes Act patent, exchange, or 
transfer to another agency. Proposals for the sale, 
exchange, or transfer of other public lands in the 
planning area will be considered on a case-by-case 
basis. 

Exchanges will be pursued to improve manage- 
ment of important seasonal wildlife habitat areas in 
the upper portions of Owl, Cottonwood, Goose- 
berry, and Grass creeks. 

Exchanges will be pursued along Gooseberry 
Creek, the upper portions of Cottonwood and Grass 
creeks, the Bighorn and Greybull rivers, and on 
lands where other riparian areas occur. The pur- 
poses for these exchanges will be to block up public 
land, enhance public access, and improve public 
land manageability. 

A cooperative management agreement will be 
pursued with private landowners to enhance and 
conserve the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site. 

Cooperative agreements or land exchanges to 
improve wild horse management will be pursued on 
about 12,000 acres of privately-owned land. 

Rights-of-Way 

The planning area will be open for rights-of-way 
development. Proposals will be addressed on an 



12 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



individual basis with emphasis on avoiding certain 
conflict or sensitive areas. 

Two right-of-way corridors are designated. (See 
Map 5.) These will be the preferred locations for 
placement of future rights-of-way including trans- 
mission and distribution lines and communication 
sites. 

The construction or modification of rights-of-way 
along Wyoming highways 1 20 and 431 will be evalu- 
ated individually to assure that adverse effects on 
scenic values are not increased. 

To protect Native American cultural values, the 
construction of rights-of-way will be avoided on 
public lands in the Meeteetse Draw area. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of rights-of-way construction 
and maintenance will be subject to appropriate miti- 
gation developed through use of the mitigation 
guidelines described in Appendix 3. 

Withdrawals 

All coal and phosphate withdrawals and classifi- 
cations on approximately 180,780 acres will be ter- 
minated and the lands will be returned to operation 
of the 1872 Mining Law. 

A locatable mineral withdrawal will be pursued on 
about 1 ,200 acres of public land to protect recre- 
ation and wildlife values on public river tracts along 
the Bighorn River. (See Map 6.) 

Locatable mineral withdrawals will be pursued 
within 0.5 mile of the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site 
and in the immediate vicinity of rock art in the 
Meeteetse Draw area near Thermopolis. 

A locatable mineral withdrawal will be pursued in 
the Upper Owl Creek ACEC on about 1 6,300 acres of 
public land to protect scenic values, wildlife habitat, 
soil, and water. 

Livestock Grazing Management 
Decisions 

Management Objective 

Improve forage production and range condition 
to provide a sustainable resource base for livestock 
grazing while improving wildlife habitat, watershed 
protection, and forage for wild horses. Also see 
Appendix 2 and 5. 



Management Actions 

The level of livestock grazing on public lands, 
when combined with all other public land uses, will 
not be allowed to exceed the carrying capacity of the 
land. (See Glossary.) 

Maximum allowable forage use by domestic live- 
stock in the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Manage- 
ment Area will be 3,370 AUMs per year. Wild horses 
are allocated 2,300 AUMs per year. 

The amounts, kinds, and seasons of livestock 
grazing use will continue to be authorized until 
monitoring indicates a grazing use adjustment is 
necessary, or an environmental assessment indi- 
cates that a permittee's application to change graz- 
ing use is appropriate. 

Adjustments in the levels of livestock grazing will 
be made as a result of monitoring and consultation 
or negotiation with grazing permittees and other 
affected interests (including local and state govern- 
mental entities, as appropriate). Adjustments may 
also result from land-use planning decisions to 
change the allocation of land uses or from transfers 
of public land to other agencies or into nonfederal 
ownership. 

The level of livestock grazing may be reduced in 
areas with excessive soil erosion or poor vegetative 
condition, if identified by monitoring, or as neces- 
sary to provide for other multiple uses. 

Livestock grazing monitoring intensity will vary, 
with higher levels occurring in "I" category allot- 
ments than in "M" and "C" category allotments. 
Livestock operators and other affected interests 
(including local and state governmental entities, as 
appropriate) will be asked to assist the BLM in 
developing objectives, in selecting key areas to 
monitor, and in gathering data. 

Where practical, 20 public landtracts, comprising 
about 1,000 acres along the Bighorn River, will 
remain closed to livestock grazing, unless grazing 
is used for specific vegetation management objec- 
tives like the eradication of noxious weeds. 

All BLM livestock grazing permittees and other 
interested parties, including local conservation dis- 
tricts, will implement management actions such as 
the use of grazing systems, land treatments, and 
range improvements consistent with the Guidelines 
for Livestock Grazing Management. (See Appendix 
2.) Proposal and design of these actions will nor- 
mally be developed through activity and implemen- 
tation plans such as coordinated activity plans 
(CAPs), coordinated resource management plans 



13 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



(CRMs), allotment management plans (AMPs), or 
holistic resource management plans (HRMs). The 
BLM will give priority to activity planning on "I" 
category allotments. 

The placement of salt and mineral supplements 
on public lands is allowed outside riparian areas, 
and reclaimed or reforested areas, in locations de- 
signed to improve livestock distribution. 

Important riparian habitat areas on public lands 
will be fenced to control the duration and timing of 
livestock use, if the condition of these areas is 
declining and other types of grazing management 
do not produce a favorable response. Access to 
water for use by livestock and wildlife will be pro- 
vided. 

When prescribed fire and mechanical or biologi- 
cal treatments can be used effectively to manage 
vegetation, they will be preferred over chemical 
spraying. 

Grazing strategies (including the timing of graz- 
ing) will be designed to accommodate the growth 
requirements of "desired" species within plant com- 
munities. These strategies could also be used to 
control "undesirable" plants. 

In Salt Desert Shrub and Salt Bottom plant com- 
munities that are grazed during the growing season, 
grazing strategies will be designed to allow a com- 
bined forage utilization of 25 to 35 percent of the 
current year's growth. 

(Combined forage utilization includes all types of con- 
sumption or destruction of vegetation by livestock, wild- 
life, wild horses, insects, hail, surface-disturbing activi- 
ties, etc. In addition, utilization will be measured and 
evaluated over time in the context of other monitoring 
information. Although utilization levels might vary from 
year to year, levels consistently exceeding those de- 
scribed would not be expected to meet watershed and 
other multiple-use requirements. Also see Appendixes 
1 and 4.) 

In other plant communities that are grazed during 
the growing season, grazing strategies will be de- 
signed to allow a combined forage utilization of 30 to 
50 percent of the current year's growth. 

In all plant communities that are grazed when 
plants are dormant, a combined forage utilization of 
up to 60 percent of the current year's growth is 
allowed. 

In bighorn sheep habitat areas, grazing strategies 
will be designed so that combined utilization levels 
are kept near the lower end of the utilization objec- 
tives described above. 



Domestic sheep grazing is prohibited within 2 
miles of bighorn sheep habitat unless conflicts can 
be avoidedor mitigated based on site-specific analy- 
sis. Existing uses will be allowed pending site- 
specific analysis. 

In elk crucial winter ranges, grazing strategies 
will be designed so that combined utilization levels 
are kept near the lower end of the utilization objec- 
tives described above. 

Water developments for livestock are prohibited 
in elk crucial winter ranges unless adverse effects 
can be avoided or mitigated based on site-specific 
analysis. Existing uses will be allowed pending site- 
specific analysis. 

Livestock grazing strategies, including periodic 
rest of pastures in elk crucial winter ranges, will be 
applied as necessary. 

Livestock grazing is prohibited in elk birthing 
habitat during birthing season (usually from May 1 
through June 30) unless adverse effects can be 
avoided or mitigated based on site-specific analy- 
sis. Existing uses will be allowed pending site- 
specific analysis. 

In moose winter and crucial winter ranges, graz- 
ing strategies will be designed so that combined 
forage utilization levels of woody riparian vegeta- 
tion are between 30 and 50 percent of the current 
year's growth. 

Livestock grazing will be managed to enhance 
riparian stream habitat within deer winter and cru- 
cial winter ranges. 

Domestic sheep grazing is prohibited on prong- 
horn antelope crucial winter ranges unless adverse 
effects can be avoided or mitigated based on site- 
specific analysis. Existing uses will be allowed 
pending site-specific analysis. 

Domestic horse grazing is prohibited in or adja- 
cent to the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Manage- 
ment Area unless adverse effects can be avoided or 
mitigated based on site-specific analysis. Existing 
uses will be allowed pending site-specific analysis. 

Livestock grazing strategies on vegetative treat- 
ment areas will generally include deferment of 
livestock use during two growing seasons following 
treatment with moderate use of dormant vegetation 
being allowed. (Also see the section on Vegetation 
Management — Desired Plant Communities. Veg- 
etation treatments will be used to help meet desired 
plant community objectives.) 



14 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of range project construction 
and maintenance will be subject to appropriate miti- 
gation developed through use of the mitigation 
guidelines described in Appendix 3. 

Minerals Management Decisions 

Management Objective 

Maintain or enhance opportunities for mineral 
exploration and development, while maintaining 
other resource values. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

General 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of minerals exploration and 
development and with geophysical exploration will 
be subject to appropriate mitigation developed 
through use of the mitigation guidelines described 
in Appendix 3. 

Leasable Minerals 

Coal 

The coal screening process (as identified in 43 CFR 
3420.1-4) has not been conducted in the planning area. 
Interest in the exploration for, or the leasing of, 
federal coal will be handled case by case. If an 

application for a coal exploration license or federal coal 
lease is received, an appropriate land use and environ- 
mental analysis, including the coal screening process, 
will be conducted to determine whether the coal areas 
are acceptable for development and for leasing (43 CFR 
3425). Existing land use plans will be amended as 
necessary. 

Gas and Oil 

The entire planning area (about 1,171 ,000 acres of 
BLM-administered mineral estate) is open to oil and 
gas leasing consideration. 

About 20,200 acres of BLM-administered mineral 
estate are open to leasing consideration with a "no 
surface occupancy" stipulation. (See Glossary and 
Map 6. These lands identified for "no surface occu- 
pancy" are identical to the lands where BLM would 
pursue mineral withdrawals from operation of the 1872 
Mining Law.) The rest of the planning area is subject to 
standard lease terms and conditions, and seasonal or 
other requirements. (See Appendix 3.) 

Geothermal 

Geothermal resources will be available for leas- 
ing consideration in areas that are open to oil and 



gas leasing consideration. Areas closed to oil and 
gas leasing will also be closed to geothermal leas- 
ing. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with all types of geothermal exploration 
and development will be subject to appropriate 
mitigation developed through use of the mitigation 
guidelines described in Appendix 3. 

Other Leasable Minerals 

Leasing of minerals such as phosphates or so- 
dium will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Locatable Minerals 

All coal and phosphate withdrawals and classifi- 
cations will be terminated and the lands involved 
will be returned to operation of the 1 872 Mining Law. 

Except for specific areas identified as closed, the 
planning area is open to the staking of mining claims 
and operation of the mining laws for locatable min- 
erals. 

Plans of operations or notices are required for 
locatable minerals exploration and development 
consistent with regulations (43 CFR 3809). 

All locatable minerals actions will be reviewed to 
assure compliance with the BLM bonding policy for 
surface-disturbing activities. 

A locatable mineral withdrawal will be pursued on 
about 1 ,200 acres of public land to protect recre- 
ation and wildlife values on tracts of public land 
along the Bighorn River. 

A locatable mineral withdrawal will be pursued on 
public lands within 0.5 mile of the Legend Rock 
Petroglyph Site and on public lands in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the rock art in the Meeteetse Draw area 
near Thermopolis. 

A locatable mineral withdrawal will be pursued in 
the Upper Owl Creek ACEC on about 1 6,300 acres of 
public land to protect scenic values, wildlife habitat, 
soil, and water. 

Salable Minerals 

Except for specific areas identified as closed, the 
planning area is open to consideration for sale of 
mineral materials (for example, sand and gravel) 
and related exploration and development activities. 

No topsoil will be sold. 

The Legend Rock Petroglyph Site and public 
lands within 0.5 mile are closed to the sale of sand 
and gravel and other mineral materials. 



15 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Public lands in the Meeteetse Draw Rock Art Area 
are closed to the sale of sand and gravel and other 
mineral materials. 

The sale of sand and gravel will be avoided on 
public lands adjoining the Greybull and Bighorn 
rivers. 

Geophysical 

All parts of the planning area that are open to 
consideration for oil and gas leasing, exploration, 
and development are open to consideration for 
geophysical exploration subjectto appropriate miti- 
gation developed through use of the mitigation 
guidelines described in Appendix 3. On lands where 
surface-disturbing activities are prohibited or on 
lands closed to off-road vehicle (ORV) use, casual 
use geophysical exploration will be allowed. (Ca- 
sual use for geophysical exploration is described in 43 
CFR 3150.05(b).) 

Off-Road Vehicle Management 
Decisions 

Management Objective 

Maintain or enhance opportunities for ORV use 
(see Glossary) while avoiding adverse effects of 
vehicle travel on other resource values. Also see 
Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

Unless otherwise specified, ORV use on BLM- 
administered public land is limited to existing roads 
and trails. 

Motorized vehicle use is prohibited on wet soils 
and on slopes greater than 25 percent, when and 
where unnecessary damage to vegetation, soils, or 
water quality would result. 

Over-the-snow vehicles are subject to the same 
requirements and limitations as all other ORVs until 
activity planning specifically addresses their use. 

An open area for ORV "play" will be established 
west of Worland on about 900 acres. 

The Duck Swamp-Bridger Trail Environmental 
Education Area and the rifle range on public land 
west of Worland are designated as closed to ORV 
use. (See Map 7.) 

Public lands near Sheep Mountain, Red Butte, 
Bobcat Draw Badlands, and the upper part of the 
South Fork of Owl Creek (about 52,460 acres) will be 
managed as closed to ORV use until activity plan- 



ning specifically addresses ORV use in these wil- 
derness study areas. 

Off-road vehicle use is limited to designatedroads 
and trails (see Glossary) and limited seasonally on 
about 68,000 acres of public land in the Absaroka 
Mountain foothills. 

Off-road vehicle use is limited to designatedroads 
and trails on about 9,000 acres of public land in the 
Red Canyon Creek area south of Thermopolis. 

Off-road vehicle use on public lands in the 
Meeteetse Draw Rock Art Area is limited to desig- 
natedroads and trails on about 6,800 acres. 

On areas designated as closed or limited to des- 
ignatedroads and trails, the off-road use of a motor- 
ized vehicle on public lands will be prohibited un- 
less the use is otherwise authorized by a permit or 
license. Signs will be posted and maps or brochures 
will be published to explain this requirement. 

Off-road vehicle use is limited to existing roads 
and trails (see Glossary) on about 208,600 acres of 
public land in the Badlands Special Recreation Man- 
agement Area (SRMA). 

On areas designated as limited to existing roads 
and trails, the performance of necessary tasks re- 
quiring off-road use of a vehicle will be allowed 
provided resource damage does not occur. Ex- 
amples of necessary tasks include constructing or re- 
pairing authorized range improvements. 

Recreation Management Decisions 

Management Objective 

Enhance opportunities for primitive recreation in 
some areas while increasing visitor services in other 
areas to meet needs for more developed forms of 
recreation. The BLM will attempt to maintain the 
current opportunities (on about 62,270 acres) for 
"semiprimitive nonmotorized" recreation. (See Glos- 
sary.) Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

Special Recreation Management areas are desig- 
nated on BLM-administered public lands in the 
Absaroka Mountain foothills, Badlands, and Big- 
horn River areas. All other public lands will be 
managed as an Extensive Recreation Management 
Area. Recreation management areas are shown on 
Map 8. 

Recreational uses of public lands along the Big- 
horn River for fishing, hunting, and float boating are 



16 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



managed under the Bighorn River Habitat and Rec- 
reation Area Management Plan. Emphasis will be 
placed on acquisition of access to public lands on 
the Bighorn and Greybull rivers to enhance recre- 
ational opportunities and wildlife management. 

Roadside geologic interpretive areas will be es- 
tablished near the Gooseberry Badlands, Red Can- 
yon Creek, along Wyoming Highway 120, and in 
other areas. 

The Duck Swamp-Bridger Trail environmental edu- 
cation area will be managed for public education, 
interpretation, and recreation. 

The Legend Rock Petroglyph Site will be man- 
aged for public education in cooperation with the 
state of Wyoming. 

A cooperative management agreement will be 
pursued with private landowners to enhance and 
conserve the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site. 

Interpretive sites will be developed to highlight 
rock art in the Meeteetse Draw and Coal Draw areas, 
if warranted, following additional consultation with 
Native Americans and the preparation of environ- 
mental analyses. 

Portions of the town of Gebo and adjacent coal 
mining areas on public land will be managed for 
preservation and interpretation of cultural and his- 
toric values. Management could include actions like 
development of an interpretive road loop or roadside 
turnout. 

Other cultural resource interpretive sites will be 
developed, making use of scenic overlooks, signs, 
and walking trails. Sites could include historic trails 
such as the Thermopolis to Meeteetse Trail, the Fort 
Washakie to Red Lodge Trail, the Mexican Pass Trail, 
and the Jim Bridger Trail. 

One or more scenic interpretive sites and driving 
loops will be developed in the Badlands SRMA to 
highlight the area's scenic values. These could 
involve the Fifteenmile Creek and Dorsey Creek roads 
and the Murphy Draw Road with overlooks at the Painted 
Canyon of Elk Creek and at Bobcat Draw. 

The BLM will enhance opportunities for the public 
to view wild horses in the Fifteenmile herd area. 

Day use facilities will be established at Wardel 
and Harrington reservoirs. Camping sites will also 
be provided if demand warrants. 

Trailheads will be developed for foot and horse 
travel in the Absaroka Mountain foothills. Potential 
locations will include the Blue Creek Trail and sites along 
the North and South Forks of Owl Creek and Rock 
Creek. 



The BLM will consider establishing trailheads in 
the Red Canyon Creek area consistent with an over- 
all objective to emphasize primitive recreation. 

Development of a campground will be considered 
near Wyoming 120 and Gooseberry Creek. 

Surface-disturbing activities, except those related 
to recreation facility development and maintenance, 
are prohibited at campgrounds, trailheads, day-use 
areas, and similar recreational sites. 

Recreational sites, recreation facility develop- 
ment, and recreational access will either avoid ripar- 
ian habitat areas or be developed and managed in a 
manner that will maintain or improve riparian habi- 
tat. 

Posting information and directional signs will be neces- 
sary in some areas. Signs will be used to promote visitor 
use consistent with recreation and other resource man- 
agement objectives. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with the construction, maintenance, and 
use of roads, campgrounds, interpretive sites, and 
other recreational facilities will be subject to appro- 
priate mitigation developed through use of the miti- 
gation guidelines described in Appendix 3. 

Vegetation Management Decisions 
Management Objective 

Reduce the spread of noxious weeds and main- 
tain or improve the diversity of plant communities to 
support timber production, livestock and wild horse 
forage needs, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, 
and acceptable visual resources. Also see Appendix 
2. 

Management Actions 

General 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with vegetation management will be sub- 
ject to appropriate mitigation developed through 
use of the mitigation guidelines described in Appen- 
dix 3. 

Noxious Weeds 

Noxious weeds and other undesirable vegetation 
will be controlled in conjunction with local counties; 
the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Ser- 
vice (APHIS); and other agencies and affected inter- 
ests, consistent with the Wyoming Record of Deci- 
sion for the Final EIS Addressing Vegetation Treat- 
ment on BLM Lands in the 13 Western States (BLM 
1991). 



17 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Control of noxious weeds may include manual, 
mechanical, biological, or chemical methods. If 
herbicides are proposed for use, those that are 
effective on the target weed species and that have 
minimum toxicity to wildlife and fish, will be se- 
lected. As appropriate, buffer zones will be pro- 
vided along streams, rivers, lakes, and riparian ar- 
eas, including riparian areas along ephemeral and 
intermittent streams. 

Treatments will avoid raptor and upland game 
bird nesting seasons and other times when loss of 
cover or disturbance by equipment could be detri- 
mental. 

Projects that may affect threatened or endan- 
gered plants or animals will be postponed or modi- 
fied to protect the presence of these species. In 
such cases, the BLM will consult with the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (FWS) as required by the En- 
dangered Species Act. 

Consistent with the Decision Record for Imple- 
mentation of Noxious Weed-Free Forage on Public 
Lands in the Worland District (BLM 1997) the use of 
certified noxious weed-seed free vegetative prod- 
ucts is required on all BLM-administered public 
lands in the Grass Creek planning area. 

Desired Plant Communities 

General 

The following objectives for desired plant com- 
munities (DPC) will be applied on an individual basis 
in consultation with land-use proponents and other 
affected or interested citizens. Actions required to 
achieve these objectives will normally be implemented 
through allotment management and other site-specific 
activity plans, and through reclamation plans for activi- 
ties like pipeline construction, oil and gas exploration, 
and bentonite mining. 

Desired plant communities are described according 
to the percentages of trees, shrubs, grasses, grasslikes, 
and forbs within each community. Descriptions are by 
weight estimate unless canopy cover percent is speci- 
fied. Barren, alpine, and high gradient/rocky riparian 
communities are not discussed. See Figure 1, located 
at the end of the "Planning and Management Decisions" 
section, for sample descriptions of the plant communi- 
ties cited below. 

Desired Plant Community Objectives for Watershed 
Protection, Forestland Management, and Livestock Graz- 
ing 



On at least 600,000 acres of public lands in the 
planning area (not containing important wildlife habi- 
tat) the following DPC objectives will emphasize 
watershed protection, forestland health, and live- 
stock grazing. 

- Salt Desert Shrub Communities: shrubs 30 to 60 
percent, grasses 30 to 60 percent, forbs 5 to 15 
percent, with shrubs increasing on high saline 
sites. 

- Salt Bottom Communities: shrubs 20 to 40 per- 
cent, grasses 50 to 70 percent, forbs 5 to 15 
percent. 

- Basin Grassland/Shrub Communities: shrubs 10 
to 20 percent, grasses 60 to 80 percent, forbs 1 to 
20 percent. 

- Foothills-Mountain Grassland/Shrub Com- 
munities: shrubs 10 to 30 percent, grasses 60 to 
80 percent, forbs 10 to 20 percent. 

- Low Gradient/Alluvial Riparian Communities, 
Canopy Composition: shrubs to 15 percent, 
grasses and grasslikes 70 to 90 percent, forbs 5 to 
15 percent. 

- Intermediate Riparian Communities, Canopy 
Composition: trees and shrubs 10 to 30 percent, 
grasses and grasslikes 50 to 70 percent, forbs 10 
to 30 percent. 

- Desert Cottonwood Riparian Communities, 
Canopy Composition: trees and shrubs 10 to 30 
percent, grasses and grasslikes 50 to 70 percent, 
forbs 10 to 30 percent. 

- Woodland Communities: Same as Foothills- 
Mountain Grassland/Shrub Communities on ar- 
eas where invasion of limber pine and juniper has 
occurred on deeper soils. There is no specific 
objective where woodlands occur on very shallow 
soils. 

- Mixed Conifer/Deciduous Forest Communities: 
Promote overall species and structural diversity. 
Promote aspen growth in some areas, consistent 
with site-specific objectives for resource man- 
agement, including commercial forest produc- 
tion. Manage 80 percent of forestlands for hiding 
and thermal cover (50 percent of these stands will 
have thermal cover characteristics). Ten percent 
of the forestlands will be managed for old growth. 

Desired Plant Community Objectives for Wildlife Habitat 

Table 2 describes the desired plant community objec- 
tives and vegetation requirements for wildlife habitat. 



18 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 

Table 2 
Desired Plant Community Objectives and Vegetation Requirements for Wildlife 

Bighorn Sheep Habitat 

Vegetation Requirements: Bighorn sheep require more grasses for winter forage and more forbs for early spring 
grazing 

General Objective: Manage habitat for bighorn sheep winter and spring requirements. 

DPC Objective: Foothill-Mountain Grassland/Shrub: Shrubs 10 to 30 percent, grasses 50 to 70 percent, forbs 
10 to 30 percent. 

Elk Crucial Winter Range 

Vegetation Requirements: Wintering elk require a taller standing crop of grass to obtain forage in areas of deep 
snow. 

General Objective: Manage for elk winter requirements on crucial winter ranges. 

DPC Objectives: Foothills-Mountain Grassland/Shrub: shrubs 1 to 30 percent, grasses 50 to 70 percent, forbs 
1 to 30 percent. Woodlands: On a site-specific basis maintain or increase mature stands that provide hiding cover. 
Mixed Conifer/deciduous: Increase acres of aspen stands where feasible. 

Elk Birthing Habitat 

Vegetation Requirements: Lactating cow elk require a higher percentage of forbs in the late spring. 

General Objective: Manage elk birthing habitat for reproductive success. 

DPC Objectives: Foothills-Mountain Grassland/Shrub: shrubs 1 to 30 percent, grasses 50 to 70 percent, forbs 
1 to 30 percent. Woodlands: On a site-specific basis maintain or increase mature stands that provide hiding cover. 
Mixed Conifer/deciduous: Increase acres of aspen stands where feasible. 

Moose Crucial Winter Range 

Vegetation Requirements: During winter and early springs, moose rely on woody vegetation that extends above the 
snow. Important nutrition needs to be provided for lactating cow moose. 

General Objective: Manage for moose winter requirements on crucial winter ranges. 

DPC Objectives: Mixed Conifer/Deciduous and Forest Communities: Increase acreage of aspen stands where 
feasible. All Riparian Communities: Maximize shrub and deciduous tree production. 

Moose Birthing Habitat 

Vegetation Requirements: During winter and early springs, moose rely on woody vegetation that extends above the 
snow. Important nutrition needs to be provided for lactating cow moose. 

General Objective: Manage for moose winter requirements on crucial winter ranges. 

DPC Objectives: Mixed Conifer/Deciduous and Forest Communities: Increase acreage of aspen stands where 
feasible. All Riparian Communities: Maximize shrub and deciduous tree production. 

Mule Deer Crucial Winter Range 

Vegetation Requirements: Mule deer rely on the high nutritional value of shrubs during the winter. With the general 
lack of shrub diversity in the planning area, the shrubs in riparian areas are very important for winter survival. 

General Objective: Manage for mule deer winter requirements on crucial winter ranges (but on ranges in the wild 
horse herd area where the watershed DPC will be used). 



19 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 

Table 2 (Continued) 
Desired Plant Community Objectives and Vegetation Requirements for Wildlife 

Mule Deer Crucial Winter Range (continued) 

DPC Objectives: Basin Grassland/Shrub and Foothills- Mountain Grassland/Shrub: shrubs 20 to 40 percent, 
grasses 40 to 60 percent, forbs 1 to 30 percent. Canopy openings should be less than 60 acres and shrub canopy 
cover should be 10 to 30 percent. All Riparian Communities: Enhance shrub and deciduous tree production. 

Pronghorn Antelope Crucial Winter Range 

Vegetation Requirements: During the winter, pronghorns require shrubs for important nutritional balance and good 
reproduction. However, if the sagebrush is too high, the pronghorns' ability to see predators and to get through the 
brush is impaired. 

General Objective: Manage for pronghorn antelope winter requirements on crucial winter ranges outside the wild 
horse herd area. 

DPC Objectives: Basin Grassland/Shrub and Foothills- Mountain Grassland/Shrub: shrubs 20 to 40 percent, 
grasses 40 to 60 percent, forbs 1 to 30 percent. Canopy openings should be less than 60 acres, sagebrush over 30 
inches tall is undesirable, and shrub canopy cover should be 15 to 30 percent. 

Sage Grouse Nesting Habitat 

Vegetation Requirements: Sagebrush within 2 miles of sage grouse leks need to cover 20 to 40 percent of the 
ground. A good forb understory provides nutritious spring feed for the young. 

General Objective: Manage sage grouse habitat for nesting success outside the wild horse herd area. 

DPC Objective: Basin Grassland/Shrub and Foothills- Mountain Grassland/Shrub: shrubs 20 to 40 percent, 
grasses 40 to 60 percent, forbs 1 to 30 percent. Ideal canopy cover of sagebrush is 20 percent. Canopy openings 
should be less than 100 feet wide. 

Low Gradient Riparian: Canopy Composition: shrubs to 1 5 percent, grasses and grasslikes 50 to 70 percent, 
and forbs 20 to 40 percent. 

Intermediate Gradient Riparian: Canopy Composition: shrubs 30 to 50 percent, grass and grasslikes 20 to 
40 percent, and forbs 20 to 40 percent. 



Visual Resource Management 
Decisions 

Management Objective 

Maintain or improve scenic values throughout 
the planning area. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

Visual resources will be managed in accordance 
with objectives for VRM classes that have been 
assigned to the planning area. (See Glossary.) Map 
9 shows the VRM management areas. 

Visual resources will be considered before autho- 
rizing land uses that may affect them. VRM require- 
ments are applied on public lands or to BLM-ap- 
proved mineral development on split-estate lands. 



Facilities or structures such as power lines, oil 
wells, and storage tanks will be screened, painted, 
and otherwise designed to blend with the surround- 
ing landscape. 

Facilities or structures proposed in or near wil- 
derness study areas will be designed so as not to 
impair wilderness suitability. 

The construction or modification of rights-of-way 
along Wyoming highways 1 20 and 431 will be evalu- 
ated individually to assure that adverse effects on 
scenic values are not increased. 

Watershed Management Decisions 

Management Objectives 

Maintain or improve water quality to support state 
of Wyoming designated uses, and comply with state 



20 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



water quality standards. Reduce erosion by in- 
creasing ground cover, including vegetative litter, 
and maintain standing vegetation after grazing. 

Improve watershed condition on about 274,000 
acres of public land in the Fifteenmile Creek water- 
shed, and reduce the overall level of sediment deliv- 
ery to the Bighorn River from this area. 

Stabilize upland vegetation and increase vegeta- 
tive ground cover on about 15,000 acres to reduce 
overland water flow, erosion, and sedimentation. 

Improve watershed condition elsewhere in the 
planning area, especially on uplands in poor or fair 
ecological condition. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

The protection of watershed resources will be 
considered in the analysis of all proposed actions 
affecting BLM-administered lands. As needed, wa- 
tershed conservation practices (Appendix 3) and state 
of Wyoming Best Management Practices will be applied. 

Water wells and watershed projects that are no 
longer functioning or serving their original pur- 
poses will be reclaimed and abandoned as appropri- 
ate. 

The BLM may acquire mineral exploratory wells 
and drill holes that produce water. These acquired 
wells will be developed for multiple-use purposes if 
they meet criteria for water well conversion. 

The BLM will allow the surface discharge of pro- 
duced water, if it meets state of Wyoming water 
quality standards. As the surface administrator of 
public lands, the BLM considers multiple-use objectives 
and provides recommendations to the Wyoming DEQ 
before that agency issues water discharge permits. 

To obtain valid water rights, the BLM will file for the 
rights to water-related projects on public lands with the 
Wyoming State Engineer's office. 

To protect watershed values, roads and trails will 
be closed and reclaimed if they are heavily eroded or 
washed out, or if roads in better condition are avail- 
able. 

To protect watershed values, vehicular travel is 
prohibited on wet soils and on slopes greater than 
25 percent, when and where unnecessary damage 
to vegetation, soils, or water quality would result. 

In accordance with the 208 Statewide Water Qual- 
ity Management Plan for Wyoming, the BLM will 
cooperate with DEQ and EPA in the application of 
watershed conservation practices and state of Wyo- 
ming Best Management Practices to reduce sedi- 



ment-caused water pollution in the Fifteenmile Creek 
Watershed. 

To reduce the amount of nonpoint pollution en- 
tering waterways, pollution prevention plans will be 
developed for actions that qualify under the "Wyo- 
ming Storm Water Discharge Program." 

Riparian area condition will be monitored and 
evaluated as part of site-specific activity or imple- 
mentation plans. Permittees will be consulted and 
participate in collecting riparian information to the 
extent possible. Management of riparian areas that 
are not properly functioning will emphasize strate- 
gies identified in BLM technical references TR 1 737- 
4andTR 1737-6. 

To improve the condition of the Fifteenmile Creek 
Watershed small areas will be planted with native 
grasses as range projects are developed. Livestock 
grazing will be deferred in these areas until the 
desired vegetation is established. 

To protect water quality, fire retardant drops by 
air tankers are prohibited within 200 feet of water. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with watershed management will be sub- 
ject to appropriate mitigation developed through 
use of the mitigation guidelines described in Appen- 
dix 3. 

Wild Horse Management Decisions 
Management Objective 

In the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management 
Area (herd area), maintain free-roaming wild horses 
in a thriving ecological balance. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

The size of the herd area (Map 10) will be kept at 
about 83,130 acres. 

The herd area will be managed for an initial herd 
size of at least 70 and no greater than 160 mature 
animals. To the extent possible, horses will be 
managed at the lower end of this range during 
periods of drought. 

Long-term wild horse numbers will be estab- 
lished through monitoring, multiple-use allocations, 
and revision of the herd area activity plan. 

The Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Gathering Plan 
will be kept up-to-date and implemented for round- 
ups. Emphasis will be placed on gathering horses 
that wander outside the herd area or onto privately- 
owned lands. 



21 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Cooperative agreements or land exchanges to 
improve wild horse management will be pursued on 
about 12,000 acres of privately-owned land. 

Livestock grazing in the herd area is limited to 
domestic sheep use during November through 
March, unless an environmental analysis indicates 
that another kind or time of use is appropriate. 

The watershed protection, forestland manage- 
ment, and livestock grazing DPC objective will be 
used in the herd management area. (See section on 
Vegetation Management.) 

In the herd management area, grazing strategies 
will be designed to allow a combined forage utiliza- 
tion of 25 percent of the current year's growth, in 
Salt Desert Shrub and Salt Bottom plant communi- 
ties that are grazed during the growing season. 

(Combined forage utilization includes all types of con- 
sumption or destruction of vegetation by livestock, wild- 
life, wild horses, insects, hail, surface-disturbing activi- 
ties, etc. In addition, utilization will be measured and 
evaluated over time in the context of other monitoring 
information. Although utilization levels might vary from 
year to year, levels consistently exceeding those de- 
scribed would not be expected to meet watershed and 
other multiple-use requirements. Also see Appendixes 
1 and 4.) 

In the herd management area, grazing strategies 
will be designed to allow a combined forage utiliza- 
tion of 30 percent of the current year's growth in 
other plant communities that are grazed during the 
growing season. 

In the herd management area, combined forage 
utilization up to 40 percent of the current year's 
growth will be allowed in all plant communities that 
are grazed when plants are dormant. 

Wild horses will be allocated 2,300 AUMs of for- 
age annually. 

The maximum allowable forage use by domestic 
livestock in the herd area will be 3,370 AUMs per 
year. 

Development of additional water sources in the 
herd area will be considered to improve horse distri- 
bution and manage forage utilization. 

Opportunities for the public to view wild horses 
will be enhanced in the Fifteenmile herd area. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with wild horse management will be sub- 
ject to appropriate mitigation developed through 
use of the mitigation guidelines described in Appen- 
dix 3. 



Wildlife and Fish Habitat 
Management Decisions 

Management Objective 

Maintain or enhance riparian and upland habitat 
for wildlife and fish, promote species diversity, and 
allow the expansion of wildlife and fish where appro- 
priate. Also see Appendix 2. 

Management Actions 

General 

The Absaroka Front Habitat Management Plan, 
the Bighorn River Habitat Management Plan, the 
Stream Habitat Management Plan, and the Reser- 
voir Habitat Management Plan will be kept up-to- 
date and implemented. 

Annual review and environmental analysis of in- 
sect infestations will be conducted with APHIS and 
control measures will be performed as needed. 

Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities as- 
sociated with wildlife and fish management will be 
subject to appropriate mitigation developed through 
use of the mitigation guidelines described in Appen- 
dix 3. 

Wildlife Habitat 

To the extent possible, suitable habitat and for- 
age will be provided to support wildlife populations 
defined in the 1 989 WGFD Strategic Plan objectives. 
Requests by WGFD to change the objectives will be 
considered, based on habitat capability and avail- 
ability. 

The BLM will participate with the FWS in the 
evaluation and designation of critical habitat for 
threatened or endangered species on BLM-adminis- 
tered lands. If proposed surface-disturbing or dis- 
ruptive activities could affect these species, the 
BLM will consult with the FWS as required by the 
Endangered Species Act. 

The BLM will continue to work with the USDA 
Forest Service (FS), Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyo- 
ming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), and the 
Wind River Indian Reservation tribes in developing 
a healthy bighorn sheep herd in the Absaroka and 
Owl Creek mountains. 

Nest sites, roosts, cottonwood trees, and other 
potential critical habitats related to hunting and 
concentration areas for bald eagles will be pro- 
tected, especially along the Bighorn and Greybull 
rivers. As one measure to protect these habitats, 



22 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 



firewood harvesting is prohibited on public lands in 
these areas. 

Fences on public land that are hindering natural 
movement of wildlife will be modified. Fence modi- 
fications will conform to standards outlined in BLM 
Manual Sections 1741 and 9170. Priority will be 
given to fences that are restricting the greater num- 
bers of wildlife in, or near, birthing areas or crucial 
winter areas. Affected parties will be consulted 
before fence modification to insure a mutual under- 
standing of the need for the change and for estab- 
lishing acceptable fence standards. 

Fences will be constructed with the objective of 
maintaining or improving wildlife mobility in impor- 
tant habitat areas. 

Animal control measures directed at coyotes and 
other predators will be evaluated and established by 
USDA, APHIS— Wildlife Services, and the BLM will be 
consulted on their proposals. As necessary, the BLM 
will recommend public safety zones where the use 
of M-44s may be prohibited on public lands. 

Emphasis will be placed on acquiring access to 
public lands on the Bighorn and Greybull rivers to 
enhance recreational opportunities and wildlife 
management. 

Exchanges will be pursued to improve manage- 
ment of important seasonal wildlife habitat areas in 
the upper portions of Owl, Cottonwood, Goose- 
berry, and Grass creeks. 

Exchanges will be pursued along Gooseberry 
Creek, the upper portions of Cottonwood and Grass 
creeks, the Bighorn and Greybull rivers, and on 
lands where other riparian areas occur. The pur- 
poses for these exchanges will be to block up public 
land, enhance public access, and improve manage- 
ment. 

Waterfowl nesting and rearing habitat will be 
improved on suitable reservoirs. 

The BLM will encourage the construction of is- 
lands in reservoirs, encourage the growth of ripar- 
ian vegetation by plantings and/or grazing manage- 
ment, and install nesting structures to manage for 
waterfowl production and security areas near reser- 
voirs. 

Fish Habitat 

The BLM will cooperate with the WGFD and local 
irrigators in negotiations directed at establishing 
minimum pool elevations for reservoirs having fish- 
eries potential. 



Reservoirs and riparian areas will be maintained 
to improve or enhance potential fisheries. The BLM 
will encourage the design of reservoirs to enhance 
fisheries where potential exists. 

Consistent with the overall management objec- 
tive to maintain or enhance fisheries habitat, exist- 
ing game and nongame fish habitat will be protected 
and the BLM will consider the introduction of fish 
where habitat potential exists. Approximately 28 
miles of stream habitat will be managed for game 
fish; 60 additional miles will be managed for non- 
game fish. 

Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern Management Decisions 

Upper Owl Creek Area of Critical Environ- 
mental Concern 

The Upper Owl Creek Area of Critical Environ- 
mental Concern (ACEC) is designated on about 
1 6,300 acres of public land. The special management 
designation does not apply to state or private lands. 
(See Map 11.) 

Management Objective 

To protect overlapping and important big game 
habitats and migration corridors, fisheries habitat, 
shallow soils, alpine vegetation and rare plants, 
diverse cultural resources and Native American 
traditional values, primitive recreational opportuni- 
ties, and high scenic quality. 

Management Actions 

Management includes limiting or prohibiting sur- 
face-disturbing activities and closing the area to, 
and pursuing withdrawal from, the staking and de- 
velopment of mining claims to protect fragile soils, 
alpine tundra, important wildlife habitat, and scenic 
values. (Also see Appendix 3.) 

A detailed activity plan will be prepared for the 
Upper Owl Creek ACEC before the BLM approves 
any proposal for major surface-disturbing activity in 
the area. This activity plan will include assistance 
from the development proponent and other affected 
and interested citizens to determine whether some 
surface occupancy could be allowed in the area. 
Mitigation measures considered in the analysis will 
include "access corridors" and "cluster develop- 
ment." 

For any mining claims with prior existing rights, a 
"plan of operations" will be required for all mining 
claim-related activities, other than casual use, in the 
Upper Owl Creek ACEC. 



23 



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1 



GLOSSARY 



This Glossary contains definitions from appropriate fed- 
eral regulations and BLM Manuals, when available, to 
explain terms used in the final EIS; however, some 
definitions have been expanded. This was accom- 
plished by adding language after the official definitions, 
without violating the intent of the regulations or policy. 
The reasons were to (1 ) provide greater clarification, (2) 
describe a broader context for the term as used in the 
final EIS, or (3) respond to particular public comments. 

Some terms printed in the draft EIS have been dropped 
from this Glossary because the terms are no longer used 
in this document or have been adequately defined 
elsewhere in the text. 

Activity Plan (Site-Specific Plan): A plan for managing resource 
uses or values to achieve specific ob|ectives. For example, an 
allotment management plan is an activity plan for managing 
livestock grazing use to improve or maintain rangeland condi- 
tions. (43 CFR 4100.0-5) Activity plans (also known as 
implementation plans) consider the management of specific 
geographical areas in more detail than resource management 
plans, taking into consideration all the resources and land uses 
that occur in the area. 

Affected Interest: An individual, group, or organization that has 
submitted a written request to be provided an opportunity to be 
involved in the decisionmaking process for the management of 
livestock grazing on specific grazing allotments or has submit- 
ted written comments to BLM regarding the management of 
livestock grazing on a specific allotment. Referred to as "Inter- 
ested Public" in the current grazing regulations. (43 CFR 
4100.0-5) 

In this document, the term is used for any individual, group, or 
organization wanting to be involved in BLM land-use planning 
and decisionmaking. Also synonymous with "affected or inter- 
ested citizen" and "affected party." Affected interests may 
include other federal and state agencies, Native American 
representatives, and the elected officials of local and state 
government. The involvement of affected interests would be 
guided by BLM planning regulations 43 CFR 1610.2 and 
1610.3, and the National Environmental Policy Act. 

Allotment Management Plan: See "Activity Plan (Site-Specific 
Plan)." 

Allotment: An area of land designated and managed for the grazing 
of livestock. An allotment may include intermingled private, 
state, public, and other federally-administered lands that are 
administered for grazing. 

Allotment Categorization: The grouping of livestock grazing allot- 
ments into the categories "M" (maintain current condition), "I" 
(improve current condition), and "C" (manage custodially while 
protecting existing resource values). The criteria that deter- 
mine the allotment categorization are described in Appendix G 
of the draft EIS. 

Animal Unit Month (AUM): The amount of forage necessary for the 
sustenance of one cow or its equivalent for a period of one 
month. (43 CFR 4100.0-5) 

Appropriate Management Response: Specific actions taken in 
response to a naturally-occurring wildland fire to implement 
protection and fire use objectives, while considering firefighter 
and public safety, anticipated management costs, resource 
values at risk, resource benefits, threats to private property, 
opportunities for reducing hazardous fuels, and political and 



social concerns. Appropriate management response would 
involve a wide range of fire management options. These might 
include confining or containing a wildland fire so it stays within 
a predetermined boundary, or aggressively and quickly sup- 
pressing the fire. 

Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): An area within 
the public lands designated for special management attention 
to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, 
cultural, or scenic values, fish and wildlife resources, or other 
natural systems or processes, or to protect life and safety from 
natural hazards. According to 43 CFR 1 601. 0-5a, "The identi- 
fication of.. .[an] ACEC shall not, of itself, change or prevent 
change of the management or use of public lands." 

Biological Diversity: The variety of life and its processes. Although 
vastly complex, it includes some measurable distinctions like 
genetic differences within and among species, species varia- 
tions, associations of species with each other and their environ- 
ments, and the patterns and linkages of these biological com- 
munities across geographical areas. (Keystone Center 1991.) 
According to West (1993) "biological diversity is the variety of 
life and its processes, including the variety of living organisms, 
the genetic differences among them, the communities, the 
ecosystems, and landscapes in which they occur, plus the 
interactions of these components. Some [authorities] would 
add the local peoples, their culture, and their 'indigenous 
knowledge' to the list...." 

Carrying Capacity: According to grazing regulations (43 C FR 41 00.0- 
5), livestock carrying capacity is the maximum stocking rate 
possible without inducing damage to vegetation or related 
resources. It may vary from year to year on the same area due 
to fluctuating forage production. In this final EIS, the term 
carrying capacity (instead of "livestock carrying capacity") is 
used to reflect the maximum level of grazing and all other 
concurrent uses that public lands can sustain on a long-term 
basis. 

Composition: The percentages of various plant species in a plant 
community. 

Coordinated Activity Plan: See "Activity Plan (Site-Specific Plan)." 

Coordinated Resource Management (CRM): A management ap- 
proach which has an overall goal of reaching agreement among 
affected land users on natural resource issues, and which 
improves natural resource values and promotes quality re- 
source management through collaborative efforts. (Wyoming 
n.d.) 

Crucial Winter Habitat: Winter habitat that a wildlife species de- 
pends upon for survival, especially during severe winter weather 
conditions. Alternative habitat areas would be very limited or 
unavailable because of severe weather conditions or other 
limiting factors. 

Desired Plant Community: A plant community which meets re- 
source management plan objectives. 

Disruptive (or Human-Presence Disturbance) Activities: The 

physical presence, sounds, and movements of people and their 
activities (on, below, or above the land surface) whether on foot, 
riding animals, or using mechanized or motorized vehicles or 
equipment. (Also see "Permanent Disruptive Activities.") 

The bulk of the concern for mitigation of disruptive activities is 
associated with the effects of human presence and activity on 
wildlife. That is, the effect that human presence, movements 
and sounds (including those of the equipment used) may have 
on the well-being of wildlife during critical life-cycle stages 
(breeding, nesting, birthing), or during periods of severe weather 



37 



GLOSSARY 



conditions (severe winter storms, long periods of severe cold or 
deep snow conditions), when forage or habitat are severely 
limited, and when the animals are under high stress and 
depleted body-energy conditions. 

Harassment of wildlife from human presence, movements, or 
sounds during these kinds of periods and conditions can cause 
excessive and unnecessary impacts, including mortality, fetal 
abortion, and abandonment of young. While these types of 
activities can be associated with the performance of surface- 
disturbing activities, they are not exclusive to that. 

Disruptive activities can also be associated with effects to other 
resources, such as excessive or adverse influences and effects 
of human presence or modern society's imprint on areas of 
highly primitive, seclusive, scenic, or historic value. 

Ephemeral Stream: A stream that flows only in direct response to 
precipitation, and whose channel is at all times above the water 
table. Confusion over the distinction between intermittent and 
ephemeral streams may be minimized by applying Meinzer's 
suggestion that the term "ephemeral" be arbitrarily restricted to 
streams that do not flow continuously for at least 30 days (BLM 
Technical Reference 1737-9, 1993). Ephemeral streams sup- 
port riparian areas when stream-side vegetation reflects the 
presence of permanent subsurface water. 

Exception: Case-by-base exemption to an oil and gas lease stipu- 
lation. The stipulation would continue to apply to all other areas 
on the lease where the restriction is necessary. 

Forage: Browse and herbaceous foods that are available to grazing 
animals. 

Forb: A flowering plant whose aboveground stem does not become 
woody and is not grass nor grasslike. 

Functioning-At-Risk Condition: Riparian. ..areas that are in func- 
tional condition but an existing soil, water, or vegetation at- 
tribute makes them susceptible to degradation. (BLM Techni- 
cal Reference 1737-9, 1993) 

Geosynthetic Materials: The generic classification of all synthetic 
materials used in geotechnical engineering applications; it 
includes geotextiles, geocells, geogrids, geomembranes, and 
geocomposites. (Industrial Fabric Assoc. International, 1990.) 

Geotechnical Engineering: The application of civil engineering 
technology for the use of soil or rock as construction material. 
(Industrial Fabric Assoc. International, 1990.) 

Geotextile: Any permeable textile used with foundation, soil, rock, 
earth, or any other geotechnical engineering-related material 
as an integral part of a human-made project, structure, or 
system. (Industrial Fabric Assoc. International, 1990.) 

Historic Properties: A historic property as defined by 36 CFR 
800.2(e) means any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, 
structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the 
National Register. This term includes, for the purposes of these 
regulations, artifacts, records, and remains that are related to 
and located within such properties. The term eligible for 
inclusion in the National Register includes both properties 
formally determined as such by the Secretary of the Interior and 
all other properties that meet National Register listing criteria. 

Holistic Planning (Holistic Resource Management 
[HRM]): According to the Meeteetse Conservation District, 
Holistic Resource Management is "the action of a community to 
develop, define, and apply community goals, objectives, and 
policies that reflect their community quality of life, landscape 
description, and forms of production, and to achieve and 
maintain the community goals, objectives and [policies] through 
the acknowledgment of the ecosystem processes, and the 



application of the tools, human creativity and money and labor, 
and to recommend the testing and management guidelines for 
equitable community development, and to monitor, control, and 
re-plan through an open and collaborative process as the 
community changes over time." 

Hydromulch: A mulch applied in a water slurry. This same slurry 
may also contain items such as seed, fertilizer, erosion-control 
compounds, growth regulators, and soil amendments. 

Interdisciplinary: Characterized by participation or cooperation 
among two or more disciplines or fields of study. As required 
by 40 CFR 1 502.6, an interdisciplinary approach shall be used 
in the preparation, amendment, and revision of resource man- 
agement plans. 

Intermittent Stream: A stream that flows only at certain times of the 
year when it receives water from springs or from some surface 
source such as melting snow in mountainous areas. Confusion 
over the distinction between intermittent and ephemeral streams 
may be minimized by applying Meinzer's (1923) suggestion 
that the term "intermittent" be arbitrarily restricted to streams 
that flow continuously for periods of at least 30 days. (BLM 
Technical Reference 1737-9, 1993) 

Key Area: A relatively small area that reflects or has the capability 
to reflect the effectiveness of management on the resources of 
a larger area. Depending on management objectives, a key 
area may be a representative sample of a large stratum, 
pasture, allotment, or a particular management area or it may 
be representative of specific areas requiring unique manage- 
ment ([that is], threatened or endangered species habitat). 
Monitoring studies are located within key areas and are estab- 
lished at the frequency and intensity needed to determine 
whether resource objectives are being accomplished or to 
identify the presence of absence of conflicts or issues. (BLM 
Manual H-4401-1) 

Key Species: Generally important components of a plant commu- 
nity or ecological site. Key species serve as indicators of 
change and may or may not be forage species. More than one 
key species may be selected for a stratum depending on 
management objectives and data needs. In some unique 
cases, poisonous plants or noxious weeds may be selected as 
key species. (BLM Manual H-4400-1) 

Limited to Designated Roads and Trails: Public lands where ORV 
use would be allowed on some roads and trails but not on 
others. The RMP will identify these general areas but will not 
prescribe specific roads and trails to be opened or closed. This 
will be accomplished after completion of the RMP through 
analysis of detailed information and with public participation. 
(Also see "Off-Road Vehicle.") 

Limited to Existing Roads and Trails: Public lands where ORV 
use would be allowed on all existing roads and trails. It is not 
intended for "existing roads and trails" to include any roads or 
trails created, after the completion of Grass Creek RMP, by the 
off-road use of motorized vehicles. (Also see "Off-Road Ve- 
hicle.") 

Livestock Carrying Capacity: See "Carrying Capacity." 

Mitigation: Methods used to prevent or reduce adverse effects to 
resources that might be caused by surface-disturbing or other 
disruptive activities. 

Modification: Fundamental change to the provisions of an oil and 
gas lease stipulation, either temporarily or for the term of the 
lease. A modification may, therefore, include an exception from 
or alteration to a stipulated requirement. Depending on the 
specific modification, the stipulation may or may not apply to all 
other areas on the lease. 



38 



GLOSSARY 



Monitoring: The periodic observation and orderly collection of data 
to evaluate: (1 ) effects of management actions, and (2) effec- 
tiveness of actions in meeting management objectives. (43 
CFR 4100-05). 

No Surface Occupancy (NSO): The term "no surface occupancy" 
(NSO) is used in two ways. It Is used in one way to define a no 
surface occupancy area where no surface-disturbing activities, 
of any nature or for any purpose, would be allowed. For 
example, construction or the permanent or long-term place- 
ment of structures or other facilities for any purpose would be 
prohibited in an NSO area. 

The other way the "no surface occupancy" term is used is as a 
stipulation or mitigation requirement for controlling or prohibit- 
ing selected land uses or activities that would conflict with other 
activities, uses, or values in a given area. When used in this way 
the NSO stipulation or mitigation requirement is applied to 
prohibit one or more specific types of land and resource 
development activities or surface uses in an area, while other — 
perhaps even similar — types of activities or uses (for other 
purposes) would be allowed. For example: Protecting impor- 
tant rock art relics from destruction may require closing the area 
to the staking of mining claims and surface mining, off-road 
vehicle travel, construction or long-term placement of struc- 
tures or pipelines, power lines, general purpose roads, and 
livestock grazing. Conversely, the construction of fences to 
protect the rock art from vandalism or from trampling or break- 
age by livestock, an access road or trail, and other visitor 
facilities to provide interpretation and opportunity for public 
enjoyment of the rock art would be allowed. Further, if there 
were interest in development of leasable minerals in the area, 
leases for oil and gas, coal, and so forth, could be issued with 
a "no surface occupancy" stipulation or mitigation requirement 
for the rock art site, which would still allow access to the 
leasable minerals from adjacent lands and underground. 

The term "no surface occupancy" has no relationship or rel- 
evance to the presence of people in an area. 

Notice: Notification, in the form of a letter, submitted by a mining 
claim operator to the BLM, for operations that will cause a 
cumulative surface disturbance of 5 acres or less during any 
calendar year. This notification must be made at least 15 
calendar days before the operations begin. Approval of a notice 
by the BLM is not required. 

Off-Road Vehicle: Any motorized vehicle capable of, or designed 
for, travel on or immediately over land, water, or other natural 
terrain, excluding: (1) any nonamphibious registered motor- 
boat; (2) any military, fire, emergency, or law enforcement 
vehicle while being used for emergency purposes; (3) any 
vehicle whose use is expressly authorized by the authorized 
officer, or otherwise officially approved; (4) vehicles in official 
use; and (5) any combat or combat support vehicle when used 
in times of national defense emergencies. (43 CFR 8340.0-5) 

Perennial Stream: A stream that flows continuously. Perennial 
streams are generally associated with a water table in the 
localities through which they flow. (BLM Technical Reference 
1737-9) 

Permanent Disruptive Activities: Long-term activities including 
physical presence, sounds, and movements of people and their 
activities (on, below, or above the land surface) whether on foot, 
riding animals, or using mechanized or motorized vehicles or 
equipment. A permanent disruptive activity might also be short 
term if it involves disruption during an important time period 
such as when wildlife are migrating, giving birth, or dependent 
on crucial winter habitat. The same activity would not be 
permanently disruptive if it occurred in other seasons, or 
adverse effects could be mitigated by conducting the activity 



only during certain hours of the day. (Also see "Disruptive (or 
Human-Presence Disturbance) Activities.") 

Prescribed Fire: Application of fire (by planned or unplanned igni- 
tion) to wildland fuels in either their natural or modified state, 
under specified conditions to allow the fire to burn in a prede- 
termined area while producing the fire behavior required to 
achieve certain management objectives. 

Primitive Recreation: As used in this document, the terms "primi- 
tive kinds of recreation" and "primitive recreation" are used to 
describe the types of recreational activities available on about 
62,270 acres classified as semipnmitive nonmotonzed recre- 
ation in BLM's recreation opportunity spectrum. 

Proper Functioning Condition: Riparian areas are functioning 
properly when adequate vegetation, land forms, or large weedy 
debris are present to dissipate stream energy associated with 
high water flows, thereby reducing erosion and improving water 
quality; filter sediment, capture bedload and aid floodplain 
development; improve floodwater retention and groundwater 
recharge; develop root masses that stabilize streambanks 
against cutting action; develop diverse ponding and channel 
characteristics to provide the habitat and the water depth, 
duration, and temperature necessary for fish production, water- 
fowl, breeding, and other uses; and support greater biodiversity. 
The functioning condition of riparian areas is a result of interac- 
tion among geology, soil, water and vegetation. 

Public Lands: Any land or interest in lands owned by the United 
States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through 
the Bureau of Land Management, except lands located on the 
outer Continental Shelf and lands held for the benefit of Indians, 
Aleuts, and Eskimos. (43 CFR 1601.0-5) 

Range Improvement: An authorized physical modification or treat- 
ment which is designed to improve production of forage; 
change vegetation composition; control patterns of use; pro- 
vide water; stabilize soil and water conditions; and restore, 
protect, and improve the condition of rangeland ecosystems to 
benefit livestock, wild horses and burros, and fish and wildlife. 
The term includes, but is not limited to, structures, treatment 
projects, and use of mechanical devices or modifications 
achieved through mechanical means. (43 CFR 4100.0-5) 

Range improvements might also include the use of livestock 
grazing and other biological techniques. 

Range Condition: The existing state of range vegetation in an area 
described in comparison to the natural potential plant commu- 
nity for that area. It is an expression of the relative degree to 
which the kinds, proportions, and amounts of plants in a plant 
community resemble that of the potential natural vegetation in 
that area. 

Rest-Rotation: A prescribed pattern of grazing use that provides 
sequential rest for various parts of the range unit for at least one 
year. 

Right-of-Way Concentration Area: Public lands where rights-of- 
way are concentrated and where the placement of future rights- 
of-way would be favored over lands that are currently unaf- 
fected by these disturbances. 

Riparian: A form of wetland transition between permanently satu- 
rated wetlands and upland areas. These areas exhibit vegeta- 
tion or physical characteristics reflective of permanent surface 
or subsurface water influence. Lands along, adjacent to, or 
contiguous with perennially and intermittently flowing rivers and 
streams, glacial potholes, and the shores of lakes and reser- 
voirs with stable water levels are typical riparian areas. (See 
BLM Manual 1 737.) Included are ephemeral streams that have 
vegetation dependent upon free water in the soil. All other 
ephemeral streams are excluded. 



39 



GLOSSARY 



Riparian Area Condition: Includes "Proper Functioning," 
"Nonfunctioning," and "Functioning-at-Risk" conditions. 

Seasonal Requirement: A type of mitigation prohibiting surface use 
during a specific time period to protect identified resource 
values. 

Semiprimitive Motorized: One of the six classes of the recreation 
opportunity spectrum. Semiprimitive motorized areas offer 
some opportunities for isolation from the sights and sounds of 
human activities, but not as much as with opportunities for 
semiprimitive nonmotonzed recreation. Use of these areas 
involves the opportunity for visitors to have a high degree of 
interaction with the natural environment, to have moderate 
challenge and risk, and to use outdoor skills. Such an area 
provides an explicit opportunity to use motorized equipment 
while in the area. 

Semiprimitive Nonmotorized: One of the six classes of the recre- 
ation opportunity spectrum. Semiprimitive nonmotorized areas 
offer opportunities for isolation from the sights and sounds of 
human activities. Use of these areas involves the opportunity 
for visitors to have a high degree of interaction with the natural 
environment, to have moderate challenge and risk, and to use 
outdoor skills. 

Serai Stage: The present state of vegetation of a range site in 
relation to the potential natural community for the site. Vegeta- 
tion status is the expression of the relative degree to which the 
kinds, proportions, and amounts of plants in a community 
resemble those of the potential natural community. The classes 
are potential natural community, late serai, mid-seral, and early 
serai. 

Species-at-Risk: The US Fish and Wildlife Service considers spe- 
cies-at-risk to be animals and plants for which there is sufficient 
information that listing as threatened or endangered may be 
appropriate but persuasive data on biological vulnerability and 
threats are not currently available. (Also see "Candidate 
Species.") 

Surface-Disturbing Activities (or Surface Disturbance): The 

physical disturbance and movement or removal of the land 
surface and vegetation. It ranges from the very minimal to the 
maximum types of surface disturbance associated with such 
things as off-road vehicle travel or use of mechanized, rubber- 
tired, or tracked equipment and vehicles; some timber cutting 
and forest silvicultural practices; excavation and development 
activities associated with use of heavy equipment for road, 
pipeline, power line and other types of construction; blasting; 
strip, pit and underground mining and related activities, includ- 
ing ancillary facility construction; oil and gas well drilling and 
field construction or development and related activities; range 
improvement project construction; and recreation site con- 
struction. 

Mitigation of surface-disturbing activities centers around sur- 
face reclamation and the control and prohibition of surface 
uses. Mitigation is associated with concerns for such things as 



movement of disturbed or denuded soil (by water, air, or 
gravity); erosion; water quality (sedimentation, salinity, pollu- 
tion); wildlife habitat (vegetative and spacial, aquatic or terres- 
trial); vegetative composition, cover or productive capacity 
(quality, quantity) for consumptive and nonconsumptive uses 
(grazing, scenic values, watershed stability); surface and sub- 
surface cultural and paleontological values; and other subsur- 
face values (cave or karst systems, aquifers). 

Tackifers: Organic and inorganic chemical products applied in 
water solutions to lightweight mulches to hold them in place. 

Trend : The direction of change over time, either toward or away from 
desired management objectives. (43 CFR 4100.0-5) 

Utilization: The portion of forage that has been consumed [or 
destroyed] by livestock, wild horses and burros, wildlife, and 
insects during a specified period. The term is also used to refer 
to the pattern of such use. (43 CFR 4100.0-5) 

As used in this document, the term "combined utilization" 
highlights the cumulative effect on vegetation from all land uses 
and environmental factors. 

Visual Resource Management (VRM): The planning and imple- 
mentation of management objectives for maintaining visual 
quality and scenic values on public lands. Visual resource 
management classes determine the amount of change that 
would be allowed to basic elements of the landscape. Three (of 
the five) VRM classes are identified in the Grass Creek Plan- 
ning Area: In Class II areas, changes in basic elements of the 
landscape can be evident but must not attract attention. In 
Class III areas, changes in the basic elements of the landscape 
can be evident but must remain subordinate to the existing 
landscape. In Class IV areas, changes in the basic elements 
of the landscape can attract attention and may be dominant 
features of the landscape in terms of scale, but the changes 
should repeat the form, line, color, and texture of the character- 
istic landscape. 

Waiver: Permanent exemption from an oil and gas lease stipulation. 

Wetland: An area inundated or saturated by surface or ground water 
at a frequency and duration sufficient to support. ..under normal 
circumstances. ..a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted 
for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include marshes, 
shallows, swamps, lakeshores, bogs, muskegs, wet meadows, 
estuaries, and riparian areas. (BLM ManuaM737) As used in 
the final EIS, "wetland" is an ecological term. No specific legal 
or jurisdictional connotations are implied. 

Wildiand Fire: Any nonstructure fire, other than prescribed fire, that 
occurs in the wildiand. 

Vegetative Cover: The material covering the soil and providing 
protection from, or resistance to, the impact of raindrops and 
the energy of water flowing over the surface of the land; 
expressed in percent of the area covered. Cover is composed 
of vegetation, plant litter, and rocks. 



40 



APPENDIX 1 
WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS REVIEW 



INTRODUCTION 

In developing the Grass Creek RMPEIS, the planning 
team reviewed all BLM-administered public lands along 
waterways in the planning area. This review was to 
determine if any of these public lands met the Wild and 
Scenic Rivers eligibility criteria and suitability factors, as 
identified in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AND 
COORDINATION 

In January 1 991 , Wyoming BLM staff met with repre- 
sentatives of Wyoming state agencies and the Governor's 
Office to reach an understanding of the wild and scenic 
rivers review process and of the wild and scenic rivers 
eligibility criteria and suitability factors to be used in the 
process. Agreement was also reached on the need for 
some refinements of the Wild and Scenic Rivers eligibil- 
ity criteria and suitability factors, specific to their applica- 
tion of the BLM-administered public lands in Wyoming. 
The resulting criteria and factors are still consistent with 
the BLM Wild and Scenic Rivers Manual 8351 , released 
on May 15, 1992. 

In May 1993, BLM personnel from the Bighorn Basin 
Resource Area office briefed representatives of Wyo- 
ming state government on preliminary eligibility findings 
in the planning area. Similar briefings on the eligibility 
findings were given to the Wyoming Congressional 
Delegation representatives and the Big Horn , Hot Springs, 
Park, and Washakie county commissioners. Through 
open houses and direct mailing to interested individuals, 
the public was informed of the need for a wild and scenic 
river review, in descriptions of "planning issues" and 
"planning criteria." A summary of these public participa- 
tion activities is available for review in the Bighorn Basin 
Resource Area office. 

PROCESS 

Definitions 

The following definitions applied to key terms used in 
the review process. 

Waterway: A flowing body of water or estuary or a 
section, portion, or tributary thereof, including rivers, 
streams, creeks, runs, kills, rills, and small lakes. For 
purposes of this review, a waterway is not required to 
have water in it year-round and may be ephemeral or 
intermittent. 



Public lands: The BLM-administered public land sur- 
face along waterways within an RMP planning area. 
Those "split estate lands," where the land surface is 
state or privately-owned and the federal mineral estate 
is administered by the BLM, are not involved with these 
reviews. Other references to segments, parcels, corri- 
dors, and waterways all represent public lands, which 
are the basis for our review. 

The BLM wild and scenic rivers review, conducted 
during the development of the RMP, was a three-step 
process of: 

1 . determining if public lands along waterways met the 
eligibility criteria to be tentatively classified as wild, 
scenic, or recreational; 

2. determining if any public lands meeting the eligibility 
criteria also met the wild and scenic river suitability 
factors; and 

3. determining how public lands that met the suitability 
factors would be managed. 

These steps are further defined as follows. 

Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Criteria 
and Tentative Classification 

Eligibility Criteria 

To meet the eligibility criteria, a waterway must be 
"free-flowing" and, along with its adjacent land area, 
must possess one or more "outstandingly remarkable" 
value(s). As part of the eligibility review, BLM planning 
team members reviewed all waterways in the Grass 
Creek RMP planning area to see if they contained any 
public lands that met the eligibility criteria. Only those 
waterways flowing through public lands were consid- 
ered. The following guidelines were used in applying the 
eligibility criteria. 

1 . Free-flowing. Free-flowing is defined in the Wild 
and Scenic Rivers Act as "existing or flowing in 
natural condition without impoundment, diversion, 
straightening, rip-rapping, or other modification of 
the waterway." The existence of small dams, diver- 
sion works, or other minor structures at the time the 
river segment is being considered shall not auto- 
matically disqualify it for possible addition to the 
National Wild and Scenic River System. A river 
need not be "boatable or floatable" in order to be 
eligible; there is no "minimum flow" requirement. 

Because of this broad definition, all waterways within 
the planning area were assumed to be free-flowing. 



41 



APPENDIX 1 



2 Outstandingly Remarkable Values. The public 
lands along waterways must also possess one or 
more outstandingly remarkable value(s) to be eli- 
gible for further consideration. Outstandingly re- 
markable values relate to scenic, recreational, geo- 
logic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other 
similar resource values. 

The term "outstandingly remarkable value" is not 
precisely defined in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. 
However, it should be noted that these values must be 
directly waterway-related. The criteria for outstandingly 
remarkable values used for the review of public lands in 
the Grass Creek RMP planning area were: 

1. Scenic — The landscape elements of landform, 
vegetation, water, color and related factors result in 
notable or exemplary visual features and/or attrac- 
tions. Additional factors such as seasonal varia- 
tions in vegetation, scale of cultural modifications, 
and length of time negative intrusions are viewed 
can also be considered when analyzing scenic 
values. Scenery and visual attractions may be 
highly diverse over the majority of the public lands 
involved; are not common to other waterways in the 
area; and must be of a quality to attract visitors from 
outside the area. 

2. Recreational — Recreational opportunities on the 
public lands are unique enough to attract visitors 
from outside the area. Visitors would be willing to 
travel long distances to use the waterway resources 
on the public lands for recreational purposes. Wa- 
terway-related opportunities could include, but are 
not limited to, sightseeing, wildlife observation, pho- 
tography, hiking, fishing, hunting, and boating. 

Interpretive opportunities may be exceptional and 
attract visitors from outside the area. The waterway 
may provide settings for national or regional com- 
mercial usage or competitive events. 

3. Geologic — The public lands provide an example of 
a geologic features, process, or phenomenon that is 
rare, unusual, one-of-a-kind or unique to the area. 
The feature may be in an unusually active stage of 
development, represent a "textbook" example and/ 
or represent a unique or rare combination of geo- 
logic features (for example, erosional, volcanic, 
glacial and other geologic structures). 

4. Fisheries — The fishery values on the public lands 
may be judged on the relative merits of either fish 
populations or habitat, or a combination of these 
conditions. For example: 

a. Populations. The waterway on public lands is 
a contributor to one of the top producers of 



resident fish species, either nationally or in the 
area. Of particular significance is the presence 
of wild stocks and/or federally-listed or candi- 
date threatened or endangered species. Diver- 
sity of species is also important. 

b. Habitat. The public lands are contributing to 
exceptionally high quality fish habitat for resi- 
dent species and federally-listed or candidate 
threatened or endangered species. 

5. Wildlife — Wildlife values on the public lands may 
be judged on the relative merits of either wildlife 
populations or habitat, or a combination of these 
conditions. For example? 

a. Populations. The public lands contribute to 
populations of resident wildlife species impor- 
tant in the area or nationally. Of particular 
significance are species considered to be unique 
or populations of federally-listed or candidate 
threatened or endangered species. Diversity of 
species is also important. 

b. Habitat. The public lands are contributing to 
exceptionally high quality habitat for wildlife 
species important in the area or nationally, or 
may provide unique habitat or a critical link in 
habitat conditions for federally-listed or candi- 
date threatened or endangered species. Adja- 
cent habitat conditions are such that the biologi- 
cal needs of the species are met. 

6. Cultural — The public lands contain examples of 
outstanding cultural sites which have unusual char- 
acteristics relating to prehistoric or historic use. 
Sites may be important in the area or nationally for 
interpreting prehistory or history; may be rare and 
represent an area where a culture or cultural period 
was first identified and described; may have been 
used concurrently by two or more cultural groups; or 
may have been used by cultural groups for rare or 
sacred purposes. 

7. Historical — The public lands contain a site or 
feature associated with a significant event, an im- 
portant person, or a cultural activity of the past that 
was rare, unusual, or one-of-a-kind in the area 
(although eligibility for inclusion in the National Reg- 
ister of Historic Places, by itself, is not sufficient 
justification for being considered outstandingly re- 
markable). 

8. Similar Values — Other values may include signifi- 
cant hydrologic, paleontologic, botanic, scientific, or 
ecologic resources as long as they are waterway- 
related. 



42 



APPENDIX 1 



Tentative Classification 

At the same time that eligibility determinations are 
made, eligible waterways are also given a tentative 
classification (that is either wild, scenic, or recreational), 
as required by the Act. Tentative classification is based 
on the type and degree of human development associ- 
ated with the waterway and adjacent public lands at the 
time of the review. Actual classification is a congression- 
al^ legislative determination. 

The tentative classifications, as used by BLM in 
Wyoming, are further defined as: 

Wild Waterway Areas — Wild areas are those where 
the waterways are free of impoundments and generally 
inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shore- 
lines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These 
represent vestiges of primitive America. Wild means 
undeveloped; roads, dams, or diversion works are gen- 
erally absent from a quarter-mile corridor on both sides 
of the waterway. 

Scenic Waterway Areas — Scenic areas are those 
where the waterways are generally free of impound- 
ments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primi- 
tive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible 
in places by roads. Scenic does not necessarily mean 
the waterway corridor has to have scenery as an out- 
standingly remarkable value; however, it does mean the 
waterway may contain more development (except for 
major dams or diversion works) than a wild segment and 
less development than a recreational segment. For 
example, roads may cross the waterway in places but 
generally do not run parallel to it. In certain cases, 
however, if a parallel road is unpaved and well screened 
from the waterway by vegetation, it could qualify for 
scenic classification. 

Recreational Waterway Areas — Recreational areas 
are those where the waterways on the public lands are 
readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have 
some development along their shorelines, and that may 
have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the 
past. Parallel roads or railroads and(or) small dams or 
diversions can be allowed in this classification. A 
recreational area classification does not imply that the 
waterway or section of waterway on the public lands will 
be managed or have priority for recreational use or 
development. 

Wild and Scenic Rivers Suitability Factors 

All of the public lands that are found to meet the 
eligibility criteria and are classified (for example, wild, 
scenic, or recreational) would be further reviewed to 
determine if they meet the wild and scenic rivers suitabil- 
ity factors. The suitability determinations would be 



made after the general public, local, state, and federal 
governments and agencies, and other interested parties 
have reviewed the eligibility and classification determi- 
nations. 

Some factors to be considered in making the suitabil- 
ity determinations include, but are not limited to: 

1 . Characteristics which would make the public lands 
a worthy addition to the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers System. 

2. Current status of landownership and land and re- 
source uses in the area, including the amount of 
private land, and any associated or conflicting pri- 
vate land uses. 

3. Reasonably foreseeable potential uses of the public 
lands and related waters which would be enhanced, 
foreclosed, or curtailed if they were included in the 
national system, and the values which could be 
foreclosed or diminished if the public lands are not 
protected as part of the system. 

4. Public, state, local, or federal interest in designation 
of the waterway, including the extent to which the 
administration of the waterway, including the costs 
thereof, may be shared by state, local, or other 
federal agencies, and individuals. 

5. Estimated costs of acquiring necessary lands and 
administering the area if it is added to the national 
system. 

6. Ability of the BLM to manage the public lands as a 
Wild and Scenic River. 

7. Historical or existing rights which would be ad- 
versely affected as to foreclose, extinguish, curtail, 
infringe, or constitute a taking which would entitle 
the owner to just compensation if the public lands 
were included in the national system. In the suitabil- 
ity review, adequate consideration would be given 
to rights held by other landowners and applicants, 
lessees, claimants, or authorized users of the public 
lands. 

8. Other issues and concerns identified in the land-use 
planning process. 

Management of Public Lands that Meet the Suit- 
ability Factors 

The BLM land-use planning decisions would be de- 
veloped and implemented for any public lands that are 
determined to meet the suitability factors. These plan- 
ning decisions would include management objectives, 
management actions, and appropriate allocations of 
land and resource uses that would maintain the out- 
standingly remarkable values and tentative wild and 



43 



APPENDIX 1 



scenic waterway classifications. The Grass Creek RMP 
would be amended as necessary. 

Public lands that are determined to meet the suitabil- 
ity factors would then be managed under the BLM's land 
use plan management decisions, indefinitely. In the 
future the Secretary of the Interior may direct the BLM to 
participate in the development of Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Study Reports. The results and documentation of the 
BLM wild and scenic river reviews for the Grass Creek 
RMP planning area would be used in developing any 
such reports. 

Results of the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Eligibility Review 

The Grass Creek planning team met on April 14, 
1 993, to conduct the eligibility review for the waterways 
in the Grass Creek RMP planning area. 



Because of the broad interpretation of the "free- 
flowing" criterion, all waterways reviewed were assumed 
to be free-flowing. Using an interdisciplinary approach, 
these waterways were reviewed to determine whether 
any public lands along their courses contained any of the 
outstandingly remarkable values described in the eligi- 
bility criteria. Of the 120 waterways reviewed in the RMP 
planning area, none were found to have public lands with 
outstandingly remarkable values. Therefore, it was 
determined that none of the public lands along water- 
ways in the Grass Creek RMP planning area met the 
eligibility criteria. 



44 



Table 1-1 


Grass Creek RMP Planning Area 


Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Review 


Additional Creek 




Greybull River 




Rock Creek 


Alamo Creek 




Greybull River Tributary 




Rock Creek Tributary 


Antelope Creek 




Hess Creek Draw 




Rooster Creek 


Badger Creek 




Hess Creek Draw Tributary 




Sand Draw (near Blue Ridge) 


Badger Gulch 




Hulse Creek 




Sand Draw (near Blue Ridge) 


Big Draw 




Iron Creek 




Tributary 


Bighorn River 




Kester Coulee 




Sand Draw (near Kirby) 


Black Draw 




Klicker Creek 




Sand Draw (near Kirby) 


Blackburn Gulch 




Lake Creek Tributary 




Tributary 


Blue Creek 




Left Hand Creek 




Sandord Draw 


Bobcat Draw 




Little Sand Draw 




Slab Creek 


Buck Creek 




Little Prospect Creek 




South Fork Owl Creek 


Buffalo Creek 




Little Gooseberry Creek 




South Fork Owl Creek 


Coal Draw 




Lower Sand Draw 




Tributary 


Coal Mine Draw 




Mackey Gulch 




South Branch Middle Fork 


Cottonwood Creek 




McGee Gulch 




Owl Creek 


Cottonwood Creek Tributaries 




Meadow Creek 




South Branch Middle Fork 


Crooked Creek 




Middle Creek 




Owl Creek Tributary 


Curry Creek 




Middle Creek Tributary 




South Fork of North Fork Owl 


Deer Creek 




Middle Fork Fifteenmile Creek 




Creek 


Deer Creek Tributary 




Middle Fork Owl Creek 




South Fork of North Fork Owl 


Dorsey Creek 




Milk Creek 




Creek Tributary 


Dorsey Creek Tributary 




Mormon Creek 




South Fork Coal Draw 


Dry Cottonwood Creek 




North Fork Owl Creek 




South Fork Fifteenmile Creek 


Dug Out Draw 




North Fork Owl Creek 




South Fork Cottonwood Creek 


East Form Twentyone Creek 




Tributary 




South Fork Cottonwood Creek 


Tributary 




Otto Creek 




Tributary 


Egbert Draw 




Otto Creek Tributary 




South Fork Left Hand Creek 


Egbert Draw Tributary 




Owl Creek 




South Fork Elk Creek 


Elk Creek (near Basin) 




Owl Creek Tributary 




Spring Gulch 


Elk Creek (near Wall Rock) 




Prospect Creek 




Tenmile Creek 


Elk Creek (near Wall Rock) 




Quartz Gulch 




Thompson Draw 


Tributary 




Raspberry Draw 




Timber Creek 


Enos Creek 




Raspberry Draw Tributary 




Twentyone Creek 


Enos Creek Tributary 




Rattlesnake Creek 




Twentyone Creek Tributary 


Fall Creek 




Rattlesnake Creek Tributary 




Vass Creek 


Fenton Creek 




Red Canyon Creek 




Wagonhound Creek 


Fifteenmile Creek 




Renner Draw 




Wagonhound Creek Tributary 


Fifteenmile Creek Tributary 




Renner Draw Tributary 




West Fork Twentyone Creek 


Fivemile Creek 




Roach Creek 




Willow Creek (in Owl Creek) 


Gooseberry Creek 




Roach Creek Tributary 




Willow Creek (near Otto) 


Gooseberry Creek Tributary 




Rock Waterhole Creek 




Wood River 



45 



APPENDIX 2 
STANDARDS FOR HEALTHY RANGELANDS 

AND 
GUIDELINES FOR LIVESTOCK GRAZING MANAGEMENT 

FOR THE 

PUBLIC LANDS ADMINISTERED BY THE 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

IN THE STATE OF WYOMING 

AUGUST 12, 1997 



INTRODUCTION 

According to the Department of the I nterior's final rule 
for grazing administration, effective August 21, 1995, 
the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State 
Director is responsible for the development of standards 
for healthy rangelands and guidelines for livestock graz- 
ing management on 18 million acres of Wyoming's 
public rangelands. The development and application of 
these standards and guidelines are to achieve the four 
fundamentals of rangeland health outlined in the grazing 
regulations (43 CFR 41 80. 1 ). Those four fundamentals 
are: (1 ) watersheds are functioning properly; (2) water, 
nutrients, and energy are cycling properly; (3) water 
quality meets State standards; and (4) habitat for special 
status species is protected. 

Standards address the health, productivity, and 
sustainability of the BLM-administered public range- 
lands and representthe minimum acceptable conditions 
for the public rangelands. The standards apply to all 
resource uses on public lands. Their application will be 
determined as use-specific guidelines are developed. 
Standards are synonymous with goals and are observed 
on a landscape scale. They describe healthy range- 
lands rather than important rangeland by-products. The 
achievement of a standard is determined by observing, 
measuring, and monitoring appropriate indicators. An 
indicator is a component of a system whose character- 
istics (for example, presence, absence, quantity, and 
distribution) can be observed, measured, or monitored 
based on sound scientific principles. 

Guidelines provide for, and guide the development 
and implementation of, reasonable, responsible, and 
cost-effective management practices at the grazing 
allotment and watershed level. The guidelines in this 
document apply specifically to livestock grazing man- 
agement practices on the BLM administered public 



lands. These management practices will either maintain 
existing desirable conditions or move rangelands to- 
ward statewide standards within reasonable timeframes. 
Appropriate guidelines will ensure that the resultant 
management practices reflect the potential for the wa- 
tershed, consider other uses and natural influences, and 
balance resource goals with social, cultural/historic, and 
economic opportunities to sustain viable local communi- 
ties. Guidelines, like standards, apply statewide. 

Implementation of the Wyoming standards and guide- 
lines will generally be done in the following manner: 
Grazing allotments or groups of allotments in a water- 
shed will be reviewed based on the BLM's current 
allotment categorization and prioritization process. Al- 
lotments with existing management plans and high- 
priority allotments will be reviewed first. Lower priority 
allotments will be reviewed as time allows or when it 
becomes necessary for BLM to review the permit/lease 
for other reasons such as permit/lease transfers, permit- 
tee/lessee requests for change in use, etc. The permit- 
tees and interested publics will be notified when allot- 
ments are scheduled for review and encouraged to 
participate in the review. The review will first determine 
if an allotment meets each of the six standards. If it does, 
no further action will be necessary. If any of the stan- 
dards aren't being met, then rationale explaining the 
contributing factors will be prepared. If livestock grazing 
practices are found to be among the contributing factors, 
corrective actions consistent with the guidelines will be 
developed and implemented before the next grazing 
season in accordance with 43 C FR 4 1 80. If a lack of data 
prohibits the reviewers from determining if a standard is 
being met, then a strategy will be developed to acquire 
the data in a timely manner. 

On a continuing basis, the Standards for Healthy 
Rangelands will direct on-the-ground management on 
the public lands. They will serve to focus the on-going 



47 



APPENDIX 2 



development and implementation of activity plans to- 
ward the maintenance or the attainment of healthy 
rangelands. 

Quantifiable resource objectives and specific man- 
agement practices to maintain or achieve the standards 
will be developed at the local BLM District and Resource 
Area levels and will consider all reasonable and practical 
options available to achieve desired results on a water- 
shed or grazing allotment scale. The objectives shall be 
reflected in site-specific activity or implementation plans 
as well as in livestock grazing permits/leases for the 
public lands. These objectives and practices may be 
developed formally or informally through mechanisms 
available and suited to local needs (such as Coordinated 
Resource Management (CRM) efforts). 

The development and implementation of standards 
and guidelines will enable on-the-ground management 
of the public rangelands to maintain a clear and respon- 
sible focus on both the health of the land and its depen- 
dent natural and human communities. This develop- 
ment and implementation will ensure that any mecha- 
nisms currently being employed or that may be devel- 
oped in the future will maintain a consistent focus on 
these essential concerns. This development and imple- 
mentation will also enable immediate attention to be 
brought to bear on existing resource concerns. 

These standards and guidelines are compatible with 
BLM's three-tiered land use planning process. The first 
tier includes the laws, regulations, and policies govern- 
ing BLM's administration and management of the public 
lands and their uses. The previously mentioned funda- 
mentals of rangeland health specified in 43 CFR 41 80. 1 , 
the requirement for BLM to develop these State (or 
regional) standards and guidelines, and the standards 
and guidelines themselves, are part of this first tier. Also 
part of this first tier are the specific requirements of 
various Federal laws and the objectives of 43 CFR 
4100.2 that require BLM to consider the social and 
economic well-being of the local communities in its 
management process. 

These standards and guidelines will provide for state- 
wide consistency and guidance in the preparation, 
amendment, and maintenance of BLM land use plans, 
which represent the second tier of the planning process. 
The BLM land use plans provide general allocation 
decisions concerning the kinds of resource and land 
uses that can occur on the BLM-administered public 
lands, where they can occur, and the types of conditional 
requirements under which they can occur. In general, 
the standards will be the basis for development of 
planning area-specific management objectives concern- 



ing rangeland health and productivity, and the guide- 
lines will direct development of livestock grazing man- 
agement actions to help accomplish those objectives. 

The third tier of the BLM planning process, activity or 
implementation planning, is directed by the applicable 
land use plan and, therefore, by the standards and 
guidelines. The standards and guidelines, as BLM 
statewide policy, will also directly guide development of 
the site-specific objectives and the methods and prac- 
tices used to implement the land use plan decisions. 
Activity or implementation plans contain objectives which 
describe the site-specific conditions desired. Grazing 
permits/leases for the public lands contain terms and 
conditions which describe specific actions required to 
attain or maintain the desired conditions. Through 
monitoring and evaluation, the BLM, grazing permittees, 
and other interested parties determine if progress is 
being made to achieve activity plan objectives. 

Wyoming rangelands support a variety of uses which 
are of significant economic importance to the State and 
its communities. These uses include oil and gas produc- 
tion, mining, recreation and tourism, fishing, hunting, 
wildlife viewing, and livestock grazing. Rangelands also 
provide amenities which contribute to the quality of life in 
Wyoming such as open spaces, solitude, and opportu- 
nities for personal renewal. Wyoming's rangelands 
should be managed with consideration of the State's 
historical, cultural, and social development and in a 
manner which contributes to a diverse, balanced, com- 
petitive, and resilient economy in order to provide oppor- 
tunity for economic development. Healthy rangelands 
can best sustain these uses. 

To varying degrees, BLM management of the public 
lands and resources plays a role in the social and 
economic well-being of Wyoming communities. The 
National Environmental Policy Act (part of the above- 
mentioned first planning tier) and various other laws and 
regulations mandate the BLM to analyze the socioeco- 
nomic impacts of actions occurring on public range- 
lands. These analyses occur during the environmental 
analysis process of land use planning (second planning 
tier), where resource allocations are made, and during 
the environmental analysis process of activity or imple- 
mentation planning (third planning tier). In many situa- 
tions, factors that affect the social and economic well- 
being of local communities extend far beyond the scope 
of BLM management or individual public land users' 
responsibilities. In addition, since standards relate 
primarily to physical and biological features of the land- 
scape, it is very difficult to provide measurable socioeco- 
nomic indicators that relate to the health of rangelands. 
It is important that standards be realistic and within the 
control of the land manager and users to achieve. 



48 



APPENDIX 2 



STANDARDS FOR HEALTHY 
PUBLIC RANGELANDS 

Standard #1 

Within the potential of the ecological site (soil 
type, landform, climate, and geology), soils are stable 
and allow for water infiltration to provide for optimal 
plant growth and minimal surface runoff. 

THIS MEANS THAT: 

The hydrologic cycle will be supported by providing for 
water capture, storage, and sustained release. Ad- 
equate energy flow and nutrient cycling through the 
system will be achieved as optimal plant growth occurs. 
Plant communities are highly varied within Wyoming. 

INDICATORS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED 
TO: 

Water infiltration rates; 

Soil compaction; 

Erosion (rills, gullies, pedestals, capping); 

Soil micro-organisms; 

Vegetative cover (gully bottoms and slopes); and 

Bare ground and litter. 

The above indicators are applied as appropriate to 
the potential of the ecological site. 

Standard #2 

Riparian and wetland vegetation has structural, 
age, and species diversity characteristic of the stage 
of channel succession and is resilient and capable 
of recovering from natural and human disturbance 
in order to provide forage and cover, capture sedi- 
ment, dissipate energy, and provide for ground 
water recharge. 

THIS MEANS THAT: 

Wyoming has highly varied riparian and wetland sys- 
tems on public lands. These systems vary from large 
rivers to small streams and from springs to large wet 
meadows. These systems are in various stages of 
natural cycles and may also reflect other disturbance 
that is either localized or widespread throughout the 
watershed. Riparian vegetation captures sediments 
and associated materials, thus enhancing the nutrient 
cycle by capturing and utilizing nutrients that would 
otherwise move through a system unused. 

INDICATORS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED 
TO: 

• Erosion and deposition rate; 

• Channel morphology and flood plain function; 



• Channel succession and erosion cycle; 

• Vegetative cover; 

• Plant composition and diversity (species, age class, 
structure, successional stages, desired plant com- 
munity, etc.); 

• Bank stability; 

• Woody debris and instream cover; and 

• Bare ground and litter. 

The above indicators are applied as appropriate to 
the potential of the ecological site. 

Standard #3 

Upland vegetation on each ecological site con- 
sists of plant communities appropriate to the site 
which are resilient, diverse, and able to recover from 
natural and human disturbance. 

THIS MEANS THAT: 

In order to maintain desirable conditions and/or recover 
from disturbance within acceptable timeframes, plant 
communities must have the components present to 
support the nutrient cycle and adequate energy flow. 
Plants depend on nutrients in the soil and energy derived 
from sunlight. Nutrients stored in the soil are used over 
and over by plants, animals, and micro organisms. The 
amount of nutrients available and the speed with which 
they cycle among plants, animals, and the soil are 
fundamental components of rangeland health. The 
amount, timing, and distribution of energy captured 
through photosynthesis are fundamental to the function 
of rangeland ecosystems. 

INDICATORS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED 
TO: 

• Vegetative cover; 

• Plant composition and diversity (species, age class, 
structure, successional stages, desired plant com- 
munity, etc.); 

• Bare ground and litter; 

• Erosion (rills, gullies, pedestals, capping); and 

• Water infiltration rates. 

The above indicators are applied as appropriate to 
the potential of the ecological site. 

Standard #4 

Rangelands are capable of sustaining viable popu- 
lations and a diversity of native plant and animal 
species appropriate to the habitat. Habitats that 
support or could support threatened species, en- 
dangered species, species of special concern, or 
sensitive species will be maintained or enhanced. 



49 



APPENDIX 2 



THIS MEANS THAT: 

The management of Wyoming rangelands will achieve 
or maintain adequate habitat conditions that support 
diverse plant and animal species. These may include 
listed threatened or endangered species (U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife-designated), species of special concern (BLM- 
designated), and other sensitive species (State of Wyo- 
ming-designated). The intent of this standard is to allow 
the listed species to recover and be delisted, and to 
avoid or prevent additional species becoming listed. 

INDICATORS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED 
TO: 

• Noxious weeds; 

• Species diversity; 

• Age class distribution; 

• All indicators associated with the upland and ripar- 
ian standards; 

• Population trends; and 

• Habitat fragmentation. 

The above indicators are applied as appropriate to 
the potential of the ecological site. 

Standard #5 

Water quality meets State standards. 

THIS MEANS THAT: 

The State of Wyoming is authorized to administer the 
Clean Water Act. BLM management actions or use 
authorizations will comply with all Federal and State 
water quality laws, rules and regulations to address 
water quality issues that originate on public lands. Pro- 
visions for the establishment of water quality standards 
are included in the Clean Water Act, as amended, and 
the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act, as amended. 
Regulations are found in Part 40 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations and in Wyoming's Water Quality Rules and 
Regulations. The latter regulations contain Quality 
Standards for Wyoming Surface Waters. 

Natural processes and human actions influence the 
chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water. 
Water quality varies from place to place with the sea- 
sons, the climate, and the kind substrate through which 
water moves. Therefore, the assessment of water 
quality takes these factors into account. 

INDICATORS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED 
TO: 

• Chemical characteristics (for example, pH, con- 
ductivity, dissolved oxygen); 

• Physical characteristics (for example, sediment, 
temperature, color); and 

• Biological characteristics (for example, macro- 
and micro-invertebrates, fecal coliform, and plant 
and animal species). 



Standard #6 

Air quality meets State standards. 

THIS MEANS THAT: 

The State of Wyoming is authorized to administer the 
Clean Air Act. BLM management actions or use autho- 
rizations will comply with all Federal and State air quality 
laws, rules, regulations and standards. Provisions for 
the establishment of air quality standards are included in 
the Clean Air Act, as amended, and the Wyoming 
Environmental Quality Act, as amended. Regulations 
are found in Part 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
and in Wyoming Air Quality Standards and Regulations. 

INDICATORS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED 
TO: 



Particulate matter; 

Sulfur dioxide; 

Photochemical oxidants (ozone); 

Volatile organic compounds (hydrocarbons); 

Nitrogen oxides; 

Carbon monoxide; 

Odors; and 

Visibility. 



BLM WYOMING GUIDELINES 
FOR LIVESTOCK GRAZING 
MANAGEMENT 

1. Timing, duration, and levels of authorized grazing 
will ensure that adequate amounts of vegetative 
ground cover, including standing plant material and 
litter, remain after authorized use to support infiltra- 
tion, maintain soil moisture storage, stabilize soils, 
allow the release of sufficient water to maintain 
system function, and to maintain subsurface soil 
conditions that support permeability rates and other 
processes appropriate to the site. 

2. Grazing management practices will restore, main- 
tain, or improve riparian plant communities. Graz- 
ing management strategies consider hydrology, 
physical attributes, and potential for the watershed 
and the ecological site. Grazing management will 
maintain adequate residual plant cover to provide 
for plant recovery, residual forage, sediment cap- 
ture, energy dissipation, and ground water recharge. 

3. Range improvement practices (instream structures, 
fences, water troughs, etc.) in and adjacent to ripar- 
ian areas will ensure that stream channel morphol- 
ogy (for example, gradient, width/depth ratio, chan- 
nel roughness and sinuosity) and functions appro- 
priate to climate and landform are maintained or 



50 



APPENDIX 2 



enhanced. The development of springs, seeps, or 
other projects affecting water and associated re- 
sources shall be designed to protect the ecological 
and hydrological functions, wildlife habitat, and sig- 
nificant cultural, historical, and archaeological val- 
ues associated with the water source. Range im- 
provements will be located away from riparian areas 
if they conflict with achieving or maintaining riparian 
function. 

4. Grazing practices that consider the biotic communi- 
ties as more than just a forage base will be designed 
in order to ensure that the appropriate kinds and 
amounts of soil organisms, plants, and animals to 
support the hydrologic cycle, nutrient cycle, and 
energy flow are maintained or enhanced. 

5. Continuous season-long or other grazing manage- 
ment practices that hinder the completion of plants' 
life-sustaining reproductive and/or nutrient cycling 
processes will be modified to ensure adequate 
periods of rest at the appropriate times. The rest 
periods will provide for seedling establishment or 
other necessary processes at levels sufficient to 
move the ecological site condition toward the re- 
source objective and subsequent achievement of 
the standard. 

6. Grazing management practices and range improve- 
ments will adequately protect vegetative cover and 
physical conditions and maintain, restore, or en- 
hance water quality to meet resource objectives. 
The effects of new range improvements (water 
developments, fences, etc.) on the health and func- 
tion of rangelands will be carefully considered prior 
to their implementation. 

7. Grazing management practices will incorporate the 
kinds and amounts of use that will restore, maintain, 
or enhance habitats to assist in the recovery of 
Federal threatened and endangered species or the 
conservation of federally-listed species of concern 
and other State-designated special status species. 
Grazing management practices will maintain exist- 
ing habitat or facilitate vegetation change toward 
desired habitats. Grazing management will con- 
sider threatened and endangered species and their 
habitats. 

8. Grazing management practices and range improve- 
ments will be designed to maintain or promote the 
physical and biological conditions necessary to sus- 
tain native animal populations and plant communi- 
ties. This will involve emphasizing native plant 
species in the support of ecological function and 
incorporating the use of non-native species only in 
those situations in which native plant species are not 
available in sufficient quantities or are incapable of 



maintaining or achieving properly functioning condi- 
tions and biological health. 

9. Grazing management practices on uplands will 
maintain desired plant communities or facilitate 
change toward desired plant communities. 

DEFINITIONS 

Activity Plans: Allotment Management Plans (AMPs), 
Habitat Management Plans (HMPs), Watershed Man- 
agement Plans (WMPs), Wild Horse Management Plans 
(WHMPs), and other plans developed at the local level 
to address specific concerns and accomplish specific 
objectives. 

Coordinated Resource Management (CRM): Agroup 
of people working together to develop common resource 
goals and resolve natural resource concerns. CRM is a 
people process that strives for win-win situations through 
consensus-based decisionmaking. 

Desired Plant Community: A plant community which 
produces the kind, proportion, and amount of vegetation 
necessary for meeting or exceeding the land use plan/ 
activity plan objectives established for an ecological 
site(s). The desired plant community must be consistent 
with the site's capability to produce the desired vegeta- 
tion through management, land treatment, or a combi- 
nation of the two. 

Ecological Site: An area of land with specific physical 
characteristics that differs from other areas both in its 
ability to produce distinctive kinds and amounts of veg- 
etation and in its response to management. 

Erosion: (v.) Detachment and movement of soil or rock 
fragments by water, wind, ice, or gravity, (n.) The land 
surface worn away by running water, wind, ice, or other 
geological agents, including such processes as gravita- 
tional creep. 

Grazing Management Practices: Grazing manage- 
ment practices include such things as grazing systems 
(rest-rotation, deferred rotation, etc.), timing and dura- 
tion of grazing, herding, salting, etc. They do not include 
physical range improvements. 

Guidelines (For Grazing Management): Guidelines 
provide for, and guide the development and implemen- 
tation of, reasonable, responsible, and cost-effective 
management actions at the allotment and watershed 
level which move rangelands toward statewide stan- 
dards or maintain existing desirable conditions. Appro- 
priate guidelines will ensure that the resultant manage- 
ment actions reflect the potential for the watershed, 
consider other uses and natural influences, and balance 
resource goals with social, cultural/historic, and eco- 
nomic opportunities to sustain viable local communities. 



51 



APPENDIX 2 



Guidelines, and therefore, the management actions 
they engender, are based on sound science, past and 
present management experience, and public input. 

Indicator: An indicator is a component of a system 
whosecharacteristics(forexample, presence, absence, 
quantity, and distribution) can be observed, measured, 
or monitored based on sound scientific principles. An 
indicator can be evaluated at a site- or species-specific 
level. Monitoring of an indicator must be able to show 
change within timeframes acceptable to management 
and be capable of showing how the health of the ecosys- 
tem is changing in response to specific management 
actions. Selection of the appropriate indicators to be 
observed, measured, or monitored in a particular allot- 
ment is a critical aspect of early communication among 
the interests involved on-the-ground. The most useful 
indicators are those for which change or trend can be 
easily quantified and for which agreement as to the 
significance of the indicator is broad based. 

Litter: The uppermost layer of organic debris on the soil 
surface, essentially the freshly fallen or slightly decom- 
posed vegetal material. 

Management Actions: Management actions are the 
specific actions prescribed by the BLM to achieve re- 
source objectives, land use allocations, or other pro- 
gram or multiple use goals. Management actions in- 
clude both grazing management practices and range 
improvements. 

Objective: An objective is a site-specific statement of a 
desired rangeland condition. It may contain either or 
both qualitative elements and quantitative elements. 
Objectives frequently speak to change. They are the 
focus of monitoring and evaluation activities at the local 
level. Monitoring of the indicators would show negative 
changes or positive changes. Objectives should focus 
on indicators of greatest interest for the area in question. 

Range Improvements: Range improvements include 
such things as corrals, fences, water developments 
(reservoirs, spring developments, pipelines, wells, etc.) 
and land treatments (prescribed fire, herbicide treat- 
ments, mechanical treatments, etc.). 



Rangeland: Land on which the native vegetation (cli- 
max or natural potential) is predominantly grasses, 
grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs. This includes lands 
revegetated naturally or artificially when routine man- 
agement of that vegetation is accomplished mainly 
through manipulation of grazing. Rangelands include 
natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, most deserts, 
tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet 
meadows. 

Rangeland Health: The degree to which the integrity of 
the soil and ecological processes of rangeland ecosys- 
tems are sustained. 

Riparian: An area of land directly influenced by perma- 
nent water. It has visible vegetation or physical charac- 
teristics reflective of permanent water influence. 
Lakeshores and streambanks are typical riparian areas. 
Excluded are such sites as ephemeral streams or washes 
that do not have vegetation dependent on free water in 
the soil. 

Standards: Standards are synonymous with goals and 
are observed on a landscape scale. Standards apply to 
rangeland health and not to the important by-products of 
healthy rangelands. Standards relate to the current 
capability or realistic potential of a specific site to pro- 
duce these by-products, not to the presence or absence 
of the products themselves. It is the sustainability of the 
processes, or rangeland health, that produces these by- 
products. 

Terms and Conditions: Terms and conditions are 
very specific land use requirements that are made a part 
of the land use authorization in order to assure mainte- 
nance or attainment of the standard. Terms and condi- 
tions may incorporate or reference the appropriate por- 
tions of activity plans (for example, Allotment Manage- 
ment Plans). In other words, where an activity plan 
exists that contains objectives focused on meeting the 
standards, compliance with the plan may be the only 
term and condition necessary in that allotment. 

Upland: Those portions of the landscape which do not 
receive additional moisture for plant growth from run-off, 
streamflow, etc. Typically these are hills, ridgetops, 
valley slopes, and rolling plains. 



52 



APPENDIX 3 

MITIGATION FOR SURFACE-DISTURBING AND 

DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES 

INTRODUCTION on the seasonal use of habitat by wildlife; Part 4 de- 
scribes oil and gas standard lease terms and conditions 

This appendix is in five parts: Part 1 describes oppor- and reasonable measures to reduce the environmental 

tunities for mitigating impacts to public lands and re- effects of oil and gas operations; and Part 5 is the 

sources in the Grass Creek Planning Area; Part 2 "Wyoming Bureau of Land Management Mitigation 

describes watershed conservation practices for sur- Guidelines for Surface-Disturbing and Disruptive Activi- 

face-disturbing activities; Part 3 summarizes literature ties." 



53 



PART1 

MITIGATION FOR POTENTIALLY AFFECTED 

LANDS AND RESOURCES 



In preparing resource management plans, the BLM is 
required to include appropriate mitigation measures to 
address environmental impacts. According to 40 CFR 
1508.20, mitigation includes: 

(a) avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a 
certain action or parts of an action; 

(b) minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or mag- 
nitude of the action and its implementation; 

(c) rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, 
or restoring the affected environment; 

(d) reducing or eliminating the impact over time by 
preservation and maintenance operations during 
the life of the action; or 

(e) compensating for the impact by replacing or pro- 
viding substitute resources or environments. 

Early in the planning process for the Grass Creek 
RMP, the BLM evaluated existing inventory information, 
requested other scientific and technical information from 
public and private sources, and identified planning con- 
cerns and issues with public input. 

Some of these concerns and issues addressed the 
potential for adverse impacts to public land resources or 
uses from surface-disturbing and other disruptive activi- 
ties (see Glossary). 

Although it would be impossible to list all these 
activities, some examples include leasable and salable 
minerals exploration and development; geophysical 



exploration; motorized vehicle use and recreation; heavy 
equipment use and construction (related to such things 
as timber sales, range or wildlife habitat improvements, 
and fire suppression) ; and the development of roads and 
other types of rights-of-way. 

Because the RMP must deal with a large area and 
many different kinds of impacts, mitigation for surface- 
disturbing and disruptive activities is often expressed as 
generalized requirements or limitations on public land 
uses. However, when it becomes necessary to imple- 
ment these requirements (for example, when a wildcat 
well is proposed for drilling) specific mitigation measures 
are applied on a case-by-case basis, using detailed, 
site-specific evaluations. 

Table 3-1, at the end of this appendix, lists (1) the 
lands and resources that sometimes require protection 
and the general location of those lands and resources, 
(2) a discussion of the potential risks to those lands and 
resources, and (3) examples of mitigation that may be 
used to reduce impacts to those lands and resources in 
a way that does not unnecessarily constrain land uses. 

Table 3-1 also satisfies a requirement of BLM manual 
section 1624 by indicating the type of oil and gas lease 
stipulation that would normally cover the mitigation 
described in the table. In spite of this apparent distinc- 
tion for oil and gas development, the mitigation require- 
ments in Table 3-1 will be applied in a consistent manner 
to all kinds of surface-disturbing activities. 



54 



PART 2 

WATERSHED CONSERVATION PRACTICES FOR 

SURFACE-DISTURBING ACTIVITIES 



FOREST MANAGEMENT 
ACTIVITIES 

The following conservation practices will be imple- 
mented. 

— Operators will locate landing or yarding areas to 
facilitate skid trail placement on, or as close as 
possible to, the contour of the slope. 

— Skidder-type yarding on all slopes greater than 45 
percent will be prohibited. 

— Timber harvesting activities will be restricted to 
periods when soils are dry or frozen. 

— Slash will be treated in place to minimize surface 
disturbance. Methods could include crushing with 
equipment to reduce height, and burning in place. 
Windrowing or piling slash using heavy equipment 
will be discouraged. Slash could also be spread 
over disturbed areas such as skid trails or decking 
areas to protect exposed soil from erosion. 

— When logging is completed, disturbed areas will be 
recontoured to facilitate drainage and seeded (pref- 
erably with native species) to provide effective 
watershed cover within one year. If erosion prob- 
lems occur, additional stabilization will be required 
such as construction of cross drains or water bars 
on skid trails or access roads, or the application of 
mulch or erosion blankets on slopes. 

— Through occasional grazing, or through the exclu- 
sion of grazing for up to three years, livestock will be 
managed to facilitate regrowth of vegetation. 

— Trees will be felled away from riparian areas and 
water courses. 

— Skidder-type yarding across any ephemeral, inter- 
mittent, or perennial stream will be prohibited un- 
less mitigation is applied to avoid channel or bank 
damage and associated stream sedimentation. Ac- 
tivities will be confined to periods when soils are 
frozen, or when drainage channels can be armored 
with natural or synthetic products. 

GAS AND OIL ACTIVITIES 

The following watershed conservation practices will 
be implemented as necessary to reduce the possibility 
of pollutants entering surface waters through discharges 
or spills. Emphasis will be on protecting areas where 



important or sensitive resource values or uses are 
dependant on the surface waters or adjacent riparian 
areas. 

— Unlined pits to contain fluids used during drilling, 
development, maintenance, and production will be 
discouraged. Near important riparian habitat areas 
and adjacent to class I streams (as identified by 
DEQ or WGFD) fluids should be contained in tanks 
or closed circulation systems. At the completion of 
the operation, fluids will be removed from the site 
and disposed of at an authorized facility. 

— The disposal of produced water by surface dis- 
charge will be discouraged in areas with important 
or sensitive resource values or uses that are depen- 
dant on the surface waters or adjacent riparian 
areas. In these areas, reinjection of fluids is pre- 
ferred. In other areas operators might be encour- 
aged to dispose of water on the surface if (1) the 
water meets state of Wyoming water quality stan- 
dards; (2) new riparian habitat could be developed; 
and (3) other management goals and objectives 
could be met. 

— As necessary, the operator will construct a berm 
around the perimeter of the well pad before drilling 
begins. The berm must be sufficient to retain all 
fluids used on the site and prevent runoff from 
entering the well pad. 

— All fluids used in equipment operation and mainte- 
nance, such as waste oil, will be collected for 
disposal at an authorized facility. Fluids will not be 
disposed of on the ground. 

The following conservation practices will be imple- 
mented to maintain or enhance vegetative cover, to 
increase watershed stability and site productivity, and to 
minimize erosion and stream sedimentation. 

— Surface-disturbing activities will be prohibited on 
slopes greater than 25 percent, unless adverse 
effects on watersheds are mitigated. 

— Surface-disturbing activities will be prohibited dur- 
ing periods when soils are saturated and the effects 
cannot be mitigated, or when watershed damage is 
likely to occur. "Mud rolling" to obtain access during 
wet conditions generally will be prohibited. (Mud 
rolling is the blading, or side-casting, of wet material 
from the surface of roads.) 

— Operators will be required to stabilize all exposed 
soil and spoil materials such as cut and fill slopes, 



55 



APPENDIX 3 



excavations, embankments, barrow pits and waste 
piles during construction and before final reclama- 
tion. Stabilization measures will include seeding, 
rip-rapping, benching, mulching, and use of artifi- 
cial coverings. 

— At the completion of drilling, disturbed areas will be 
recontoured to facilitate drainage and seeded (pref- 
erably with native species) to provide effective 
watershed cover within one year. If erosion prob- 
lems occur, additional stabilization may be required, 
such as construction of cross drains or water bars 
on access roads, or the application of mulch or 
erosion blankets on slopes. 

— When road placement or other construction is nec- 
essary within 500 feet of streams and riparian 
areas, obstructions such as logs, brush, rocks, or 
depressions will be placed at the base of fill slopes 
and immediately below cross drain outlets to facili- 
tate sediment deposition. The use of gravel, fabric, 
or geotextiles may be required within 500 feet of 
riparian areas. 

— Through occasional grazing, or through the exclu- 
sion of grazing for up to five years, livestock will be 
managed to encourage regrowth of vegetation. 

ROAD CONSTRUCTION 

The following conservation practices will be imple- 
mented to minimize surface disturbance and reduce 
erosion and stream sedimentation during the location 
and design phases as well as during all types of con- 
struction and maintenance. 

— New road construction will be prohibited where 
existing roads provide reasonable access. 

— Roads will be located to minimize the amount of cut 
and fill. Where appropriate, roads will be placed 
close to ridge tops to minimize cut and fill and the 
number of cross drains needed for drainage. 

— During road construction, crowning or in-sloping 
and the use of turnouts or cross drains, such as 
water bars, relief culverts, or dips will be required to 
provide adequate drainage and prevent rill or gully 
erosion deeper than 1 inch. Another practice which 
could be used to provide drainage on contour roads 
(roads with grades less than 6 percent) is out- 



sloping, in which the road surface is uniformly 
graded from the toe of the road cut downward to the 
road shoulder. This practice could be unsafe for 
some types of activities, but is desirable for water- 
shed protection and might be used under certain 
circumstances. 

— Roads will be located to minimize the number of 
stream crossings. Crossings will be at right angles 
to streams to minimize bank and channel distur- 
bance. 

— When road placement is necessary within 500 feet 
of streams and riparian areas, obstructions such as 
logs, brush, rocks, or depressions will be placed at 
the base of fill slopes and immediately below cross 
drain outlets to facilitate sediment deposition. The 
use of gravel, fabric, or geotextiles may be required 
on roads within 500 feet of riparian areas. 

The following conservation practices will be imple- 
mented to insure that riparian areas continue to provide 
desirable water quality and flow, as well as fish and 
wildlife habitat. 

— Culverts, arches, ellipses, and fords will be built on 
streams to minimize alteration of natural stream 
characteristics, provide fish passage, and reduce 
erosion and stream sedimentation. The use of 
natural stream crossings, such as fords, without 
structural armoring, generally will be prohibited. 
Stream crossings will be designed according to the 
following guidelines. 

1. Instream structures will allow free passage of 
water and fish and will not be plugged by road fill. 

2. A 10-year design storm will be used for sizing 
structures on temporary stream crossings where 
structures will be removed. Culverts will have a 
minimum 12-inch diameter. 

3. A 100-year design storm will be used for sizing 
structures on permanent stream crossings. 

4. A minimum backfill depth will be provided on 
culverts equal to 1.5 times the structure diam- 
eter. 

5. All structures will be checked after storm runoff to 
insure that they are functioning properly. 



56 



PART 3 
WILDLIFE SEASONAL HABITAT AND LITERATURE 

ON MITIGATION 



An animal's preparation for flight, if it occurs fre- 
quently, can impose a severe burden on the animal's 
energy budget. Increases in heart rate have been 
shown to precede flight, and even to occur when animals 
are disturbed but do not run. The time spent and the 
associated period of heightened attention takes away 
from feeding. The animals often relocate to suboptimal 
habitat areas. If an animal is unable to compensate for 
these increases in its cost of living, then reproduction, 
growth, and survival may be adversely affected. In- 
creased energy costs are more harmful during critical 
times of the year when animals are already in a state of 
depleting energy reserves, such as periods of severe 
weather and late pregnancy. Three types of distur- 
bance stimuli are listed for big game: (1 ) those that are 
not familiar or predictable, (2) those involving sharp 
contrasts or sudden changes in the environment, for 
example, quick movements, sudden loud noises, and 
(3) those to which an animal responds innately with 
alarm, such as predators and natural environmental 
hazards (Bromley 1985). 

Habituation by wildlife to human activities can be 
encouraged (1) when humans avoid or minimize fear- 
provoking actions like direct approaches, loud noises, 
and quick movements, (2) by controlling the timing, 
frequency, and intensity of human activities to make 
these more regular and therefore more predictable, and 
(3) by minimizing the frequency and intensity of human 
encounters when the wildlife are particularly sensitive to 
disturbance. Habituation can be detrimental to animals 
that adapt along roads where they may become more 
susceptible to poaching, hunting, or collisions with ve- 
hicles (Bromley 1985). 



Hunted populations of elk and mule deer are affected 
by human disturbances associated with multiple use on 
public, private, and state lands. Animals are more 
disturbed by people moving or working outside vehicles, 
than by traffic or equipment. Elk will return to an area 
after the human presence activity stops (Ward 1985). 
Human activity on forest roads alters distributions of elk 
habitat use. This impact may be mitigated by road 
closures (Wilmer and deCalesta 1 985) or by separation 
of security areas from disturbed areas by either a line of 
sight topographic barrier, such as an undisturbed ridge, 
or by about 0.5 to 2 miles of timber (Lyon 1975). This 
mitigation is especially important during rutting and 
birthing seasons. During drilling in an elk birthing area, 
fewer elk were in the area, cows moved their calves 
sooner, and elk were further away from an access road 
during the activity. During the following year, which had 
only minor human activity, elk used the area more often. 
The location of the access road and drill site were 
designed to lessen the impact to elk by avoiding critical 
habitats which may have lessened the consequences of 
the activity (Johnson and Lockman 1981). 

There are many examples of development occurring 
successfully in areas of resource concerns. Literature 
provided to the planning team by Marathon Oil Com- 
pany, as part of their comments on the draft EIS, 
included examples of industrial development and re- 
source protection by the Atlantic Richfield Company at 
Sheep Mountain in Colorado (Hendry 1983). Other 
studies include: Penn (1986), Redman (1986), Zehner 
and Mullins (1987), Moore (1989), Ledec (1990), 
Chappelle et al. (1991), Brocklehurst (1991), Grant 
(1992), and Middleton (1992). 



57 



PART 4 

OIL AND GAS STANDARD LEASE TERMS 

AND CONDITIONS 



The oil and gas "standard lease terms and conditions" 
are defined in section 6 of the lease. The following 
excerpt is the "conduct of operations." 

Lessee shall conduct operations in a manner 
that minimizes adverse impacts to the iand, 
air, and water, to cultural, biological, visual, 
and other resources, and to other land uses 
or users. Lessee shall take reasonable mea- 
sures deemed necessary by lessor to ac- 
complish the intent of this section. To the 
extent consistent with lease rights granted, 
such measures may include, but are not 
limited to, modification to siting or design of 
facilities, timing of operations, and specifica- 
tion of interim and final reclamation mea- 
sures. Lessor reserves the right to continue 
existing uses and to authorize future uses 
upon or in the leased lands, including the 
approval of easements or rights-of-way. Such 
uses shall be conditioned so as to prevent 
unnecessary or unreasonable interference 
with rights of lessee. 

Prior to disturbing the surface of the leased 
lands, lessee shall contact lessor to be ap- 
prised of procedures to be followed and modi- 
fications or reclamation measures that may 
be necessary. Areas to be disturbed may 
require inventories or special studies to de- 
termine the extent of impacts to other re- 
sources. Lessee may be required to com- 
plete minor inventories or short term special 
studies under guidelines provided by lessor. 
If in the conduct of operations, threatened or 



endangered species, objects of historic or 
scientific interest, or substantial unanticipated 
environmental effects are observed, lessee 
shall immediately contact lessor. Lessee 
shall cease any operations that would result 
in the destruction of such species or objects. 



REASONABLE MEASURES 
CONSISTENT WITH LEASE 
RIGHTS GRANTED 

Federal regulations (43 CFR 3101.1-2, surface use 
rights) have defined the words "reasonable 
measures. ..consistent with lease rights granted" which 
occur in section 6 of the lease form. These reasonable 
measures may be required by the authorized officer to 
minimize adverse impacts to other resource values, land 
uses, or users. Reasonable measures are described as: 

To the extent consistent with lease rights 
granted, such reasonable measures may 
include, but are not limited to, modification to 
siting or design of facilities, timing of opera- 
tions, and specification of interim and final 
reclamation measures. At a minimum, mea- 
sures shall be deemed consistent with lease 
rights provided that they do not: require relo- 
cation of proposed operations by more than 
200 meters; require that operations be situ- 
ated off the leasehold; or prohibit new sur- 
face-disturbing operations for a period in 
excess of 60 days in any lease year. 



58 



PART 5 

WYOMING BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM) 

MITIGATION GUIDELINES FOR 

SURFACE-DISTURBING AND 

DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES 



INTRODUCTION 

These guidelines are primarily for the purpose of 
attaining statewide consistency in how requirements are 
determined for avoiding and mitigating environmental 
impacts and resource and land use conflicts. Consis- 
tency in this sense does not mean that identical require- 
ments would be applied for all similar types of land use 
activities that may cause similar types of impacts. Nor 
does it mean that the requirements or guidelines for a 
single land use activity would be identical in all areas. 

There are two ways the mitigation guidelines are used 
in the resource management plan (RMP) and environ- 
mental impact statement (EIS) process: (1) as part of 
the planning criteria in developing the RMP alternatives, 
and (2) in the analytical processes of both developing 
the alternatives and analyzing the impacts of the alterna- 
tives. In the first case, an assumption is made that any 
one or more of the mitigation measures will be appropri- 
ately included as conditions of relevant actions being 
proposed or considered in each alternative. In the 
second case, the mitigation measures are used (1) to 
develop a baseline for measuring and comparing im- 
pacts among the alternatives; (2) to identify other ac- 
tions and alternatives that should be considered, and (3) 
to help determine whether more stringent or less strin- 
gent mitigation measures should be considered. 

The EIS for the RMP does not decide or dictate the 
exact wording or inclusion of these guidelines. Rather, 
the guidelines are used in the RMP EIS process as a tool 
to help develop the RMP alternatives and to provide a 
baseline for comparative impact analysis in arriving at 
RMP decisions. These guidelines will be used in the 
same manner in analyzing activity plans and other site- 
specific proposals. These guidelines and their wording 
are matters of policy. As such, specific wording is 
subject to change primarily through administrative re- 
view, not through the RMP EIS process. Any further 
changes that may be made in the continuing refinement 
of these guidelines and any development of program- 
specific standard stipulations will be handled in another 
forum, including appropriate public involvement and 
input. 



PURPOSE 

The purposes of the "Wyoming BLM Mitigation Guide- 
lines" are (1 ) to reserve, for the BLM, the right to modify 
the operations of all surface and other human presence 
disturbance activities as part of the statutory require- 
ments for environmental protection, and (2) to inform a 
potential lessee, permittee, or operator of the require- 
ments that must be met when using BLM-administered 
public lands. These guidelines have been written in a 
format that will allow for (1) their direct use as stipula- 
tions, and (2) the addition of specific or specialized 
mitigation following the submission of a detailed plan of 
development or other project proposal, and an environ- 
mental analysis. 

Those resource activities or programs currently with- 
out a standardized set of permit or operation stipulations 
can use the mitigation guidelines as stipulations or as 
conditions of approval, or as a baseline for developing 
specific stipulations for a given activity or program. 

Because use of the mitigation guidelines was inte- 
grated into the RMP EIS process and will be integrated 
into the site-specific environmental analysis process, 
the application of stipulations or mitigation requirements 
derived through the guidelines will provide more consis- 
tency with planning decisions and plan implementation 
than has occurred in the past. Application of the mitiga- 
tion guidelines to all surface and other human presence 
disturbance activities concerning BLM-administered 
public lands and resources will provide more uniformity 
in mitigation than has occurred in the past. 

MITIGATION GUIDELINES 

1. Surface Disturbance Mitigation 
Guideline 

Surface disturbance will be prohibited in any of the 
following areas or conditions. Exception, waiver, or 
modification of this limitation may be approved in writing, 
including documented supporting analysis, by the Au- 
thorized Officer. 

a. Slopes in excess of 25 percent. 



59 



APPENDIX 3 



b. Within important scenic areas (Class I and II Visual 
Resource Management Areas). 

c. Within 500 feet of surface water and/or riparian 
areas. 

d. Within either one-quarter mile or the visual horizon 
(whichever is closer) of historic trails. 

e. Construction with frozen material or during periods 
when the soil material is saturated or when water- 
shed damage is likely to occur. 

Guidance 

The intent of the SURFACE DISTURBANCE MITI- 
GATION GUIDELINE is to inform interested parties 
(potential lessees, permittees, or operators) that when 
one or more of the five (1a through 1e) conditions exist, 
surface-disturbing activities will be prohibited unless or 
until a permittee or his designated representative and 
the surface management agency (SMA) arrive at an 
acceptable plan for mitigation of anticipated impacts. 
This negotiation will occur prior to development. 

Specific criteria (for example, 500 feet from water) 
have been established based upon the best information 
available. However, such items as geographical areas 
and seasons must be delineated at the field level. 

Exception, waiver, or modification of requirements 
developed from this guideline must be based upon 
environmental analysis of proposals (for example, activ- 
ity plans, plans of development, plans of operation, 
applications for permit to drill) and, if necessary, must 
allow for other mitigation to be applied on a site-specific 
basis. 

2. Wildlife Mitigation Guideline 

a. To protect important big game winter habitat, activi- 
ties or surface use will not be allowed from November 
15 to April 30 within certain areas encompassed by 
the authorization. The same criteria apply to defined 
big game birthing areas from May 1 to June 30. 

Application of this limitation to operation and mainte- 
nance of a developed project must be based on 
environmental analysis of the operational or produc- 
tion aspects. 

Exception, waiver, or modification of this limitation in 
any year may be approved in writing, including docu- 
mented supporting analysis, by the Authorized Of- 
ficer. 

b. To protect important raptor and/or sage and sharp- 
tailed grouse nesting habitat, activities or surface use 
will not be allowed from February 1 to July 31 within 



certain areas encompassed by the authorization. 
The same criteria apply to defined raptor and game 
bird winter concentration areas from November 1 5 to 
April 30. 

Application of this limitation to operation and mainte- 
nance of a developed project must be based on 
environmental analysis of the operational or produc- 
tion aspects. 

Exception, waiver, or modification of this limitation in 
any year may be approved in writing, including docu- 
mented supporting analysis, by the Authorized Of- 
ficer. 

c. No activities or surface use will be allowed on that 
portion of the authorization area identified within 
(legal description) for the purpose of protecting (for 
example, sage/sharp-tailed grouse breeding grounds, 
and/or other species/activities) habitat. 

Exception, waiver, or modification of this limitation in 
any year may be approved in writing, including docu- 
mented supporting analysis, by the Authorized Of- 
ficer. 

d. Portions of the authorized use area legally described 
as (legal description), are known or suspected to be 
essential habitat for (name) which is a threatened or 
endangered species. Prior to conducting any onsite 
activities, the lessee/permittee will be required to 
conduct inventories or studies in accordance with 
BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines to 
verify the presence or absence of this species. In the 
event that (name) occurrence is identified, the les- 
see/permittee will be required to modify operational 
plans to include the protection requirements of this 
species and its habitat (for example, seasonal use 
restrictions, occupancy limitations, facility design 
modifications). 

Guidance 

The WILDLIFE MITIGATION GUIDELINE isintended 
to provide two basic types of protection: seasonal 
restriction (2a and 2b) and prohibition of activities or 
surface use (2c). Item 2d is specific to situations 
involving threatened or endangered species. Legal 
descriptions will ultimately be required and should be 
measurable and legally definable. There are no mini- 
mum subdivision requirements at this time. The area 
delineated can and should be defined as necessary, 
based upon current biological data, prior to the time of 
processing an application and issuing the use authoriza- 
tion. The legal description must eventually become a 
part of the condition for approval of the permit, plan of 
development, and/or other use authorization. 



60 



APPENDIX 3 



The seasonal restriction section identifies three ex- 
ample groups of species and delineates three similar 
time frame restrictions. The big game species including 
elk, moose, deer, antelope, and bighorn sheep, all 
require protection of crucial winter range between No- 
vember 15 and April 30. Elk and bighorn sheep also 
require protection from disturbance from May 1 to June 

30, when they typically occupy distinct calving and 
lambing areas. Raptors include eagles, accipiters, 
falcons (peregrine, prairie, and merlin), buteos (ferrugi- 
nous and Swainson's hawks), osprey, and burrowing 
owls. The raptors and sage and sharp-tailed grouse 
require nesting protection between February 1 and July 

31 . The same birds often require protection from distur- 
bance from November 15 through April 30 while they 
occupy winter concentration areas. 

Item 2c, the prohibition of activity or surface use, is 
intended for protection of specific wildlife habitat areas 
or values within the use area that cannot be protected by 
using seasonal restrictions. These areas or values must 
be factors that limit life-cycle activities (for example, 
sage grouse strutting grounds, known threatened and 
endangered species habitat). 

Exception, waiver, or modification of requirements 
developed from this guideline must be based upon 
environmental analysis of proposals (for example, activ- 
ity plans, plans of development, plans of operation, 
applications for permit to drill) and, if necessary, must 
allow for other mitigation to be applied on a site-specific 
basis. 

3. Cultural Resource Mitigation 
Guideline 

When a proposed discretionary land use has poten- 
tial for affecting the characteristics which qualify a cul- 
tural property for the National Register of Historic Places 
(National Register), mitigation will be considered. In 
accordance with Section 106 of the Historic Preserva- 
tion Act, procedures specified in 36 CFR 800 will be used 
in consultation with the Wyoming State Historic Preser- 
vation Officer and the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation in arriving at determinations regarding the 
need and type of mitigation to be required. 

Guidance 

The preferred strategy for treating potential adverse 
effects on cultural properties is "avoidance." If avoid- 
ance involves project relocation, the new project area 
may also require cultural resource inventory. If avoid- 
ance is imprudent or unfeasible, appropriate mitigation 
may include excavation (data recovery), stabilization, 
monitoring, protection barriers and signs, or other physi- 
cal and administrative measures. 



Reports documenting results of cultural resource 
inventory, evaluation, and the establishment of mitiga- 
tion alternatives (if necessary) shall be written according 
to standards contained in BLM Manuals, the cultural 
resource permit stipulations, and in other policy issued 
by the BLM. These reports must provide sufficient 
information for Section 106 consultation. Reports shall 
be reviewed for adequacy by the appropriate BLM 
cultural resource specialist. If cultural properties on, or 
eligible for, the National Register are located within 
these areas of potential impact and cannot be avoided, 
the Authorized Officer shall begin the Section 106 con- 
sultation process in accordance with the procedures 
contained in 36 CFR 800. 

Mitigation measures shall be implemented according 
to the mitigation plan approved by the BLM Authorized 
Officer. Such plans are usually prepared by the land use 
applicant according to BLM specifications. Mitigation 
plans will be reviewed as part of Section 106 consulta- 
tion for National Register eligible or listed properties. 
The extent and nature of recommended mitigation shall 
be commensurate with the significance of the cultural 
resource involved and the anticipated extent of damage. 
Reasonable costs for mitigation will be borne by the land 
use applicant. Mitigation must be cost effective and 
realistic. It must consider project requirements and 
limitations, input from concerned parties, and be BLM 
approved or BLM formulated. 

Mitigation of paleontological and natural history sites 
will be treated on a case-by-case basis. Factors such as 
site significance, economics, safety, and project ur- 
gency must be taken into account when making a 
decision to mitigate. Authority to protect (through mitiga- 
tion) such values is provided for in FLPMA, Section 
1 02(a)(8). When avoidance is not possible, appropriate 
mitigation may include excavation (data recovery), sta- 
bilization, monitoring, protection barriers and signs, or 
other physical and administrative protection measures. 

4. Special Resource Mitigation 
Guideline 

To protect (resource value), activities or surface use 
will not be allowed (that is, within a specific distance of 
the resource value or between date to date) in (legal 
description). 

Application of this limitation to operation and mainte- 
nance of a developed project must be based on environ- 
mental analysis of the operational or production as- 
pects. 

Exception, waiver, or modification of this limitation in 
any year may be approved in writing, including docu- 
mented supporting analysis, by the Authorized Officer. 



61 



APPENDIX 3 



Example Resource Categories (Select or identify 
category and specific resource value): 

a. Recreation areas. 

b. Special natural history or paleontological features. 

c. Special management areas. 

d. Sections of major rivers. 

e. Prior existing rights-of-way. 

f. Occupied dwellings. 

g. Other (specify). 

Guidance 

The SPECIAL RESOURCE MITIGATION GUIDE- 
LINE is intended for use only in site-specific situations 
where one of the first three general mitigation guidelines 
will not adequately address the concern. The resource 
value, location, and specific restrictions must be clearly 
identified. A detailed plan addressing specific mitigation 
and special restrictions will be required prior to distur- 
bance or development and will become a condition for 
approval of the permit, plan of development, or other use 
authorization. 

Exception, waiver, or modification of requirements 
developed from this guideline must be based upon 
environmental analysis of proposals (for example, activ- 
ity plans, plans of development, plans of operation, 
applications for permit to drill) and, if necessary, must 
allow for other mitigation to be applied on a site-specific 
basis. 

5. No Surface Occupancy 
Guideline 

No Surface Occupancy will be allowed on the follow- 
ing described lands (legal description) because of (re- 
source value). 

Example Resource Categories (Select or identify 
category and specific resource value): 

a. Recreation Areas (for example, campgrounds, his- 
toric trails, national monuments). 

b. Major reservoirs/dams. 

c. Special managementarea (for example, knownthreat- 
ened or endangered species habitat, areas suitable 
for consideration for wild and scenic rivers designa- 
tion). 

d. Other (specify). 



Guidance 

The NO SURFACE OCCUPANCY (NSO) MITIGA- 
TION GUIDELINE is intended for use only when other 
mitigation is determined insufficient to adequately pro- 
tect the public interest and is the only alternative to "no 
development" or "no leasing." The legal description and 
resource value of concern must be identified and be tied 
to an NSO land use planning decision. 

Waiver of, or exception(s) to, the NSO requirement 
will be subject to the same test used to initially justify its 
imposition. If, upon evaluation of a site-specific pro- 
posal, it is found that less restrictive mitigation would 
adequately protect the public interest or value of con- 
cern, then a waiver or exception to the NSO requirement 
is possible. The record must show that because condi- 
tions or uses have changed, less restrictive require- 
ments will protect the public interest. An environmental 
analysis must be conducted and documented (for ex- 
ample, environmental assessment, environmental im- 
pact statement, etc., as necessary) in order to provide 
the basis for a waiver or exception to an NSO planning 
decision. Modification of the NSO requirement will 
pertain only to refinement or correction of the location(s) 
to which it applied. If the waiver, exception, or modifica- 
tion is found to be consistent with the intent of the 
planning decision, it may be granted. If found inconsis- 
tent with the intent of the planning decision, a plan 
amendment would be required before the waiver, ex- 
ception, or modification could be granted. 

When considering the "no development" or "no leas- 
ing" option, a rigorous test must be met and fully docu- 
mented in the record. This test must be based upon 
stringent standards described in the land use planning 
document. Since rejection of all development rights is 
more severe than the most restrictive mitigation require- 
ment, the record must show that consideration was 
given to development subject to reasonable mitigation, 
including "no surface occupancy." The record must also 
show that other mitigation was determined to be insuffi- 
cient to adequately protect the public interest. A "no 
development' or "no leasing" decision should not be 
made solely because it appears that conventional meth- 
ods of development would be unfeasible, especially 
where an NSO restriction may be acceptable to a 
potential permittee. In such cases, the potential permit- 
tee should have the opportunity to decide whether or not 
to go ahead with the proposal (or accept the use autho- 
rization), recognizing that an NSO restriction is involved. 



62 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Native American Traditional Cultural Values, Historic Properties, and Paleontological Resources 



Location: Some locations are the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site, the Meeteetse Draw Rock Art Area, the 
Gebo-Crosby Historical Area, the Bridger Trail, the Mexican Pass Freight Road, and the Fort Washakie 
to Meeteetse Stage Road. (See Map 2.) 

Discussion: The preferred strategy for treating potential adverse effects to Native American traditional 
cultural values, historical property and paleontological resources is avoidance. When avoidance is not 
feasible, appropriate mitigation is determined case by case. Development of mitigation will consider the 
level of site significance, the estimated costs of mitigation, and the urgency for beginning or completing 
the proposed surface-disturbing activity. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the potential for avoiding disturbance to Native 
American traditional cultural values or historic properties within view or 0.25 mile of the resource or value, 
whatever distance is closer? (The Legend Rock Petroglyph Site would be protected for a distance of 0.5 
mile.) If values, properties, or resources cannot be avoided, what is the potential for applying mitigation, 
such as excavation (for data recovery), stabilization, monitoring, or use of protective barriers and signs? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Avoidance would not be applied to surface-disturbing activities needed for 
emergency stabilization, protection, or interpretive development of the site. These surface-disturbing 
activities must be addressed in a site development plan jointly approved by the BLM, the Wyoming State 
Historic Preservation Office, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Native American groups 
would be consulted, as appropriate. Any changes in the oil and gas "no surface occupancy" stipulation 
at the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site would require environmental analysis, public participation, and an RMP 
amendment, if necessary. Public lands within the immediate vicinity (about 20 acres) of rock art in the 
Meeteetse Draw area, also would be protected by a "no surface occupancy" stipulation for oil and gas 
leasing. Other known important cultural and paleontological resources would be addressed through 
"controlled surface use" stipulations when oil and gas leases are issued. 



Public Health and Safety and Prior Existing Rights 



Location: Areas authorized for specific land uses such as beet dumps, existing and closed landfills, 
communication sites, and the Worland Rifle Range. 

Discussion: These areas have existing rights that are not compatible with other surface uses. However, 
underground mineral resources may still be available for exploration and development. 

Factors: The following should be considered. Can temporary use of the surface take place without 
affecting the existing uses authorized by the lease or other surface use permit? Can the surface be 
restored to avoid affecting the previously authorized uses? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: No other use of these areas will be allowed unless the proposed activities 
are directly or incidentally related to development of the preexisting lease or permit, or the BLM and the 
lease or permit holders agree to the activity. In oil and gas leasing this would require a "no surface 
occupancy" stipulation. 



63 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Visual Resource Management (VRM) Class II Scenic Areas 



Location: Scenic areas in the Badlands, the Red Canyon Creek area, and the Absaroka Mountain 
foothills. (See Map 9.) 

Discussion: In VRM Class II areas, the level of change in the appearance of the landscape should be 
low. Management activities may be seen, but should not attract the attention of the casual observer. Any 
changes must repeat the basic elements of form, line, color, and texture found in the major natural features 
of the landscape. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the potential for successful reclamation, including 
stabilization of soils and revegetation? What is the potential for selective placement of the proposed 
activity to minimize its influence on the landscape? Can facilities be painted to blend with surroundings, 
or hidden behind tree buffers? Will the effects of the proposed action, combined with similar actions, 
cause a decline in the scenic quality of the area? Would the activity occur near, and be readily observable 
by the naked eye from congressionally designated wilderness areas (managed as VRM Class I areas) or 
wilderness study areas? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Mitigation would be applied to avoid lasting impairment of visual resources. 
The intensity of mitigation would vary based on the importance of the visual resources. In oil and gas 
leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a lease notice, standard lease terms and conditions, or 
a "controlled surface use" stipulation. 

Occasionally, there could be opportunities for land use activities to be highlighted to benefit public 
education and provide a better understanding of multiple use. 



Big Game Crucial Winter Habitat and Birthing Areas 



Location: Crucial winter habitat and birthing areas have been identified throughout the area which provide 
vital forage as well as thermal and security cover for wildlife. 

Discussion: Seasonal requirements have been designed to protect big game habitat during crucial time 
periods. In some years big game animals need crucial winter habitat from about November 15 through 
April 30, and birthing habitat, yearly, from May 1 through June 30. Depending on weather conditions and 
other factors identified at the time a development activity is proposed, a decision would be made to allow 
or not allow the activity. This is particularly important for any new or permanent surface disturbance or 
disruptive activity (see Glossary) planned in the crucial habitats. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the current big game use of the area? What are 
the seasonal weather patterns for the area? What are the current snow conditions (depth, crusting, 
longevity)? What are the current and historic precipitation records, temperature conditions, and wind chill 
factors? What is the current weather forecast and what is the anticipated duration of the proposed activity? 
Are there any topographic or geographic habitat limitations present? Are habitats fragmented? Are there 
current or potential stress-related problems in animal populations resulting from human disturbance and 
displacement (overcrowding and adverse behavioral modifications resulting from human activities)? 



64 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Big Game Crucial Winter Habitat and Birthing Areas (Continued) 



Factors (Continued): What is the current estimate of animal health in the area? What is the potential 
for animals to become accustomed to human activity? Will becoming accustomed to human activity allow 
the animals to reoccupy habitat areas after a reasonable period of time, or will it increase their 
susceptibility to hunting and other mortality because of stress? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: A seasonal requirement would be necessary during times when animals 
are present and dependant on crucial winter ranges or birthing areas. Short-term exceptions to the 
requirement may be granted early or late in these seasons depending on weather conditions and animal 
occupancy. Surface-disturbing and disruptive activities may be allowed on crucial winter ranges during 
mild weather, if winter ranges are unoccupied and anticipated to remain unoccupied for the duration of the 
proposed activity, or if animals can easily defer to neighboring suitable habitats. 

Birthing areas are used every year and security for the animals is necessary for successful reproduction. 
If big game animals have not used the habitat for several years, consultation with the WGFD could change 
range maps to reflect habitat use. Permanent disruptive activities (see Glossary) and habitat fragmentation 
will continue to be avoided on crucial winter ranges and birthing areas. 
In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "timing limit" stipulation. 



Overlapping and Important Big Game Habitat 



Location: Narrow ridges (used for migration) and adjacent habitat in the Absaroka Mountain foothills. 

Discussion: Along the Absaroka Mountain foothills there are narrow ridges that are the focus of migration 
by several species of big game animals. These are associated with other important and overlapping 
crucial winter ranges and birthing areas that are seasonally occupied by several types of big game 
animals. Permanent activities, during any year, would prohibit animal migrations on narrow migration 
corridors. Some years, because of weather conditions and other factors, seasonal use by big game 
animals is imperative on migration corridors and on overlapping crucial winter ranges and birthing areas. 
Without the use of these areas, significant winter mortality could take place during severe weather, or 
populations could gradually decline because of reduced birthing success. 

Factors: The following should be considered. Are there any topographic or geographic habitat limitations 
present? Are habitats fragmented? Will a greater number of animals compete for limited habitat? Will 
forage competition increase? What is the likelihood of accidents, such as wildlife collisions with vehicles, 
or poaching, resulting from increased human activity? Are there current or potential stress-related 
problems or displacement of animal populations resulting from human disturbance. What is the current 
estimate of big game health in the area? What is the potential for animals to become accustomed to 
human activity? Will becoming accustomed to human activity allow the animals to reoccupy habitat areas 
after a reasonable period of time, or will it increase their susceptibility to hunting and other mortality 
because of stress? What is the timing of the disturbance or activity? What are the seasonal weather 
patterns for the area? What are the current snow conditions (depth, crusting, longevity)? What are the 
current and historic precipitation records, temperature conditions, and wind chill factors? What is the 
current weather forecast and what is the anticipated duration of the activity? 



65 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Overlapping and Important Big Game Habitat (Continued) 



Opportunities for Mitigation (Continued): Surface-disturbing activities generally would be allowed on 
crucial winter ranges during mild weather, if winter ranges are unoccupied or if animals can easily defer 
to neighboring suitable habitats. This might be determined by aerial flights before the proposed activity. 
However, permanent disruptive activities and habitat fragmentation will continue to be avoided on 
overlapping crucial winter ranges and birthing areas. 

Full field development could involve the siting of more than one well per location, or technology such as 
"cluster development" to decrease the amount of surface disturbance and the amount of human activity. 

Directional drilling and off-site production facilities would be encouraged as well as limiting access to 
permitted activities in these areas through locked gates. The use of downhole, submersible pumps and 
remote well monitoring, using radio or other electronic methods, should be considered. Noise thresholds 
or limits on "popping" (backfiring of propane motors) could be established for working production 
equipment. The noise limit for a propane motor would be 65 decibels [65dB(A)] at 100 feet. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "controlled surface use" stipulation. 



Active Nesting Sites for Raptors 



Location: Active raptor nesting sites. 

Discussion: Raptors are very sensitive to disturbance during the nesting period. Raptors nest in the 
planning area during February 15 through July 31, with dates varying by species. Raptors are likely to 
abandon their nesting attempts if they are disturbed during nest building or when eggs are being laid. 
Raptors will tolerate some intrusion when young are in the nest. Some raptor pairs nest in the same 
vicinity yearly. However, some raptors become habituated to existing disturbances or even move in 
after the disturbance has taken place. 

Factors: The following should be considered. Has the nest had documented use within the past three 
years? What is the potential for the birds to become accustomed to human activity? What types of 
raptors are present (kestrels, burrowing owls, golden eagles)? Do the raptors represent special status 
species or are they sensitive species of importance to the state of Wyoming? What is the nesting 
chronology of the individual species? Does the nest location provide security to the raptor? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Generally, the seasonal requirement would not be applied if the nests 
are unoccupied or expected to be unoccupied by special status raptor species. If nests are occupied, 
some short-term minor disturbances which are not anticipated to affect nesting success may be 
allowed. 

There may be potential for relocating raptors from areas of disturbance with the placement of artificial 
nesting structures. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "timing limit" stipulation. 



66 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Sage Grouse Strutting and Breeding Habitat 



Location: Active sage grouse strutting grounds and their immediate vicinity. 

Discussion: Often sage grouse strutting grounds (leks) are used every year by grouse. (Leks are usually 
openings in the sagebrush.) The males are susceptible to predation at this time and tend to abandon 
these leks if structures are built that allow raptors to perch for hunting, or there are increased disruptive 
activities. Activity on leks is usually during early morning and evening. 

Factors: The following are some factors to be considered. Has the lek had documented use by sage 
grouse during the past three years? Is the proposed surface-disturbing or disruptive activity permanent 
or temporary? During what season and time of day would the proposed activity take place? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Generally, surface-disturbing or disruptive activities would not be allowed 
while birds are breeding or preparing to breed. Permanent or 

high-profile structures, such as buildings, storage tanks, and overhead power lines would be prohibited or 
discouraged because these could increase predation. An exception could be granted if these structures 
are constructed with raptor antiperch features. Exceptions for human activity could be granted between 
9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the breeding season. The active breeding season is typically from March 
15 through May 15. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "controlled surface use" stipulation. 



Sage Grouse Breeding and Nesting Habitat 



Location: Suitable breeding and nesting habitat areas within 2 miles of the center of sage grouse leks 



Discussion: Most sage grouse hens nest between March 15 and July 31 , within a 2-mile radius of a lek. 
However, within these 2 miles, only suitable habitat (comprising high density sagebrush areas) would be 
used. This opens up some of the area within the 2-mile radius for development from March 15 through 
July 31. 

Factors: The following should be considered. Has the lek had documented use by grouse within the past 
three years? What areas within the 2-mile radius are suitable for nesting? What areas contain nests? 
Is the proposed action within these areas of suitable or active nesting? What is the potential for the birds 
to become accustomed to human activity? Is the proposed surface-disturbing or disruptive activity 
permanent or temporary? Is there potential for creation of additional sage grouse habitat from the 
discharge of produced water or through reclamation that meets desired plant community objectives for 
sage grouse? 



Opportunities for Mitigation: Generally, the seasonal requirement would be applied on lands that contain 
active nests or suitable nesting habitat, as determined by field surveys. Exceptions could be granted 
elsewhere within the 2-mile radius. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "timing limit" stipulation. 



67 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Complexes of Sage Grouse Habitat 



Location: In areas that involve more than two active sage grouse leks and the overlapping surrounding 
suitable habitat for strutting, breeding, and nesting. 

Discussion: The three complex areas (Upper Fifteenmile, Spring Gulch, and Blue Mesa) have many 
suitable leks and overlapping nesting habitat which may, or may not, be used by the breeding birds during 
any year. In these areas, it may not be necessary to protect the location of individual leks because of the 
adjacent habitat to which the birds can defer. However, the amount of disturbance within the complex 
could become a factor if that disturbance exceeds 20 percent of the total habitat. This 20 percent would 
include habitat affected by direct surface disturbance and indirect human activities. For example, an 
eighth-of-a-mile on each side of a road or a quarter-of-a-mile around an oil or gas well would be 
considered indirectly disturbed. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the extent of the surface-disturbing and disruptive 
activities? What other projects in the area have contributed to a decrease in suitable nesting habitat in 
the complex area? Can some disturbance be moved outside suitable nesting areas? Is there potential 
for creation of additional sage grouse habitat from the discharge of produced water or through reclamation 
that meets desired plant community objectives for sage grouse? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Cumulative disturbance would need to be evaluated for each project within 
each complex area. Should it be determined that surface disturbance and disruption would be less than 
20 percent of suitable habitat areas, then the activities could be allowed to proceed. The only requirement 
would be a time-of-day limitation whereby activity could take place from dawn to dusk (approximately 9:00 
a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) during March 15 through May 15. For oil and gas proposals, this would commonly apply 
to predrilling activities such as geophysical exploration and new construction related to access and well 
locations. Exceptions to allow around-the-clock activity could be allowed if the operator can demonstrate 
that surface disturbance would remain less than 20 percent and none of the leks are active within 0.25 mile 
of the proposed activity. 

If this 20 percent threshold cannot be met, the sage grouse mitigation for individual leks and habitat areas 
would apply in these sage grouse complex areas. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "controlled surface use" stipulation. 



Recreation and Riparian Habitat 



Location: Public lands within 0.25 mile of the high-water mark around Wardel and Harrington reservoirs. 

Discussion: These reservoirs provide recreational uses and are important riparian habitat for several 
wildlife species. This setback from the high-water mark provides for these uses while making the 
underground resources available for development. 



68 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Recreation and Riparian Habitat (Continued) 



Factors: The following should be considered. Is the great blue heron rookery currently active? What is 
the proximity of the proposed action to surface water, riparian areas, and other wildlife habitat areas? Are 
there plans for development of recreational facilities or wildlife projects, or for cooperative management 
of the lands with the WGFD? Will fish and wildlife habitat be affected by any change in water quality? 
Will the proposed activity create any water hazards? What is the potential for wildlife to become 
accustomed to human activity? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Any development within 0.25 mile of the high-water mark of these 
reservoirs will need to take into consideration the impact to wildlife, fisheries, and recreation. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "controlled surface use" stipulation. For 
any lease or portion of lease within a reservoir, a "no surface occupancy" stipulation would be applied. 



Soil, Water, and Riparian Habitat 



Location: Areawide, particularly perennial streams. 

Discussion: The specific reasons for no surface disturbance within 500 feet of water are based on the 
best information available. The main emphasis is to protect the riparian habitat and prevent surface water 
degradation. Included would be contamination from drilling fluids and increased sedimentation from 
disturbance. Geographical areas to be protected and time periods of concern must be delineated at the 
field level because surface water and riparian areas may, at times, involve ephemeral and intermittent as 
well as perennial waters. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the estimated duration or frequency of the surface- 
disturbing activity? What aquatic and terrestrial habitat values are present? What is the habitat condition? 
Will fish and wildlife habitat be affected by any change in water quality? Will the proposed activity create 
any water hazards? What are the proposed locations and design of stream crossings? Will floodplains 
be affected? What is the current water quality and the identified Wyoming DEQ and WGFD uses and 
classifications of the affected streams? What is the potential for increased sedimentation to reach class 
I streams? Will slope steepness be a factor in causing stream sedimentation? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Surface-disturbing activities might be allowed where riparian areas are 
ephemeral or intermittent (see Glossary). The placement of water control structures such as dikes, 
gabions, erosion fabrics, and silt fences would be typical mitigation. Water crossings could be protected 
by geotechnical products such as geocells used as a driving surface. Generally, activities would not be 
allowed on public lands within a 200-year floodplain or on seasonally or permanently saturated soils; 
adjacent to class I streams (as identified by DEQ or WGFD); or if the activity could cause lasting 
disrupting to surface or groundwater hydrology. Additional mitigation may not be required for oil and gas 
drilling when a closed drilling mud circulation system is used. In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be 
addressed through standard lease terms and conditions. 



69 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Soil, Water, and Vegetation 



Locations: Areawide, on steep slopes (greater than 25 percent), particularly in areas of unstable soils 
identified by the Geological Survey of Wyoming, and highly erodible soils identified by the Natural 
Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). 

Discussion: When necessary, watershed conservation practices (see the Watershed Conservation 
Practices section of this appendix) will be required for surface-disturbing activities taking place on slopes 
of 25 percent or less. On steeper slopes, these practices may not adequately protect soil and water from 
accelerated erosion. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the estimated duration or frequency of the surface- 
disturbing activity and how much will take place on steep slopes? Will the proposed activity take place 
on fragile soils or on soils that are susceptible to erosion? What is the potential for wind- or water-caused 
erosion? What are the minimum and maximum slopes (measured in percent) to be occupied? Is the area 
prone to landslides? What is the soil depth? What is the soil moisture? Can soils be adequately 
stabilized during and after the activity? Will the proposed activity take place in a highly scenic area? 

The level of necessary mitigation would increase as slopes increase above 25 percent, if fragile or erodible 
soils are involved, and in areas that are subject to landslides. The development of terraces (location 
tiering) to be occupied by facilities might also be an acceptable mitigation technique on slopes greater than 
25 percent. 

Opportunities for Mitigation: The requirement would not be necessary on slopes greater than 25 percent 
if a mitigation plan demonstrates that the site can be recontoured, stabilized, and revegetated. The 
mitigation plan would need to include measures to stabilize the soils while surface-disturbing activities are 
taking place. Examples include using mats for travel over wet or easily eroded areas, the placement of 
hay bales downslope from fill material and adjacent to streams, and the use of rip-rap for erosion control 
in steep drainage ditches. Using hydromulch to reseed slopes, and spraying tackifers on hillsides to 
prevent erosion, are other mitigation techniques. 

Some forest management practices could be allowed on slopes greater than 25 percent. An example is 
skidder-type yarding that would generally be allowed on slopes up to 45 percent. For other logging 
operations on slopes steeper than 45 percent, activities would be limited to technically, environmentally, 
and economically acceptable methods like cable yarding. 

Generally, proposed activities of any kind would not be allowed if lasting impairment of visual resources 
or water quality would take place. In oil and gas leasing, this mitigation would be addressed through 
standard lease terms and conditions. 



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Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Soil, Water, and Vegetation During Wet or Freezing Weather 



Location: Areawide. 

Discussion: Frozen or saturated soils make poor construction and reclamation materials because they 
do not compact well and may erode rapidly when disturbed. A saturated soils is one in which all or most 
of the available pore space is occupied by water, and free water is present in the form of puddles and 
surface runoff. Saturated soils are not sufficiently stable to support structures and make poor seed beds 
when used for reclamation. 

Factors : The following should be considered. When people drive unnecessarily during wet weather, 
BLM-administered roads and trails are damaged by ruts, creating accelerated erosion and possible safety 
hazards. This increases road maintenance costs for industry, other permitted users of the public lands, 
and the federal government. 

For construction-related activities, factors to consider would be the soil texture, frost depth, the projected 
end use of the frozen or saturated soils, the time of year, and the duration of the activity. Sandy soils 
would be less likely to be influenced by moisture, because water would move more rapidly through the soil 
profile. 

In situations involving motor vehicles, it would be reasonable to ask whether the land use can be delayed 
until the area dries out. 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Construction and other surface-disturbing activities would be allowed if the 
soils are not prone to compaction when saturated. In some cases, the frost zone could be shallow enough 
to be removed and stockpiled. The proposed activity would then be able to proceed if the frozen material 
is not used for fill or other construction materials. Unnecessary driving in wet weather causes undue 
damage to the public lands and poses safety and road maintenance problems. With appropriate 
notification roads can be officially closed to the public during wet weather. 

In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through standard lease terms and conditions. 



Soil, Water, Vegetation, Recreation, and Wildlife Habitat 



Location: BLM-administered lands within 0.5 mile of the Bighorn River, including about 1,200 acres of 
public land surface and 2,400 acres of BLM-administered mineral estate. (See Map 8). 

Discussion: This area contains some of the most diverse habitat for wildlife, is visually pleasing, and has 
high recreational importance. Some of the wildlife associated with the river include the bald eagle, 
waterfowl, beaver, muskrat, white-tailed deer, mule deer, bats, osprey, great blue heron, sandhill crane, 
warblers and other song birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and occasionally moose, bear, or elk. Although 
the BLM administers only a small portion of the river corridor, the public lands provide an important link 
for the wildlife. In addition, as the human population increases, the number of people who are interested 
in getting access to the river increases, and public land river tracts grow more important for recreation. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What is the proximity of the proposed action to surface 
water, riparian areas, and other wildlife habitat areas? Does the tract have legal public road access for 
recreation? Could the proposed activity result in acquisition of physical and legal public access for 
recreation? Are there plans for development of recreational facilities or wildlife projects, or for cooperative 
management of the tract with the WGFD? Will fish and wildlife habitat be affected by any change in water 
quality? Will the proposed activity create any water hazards? What are the proposed locations and design 
of stream crossings? 



71 



Table 3-1 
Mitigation for Potentially Affected Lands and Resources 



Soil, Water, Vegetation, Recreation, and Wildlife Habitat (Continued) 



Opportunities for Mitigation: Generally, surface-disturbing activities would be prohibited on tracts that 
are developed and cooperatively managed by the BLM and the WGFD for fishing and other recreational 
access, such as the Duck Swamp and the Railroad Tract. Exception may be granted for recreational 
facilities if these facilities do not degrade the habitat for fish and wildlife, particularly special status species 
such as the bald eagle. In oil and gas leasing, mitigation would be addressed through a "no surface 
occupancy" stipulation. 



Soil, Water, Vegetation, Recreation, and Wildlife Habitat 
in The Upper Owl Creek ACEC 



Location: The Upper Owl Creek ACEC. (See Map 11) 

Discussion: The Upper Owl Creek ACEC is about 45 miles west-northwest of Thermopolis, covering 
about 16,300 acres of public lands in the Absaroka Mountain foothills. The Washakie Wilderness area of 
the Shoshone National Forest is immediately to the west and the Wind River Reservation borders part of 
the area on the south. Ecologically, the Upper Owl Creek area is related to these adjacent lands and to 
Yellowstone National Park. The ACEC has a variety of complex resource concerns. Among them are 
shallow soils and tundra-like vegetation on slopes that are prone to landslides. These slopes contribute 
to the highly scenic and primitive aspects of the area. There are several endemic plant species-at-risk in 
the area. Water flows into the ground on public lands in the canyon of the upper South Fork of Owl Creek 
to recharge important aquifers within the Bighorn Dolomite and Madison Limestone formations. This water 
is pumped out of the ground at Hamilton Dome as a byproduct of oil and gas production. The combination 
of inaccessibility, topography, and vegetation has made the area home to many species of animals 
including moose, elk, and mule deer. Other animals like bighorn sheep and grizzly bear are known to visit 
the area's high altitude ridges and outcrops. 

This area has experienced some interest in oil and gas exploration and at one time was encumbered by 
mining claims for gold and other minerals. The combination of sensitive resources and demand for 
commodity production means that mitigation will need to be very carefully considered in the ACEC. 

Factors: The following should be considered. What combination of values are present in the area of the 
proposed activity? Will the proposed activity require construction of an access road? Will the proposed 
activity result in acquisition of physical and legal public access? Is the area prone to landslides or other 
types of mass failure? Can soils be adequately stabilized while the activity is occurring and after 
completion of the activity? Would soil erosion and sedimentation in the upper South Fork of Owl Creek 
affect aquifers and reduce the quality or quantity of their water, including water that is produced from oil 
and gas development? Would the activity be audible or visible with the naked eye from the nearby Owl 
Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA)? 

Opportunities for Mitigation: Generally, activities would not be allowed that could result in lasting 
impairment of visual resources or cause permanent adverse effects to any of the other significant 
resources in the area. The area would be identified as "no surface occupancy" for oil and gas leasing. 
This stipulation would also be applied on split-estate lands (where BLM administers the mineral estate) 
adjacent to the ACEC. After completion of the RMP, a detailed activity plan would be prepared for the 
Upper Owl Creek ACEC before the BLM approves any proposal for major surface-disturbing activity in the 
area. This activity plan would include assistance from the development proponent and other affected and 
interested citizens to determine whether some surface occupancy could be allowed in the area. Mitigation 
considered in the analysis would include "access corridors" and "cluster development." 
Forest management in the ACEC would emphasize maintaining forest health and important wildlife habitat. 
Management practices would be designed to minimize impacts to soil, water, and scenery. The 
construction of new forest roads would be prohibited. Recreation facilities and trailheads would be blended 
into their surroundings. 



72 



APPENDIX 3 



REFERENCES CITED 

Brocklehurst, M. S. 1991 "Protection of the Environmental in 
Offshore Oil Developed Located in Inshore Areas." Institute of 
Marine Engineering et al. Meeting. 

Bromley, M. 1985 Wildlife Management Implications of Petro- 
leum Exploration and Development in Wildland Environments. 
General Technical Report INT-191. U.S. Department of Agri- 
culture, Fores Service. Intermountain Research Station. 42 pp. 

Chappelle, H. H.; R. L. Donahoe, T. T. Kato, and H. E. 
Ordway 1991 "Environmental Protection and Regulatory 
Compliance at the Elk Hills Field" SPE 66th Annual Technical 
Conference/Production Operations and Engineering. Pro- 
ceedings Part 1 555-67. Dallas, TX 

Grant, R. A. 1992 "Development of the Suffield Gas Field." 67th 
Annual Spe. Technical Conference, pp. 971-982. Washington, 
DC 

Johnson, B. K. and D. Lockman 1981 "Response of Elk during 
Calving to Oil/Gas Drilling Activity in Snider Basin, WY." Pro- 
ceedings: 1981 Elk Workshop. Wyoming Game and Fish 
Department. 14 pp. 

Ledec, G. 1990 "Minimizing Environmental Problems from Petro- 
leum Exploration and Development in Tropical Forest Areas." 
1st U.S. Environmental Protection Agency et al. Oil and Gas 
Exploration and Production Waste Management Practice, In- 
ternational Symposium. New Orleans, LA 



Lyon, L. J. 1975 "Coordinating Forestry and Elk Management in 
Montana: Initial Recommendations" IN: Fortieth North Ameri- 
can Wildlife and Resources Conference, pp 1 93-201 . 

Middleton, R. B. 1992 Operating in Environmentally Sensitive 
Areas, First Inst. Petrol, etal. Mediter. Oil and Gas Conference. 
Valetta, Malta. 

Moore, Steven D. 1989 "Elf Petroland Tackles Environmental 
Constraints atZuidwal." IN: Petroleum Engineer International, 
Vol. 61. No. 3, pp. 30, 32. 

Penn.B.G. 1986 "Drilling on Forest Lands." Spe. Rocky Mountain 
Reg. Meeting, pp 37-40. Billings, MT 

Redman, P. J. 1986 "Drilling Environmentally Sensitive Wells in 
Southern England." Spe. Europe Petroleum Conference, pp. 
457-465. London, England 

Ward, A. L. 1985 "The Response of Elk and Mule Deer to Fire- 
wood Gathering on the Medicine Bow Range in Southcentral 
Wyoming" IN: Proceedings of the 1984 Western States and 
Provinces Workshop, pp. 28-40 

Wilmer, G. W. and D. S. deCalesta 1985 "Effect of Forest Roads 
on Habitat Use by Roosevelt Elk" IN: Northwest Science, Vol. 
59, No. 2. pp 122-125. 

Zehner,W. B.rnd J. R.Mullins 1987 "Atypical Mitigation of an Oil 
Spill, Sam Houston National Forest." 10th Bien. American 
Petroleum Institute et al., Oil Spill Conference, pp 81-84. 
Baltimore, MD 



73 



APPENDIX 4 
POSSIBLE LANDOWNERSHIP ADJUSTMENTS 



INTRODUCTION 

Possible landownership adjustments by sale, ex- 
change, transfer, or acquisition would be considered 
case-by-case. These would include transfers of BLM- 
administered public lands to private, local or state gov- 
ernment ownership. Adjustments may be accomplished 
by exchange, public sale, Recreation and Public Pur- 
poses Act patent, or mineral patent. The acquisition of 
lands by BLM usually would be accomplished through 
exchange. 

REVIEW PROCESS 

No landownership adjustments would be implemented 
without a feasibility study, site-specific environmental 
analyses, and a determination that the sale, exchange, 
or transfer is in the public interest. 

CRITERIA FOR SALE, 
EXCHANGE, OR TRANSFER 
OF LANDS 

Lands Not To Be Sold, Exchanged, 
Or Transferred 

— Lands withdrawn from operation of the public land 
laws or segregated pending withdrawal. 

— Lands in wilderness study areas. 

— Lands with mining claims of record under section 
31 4 of FLPMA, unless BLM policy is changed in the 
future to allow for their transfer. 

— Lands with known or suspected hazardous waste 
contamination. 

— Lands containing federally listed endangered, threat- 
ened, candidate, or emphasis species or important 



riparian/wetland areas, unless a primary purpose of 
the ownership adjustment is to improve manage- 
ment of these values. 

Other Factors To Be Considered 

The following conditions would be evaluated during 
the review process. The degree to which any of these 
conditions apply to a proposed ownership adjustment 
may or may not make the lands suitable for sale, 
exchange, transfer, or acquisition. 

— Mineral values. 

— Location of the land in relation to ACECs, protective 
withdrawals, or other ares of special management 
concern, including VRM class I or II areas and lands 
with opportunities for semiprimitive nonmotorized 
recreation. 

— Potential effects on the local economy, including 
effects on the tax base. 

— Whether the lands contain cultural resources eli- 
gible for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places, or important paleontological resources. 

— The importance of the lands for wildlife resources, 
as in the following examples. Used by state- listed 
rare or uncommon species or species in need of 
special management or by state-protected mam- 
mals. 

— Used by wildlife species of high federal or state 
interest. 

— Tracts identified as potential recovery habitat for 
federally listed endangered, threatened, candidate, 
or emphasis species. 



75 



APPENDIX 5 
LIVESTOCK GRAZING MANAGEMENT 



INTRODUCTION 

The authority for managing livestock grazing on pub- 
lic lands is provided by the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, 
the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 
and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. 
The grazing allotment is the fundamental management 
unit of the rangeland program. 

COMPONENTS OF THE 
LIVESTOCK GRAZING 
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 

1 . Administration - Processing and transferring grazing 
permits, compiling and issuing grazing bills, record 
keeping, data reporting, and responding to public 
inquiries are the key elements of program adminis- 
tration. 

2. Grazing Management - Through consultation with 
livestock permittees and other affected interests, 
range management objectives and strategies are 
established and range projects are developed to 
maintain or improve rangeland resources. 

3. Monitoring - Rangeland trend, use of forage, dura- 
tion and season of grazing, and precipitation data are 
recorded. This data is used to evaluate the effects of 
grazing on rangeland ecosystems and to determine 
the carrying capacity of grazing allotments. 

4. Supervision - Public lands are periodically inspected 
to assure compliance with authorized grazing per- 
mits. 

ALLOTMENT 
CATEGORIZATION 

A selective management process was developed to 
assign priorities for range management in the planning 
area. Each grazing allotment was placed in one of three 
categories: "C" Custodial, "I" Improve, or "M" Maintain. 
Resource conditions and conflicts, the potential for 
resources to improve, the economic return, and the 
current management approach are considered. The 
following criteria are used to assign allotments to the 
management categories. Allotment categories can 
change based on new resource information. 



Category "C" (Custodial 
Management) 

The objective is to manage lands in a custodial 
manner that will prevent deterioration of current re- 
source conditions. 

The criteria are: 

— The current range condition and potential varies, 
but the trend is static or upward. 

— Opportunities for positive economic return on public 
investments are minor. 

— Conflicts between livestock grazing and other re- 
sources on public land are minor. 

— Intensive monitoring is not warranted because of 
the lack of issues. 

Category "I" (Improve) 

The objective is to improve resource conditions and 
productivity to enhance overall multiple-use opportuni- 
ties. 

The criteria are: 

— Intensive management for other resources such as 
wildlife and watershed is necessary even though 
allotment condition associated with livestock graz- 
ing is satisfactory. 

— Current grazing management practices need modi- 
fication to meet resource objectives. 

— The allotment is not producing at or near its poten- 
tial. 

— Resource values on public land may be adversely 
affected by the current livestock use. 

— Intensive monitoring is required to address re- 
source issues, conflicts, or declining trend; or to 
verify that an improved trend is continuing based on 
new management actions. 

— Opportunities for positive economic return from 
public or private investment may exist. 

Current range condition may be unsatisfactory and 
trend is static or downward. 



trend is static or downward. 



77 



APPENDIX 5 



Category "M" (Maintain) 

The objective is to maintain or improve the existing 
resource conditions and productivity. 

The criteria are: 

— The present range conditions are satisfactory and 
existing management is expected to maintain or 
improve conditions. 

— The allotment is producing at or near its potential. 

— Conflicts with livestock grazing are minor. 

— Intensive monitoring is not warranted or manage- 
ment has been changed and intensive monitoring is 
needed to verify that satisfactory conditions will be 
maintained. 

— Opportunities for positive economic return from 
public or private investment may exist. 

VEGETATION INVENTORY 

An ecological site inventory of the Grass Creek Plan- 
ning Area was conducted from June 1977 to October 
1979. Since 1983, approximately 35,000 acres have 
been evaluated and updated through range monitoring. 
Ecological condition classes are determined by compar- 
ing the present plant community with that of the potential 
natural community as indicated by the Natural Re- 
sources Conservation Service (NRCS) (formerly the 
Soil Conservation Service) range condition guide for the 
site. Four classes are used to express the degree that 
a present plant community reflects its potential natural 
community. For example, if the serai stage or ecological 
status represents 76 percent to 100 percent of the 
potential natural community, the plant community is 
described as "potential natural community"; 51 percent 
to 75 percent of the potential natural community is "late 
serai"; 26 percent to 50 percent is "mid serai"; and 
percent to 25 percent is "early serai." Woodlands, 
forests, barren, and alpine areas are not classified in this 
system. 

PLANNING AREA 
MONITORING PLAN 

Introduction 

Monitoring is used to determine whether manage- 
ment actions are meeting goals and objectives estab- 
lished for allotments. 

The Wyoming Rangeland Monitoring Handbook (H- 
4423-1) establishes when, where, and how studies will 



be conducted, as well as the types of data to be col- 
lected, how the data will be evaluated, and who will 
participate in the process. The method, amount, and 
intensity of monitoring for each allotment will depend on 
allotment category and objectives, resource values, 
staff availability, and funding. Monitoring data will be 
stored in the Bighorn Basin Resource Area allotment 
files. 

High-intensity monitoring will be implemented in the 
"I" category allotments on a priority basis. Low-intensity 
monitoring studies will be carried out on "M" and "C" 
category allotments. This data will determine the effects 
of management actions on rangeland resources and 
provide quantifiable data needed to enable the autho- 
rized officer to enter into agreements or issue decisions 
to assure that allotment objectives are achieved. High- 
intensity monitoring includes actual use, utilization, cli- 
mate, and trend. Low-intensity studies are those that 
detect undesirable changes in existing range condition 
that could warrant reevaluation of the priority or category 
for that allotment. At a minimum, such studies include an 
allotment inspection at least every five years. 

Actual Use 

Dates, numbers, and kinds of livestock grazed in an 
allotment comprise actual use. The information may be 
reported by permittees and verified by BLM livestock 
counts. Actual use by wildlife can be obtained from 
aerial or ground observations. 

Utilization 

Utilization is the percentage of forage that has been 
consumed or destroyed during a specific period. By 
comparing measured utilization with appropriate use 
levels for key forage plants, and by comparing utilization 
with actual use, climate, and trend data, short- and long- 
term stocking level adjustments can be made. 

Utilization monitoring provides an index to the amount 
of the current year's standing crop that remains on the 
range following grazing. This standing crop helps main- 
tain soil productivity, livestock diet quality, wildlife habi- 
tat, and forage plant vigor. Utilization data will be 
collected on key forage plants in key areas along perma- 
nenttransects. Additional utilization data, such as maps 
showing patterns of use, may be collected to provide an 
estimate of forage utilization on a pasture or allotment. 

Utilization will be measured on the standing vegeta- 
tion in a pasture or allotment. When practical, the times 
for measuring utilization will be agreed upon by the BLM 
and livestock grazing permittees, or otherwise will be 
consistent with federal regulations and BLM policy. 



78 



APPENDIX 5 



The utilization levels described in Table 3-6 of the 
draft EIS are generally considered to be appropriate for 
the precipitation levels, vegetative communities, and 
grazing seasons encountered in the Grass Creek plan- 
ning area. These utilization levels will be considered 
during the development of allotment management plans, 
and will be linked to precipitation and vegetative commu- 
nity information which is also collected and considered 
site-specifically. The utilization levels apply to key 
forage plants in upland areas (not riparian areas). Some 
exceptions will occur. Data from several studies indi- 
cates that light use in wet years will compensate for 
some overuse in dry years (Holechek, et al., 1989). 
Although utilization levels may vary from year to year, 
utilization levels which consistently exceed those shown 
in Table 3-6 of the draft EIS would not be expected to 
meet watershed and vegetation management objec- 
tives. Specialized grazing management, such as short 
duration-high intensity grazing, may require utilization 
levels different than those cited. 

There are few guidelines on appropriate use levels in 
riparian areas that would maintain ecosystem integrity 
(USDA, Forest Service 1989). Because these commu- 
nities are so variable in the planning area, recommenda- 
tions on utilization levels for riparian areas will be devel- 
oped in site-specific activity plans. 

Climate and Trend 

Climate and actual use information help with the 
interpretation of utilization data. One way to determine 
trend is to establish permanent vegetation studies and 
photo records that can be used periodically to show 
changes over time as a result of grazing management. 

Trend studies, climatic data, actual use, utilization 
and information from other studies will be used to 
evaluate the effectiveness of present grazing manage- 
ment over time, and to make necessary adjustments in 
grazing use. Other monitoring studies include plant 
phenology, and studies of range readiness and forage 
production. 

Key Area and Key Species 
Selection 

A key area may represent an entire pasture or some 
other specific area depending on the management ob- 
jectives. Riparian areas, important wildlife habitat, or a 
preferred grazing area with heavy use are examples of 
specific areas. Key areas will be selected by consulting 
with permittees and other affected parties when activity 
plans are developed. A key species is relatively or 
potentially abundant and serves as an indicator of 
changes occurring in the vegetative community. Sev- 



eral key species could be selected and may be important 
for watershed, wildlife, or livestock. 

ACTIVITY PLAN 
IMPLEMENTATION 

In cooperation with the permittees and other affected 
interests, BLM would develop and update activity or 
implementation plans, including allotment management 
plans, with priority for "I" category allotments. 

Each activity plan would: (1) identify general goals 
based on the RMP; (2) determine existing conditions 
and resource issues; (3) specify measurable resource 
objectives; (4) specify management actions designed to 
achieve resource objectives; (5) identify how progress 
towards achieving goals and objectives would be moni- 
tored; and (6) specify how and when evaluations would 
be conducted. Interdisciplinary coordination and in- 
volvement by affected and interested parties would 
ensure multiple-use management. 

Table 5-1 and Table 5-2 are located at the end of this 
appendix. Table 5-1 is a status report on completed 
allotment management plan implementation and Table 
5-2 lists the allotments that are scheduled for new 
activity plans. 

GRAZING STRATEGIES 

Grazing strategies are based on livestock manage- 
ment needs and the phenology and physiological re- 
quirements of key forage plants. The BLM, the permit- 
tees, and other affected interests would design grazing 
strategies based on: (1 ) livestock handling requirements 
and economic considerations of the permittee; (2) the 
development of range projects that enhance the grazing 
strategy; (3) the current and the desired future condition 
of the allotment; and (4) establishing the sequence and 
timing of grazing and resting periods needed to achieve 
management objectives. 

PROCEDURES FOR RANGE 
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS 

Range projects would be developed with grazing 
management strategies to achieve resource manage- 
ment objectives. Normally these objectives would be 
developed in activity plans. Typical projects would be 
fences, wells, springs, reservoirs, pipelines, catchments, 
troughs, tanks, and cattle guards and plant treatments 
such as herbicide application, and prescribed burning. 

A number of range projects have been constructed for 
the enhancement and protection of watershed and wild- 



79 



APPENDIX 5 

life values and for the management of livestock grazing. united States. Department of Agriculture, Forest 

Many of these projects are vegetative manipulations, Service 1989 Mana 9i»9 Grazing of Riparian Areas ,n the 

Intermountin Region, General Technical Report INT- 263by\N. 

water developments, and fencing projects. P Clary and B F Webster , ntermountain Research station. 

CO 

REFERENCES CITED 

Holechek, Jerry L., Rex D. Pieper, Carolton H. 
Herbel 1989 Range Management Principles and Practices. 
Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 



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