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TitleRecord of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky
LanguageEnglish
File Size8.4 MB
Total Pages328
Table of Contents
                            ROD ARMP GSG Cover
	Northwest_Colorado_ARMPA_508
		1. Introduction
			1.1 Description of the Northwest Colorado Sub-Regional Planning Area
			1.2 Purpose and Need
			1.3 Northwest Colorado Sub-regional GRSG Conservation Summary
			1.4 Planning Criteria
		2. Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment
			2.1 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment Instructions
			2.2 Goals, Objectives, and Management Decisions
				2.2.1 Special Status Species (SSS)
				2.2.2 Vegetation (VEG)
				2.2.3 Fire and Fuels Management (FIRE)
				2.2.4 Range Management (RM)
				2.2.5 Wild Horses and Burros (WHB)
				2.2.6 Minerals (MR)
				2.2.7 Renewable Energy (Wind and Solar) (RE)
				2.2.8 Lands and Realty (LR)
				2.2.9 Recreation (REC)
				2.2.10 Travel and Transportation (TTM)
		3. Consultation, Coordination, and Public Involvement
			3.1 Consultation and Coordination
				3.1.1 Section 7 Consultation
				3.1.2 Native American Consultation
			3.2 Public Involvement
		4. Plan Implementation
			4.1 Implementing the Plan
			4.2 Maintaining the Plan
			4.3 Changing the Plan
			4.4 Plan Evaluation and Monitoring
		5. Glossary
		6. References
		Appendices
		Appendix A. Approved RMP Amendment Maps
		Appendix B. Buffer Distances and Evaluation of Impacts on Leks
			B.1 For Actions in General Habitat Management Areas
			B.2 For Actions in Priority Habitat Management Areas (PHMA)
			B.3 References
		Appendix C. Required Design Features, Preferred Design Features, and Suggested Design Features
			C.1 References
		Appendix D. Greater Sage-Grouse Monitoring Framework
			D.1 Introduction
			D.2 Broad and Mid Scales
				D.2.1 Implementation (Decision) Monitoring
				D.2.2 Habitat Monitoring
				D.2.3 Population (Demographics) Monitoring
				D.2.4 Effectiveness Monitoring
			D.3 Fine and Site Scales
			D.4 Conclusion
			D.5 The Greater Sage-Grouse Disturbance and Monitoring Sub-Team Membership
			D.6 References
			Appendix D, Attachment A – An Overview of Monitoring Commitments
			Appendix D, Attachment B – List of All Sagebrush Species and Subspecies Included in the Selection Criteria for Building the EVT and BpS Layers
			Appendix D, Attachment C – User and Producer Accuracies for Aggregated Ecological Systems within LANDFIRE Map Zones
		Appendix E. Methodology for Calculating Disturbance Caps
			E.1 Disturbance Cap
			E.2 Density Cap
			E.3 Project Analysis Area Method for Permitting Surface Disturbance Activities
		Appendix F. Greater Sage-Grouse Mitigation Strategy
			F.1 General
			F.2 Developing a WAFWA Management Zone Regional Mitigation Strategy
			F.3 Incorporating the Regional Mitigation Strategy into NEPA Analyses
			F.4 Implementing a Compensatory Mitigation Program
		Appendix G. Stipulations Applicable to Fluid Mineral Leasing and Land Use Authorizations
			G.1 Description of Stipulations
				G.1.1 No Surface Occupancy (NSO)
				G.1.2 Controlled Surface Use (CSU)
				G.1.3 Timing Limitations (TL)
				G.1.4 Notice to Lessees (NTL)
				G.1.5 Lease Notice (LN)
				G.1.6 Condition of Approval (COA)
			G.2 Exceptions, Modifications, and Waivers
				G.2.1 Exception, Modification, or Waiver Process
			G.3 Stipulations Applicable to Land Use Authorizations
		Appendix H. Guidelines for Implementation and Adaptive Management
			H.1 Introduction
			H.2 Screening Process
				H.2.1 Step 1 – Determine Proposal Adequacy
				H.2.2 Step 2 – Evaluate Proposal Consistency with LUPA
				H.2.3 Step 3 – Determine if GRSG Habitat Can be Avoided
				H.2.4 Step 4 – Determine Proposal Consistency with Density and Disturbance Limitations
				H.2.5 Step 5 – Determine Projected Sage-Grouse Population and Habitat Impacts
				H.2.6 Step 6 – Determine Minimization Measures
				H.2.7 Step 7 – Apply Compensatory Mitigation or Reject / Defer Proposal
			H.3 Restoration/Reclamation of Landscape-Scale Disturbances – Objectives for GRSG Habitat
			H.4 Adaptive Management
				H.4.1 Adaptive Management and Monitoring
				H.4.2 Adaptive Management Triggers
				H.4.3 Northwest Colorado Adaptive Management Plan
			H.5 References
	Dear Reader Letter
	Summary
	Table of Contents
	Acronyms
	1. Introduction
		1.1 Rocky Mountain Region Planning Area
		1.2 Early GRSG Conservation Efforts
		1.3 Threats to GRSG in the Rocky Mountain Region
		1.4 National GRSG Conservation Strategy
		1.5 How the ARMPs and ARMPAs Address the Identified Threats to GRSG Conservation
		1.6 Key Components of the BLM GRSG Conservation Strategy
			1.6.1 Avoid and Minimize Surface Disturbance
				Land Use Allocations and Management Actions in SFAs, PHMAs, and GHMAs
				Habitat Protection and Surface Disturbance Measures in PHMAs and GHMAs
			1.6.2 Improving Habitat Condition
			1.6.3 Reducing Threats of Rangeland Fire to GRSG and Sagebrush Habitat
			1.6.4 Monitoring, Evaluation, and Adaptive Management
		1.7 Unique Aspects of the Rocky Mountain Region’s ARMPs and ARMPAs
			Wyoming
			Northwest Colorado
			Montana
			North Dakota
			South Dakota
		1.8 Decision Rationale
		1.9 Implementation
			1.9.1 Additional Implementation Guidance and Considerations
	2. Decision
		2.1 Summary of the Approved Management Decisions
		2.2 What the ROD, ARMPAs, and ARMPs Provide
		2.3 What the ROD, ARMPAs, and ARMPs Do Not Provide
		2.4 Modifications and Clarifications
			2.4.1 Lewistown
				General Changes
				Special Status Species (SSS)
				Livestock Grazing
			2.4.2 North Dakota
				General Changes
				Appendix G—Oil and Gas Stipulations
			2.4.3 Northwest Colorado
				Special Status Species (SSS)
				Vegetation
				Lands and Realty
			2.4.4 Wyoming
				Greater Sage-Grouse Seasonal Habitat Desired Conditions (Tables 2-2 and 2-3)
				Recreation
				Special Status Species (Greater Sage-Grouse)
				Mineral Resources
			2.4.5 Billings
				General Changes
				Approved Resource Management Plan for GRSG
				Wildlife Habitat and Special Status Species
				Appendices
			2.4.6 Buffalo
				Fluid Minerals
				Greater Sage-Grouse Seasonal Habitat Desired Conditions
				Livestock Grazing
				Lands and Realty
				Other Leasable Minerals
				Recreation
				Riparian and wetland communities
				Special Status Species (Greater Sage-Grouse)
				Water
				Wildlife
			2.4.7 Cody
				General Changes
				Greater Sage-Grouse Seasonal Habitat Objectives (Table 2.6)
				Mineral Resources
				Fire and Fuels Management
				Vegetation—Grassland and Shrubland Communities
				Special Status Species (Greater Sage-Grouse)
				Lands and Realty
				Recreation
				Livestock Grazing
				Special Designations—National Historic Trails and Other Historic Trails
				Glossary
				Maps
				Appendix B
			2.4.8 HiLine
				General Changes
				Approved Resource Management Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG)
			2.4.9 Miles City
				General Changes
				Approved Resource Management Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG)
				Appendix G Oil and Gas Stipulations
				Appendices
			2.4.10 Pompeys Pillar National Monument
				General Changes
				Appendices
			2.4.11 South Dakota
				Approved Resource Management Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG)
				Paleontology and ROWs Summary in Lands and Realty
				Greater Sage-Grouse and Oil and Gas Stipulations
				Appendices
			2.4.12 Worland
				General Changes
				Greater Sage-Grouse Seasonal Habitat Objectives (Table 2.6)
				Mineral Resources
				Fire and Fuels Management
				Vegetation—Grassland and Shrubland Communities
				Special Status Species (Greater Sage-Grouse)
				Lands and Realty
				Recreation
				Livestock Grazing
				Special Designations—Regionally Important Prehistoric and Historic Trails
				Glossary
				Maps
				Appendix B
		2.5 Protest Resolution
			2.5.1 Lewistown
			2.5.2 North Dakota
			2.5.3 Northwest Colorado
			2.5.4 Wyoming
			2.5.5 Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument
			2.5.6 Bighorn Basin (Cody and Worland Field Offices)
			2.5.7 Buffalo
			2.5.8 HiLine
			2.5.9 Miles City
			2.5.10 South Dakota
		2.6 Governor’s Consistency Review
	3. Alternatives
		3.1 Alternatives Considered
			3.1.1 Alternatives Considered for the GRSG RMP Amendments
				3.1.1.1 Alternative A—No Action Alternative
				3.1.1.2 Alternative B— National Technical Team Report Alternative
				3.1.1.3 Alternative C—Citizen Groups’ Recommended Alternative One
				3.1.1.4 Alternative D—Lewistown, North Dakota, and Northwest Colorado’s Preferred Alternative
				3.1.1.5 Alternative E
				3.1.1.6 Environmentally Preferable Alternative
			3.1.2 Alternatives Considered for the RMP Revisions
				3.1.2.1 Alternative A—No Action Alternative
				3.1.2.2 Alternative B
				3.1.2.3 Alternative C
				3.1.2.4 Alternative D
				3.1.2.5 Alternative E
				3.1.2.6 Alternative F
				3.1.2.7 Environmentally Preferable Alternative
		3.2 Alternatives Considered But Not Analyzed in Detail
			Lewistown
			North Dakota
			Northwest Colorado
			Wyoming
			Bighorn Basin
			Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument
			Buffalo
			HiLine
			Miles City
			South Dakota
	4. Management Considerations—Rationale for ARMPs (Plan Revisions)
		Bighorn Basin (Planning Area for the Cody and Worland Field Offices)
		Buffalo
		Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument
		HiLine
		Miles City
		South Dakota
	5. Mitigation Measures for ARMPs (Plan Revisions)
	6. Plan Monitoring for ARMPs (Plan Revisions)
	7. Public Involvement, Consultation, and Coordination
		7.1 Public Involvement
		7.2 Cooperating Agencies
			Rocky Mountain Region-Wide
			Lewistown
			North Dakota
			Northwest Colorado
			Wyoming
			Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument
			Buffalo
			Bighorn Basin (Cody and Worland)
			HiLine
			Miles City
			South Dakota Field Office
		7.3 FWS Section 7 Consultation
		7.4 Native American and State Historic Preservation Officers Consultation
			Lewistown, North Dakota, Northwest Colorado, and Wyoming ARMPAs, and HiLine ARMP
			Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Bighorn Basin, Buffalo, Miles City, and South Dakota ARMPs
	8. References
	9. Approval
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Record of Decision and

Approved Resource Management Plan

Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region,

Including the Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions

of

Lewistown

North Dakota

Northwest Colorado

Wyoming

and the Approved Resource Management Plans

for

Billings

Buffalo

Cody

HiLine

Miles City

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

South Dakota

Worland


Prepared by:

US Department of the Interior

Bureau of Land Management

Washington, DC


September 2015

Page 164

1. Introduction





1-8 Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Approved RMP Amendment September 2015

addresses threats to GRSG and its habitat identified by the GRSG National Technical Team (NTT)

(2011), by the USFWS in the March 2010 listing decision. It also addresses threats described in the

USFWS’s 2013 COT report, in which the USFWS identified threats to GRSG by population across the

range and stated whether that threat is present and widespread, present but localized, or unknown for

that specific population.

Table 1-5 identifies the GRSG populations and the threats identified in the COT contained within the

Northwest Colorado Sub-region.

Table 1-5

Threats to GRSG in the Northwest Colorado Sub-region, as Identified by the COT

GRSG Identified

Populations in Colorado

from the COT Report

Applicable to the

Northwest Colorado

Sub-region

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Eagle-South Routt) 5 Y L Y L L Y Y Y Y L Y

Middle Park 6 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

North Park 9d Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

Northwest Colorado 9e L Y Y L Y Y Y Y Y L Y L

Parachute-Piceance-Roan

Basin

34 Y L Y Y L Y Y Y Y Y

Meeker-White River 35 Y Y Y Y L Y Y Y Y Y

Source: USFWS 2013

Threats are characterized as Y = threat is present and widespread, L = threat present but localized, and

U = unknown.


Table 1-6 provides a crosswalk as to how the ARMPA for the Northwest Colorado Sub-region

addresses the threats from the COT report.

The ARMPA also identifies and incorporates measures for other uses and resources that are designed to

conserve, enhance, and restore GRSG habitat. Specifically, the ARMPA requires the following

summarized management decisions, subject to valid existing rights:

 Requiring specific design features for certain land and realty uses

 Implementing the disturbance cap to limit disturbance in PHMA

 Including GRSG habitat objectives in land health standards.

 Adjusting grazing practices as necessary, based on GRSG habitat objectives, land health

standards, and ecological site potential

Page 165

1. Introduction





September 2015 Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Approved RMP Amendment 1-9

Table 1-6

Key Components of the Northwest Colorado GRSG ARMPA Addressing COT Report

Threats

Threats to GRSG

and its Habitat

(from COT

Report)

Key Component of the Northwest Colorado ARMPA

All threats Implement the adaptive management plan, which allows for more
restrictive land use allocations and management actions to be implemented

if habitat or population hard triggers are met

Require and ensure mitigation that provides a net conservation gain to
GRSG for actions that result in habitat loss and degradation

Monitor implementation and effectiveness of conservation measures in
GRSG habitats according to the habitat assessment framework

All development

threats, including

mining, infrastructure,

and energy

development

PHMA—Implement the disturbance cap, which provides a human
disturbance cap of 3 percent within the biologically significant unit (BSU)

PHMA—Implement a density cap of an average of 1 energy and mining
facility per 640 acres

Apply buffers necessary based on project type and location to address
impacts on leks when authorizing actions in GRSG habitat

Apply required design features (RDFs) when authorizing actions in GRSG
habitat

Minimize effects of infrastructure projects, including siting, using the best
available science, updated as monitoring information on current

infrastructure projects becomes available

Energy

development—fluid

minerals, including

geothermal resources

PHMA—Closed to fluid mineral leasing within 1 mile of active leks; open to
fluid mineral leasing subject to no surface occupancy (NSO) stipulation

without waiver or modification and with limited exception

GHMA—Closed to fluid mineral leasing within 1 mile of active leks; open
to fluid mineral leasing subject to NSO with waiver, modification, or

exception within 2 miles of active leks; open to fluid mineral leasing subject

to timing limitation (TL) stipulations

Prioritize the leasing and development of fluid mineral resources outside of
GRSG habitat

Energy

development—wind

energy

PHMA—Exclusion area (not available for wind energy development under
any conditions)

GHMA—Avoidance area (may be available for wind energy development
with special stipulations)

Energy

development—solar

energy

PHMA—Exclusion area (not available for solar energy development under
any conditions)

GHMA—Exclusion area (not available for solar energy development under
any conditions)

Infrastructure—major

ROWs
PHMA—Avoidance area (may be available for major ROWs with special

stipulations)

GHMA—Avoidance area (may be available for major ROWs with special
stipulations)

Page 327

H. Guidelines for Implementation and Adaptive Management





September 2015 Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Approved RMP Amendment H-11

used because it is considered to be more indicative of the population trend than annual high male

counts. The 3-year running average in Northwest Colorado and North Park must fall below the

threshold concurrently for this portion of the hard trigger to be breached. The Colorado Department

of Natural Resources, Parks and Wildlife will conduct lek counts and provide this information annually

to the statewide implementation team as described in the Soft Trigger section, above.

Habitat Loss. The habitat loss threshold is measured by 30 percent cumulative loss of PHMA, beginning

when the ROD on this LUPA is signed. The loss will be measured independently in Northwest Colorado

and North Park. The BLM will track anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic habitat loss. The statewide

implementation team as described in the Soft Trigger section, above, will review summary information,

above.

Hard Trigger Response

Upon determination that a hard trigger has been tripped, the BLM will immediately defer issuance of

discretionary authorizations for new actions for a period of 90 days. In addition, within 14 days of a

determination that a hard trigger has been tripped, the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse

Statewide Implementation Team will convene to develop an interim response strategy and initiate an

assessment to determine the causal factor or factors (hereafter the “causal factor assessment”).

Page 328

H. Guidelines for Implementation and Adaptive Management





H-12 Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Approved RMP Amendment September 2015

H.5 REFERENCES

Baruch-Mordo, S., J. S. Evans, J. P. Severson, D. E. Naugle, J. D. Maestas, J. M. Kiesecker, M. J. Falkowski,

C. A. Hagen, and K. P. Reece. 2013. Saving sage-grouse from trees. Biological Conservation.

Internet website: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713002917.

Colorado Greater Sage-grouse Steering Committee. 2008. Colorado Greater Sage-grouse Conservation

Plan. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, CO.

Connelly, J. W., M. A. Schroeder, A. R. Sands, and C. E. Braun. 2000. Guidelines to manage sage-grouse

populations and their habitats. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:1-19.

Connelly, J. W., K. P. Reese, and M. A. Schroeder. 2003. Monitoring of greater sage-grouse habitats and

populations. Station Bulletin 80. College of Natural Resources Experiment Station, Moscow, ID.

Doherty, M. K. 2008. Sage-grouse and Energy Development: Integrating Science with Conservation

Planning to Reduce Impacts. Thesis, Dissertations, Professional Papers. Paper 855.

Holloran, M. J., and S. H. Anderson. 2005. Spatial Distribution of Greater Sage-grouse nests in relatively

contiguous sagebrush habitats. Condor 107:742-752.

Manier, D. J., D. J. A. Wood, Z. H. Bowen, R. Donovan, M. J. Holloran, L. M. Juliusson, K. S. Mayne, S. J.

Oyler-McCance, F. R. Quamen, D. J. Saher, and A. J. Titolo. 2013. Summary of Science,

Activities, Programs and Policies that Influence the Range-Wide Conservation of Greater Sage-

Grouse (Centrocerus urophasianus). US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1098. Ft.

Collins, CO.

Manier, D. J., Z. H. Bowen, M. L. Brooks, M. L. Casazza, P. S. Coates, P. A. Deibert, S. E. Hanser, and D.

H. Johnson. 2014. Conservation buffer distance estimates for Greater Sage-Grouse�³ A review.
US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014�²1239. Internet website:
http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141239.

Stiver, S. J., E. T. Rinkes, D. E. Naugle, P. D. Makela, D. A. Nance, and J. W. Karl. 2014. Sage-Grouse

Habitat Assessment Framework: A Multi-scale Habitat Assessment Tool. BLM and Western

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Technical Reference 6710-1. US Department of the

Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Denver, Colorado.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713002917
http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141239

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