The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is requesting ideas and input on how the agency can make its land use planning procedures and environmental reviews timelier and less costly, as well as ensure its responsiveness to local needs. This effort to improve the planning process comes after the President’s March 27 approval of House Joint Resolution 44, which nullified the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule.
“The decisions made in land use plans and environmental reviews are fundamental to how public lands and resources are used for the benefit of all Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “The Trump Administration and the Department of the Interior are committed to working with state and local governments, communities, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders as true partners to determine the best ways to accomplish this, now and into the future.”
Acting BLM Director Michael Nedd said the agency is already working with state and local elected officials and groups, including the Western Governors’ Association and the National Association of Counties, to engage and gather input. “We are doing this because Secretary Zinke and President Trump both strongly believe that public engagement, especially at the local level, is a critical component of federal land management,” Nedd said. “We need and want input from our state and local partners as well as from the general public in this effort.”
All can submit ideas and provide input during a 21-day period beginning July 3, 2017 and ending July 24, 2017 at this online form: http://goo.gl/CYxqM5. The BLM will incorporate information from this effort in a report to Secretary Zinke due later this year.
The BLM manages more than 10 percent of the nation’s land and 30 percent of the nation’s subsurface minerals. Resource management plans (RMPs) provide a framework for land use authorization decisions on BLM-managed public lands, including those relating to subsurface Federal minerals. Most such land use authorization decisions are preceded by review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Through the public NEPA process, the BLM analyzes the effects of proposed plans and land use authorization decisions and discloses them to the public.
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment–including your personal identifying information–may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In fiscal year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.