WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of its continuing commitment to improve management of the nation’s public lands, the Bureau of Land Management is beginning a review aimed at creating a more dynamic and durable way of developing the Resource Management Plans (RMPs) that guide its efforts. Congress has directed the BLM to develop RMPs for the public lands it manages in consultation with the public and with its partners from tribal, state, and local governments and other federal agencies.
“As I’ve met with elected leaders and citizens from across the West on BLM issues, I’ve consistently heard two things: first, the BLM needs to more effectively address landscape-level management challenges; and second, planning takes too long.” BLM Director Neil Kornze said. “We’re listening to you and we are stepping forward to improve the way we work so we can make our process more flexible in planning across landscapes, more dynamic and responsive to change and less time consuming.”
Based on an initial review, the BLM intends to target changes in its existing planning regulations and handbook that will allow us to:
· Conduct effective planning across landscapes at multiple scales and clearly define the boundaries for different types of decisions.
· Create a dynamic and durable planning process that is responsive to change, allowing BLM to keep plans current through amendments.
· Create an efficient planning process that reduces the amount of time it takes to complete RMPs.
The initiative complements BLM’s landscape approach to managing public lands. The effort is also consistent with Secretary’s Order 3330, “Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior,” including its charge to use a landscape-scale approach to identify and facilitate investment in key conservation and development priorities in a region.
While this marks the beginning of the process, we anticipate additional opportunities for public involvement. We anticipate proposing targeted changes to our planning regulations and these changes will be open for formal public review and comment. We also will be revising our current planning handbook to incorporate new guidance and the concepts needed to effectively plan across landscapes.
In addition to the formal review period associated with the rule-making process, the BLM is seeking input on how we can achieve the goal of a more effective, efficient and durable planning process. Individuals can learn more www.blm.gov/plan2 and can provide feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Kathleen Mushovic