FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mike Zaidlicz, (907) 267-1246 Date: March 21, 2008
BLM releases Record of Decision for
Ring of Fire Resource Management Plan
ANCHORAGE – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Record of Decision for the Ring of Fire Resource Management Plan (RMP). The Ring of Fire planning area includes 1.3 million acres of BLM-administered public land in southeast and southcentral Alaska, Kodiak Island, and the Aleutian Islands.
In response to protests received on the Ring of Fire Proposed RMP, the BLM made the following changes:
1. In response to a protest from the Alaska Coalition / American Rivers, the BLM will defer Wild and Scenic River suitability determinations for segments identified in the RMP as “Eligible.” The BLM will manage these rivers in a manner that maintains or enhances the values that supported the rivers’ eligibility until land ownership in the planning area is finalized. At that time, suitability determinations will be made through an amendment to the Ring of Fire RMP.
2. In response to a protest received from Lynn Canal Conservation, Inc., the BLM will defer the final determination on the establishment of an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) for the Haines Block lands. The BLM will reconsider the application of the Importance Criteria found in BLM Manual 1613 and will provide an additional 60-day comment period to gather public input on the Haines Block ACEC. Establishment of an ACEC would require an RMP amendment. In the interim, the lands will be managed as they are currently.
The Ring of Fire planning documents are available online at www.blm.gov/ak and at the BLM Anchorage Field Office at 6881 Elmore Road.
For more information about the Ring of Fire Resource Management Plan, contact the BLM at (907) 267-1246 or (800) 478-1263.
The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.