U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
BLM-Alaska holds public meetings on Eastern Interior RMP/EIS and Supplement
The BLM-Alaska’s Eastern Interior Field Office recently held public meetings in Fairbanks and Anchorage to solicit public input on the Supplement to the Eastern Interior Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS).
“The public comment phase of any planning effort is always intense,” says Eastern Interior Field Manager Lenore Heppler. “This effort is especially interesting because people are very passionate about these public lands, and they’re telling us how much they value these lands.”
The Draft Eastern Interior RMP/EIS was released on March 2, 2012. The Supplement to the Draft Eastern Interior RMP/EIS was released January 11, 2013, about 300 days into the public review and comment period. The comment period for the Draft RMP/EIS was extended, so the public comment period for both the Draft and the Supplement will close on April 11, 2013.
Along with the public meetings, the Eastern Interior Field Office has tried new ways to make this planning effort accessible to the public. For example, the office published executive summaries for each subunit, developed posters that target single issues by area (for example: Mining in the Fortymile Poster (text version)) and are using the White Mountains National Resource Area Facebook page as an additional way to announce meetings, communicate with, and educate the public about the NRA, which is part of the planning area.
When completed and approved, the Eastern Interior RMP/EIS will provide future direction for 6.7 million acres of public land, including the White Mountains National Recreation Area, the Steese National Conservation Area, and the Fortymile area. In addition, it will cover the upper Black River area and scattered parcels along the highway system, which are not currently included in an existing land use plan. The Supplement amends Alternative D of the Draft RMP/EIS to add a scenario recommending that approximately 160,000 acres in the White Mountains National Recreation Area be available for hardrock mineral leasing. The Draft RMP/EIS and Supplement are available on the Documents & Reports Page.