The Bay Planning Area
On November 14, 2008, the BLM released the Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan for the Bay planning area in southwest Alaska. The Bay plan provides management guidance for 1.9 million acres of BLM-administered public land and resources in the Bristol Bay and Goodnews Bay regions of Alaska.
The Bay Record of Decision and Approved Plan is the variety of actions that the BLM believes best resolves the issues and management concerns for BLM lands in the planning area. The plan focuses on the principles of multiple use and sustained yield as outlined in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).
A 30-day protest period for the Bay Proposed RMP/Final EIS began December 14, 2007, the date the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The protest period ended January 14, 2008. During this period, the BLM received five protest letters cumulatively containing approximately 50 issues. The BLM Director resolved protests without requiring significant changes to decisions in the Proposed RMP. Minor modifications and clarifications to the proposed plan are outlined in the Record of Decision.
Bay Acreage Overview
- When the BLM initiated land use planning for the Bay planning area in 2004, BLM-administered lands in the region totaled 3.6 million acres.
- Due to land transfer to the State and Alaska Native corporations, that figure was reduced to approximately 1.9 million acres when the Record of Decision was released in 2008. That figure has since been further reduced to approximately 1.5 million acres due to continuing land conveyance.
- BLM-managed lands in the Bay planning area should total approximately 1.2 million acres when the land transfer program is completed.