News Release

For Release: February 14, 2008      
Contact:  Steve Razo (951) 697-5217; cell (951) 316-5996
CA-CDD-08-25

BLM Announces Intent to Revise Imperial Sand Dunes Management Plan

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), based on today’s publication by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of its final rule on critical habitat for the threatened Peirson’s milk-vetch, announced it will now begin revision of its Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP).

The RAMP, approved in 2005, was set aside by a Federal Court order in 2006 and remanded to BLM for further action, as was the previous FWS critical habitat designation.  Steve Borchard, BLM Desert District manager, said BLM and FWS agreed it would be in the public interest to await completion of the revised final critical habitat rule before initiating revision of the RAMP.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Borchard said BLM will soon publish in the Federal Register a notice of intent to prepare a revised RAMP and new environmental impact statement (EIS).  That notice will initiate a public scoping period allowing interested parties to identify issues that should be addressed in the EIS.

“We anticipate an accelerated schedule for preparing the EIS and the revised RAMP for public review, given the tremendous amount of data and public input on the earlier documents,” Borchard said.  “BLM and the FWS will continue to closely coordinate on development of alternatives for the revised RAMP as we have in the past.  We will be seeking the public’s input as well as we embark on this planning process.”

For further information concerning the BLM’s Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, visit the Imperial Sand Dunes website at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/isdra.html or contact BLM’s El Centro Field Office at 760-337-4400.  For further information or to review the FWS’ revised final critical habitat rule, contact the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at 760-431-9440 or download the rule at http://www.regulations.gov/.

-- BLM --