Land use plans, or RMPs, ensure that the public lands are managed in accordance with the intent of Congress as stated in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLMPA) (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. As required by FLPMA and BLM policy, the public lands must be managed in a manner that protects the quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archaeological values; that, where appropriate, will preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition; that will provide food and habitat for fish, wildlife, and domestic animals; that will provide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use; that recognizes the Nation’s need for domestic sources of minerals, food, timber, and fiber from the public lands by encouraging collaboration and public participation throughout the planning process.
The BLM uses an ongoing planning process to ensure that land use plans (RMPs) and implementation decisions remain consistent with applicable laws, regulations, orders, and policies. EIS-level planning processes, such as the RMP revision, have a number of required planning steps. See the EIS-level planning process diagram for a description of the various steps.
Concurrently with the development of the RMP, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will also be prepared. Required by Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an EIS highlights the significant effects of a proposed project and describes alternative actions to that proposed project. The EIS will identify and analyze the potential impacts of the alternatives and implementation of the RMP on the environment and identify appropriate measures to mitigate those impacts.
For more information on the BLM planning process, see the BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1) under the "Documents" menu.
Why did the Kremmling Field Office and Colorado River Valley Field Office revise their Resource Management Plans?
· The Kremmling Field Office (KFO) and Colorado River Valley (CRVFO) Field Office, Colorado Bureau of Land Management (BLM), developed a Resource Management Plan (RMP) for all the federal surface and mineral estate managed by BLM within each field office boundary (see “Map” menu). As part of the RMP revision process, the field offices prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the impacts of the plan’s decisions. The lands within the field offices were being managed according to the 1984 Kremmling RMP and the 1984 Glenwood Springs RMP.
· RMP revisions are necessary if monitoring and evaluation findings, new data, new or revised policy, or changes in circumstances indicate that decisions for an entire plan or a major portion of the plan no longer serve as a useful guide for management. There is a need to revise the RMPs based upon a number of new issues such as increased recreation demand and use and rapidly expanding urban interface areas; and new policy issues such as new guidance on recreation and comprehensive travel management and transportation.
What decisions did the BLM be making as part of the revision process?
· Decisions in RMPs guide future land management actions and subsequent site-specific implementation decisions. Decisions contained in RMPs are called land use plan decisions. These broad-scale decisions guide future land management actions and subsequent site-specific implementation decisions. Land use plan decisions fall into two categories:
(1) Desired outcomes (goals and objectives)
(2) Management actions and allowable uses to achieve outcomes
· The BLM Land Use Planning Handbook (H-1601-1), Appendix C (see “BLM Planning & NEPA Guidance Documents” menu), provides program-specific guidance for land use plan and implementation decisions. During the RMP preparation, each program is required to address the land use plan decision guidance contained in Appendix C. In most programs, implementation decisions are not made during the RMP revision. However, the guidance for Comprehensive Trails and Travel Management requires the BLM to make implementation decisions to the extent practical (i.e. completing a defined travel management network).
· Implementation decisions generally constitute the BLM’s final approval allowing on-the-ground actions to proceed. These types of decisions require site-specific planning and NEPA analysis. Thus, for recreation and travel management, the field offices are making both land use plan decisions and implementation decisions as part of this revision effort. [Note: to learn more about the recreation and travel management planning process, see “Travel Management Planning Process” menu.]