Land use plans, including resource management plans (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 (FLPMA) (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, air, water, archaeological, and other resource values; that, where appropriate, will preserve and protect certain public lands for their wilderness characteristics; that will provide vegetation and habitat for fish and 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, timber, and renewable energy from the public lands by encouraging collaboration and public participation throughout the planning process.
Land use plans and planning decisions are the basis for every on-the-ground action the BLM undertakes. Land use planning must follow the legal and regulatory mandates contained in FLPMA, 43 CFR 1600, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations at 40 CFR 1500-1508, and other applicable Federal laws and regulations. BLM planning guidance:
1. encourages planning on a variety of scales, including both local and regional, in partnership with other landowners and agencies;
2. encourages active public participation throughout the planning process and facilitates multijurisdictional planning;
3. clarifies the relationship between land use plans and implementation plans (implementation plans include both activity-level and project-specific plans);
4. provides procedural requirements for completing land use plans and implementation plans;
5. clarifies the relationships between land use and implementation planning and NEPA requirements;
6. addresses new requirements and approaches for managing public lands or resources; and
7. addresses the consideration of new information and circumstances, e.g., new listings of threatened and endangered species, and new requirements and standards for the protection of air and water quality, etc.