BLM begins the planning process by identifying preliminary issues and planning criteria, estimating a budget and planning schedule, and identifying data needs. During this step, BLM publishes a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to inform the public of the planning process and begin the scoping process. The notice initiates a public comment period of at least 30 days. BLM also starts to collect inventory data.
Analysis of the Management Situation
BLM specialists analyze the planning area's resources, environmental conditions, uses, and current management. This initial analysis can be included in the scoping report. Public scoping meetings are usually held at this time to help identify issues and concerns.
BLM incorporates comments from public meetings and other outreach and uses this information, along with staff input, to refine issues and planning criteria. Alternative themes are developed at this time.
The Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement summarize information from the Analysis of the Management Situation and scoping. In this document, BLM formulates alternatives, analyzes their impacts, and identifies a preferred alternative. Completion of the Draft RMP/EIS is announced through a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, as well as other public outreach methods such as media releases and mailings. A public comment period of at least 90 days commences.
Proposed RMP and Final EIS
The Proposed RMP and Final EIS incorporate comments received from public input and interagency review. BLM refines alternatives and impact analyses as necessary. A Notice of Availability is issued, beginning a 30-day protest period and 60-day governor's review. Protests are resolved, and if necessary, a notice of significant change is issued.
Approved RMP and Record of Decision
The State Director approves the RMP after comments are incorporated and further refinement of the RMP has been completed. BLM begins to implement the RMP's decisions and conduct monitoring and evaluation.