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Farmington Field Office Visual Resource Management Plan Amendment

The Proposed RMPA/EA was prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in consultation with various government agencies and organizations, taking into account public comments received during this planning effort. The purpose of the Proposed RMPA is to amend the 2003 Farmington Resource Management Plan to designate VRM Classes and management for BLM-managed lands in the FFO.  The need for action is in response to respond to direction in the 2003 Farmington Resource Management Plan (RMP) to designate VRM Classes following a visual resource inventory (VRI). A VRI for the FFO was completed lands in 2009. 

The BLM analyzed the No Action Alternative and the four action alternatives in the EA. After reviewing that analysis, the BLM is proposing to move forward with a decision that would combine elements of Alternatives A and B. Alternative A would serve as the basis for the majority of the allocations and management actions in the proposed action,  with the incorporation of the following allocations described in Alternative B:

  • VRM Class II for the foreground/middleground of Chaco Culture National Historical Park (5 miles from the established Key Observation Points) 
  • VRM Class III for the background of Chaco Culture National Historic Park (5 to 10 miles from the established Key Observation Point)
  • VRM Class II for the Ephemeral Wash Riparian Area (100 yr) where it coincides with portions of the high-potential segment of the Old Spanish Trail National Historic Trail (NHT).  

The specific language for the proposed action can be found in the Dear Reader Letter Proposed RMPA - Attachment 1.

Pursuant to BLM’s planning regulations at 43 CFR 1610.5-2, any person who participated in the planning process for this Proposed RMPA and has an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the planning decisions may protest approval of the planning decisions contained therein.  The Proposed RMPA/EA and FONSI are open for a 30-day protest period beginning December 17, 2013.

For further information on filing a protest, please see the accompanying protest regulations in Attachment 2.  The regulations specify the required elements of your protest.  Take care to document all relevant facts. As much as possible, reference or cite the planning documents or available planning records (e.g. meeting minutes or summaries, correspondence, etc.).

Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular mail or overnight delivery postmarked by the close of the protest period.  Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed protest as an advance copy and will afford it full consideration.  If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct emailed protests to:

All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following addresses:

Regular Mail:
Director (210)
Attn:  Brenda Hudgens-Williams
P.O. Box 71383
Washington, D.C.  20024-1383
Overnight Delivery:
Director (210)                                     
Attn:  Brenda Hudgens-Williams        
20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM
Washington, D.C.  20003
All protests must be postmarked on or before January 16, 2014 

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, be advised that your entire protest – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your protest to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The BLM Director will make every attempt to promptly render a decision on each protest.  The decision will be in writing and will be sent to the protesting party by certified mail, return receipt requested.  The decision of the BLM Director shall be the final decision of the Department of the Interior on each protest. Responses to protest issues will be compiled and formalized in a Director’s Protest Resolution Report made available following issuance of the decisions.

Upon resolution of all land use plan protests, the BLM will issue a Decision Record (DR).  The DR will be available to all parties at this website.

Unlike land use planning decisions, implementation decisions included in this Proposed RMPA/EA are not subject to protest under the BLM planning regulations, but are subject to an administrative review process, through appeals to the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA), Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) pursuant to 43 CFR, Part 4 Subpart E.  Implementation decisions generally constitute the BLM’s final approval allowing on-the-ground actions to proceed.  Where implementation decisions are made as part of the land use planning process, they are still subject to the appeals process or other administrative review as prescribed by specific resource program regulations once the BLM resolves the protests to land use planning decisions and issues a DR.

An example of BLM Visual Resource Management can be requiring that tanks at natural gas well sites be painted dark green to blend in with surrounding pinon and juniper trees.

An example of BLM Visual Resource Management can be requiring that tanks at natural gas well sites be painted dark green to blend in with surrounding pinon and juniper trees.



VRM Planning Documents and Information

Proposed RMPA Documents

Proposed RMPA Reader Letter

Proposed Visual Resource Management (VRM) Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) Environmental Assesment (EA)

Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact 

Other Documents

Reader Letter

Draft Visual Resource Management (VRM) Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) Environmental Assessment (EA)

Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

Federal Register Notice of Intent

VRM Timeline

Communication Plan

Farmington Planning

Farmington NEPA

BLM Manual Section 8400 - Visual Resource Management

Handbook 8410-1 VisualResource Inventory

Handbook 8431-1 Visual Resource Contrast Rating

More information about the BLM’s Visual Resource Management system can be found at: BLM VRM Information