Public Participation in WH&B Planning
Land use plans and implementation planning decisions are the basis for every on-the-ground action the BLM undertakes. Land use plans ensure that the public lands are managed in under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield accordance with the intent of Congress as stated in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA, 1976).
The public has an opportunity to participate in BLM’s planning and decision process for wild horses and burros. Individuals interested in participating should write to the Field Office Manager and ask to be added to the Wild Horse and Burro mailing list. Also ask to be notified of any planning or decisions for the specific HMAs of interest to you.
Wild horse and burro decisions are made through Land Use Plans (Resource Management Plans or Management Framework Plans) and through Implementation Planning Decisions. Let’s take a closer look at the types of wild horse and burro management decisions made through Land Use Plans.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q – How can I participate in BLM’s planning and decision process?
A – Individuals interested in participating should write to the Field Office Manager and ask to be added to the Wild Horse and Burro mailing list. Also ask to be notified of any planning or decisions for the specific HMAs of interest to you.
Q – Does BLM notify the public about WH&B planning proposals?
A – Yes. Each field office prepares a list of proposed projects and planning decisions annually. This list is available at each Field Office. Field Offices may also issue a letter to interested individuals, groups or agencies requesting any data, information, or issues and concerns about specific project planning proposals.
Q – Does BLM make environmental assessments (EAs) available for review before making a final decision on the action?
A – BLM typically makes EAs involving wild horse or burro decisions available for a 30-day public review and comment period prior to issuing a final decision, unless an emergency situation exists. This may vary from program to program. For more information, refer to program-specific guidance in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Q – What if I disagree with a decision BLM makes?
A – The authorized officer’s final decision is subject to administrative review. Administrative review procedures are program-specific. For more information, refer to 43 CFR Part 4 and 4770.3.
Q – Why does BLM issue some decisions effective immediately?
A – In accordance with 43 CFR 4770.3 (c), the authorized officer may issue decisions to remove wild horses or burros from public or private lands in situations where removal is required by applicable law or is necessary to preserve or maintain a thriving ecological balance and multiple use relationship. In these instances, the authorized officer may make the decision effective upon issuance or on a date established in the decision.
Q – Does BLM consider the comments made by the public during the planning and decision process?
A – Yes. BLM takes a hard look at all the comments received before making a final decision. However, in some cases, the comments received are outside the scope of the current environmental analysis, or are applicable to decisions which have already been made. In other cases, comments may be contrary to law, regulation or policy.
BLM is particularly interested in knowing if the public has any additional information, data or analysis which should be considered. Examples of helpful information might be:
• Are there additional issues, concerns, or opportunities (not already identified) that BLM should consider?
• Are there additional alternatives (not already identified) that BLM should consider?