Use of the Completed Plan
Many management activities described in this RMP will be accomplished through contracts and permits with specific performance standards developed. The standards require the contractor or permittee to comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and plans. Selection of performance standards is governed by the scope of the action to be undertaken and the physical characteristics of the specific site. The standards, which include design features and mitigating measures, must be followed in carrying out an action.
Site-specific planning by interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) will precede most on-the-ground management activities. IDTs are comprised of relevant resource management disciplines. The IDT process includes field examination of resources, selection of alternative management actions, analysis of alternatives, and documentation to meet National Environmental Policy Act requirements. Adjacent land uses will be considered during site-specific land management planning.
Potential minor changes, refinements or clarifications in the plan may take the form of maintenance actions. Maintenance actions respond to minor data changes and incorporation of activity plans. Such maintenance is limited to further refining or documenting a previously approved decision incorporated in the plan. Plan maintenance will not result in expansion of the scope of resource uses or restrictions nor change the terms, conditions and decisions of the approved RMP. Maintenance actions are not considered a plan amendment and do not require the formal public involvement and interagency coordination process undertaken for plan amendments. Important plan maintenance will be documented in the annual District Planning Progress Report or its equivalent. A plan amendment may be initiated because of the need to consider monitoring findings, new data, new or revised policy, a change in circumstances, or a proposed action that may result in the scope of resource uses or a change in the terms, conditions and decisions of the approved plan.
In addition to being routinely monitored, the RMP will be formally evaluated at the end of every third year after implementation begins. This periodic evaluation will occur until such time as preparation of new plans supersedes the RMP over a substantial majority of its area. The reason for the formal evaluation is to determine whether there is significant cause for an amendment or revision of the plan. Evaluation includes a cumulative analysis of monitoring records, with the broader purpose of determining if the plan's goals and objectives are being, or are likely to be, met and whether the goals and objectives were realistic and achievable in the first place.
Evaluation will also assess whether changed circumstances (such as changes in the plans of other government agencies or American Indian tribes) or new information so altered the levels or methods of activities or the expected impacts (on water, wildlife, socioeconomic conditions, etc.), that the environmental consequences of the plan may be seriously different than those anticipated in this RMP.
As part of these third year evaluations, the allowable sale quantity will be re-evaluated to incorporate the results of watershed analyses; monitoring; further inventory; and site-specific, watershed-specific or province-level decisions.
If an evaluation concludes that the plan's goals are not achievable, a plan amendment or revision will be initiated. If the evaluation concludes that land use allocations or management direction need to be modified, a plan amendment or revision may be appropriate. An analysis will address the need for either. If the analysis determines that amending the plan is appropriate, the amendment process set forth in 43 CFR 1610.5-5 or 1610.5-6 would be followed. If an amendment is not appropriate, NEPA procedures would still be followed before the modification is approved, along with coordination through the Regional Ecosystem Office and the Regional Interagency Executive Committee if SEIS ROD standards and guidelines or land-use allocations would be modified. Figure 1 shows how monitoring and/or evaluation could lead to a revision of management direction or other changes in the RMP.
No additional evaluations of this type will be done unless some changed circumstance or unusual event causes the continuing validity of the plan to be questioned. Following completion of each plan evaluation, a summary of its findings will be included in the district's annual program summary.
In the futureafter preparation of new plans that would substantially supersede the RMP is well under wayinterim management adjustments may be made without a plan amendment if some circumstances change or unusual events occur of a magnitude that question BLM's ability to meet the remaining objectives. The kind of circumstance which could lead to such an adjustment might be an announcement of research findings that clearly establish some of the plan's goals and objectives are unlikely to be met. The kind of unusual event which could lead to such an adjustment might be a major catastrophe such as a wildfire or windstorm causing extensive damage to forest stands. Similar interim adjustments can be made at any time during the life of the plan, pending evaluation and possible plan amendment.