The BLM uses a multi-step process when developing a land use plan. Some of the steps may occur concurrently. Some situations may require the manager to supplement previous work as additional information becomes available. These steps have been fully integrated with the NEPA process and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) guidelines. The steps are:
1. Identification of Issues:
- Issue Notice of Intent (NOI) to begin the Scoping Process to identify issues and develop planning criteria and to begin public participation.
- Identify issues. This sets the tone and scope for the entire planning process and is done with full public participation.
2. Develop Planning Criteria:
- Establish constraints, guides, and determine what will or will not be done or considered during the planning process.
- Produce a scoping report for public review, including final planning criteria.
3. Inventory Data and Information Collection:
- Collection of inventory data and information is an ongoing activity and is not governed solely by the planning process.
4. Analyze the Management Situation:
- Information is gathered on the current management situation. Describes pertinent physical and biological characteristics and evaluates the capability and condition of the resources.
5. Formulate Alternatives:
- Alternative formulation is the step where the success of the planning effort hinges on clearly identified reasonable alternatives.
6. Estimate Effects of Alternatives:
- Once alternatives are developed, the next step is to estimate the impact or effects of each on the environment and management situation.
7. Select Preferred Alternative:
- The alternative selected as the Preferred Alternative is that which best resolves the planning issues and promotes balanced multiple use objectives.
- Issue a Notice of Availability (NOA) of a Draft Plan/Draft EIS; 90-day public review.
8. Select the Resource Management Plan:
- Public comments, opinions, suggestions, and recommendations are reviewed and analyzed and the important information/data are used in preparing the proposed RMP.
Issue a Notice of Availability (NOA) of Proposed Plan/Final EIS; 30-day protest period; concurrent 60-day Governor’s review.
- After protests are resolved, issue a Notice of Availability NOA for the ROD/Final Plan for actions of national interest.
9. Monitoring and Evaluation:
- Implement Decisions and Monitor and Evaluate the RMP (these actions - tracking changes and trends [both short and long-term] are taken to keep plans viable).