U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Office of the Secretary of the Interior
|Release Date: 01/06/12|
Office of Surface Mining, Bureau of Land Management Schedule Meetings with Stakeholders on Proposed Consolidation
WASHINGTON --The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold a series of meetings around the country soliciting input on the proposed consolidation of OSM within BLM.
The outreach is part of an effort directed by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to gather input from stakeholders on the proposal to combine the strengths of both bureaus to continue Interior’s efforts to improve government. This is consistent with the Secretary’s plan to not move forward with a potential consolidation without full coordination and input of employees, members of Congress, states, tribes, industry, representatives of communities affected by coal production and other interested parties.
These meetings will include discussions on how best to maintain OSM’s status as an independent bureau with regulatory responsibilities under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, while exploring ways to integrate some administrative functions of both entities. The meetings will be held at the following locations and times:
Tuesday, January 17, 2012, St. Louis, Missouri
Wednesday, January 18, 2012, Washington, Pennsylvania
Thursday, January 19, 2012, Charleston, West Virginia
Friday, January 20, 2012, Knoxville, Tennessee (new location added)
Monday, January 23, 2012, Billings, Montana
Tuesday, January 24, 2012, Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, January 25, 2012, Flagstaff, Arizona
Thursday, January 26, 2012, Window Rock, Arizona
Monday, January 30, 2012, Washington, D.C.
Secretary Salazar has directed the Directors of OSM and BLM and other Interior officials to report by February 15, 2012 on the consultations with the bureaus’ employees, Congressional committees, and interested parties, such as tribes, state regulatory officials, industry, and representatives of communities affected by coal mining. For stakeholders who are unable to attend the meetings in person, Interior has set up a website to accept comments from the public. For more information or to submit comments, visit http://www.doi.gov/bureaus/blm-osm/consolidation.cfm.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement carries out the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in cooperation with states and tribes. OSM’s objectives are to ensure that coal mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, to ensure that the land is restored to beneficial use after mining, and to mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
Office of the Secretary of the Interior 1849 C Street N.W. Washington, DC 20240
|Last updated: 01-06-2012|
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