U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
Print Page
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
 
September 18, 2007
 
In Reply Refer To:
8300 (250) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 09/28/2007
Information Bulletin No. 2007-115
 
To:             All Washington Office and Field Office Officials
 
From:         Division Chief, Division of Recreation and Visitor Services
 
Subject:      Use of New Categorical Exclusions (CX) for Transportation and Recreation Management Actions
 
Program Areas: Travel Management and Recreation and Visitor Services
 
Purpose: The purpose of this Information Bulletin (IB) is to announce the availability of specific transportation and recreation management actions that are eligible for categorical exclusion’s under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. The use of CX’s for travel and recreation management has been expanded to include several actions previously excluded. The benefits of this action will result in making more time available to analyze environmental actions that may be detrimental to the environment and need more detailed environmental analysis. Whenever a land management action is questionable, and does not fit this list of approved actions for CX, a more detailed environmental analysis should be conducted in accordance with direction provided in the revised Bureau of Land Management (BLM) NEPA Handbook, Handbook H-1700-1. There is no authority to misuse or abuse of the use of categorical exclusions that would result in non-conformance with the BLM’s NEPA Handbook.
 
Policy/Action: New CX’s recently published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2007 (72 FR 45504-45542) and the revised BLM NEPA Handbook, Handbook H-1700-1, are now available for use by the BLM in support of land management decisions. The following actions can now be categorically excluded from further environmental review.
 
Transportation
 
The new CX related to transportation published on page 45541 of the above referenced Federal Register notice and in Appendix 3 of the revised BLM NEPA Handbook includes:
 
(1) Incorporation of eligible roads and trails in any transportation plan when no new construction or upgrading is needed.
 
(2) Installation of routine signs, markers, culverts, ditches, water bars, gates, or cattle guards on/or adjacent to existing roads and trails identified in any land use or transportation plan, or eligible for incorporation in such plan.
 
(3) Temporary closure of existing roads and trails.
 
(4) Placement of recreational, special designation or information signs, visitor registers, kiosks and portable sanitation devices.
 
Recreation Management
 
The new CX related to recreation management published on page 45541 of the above referenced Federal Register notice and in Appendix 3 of the revised BLM NEPA Handbook includes:
 
(1)    Issuance of Special Recreation Permits for day use or overnight use up to 14 consecutive nights that impacts no more than 3 staging acres; and/or for recreational travel along roads, trails, or in areas authorized in a land use plan. This CX cannot be used for commercial boating permits along Wild and Scenic Rivers. This CX cannot be used for the establishment or issuance of Special Recreation Permits for “Special Area” management (43 CFR 2932.5).
           
Timeframe: Effective Immediately.
 
Background: New categorical exclusions were established and made final in the revisions to the BLM’s Procedures for Managing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process for 516 DM Chapter 11, published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2007 (72 FR 45504-45542).
 
Manual/Handbooks Section Affected: This guidance results from the revision of the Department of the Interior’s NEPA manual, 516 DM 11, revising the BLM’s NEPA procedures and establishing new categorical exclusions. The BLM’s NEPA Handbook (Handbook H-1790-1) provides operational guidance on how to implement BLM policy regarding categorical exclusions. There are several other program specific handbooks which make reference to NEPA documentation.
 
Coordination: This proposal was closely coordinated between the Division of Planning and Science Policy (WO-210) and the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services, (WO-250). The National Science and Technology Center (NSTC) also provided expertise.
 
Contact: If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact Andy Tenney, Supervisory Program and Policy Specialist, WO 250, at (202) 452-7735; Mark Goldbach, Senior Outdoor Recreation Specialist, WO 250, at (202) 452-5176; or Hal Hallett, Senior Outdoor Recreation Specialist, WO 250, at (202) 452-7794.
 
Signed by:                                                                   
Authenticated by:
Gary Marsh                                                                 
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Division Chief                                                  
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Recreation and Visitor Services
 
 

 
Last updated: 10-21-2009