U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
http://www.blm.gov/
 
August 28, 2009
 
In Reply Refer To:
1610 (WO-210) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 09/10/2009
Information Bulletin No. 2009-106
 
To:                   State Directors
                        Attn:  Field Office Managers
 
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
 
Subject:           Cooperating Agency Model Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
 
Purpose:  This Information Bulletin (IB) transmits a model MOU in support of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) cooperating agency initiative. 
 
Policy/Action:  As indicated in the BLM’s 2005 Desk Guide to Cooperating Agency Relationships (Desk Guide), the negotiation of an effective agreement or MOU between parties is critical to a successful cooperating agency relationship. Under Interior Department policy 516 DM 2.5 (G), cooperating agency relationships can only be established through an MOU.  This ensures that all parties have a common understanding of “respective roles, assignment of issues, schedules, and staff commitments.” 
 
This model MOU was created to simplify the process of establishing cooperating agency status and to increase consistency across field offices that work with cooperating agency partners. The use of this model MOU is therefore encouraged, though not required. Topics addressed in the model MOU include respective responsibilities, conflict resolution, management of information, and the use of contractors. While the model MOU is intended to be used in conjunction with resource management plans, it can be readily adapted for use with project-level EISs.
 
Timeframe:  Effective on issuance.
 
Budget Impact:  None.
 
Background:  The cooperating agency relationship is defined in the Council on Environmental Quality’s NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1501.6). To improve the consistency and effectiveness of the BLM’s work with its cooperating agency partners, the BLM’s planning regulations were revised in 2005 to define eligibility for cooperating agency status, clarify the responsibility
of managers to offer this status, and formally establish a role for cooperating agencies in most steps of the planning process (43 CFR 1601 et seq.). Additional information on developing MOUs with cooperating agencies is provided in the Desk Guide (available at
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/nepa/cooperating_agencies.html).  
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None.
 
Coordination:  The document has been coordinated with WO-100, WO-710 (Ethics), and the Solicitor’s Office (Divisions of Land and Water and General Law).
 
Contact:  Sandra Meyers, Acting Division Chief, Division of Decision Support, Planning, and NEPA, 202-557-3373; Rob Winthrop, Senior Social Scientist, 202-557-3587.
 
 
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                      Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                        Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
 
 
1 Attachment
 

 
Last updated: 10-21-2009