Important Sections of 43 CFR 1610

43 CFR 1610.3-1: Coordination of Planning Efforts

(a) In addition to the public involvement prescribed by §1610.2, the following coordination is to be accomplished with other Federal agencies, state and local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes. The objectives of the coordination are for the State Directors and Field Managers to:

(1) Keep apprised of non-Bureau of Land Management plans;

(2) Assure that BLM considers those plans that are germane in the development of resource management plans for public lands;

(3) Assist in resolving, to the extent practicable, inconsistencies between Federal and non-Federal government plans;

(4) Provide for meaningful public involvement of other Federal agencies, State and local government officials, both elected and appointed, and federally recognized Indian tribes, in the development of resource management plans, including early public notice of final decisions that may have a significant impact on non-Federal lands; and

(5) Where possible and appropriate, develop resource management plans collaboratively with cooperating agencies.

(b) When developing or revising resource management plans, BLM State Directors and Field Managers will invite eligible Federal agencies, state and local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes to participate as cooperating agencies. The same requirement applies when BLM amends resource management plans through an environmental impact statement. State Directors and Field Managers will consider any requests of other Federal agencies, state and local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes for cooperating agency status. Field Managers who deny such requests will inform the State Director of the denial. The State Director will determine if the denial is appropriate.

(c) State Directors and Field Managers shall provide other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and Indian tribes opportunity for review, advice, and suggestion on issues and topics which may affect or influence other agency or other government programs. To facilitate coordination with State governments, State Directors should seek the policy advice of the Governor(s) on the timing, scope and coordination of plan components; definition of planning areas; scheduling of public involvement activities; and the multiple use opportunities and constraints on public lands. State Directors may seek written agreements with Governors or their designated representatives on processes and procedural topics such as exchanging information, providing advice and participation, and timeframes for receiving State government participation and review in a timely fashion. If an agreement is not reached, the State Director shall provide opportunity for Governor and State agency review, advice and suggestions on issues and topics that the State Director has reason to believe could affect or influence State government programs.

(d) In developing guidance to Field Manager, in compliance with section 1611 of this title, the State Director shall:

(1) Ensure that it is as consistent as possible with existing officially adopted and approved resource related plans, policies or programs of other Federal agencies, State agencies, Indian tribes and local governments that may be affected, as prescribed by §1610.3–2 of this title;

(2) Identify areas where the proposed guidance is inconsistent with such policies, plans or programs and provide reasons why the inconsistencies exist and cannot be remedied; and

(3) Notify the other Federal agencies, State agencies, Indian tribes or local governments with whom consistency is not achieved and indicate any appropriate methods, procedures, actions and/or programs which the State Director believes may lead to resolution of such inconsistencies.

(e) A notice of intent to prepare, amend, or revise a resource management plan shall be submitted, consistent with State procedures for coordination of Federal activities, for circulation among State agencies. This notice shall also be submitted to Federal agencies, the heads of county boards, other local government units and Tribal Chairmen or Alaska Native Leaders that have requested such notices or that the responsible line manager has reason to believe would be concerned with the plan or amendment. These notices shall be issued simultaneously with the public notices required under §1610.2(b) of this title.

(f) Federal agencies, State and local governments and Indian tribes shall have the time period prescribed under §1610.2 of this title for review and comment on resource management plan proposals. Should they notify the Field Manager, in writing, of what they believe to be specific inconsistencies between the Bureau of Land Management resource management plan and their officially approved and adopted resources related plans, the resource management plan documentation shall show how those inconsistencies were addressed and, if possible, resolved.

(g) When an advisory council has been formed under section 309 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 for the area addressed in a resource management plan or plan amendment, BLM will inform that council, seek its views, and consider them throughout the planning process.

43 CFR 1610.4

43 CFR 1610.4-1: Identification of Issues

At the outset of the planning process, the public, other Federal agencies, State and local governments and Indian tribes shall be given an opportunity to suggest concerns, needs, and resource use, development and protection opportunities for consideration in the preparation of the resource management plan. The Field Manager, in collaboration with any cooperating agencies, will analyze those suggestions and other available data, such as records of resource conditions, trends, needs, and problems, and select topics and determine the issues to be addressed during the planning process. Issues may be modified during the planning process to incorporate new information. The identification of issues shall also comply with the scoping process required by regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1501.7).

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14566, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.4-2 Development of Planning Criteria

(a) The Field Manager will prepare criteria to guide development of the resource management plan or revision, to ensure:

(1) It is tailored to the issues previously identified; and

(2) That BLM avoids unnecessary data collection and analyses.

(b) Planning criteria will generally be based upon applicable law, Director and State Director guidance, the results of public participation, and coordination with any cooperating agencies and other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes.

(c) BLM will make proposed planning criteria, including any significant changes, available for public comment prior to being approved by the Field Manager for use in the planning process.

(d) BLM may change planning criteria as planning proceeds if we determine that public suggestions or study and assessment findings make such changes desirable.

43 CFR 1610.4-3: Inventory Data and Information Collection

The Field Manager, in collaboration with any cooperating agencies, will arrange for resource, environmental, social, economic and institutional data and information to be collected, or assembled if already available. New information and inventory data collection will emphasize significant issues and decisions with the greatest potential impact. Inventory data and information shall be collected in a manner that aids application in the planning process, including subsequent monitoring requirements.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14566, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.4-4: Analysis of the Management Situation

The Field Manager, in collaboration with any cooperating agencies, will analyze the inventory data and other information available to determine the ability of the resource area to respond to identified issues and opportunities. The analysis of the management situation shall provide, consistent with multiple use principles, the basis for formulating reasonable alternatives, including the types of resources for development or protection. Factors to be considered may include, but are not limited to:

(a) The types of resource use and protection authorized by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and other relevant legislation;

(b) Opportunities to meet goals and objectives defined in national and State Director guidance;

(c) Resource demand forecasts and analyses relevant to the resource area;

(d) The estimated sustained levels of the various goods, services and uses that may be attained under existing biological and physical conditions and under differing management practices and degrees of management intensity which are economically viable under benefit cost or cost effectiveness standards prescribed in national or State Director guidance;

(e) Specific requirements and constraints to achieve consistency with policies, plans and programs of other Federal agencies, State and local government agencies and Indian tribes;

(f) Opportunities to resolve public issues and management concerns;

(g) Degree of local dependence on resources from public lands;

(h) The extent of coal lands which may be further considered under provisions of §3420.2–3(a) of this title; and

(i) Critical threshold levels which should be considered in the formulation of planned alternatives.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14566, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.4-5: Formulation of Alternatives

At the direction of the Field Manager, in collaboration with any cooperating agencies, BLM will consider all reasonable resource management alternatives and develop several complete alternatives for detailed study. Nonetheless, the decision to designate alternatives for further development and analysis remains the exclusive responsibility of the BLM. The alternatives developed shall reflect the variety of issues and guidance applicable to the resource uses. In order to limit the total number of alternatives analyzed in detail to a manageable number for presentation and analysis, all reasonable variations shall be treated as subalternatives. One alternative shall be for no action, which means continuation of present level or systems of resource use. The plan shall note any alternatives identified and eliminated from detailed study and shall briefly discuss the reasons for their elimination.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14567, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.4-6: Estimation of Effects of Alternatives

The Field Manager, in collaboration with any cooperating agencies, will estimate and display the physical, biological, economic, and social effects of implementing each alternative considered in detail. The estimation of effects shall be guided by the planning criteria and procedures implementing the National Environmental Policy Act. The estimate may be stated in terms of probable ranges where effects cannot be precisely determined.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14567, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.4-7: Selection of Preferred Alternatives

The Field Manager, in collaboration with any cooperating agencies, will evaluate the alternatives, estimate their effects according to the planning criteria, and identify a preferred alternative that best meets Director and State Director guidance. Nonetheless, the decision to select a preferred alternative remains the exclusive responsibility of the BLM. The resulting draft resource management plan and draft environmental impact statement shall be forwarded to the State Director for approval, publication, and filing with the Environmental Protection Agency. This draft plan and environmental impact statement shall be provided for comment to the Governor of the State involved, and to officials of other Federal agencies, State and local governments and Indian tribes that the State Director has reason to believe would be concerned. This action shall constitute compliance with the requirements of §3420.1–7 of this title.

43 CFR 1610.4-8 Selection of Resource Management Plan

After publication of the draft resource management plan and draft environmental impact statement, the Field Manager shall evaluate the comments received and select and recommend to the State Director, for supervisory review and publication, a proposed resource management plan and final environmental impact statement. After supervisory review of the proposed resource management plan, the State Director shall publish the plan and file the related environmental impact statement.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14567, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.4-9: Monitoring and Evaluation

The proposed plan shall establish intervals and standards, as appropriate, for monitoring and evaluation of the plan. Such intervals and standards shall be based on the sensitivity of the resource to the decisions involved and shall provide for evaluation to determine whether mitigation measures are satisfactory, whether there has been significant change in the related plans of other Federal agencies, State or local governments, or Indian tribes, or whether there is new data of significance to the plan. The Field Manager shall be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the plan in accordance with the established intervals and standards and at other times as appropriate to determine whether there is sufficient cause to warrant amendment or revision of the plan.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14567, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.5-2: Protest Procedures

(a) Any person who participated in the planning process and has an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the approval or amendment of a resource management plan may protest such approval or amendment. A protest may raise only those issues which were submitted for the record during the planning process.

(1) The protest shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Director. The protest shall be filed within 30 days of the date the Environmental Protection Agency published the notice of receipt of the final environmental impact statement containing the plan or amendment in theFederal Register.For an amendment not requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement, the protest shall be filed within 30 days of the publication of the notice of its effective date.

(2) The protest shall contain:

(i) The name, mailing address, telephone number and interest of the person filing the protest;

(ii) A statement of the issue or issues being protested;

(iii) A statement of the part or parts of the plan or amendment being protested;

(iv) A copy of all documents addressing the issue or issues that were submitted during the planning process by the protesting party or an indication of the date the issue or issues were discussed for the record; and

(v) A concise statement explaining why the State Director's decision is believed to be wrong.

(3) The Director shall promptly render a decision on the protest. The decision shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons for the decision. The decision shall be sent to the protesting party by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(b) The decision of the Director shall be the final decision of the Department of the Interior.

43 CFR 1610.5-3: Conformity and Implementation:

(a) All future resource management authorizations and actions, as well as budget or other action proposals to higher levels in the Bureau of Land Management and Department, and subsequent more detailed or specific planning, shall conform to the approved plan.

(b) After a plan is approved or amended, and if otherwise authorized by law, regulation, contract, permit, cooperative agreement or other instrument of occupancy and use, the Field Manager shall take appropriate measures, subject to valid existing rights, to make operations and activities under existing permits, contracts, cooperative agreements or other instruments for occupancy and use, conform to the approved plan or amendment within a reasonable period of time. Any person adversely affected by a specific action being proposed to implement some portion of a resource management plan or amendment may appeal such action pursuant to 43 CFR 4.400 at the time the action is proposed for implementation.

(c) If a proposed action is not in conformance, and warrants further consideration before a plan revision is scheduled, such consideration shall be through a plan amendment in accordance with the provisions of §1610.5–5 of this title.

(d) More detailed and site specific plans for coal, oil shale and tar sand resources shall be prepared in accordance with specific regulations for those resources: Group 3400 of this title for coal; Group 3900 of this title for oil shale; and part 3140 of this title for tar sand. These activity plans shall be in conformance with land use plans prepared and approved under the provisions of this part.

[48 FR 20368, May 5, 1983, as amended at 70 FR 14567, Mar. 23, 2005]

43 CFR 1610.5-4: Maintenance

Resource management plans and supporting components shall be maintained as necessary to reflect minor changes in data. Such maintenance is limited to further refining or documenting a previously approved decision incorporated in the plan. Maintenance shall not result in expansion in the scope of resource uses or restrictions, or change the terms, conditions, and decisions of the approved plan. Maintenance is not considered a plan amendment and shall not require the formal public involvement and interagency coordination process described under §§1610.2 and 1610.3 of this title or the preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Maintenance shall be documented in plans and supporting records.

43 CFR 1610.7-2: Designation of areas of critical environmental concern

Areas having potential for Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designation and protection management shall be identified and considered throughout the resource management planning process (see §§1610.4–1 through 1610.4–9).

(a) The inventory data shall be analyzed to determine whether there are areas containing resources, values, systems or processes or hazards eligible for further consideration for designation as an ACEC. In order to be a potential ACEC, both of the following criteria shall be met:

(1) Relevance. There shall be present a significant historic, cultural, or scenic value; a fish or wildlife resource or other natural system or process; or natural hazard.

(2) Importance. The above described value, resource, system, process, or hazard shall have substantial significance and values. This generally requires qualities of more than local significance and special worth, consequence, meaning, distinctiveness, or cause for concern. A natural hazard can be important if it is a significant threat to human life or property.

(b) The State Director, upon approval of a draft resource management plan, plan revision, or plan amendment involving ACECs, shall publish a notice in theFederal Registerlisting each ACEC proposed and specifying the resource use limitations, if any, which would occur if it were formally designated. The notice shall provide a 60-day period for public comment on the proposed ACEC designation. The approval of a resource management plan, plan revision, or plan amendment constitutes formal designation of any ACEC involved. The approved plan shall include the general management practices and uses, including mitigating measures, identified to protect designated ACEC.