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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
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Buffalo Field Office

Buffalo RMP Maintenance Actions

Page NumberParagraph NumberLine NumberErrata
3051
The text should read: Controlled surface use stipulations will be applied to mineral leases where potentially eligible or significant segments exist (within ¼ mile or visual horizon, whichever is closer, from the Bozeman Trail; map 7).
38Raptor and Grouse Breeding Areas heading Replace with "Raptor and Grouse Breeding and Nesting Areas"
38Raptor and Grouse Breeding Areas heading
1st para
5

Replace paragraph after "Management Decisions:" with, "Sharp-tailed Grouse - Prohibit surface disturbance and occupancy within 750 feet of sharp-tailed grouse dancing grounds at any time. Prohibit surface disturbance within an additional ½ mile radius of sharp-tailed grouse dancing grounds from April 1 through May 30 unless the authorized officer waives the prohibition.

"Whether or not the prohibition on the surface disturbance within the additional ½ mile radius is waived will depend on the type of action, the exact location of the action within the boundaries of the designated areas, and the exact dates on which the different phases of the action would occur. A waiver may be granted if determined that crucial habitat would not be significantly affected during important seasons. The seasonal limitation does not apply to maintenance and operation of existing facilities."

"Rationale: The distance of 750 feet for no surface disturbance or occupancy is the minimal distance that will prevent breeding ground disruption and possible abandonment. Some human activities and facilities might have little impact on sharp-tailed grouse within the ½ mile buffer area, depending on location and the distance from breeding activity. Therefore, the restriction on surface disturbance within the additional ½ mile radius may be waived after field inspection."

Sage Grouse - Prohibit surface disturbance and occupancy within a ¼ mile radius of the center of sage grouse strutting grounds with no exceptions. Prohibit surface disturbance within an additional 1 ¾ mile radius from March 1 to June 15 unless the prohibition is waived by the authorized officer.

Whether or not the prohibition on the surface disturbance within the additional 1 3/4 mile radius is waived will depend on the type of action, the exact location of the action within the boundaries of the designated areas, and the exact dates on which the different phases of the action would occur. A waiver may be granted if determined that crucial habitat would not be significantly affected during important seasons. The seasonal limitation does not apply to maintenance and operation of existing facilities.

Rationale: The no surface disturbance, no surface occupancy, and seasonal activity buffer zones correspond to recommendations from literature and scientific study. Documented lower productivity and abandonment of strutting grounds in the resource area have been attributed to human activity during this crucial period.

Raptors - Prohibit surface disturbance or occupancy within ½ mile around active nests of raptor species of high federal interest from February 1 to July 1, unless the authorized officer waives the prohibition.

Whether or not the prohibition is waived will depend on the type of action, the exact location of the action within the ½ mile buffer zone, and the exact dates on which different phases of an action would occur. A waiver may be granted if it is determined that the crucial habitat would not be significantly affected during important seasons.

An active nest is defined as one that has been used at least once during the previous three years. Specific raptor nesting periods, topography, and prey habitat surrounding the nest site will be considered.

Rationale: Continuous surface disturbing activity can cause nest abandonment, especially during nest building and incubation. Raptor species often can tolerate nearby human activity when the activity is screened by vegetation or topography. For this reason, site-specific analysis is needed before any action takes place. 

13, 14  

Add legal descriptions for selected lands identified for consideration for direct sale or exchange on Map 7A of the FEIS.

Maintenance Action - 07/26/12

38 5

Delete: Sage Grouse-Prohibit surface disturbance and occupancy within a 1/4 mile radius of the center of the sage grouse strutting grounds with no exceptions. Prohibit surface disturbance within an additional 1 3/4 mile radius from March 1 to June 15 unless the prohibition is waived by the authorized officer.

Insert: Sage-Grouse-Surface disturbing activities or surface occupancy is prohibited or restricted on or within one quarter (0.25) mile radius of the perimeter of occupied or undertemined sage-grouse leks.

Maintenance Action - 09/17/10

   

A Record of Decision was signed on April 30, 2003 for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project.  The EIS and ROD updated the scope and analysis of effects of oil and gas development originally presented in the 1985 Buffalo RMP to include coal bed methane and mitigation measures that when applied would reduce the impacts of oil and gas development activities.

The RMP Amendment approved by the ROD did not change the decisions of the 1985 RMP relative to the availability of lands for oil and gas development.  All other aspects of the 1985 RMP concerning management of oil and gas and related activities were replaced with provisions contained in the RMP as amended.

The amendment provides for the use of the BLM administered public lands and federal mineral estate under the conditions described and the level analyzed in the FEIS.

Maintenance Action - 05/15/03

114 

The following text is inserted following the third paragraph under coal management on page 11.

In 1997, the Buffalo Field Office, BLM completed a review regarding the unsuitability of Federal Lands for all or certain stipulated methods of coal mining (per 43CFR3461.0-6). The Federal lands addressed in this review were the public lands in the Buffalo Field Office including all public lands within the administrative boundary of the Thunder Basin National Grassland (Figure 3, Appendix D, Coal Screening Process). The results of this review are included in Appendix D of the Buffalo RMP (April 2001). This was also adopted into the USFS Thunder Basin National Grassland RMP approved in 2002.

Maintenance Action - 12/30/02

111 

Coal Development Map Correction-Map 4 in the Buffalo RMP update of April 2001 on page 11 is incorrect. The correct map is Figure 3, found in Appendix D, Coal Screening Process.

Maintenance Action - 12/30/02

11  

Coal Management-The public lands reviewed and included in the coal management decisions in the Buffalo RMP (April 2001) also include all public lands within the administrative boundary of the Thunder Basin National Grasslands.  Therefore coal management for public coal lands in Converse County inside the administrative boundary of the Thunder Basin National Grasslands is guided by the Buffalo RMP while other BLM administered programs on these public lands in Converse County are guided by the Platte River RMP.

Maintenance Action - 12/30/02

   

Coal Screening Process-As a result in the change of status of Lewis Woodpecker, the area designated as "Unsuitable Pending Further Study" for Lewis Woodpecker in the Sheridan Coal Review Area, should be deleted.  However, as recommended by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the BLM will work with coal companies prior to leasing to protect or mitigage existing Lewis Woodpecker habitat, should the area be designated for mining.

Change to the Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Buffalo Field Office, April 2001.

Maintenance Action - 10/24/01

Entire 1985 Plan  

The approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management Buffalo Field Office (April 2001) replaces the 1985 Resource management Plan (RMP) for the Buffalo Field Office.

Maintenance Action - 04/16/01