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January 9, 2006
Contacts:
Brian Amme, (775) 861-6645
Gina Ramos, (202) 452-5084
Cindy Wertz, (307) 775-6014

BLM Extends Public Comment Period on Proposed Vegetation Treatments on BLM-Managed Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it is extending until February 10, 2006, the public comment period on its proposed methods for treating and managing vegetation on BLM-managed public lands. The agency, which held public meetings on its vegetation treatment proposal from November 28, 2005-December 13, 2005, is extending the public comment period to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to express their views. The public comment period had originally been slated to close on January 9, 2006.

The public is invited to comment on the BLM’s extensive environmental analysis of proposed vegetation treatments, which are aimed at controlling the spread of noxious and invasive plants on BLM-managed lands in the West. The treatments will also reduce the amount of highly flammable forest and rangeland fuels, such as stands of pinyon and juniper trees or dead and down woody materials.

The BLM’s environmental analysis consists of two vegetation-related reports released on November 10, 2005. The Draft Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on Bureau of Land Management Lands in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) addresses the BLM’s use of herbicides, and the Draft Vegetation Treatments on Bureau of Land Management Lands in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Report (PER) describes the environmental impacts of using non-herbicide treatment methods, including fire and mechanical, manual, or biological controls. The documents and associated material can be accessed at www.blm.gov. (For further details, see the accompanying Frequently Asked Questions.)

To submit written comments, be placed on the mailing list, or request compact discs of the documents, please contact Brian Amme, Project Manager, BLM, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520-0006. Comments may also be faxed to 775-861-6712, or e-mailed to vegeis@nv.blm.gov.

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land – 261 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. 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 by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.

-BLM-