Buffalo RMP Revision
High Plains District
The Bureau of Land Management has revised its Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Buffalo Field Office. The Approved RMP provides direction for approximately 800,000 surface acres and 4.8 million acres of mineral estate managed by the BLM in Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan counties in north-eastern Wyoming. This area contains vast deposits of oil, gas, and coal, and provides a variety of resources such as wildlife habitat and rangelands for livestock grazing. The public lands and adjacent Bighorn National Forest provide many opportunities for recreational activities. The purpose of the RMP is to establish goals and objectives for resource management; identify lands that are open or available for certain uses, including any restrictions, and lands that are administratively unavailable to certain uses; provide comprehensive management direction for all resources and uses; and make broad-scale decisions guiding future site-specific implementation decisions.
RMP News & Information
On September 21, 2015, the BLM signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Buffalo Field Office Approved RMP and on September 24, 2015, these documents will be published in the Federal Register.
The next step in the process is implementing the Approved RMP. Most of the land use plan decisions are effective upon approval of the document; however, some decisions will take a number of years to implement. The implementation strategy will include coordination meetings between the BLM and cooperating agencies involved in revising the RMP. The coordination meetings will include updates on implementation of the plan, foreseeable activities for the upcoming year, and opportunities for continued collaboration with the cooperating agencies. In addition, the Approved RMP identifies a framework for implementing Greater Sage-Grouse conservation measures in the planning area.
Key to accomplishing the revised RMP was a robust public involvement process, starting in 2008 that included scoping meetings, public meetings and multiple comment periods on the draft and final environmental impact statements (EIS). In addition, the BLM worked with cooperating agencies and the State of Wyoming to develop the range of alternatives analyzed and to develop the RMP. The Approved RMP and ROD are available on the Buffalo RMP Revision website: Buffalo RMP ePlanning page.
During the protest period for the Proposed RMP and Final EIS, the BLM received 18 protest letters identifying a range of protest issues. In addition, the BLM received a letter from the Wyoming Governor dated July 29, 2015. The Governor’s Office advised the BLM the Proposed RMP had a number of inconsistencies and provided recommendations. The BLM State Director accepted some of the recommendations, did not accept others, and advised the Governor of the decision in writing. The protest letters are available on the Buffalo RMP Revision website, along with the BLM Director’s protest resolution report.
As part of the planning process, the BLM invites tribal, state, and local governments, as well as other federal agencies to serve as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the RMP. Cooperators play a key role in developing the RMP and EIS. Visit the Cooperating Agencies page to view a list of invited agencies.