<![CDATA[ BLM Alaska News Release Feed ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/rss/newsreleases/ak.html BLM Alaska News Releases en-us Wed, 9 Nov 2016 11:03:52 -0700 News AK_AKSO_Public_Room@blm.gov (Alaska Info) <![CDATA[ BLM Announces December NPR-A Oil & Gas Lease Sale (11/9/2016) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/november/BLM_Announces_December_NPR-A_Oil_Gas_Lease_Sale_11092016.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/november/BLM_Announces_December_NPR-A_Oil_Gas_Lease_Sale_11092016.html Wed, 9 Nov 2016 11:03:52 -0700 Anchorage— The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today it will hold an oil and gas lease sale within the 22.8-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in Anchorage, Alaska. The Notice of Sale with details about the leasing opportunity was published in today’s Federal Register.
 
In 2011, President Obama directed the Interior Department to conduct annual oil and gas lease sales in the NPR-A.  In 2013 the Secretary of the Interior signed the Integrated Activity Plan for the NPR-A,  which makes approximately 11.8 million acres available for oil and gas leasing while protecting the important surface resources and uses of the Reserve.
 
The December 2016 oil and gas lease sale will be the 13th in the NPR-A since 1999. It will include 145 tracts and will offer approximately 1.4 million acres for lease. There are currently 134 authorized leases in the NPR-A that cover more than 895,000 acres. Bids received for the 12 previous sales generated a total of more than $262 million, half of which was paid to the State of Alaska for (a) planning, (b) construction, maintenance, and operation of essential public facilities, and (c) other necessary provisions of public service, with priority to use by subdivisions of the State most directly or severely impacted by development of oil and gas leased in the NPR-A.
 
“This lease sale is in line with the Administration’s direction to continue to expand domestic energy production in a safe and responsible manner while protecting the subsistence resources of Alaska Natives and the habitat of world-class wildlife populations,” said Bud Cribley, State Director of BLM Alaska.
 
The NPR-A, which comprises the largest single block of federally-managed land in the United States, is nearly the size of Indiana.  Based on an October 2010 analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey, this area contains an estimated 896 million barrels of economically-recoverable oil and nearly 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
 
From March 31, 2016 through May 2, 2016, the BLM sought public input on tract nominations from lands in the NPR-A planning areas that are not currently leased or deferred from leasing. The BLM then selected the tracts based on evaluation of comments received, natural resource information, resource potential, industry interest, and subsistence values.
 
In February 2015, the BLM issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Greater Mooses Tooth 1 oil and gas development project (GMT1), opening the way for the first production of oil and gas on Federal land in the (NPR-A). A second, proposed development project within NPR-A, called Greater Mooses Tooth 2 (GMT2), is currently under environmental review by the BLM. GMT1 and GMT2, as well as any other future leases that progress toward development and production within NPR-A, would be subject to the BLM’s Regional Mitigation Strategy (RMS).  The goal of the RMS is to identify compensatory mitigation opportunities to help offset residual impacts that may be identified in future environmental analyses of development in the region.  
 
The upcoming oil and gas lease sales are competitive.  A Detailed Statement of Sale, including a description of the tracts offered for lease on December 14, 2016, the lease terms, conditions and special stipulations, and how and where to submit the sealed bids will be made available to the public immediately after publication of the Notice of Sale in the Federal Register.  The Detailed Statement of Sale may be obtained from the BLM Alaska website: www.blm.gov/ak.
 

 BLM will open sealed bids submitted on the tracts offered in the NPR-A at 1 p.m. on December 14, 2016, in the Anchorage Federal Office Building, 4th floor, Denali Room, 222 W. 7th Ave. ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM Extends Travel Restrictions in Tangle Lakes Archaeological District (10/18/2016) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/october/BLM_Extends_Travel_Restrictions_in_TLAD_10182016.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/october/BLM_Extends_Travel_Restrictions_in_TLAD_10182016.html Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:30:20 -0600

Due to the lack of adequate snow cover, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) travel will continue to be restricted to designated trails within the federally managed Tangle Lakes Archaeological District (TLAD). This restriction is being implemented for the protection of cultural resources and is consistent with the 2007 East Alaska Resource Management Plan. All designated trails within the TLAD are physically marked with green-dotted, reflective signs. Routes marked with red dots are closed to motorized vehicles. Maps with designated trail markings are located at trailheads and are also available at the Bureau of Land Management Glennallen Field Office.  ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM Alaska Resource Advisory Council and Subcommittee to meet in Anchorage (10/14/2016) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/october/AK1_6_32_RAC_Meeting_in_Anchorage_docx.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/october/AK1_6_32_RAC_Meeting_in_Anchorage_docx.html Fri, 14 Oct 2016 18:43:45 -0600 ANCHORAGE – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Alaska Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet Oct. 24-25, beginning at 1 p.m. on the first day and at 9 a.m. the second day. The RAC placer mining subcommittee will meet Oct. 24 from 9-11:45 a.m. Both meetings will be held at the BLM Alaska State Office, Denali conference room, located on the fourth floor of the federal courthouse building, at 222 W 7th Avenue.

 
The purpose of the subcommittee meeting is to finalize a report on their July field trip to Chicken, Alaska and finalize recommendations to the RAC on how BLM Alaska can work with the mining industry and other stakeholders to develop clear revegetation criteria.
 
The RAC agenda will include the subcommittee’s report with recommendations for the RAC’s consideration and updates on current planning efforts among other topics. A complete agenda is available on the BLM Alaska RAC web page.
 
The RAC will accept comments from the public on Oct. 24 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Depending on the number of people wishing to comment, time for individual oral comments may be limited. Please be prepared to submit written comments if necessary.
 
The BLM RACs provide a forum that brings together stakeholders with diverse (and often competing) interests to address both emerging and long-standing challenges associated with the multiple-use mission of managing public lands. The RAC demonstrates that consensus-driven recommendations and collaborative efforts enjoy a high level of public support and lead to sustainable outcomes that benefit Alaska’s natural resources. RAC meetings are open to the public. 
 
To learn more about the BLM Alaska RAC and review the agenda, please visit http://blm.gov/ak/rac
 
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<![CDATA[ BLM Alaska Releases Draft NPR-A Regional Mitigation Strategy ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/september/blm_alaska_releases.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/september/blm_alaska_releases.html Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:21:34 -0600 Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the draft Regional Mitigation Strategy (RMS) for the Northeastern National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) and is inviting public comment on the document. By providing a robust 90-day comment period, the BLM hopes to continue working with all interested parties to develop a transparent, balanced, workable, and reasonable mitigation framework.

Studies show that future oil and gas development in the NPR-A could result in unavoidable impacts primarily to the Iñupiat people in the region, their subsistence activities, the ecosystems upon which they depend for subsistence, and their culture. These unavoidable impacts are referred to as residual impacts—those impacts that can’t be avoided or minimized to acceptable levels by established practices.

“The intent of the RMS is to provide a well-balanced mitigation framework that will increase consistency, predictability, and certainty for future oil and gas development, while providing for environmentally responsible development of resources within the Northeastern NPR-A,” said BLM State Director Bud Cribley. “Once the RMS is finalized, it will be an important step towards ensuring the sustainability of natural resources in the Arctic, including important subsistence wildlife populations.”

The BLM is developing the RMS through a collaborative process with representatives from the oil industry, Federal and state government, Alaska Native interest groups, North Slope communities, conservation groups, the NPR-A Working Group, and other interested stakeholders. During three workshops with stakeholder groups the BLM presented draft elements of a process to determine whether and how to compensate for impacts from the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth One (GMT1) project and future oil and gas developments in the Northeast NPR-A.

In the workshops, stakeholder groups identified specific mitigation actions that could be considered during the environmental analysis of future development to help offset residual impacts. Potential mitigation actions could include improvements to subsistence activities, preservation of Iñupiat culture, and environmental restoration. By integrating mitigation actions early in future development project proposals, the environmental analysis would be more comprehensive in its initial phase, the permitting process time decreased, and the overall impacts reduced.

The RMS, along with best management practices and mitigation measures required by the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan, was part of the Record of Decision authorizing the development of GMT1. The RMS will allow the BLM to shift focus from project-by-project mitigation management to a proactive regional-scale planning perspective.

The development of a Regional Mitigation Strategy builds on a history of planning, management, and permitting for the NPR-A region. Any proposed mitigation actions that result from the strategy would be analyzed through a separate environmental analysis, following the National Environmental Policy Act and established procedures of public input.

For more information or to submit comments, please contact Stacie McIntosh, Arctic Office Manager, at s05mcint@blm.gov or by phone at (907) 474-2310; or Serena Sweet, Supervisory Planning & Environmental Coordinator, at ssweet@blm.gov or by phone at (907) 271-4543. Mailed comments can be sent to RMS Comments (Attn: Serena Sweet), 222 W. 7th Ave. #13, Anchorage, AK 99513.

The complete draft of the strategy can be found here. ]]>
<![CDATA[ You're Invited! Help the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center Celebrate 20th Anniversary (09/12/2016) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/september/BLM_CCSC_Celebrate_20Year_Anniversary_09122016.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/september/BLM_CCSC_Celebrate_20Year_Anniversary_09122016.html Mon, 12 Sep 2016 18:08:29 -0600 ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The public is invited to celebrate the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center’s 20th anniversary and National Public Lands Day with a family-friendly fall festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 24.
 
Located on the 730-acre BLM Campbell Tract in the heart of Anchorage, the Campbell Creek Science Center serves more than 40,000 children and adults each year with a diverse array of education programs and events. The Science Center provides a perfect setting for children and adults to explore forests and streams, view a rich abundance of Alaska’s plant and animal life, and connect with nature in their own backyard.
 
Come out and try a variety of outdoor activities including disc golf, fat-tire biking, and orienteering. Learn about wildlife with animals from the Alaska Zoo and the Bird Treatment and Learning Center. Volunteer for a service project to help improve and enhance the Science Center. Share your artistic talents on an anniversary art project and enjoy light refreshments, including birthday cake! Participants can also pick up a “fee-free” coupon at this event. The coupons can be used for one fee-free day at any participating federal recreation or visitor site and are valid for one year.
 
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<![CDATA[ BLM Alaska Seeks Nominations to Resource Advisory Council (08/26/2016) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/blm_alaska_seeks_nominations.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/blm_alaska_seeks_nominations.html Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:22:30 -0600 The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to seek nominations for five positions on BLM’s Alaska Resource Advisory Council (RAC), which advises the BLM on public land issues. As published in today’s Federal Register, the BLM will accept nominations for 45 days. The nomination period ends Oct. 10, 2016. Individuals who applied during the first call for nominations do not need to resubmit. All nominations from the first and second calls will be considered together during the review process.  ]]> <![CDATA[ Proposed Talkeetna Airport Lease (8/19/16) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/proposed_talkeetna.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/proposed_talkeetna.html Mon, 22 Aug 2016 12:46:44 -0600 GLENNALLEN - The Bureau of Land Management, Glennallen Field Office is seeking comments on a request by the Talkeetna Airmen’s Association, Inc. (TAAI) to obtain a 20-year lease, with option for renewal, of the Talkeetna Village Airstrip in Talkeetna, Alaska.

The proposed lease will permit the TAAI to perform general maintenance on the airstrip allowing it to remain open to the public. General maintenance includes functions such as runway surface inspections, debris and oversize rock removal, brush and vegetation cutting, signage, and maintenance. The TAAI will also publish and update information in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Alaska Supplement, including safety information to advise users on operating procedures and possible hazards.

The BLM is seeking input on the non-federal use of public lands ensuring it is consistent with the land use plans established for the area and to ensure proposed uses will not cause unacceptable damage to public lands.

For more information, contact the BLM Glennallen Field Office at (907) 822-3217.

Your comments and concerns will be considered in the development of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this proposal. Please submit your comments on the Proposed Action and other issues to be considered to the Bureau of Land Management, Glennallen Field
Office by September 13, 2016 at:

Bureau of Land Management
Glennallen Field Office
Attn: Talkeetna Village Airport Lease
P.O. Box 147
Glennallen, Alaska 99588


Electronic comments may be made through the BLM National NEPA register 
The Project Name is Talkeetna Village Airport Lease and the NEPA document number is DOI-BLM-AK-A020-2016-0007-EA. ]]>
<![CDATA[ BLM Issues Decision on Exploratory Operations near Haines, Alaska (8-18-16) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/blm_issues_decision.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/blm_issues_decision.html Thu, 18 Aug 2016 13:22:23 -0600 HAINES, Alaska — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Glennallen Field Office announced today it has issued the Decision Record (DR) for exploratory work on Constantine Metal Resources Limited’s Palmer Project in Haines, Alaska.

Approval of the extended exploration plan of operations comes after a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and extensive public comment and review period. External scoping on the plan of operations was initiated on Dec. 2, 2015. The BLM received 173 comment letters which identified issues needing NEPA analysis. An additional 58 letters were received in a following public review period after release of the Environmental Assessment (EA) in April. Of the 58 additional comments, 14 contained substantive information which was later clarified in the final EA.

BLM staff analyzed various concerns including water quality, fisheries, vegetation, wildlife, geology, social economics, environmental justice, public health and safety, visual resources and recreation access.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that operations we permit on public lands are safe and protective of natural resources and the local community,” said Glennallen Field Office Manager Dennis Teitzel. “Protection of water quality and other resources, and protection of the local community and its economic development are goals the BLM shares with the public, tribes and industry.”

This approval expands Constantine’s existing exploration activities by an additional 35.9 acres of ground disturbance previously authorized by BLM. Specifically, the plan proposes up to 2.5 miles of additional road construction and includes the installation of culverts and bridges over gullies and streams in the vicinity of Glacier Creek. It also includes a switchback road to stage equipment and facilities. The proposed road would provide access for up to 40 new exploration drill sites. Constantine plans to continue in the exploration phase of their project for the next 5 – 10 years.

The Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impact can be read online here. ]]>
<![CDATA[ BLM Fulfills NANA Village Land Entitlements (08/02/2016) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/ak_16_25_noatak_closure_08-02-16.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/august/ak_16_25_noatak_closure_08-02-16.html Tue, 2 Aug 2016 09:48:23 -0600

ANCHORAGE Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) entitlement for Noatak. Noatak is one of ten villages that merged with NANA. With this patent, all ten have received the lands they are entitled to under ANSCA.  ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM to Hold Public Meeting about Reducing Wildfire Risks near Gilmore Trail (7/29/16) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/BLM_Gilmore_Trail_Meeting.html http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/BLM_Gilmore_Trail_Meeting.html Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:14:12 -0600 FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold a public meeting to discuss reducing wildfire risks in the Gilmore Trail area and to listen to the public's concerns on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at Steese Volunteer Fire Department Station 62, 585 Steele Creek Road, Fairbanks. ]]>