The Planning Process

The BLM planning process follows requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA): scoping, draft RMP/EIS, proposed RMP/Final EIS, and a Record of Decision for the Approved RMP/EIS. Each step includes opportunities for public involvement.

Preliminary issues are identified by BLM personnel; Federal, State and local agencies; and other stakeholders while incorporating management direction mandated by Public laws or other Acts, including any which established special management within the area covered by the Plan in question.

These could include:

  • Geographic extent of the planning area (planning area boundary)
  • Desired future conditions for water quantity
  • Desired future conditions for riparian and upland plant communities
  • Management of riparian vegetation, when present
  • Areas open and closed to grazing
  • Areas open or closed to particular kinds of mining
  • Areas managed to protect wilderness characteristics
  • Places that should be designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
  • Objectives for Visual Resources Management
  • Management of recreation uses
  • Management of wild horses or burros
  • Management of wildlife and fish habitat, especially those considered Sensitive Species
  • Management of travel, especially a motorized travel network
  • Use restrictions for resource protection
  • Management of resources near the urban interface

The public are given numerous opportunities for involvement. During public comment periods, offices may hold meetings, conduct working groups, accept written comments, and offer other methods to participate. Through the RMP/EIS process, decisions are made to:

  • Establish program desired outcomes (goals and objectives)
  • Establish allowable uses and management actions anticipated to achieve desired outcomes.

The RMP/EIS process ends with a Record of Decision (ROD) being signed by the Arizona State Director. The Approved RMP/Final EIS will set land use planning-level decisions for management of the area covered for the next 15 years or longer. The RMP will replace decisions made in older RMP/EIS RODs.   Current Arizona RMPs are located in the Environmental Library.

Related Links

Planning 2.0: Improving the Way We Plan Together

News Release: Planning 2.0: BLM Takes Major Step Towards Modernizing Planning Process, Increasing Public Involvement 

BLM Seeks Input on Refining the Planning Process

Map of Arizona Planning Areas

The Planning Process

Environmental Library 

NEPA Projects/ePlanning

BLM Issues Updated Guide for Cooperating Agencies 

Plans in Progress

San Pedro RNCA Planning