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Last Updated:
03/18/2014 09:55:34 MDT
How to get Involved 
Lewistown Resource Management Plan Revision scoping period: February 10, 2014 to April 11, 2014





 
 
 



Public Involvement and Comments


The development of an RMP emphasizes a collaborative approach, through which the BLM and the public work together to identify appropriate uses and/or protective measures within the BLM’s multiple use mandate governing the public lands.  The BLM planning regulations provide opportunities for public involvement at specific points in the planning process.  This includes participation in the identification of planning issues (scoping), reviewing and commenting on the draft RMP/draft EIS, and protesting decisions in the proposed RMP/final EIS.  The public is also invited to participate in the environmental analysis associated with subsequent site-specific implementation actions. 


This is an opportunity for you to be involved in the decision-making process of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and to offer your thoughts on alternative ways for the agency to accomplish revising Lewistown's RMP.  Many public land users, organizations, and individuals may want to provide comments to help in the planning effort.  Comments that provide relevant and new information with sufficient detail are most useful and are referred to as substantive comments.  The BLM reviews all comments and identifies the topics that are substantive for consideration in the final published document. 

Substantive comments do one or more of the following:

    -Raise issues BLM has not considered; reinforce issues BLM has already identified

    -Identify additional planning criteria

    -Present information that can be used when developing alternatives

    -Present reasonable alternatives

    -Present information that can be used when BLM considers impacts of alternatives

    -Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding public land resources within the planning area

    -Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding uses of public lands within the planning area

    -Recommend specific changes to the landscape or management actions

    -Question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in a report already created


Why public comments are important:

   - 
Identify additional planning criteria

    -
Present information that can be used when developing alternatives

    -
Present reasonable alternatives

    -
Present information that can be used when BLM considers impacts of alternatives

    -
Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding public land resources within the planning area

    -
Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding uses of public lands within the planning area

   - 
Recommend specific changes to the landscape or management actions

    -
Question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in a report already created

Comments that are not substantive include:

    -Comments in favor of or against an action without any reasoning (such as "I don't like" without providing any rationale)

    -
Comments that only agree or disagree with BLM policy

    -
Comments without justification or supporting data (such as "allow more grazing ")

    -
Comments that don't pertain to the planning area (such as "the government should eliminate all dams throughout the west")

    -
Comments that take the form of vague, open-ended questions


How Can You Participate in the Process?

The BLM has implemented a collaborative, community-based planning process for the RMP/EIS and public input is critical to its success.  Issues raised through public participation have driven the different management options that are considered in the RMP which will ultimately lead to how BLM public lands are managed.

To submit a comment, mail attention to Lewistown RMP:

Bureau of Land Management
Lewistown Field Office
920 NE Main St.
Lewistown, MT  59457

or submit by fax:  (406) 538-1904 (Attn:  Lewistown RMP)

E-mail comments can also be sent to:  blm_mt_lewistown_rmp@blm.gov
 

As a member of the public, you are invited to provide comments/concerns on any of the proposed actions associated with the Lewistown RMP revision.  These comments will be considered during the scoping, analysis, and decision-making process for the project.  Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – will be available for public review.  If you wish to withhold personal identifying information from public review or disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), you must clearly state, in the first line of your written comment, "CONFIDENTIALITY REQUESTED."  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.  All submissions from organizations, from businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of organizations or businesses, will be available for public review.

 
Public Opportunities for Participation

Public involvement opportunities throughout the course of developing an RMP are shown in italics.



                     Preparation Plan
 

Process Events Prepare Project Charter (Preplan)
Process Tasks The Notice of Intent [NOI] to conduct a planning effort could be issued at this time or at completion of the Management Situation Analysis
Purpose * To establish a commitment to the planning project at BLM state and field office levels
* To scope out the key elements of managing the planning project
* To begin compiling data and development of GIS needs
Products * A contract between the planning team and management that includes support requirements, a public participation plan, schedules, team make-up and responsibilities, budget and training needs -- Signed by Field Manager and State Director -- continually updated throughout the planning project




                    Preplanning (informal public involvement opportunity throughout)

Process Events Analysis of the Management Situation, Issue Identification, Scoping, Inventory, and Data Compiling and Organizing
Process Tasks 1a
Describe Existing
Management
 
1b
Analyze Existing
Management and Identify Issues
2
Develop Planning
Criteria
 
3
Compile and Organize
Inventory and Other Data
4
Resource
Capability
Analysis
Purpose *To Provide the baseline description of current BLM management direction in the planning area, for analysis
*To Describe the existing environmental elements and socio-economic conditions




 
*To focus the planning effort on the problems, conflicts, concerns and issues, and the trade-offs to be addressed and questions to be answered during the planning process and in the RMP EIS
*To use during scoping






 
*To identify the general sideboards and constraints on the issues to be addressed
*To guide the planning effort
*To define the scope of analysis for the RMP EIS



 
*To provide essential facts and information for conducting
land and resource management evaluations and environmental analyses, and for decision making

*To complete data compilation and development of GIS needs for RMP EIS analysis and mapping requirements
 
*To identify individual
resource management options, and the opportunities, and limitations to resolve the issues

*To determine ability of the public lands and resources to respond toward resolving the issues



 
Products The Management Situation Analysis (shelf documentation) -- Includes:
*1a - Description of continuation of existing management and existing environment (will become "No Action Alternative" and "Affected Environment" sections of the environmental analysis document (e.g., in Chapters 2 and 3 of the EIS for the RMP)
*1b - The problems, concerns and issues with existing management ; and Environmental effects of existing management (will become environmental consequences of "No Action" alternative (e.g., in Chapter 4 of the EIS for the RMP)
*2 - Planning criteria for use by planning team and public during planning process (will also be included in Chapter 1 of the RMP EIS)
*3 - Data compiled from physical profile data base, the public, other agencies, etc., and any new data/information gathered -- specifically needed for the planning effort, whether for hand manipulation or for computerized geographic information system (GIs) manipulation
*4 - Capability analysis (resource management options, opportunities, limitations, to respond to and resolve issues) - the basis for developing alternatives to be addressed in the EIS for the RMP.
* - A summary document of all the above, maintained current for quick-reference use by BLM personnel and for public use and viewing (in-office) during the planning process




                    Notice of Intent (Scoping Period)

Process Events Issue Notice of Intent (NOI)
Process Tasks This could also be done at completion of the Project Charter
Purpose *To "formally" start the planning effort and public involvement
Products *A Federal Register notice
*Media releases and paid public notices
*Mailings to individuals, groups and agencies
*Initiates public scoping period




                     Development, Analysis, and Documentation of Planning Options


Process Events Alternative Formulation Estimation of Effects Select Preferred Alternative
Process Tasks 5
Develop Alternative RMPs
for EIS
6
Analyze Alternative RMPs
for EIS
7
Develop and Analyze BLM
Preferred Alternative
Purpose *To describe, for analysis, alternatives (i.e., alternative
RMPs) to existing management, each with a full range and mix of multiple use management options and actions which address the problems and concerns, provide different answers to the planning questions, and that could resolve the management issues

 
*To identify and describe potential impacts and changes that would occur with each alternative RMP
*To identify and describe ways to avoid or mitigate any adverse impacts that would occur with each alternative RMP
*To identify which of the alternative RMPs analyzed (task 6), or which parts of them combined (or a "new" alternative) the BLM prefers and considers the best to resolve the problems, conflicts, concerns and issues with existing mgt.
*To clearly explain the management direction BLM intends to take for managing the planning area
Products *The Draft EIS for the RMP-- Includes:
*5 - Descriptions of comprehensive resource management alternatives (i.e., "alternative RMPs"), each of which is a complete plan that could be adopted as the RMP. Together with the "No Action" alternative (task 1), this makes up part of the alternatives section (Chapter 2) of the Draft EIS for the RMP. **Includes informal public involvement/input**
*6 - The environmental consequences section of the Draft EIS (i.e., part of Chapter 4, the environmental consequences of the alternative RMPs).
*7 - Description of the BLM Preferred Alternative and the rationale for its selection (included with task 5 in Chapter 2 of the Draft EIS); and
- Description of the environmental consequences of the preferred alternative (included with task 6 in Chapter 4 of the Draft EIS).
*The Draft EIS for the RMP also includes an introductory section (Chapter 1) describing the planning issues and planning criteria (tasks 1 and 2), a description of the affected environment (Chapter 3 -- task 1), and a description of the public involvement and coordination occurring during the planning effort (Chapter 5).



                    Issue Notice of Availability (NOA)

Process Events Issue Notice of Availability (NOA)
Process Tasks  
Purpose *To provide the public notice of availability of the Draft EIS
*To provide opportunity for public review and comment on the Draft EIS
Products *A Federal Register notice
*Media releases and paid public notices
*Mailings to individuals, groups and agencies



                   Making the Planning Decision


Process Events Select the RMP/Issue NOA
Process Tasks 8a
Develop Proposed RMP and Final EIS
8b
Approve RMP
Purpose *To select the proposed RMP, after considering
public comment on Draft EIS
*To document the proposed RMP
*To provide for protest period - 43 CFR 1610.5-2
and Governor's consistency review
*To select and approve the RMP, after resolving any protests, considering any further public input, and after completing Governor's consistency review
*To document the final planning decision ("The" RMP)





 
Products *8a - Proposed RMP and Final EIS (includes BLM responses to public comments on Draft EIS)
*8a - Federal Register notice of Proposed RMP and FEIS and the protest period
*8a and 8b - Media releases and paid public notices
*8a and 8b - Mailings to individuals, groups, agencies
*8b - Record of Decision (ROD) and the Approved RMP (i.e., "The RMP") - includes Summary of public involvement and Governor consistency review --Federal



                    Monitoring and Evaluation

Process Tasks
Monitoring and Evaluation
Purpose *To track RMP implementation and success in meeting objectives
*To keep the RMP current
*To assess if the RMP is still the best management direction
Products *A strategy document for implementing the RMP - to be kept current
*A monitoring plan to be kept current and to include data and analyses for any needs to maintain, amend or revise the RMP


"The national interest will be best realized if the public lands . . . and their present and future use is projected through a land use planning process coordinated with other Federal and State planning efforts."

Section 102(a)(2), Federal Land Policy and Management Act
(P.L. 94-579, October 21, 1976)

"The Secretary shall, with public involvement and consistent with the terms and conditions of this Act, develop, maintain, and, when appropriate, revise land use plans which provide by tracts or areas for the use of the public lands.

Section 102(a)(2), Federal Land Policy and Management Act
(P.L. 94-579, October 21, 1976)