Supporting multiple use and sustained yield

The BLM Mitigation Policy establishes consistent principles and procedures for applying mitigation to address reasonably foreseeable impacts to resources and their values, services and/or functions, and directs the Bureau to consider mitigation well in advance of making decisions about anticipated public land uses.

The BLM takes a landscape-scale approach to mitigation, utilizing best management practices, ensuring that mitigation measures are durable, monitoring mitigation measures for compliance and effectiveness, and adaptively managing mitigation measures. It also uses best science to develop mitigation that supports the Department of the Interior's commitment to conserving and managing the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage.

In the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations, mitigation includes avoiding an impact altogether by not taking an action; minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of an action; rectifying an impact by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected environment; reducing or eliminating an impact over time; and compensating for an impact by replacing or providing substitutes. 

a graphic diagram of the Mitigation Hierarchy and Residual Effects

The BLM most often applies a condensed version of the CEQ definition in a step-wise manner: first seek to avoid, then minimize impacts, then compensate for remaining unavoidable, or residual, impacts.

Compensatory mitigation for residual impacts is warranted when required to (1) comply with law, regulation and policy, (2) achieve objectives in a resource management plan (RMP), or (3) conserve important, scarce or sensitive resources. Compensatory mitigation is considered after all appropriate, practical avoidance and minimization has been proposed. 

Mitigation standards will be a component of an RMP's objectives for resources that are considered important or scarce, or which have a protective legal mandate. The standards should seek to achieve no net loss or a net-benefit outcome for such resources (Mitigation Handbook, Ch. 3, Sec. 3.5.D). 

The BLM should not impose arbitrary or capricious mitigation measures, and will identify the impacts to which mitigation measures relate and explain how the measures avoid, minimize or compensate for these impacts. 

Mitigation Stories

The Green River winding through the landscape of mountain ranges and trees with leaves changing colors in autumn.
An important aspect of the BLM’s policy for using mitigation to offset adverse effects to important resources is the responsible management of funds that authorized...
Story by: Terina Goicoechea, Fire Mitigation & Education Specialist, Western Montana District Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Butte Field Office Fuels Management...

from the Manual

When evaluating the mitigation of impacts to resources (and their values, services and/or functions), consistent with applicable law, the BLM will consider the full mitigation hierarchy and implement mitigation, as appropriate, at all relevant scales, while incorporating best management practices. Effective mitigation is durable, defined by outcomes, implemented and monitored for effectiveness, considered within an adaptive management framework, reported upon, managed by a responsible party, guided by the best available science, and developed through effective, early and frequent communication with the public land user, cooperating agencies and other stakeholders, including the public.

-- BLM Mitigation Manual, Ch. 1, Sec. 1.6 

A hedgehog cactus in bloom
A male Greater sage-grouse with tail fanned
A Desert tortoise in the Mojave