Bureau of Land Management
For Release: Monday, March 3, 2003
Register Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
BLM Publishes Notices on Potential Changes to Grazing Regulations
The Bureau of Land Management today published two notices in the Federal Register that officially announce its consideration of grazing rule changes aimed at improving the agency’s management of the public rangelands.
“The changes under consideration would enhance community-based conservation and promote cooperative stewardship of the public rangelands,” said BLM Director Kathleen Clarke. “The potential changes would also improve BLM business practices and provide greater flexibility to managers and grazing permittees in the administration of public rangelands.”
Clarke said the changes being considered “reflect the Four Cs of Interior Secretary Gale Norton -- consultation, cooperation, and communication -- all in the service of conservation. The Four Cs are the basis for this Administration's new environmentalism, one that looks to those closest to the land -- rather than Washington, D.C. -- for answers to public land issues.”
The first of the BLM’s Federal Register notices, called an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), describes the general nature of the possible changes. The ANPR is only the first step in the rulemaking process. The second document, known as a Notice of Intent, announces the BLM’s intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act. The EIS will analyze the potential impact of the changes under consideration, as well as the potential effects of alternative options. The Bureau expects to publish its official proposed regulatory changes, in the form of a proposed grazing rule, during the summer.
Effective today (March 3), the public will have 60 days to comment on the ANPR, whose comment period will end May 2. During this same time period, the public will also be able to comment on the scope and other aspects of the EIS associated with the potential rules changes. The BLM will hold four EIS-related “scoping” meetings in March at four sites:
Copies of the grazing-related Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Intent can be obtained from any of the BLM's State Offices or accessed from the Bureau's national Internet Web site (www.blm.gov/nhp/news/regulatory/index.htm) or the Federal Register Web site (www.access.gpo.gov).
The regulatory changes under consideration by the BLM would:
The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land – 261 million surface acres -- than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.9 billion and a workforce of some 10,000 full-time, permanent employees, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.