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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Questions & Answers
Revised Land Use Planning Handbook (1.7MB PDF)
Sharon Wilson
(202) 452-5130
Scott Florence
(202) 452-5151

BLM Updates Land Use Planning Handbook

Incorporates policy and guidance developed over past four years

Land use planning ‘by the book’ will be easier for Bureau of Land Management planners now that four years of policy and guidance memos have been consolidated into the agency’s revised Land Use Planning Handbook. The revised Handbook reflects comments submitted during two earlier reviews of draft documents over the last year from BLM employees; state, local and federal agencies; and the general public.

The updated Handbook (1.7MB PDF) is available to the public today on the BLM Web site.

The revised H-1601-1, Land Use Planning Handbook, reflects supplemental planning guidance developed by the BLM over the past four years. The Handbook was released in 2000 as part of the BLM’s effort to streamline planning guidance. However, the document lacked necessary details on “how to” prepare a land use plan amendment or revision.

Since the original Handbook was released, the Bureau has issued supplemental planning guidance in the form of 22 formal Instruction Memorandums and eight Information Bulletins. Some of these responded to deficiencies in the Handbook and others addressed new policy issues that arose after it was published. This recent guidance is incorporated into the Handbook, making it a one-stop source of guidance for land use planners.

The most significant changes in the handbook are in Chapters I through V, covering the Introduction; Land Use Plan Decisions; Land Use Planning Process and Products; Implementation; and Monitoring, Evaluation and Adaptive Management.

BLM staff will find all planning guidance in one document as they complete plans already in progress and initiate new plans. The Handbook also includes “how to” instructions that will guide local interdisciplinary planning teams through specific steps in the planning process.

For more information on the BLM Land Use Planning Handbook, contact Scott Florence, Senior Planner, at 202-452-5151.

The BLM 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 $1.8 billion, 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, and cultural resources on the public lands.