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Public Scoping

Public scoping is the process of determining the scope of public concerns, desires, or issues by gathering initial input from a wide variety of sources.  This process helps the BLM to better understand the nature and extent of issues and impacts to be addressed in the RMP and the methods by which they will be examined.  The official start of the scoping period began with the publication in the Federal Register of the Notice of Intent to Prepare a Resource Management Plan on March 25, 2005.  The comment period ended on May 24, 2005.  During those 60 days, open houses were held on May 2, 2005 (Winnemucca, NV); May 3, 2005 (Lovelock, NV); May 4, 2005 (Gerlach, NV); and on May 5, 2005 (Reno, NV).  For more information please refer to the Scoping Summary Report.

The public was also invited to comment on the Draft RMP/EIS during the public review period described below.

Development of Planning Issues and Criteria

During May and June of 2005 BLM resource specialists, along with Tetra Tech, Inc., considered comments received during the scoping period and developed a list of planning issues and criteria.

Data Collection and Analysis

From March 2005 to September 2006 baseline studies were conducted to gather information on the current condition of resources and management of those resources.

Formation of Alternatives

From June 2005 through December 2009 the Winnemucca District and Tetra Tech resource specialists, along with the assistance of cooperating agencies and the Resource Advisory Council Subgroup, developed a set of alternatives that could address the resource management issues and criteria raised during the public scoping period.  One of the alternatives was to continue with the current management as delineated in the Sonoma-Gerlach and Paradise-Denio MFPs.

The range of alternatives was included in the Draft RMP and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  After thorough analysis and much deliberation, the Winnemucca District Manager selected a preferred alternative.  The Draft RMP/EIS, including the preferred alternative, was reviewed at all levels of the BLM: the District Office, Nevada State Office, Washington Office and the Solicitor's Office. 

Public Review of Draft RMP/EIS

The BLM released the Draft RMP/EIS to the public for a 90 day review period on June 25, 2010.  The comment period was extended until October 25, 2010.

During this period, public comments were received through a variety of avenues.  Open house meetings were held on Monday, July 26, in Winnemucca; Tuesday, July 27, in Lovelock; Wednesday, July 28, in Gerlach; and Thursday, July 29, in Reno.   

Comments received during this period were gathered, organized, analyzed and used during the development of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS.

Development of Proposed RMP/Final EIS

Based on consideration of public comments, and in consultation with nine cooperating agencies, a Resource Advisory Council Subgroup, and tribal governments, the WD prepared the Proposed RMP / Final EIS by modifying alternatives; supplementing, improving, and modifying the analysis; and making factual clarifications to maps, figures and tables. Like the draft version, the Proposed RMP/Final EIS received extensive review at the District, State and Washington office levels.   

The BLM published its Notice of Availability of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS on September 6, 2013.  The Environmental Protection Agency also published its notice in the Federal Register (EPA Notice), which initiates a 30-day public protest period until October 7, 2013. A 60-day Governor's consistency review period has also been initiated. 

Record of Decision and Final RMP

Upon resolution of all land use plan protests, the BLM will issue an Approved RMP and Record of Decision.  The RMP will be implemented and monitored to ensure goals and objectives outlined in the document are being met.  The RMP will serve as the Winnemucca District's land use planning guide for future management actions.

Last updated: 09-06-2013