Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) data application to Land Use Plan Effectiveness and NEPA Analysis

Instruction Memorandum
In Reply Refer To:

1610 (HQ-200) P

To:All Headquarter Offices and Field Office Officials
From:Assistant Director, Resources and Planning
Subject:Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) data application to Land Use Plan Effectiveness and NEPA Analysis
Program Area:All Program Areas

This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides guidance on the use of Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) data for evaluating land use plan effectiveness and for NEPA analyses.

Administrative or Mission Related:



Land Use Plan Effectiveness Monitoring of Renewable Resources on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands—Applies to All Land Use Plans

To assess land use plan effectiveness of renewable ecological resources on BLM-managed lands, state offices should follow AIM principles (Kachergis et al. 2021) and established AIM implementation procedures (Attachment 1). The AIM principles include: consistent methods and indicators; data management and stewardship; appropriate sample designs; satellite-derived map integration; structured implementation; and standard workflows for applying data to decision-making. The BLM should collect monitoring data using the indicators and methods outlined in the interagency Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland and Savannah Ecosystems Vol. I for terrestrial resources (uplands), BLM Technical Reference 1735-1 and 1735-2 for lotic resources (streams and rivers), and the draft BLM Field Protocol for Lentic Riparian and Wetland Systems, all available on the BLM AIM Resources website. Data will be captured and managed electronically using established tools. Monitoring locations will be identified using appropriate sample designs for each land use plan area. Attachment 1 further describes the AIM structured implementation process. Supplemental indicators and methods, sample intensification and/or targeted samples may also be needed to determine achievement, or trend toward achievement, of specific land use plan objectives (Attachment 1).

Land Use Plan Effectiveness Evaluation of Renewable Resources on BLM Lands—Applies to All Land Use Plans

When a BLM office initiates a land use plan evaluation, the appropriate state and field office leads should prepare a data summary addressing whether terrestrial, lotic, riparian and wetland objectives are met based upon the status and trend of the relevant AIM indicator(s). The BLM office should review this data summary as part of the land use plan evaluation process. Land use plan evaluations identify the effectiveness of plan decisions and the causal factors for successfully or unsuccessfully achieving or making progress toward objectives, including whether it is due to a failure to implement the plan decisions or if decisions in the plan are ineffective. The plan evaluation should provide recommendations and findings of appropriate actions to take to reduce or eliminate the causal factors when objectives are not being met or if the area is not making progress toward meeting the objectives through changing implementation, clarifications through plan maintenance[1], or land use plan revisions or amendments. Plan evaluations may utilize on-the-ground AIM data and/or satellite-derived map products. BLM employees can access practical guidance for using AIM data to inform land use plan effectiveness evaluations to comply with this IM on the BLM internal Land Use Planning SharePoint site under Plan Evaluations and in BLM Technical Note 453

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Analysis of Renewable Resources on BLM Lands

Project actions are implemented in conformance with approved land use plan decisions. NEPA generally requires agencies such as the BLM to evaluate the environmental effects of proposed actions and any proposed alternatives before they make decisions. Where available and appropriate to the issues identified for NEPA analysis, BLM offices should use AIM data to inform the discussion of the status and trend of ecological resources for the environment anticipated to be affected by any proposed actions and reasonable alternatives, as well as inform evaluations of any expected environmental effects of such actions. Likewise, where available and appropriate to the issues identified for analysis, BLM offices should use AIM data to inform NEPA analysis for resource management planning efforts.

When AIM data are appropriate to the issues identified for NEPA analysis, please review the AIM data portals and/or satellite-derived map products for your analysis area (refer to the BLM AIM website for links to public and DOI internal AIM data portals). If AIM data are available, the appropriate BLM office should consider the data for each land use planning effort and NEPA analysis. If the BLM is not considering or using available AIM data to support the planning effort or NEPA analysis, the BLM office should include an explanation in the land use plan effectiveness monitoring, evaluation or NEPA analysis document describing the reasonable basis for relying on the information selected. Specifically, briefly state the reason why the BLM is not relying on available AIM data to support the land use plan monitoring, evaluation, or NEPA analysis. The AIM program will use this information to ensure that monitoring methodologies, data access, analysis tools, capacity, and training are available to support land use plan effectiveness evaluation and NEPA analysis across BLM.


This IM is effective immediately upon receipt.

Budget Impact:

The BLM has received funding since FY 2016 to implement AIM program activities. BLM state offices, district offices, field offices, and the BLM National Operations Center prioritize monitoring efforts across the Bureau annually based on available funding.


Land use plans govern the BLM’s management of public lands and include both resource management plans (RMPs) and management framework plans.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:



If you have any questions regarding this IM or the AIM program, please contact Emily Kachergis (


This policy was coordinated with the Department of the Interior Office of the Solicitor, BLM Headquarters Resources and Planning Directorate (HQ-200), BLM Headquarters Energy, Minerals and Realty Management Directorate (HQ-300), the BLM Headquarters National Conservation Lands Directorate (HQ-400), Fire and Aviation Directorate (FA-600), the BLM Resources and Minerals Committee, BLM State Office Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring Leads, and BLM State Office Planning and Environmental Coordinators.

Signed By:
Brian St. George 
Acting, Assistant Director
Resources and Planning
Authenticated By:
Robert M. Williams
Management Analyst
Division of Regulatory Affairs and Directives, (HQ-630)