The Bureau of Land Management announces availability of proposed land use plan, final EIS for Western Alaska
The Proposed Plan would replace the 1981 Southwest Management Framework Plan and a small portion of the 1986 Central Yukon RMP. It will guide future land management actions and will address significant changes in laws, policies, regulations, resources, and circumstances in the planning area since 1981.
The Bering Sea-Western Interior planning area encompasses approximately 62.3 million acres of land, including 13.5 million acres of public lands managed by the BLM Anchorage Field Office. The area includes all lands south of the Central Yukon watershed to the southern boundary of the Kuskokwim River watershed and all lands west of Denali National Park and Preserve to the Bering Sea. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS outlines the goals, objectives, and actions being considered to guide the long-term management of these public lands.
“We’ve worked hard to develop a plan that strikes a balance between the protection of critical subsistence resources, development of local resources, and conservation of important fish and wildlife habitat,” said BLM Alaska State Director Chad Padgett.
The proposed plan also recommends lifting obsolete public land orders issued in 1972 under Sec. 17 (d)(1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, opening lands to public land laws and allowing for mineral location and claims.
Development of the Bering Sea-Western Interior plan involved extensive local involvement, with more than 40 public meetings held in BSWI communities from 2013 through 2019. Hundreds of stakeholders provided valuable information about current and anticipated public land uses in the planning area which helped the BLM to craft the alternatives considered in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS.
The Federal Register will publish the Bering Sea-Western Interior Proposed RMP/Final EIS Notice of Availability on Dec. 4, 2020, beginning a 30-day protest period and a 30-day Governor’s Consistency Review period for the proposed plan. Instructions for filing a protest can be found at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/public-participation/filing-a-plan-protest. The BLM expects to release the Record of Decision for the plan early next year.
The Proposed RMP/Final EIS will be available on the BLM National NEPA Register at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/36665/570. In addition, hard copies will be available for public inspection at the facilities listed below. Before visiting these facilities, please contact them by phone to learn about their COVID-19 prevention protocols.
BLM Anchorage Field Office
4700 BLM Road
Anchorage, AK 99507
BLM Fairbanks District Office
222 University Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99709
BLM Alaska Public Information Center
James M. Fitzgerald Federal Building
222 West 7th Avenue
nchorage, AK 99513
Alaska Resources Library &
3211 Providence Drive, Suite 111
Anchorage, AK 99508
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.