The Bureau of Land Management seeks public input by March 11 on draft analysis for new central Alaska land use plan
Proposal would guide future management of about 13M acres in Central Yukon area
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will announce proposed changes tomorrow to the way it manages public lands in central Alaska to bolster sustainable economic benefits for local communities while ensuring continued recreational and subsistence access to federal lands.
The Central Yukon Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS) describes how the BLM proposes to manage about 13 million acres of public lands, including a utility corridor along the Dalton Highway, for the next few decades. When complete, the Central Yukon RMP would combine three existing management plans and provide decisions for managing unplanned lands west of Fairbanks.
A 90-day public comment period for the draft documents begins Dec. 11. The BLM will consider these comments in preparing the final plan and analysis expected in 2021.
“This critical step in the process informs members of the public about potential future land management while also giving them the chance to weigh in with their comments on the range of alternatives being considered,” said BLM Central Yukon Field Manager Tim La Marr. “The resource management plan we’re developing must reflect the changing needs and uses of public lands since the last plan was completed for the area in the 1980s. Public input is essential in this effort.”
Issues addressed in the alternatives include mineral development, recreational uses of and access to public lands, subsistence, wildlife habitat, and more. The document also considers the continued need for federal land withdrawals established in the 1970s.
Copies of the Central Yukon Draft RMP/EIS are available for review and download at the BLM’s NEPA Register project page at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/35315/510 and at the BLM’s Fairbanks District Office. You can also get them from the Federal Register.
The BLM will announce virtual public meetings, subsistence-related hearings, and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance on the NEPA Register project page (https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/35315/510) as well as through public notices, press releases, social media posts and/or mailings.
The BLM encourages the public to provide comments, particularly concerning the adequacy and accuracy of the proposed alternatives, the analysis of its respective management decisions, and any new information that would help develop the final plan. Comments can be submitted:
By email: CentralYukon@blm.gov
By fax: 907-474-2289
By mail: BLM Central Yukon Field Office
Attn: Chel Ethun
222 University Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Before including personal identifying information (address, email, phone number), commenters should be aware that their entire comment – including their personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While those commenting can ask in their comments to have this information withheld from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.