Division of Support, Planning, and NEPA (HQ-210)

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The Focal Point of Informed Decisions for Today and Tomorrow

Responsible for about one-tenth of the nation’s land, the BLM strives to make the best decisions for America’s public lands through the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. To help BLM leaders achieve effective decisions in accordance with statutory requirements, the Division of Decision Support, Planning, and NEPA (HQ-210) develops and maintains processes that integrate the best available science, technology, and management practices into BLM decisionmaking. Seven programs within the division provide oversight and guidance directly related to the BLM’s cornerstone legislative act—the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)—and other laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). HQ-210 accomplishes its role through the following programs.

Land Use Planning Program

BLM resource management plans form the basis for every action and authorized use on public lands. Land use planning emphasizes the importance of collaboration, in which local, state, and tribal governments, the public, user groups, and industry work with the BLM in a manner that allows the BLM to respond to issues and to consider trade-offs among environmental, social, and economic values in planning decisionmaking. The program establishes national planning policy and guidance; assists BLM offices through the process of development, revision, or amendments of plans; resolves protests on proposed plans; and provides analysis and planning expertise throughout the BLM.

NEPA Program

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 requires federal agencies to critically analyze their actions in a decisionmaking process that includes public engagement. The NEPA process within the BLM is guided by a series of federal, departmental, and BLM laws, regulations, and policies. This program provides strategic leadership, policy development, and implementation support for the NEPA process.

Geospatial Program

Geospatial activities within the BLM cover a wide range of technologies, including geographic information systems and remote sensing. This program implements an enterprise approach to using geospatial data and technology. Staff lead and support national programs and projects that have data collection, analysis, and reporting requirements, as well as field staff that use geospatial technologies daily.

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Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) Program

The CADR program offers a spectrum of processes for preventing, managing, and resolving conflicts with stakeholders. Collaborative action and dispute resolution greatly reduce protests, appeals, and litigation and improve stakeholder relationships. The CADR program provides the BLM with process expertise, policy guidance, tracking, analysis, tools, and collaborative skills training.

Socioeconomics Program

This program describes the human context and consequences of public land management by using expertise from anthropology, geography, sociology, and economics. The program supports other BLM programs and managers in considering social, economic, and environmental justice aspects of land management and recognizing and analyzing diverse human interests and values.

Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Program

The AIM strategy provides a framework for the BLM to inventory and quantitatively assess the condition and trend of natural resources on public lands. AIM protocols and data address the status and health of lands, rivers and streams, and wetlands. AIM information is actively used by the BLM to guide and justify land uses, policy actions, and adaptive management decisions.

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Mitigation Program

Considering mitigation well in advance of making decisions about anticipated public land uses by identifying opportunities and incorporating mitigation strategies into land use plans and large geographic-scale NEPA analyses manages risk and streamlines decisionmaking. The mitigation program works across BLM programs and collaboratively with other agencies, tribal governments, organizations, and the public to develop effective mitigation programs and projects. The program develops policy and provides guidance and mitigation expertise to those involved with planning, NEPA analysis, project development, decisionmaking, and project implementation.

Additional Division Details and Facts

  • Provides leadership and support to approximately 200 active, new, or existing land use plans under revision.
  • Provides guidance for and helps develop NEPA documents, including environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, findings of no significant impact, determinations of NEPA adequacy, and categorical exclusions.
  • Manages and implements geospatial data and technology, including GIS software, the GIS web environment, and numerous national datasets available to BLM employees and the public.
  • Through the AIM program, the BLM has collected standardized monitoring information at more than 30,000 rangeland and 3,000 stream and river locations.

Collaboration

The division works closely with federal agencies and state, tribal, and local governments to ensure that the BLM makes the most informed decisions. This improves communication and understanding, identifies common goals and objectives, and enhances the quality of public land management.

Contact Information

Please contact the following HQ-210 leaders to learn how the division can personally support your needs.

Heather A. Bernier
Division Chief
(303) 239-3635
hbernier@blm.gov

Sam Dearstyne
Deputy Division Chief
(303) 239-3629
sdearsty@blm.gov