What Informs Our Plans
The Bureau of Land Management develops Resource Management Plans in collaboration with communities across the country. These plans are informed by legal guidance, data and geospatial products, and sound science.
National Environment Protection Act or NEPA
Most of the actions the BLM takes to implement its land-use plans are reviewed under the requirements of NEPA, either through the production of detailed EISs or less-complex EAs or other related documents. Learn more about NEPA, and view frequently requested state NEPA documents.
Federal Land Policy Management Act or FLPMA
FLPMA specifically directs the BLM to coordinate with state, local, and tribal governments to assist in resolving inconsistencies between BLM’s land-use plans and local land-use plans, to the maximum extent consistent with federal law and the purposes of FLPMA. Download and read a copy of FLPMA, as amended.
The complexity of natural and cultural systems, combined with public expectations and legal mandates, make it essential that the Bureau of Land Management continue to be a "science-informed" agency. We strive to consistently apply the best and latest science and research in processes. Read about science in the BLM.
The BLM is beginning to implement a landscape approach to managing the public lands to better respond to large-scale challenges such reducing the risk of wildfire, controlling weeds and insect outbreaks, and providing for energy development on the public lands. Scientists, land managers, and land management partners are working to gather and share the scientific information needed to better understand these wide-ranging impacts and to develop and implement shared conservation strategies. Learn more about how we manage across landscapes.
Public land management requires knowing the location of the public lands and understanding the distribution and current conditions of natural resources. It also requires the ability to relate past, present, and future conditions of natural resources to land management activities and land-use plan implementation. Finally, the BLM also needs to support a wide variety of regulatory and permitting activities. These functions all require using geographic information to establish relationships among the variables we need to consider.
The BLM is required by FLPMA to use “physical, biological, economic and other sciences” in its land use planning. NEPA also requires federal agencies to “insure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences…in planning and decision making.” To help ensure these we meet these directives, the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, working with Headwaters Economics, created an Economic Profile System (EPS). This web-based tool produces detailed socioeconomic profiles through access to a large set of demographic, government, labor, and land-use data. Read more about the BLM's Socioeconomic Program.
Collaboration and Cooperation
State, tribal, and local governments play a special role in the BLM’s land-use planning process. This role is important to the BLM in ensuring that we prepare the best-quality plans. We believe that by working closely with our state, local, tribal and Federal government partners, we will improve communication and understanding, identify common goals and objectives, and enhance the quality of our management of the public lands. Visit our Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution pages to learn more.