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March 12, 2010
In Reply Refer To:
1737 (220) P
Information Bulletin No. 2010-048
To:                   All Field Office Officials
From:               Division Chief, Rangeland Resources
Subject:            BLM Riparian Program, Interagency Creeks and Communities Strategy, and Riparian Data Management Survey Response Summary Report
Program Area: Riparian-Wetland Management.
Purpose: To inform state and field offices of efforts to align national priorities, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Riparian Program, the interagency Creeks and Communities Strategy, and the management of riparian data to foster integration and support of BLM programs and initiatives. The attached report is a summary of findings and recommendations from responses to a voluntary state and field office questionnaire, which serves as a starting point for this process.
Action: The Riparian Program and National Riparian Service Team, National Operations Center, National Training Center, and State Riparian Program Leads will work closely with field offices to develop a strategy for addressing the recommendations outlined in the enclosed report. Through establishment of a task group, specific actions will be prioritized and implemented. This will also provide an opportunity to identify and address other program needs that may not have been expressed through the survey.
Background: Recognition of the importance of riparian-wetland resources within the BLM led to the development of a program framework, which after two decades, continues to foster an interdisciplinary culture within the agency. By their very nature on the landscape and the values they produce, riparian-wetland areas connect people and resources. Effective management requires close internal coordination as well as close coordination with external partners and stakeholders. As with any program, periodic review is necessary to ensure that priorities and activities remain relevant and serve both short- and long-term demands.
A number of factors led to the decision to develop and send a questionnaire to state riparian leads and randomly selected field offices. This informal, voluntary activity resulted in a substantial amount of valuable feedback that will help shape program emphasis going forward. The primary driver was to ensure the Riparian Program, the National Riparian Service Team, the interagency Creeks and Communities strategy, and management of riparian data are supporting desired outcomes associated with the BLM’s mission. This includes contributions to healthy landscapes through assessment, inventory and monitoring at multiple scales, Resource Management Plan (RMP) development and evaluation, permit issuance and administration, ongoing efforts to determine the effectiveness of management actions toward meeting resource objectives, and the management of special conservation areas. Contributions must also support eco-regional assessments and the step-down process, be responsive to the increased pressure on water and aquatic resources, renewable energy, and impacts of climate change. These cross-cutting issues and increased competition for this finite resource indicate the importance of improving communication and program integration. 
Since the survey was completed, a number of actions have been initiated which are listed below: 
  • Issued Performance Element changes with additional guidance for monitoring and assessment work.
  • Completed final review of the Multiple Indicator Monitoring technical reference which is now in the publishing process.
  • Developed and piloted the RMP Riparian Evaluation process.
  • Issued IB 2009-104, Services of the Creeks and Community Network-National Riparian Service Team.
  • Partnered with National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) to offer scholarships to the Consensus Institute to further understanding of the Creeks and Community collaborative approach.
  • Completed the Riparian-Aquatic Business Process Improvement review to guide the development of the geo-database and data standards.
  • Developed the Reach and Site Data Standard which is currently in final review process.
  • Developed the Proper Functioning Condition Data Standard which is currently in final review.
  • Initiated the Business Applications review to develop a standard business process for capturing, analyzing, and reporting riparian data.
  • Adopted the National Hydrography dataset as the base layer for referencing riparian actions.  
The National Riparian Service Team and the BLM Riparian Program Lead will be meeting in March to prioritize the remaining findings and recommendations outlined in the survey response report and determine next steps. 

Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Gordon Toevs, BLM Riparian Program Lead, at 202-912-7202.
Signed by:                                                        Authenticated by:
Robert D. Roudabush                                       Robert M. Williams
Division Chief                                                   Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Rangeland Resources
1 Attachment

            1 - State and Field Office Responses to a Questionnaire Focusing on BLM’s Riparian  Program and the Interagency Creeks and Communities Strategy (10)

Last updated: 03-16-2010