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March  21, 2008

In Reply Refer To:
8300 (WO-250) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-092
Expires: 09/30/2009
To:                   All Field Office Officials
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:            Public Land Access Needs Identification and Nomination Proposal
DD: 05/15/2008

Program Areas: Hunting Opportunities, Access Improvements, Easement Acquisition.                                   

Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides guidance to the State Directors (SDs), and Field Managers (FMs) to review their public lands access needs and submit nominations for public lands access nomination projects to the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services (WO-250) and the Division of Lands and Realty (WO-350). Nomination information will be used to generate a national list of high-priority projects that will improve public access to public lands. The information will be used to help meet agency goals highlighted by the recent Executive Order 13443, Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation, and will be incorporated into the agenda for the upcoming White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy. Concurrently, a similar data call is being conducted by the USDA Forest Service.

Policy/Action: SDs are invited to submit their three best opportunities to provide or improve public land access to BLM and other public lands. Nominations should be submitted to the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services (WO-250, Attn: Mark Goldbach) by May 15, 2008. The proposed project submissions should resolve critical or high-benefit public land access problems. Access needs and solutions are diverse and depend upon the individual state’s circumstances and may include land acquisition, easement acquisition, land exchanges, donation, working with third party partners, developing alternative funding strategies, assistance in processing access acquisition workload, and other means. These nomination proposals should address the following criteria:
  • The quality and quantity of lands to achieve improved public access for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreational activities.
  • Compliant with goals and objectives of approved BLM resource management plans (e.g., land use plans, activity (implementation) plans, state wildlife plans, county planning); or show why the plan may need amending.
  • Likelihood of a willing seller and garnering successful partnerships with other state and federal agencies especially the USDA Forest Service and state wildlife agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, and individuals.
  • Level of external partnership support, community support and local community or constituent involvement in the project; and/or potential for project to serve as a catalyst for other similar projects and partnerships.
  • Demonstrated progress toward meeting the conservation goals of the area’s resource management plan, Executive Order 13443: Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation, the BLM’s Healthy Lands Initiative, the BLM’s “Take it Outside: Children in Nature” initiative, North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and other appropriate local state and federal hunting, fishing and conservation management plans.
  • Information collected will also be useful in cooperative development of statewide State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans (SCORP) by helping identify stateside Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) project priorities.
A project nomination form is attached (Attachment 1) for use in submissions. Once the project proposals/nominations have been submitted, the BLM’s WO-250 and WO-350 recreation and lands staff will review and prioritize the submissions. The BLM will then work with our partners within the Shooting Sports MOU and Federal Lands Shooting Sports Roundtable to identify the agency’s most beneficial candidate projects. It is the intent that this project listing will be used to provide our partners with a well defined and strategic list of high-potential opportunities so they may be able to raise partnership support and build coalitions to collaboratively resolve significant public access issues on public lands.
Timeframe: The due date for submission of each state’s consolidated and prioritized public land access nomination narratives is May 15, 2008. 
Budget Impact:  None
Background: Public land access needs are diverse and solutions range from buying a willing-seller fee title in land to easement acquisition or donation. Many of our partners and members of Congress are keenly interested in working with us to improve recreational access to public lands. The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations requested from the BLM and Forest Service in 2003 information regarding public lands access needs including: the number of acres under BLM jurisdiction that currently have inadequate public access by state; the steps that have been taken or are currently underway to improve public access; and the extent to which a central repository of information exists for identifying those lands and access problems. Attachment 2 includes a table titled “Bureau of Land Management Acres with Inadequate Public Access”. The table is broken down by state and includes an estimate (from the 2003 data call) which identifies the number of acres with inadequate legal public access. 
In 2006 the BLM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the FS, FWS and 40 Private Organizations which created the Federal Lands Hunting, Fishing and Shooting Sports Roundtable. This roundtable has offered to serve as a clearing house to match our most deserving public lands access needs with some type of resolution. This IM is consistent with the goals of this partnership, to work collectively toward improving access to public lands for recreational purposes.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: ADs, SDs, CDs, and NLCS
Contact: Questions regarding the public land access nomination proposals can be directed to Mark Goldbach, Senior Outdoor Recreation Specialist at (202) 452-5173 or Dick Todd, Realty Specialist, Technical Acquisition Specialist at (503) 375-5664. 
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                       Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                         Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
2 Attachments

Last updated: 02-09-2011