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                                                                   June 12, 2012
In Reply Refer To:
1610 (210) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-138
Expires: 09/30/2013 

To:                   All Washington Office and Field Office Officials

From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning

Subject:           Review of the Socioeconomic Strategic Plan                         DD: 07/13/2012

Program Areas:All Programs

Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) requests comments on the draft Socioeconomic Strategic Plan (Attachment 1), which proposes a series of goals and actions to improve the use of social science information and analysis at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Policy/Action:  The BLM managers and staff at State Offices, Field Offices, Centers, and the Washington Office (WO) are requested to provide comments on the clarity and appropriateness of the attached Strategic Plan. Each BLM WO Division and State Office should submit one set of consolidated comments through the Deputy State Director – Resources (or equivalent) using the attached comment form.
Timeframe:  Please submit all comments by July 13, 2012 to Rob Winthrop at rwinthro@blm.gov and cc: Joel Larson at jplarso@blm.gov.
Budget Impact:  Minimal.
Background:  This Strategic Plan will guide the development and use of socioeconomic information and capacity at the BLM. The plan development was led by a committee representing Field, State, Center, and WO managers and staff.  The BLM’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) endorsed an earlier version of the key goals and strategies (now Section 3 of the Plan) in October 2010.
The Strategic Plan has three sections:
  • Section 1 (The Changing Role of Socioeconomics at the BLM) describes the social science disciplines, policy mandates, and changing human context of the BLM’s resource management responsibilities.  It summarizes earlier recommendations for strengthening the BLM’s socioeconomic capabilities, as well as the findings of a 2009 needs assessment.  It concludes with some accomplishments of the BLM’s Socioeconomics Program.  
  • Section 2 (Needs and Responses) identifies current management challenges, under the broad topics of communities, landscapes, and values, and their implications for providing relevant socioeconomic information.  It then outlines the organizational requirements for a Socioeconomics Program that meets the Bureau’s needs, considering the broad topics of workloads, people, and processes
  • Section 3 (Goals and Strategies) describes the proposed goals, strategies, and actions.
For this review, please consider the following questions:
  • Does the narrative in Sections 1 and 2 make the case for the goals and strategies set out in Section 3? 
  • Is the writing clear?
  • Are there significant errors or omissions? 

In addition to BLM review, the Socioeconomics Program will be seeking comments from external stakeholders, including the National Association of Counties and several resource-specific interest groups (e.g., American Petroleum Institute, Wilderness Society). 

As directed by BLM management, the Socioeconomic Program has begun implementing several action items outline in the Strategic Plan. For example, the ELT has approved a proposal to zone four specialists across the BLM to respond to emerging socioeconomic needs, provide social science training, and support quality control for NEPA documents. 

Once the Strategic Plan is adopted, WO Socioeconomic Staff will work with a steering committee to prioritize additional actions described in Section 3 and develop an annual work plan. 
  • Your suggestions for the ‘top 5’ or ‘top 10’ priority actions would be appreciated.  

The zoned socioeconomic positions will also help implement the Strategic Plan, according to direction from the steering committee.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None

Coordination:  The document has been reviewed by the BLM socioeconomic staff, the Socioeconomic Oversight Committee (composed of Field, State, and WO staff and managers), and several Resource Advisory Councils.

Contact:  Rob Winthrop, Senior Social Scientist (WO-210), 202-912-7287; Joel Larson, Social Science Program Analyst (WO-210), 202-912-7869.

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: 06-14-2012