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Examples of No Action Alternatives

Last Page Update: July 29, 2010

There are three types of No Action Alternatives:

NO ACTION ALTERNATIVES—note: the No Action Alternative does not mean that nothing happens. Depending on the context of the No Action Alternative, the type of decision differs. See the examples below.

Land Use Planning Examples:
The No Action alternative is to continue to implement the management direction in the land use plan (i.e., the land use plan as written).
The first example of a Land Use Planning No Action Alternative comes from the Price, Utah RMP.
2.6.1 No Action Alternative (Alternative 1)
The No Action Alternative represents current management, as outlined in the 1983 Price River MFP and the 1991 San Rafael RMP, as altered through amendment and policy since adoption of the Records of Decision for those plans. This management includes a broad array of management methods of various resources, with different approaches applying in the former Price River and San Rafael areas.
The second example is from the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument Draft RMP/EIS.
Alternative A (No Action)
Alternative A emphasizes continuing the management activities that already occur in the Monument. These activities are now governed by the West HiLine RMP (BLM 1988, 1992a), Judith-Valley-Phillips RMP (BLM 1994a), Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River Management Plan Update (BLM 1993) and the State Director’s Interim Guidance for Managing the Monument (BLM 2001a) to the extent these plans are consistent with the Proclamation. This is the “no action” alternative which would create no change from the current management direction.
Under this alternative motorized use on the river would continue with the seasonal limitations on upstream travel and a no-wake speed restriction in the wild and scenic segments of the UMNWSR. The number of boaters on the river would not be limited and no allocation system would be developed. About 579 miles of roads would be open to motorized travel either yearlong or seasonally and 10 backcountry airstrips would remain open.
Current stipulations would apply to the 12 West HiLine oil and gas leases, and conditions of approval for applications to drill natural gas wells would be developed and considered on a case-by-case basis during the permitting process on all 43 oil and gas leases. Under this alternative, it is foreseeable that 35 wells could be drilled on these leases in the Monument.
Internally Generated Implementation Example:
The No Action alternative is not to take the action.
The following example is from a forest restoration EIS in the Eugene District, Oregon.
No management actions, except those specifically required.
This alternative would take no management actions to protect and enhance late-successional and old-growth forest ecosystems; to foster the development of late successional forest structure and composition in plantations and young forests; or to reconnect streams and reconnect stream channels to their riparian zones and upslope areas. Only those management actions specifically required by the RMP or by law or policy would occur, as discussed above under “Features Common to All Alternatives.”
Externally Generated Implementation Example:
The No Action Alternative is generally (except for grazing permit renewals—see below) to reject the proposal or deny the application.
The following example is from a solar right-of-way EIS in California.
No Action Alternative
Under the No Action alternative, Boulevard’s right-of-way (ROW) application to develop the SSEP under the Proposed Action, Alternative A: Reduced Water Use, or Alternative B: Reduced Footprint would not be approved. The SSEP would not be developed, and existing land uses in the Project Area would continue. The No Action alternative forms the baseline against which the potential impacts of the Proposed Action and the other action alternatives are compared. Thus, it includes current actions and activities in the Project Area. No additional actions are assumed to occur in the absence of approval of any of the action alternatives.
Under the No Action alternative, the following ongoing actions and activities would be assumed to continue, and are accounted for in the analysis of impacts in Chapter 4:
• Livestock grazing in the Project Area would continue in two allotments. Authorized grazing would continue on approximately 2,649 acres of the Beloat grazing allotment in the Project Area, or approximately 78 animal unit months (AUMs). Approximately 1,053 acres of the Arnold allotment would continue to be used for ephemeral grazing. Ephemeral allotments are not grazed annually; they are only grazed when infrequent (ephemeral) precipitation allows the production of adequate forage. The Arnold allotment is grazed approximately 6 out of 10 years, and approximately 44 AUMs per year.
• Limited dispersed recreation across the Project Area would continue. The Project Area is currently used infrequently by hikers, mountain bikers, backcountry drivers, hunters, and birders. Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use is limited to 13.1 miles of existing routes in the Project Area.
In order to compare the socioeconomic and environmental consequences of developing the Project Area versus not developing it, this EIS assumes that other ROWs (rights-of-way) would not be approved in the Project Area in the near future under the No Action alternative. However, selection of the No Action alternative would not preclude the approval of other ROWs for energy development or other projects in the future.
Several test wells have been drilled in the Project Area to assess the potential water supply for the SSEP. Under the No Action Alternative, these wells would be filled, capped, and abandoned, and any associated site disturbance would be reclaimed.
For grazing permit renewals, the No Action alternative is to issue a new permit with the same terms and conditions as the expiring permit. 
Below is a grazing permit renewal example from California:
B. No Action (Current Management) Alternative
This alternative authorizes grazing under the same lease that existed before expiration and subsequent renewal under Public Law 106-113. This alternative is identical to the proposed action except that the 9,254 acre segment in the southwestern portion of the allotment would not be removed from grazing. The total acreage available for grazing in this allotment would remain the same at 85,565 acres.