The Bureau of Land Management announced the release of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and proposed amendments regarding greater sage grouse conservation in several Western states.
The plan is in accordance with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s commitment to better align BLM resource management plans with states to enhance conservation.
The proposal strikes a regulatory balance and builds greater trust among varying interests in Western communities.
The proposed amendments and final EIS also address the issues remanded to the agency by a March 31, 2017 order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada that determined the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it finalized the 2015 Nevada plan, according to the BLM news release.
“We know the successful conservation of the greater sage grouse requires the shared stewardship vision of the states, private citizens, landowners and federal land management agencies including those within the Department of the Interior,” said Deputy Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt.
The BLM has published Final EISs for lands it manages in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada/ northeastern California, Utah and Wyoming.
The final EIS for each state has been published in the Federal Register and are available online: Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Nevada/northeastern California and Utah. There is a 30-day protest period that will run through Jan. 8, 2019.
Anyone who participated in the process for the 2018 Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse EIS and who has an interest that is or may be adversely affected by the proposed land use plan amendments in the Final EIS will have the opportunity to protest the proposed plan amendments.
Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM regarding the Proposed RMPA/Final EIS are found online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/public-participation/filing-a-plan-protest.
All protests must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address or submitted electronically through the BLM ePlanning project website. To submit a protest electronically, go to the ePlanning project webpage for the appropriate state and follow the instructions at the top of the home page:
If submitting a protest in hard copy, it must be mailed to one of the following addresses:
U.S. Postal Service Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, WO-210, P.O Box 71383, Washington, D.C. 20024-1383
Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, WO-210,
20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, D.C. 20003
Protests submitted electronically by any means other than the ePlanning project website will be invalid unless a protest is also submitted in hard copy. Protests submitted by fax will also be invalid unless also submitted either through the ePlanning project website protest section or in hard copy.
The BLM warns of including personal information on any communication:
“Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personally identifiable information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.”