BLM Resource Management Plans
The mechanism used by BLM to issue mining, grazing, water, oil extraction or surface use access permits is called a resource management plan (RMP). Historically the RMP provided the American public, industry, agriculture and recreational groups a road-map to understand sequestered lands, use constraints, land management technical objectives, methodological preferences, and tools to understand and resolve use conflicts.
In October, 2015 KNRC filed its response to a notice of intent (NOI) by BLM to prepare a resource management plan (RMP) and an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas region.
KNRC reviewed the RMP/EIS scoping process in the context of NEPA, FLPMA and CEQ procedural mandates, finding that BLM failed to coordinate with nineteen boards of county commissioners. KNRC also documented BLM’s refusal to include legitimate, NEPA-based planning criteria in the scoping process, that technical documents lacked peer review, and had not been made available for for public comment.
As a result of a comprehensive document review, KNRC requested BLM to issue a “No Action” alternative and requested the agency to re-initiate the scoping process, coordinating its activities for consistency withlocal government land use plans — as required by FLMPA statutory mandates.
Consistent with its purpose and mission, in July, 2015 KNRC assisted five eastern Colorado boards of county commissioners as they prepared their response to BLM RMP/EIS revisions proposed for public lands along the Front Range. The Colorado RMP revisions will, if completed as proposed, add substantial burdens for mining of rare earth minerals, extraction of oil and gas, and grazing on public lands.
During review and preparation of the Colorado RMP EIS Comments, Issues and Criteria, KNRC identified another case of non-peer reviewed technical documents and other procedural issues.