By Bureau of Land Managment
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is beginning the process of revising Resource Management Plans (RMP) for 2.5 million acres of forested lands across six BLM Districts in western Oregon. The BLM is seeking public input on the issues and alternatives the new RMPs should address. This public scoping period begins today and will end June 7, 2012.
BLM State Director Ed Shepard stated “The BLM welcomes new and innovative ideas that result from this scoping process. The planning process will recognize the importance of the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of natural resource management in western Oregon. Integrating public values and perspectives into the planning process is critical to finding a sustainable path forward.”
Although the BLM has identified the scale of planning as six RMPs with a single environmental impact statement (EIS), public input is being sought on whether a different approach to scale such as by district, region, or type of forest should be considered.
The BLM completed six RMPs in 1995 that incorporated the land use allocations and Standards and Guidelines from the Northwest Forest Plan and revised these plans in 2008. The new RMPs will determine how the BLM will manage BLM-administered forests in western Oregon to further recovery of threatened and endangered species, provide clean water, restore fire adapted ecosystems, produce a sustained yield of timber products, and provide for recreation opportunities. The BLM is preparing RMPs because of new scientific information related to forest health and resiliency such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s recovery plan and proposed critical habitat designations for the Northern Spotted Owl.
“Oregon needs and deserves a long term solution to the complex forest management challenges facing Western Oregon. The BLM understands this effort must explore different methods to be successful. We ask the public to join a dialog to help find a solution that works for Oregon,” continued Shepard.
The BLM Districts in western include the Coos Bay District, Eugene District, Medford District, Roseburg District, Salem District, and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District. Public meetings will be held in each District during the scoping period which begins on March 9, 2012 and ends on June 7, 2012. The dates and locations of the scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers, and the BLM web site at: http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswesternoregon
Comments on issues and management alternatives may be submitted until June 7, 2012. This represents a 90 day comment period that began with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on Friday, March 9, 2012.
In order to be included in the Draft EIS, all comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping period. BLM will provide additional opportunities for public participation and comment upon publication of the Draft EIS.
You may submit comments on issues, alternatives and planning criteria related to the RMPs for Western Oregon by any of the following methods:
Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at:
Oregon State Office Public Room 333 SW 1st Avenue Portland, OR 97204
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at: 1(800) 877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.
About the BLM: The BLM manages 245 million acres of public land known as the National System of Public Lands. The lands are primarily located in 12 Western states, including 75 million acres in Alaska. With a budget of about $1 billion, the bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
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