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01/08/2018 14:21:25 MST

Why is the BLM developing a Revised Draft RMP/EIS?
In 2008, the BLM initiated a revision to the 1998 Las Vegas Resource Management Plan (RMP). A Draft RMP/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released for public review in October 2014. Following the public comment period, work began on development of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. While working on the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, new information gathered in response to public comments and concerns from cooperating agencies, as well as rapidly changing issues, contributed to a pause in development and initiated a BLM internal review in July 2016. As a result of the BLM internal review, the BLM has determined that an opportunity for public input is needed to gather additional information and that a Revised Draft RMP/EIS should be developed.
What additional information is the BLM seeking?
The BLM seeks additional information regarding the below areas:

• Land Disposals and Groundwater: Additional data is being collected to inform land disposal alternatives in the Revised Draft RMP/EIS to address concerns regarding the possible adverse effects of land disposals on groundwater-dependent species, such as the endangered Devils Hole pupfish and Moapa Dace. For the Nye County portion of the planning area, a revised groundwater model is being prepared by US Geological Survey (Death Valley Regional Flow System, version 3.0), which represents the best available science. The Clark County portion of the planning area is largely covered by other groundwater models approved by the Nevada Division of Water Resources, the agency with jurisdiction over water resources. The governments of Clark and Nye counties have expressed concern that reductions in areas for disposal would limit future urban development opportunities.

• Lands with Wilderness Characteristics: The Draft RMP/EIS identified 21 areas or units (242,214 acres total) that possess wilderness character based upon field work completed during 2010-2011 and largely focused on units that were nominated by public advocacy organizations. Public comments subsequently received on the Draft RMP/EIS indicated that BLM had not completed a wilderness character inventory for the entire planning area per Bureau policy. In response to these substantive public comments, additional inventory field work was conducted to update the inventory for the entire planning area. The Revised Draft RMP/EIS process will analyze whether additional units will be managed for wilderness characteristics.
• Renewable Energy: The Revised Draft RMP/EIS will incorporate the new Solar and Wind Rule (November 10, 2016) and updated protocols. The Revised Draft RMP/EIS will also revisit viable locations for renewable energy projects based on stakeholder inputs received.
• Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): The Revised Draft RMP/EIS will reevaluate the designation of ACECs to meet the goal of managing to the lowest level of restriction while still protecting the resources.
• Socio-economics: Socio-economic analysis will be updated to reflect the changes in the alternatives driven by the above mentioned issues. 

How will the BLM incorporate the information gathered from the public input period and informational meetings into the Revised Draft RMP/EIS?
The Revised Draft RMP/EIS will incorporate substantive comments received from the initial Draft RMP/EIS and information received from the public input period and meetings which will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, alternatives development, and guide the planning process.

Where does BLM get the authority to manage public lands?
The Congress of the United States delegated authority to BLM to manage public lands with the passage of the Federal Lands Policy Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA).

What is the purpose of the Resource Management Plan?
As directed in FLPMA, BLM uses Resource Management Plans (RMPs) to provide management direction and adapt to the changing resource and use demands, balanced with compliance with other federal, state, and local laws and policy. The RMP provides direction in managing the many resources and resource uses of public lands.

What lands does the RMP apply to?
This RMP will apply to BLM managed public lands in southern Nye and Clark Counties.

When did this Resource Management Plan Revision start?
The RMP process started in 2010. BLM hosted a series of public meetings throughout Southern Nevada for the public to identify the resources, uses, and management concerns they had. At that time, 263 people provided more than 500 comments about management of BLM managed public lands in southern Nevada.

How is the land currently managed?
Lands administered by the Southern Nevada District Office are currently being managed through direction of the 1998 Las Vegas RMP.

What are you doing with the comments from the Draft RMP/EIS?
The comments received from the Draft RMP/EIS and the public input period will be considered when the BLM develops the Revised Draft RMP/EIS.

When will the RMP be finalized?
It is anticipated that the RMP will be completed in 2021.
Will the public be able to comment on the Revised Draft RMP/EIS that is developed after the input period?
The BLM will publish a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register for the Revised Draft RMP/EIS that will initiate a 90-day public comment period.