U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
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Last Updated:
09/22/2015 10:08:22 MDT
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The Bureau of Land Management has revised its Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Buffalo Field Office. The Approved RMP provides direction for approximately 800,000 surface acres and 4.8 million acres of mineral estate managed by the BLM in Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan counties in north-eastern Wyoming. This area contains vast deposits of oil, gas, and coal, and provides a variety of resources such as wildlife habitat and rangelands for livestock grazing. The public lands and adjacent Bighorn National Forest provide many opportunities for recreational activities. The purpose of the RMP is to establish goals and objectives for resource management; identify lands that are open or available for certain uses, including any restrictions, and lands that are administratively unavailable to certain uses; provide comprehensive management direction for all resources and uses; and make broad-scale decisions guiding future site-specific implementation decisions.

For additional information, see the Buffalo RMP Revision website: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/rmps/buffalo.html
 

 
 
 

RMP News & Information

On September 21, 2015, the BLM signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Buffalo Field Office Approved RMP and on September 24, 2015, these documents were published in the Federal Register.

The next step in the process is implementing the Approved RMP. Most of the land use plan decisions are effective upon approval of the document; however, some decisions will take a number of years to implement. The implementation strategy will include coordination meetings between the BLM and cooperating agencies involved in revising the RMP. The coordination meetings will include updates on implementation of the plan, foreseeable activities for the upcoming year, and opportunities for continued collaboration with the cooperating agencies. In addition, the Approved RMP identifies a framework for implementing Greater Sage-Grouse conservation measures in the planning area.

 The Buffalo RMP revision was one of 15 sub-regional planning efforts conducted as part of a multi-agency nationwide strategy to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse. The Approved RMP identifies and incorporates conservation measures to protect, restore, and enhance Greater Sage-Grouse habitat by avoiding, minimizing, and compensating for unavoidable impacts of threats to Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. These planning efforts were in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s March 2010 "warranted, but precluded" Endangered Species Act listing petition for the Greater Sage-Grouse. More information about the BLM’s National Greater Sage-Grouse Strategy can be found on the BLM’s Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Conservation webpage.

The BLM published the Buffalo Proposed RMP and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on May 29, 2015, initiating a 30-day protest period and the Wyoming Governor’s Consistency Review. During the protest period for the Proposed RMP and Final EIS, the BLM received 18 protest letters identifying a range of protest issues. In addition, the BLM received a letter from the Wyoming Governor dated July 29, 2015. The Governor’s Office advised the BLM the Proposed RMP had a number of inconsistencies and provided recommendations. The BLM State Director accepted some of the recommendations, did not accept others, and advised the Governor of her decision in writing. The BLM Director’s Protest Resolution Report includes excerpts from the protest letters, protest comment summaries, and the BLM Director’s response to the protests. 

The Buffalo Approved RMP adopts the management described in the Proposed RMP and Final EIS, with adjustments, as described in the ROD, as a result of protest resolution and the Governor’s Consistency Review. All future resource authorizations and actions on BLM-administered lands and mineral estate in the Buffalo planning area will conform to the Approved RMP.
 

Public Involvement

Key to accomplishing the revised RMP was a robust public involvement process, starting in 2008 that included scoping meetings, public meetings and multiple comment periods on the draft and final environmental impact statements (EIS). In addition, the BLM worked with cooperating agencies and the State of Wyoming to develop the range of alternatives analyzed and to develop the RMP. The Approved RMP and ROD are available on the Buffalo RMP Revision website: Buffalo RMP ePlanning page.

During the protest period for the Proposed RMP and Final EIS, the BLM received 18 protest letters identifying a range of protest issues. In addition, the BLM received a letter from the Wyoming Governor dated July 29, 2015. The Governor’s Office advised the BLM the Proposed RMP had a number of inconsistencies and provided recommendations. The BLM State Director accepted some of the recommendations, did not accept others, and advised the Governor of his decision in writing. The protest letters are available on the Buffalo RMP Revision website, along with the BLM Director’s protest resolution report.

Cooperating Agencies

As part of the planning process, the BLM invited tribal, state, and local governments, as well as other federal agencies to serve as cooperating agencies during the preparation of the RMP. Cooperators played a key role in developing the Approved RMP.

Buffalo RMP Cooperating Agencies
Counties
Campbell County Commissioners
Crook County Commissioners
Johnson County Commissioners
Sheridan County Commissioners
Conservation Districts
Campbell County Conservation District
Lake DeSmet Conservation District
Powder River Conservation District
State of Wyoming
Federal Agencies
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Fish and Wildlife Service
USDA Thunder Basin National Grasslands
Tribes
Cheyenne River Sioux
Crow
Eastern Shoshone
Ft. Peck/Assiniboine/Sioux
Northern Arapahoe
Northern Cheyenne
Oglala Sioux
Three Affiliated Tribes
Congressional
US Senator Michael Enzi
US Senator John Barrasso
US Representative Cynthia Lummis


For more information, contact: Thomas Bills | 1425 Fort Street | Buffalo, WY 82834
Phone: 307-684-1133 | Fax: 307-684-1122 | Email: BRMP_Rev_WYMail@blm.gov