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Last Updated:
03/25/2016 17:22:17 MDT

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Update (see Documents & Reports section of this website)
     ♦ Check out BSWI Newsletter #3 (Nov. 2015) in the "News" section of this website

Want to know more about this planning effort?  Read the BSWI RMP Preliminary Alternatives Comment Summary Report
(see Documents & Reports section of this website)

You're also welcome to view the following documents and reports released during the Preliminary Alternatives Outreach Period (accessible at the above link):

     (see Documents & Reports section of this website)  Preliminary Alternatives Outreach Presentation
  Preliminary Alternatives Concepts
  ACEC Report on Relevance and Importance Criteria
  Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Inventory Report
  Visual Resource Inventory Report
  Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Report
  Maps, Maps and More Maps!  (see Maps section)


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Anchorage Field Office (AFO) is developing a new land use plan that encompasses approximately 62.3 million acres of land in Western Alaska, including 13.4 million acres of BLM-managed public lands (surface lands and federal minerals). The new Bering Sea-Western Interior (BSWI) Resource Management Plan (RMP) and associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will replace portions of the existing Southwest Management Framework Plan (MFP), approved in 1981 and portions of the Central Yukon RMP Record of Decision (ROD), approved in 1986.
Although the 1981 Southwest MFP provides land and resource use and development recommendations, it fails to establish the conditions under which land and resource use and development may occur throughout the entire Planning Area. The MFP is considerably outdated, is not in compliance with current planning regulations and policies, and was never analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Consequently, some of the decisions in the MFP are no longer valid or have been superseded by requirements that did not exist when the MFP was prepared.

The BSWI RMP/EIS will address new planning issues and opportunities, resource concerns, and use demands that have emerged since the approval of the MFP including, but not limited to: new energy frontier projects such as major pipeline, utility corridor, or biofuel developments on public lands; climate change effects on tundra resources, including subsistence resources; high mineral potential and market conditions that are favorable for major extraction projects; increasing demands for transportation corridors; and, with more than 60 villages in the Planning Area, elevating constituent controversy with respect to conflicting uses. As such, the overall objective of the RMP/EIS planning effort is to provide a collaborative planning approach that assists BLM in updating the management decisions in a current RMP.

Description of Planning Area:
The planning area includes all lands south of the Central Yukon watershed to the southern boundary of the Kuskokwim River watershed, and all lands west of Denali National Park and Preserve to the Bering Sea (see Maps page). The BSWI RMP/EIS will provide a framework for managing and allocating uses of public land and resources.

What is a Resource Management Plan?:
An RMP is a land use plan that describes broad multiple-use guidance for managing public lands managed by the BLM. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act directs the BLM to develop such land use plans and to provide for appropriate uses of public lands. Decisions in land use plans guide future land management actions and subsequent site-specific implementation decisions.

The Resource Management Plan Process:
The BSWI RMP planning process began in July of 2013 when the BLM published a Notice of Intent for preparation of an RMP in the Federal Register.  The planning process is expected to take approximately four years to complete. Along with the development of the RMP, an EIS will be developed as part of the planning process to understand the effects of the land management actions proposed on resources found within the planning area, as well as effects of those actions on public land users.

The public scoping period began in July 18, 2013 and ended 180 days later on January 17, 2014.  Public involvement is an integral and important part of land use planning. The BLM wants to know how people think their public lands should be used and managed. Opportunities for public involvement and comments are provided throughout the planning process. The BLM uses the information from public and other sources to determine current resource conditions, changes needed in managing these resources, and desired conditions for public lands the AFO manages. Future information regarding upcoming meetings will be placed under the "How to get Involved" tab to the left.

As the project progresses, this web site will include the latest information including background documents, maps, meeting announcements, published bulletins and other documents.