Q: What’s a Resource Management Plan (RMP)?
A: An RMP is a set of comprehensive, long-range decisions regarding the use and management of lands and resources administered by BLM. In general, an RMP accomplishes two objectives:
1) Provides an overview of goals, objectives, and needs associated with public land management.
2) Establishes what land uses can occur on the public lands, where they can occur, and under what conditions.
Q: Why does the planning area include non-BLM lands?
A: BLM-managed public lands are located across Alaska and range from small isolated parcels to large areas of contiguous acreage. To ensure all BLM lands are addressed by land use plans, BLM established planning area boundaries for the entire state. BLM land use plans address only the BLM-managed lands within each planning area. However, BLM considers existing plans and policies of adjacent landowners during land use planning.
Q: What are locatable and leasable minerals?
A: The exploration and development of locatable minerals by staking a claim was established by the General Mining Law of 1872. Examples of locatable minerals include gold, silver, copper, zinc and others.
Leasable minerals are defined by the Mineral Leasing Act as either solid or fluid minerals. Solid leasables include coal, oil shale, native asphalt, phosphate, sodium, potash, potassium and sulphur. Fluid leasables include oil, gas, coalbed natural gas, and geothermal resources. Exploration and production of these minerals on BLM lands may only occur under competitive leasing.
Q: What are Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) "d-1" lands?
A: A series of Public Land Orders issued from 1972-1975 under Section 17(d)(1) of ANCSA withdrew lands for study and classification. This action closed the lands to mining and mineral leasing.
BLM reviews land withdrawals during land use planning to determine if the purpose for the withdrawal still exists, or whether the lands could be made available for use under public land laws. Revoking withdrawals reserved under ANCSA could make unencumbered lands (lands not selected by the State or Native corporations) available for mining and mineral leasing, subject to regulations and permit conditions for resource protection.
Q: What’s the role of public input?
A: Public participation is an important element of the land use planning process. At different stages throughout the process, public involvement will help the BLM:
1) Identify key issues for consideration
2) Develop a series of management alternatives
3) Provide feedback and evaluation of those alternatives
Q: What’s the role of local and/or traditional knowledge?
A: The BLM recognizes that those who live near BLM lands and use these lands for activities such as subsistence have specialized experience and knowledge about the lands and resources. We welcome local and traditional knowledge at every stage of the planning process and will work with local communities to ensure this information is considered during development of the BSWI RMP.