U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
ePlanning Notice of Intent to Amend the Greater Sage-Grouse Resource Management Plan Revisions and Amendment(s)  
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11/08/2017 12:26:26 MST
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Greater Sage-Grouse Plan Amendments
**UPDATE**  The public scoping period has been extended to December 1, 2017.  

Click the Documents & Reports tab located on the left-hand column of the site to read the NOI and submit a comment, or click HERE to go directly to the comment submission form. 

Click HERE for a list of upcoming scoping meetings.

The BLM has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) initiating a 45-day public scoping period for RMP amendment(s) with associated NEPA document(s).  The BLM intends to consider the possibility of amending some, all, or none of the BLM land use plans that were amended or revised in 2014 and 2015 regarding Greater Sage-Grouse conservation in the states of California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Montana ("2015 Sage-Grouse Plans").

The public is encouraged to help identify any issues, management questions, or concerns that should be addressed in the plan amendment(s). The BLM would also like to receive input on whether the planning effort should occur through state-by-state amendment processes and decisions. The BLM will work collaboratively with interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best suited to local, regional, and national needs and concerns. Further, the BLM looks forward to receiving the comments of the Governors of each state, and will strive to accommodate those comments to the extent practicable given prior collaborative efforts.    

Please see the NOI for more information.  Comments or questions can be directed to the following address: blm_sagegrouseplanning@blm.gov.

 
 
 
 
Background

On June 7, 2017, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353, “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States.”  The Order’s aim is to improve sage grouse conservation by strengthening communication and collaboration between states and the federal government, with the shared goal of conserving and protecting sage grouse and its habitat while also ensuring that conservation efforts do not impede local economic opportunities. 

A Department of the Interior (DOI) Review Team with staff support from the BLM, USGS, USFWS and USFS worked with representatives of Western states – through the Western Governors' Association Sage Grouse Task Force – to develop a suite of recommendations for revisions to procedures, policies and management plans for sage grouse conservation, with preliminary indications of whether they could be implemented through clarification, policy, or training, or whether potential plan amendment processes should be considered. 


The Review Team submitted the “Report in Response to Secretarial Order 3353” to the Secretary on August 4, 2017.  The Secretary directed the BLM – in coordination with USFWS, USGS and other DOI offices – to begin immediately implementing the short- and long-term recommendations in the Report, and to continue collaborating with the states to engage with stakeholders to improve compatibility between the 2015 federal sage grouse plans and plans at the state level. 

Among the recommendations that would require a longer timeframe to implement were potential amendments to BLM and USFS land use plans.  Adopted in September 2015, these plans provided support for the USFWS finding that listing the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was not warranted.  While the federal and state partners who prepared the Report affirmed their commitment to ensuring that there is no need to list the sage grouse under the ESA in the future, the review identified a number of measures in the 2015 plans which states felt could be modified to remove or reduce negative consequences to local economies without jeopardizing the not-warranted finding. 


This NOI is the first step in considering potential BLM plan amendments to address issues identified in the SO 3353 report.