As the next step in aligning federal habitat conservation efforts with state wildlife management plans, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold two meetings in Wyoming beginning June 25, 2018, to provide information and answer possible questions regarding the recently released draft amendments to sage-grouse plans finalized in 2015.
Draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and amendments to the 2015 plans were published on May 4, 2018, beginning a 90-day public comment period. The public meetings will help attendees learn about the draft plan amendments and formulate written submissions before the comment period ends on August 2, 2018.
“The purpose of the public meetings is helping BLM identify new information that supports refinements to the alternatives, or suggestions for new alternatives to consider,” said Wyoming state director Mary Jo Rugwell.
Western governors have sought changes to the 2015 plans for BLM-managed lands in their states, which spurred the BLM in proceeding with the plan amendments. Comments on the draft amendments will guide the BLM in finalizing changes that build on and strengthen these plans to conserve public land habitat in cooperation with state plans for managing wildlife species.
Plan amendments could affect up to 61 BLM land-use plans for about 53 million acres in the seven western states. In Wyoming, 10 plans guiding management on 17 million acres of public land could be revised.
The public meetings will be held in an open-house format, with BLM specialists attending information stations to interact with meeting attendees to provide answers or additional information. Oral comments will not be accepted at the meetings, but computer terminals will be available for submitting written comments on-site.
Wyoming meetings will be at:
Cheyenne June 25, 4:00-7:00 pm Laramie County Library, Cottonwood Meeting Room, 2200 Pioneer Ave., Cheyenne, Wyo. 82001
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016 – more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.