BLM-Alaska Releases Supplement to the Eastern Interior Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement
FAIRBANKS – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that a Supplement to the Eastern Interior Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft RMP/EIS) is available for public review and comment. The Supplement amends Alternative D of the Draft RMP/EIS by adding a scenario recommending approximately 160,000 acres in the one-million-acre White Mountains National Recreation Area be available for hardrock minerals leasing. The public comment period is open through April 11, 2013, for both the Supplement and the Eastern Interior Draft RMP/EIS. The BLM extended the current Draft RMP/EIS comment period last July to allow sufficient time for public review and comment on the Supplement, as well as the draft plan.
The supplement amends Alternative D, which is not the agency’s preferred alternative for the Draft RMP/EIS. The preferred alternative is currently Alternative C. After the public comment period, the BLM reviews and considers all public comments on the Supplement and Draft RMP/EIS. The agency will then decide whether to recommend opening the proposed acreage in White Mountains National Recreation Area to leasing in the next step of the planning process when it presents the preferred alternative in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS.
Anyone may comment on the Draft RMP/EIS, its alternatives, and on the Supplement. The BLM must receive all comments by April 11, 2013, which is 90 days after the January 11, 2013, publication in the Federal Register of the Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of availability of this Supplement.
The BLM will announce future meetings, hearings, and any other public participation activities to discuss the Supplement, Draft RMP/EIS, and its alternatives, at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, or mailings.
There are three ways to submit written comments:
1) In person at public meetings in communities within the planning area. The BLM will announce the meeting dates, times and specific locations through news releases and on the BLM website at www.blm.gov/ak;
2) By mail to the BLM Eastern Interior Field Office, Attn: Eastern Interior Draft RMP/EIS, 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, AK, 99709; and,
3) Online by accessing the Eastern Interior RMP webpage at www.blm.gov/ak.
The BLM manages more land – 256 million surface acres – than any other federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including 75 million in Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.