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Comment Period for National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Draft Plan extended to June 15th

ANCHORAGE - BLM-Alaska will extend the comment period for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Draft Integrated Activity Plan and Environmental Impact Statement to June 15, 2012.

“The plan is complex and will guide important decisions about the future management of the NPR-A,” said BLM-Alaska State Director Bud Cribley. “We have received requests from several stakeholders requesting we extend the comment period. We decided that we could balance the need to complete the plan in a timely manner and the need to be responsive to our stakeholders by extending the comment period for an additional two weeks.”

The Draft IAP/EIS proposes four alternative future management strategies for the NPR-A. This plan is the first plan that covers the entire NPR-A, including BLM-managed lands in the southwest area of the NPR-A which were not included in previous plans. Decisions to be made as part of this plan include oil and gas leasing availability, surface protections, Wild and Scenic River recommendations, and Special Area designations.

Public comments will be accepted through June 15, 2012. Comments may be submitted:

  • Online by accessing the BLM’s website at www.blm.gov/ak
  • By mail to: NPR-A IAP/EIS Comments, AECOM Project Office, 1835 South Bragaw Street, Suite 490, Anchorage, AK 99508.
  • By fax to (866) 611-942 or (907) 268-4224.
  • By hand-delivering comments to AECOM at their Anchorage address listed above.
  • By hand-delivering comments to AECOM to BLM’s Public Information Center in the Federal Building, 222 W. 7th Ave., Anchorage.
  • By speaking at public meetings on the draft IAP/EIS. There is one additional public meeting scheduled for June 5, 2012 in Point Lay, Alaska.

The comment period for the NPR-A Draft IAP/EIS began on March 30, 2012 and was to end on June 1, 2012. With the extension to June 15, the comment period will total 77 days. BLM Field and State Office staff hosted a total of eight public meetings over two weeks from May 14, 2012, through May 24, 2012, in North Slope villages and other locations. Additionally, another public meeting will be held in Point Lay on June 5, 2012, in conjunction with BLM’s previously scheduled Subsistence Advisory Panel meeting. This will provide an opportunity to comment to Point Lay residents who were engaged in subsistence whaling activities during the May 14, 2012 meeting. Public testimony from the meetings was recorded and will be included in the NPR-A IAP/EIS administrative record. These comments will be carefully considered in preparation of the Final EIS/IAP, along with other comments provided by the public and stakeholders.

If you have questions about the public comment process, please call Jim Ducker, BLM-Alaska Project Lead at (907) 271-3130.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, 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, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

--BLM--

Alaska State Office, Office of Communications 222 W 7th Avenue, #13 Anchorage, AK 99513

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