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Planning For Problems: BLM Issues Proposed Revisions to Resource Management Planning Regulations

March 3, 2016

On February 25, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published proposed revisions to its resource management planning regulations, last revised in 2005. The proposed revisions fundamentally shift the land use management planning process from more local resource management planning to a sweeping landscape-scale approach that may make more difficult the analysis and consideration of local conditions, issues, and impacts. This Client Alert describes those proposed revisions and their potential impact on the resource management planning process.

BACKGROUND

Since May 2014, BLM has sought input on changing its land use planning process under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)–specifically developing and updating Resource Management Plans (RMPs). Dubbed Planning 2.0, this initiative focuses on increased public involvement and use of current data and technology in making planning decisions.

BLM has proposed to overhaul its planning regulations in a manner that will fundamentally change the land use planning process potentially giving less deference to local concerns, impacts, and conditions to favor a new and broader landscape-scale approach that can lead to "one-size-fits all" requirements that may be impractical or even detrimental to particular local conditions. Some of the key proposed changes include:

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