The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is tasked with managing millions of acres of public lands in the West. In order to ensure they are exercising good stewardship and balancing their dual mandate for managing public lands, each BLM Field Office is required by law to complete a Resource Management Plan (RMP).
These RMPs establish management goals and strategies for a 10-15 year timeframe. When a BLM Field Office decides it needs to update its RMP, it undergoes an extensive review process, involving a lot of public input and analyzing of data and science. Previously, RMP updates could take as long as eight years.
In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management began a process of improving the way it conducts RMP planning, known as Planning 2.0. Over the next two years, the BLM listened to thousands of people and found ways to improve RMP planning. Planning 2.0 was finalized in 2016, and included the following updates:
- Earlier public involvement. By getting the public more information earlier in the process, problems could be worked out sooner, shortening the overall timeline.
- Landscape-level planning. BLM Field Offices would have the flexibility to plan using coherent environmental landscapes, not simply Field Office boundaries.
- High Quality Information and Best Available Science. The updated rules affirm the importance of using high quality data as a foundation for BLM planning and management.
These updates were finalized after years of public debate and input, and reaffirm several key components of RMP planning. Planning 2.0 preserves priority status for local governments in planning, increases public participation, and does not regulate industry or the public.
Protection for national parks can only be assured when their adjacent lands are well-managed. National parks throughout the West are surrounded by BLM lands, and Planning 2.0 helps ensure that these national park landscapes are considered when the BLM completes its plans.