BLM Releases (First Ever) Policy Manuals for the National Conservation Lands
Last week, BLM released several Policy Manuals for the National Conservation Lands. These Policy Manuals will guide BLM employees in their day to day decisions and affect on the ground management of these spectacular lands. Park Service and Wildlife Refuge System employees rely on similar “policy manuals” to guide their day to day management. BLM released Manual 6100- National Landscape Conservation System Management– which provides policy for all units of the National Conservation Lands; and Manual 6220- National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and Similar Designations.
Here are the highlights:
- Reinforces managing the National Conservation Lands to “conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes.”
- Primacy of Presidential or Congressional Designations. As a General Rule, if the Act of Congress or Presidential Proclamation that designates a National Conservation Lands unit conflicts with FLPMA’s multiple use mandate, the designating language will apply.”
- Activities and uses must be consistent with designating language and National BLM policy. “Ensure that all activities…are consistent with the relevant legislation or proclamation, national and state office policies and guidance for Monuments and NCA”s and approved land use plan decisions.”
- Strong “Rights of Way” Guidance. “avoid designating or authorizing use of transportation or utility corridors within units of the National Conservation Lands.”
- The Manuals also provide management policy for: Stewardship, science, cultural resources, energy and minerals, facilities, lands and realty, livestock grazing, paleontological resources, recreation and wildlife and native plants.
- Manuals will help guide individual states in the development of State Strategic Plans.
- Manuals are not that long- I encourage you to read (or skim) through them!
If you have specific questions about the release of these Manuals or what they mean for the future management of the National Conservation Lands please contact Danielle. In addition, BLM released additional guidance for Historic Trails, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers. All Manuals can be found on BLM’s Website.