Monday, 11 June 2007 01:55

Sierra Proposed Resource Management Plan Released By BLM

slide15The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its Sierra Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS). The plan provides direction and guidance for more than 230,000 acres of public land located primarily in nine central California counties including Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Tuolumne and Yuba counties.

“This plan helps define the role of BLM land in meeting the public’s need for open space; safety from wildfire; clean, abundant water for domestic, recreational and agricultural uses; economic opportunities on public lands; protection and interpretation of the area’s rich historical heritage; and diverse, resilient habitats for enjoyment and ecosystem health,” said Bill Haigh, BLM Folsom Field Office manager. The Sierra Proposed RMP/FEIS covers a wide geographic area, from the Yuba River area near Marysville, to the American River in the Sierra foothills, to the Merced River in Mariposa County, to the Cosumnes River Preserve in the Sacramento Valley. The plan includes a finding that both the South Fork American River and the North Fork/Mainstem Mokelumne River are suitable for inclusion in the federal Wild and Scenic river system.  In addition, public comments over the past few months resulted in corrections, clarifying text and a new proposal to designate 1,129-acres of public lands along the North Fork Cosumnes River as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).

slide20 Additionally, the Proposed RMP would expand three existing ACECs: Red Hills, Ione Manzanita, and Limestone Salamander ACECs. Use of public lands in these ACECs would vary depending on their individual resources and values but would include limitations on motorized use, mining, and other surface disturbing activities. A 30-day public protest period begins June 8 and ends July 9, Haigh said.  Because the North Fork Cosumnes River ACEC is a new proposal developed in response to suggestions made by the public last fall, the BLM will accept additional comments on the ACEC until August 7, 2007.  Procedures on how to file a formal protest are contained in the document available online at Scoping for the Sierra RMP began in late 2004 and included numerous meetings with the public and other agencies and groups.  The Sierra Draft RMP/EIS was available for comment from September 15 to December 13, 2006 and included four public meetings, as well as many other meetings with agencies and groups. The approximately 2,000 comments received were analyzed and are responded to in the RMP/EIS.  Printed copies of the document are also available at the Folsom Field Office, 63 Natoma St., Folsom, CA 95630.  For more information, contact Sandra McGinnis, environmental planner at BLM’s Folsom Field Office, at (916) 985-4474.