Presentation on theme: "Opportunities for RAC Participation. Three Part discussion General presentation; Example of oil and gas decision making; and Panel Discussion of RAC involvement."— Presentation transcript:
Three Part discussion General presentation; Example of oil and gas decision making; and Panel Discussion of RAC involvement. Provide an overview of BLM’s decision making process Describe critical components to decision making; Discuss BLM’s decision space and types of decisions; Illustrate BLM’s coordination with stakeholders; and Emphasize opportunities for RAC involvement. Provide for open discussion and feedback
Rational, deliberate resource management actions that are: Consistent with the BLM Mission; Comply with legal and regulatory requirements; and Support public interest. BLM Mission To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Legal (Generally we think we can figure this out, but it is often a point of disagreement) FLPMA and other applicable law. Case law. Regulations, policies, guidelines. What is the Public Interest from federal perspective? (this one is very open to interpretation) Informed by the use of best available information, data and science. Allows various resources uses and values along a spectrum. Considers “what’s right for the resource”. Balances local, regional, national interests.
Field Office scoping (specialists and field manager) What decision needs to be made? Who needs to make it? Coordination with key stakeholders – including the RAC What info is needed to assess the impacts? What are the alternative decisions or management strategies?
State Office briefing (seniors specialists and management) Coordination with key stakeholders – including State agencies What if the decision is not made now? Any additional circumstances or data informing the decision? Are there consequences and precedent framing the decision? Who’s affected directly or indirectly by the decision? Did we use the correct assumptions?
Washington Office briefing (program leaders and executive leadership) Have key issues and constraints been addressed? Have we coordinated with key stakeholders? What ifs?
There are multiple possible decisions we could make, but which best supports public interest in each case? BLM must consider: Public expectations; Legal precedent and case law; Regulations, policies, guidelines; Organizational structure, needs, and delegated authority; Political reality – they don’t drive our decisions but they do exist and must be considered; and Budget.
Decision process is intended to serve the public interest. Decision process is intended to comply with law, regulation and policy. Decision process is intended to ensure we are not arbitrary or capricious in our decisions. Do you recognize any other constraints that BLM should emphasize?
Public involvement entails: “The opportunity for participation by affected citizens in rule making, decision making, and planning with respect to the public lands, including public meetings or hearings... or advisory mechanisms, or other such procedures as may be necessary to provide public comment in a particular instance” (FLPMA, Section 103(d)). Section 309 of FLPMA requires: That resource advisory councils (RACs) or their functional equivalent be involved in the land use planning process.
Coordination with tribal, federal, state and local agencies. BLM places an emphasis on coordination with Cooperating Agencies – those with jurisdiction and valuable expertise. Often a significant investment in time and effort. Consultation with RAC. Promote outreach to stakeholder Validate public input Form potential management alternatives Seek a recommendation We can’t engage on every issue, but are we engaging on the “right” issues?
Public notification, outreach and involvement What works and what does not? Do local media announcements work, for example? Stakeholder review and comment Solicit public comments to identifying key issues and alternative management actions. Provide interest groups opportunity to advocating for certain resource values and uses. How can the RAC assist in better involving the public?
What happens when we can’t agree? Eventually, BLM must make a decision. Situations where we can’t agree are often due to BLM’s need to serve a different element of the public interest. Differing perspectives on the spectrum of resource use or value result in different demands. Is there a role for the RAC to facilitate resolution between interest groups?
What are they? Broad, strategic zoning map decisions. Establish overall resource management goals. Identify which resource values emphasized and where. Describe which uses are allowed where. Define major restrictions or exclusions limiting the management of values/uses. Why do we make them? Guide future management and frame site-specific analysis with reasonable scenarios for allowable uses. Balance multiple demands for land use. Determine the appropriate level of analysis.
Example allowable uses Land tenure zones. ACEC designations. Appropriate level of analysis Describe current conditions and trends. Provide adequate information to evaluate the attainment of stated goals/objectives. What’s the most recent allocation decision in which RAC members have been involved?
What are they? Site-specific plans and actions Final approval allowing on-the-ground action Defined by program specific regulatory requirements Why do we make them? Ensure coordinated, interdisciplinary implementation of land use allocations Integrate multiple resource program goals Implement adaptive management strategies Establish monitoring and evaluation programs to determine if resource goals have been attained
Example implementation decision Identify specific areas, roads and trails available for use. Recreation marketing actions. Appropriate level of analysis Describe site-specific impacts. Provide adequate information to evaluate the attainment of stated goals/objectives. What’s the most recent implementation decision in which RAC members have been involved?
Most decisions allow for protest or appeal remedy. Important element of serving the public interest. Becoming an increasing part of our workload. We plan for staff time in reviewing and resolving issues. Creates a barrier to the expediency of decision making. Why is this the case? Is it indicative of “good” public involvement or “flawed” process? Can the RAC strategize ways to address it?