Federal Land Use Planning1
Towards a Uniform Approach
ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING AURARIA LIBRARY ^ ...
FEDERAL LAND USE PLANNING:
TOWARDS A UNIFORM APPROACH
Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Planning and Community Development The University of Colorado at Denver in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
MASTER OF PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER
Dedicated to the employees of the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service,
U.S.' Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service who are entrusted with the management of our public lands.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION ........................................... 1
CHAPTER TWO FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT..................................5
CHAPTER THREE PLANNING IN THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT...............16
CHAPTER FOUR PLANNING IN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE...................40
CHAPTER FIVE PLANNING IN THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE .... 59
CHAPTER SIX PLANNING IN THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE.....................77
CHAPTER SEVEN ANALYSIS OF PLANNING PROCESSES.........................103
CHAPTER EIGHT PROPOSAL: A UNIFORM PLANNING APPROACH..................118
APPENDIX A CHRONOLOGY OF THE FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES . .138
APPENDIX B LINE ORGANIZATION CHARTS..............................143
APPENDIX C KEY PROVISIONS OF THE MULTIPLE-USE SUSTAINED-YIELD
ACT OF 1960............................................147
APPENDIX D A COMPREHENSIVE ZONING SYSTEM FOR FEDERAL LANDS. . . .148
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE 1 STATES CONTAINING OVER 25 PERCENT OF LANDS
UNDER FEDERAL OWNERSHIP...................................11
FIGURE 2 BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT LINE ORGANIZATION CHART. .143
FIGURE 3 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE LINE ORGANIZATION CHART............144
FIGURE 4 U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE LINE ORGANIZATION
FIGURE 5 U.S. FOREST SERVICE LINE ORGANIZATION CHART..............146
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE 1 PRINCIPAL FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES.................13
TABLE 2 LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION IN THE LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES. 15
TABLE 3 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES: GLENWOOD SPRINGS
TABLE 4 COMPARISON OF PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE, PROPOSED PLAN,
AND IMPLEMENTED PLAN: GLENWOOD SPRINGS RESOURCE AREA. 35 TABLE 5 EXAMPLE OF OBJECTIVE LEVELS FOR WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT:
MINNESOTA VALLEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE .............. 73
TABLE 6 SAMPLE COMPARISONS OF ALTERNATIVES: GRAND MESA,
UNCOMPAHGRE, AND GUNNISON NATIONAL FORESTS...............95
TABLE 7 STEPS IN PLANNING PROCESSES OF THE FOUR AGENCIES..........105
TABLE 8 ALTERNATIVES PRESENTED IN PLANS...........................113
In planning discussions, the management of federal lands is
often ignored. Yet, some of the most active land use planning
efforts are being carried out by the federal land management
agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest
Service. The planning activities affect neighboring communities
and ultimately the whole nation.
A recent yearlong study of the relationships between federal lands and neighboring lands conducted by the Conservation Foundation confirmed that federal land policies and management programs have powerful impacts on communities near the federal lands. In many areas, national forests and BLM lands restrict the expansion of growing communities. In other instances, the resources on federal lands have become the basis of a community's economy. Those federal resources can stimulate growth in local communities; or, conversely, the lack of tho|e resources can mean a declining economy and population.
Despite the importance of how the federal government administers
its lands, people outside the agencies have a limited
understanding of federal land management. Part of this limited
understanding is because of the numerous agencies responsible for
the federal lands. How many people can sort out the functions of
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the
U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and other
agencies entrusted with the future of our federal lands? A web of
legislation further complicates any understanding. Most of the
acts are obscure except to natural resource lawyers and land
managers. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the
National Forest Management Act have little meaning to most people
and even most planners. Nevertheless, these acts influence all
Americans. With one-third of the nations lands under federal ownership, who can afford to ignore how the federal government provides the stewardship for these vital lands?
My interest in federal land use planning stems from a concern for the environment and a fascination with the activities of the land management agencies. In land use plans, the land management agencies state how they intend to protect the environment and carry out their missions. A single plan can contain decisions affecting one thousand or three million acres of federal land. It is important for these decisions to be protecting the environment while supplying the nations need for natural resources. At the same time, there is a need for simplification and coordination of federal land management. Planning is one of the best means to simplify and coordinate federal land management.
This study suggests ways to improve federal land use planning through an examination of current planning processes and the formulation of a new approach to planning. The planning processes of four federal land management agencies were studied and analyzed. This research specifically focused on how plans are developed. Emphasis is on the process used to create plans rather than their content. By having a thorough understanding of the process, plan content can eventually be improved.
A uniform planning approach is proposed in the final chapter. This approach presents a solution for simplifying and coordinating federal land use planning. Such an approach will result in more effective planning and make it easier for the public to participate in that planning.
^Shands, William E. 1979. The feds can't manage all that land alone. Planning 45, 8: 13.
FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT
Four land management agencies administer federal lands and their natural resources:
-The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
-The National Park Service (NPS)
-The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS)
-The U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Other agencies have authority over federal land, but these are for specific purposes such as: offices, defense, water control, or energy research. The above four agencies manage the land for its resources. Grazing lands and mineral resources are primarily the responsibility of the Bureau of Land Management. Timber lands are controlled by the U.S. Forest Service. Lands containing important natural, scenic, cultural, and historic resources needing preservation are managed by the National Park Service. Important wildlife protection and production areas are under the supervision of the Fish and Wildlife Service. However, there is some overlap. The Forest Service administers some grazing lands, and the Bureau of Land Management controls some timber areas. Important wildlife areas and areas with important resources needing preservation are found on lands managed by all four agencies. But, in general, the Bureau of Land Management is concerned with grazing lands and mineral resources; the Fish and Wildlife Service looks after the national wildlife refuges; the National Park Service manages national parks and monuments; and the Forest Service administers
the national forests.
WHY FOUR PLANNING PROCESSES?
Each agency has its own legislation, regulations, policies, and priorities. These differences create a complicated web which frustrates attempts to understand and manage federal lands as a whole, integrated system. For example, each agency has a set of acts governing its operation. In the Forest Service, guiding legislation includes the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, and the National Forest Management Act of 1976. But the Bureau of Land Management has a different act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, with directions different than for the Forest Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service also have their own legislation. In addition, each agency has its own regulations, policies, and manuals. As a result, the planning processes differ between the agencies.
Is there a need for different planning processes among the agencies? Is it because of the different purposes of each agency? Are parks better planned under a five step process while grazing lands are planned under a nine step process? Many of these differences are a result of the history of the agencies. Different legislation, Presidents, agency leadership, and circumstances created four unique agencies (see Appendix A).
Should history determine how current land use planning is performed?
Individual cities and counties have different planning processes. Therefore, why can't federal agencies develop their own planning approaches? Cities and counties have separate governments; the federal land management agencies are under a single government. Yet, federal land planning is carried out by four different approaches, almost as if separate governments are guiding decision-making. Limited effort has been made to consider federal lands as a single system. Instead, agencies compete
against one another for funding and have conflicting planning strategies. This contributes to a limited public understanding of how land management is performed on their federal lands. How many people know that the Bureau of Land Management is the largest landowner in the United States? Even fewer people understand how uses of the Bureau of Land Management's lands are planned.
The four planning approaches lead to:
-difficulty in managing federal lands in a comprehensive manner;
-inconsistencies and conflicts between agencies;
-difficulty for public understanding of and participation in federal land use planning.
A source of these problems is the lack of a uniform approach
towards land use planning. This does not mean the four agencies need to have identical goals, objectives, and policies. Rather, they should be communicating in the same language. Management of national parks for preservation requires different strategies from managing rangelands for livestock grazing. But plans for these different areas can be prepared and expressed in a uniform manner. This becomes important when over 240 million Americans have a vested interest in the federal lands.
PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY This study aims to:
1. ) Examine the current planning processes of the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.
2. ) Develop a uniform land use planning process for federal lands.
The planning process is how plans are developed. Specific items to be examined in the agencies' processes included:
-land resource management policies;
-guiding legislation, regulations, and policies for planning; -steps taken in developing plans;
-the range of alternatives formulated;
-the type of goals, objectives, and policies proposed in the plans;
-any zoning or land use classifications;
-public involvement in the planning process;
-conflicts and inconsistencies;
-any unique features of the plans.
A uniform planning process, is not a top-down planning effort to create identical plans. Different regions have different planning needs. Instead, a uniform process is a single way of developing plans. It allows better public understanding and participation in land management and enables the coordination and integrated administration of federal lands.
LOCATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF FEDERAL LANDS
Most of the federal lands are in the western states (see Figure 1). Over 32 percent of the United States is under federal administration.'*' Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah have over 50 percent of their land under federal control. Eastern states have a far lower percentage of their lands under federal management. All of the states east of the 100 meridian have less than 11 percent federal lands. This is due to the history of land disposal and the more recent settlement of the West. Also, much of the West is either mountainous or arid and unsuitable for farming. All of the federal land management agencies are much more active in the western states. Occasionally, the states rebel at this federal presence such as the "Sagebrush Rebellion" in 1979. However, little federal land disposal has occurred since
STATES CONTAINING OVER 25 PERCENT OF LANDS UNDER FEDERAL OWNERSHIP
W V* * u.
t* % <
h- K (L <
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Ut C> VI ^
1- Ul u. 2
SOURCE: Bureau of Land Management. 1984. Public land statistics 1983, Washington, DC:
U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 10.
the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act in 1934.
Table 1 shows the acres of land under federal administration. The Bureau of Land Management controls the most land followed by the Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. Most of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service lands are in Alaska, a result of 1980 legislation. Other agencies with over one million acres of land are shown in the Table. These agencies use lands for specific activities like water projects, defense, or energy research. The Bureau of Indian Affairs' lands are under Indian tribe or Alaskan native ownership with the bureau acting as an advisor.
The rest of this study will examine the activities of the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (with respect to the management of national wildlife refuges), the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. The focus will be on lands outside of Alaska, since the planning activities for the Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service have recently changed for Alaskan lands. With the transfer of lands to the agencies in 1980, they have developed new planning procedures which may differ from planning in the rest of the country.
ORGANIZATION OF THE AGENCIES
Three of the four land management agencies are in the
TABLE 1: PRINCIPAL FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES
(administering over 1,000,000 acres)
AGENCY ACRES IN UNITED STATES ACRES IN ALASKA
Bureau of Land Management 341,059,245.5 166,984,847.5
U.S. Forest Service 192,074,751.3 23,119,589.3
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 84,907,218.6 75,354,814.6
National Park Service 77,285,815.0 57,066,702.1
Department of the Army 10,568,414.0 1,670,850.0
Army Corps of Engineers 8,544,495.9 70,204.6
Bureau of Reclamation 4,214,244.7
Department of the Navy 3,128,641.7 65,988.0
Bureau of Indian Affairs* 3,017,206.9 2,482,589.3
Energy Research and Development Administration Tennessee Valley Authority 2,100,961.1 1,010,270.0
Total** 729,820,861.4 327,028,961.7
*Lands are owned by Indian tribes and Alaskan native peoples **Total includes other federal agencies not shown in the table.
SOURCE: Bureau of Land Management. 1984. Public land statistics
1983. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, pp. 14-35.
Department of the Interior. Only the Forest Service is in the
Department of Agriculture. The Forest Services location is a
result of in-fighting between the departments during the early
part of this century. Line organization charts for the four agencies are displayed in Appendix B. All of the agencies have national, regional, and local levels of organization (see Table 2). Of importance to planning are the local levels where land use plans are prepared for specific locations. Plans are developed for resource areas (BLM), national parks and monuments (NPS), national wildlife refuges (USFWS), and national forest and grasslands (USFS).
In the next four chapters, the planning processes of these federal land management agencies are examined in detail. Description of the processes are based on legislation, regulations, and policies. For each of the agencies, a case study example of a recently completed land use plan was chosen.
^"Bureau of Land Management. 1984. Public land statistics 1983. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 10.
Steen, Harold K. 1976. The U.S. Forest Service: a history. Seattle University of Washington Press, pp. 68, 206, 207, & 238.
Table 2. LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION IN THE LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES*
ADMINISTRATIVE LEVELS BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (for refuges) U.S. FOREST SERVICE
Department Interior Interior Interior Agriculture
National Level Director Director Director Chief
Regional Level 11 western states and 1 region for eastern U.S.A. 10 regions 7 regions 9 regions
Local Level* ** Districts divided National Parks National Wildlife National Forests
into Resource Areas and Monuments Refuges and Grasslands divided into Ranger Districts
*See Appendix B for sources and line organization charts.
**Underlined administrative levels are where land use plans are prepared for specific locations.
PLANNING IN THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Three events during the 1970?s led to the current planning process in the Bureau of Land Management (see Appendix A for a chronology of the BLM):
-the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1970;
-the Natural Resources Defense Council v. Morton decision in 1974; -the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in 1976.
The National Environmental Policy Act set the framework for planning in the federal land management agencies. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements for all major federal actions:
...include in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, a detailed statement by the responsible official on
(i) the environmental impact of the proposed action,
(ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,
(iii) alternatives to the proposed action,
(iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and
(v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in ^he proposed action should it be implemented.
The Act requires a systematic and interdisciplinary approach to planning and decision-making activities having a potential environmental impact. An interdisciplinary approach includes the
environmental design arts, natural sciences, and social sciences. Environmental assessments can be prepared to determine if the preparation of an environmental impact statement is necessary. If the environmental assessment determines the proposed federal actions to have no significant impact on the environment, the preparation of an environmental impact statement is unnecessary.
Regulations prepared by the Council on Environmental Quality
specify the procedures for complying with the National
Environmental Policy Act. The regulations require public participation in the preparation of environmental impact statements. Other government agencies (federal, state, and local) and the public are to have the opportunity to participate in a scoping process. During the scoping process, significant issues related to the proposed action are identified. In addition, other government agencies and the public must be allowed to comment on the draft environmental impact statement. In effect, the National Environmental Policy Act opened the planning activities of the land management agencies to the public.
The regulations outline the format of a statement. Descriptions of the affected environment and of the environmental consequences of the proposed actions are to be included. A key requirement for planning activities is the inclusion of a section describing alternatives and the proposed action.
This section is the heart of the environmental impact statement. Based on the information and analysis presented in the sections on the Affected Environment and the Environmental Consequences, it should present the environmental impacts of the proposal and the alternative in comparative form, thus sharply defining the issues and providing clear basis for choic^ among the options by the decisionmaker and the public.
All alternatives are to be reasonable, but not necessarily within
the jurisdiction of the agency preparing the statement. An
alternative of no action is to be included. Mitigating measures
for limiting environmental impacts are also described in the
To comply with the Act, the Bureau of Land Management prepared a single, draft programmatic environmental statement for all its grazing activities on public lands. In 1974, this statement was published and promptly contested in U.S. District Court by the
Natural Resources Defense Council. The Council claimed the single programmatic statement was by itself insufficient to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. The resulting decision^ required the BLM to prepare environmental impact statements for specific areas. Instead of a single statement, the BLM is currently preparing 212 statements.^
In 1976, the Bureau of Land Management finally received its "Organic Act". The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) established policies for the management of BLM lands. Over 2,500 laws were replaced by the Act.^ FLPMA outlines procedures for
land use planning and public involvement in the BLMs
The Secretary shall, with public involvement and consistent with the terms and conditions of this Act, develop, maintain, and, when appropriate, revise land use plans which provide by tracts or areas for the use of the public lands. Land use plans shall be developed for the public lands regardless of whether such lands previously have been classified, withdrawn, get aside, or otherwise designated for one or more uses.
Thus, the Bureau of Land Management is mandated by Congress to
carry out land use planning. Presently, environmental impact
statements and land use plans (usually referred to as resource
management plans) are being prepared simultaneously for specific
areas. By the end of the 1970s, land use planning had become a
major activity of the Bureau of Land Management.
PLANNING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE FEDERAL LAND POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ACT The Federal Land Policy and Management Act defined policy for the Bureau of Land Management. Much of this policy is carried out through land use planning. Several key planning requirements are stated in the act:
** All BLM lands are to be managed under multiple use and
sustained yield principles. Multiple use is defined as "...the
management of public lands and their various resource values so
that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet
the present and future needs of the American people..." Sustained yield refers to "...the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of
various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use,"^ Multiple use and sustained yield management was developed by the U.S. Forest Service (see Appendix A) and later officially adopted by the BLM with the passage of the Classification and Multiple-Use Act of 1964.
** Land use plans are to be consistent and coordinated with the planning activities of other government agencies. This includes federal, state, local, and Indian tribal governments. The BLM is required to keep appraised of other government agencies plans in nearby areas. In addition, other government agencies and officials are to be able to participate in BLM planning.
** Like the National Environmental Policy Act, FLPMA contains requirements for public involvement:
The Secretary shall allow an opportunity for public involvement and by regulation shall establish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to give Federal, State, and local governments and the public, adequate notice and opportunity to comment upon and participate in the formulation of plans an^programs related to the management of the public lands.
** A unique creation of FLPMA is the areas of critical
environmental concern" designation. None of the other federal
land management agencies have an equivalent designation in their
The term "areas of critical environmental concern" means areas within the public lands where special management attention is required (when such areas are developed or used or where no development is required) to protect and
prevent irreparable to important historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish and wildlife resources or other natural systems or processes^01- to protect life and safety from natural hazards.
Designation and protection of areas of critical environmental concern are to be given priority during the planning process.
FLPMA establishes what plans are to contain. Detailed planning requirements are described in the Code of Federal Regulations.^
National level policies and guidelines are formulated by the Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. State Directors supervise and approve plans and environmental impact statements. District and Area Managers prepare resource management plans with staff assistance. Plans are to be prepared for each BLM Resource Area unless otherwise authorized by the State Director.
Steps in Planning Process
Nine steps comprise the resource management planning process. This does not include plan follow-up activities such as protest actions, maintenance, amendment, and revision.
1. Identification of Issues At the beginning of the planning process, other federal agencies, state governments, local
governments, Indian tribes, and the public can input ideas, concerns, and needs for consideration in planning. District and Area Managers study these suggestions along with records of resource conditions and trends. They then select issues to be addressed during the planning process.
2. Development of Planning Criteria Criteria are developed by the District or Area Manager to guide the planning process. The criteria are based on the identified issues and aim to prevent unneeded data collection or analysis. The public is allowed to comment on the proposed criteria, before the criteria are approved by the District Manager.
3. Inventory Data and Information Collection Resource, environmental, social, economic, and institutional data, and information are gathered. Such data and information are to concern significant issues.
4. Analysis of the Management Situation The information and data are analyzed by the Area or District Manager to determine how the resource area can respond to the issues. This analysis is used to formulate alternatives based on multiple use principles.
5. Formulation of Alternatives All reasonable alternatives are
to be considered. Plans must include a "no action" alternative describing the continuation of present management activities at their present levels.
6. Estimation of Effects of Alternatives The effects of implementing each alternative are estimated and displayed. This step is guided by the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.
7. Selection of Preferred Alternative A preferred alternative is selected which best meets BLM Director and State Director guidelines. The preferred alternative is put in the draft environmental impact statement as a draft resource management plan. The statement is sent to the State Director for approval, publication, and filing with the Environmental Protection Agency.
8. Selection of Resource Management Plan Comments on the draft environmental impact statement are evaluated by the District Manager. After the evaluation, a proposed resource management plan and final environmental impact statement are sent to the State Director for review and publication.
9. Monitoring and Evaluation A final plan is published and monitoring and evaluation procedures are established. The
District Manager is responsible for monitoring the plan and determining the need for plan amendment and revision.
Anyone who participated in the planning process and will be adversely impacted by the implemented plan can file a protest of the plan. Only issues covered during the planning process may be included in the process.
Resource management plans are to be maintained as data changes. Such maintenance does not result in large changes and requires no public involvement. An amendment is used to make substantial changes as a result of new information, circumstances, or policy. The amendment process is similar to the planning process and requires public involvement. A revision is made when new information, circumstances, or policy requires changes to the entire plan. For a revision, the entire planning process is followed.
Public participation usually takes the form of hearings or written comments. Opportunities for public involvement occur in the following steps: at the beginning of the process in the identification of issues (step 1); in reviewing the proposed planning criteria (step 2); in commenting on the draft environmental impact statement (step 7); in protesting the plan
after publication of the proposed resource management plan and final environmental impact statement (step 8); and in commenting on any changes made to the plan as a result of a protest.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICIES
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act establishes the policy for resource management:
(7) goals and objectives be established by law as guidelines for public land use planning, and that management be on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield unless otherwise specified by law;
(8) the public lands be managed in a manner that will protect the quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values; that, where appropriate will preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition; that will provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic animals; and that will provide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use;
(9) the United States receive fair market value of the use of the public lands and their resources unless otherwise provided for by statute;
(11) regulations and plans for the protection of land areas of critical environmental concern be promptly developed;
(12) the public lands be managed in a manner which recognizes the Nations needs for domestic sources of minerals^ food, timber, and fiber from the public lands...
Of importance is the requirement for multiple use and sustained yield management and the requirement that a fair market value be received for the use of BLM lands and resources. Supplying demands for resources and protecting the environment appear to have equal priority in the Act. Determination of the unsuitability of certain areas for surface mining is made through the planning process.^
As stated before, areas of critical environmental concern are identified and considered during planning. In general, FLPMA provides guidance for resource management decisions in planning activities, but it gives few specific directives.
CASE STUDY; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE GLENWOOD SPRINGS RESOURCE AREA
The Glenwood Springs Resource Area is located in western Colorado in the vicinity of the towns of Eagle, Glenwood Springs, and Rifle. Approximately 556,000 acres are included in the resource area. Most of these BLM lands are located in foothills and low mountains between private lands in the valley bottoms and U.S. Forest Service lands in the higher mountains. Two major rivers flow through this region; the Colorado and Roaring Fork. The resource area is a part of the Grand Junction BLM District.
Three documents were used for this case study analysis. They
were the draft environmental impact statement, the final
environmental impact statement, and the record of decision.
Nine steps were employed in the planning process as required by the regulations. However, the inventory step preceeded the issues step; in the regulations, the issues step is first.
From 1978 through 1980, the land resources were inventoried. Results of the inventory were published in the "Affected Environment" chapter of the draft and final environmental impact statements.
Issues were identified for several topics. All of the issues were formulated with input from the public, other federal agencies, and state and local governments. The issue topics included:
- air quality - water quality
- water yield - critical watershed areas
- minerals - aquatic habitat
- terrestrial habitat (for wildlife)
- livestock grazing - forests
- recreation - social and economic conditions
- cultural resources paleontological resources
- wilderness - areas of critical environmental
-visual resources - land tenure adjustments
- off road vehicles transportation (roads and access)
- utility and communication facilities
For each issue topic, specific questions were formulated like, which public lands should remain open to mineral exploration and
development? Each topic had from one to five specific issues being considered in this format.
Planning criteria were developed to guide the development of alternatives in responding to the issues. Criteria were based on applicable laws, multiple use and sustained yield principles, BLM Director and State Director guidelines, public and government participation, data and information analysis, and the use of a systematic interdisciplinary approach. An example of an issue and its planning criteria is shown for critical watershed areas: issue
Which public land should be managed to protect critical watershed values?
Delineate critical watershed areas.
'Determine the potential for management of critical watershed areas. ^
Determine the effect of management on other resources.
Management situation analysis determined the capability of the resources to respond to the issues according to the planning criteria. This analysis appears in the "Affected Environment" chapter of both the draft and final environmental impact statements. Five geographical subdivisions were used to aid in the analysis. The capability units divided the resource area into five sections based on geography, climate, ecology, political views, attitudes, values, and land uses.
Seven criteria were developed in alternative formulation.
According to the criteria, all of the alternatives are to: 1. be realistic, 2. consider other agencies's plans, 3. employ sustained use principles, 4. provide answers to the issues, 5. use the planning criteria, 6. address areas of environmental concern, and
7. comply with all laws and BLM policies and regulations. An assessment of the alternatives examined physical, biological, social, and economic impacts of each alternative. It was published in the "Environmental Consequences" chapter of the draft and final environmental impact statements.
After the alternative were formulated, compared, and analyzed, a preferred alternative was selected by the District Manager, Area Manager, and staff. This decision was based on the issues, public input, environmental analysis of the alternatives, and 11 decision criteria. The 11 decision criteria provided consideration of the goals of other government agencies, protection of fragile and unique resources, expectations of the local people, promotion of the local and regional economy, national issues, BLM commitments, BLM's potential to implement actions, and restrictions on the use of BLM lands. These criteria are very general without any specific requirements or objectives. Based on the above criteria and considerations, the selected plan and alternatives were published in the draft environmental impact statement.
Public input was received on the draft environmental impact
statement. This input along with the issues, decision criteria, and environmental analysis was used to select a_ resource management plan. A final environmental impact statement containing the proposed plan was reviewed by the State Director and published. After further comments were received, a record of decision containing the final version of the resource management plan was published. Detailed management directions were included in the plan. Monitoring and evaluation of the plan will follow. Also, activity plans and environmental assessments will need to be prepared for specific actions like timber harvesting.
Public Participation Activities
Most public participation activities were aimed at getting input for the draft environmental impact statement, although public input was received during other stages of the planning process. Public participation opportunities included:
1. Newsletters were sent to agencies and individuals interested in the plan, over 100 were sent. Their purpose was to keep the public informed and solicit comments.
2. Public workshops were held in November and December, 1979 to let the public help identify issues of concern. Workshops held in May, 1982 allowed the public to comment on the alternatives.
3. News releases and two Federal Register notices were published. Several news broadcasts were conducted.
Comments on the draft environmental impact statement were received. These were either letters or hearing transcripts. A total of 135 comments were received.
Four alternatives were formulated for the Glenwood Springs Resource Area:
(1) Continuation of Current Management Alternative
- the "no action" alternative
(2) Resource Protection Alternative
- emphasis on natural environmental settings with protection for fragile and unique resources
(3) Economic Development Alternative
- aims at resource management benefitting the local economy
(4) Preferred Alternative
- a "rational and balance approach" including some portions of resource protection and economic development alternatives
In Table 3, the four alternatives are compared. Only a few sample outputs of all the resource management activities are shown, but these examples demonstrate how the alternatives compare. For resource outputs with an economic value, the highest values are obtained with the economic development alternative. This is generally true for timber (higher harvest levels), livestock grazing (more available forage), and minerals (fewer acres closed to mining activities). For resources responsive to protection
Table 3. COMPARISON OF FOUR ALTERNATIVES: GLENWOOD SPRINGS RESOURCE AREA
Resource Activity (1) Current Management (2) Resource Protection* (3) Economic Development* (4) Preferred Alternative
Timber-annual allowable harvest Commercial forests- milllon board feet 1.75 Commercial species slopes 40% 0.7 All species All slopes 4.0 Commercial species slopes 40% 1.7 All species All slopes 6.3 1.8
*woodlands-cords of f irewood 3,720 2,650 4,330 3,695 7,950 3,535
Livestock Grazing-forage allocation (animal unit months) ^Initial allocation 26,443 31,399 38,388 38,726
*projected allocation (after vegetation improvements) 34,177 56.885 63.458 51,724
Wildlife-forage allocation *initial allocation 39,672 47,173 39,496 36,157
^projected allocation 40,022 54.731 46.076 42*341
Minerals-areas closed to (in acres): *mineral location 106,797 129,142 109,267 98,852
*oil and gas leasing 63*715 91,918 72,043 55,770
*oil and gas surface occupancy *mineral sales 25,905 15,041 33,560 44.992 25,904 17.561 42,344 11,582
Wilderness-in acres *areas preliminarily suitable for wilderness designation. 10,755 30,630 10,750 340
SOURCE: See Footnote 20
*For alternatives 2 and 3, two alternative timber harvest levels are proposed based on slopes and species.
such as wildlife and wilderness, the highest values are obtained with the resource protection alternative (more forage for wildlife and more acres designated as wilderness). Some inconsistencies to these trends exist between the economic development and the preferred alternative. More acres are designated as wilderness under the economic development than the preferred alternative. In addition, more acres are closed to mineral location and oil and gas leasing in the economic development than the preferred alternative.
Resource Management Plan
The preferred alternative was chosen as the resource management plan. Differences between the preferred alternative (from the draft environmental impact statement), the proposed plan (from the final environmental impact statement), and the implemented plan (from the record of decision) are shown in Table
4. All of the resource outputs were changed from the preferred alternative to the proposed plan. More forage was allocated to wildlife and less to livestock. Aspen and subalpine fir were made available for firewood, resulting in a substantial allowable harvest increase from woodlands. Wilderness designations increased by almost 30 times the original acreage. Lands were greatly opened up for mineral location and oil and gas leasing. Changes between the proposed and implemented plan were few. Of all the resources examined, only mineral activities changed.
Table 4. COMPARISON OF PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE, PROPOSED PLAN, AND IMPLEMENTED PLAN: GLENWOOD SPRINGS RESOURCE AREA
Resource Act ivity
Preferred Alternative from draft EIS
from final EIS
Timber-allowable annual harvest Commercial forests-million board feet *woodland-cords of firewood...........
Livestock Grazing-forage allocation (animal unit months)
^project allocation (after vegetation improvements).........................
Areas closed to (in acres):
*oil. and gas leasing.................
*oil and gas surface occupancy........
*areas preliminarily suitable
for wilderness designation..........
from record of decision
SOURCES: See footnote 21
Management Action Description
For each of the issues like water quality, minerals and
livestock grazing, specific objectives were established. Under
each objective,planned management actions, required support,
implementation and monitoring procedures, and implementation
priorities were described. These management actions specifically
respond to issues and planning criteria developed earlier in the
planning process. For example, the following issue and planning
criteria were developed for air quality management:
How will the Clean Air Act, air quality classifications, and other federal and state legislation affect development on public land and adjacent private land?
* Determine the potential effect of resource management proposals on air quality.
Identify the current air quality classifications and determine where they apply.
Comply with all applicable fec^ral and state air quality standards and regulations.^
In the record of decision, the implemented plan responds with the
following management directions for air quality management:
To limit air quality degradation in the resource area by ensuring public land use activities are in compliance with federal, state, and local legislation.
PLANNED MANAGEMENT ACTIONS
Inventory air quality to establish a baseline from which changes associated with BLM or other agency proposals can be determined. Ensure proposal comply with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations to limit air quality degradation.
Technical support for inventory and compliance will be
required from air quality specialists in the Colorado State Department of Health, Air Pollution Control Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII; and the U.S. Forest Service, Region II.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
Site-specific project plans for proposals affecting public and adjacent lands will be reviewed for compliance with existing air quality laws and policies protecting these areas. BLM proposals will be analyzed in environmental assessments. Mitigation will be incorporated into project proposals when necessary to reduce air quality degradation.
PRIOR^IES OF IMPLEMENTATION None.
Descriptions of management actions were included in the final environmental impact statement and the record of decision. These descriptions outlined identical management actions in most cases. However, the areas of critical environmental concern description was included in the final environmental impact statement, but it was deleted from the record of decision. This was the only issue to be completely deleted. All of the other management actions conformed well to the issues and planning criteria.
In the appendix of the record of decision were lists of possible management techniques and required management stipulations for various resource activites. Possible management techniques were listed for specific activities like livestock management (use of cattle guards, fences, corrals, and stock trails) and management of lodgepole pine (clearcutting and snelterwood/group selection cutting). Management stipulations placed restrictions on resource activities, such as restrictions
on timber catting to protect deer habitat or limiting visitor use in riparian (stream-side) habitats. Descriptions accompanying the management techniques and stipulations were very brief. This management information supplemented the management action descriptions contained in the body of the record of decision.
^U.S. Congress. United States code annotated. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co. 42 USCA 4332(C). All the following United States Code Annotated references will be cited by their reference number only i.e. 42 USCA 4332(C).
Office of the Federal Register. 1983. Code of federal regulations: protection of environment (40). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Specific references to the code will be cited by their reference number. In this case, the reference number is 40 CFR 1500.1 1508.28.
340 CFR 1502.14.
See Coggins, George C. and Charles F. Wilkinson. 1981. Federal
public land and resources law. Mineola, NY: Foundation Press, pp. 569-576.
^Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. Morton. United States District Court, District of Columbia, 1974. 388 F.Supp. 829.
Coggins and Wilkinson, p. 575.
bureau of Land Management, undated. Promise of the land. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 9.
43 USCA 1712(a). note: "public lands" refers to the land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
943 USCA 1702(c) .
1043 USCA 1702(h).
U43 USCA 1712(f) .
1243 USCA 1702(a).
1343 CFR 1601 1610.
43 USCA 1701.
43 CFR 1610.7-1.
Bureau of Land Management. 1982. Draft environmental statement on the Glenwood Springs resource management plan. Denver, CO: Bureau of Land Management State Office.
Bureau of Land Management. 1983. Final environmental statement on the Glenwood Springs resource management plan. Denver, CO: Bureau of Land Management State Office.
Bureau of Land Management. 1984. Glenwood Springs resource management plan: record of decision. Denver, CO: Bureau of Land Management State Office.
Bureau of Land Management. 1983, p. 19.
Bureau of Land Management. 1982, pp. 22, 25, 26, 28, & 35.
The source for the preferred alternative data was Bureau of Land Management. 1982, pp. 22, 25, 26,' 28, and 35; the source for the proposed plan was Bureau of Land Management. 1983, pp. 33,
38, 41, 52, and 57; and the source for the implemented plan was Bureau of Land Management. 1984, pp. 13, 16, 19, 29, and 33.
Bureau of Land Management. 1983, p. 19.
Bureau of Land Management. 1984, p. 9.
PLANNING IN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Of all the federal lands, national parks and monuments are the best known. Planning in the National Park Service focuses on preserving the features and resources on national parks and monuments while providing for their enjoyment by the public (see Appendix A for a chronology of the National Park Service). The National Park Service Act of 1916 established the purpose for these lands:
...to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such measures as will leave^them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
Congressional requirements for National Park Service planning
are less extensive than for the Bureau of Land Management and the
U.S. Forest Service. In 1970, the National Environmental Policy
Act became the first Congressional mandate requiring an assessment
of the environment and the development of alternative for major
Park Service actions. Congress passed the only legislation
requiring planning for the National Park Service in 1978. The
National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 requires:
General management plans for the preservation and use of each unit of the Natinal Park system, including areas within the national capital area, shall be prepared and revised in a timely manner...General management plans for each unit shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) measures for the preservation of the areas
(2) indications of types and general intensities of development (including visitor circulation and transportation patterns, systems and modes) associated with the public enjoyment and use of the area, including general locations, timing of implementation, and anticipated costs;
(3) identification of and implementation commitments for visitor carrying capacities for all areas of the unit; and
(4) indications of potential modifications to the external 2boundaries of the unit, and the reasons therefor.
Many parks had completed master plans before the passage of the act.
Except for National Environmental Policy Act
requirements, the Code of Federal Regulations does not
contain any regulations specifically concerning planning for
the national parks. Detailed instructions on planning are
found in a Park Service "in-house" document, the Planning
Process Guideline. Requirements in the guideline are
outlined in the next two sections.
PLANNING REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES
Several documents described in the guideline are key elements in the Park Service planning process. All of these documents are written for each park; none of them are regional or national level documents.
1. A statement for management is a description of the parks purpose, current management, issues, problems, objectives, and other information pertaining to the parks operation. The statement is updated every two years.
2. An outline of planning requirements lists the studies,
surveys, plans, and designs needed to carry out the park's objectives.
3. Development/study package proposals, known as "10-238S11, accompany the outline of planning requirements. The 10-238s are requests for programming and funding of tasks during the next five years. Both the outline of planning requirements and 10-238s are reviewed annually.
4. Task directives implement funded and programmed tasks. This document specifies the work, methodology, process, dates, costs, and responsibilities for accomplishing a task.
5. The general management plan/environmental document is the principal planning document. It describes basic philosophy, objectives, and management strategies for the next five to ten years. It also fulfills the National Environmental Policy Act requirements.
6. Development concept plans describe specific projects such as a visitor center or campground development. It may be included as part of the general management plan.
Planning is initiated by the Park Superintendent preparing a statement for management with the assistance of
regional and Denver Service Center staff. This leads to plan and task analysis through the preparation of the outline of planning requirements and 10-238s. These two documents are prepared by park, regional and Denver Service Center staff. The documents are kept current, on a yearly basis, by the Park Superintendent. Requirements specific in a 10-238 are carried out through a task directive. A task directive is an agreement between the Regional Director, Park Superintendent and the individual carrying out the task. It provides direction for the preparation of a general management plan/environmental document. An interdisciplinary team prepares the general management plan with input of other Park Service personnel, other government agencies, and the public. Development concept plans are prepared by the park staff for specific projects which carry out the objectives of the general management plan.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLANNING PROCESS
The Park Service has established the following purpose
for general management plans:
The general management plan (GMP) sets forth the basic management philosophy for a park and provides the strategies for addressing issues and achieving identified management objectives over a 5- to 10-year period. Two types of strategies are presented in the GMP: those required to properly manage the park's resources, and those required to provide for appropriate visitor use and interpretations of the resources. Based on these strategies, programs, actions, and support facilities necessary for efficient park operation and
visitor use are identified. Throughout the planning effort, the park is considered in a regional context that influences and is influenced by it.
General management plans are prepared by an interdisciplinary team having knowledge of park management, park planning, environmental design arts, natural and/or cultural resources, concessions management, and interpretation. Specialists on subjects such as economics, sociology, forestry, and law supplement the teams efforts. The plan is subject to review by the Park Superintendent and approval by the Regional Director.
In the task directive, needs and methods for public participation are outlined. At the beginning of the planning process, local and state governments, other federal agencies, and the public are informed of the preparation on the general management plan. The public has the opportunity to comment on the statement for management and input issues and concerns. Public involvement in the planning varies with the scope of the plan and the significance of the issues being addressed. Public
participation can occur during the identification of issues, review of alternatives, review of the draft plan/environmental document, and review of the final plan/environmental document stages.
Steps in Planning Process
The National Park Service employs five steps in developing general management plans and their accompanying environmental documents. These steps should be considered in the context of the overall planning process described above. Other activities such as the preparation of the statement for management, task directives, and development concept plans are part of the planning process.
1. Issue Analysis General management planning begins with a task directive. Park purpose, objectives, issues, and other factors to be addressed by the plan are discussed by the planning team, regional planning coordinator, and Park Superintendent. The basis of this discussion comes from the statement for management. A written description of the issues is produced.
2. Development of Alternatives Tentative alternatives are identified, and necessary information is collected. Contacts with government officials and the public are made as needed. During this step, a decision is made to prepare an environmental impact statement (for actions have significant impact) or and environmental assessment (for actions having no significant impact) to accompanying the plan.
The set of alternatives must include:
- a no action alternative (continuation of current management);
- a minimal requirements alternative;
- a full range of reasonable alternatives.
The minimum requirements alternative establishes the minimum actions for :
(1) the safe and effective operation of an existing, developed park or
(2) the development of a new or undeveloped park. All of the issues are to addressed by innovative, practical, and cost effective solutions.
3. Alternatives Document for Public Involvement After an analysis of the issues and development of the initial
alternatives, the need for a public participation stage is determined. Based on the significance, amount of controversy, costs, and public awareness of the issues and alternatives, the planning team decides whether to have public involvement or proceed directly to step 4. In planning for small parks, where issues deal with concerns and management within the park, the public participation stage can be omitted. On parks where an environmental impact statement is being prepared, public participation at this step is mandatory.
When public participation is included, a brief public
involvement document is prepared. The document contains the park's purpose, issues addressed by the plan, and a summary description of the alternatives. It is not an environmental impact statement nor an environmental assessment. Rather, the document serves to gather input from the public, other 'federal agencies, and state, local and Indian governments.
4. Preparation of Draft General Management Plan/Environmental Document All the public input from step 3 is analyzed. Any need for additional information, more public participation, and new issues or alternatives is determined. Anticipated costs for the alternatives are projected. A proposal from the alternatives is selected by the Park Superintendent and the Regional Director. The selected proposal is prepared as the draft plan. When finished, the draft plan is reviewed by the park region, Washington, and other National Park Service offices. After these steps have been completed, the draft plan is made available for public comment. For environmental impact statements, the National Environmental Policy Act requirements for public involvement are complied with. Meetings, workshops, and discussions with the media are conducted as needed.
5. Preparation and Approval of the Plan After public review of the draft plan, the planning team analyzes and summarizes the comments. Based on this analysis and recommendations of the Park
Superintendent and Regional Director, any needed changes are made to the general management plan/environmental document. This final plan is made available to the public for further comment. Changes are made to the final plan only when new information shows the plan is unworkable or impossible to implement. After the final plan is reviewed by the public and any needed changes made, it is approved by the Regional Director.
Amending and Revising a General Management Plan
A plan can be modified in subsequent years by an amendment or a revision. An amendment addresses a single issue without changing the entire plan. A revision addresses several issues and leads to a new plan. In either case, the five step planning process is employed. Preparation of an amendment needs less documentation and public participation than the preparation of a full plan.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICIES
The Planning Process Guideline provides general direction for resource management:
It is crucial that resources are not destroyed or impaired by type or amount of use. Therefore, resources management strategies must reflect the capacity of the resources to accept use without degradation or needed developments to mitigate adverse effects on resources (e.g., a boardwalk in a wetland). Factors to be considered are the sensitivity of the resources, seasonality of use, type of use, and condition of resources at present level of use.
Resources include natural and cultural resources. General management plans are to present strategies for protecting, preserving, and perpetuating the parks resources for the next five to ten years.
In the Planning Process Guideline, several zone and subzone classifications are described. Only the National Park Service uses this classification.
** Natural Zone Emphasis is on conservation of natural resources and processes; detrimental uses are restricted. Subzones include: Outstanding Natural Feature, Natural Environment, Protected Natural Area, Research Natural Area, and Experimental Research Area.
** Historic Zone Emphasis is on preserving, protecting, and interpreting cultural resources. Subzones include: Observation, Preservation/Adaptive Use, and Commemoration. **
** Park Development Zone Emphasis is on providing park facilities to serve visitors. Subzones include: Administrative Development, Educational/Interpretive Development, Recreational Development, Access/Circulation Development, Utilities, and others.
** Special Uses Zone Provides for uses by government agencies
and private interests on areas inside exterior park boundaries. Subzones include: Commercial, Industrial, Mining, Ranching, Private Residential, Utilities, and others.
CASE STUDY: GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL MONUMENT
A 50 mile long, narrow canyon along the Gunnison River in western Colorado forms the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In 1933, President Herbert Hoover designated 12 miles of the canyon for preservation as a national monument. The canyon is a renown geologic feature. Many deep fissures, rock promontories, and steep cliffs give it a unique quality. The surrounding area is covered with pinyon-juniper and mountain brush vegetation, typical of semi-arid lands in western Colorado.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument is located along U.S. highway 50 between Montrose and Gunnison. Adjacent properties are privately owned or administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Curecanti National Recreation Area, also administered by the National Park Service, borders the east end of the monument. In 1976, 11,180 acres of the monument were designated as wilderness by Congress.
For this case study, two documents were examined. They were
the environmental assessment and the general management plan
which contained development concept plans for the monument. Planning Process
Since the monument was a smaller scale planning task than for a national park, the planning process was "streamlined". For
national parks such as Capitol Reef, several alternatives are formulated; an involved public participation process is carried out; a full environmental impact statement is written; and development concept plans for specific projects are produced after the completion of the general management plan. For the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument: fewer alternatives were formulated; public involvement was less extensive; and environmental assessment was written instead of an impact statement; and development concept plans were prepared simultaneously with the general management plan. However, the five planning steps described in the Planning Process Guideline (see above) were essentially followed with some modifications:
1. Issue Analysis The interdisciplicary planning team visited the monument and had several meetings with the monument staff. Problems were identified.
2. Development of Alternatives Solutions to the problems were
formulated and alternatives developed. The alternatives were presented in the environmental assessment.
3. Public Involvement Comments from the public were received on the environmental assessment. Other federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation were contacted.
4. Preparation of General Management Plan/Development Concept Plans Public input, environmental impacts, visitor use, and operational requirements were analyzed. This analysis was used to prepare the general management plan and development concept plans.
5. Plan Approval The final plan was published and approved by the Regional Director, (note: A master plan was prepared for the monument in 1974 but never approved.)
Most of the alternatives concerned visitor use. The
alternatives were formulated for specific projects, instead of
several packages of alternatives for the whole monument. For
SOUTH RIM MAIN DEVELOPMENT
- No Action Alternative keep small, unattractive, and congested
- Action Alternative construct a new visitor facility, vending/picnic area, and housing, maintenance and camping facility. Subalternatives are presented for design, size, and location of the facilities.
HIGH POINT OVERLOOK
- No Action Alternative continued traffic congestion and lack of an adequate visitor information facility.
- Action Alternative improve parking facilities, construct a viewing platform, and provide three information/orientation kiosks. Alternatives were presented for other projects in a similar format of no action and action alternatives. Projects included:
* visitor facilities
* view preservation
* ranger station
* boundary adjustments trails
* interpretation of environment
* accessibility for disabled visitors
General Management Plan
Three management zones were designated for the monument. A
Park Development Zone of 210 acres (one percent of the monument)
was specified for uses like buildings, trails, campgounds, roads, parking, and utilities. A Natural Zone of 20,448 acres (99
percent of the monument) was divided into a Natural Environment Subzone and Wilderness Subzone. Private and Bureau of Land Management lands inside and adjacent to the park boundary comprise the Natural Environment Subzone. Foot trials and interpretive signs and displays are allowed in the subzone. Areas designated and managed as wilderness make up the Wilderness Subzone. A third zone of Bureau of Land Management and private lands were slated for future efforts for protection.
Several interpretation themes were identified for informing and educating visitors about the monument. Central to all themes is the significance of the canyon. The themes include: geology, ecology, cultural history, aesthetics, safety and rules, and information/orientation. Devices to be used for interpretation are books, maps, publications, interpretive markers, interpretive trails, and a visitor center. Planned locations for interpretive devices such as markers, trails, and a visitor center were described and mapped.
Resource protection was proposed for private and Bureau of Land Management lands. Private lands within the monument boundary should be acquired. Other lands within view of the monument need to be protected from vegetative manipulations (croplands, herbicide spraying, and clearing vegetation). Roads, utilities, and structures detrimental to the scenic quality of the area
should be prohibited. Better access needs to be provided to the Gunnison River at the canyon bottom. Hunting should be prohibited near areas of high visitor use.
Several trails were proposed. They include interpretive trails, cross-country ski trails, and trails providing access to interesting area of the monument.
Parking is the ultimate constraint on the monument's visitor carrying capacity. A total of 99 parking spaces were proposed for addition to the monument; the total parking capacity will increase from 179 to 278 spaces.
Based on visitor use projections the lifespan of the monuments facilities was projected. Most facilities will last beyond the year 2000.
Seven development plans were described in the plan. Concepts for design and implementation of the projects were outlined. The projects included:
* a visitor, vending area, staff housing, and maintenance facility;
* three plans for scenic overlook points and accompanying parking;
* a ranger station and trailhead development;
* utilities and energy/resource conservation program;
* provisions for disabled visitor access.
Resource management objectives for the monument "are to
preserve cultural resources and artifacts, and to perpetuate
ecosystems within the monument". Items of resource management
* backcountry use
* cultural resources
As an example, the plan addresses fire management
The policy of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument is to suppress all fires whether natural or man cause except in remote inner canyon areas. Wildfire is controlled as is possible and necessary to prevent unacceptable loss of wilderness values, loss of life, and property damage, ^Jhe area has a current approved fire management plan.
Items requiring funding were included in a budget for the
plan. Cost estimates were based on 1982 dollars, but they did not
include planning, design, and construction supervision expenses. Packages of budget items were displayed, such as for a trail system, overlooks, and proposed facilities and developments. Each package was given a priority rank. The contents of the budget corresponded with projects described in the plan, and it showed how much funding will be needed to implement those projects.
116 USCA 1.
^16 USCA la-7(b), Supp. v.
National Park Service. 1982. Planning; process guideline. Washington, DC: National Park Service.
Ibid., p. 5-1.
5Ibid., p. 5-13.
^National Park Service. 1980. Environmental assessment of development concept plans: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, Colorado. Lakewood, CO: National Park Service, Denver Service Center.
^National Park Service. 1983. General management plan and development concept plans: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, Colorado. Lakewood, CO: National Park Service, Denver Service Center.
National Park Service. 1982. Draft environmental impact statement and draft general management plan: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. Lakewood, CO: National Park Service, Denver Service Center.
National Park Service. 1983, p. 53.
"^Ibid. p. 55.
PUNNING IN THE
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the only agency, of the four being examined, without any legislation requiring land use planning. Congress requires planning for some of the newly created refuges such as the Minnesota Valley Refuge (established in 1976) and the new Alaska refuges (established in 1980). However, for most national wildlife refuges, no planning is required.
During this century, a National Wildlife Refuge System has gradually formed (see Appendix A for a chronology of the refuge system). Numerous acts and Presidential proclamations have created the present system. The principal guiding legislation for managing the refuges is the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966:
...areas for the protection of fish and wildlife that are threatened with extinction, wildlife ranges, game ranges, wildlife management areas, or waterfowl production areas are hereby designated as the "National Wildlife Refuge System".
The effect of the Act on refuge management was:
Basically, it (1) placed restrictions on the transfer exchange or other disposal of lands within the system,
(2) clarified the Secretarys authority to accept donations of money to be used for land acquisition, and
(3) most importantly, authorized the Secretary, under regulations, to "permit the use of any area within the System for any purpose, including but not limited to hunting, fishing, public recreation and accommodations, and access whenever he determines that such uses are compatible with th^ major purposes for which such areas were established".
Although other uses are permitted, refuges are primarily for wildlife. This purpose is emphasized in the Code of Federal Regulations:
All national wildlife refuges are maintained for the primary purpose of developing a national program of wildlife and ecological conservation and rehabilitation.
These refuges are established for the restoration, preservation, development and management of wildlife and wildlands habitat; for the protection and preservation of endangered or threatened species and their habitat; and for the management of wildlife and wildlands to obtain the maximum benefits from these resources.
Based on the above requirements and other legislation such as the
National Environmental Policy Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service has developed a planning process for its refuges. Much of
the refuge planning is integrated with planning for other
activities like migratory waterfowl management, endangered species
protection, and cooperation with state game and fish departments.
This examination of planning in the Fish and Wildlife Service will
focus on planning for national wildlife refuges outside of Alaska.
PLANNING REQUIREMENTS AND LEVELS The overall planning process for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is described in the Program
Management System Manual. Planning policy for the service includes the following points:
- planning is performed in a systematic manner to set objectives, identify and analyze problems, develop and compare alternatives, and select a preferred alternative;
- planning is to employ a systematic, interdisciplinary,
- the public, other federal agencies, and state and local governments are to have the opportunity to participate in planning;
- planning is performed on a regional basis whenever possible;
- Fish and Wildlife Service policies will be consistent with National Environmental Policy Act requirements.
Planning takes place on a national, regional, and field station level.
1. Principal national level planning documents:
** The Service Management Plan states the overall goals, objectives, policies, and strategies for management of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
** The Program Management Documents translate directions from the Service Management Plan into specific goals, objectives, policies, and strategies for Fish and Wildlife Service programs.
** other national plans include the National Waterfowl Management Plan. National Disease Contingency Plan, and Species Management Plans.
2. Principal regional level planning document:
** Regional Resource Plans prescribe regional actions based on national direction. Regional objectives, strategies, and recommended field level activities are stated.
3. Field station plans include:
** Refuge Master Plans ** Refuge Management Plans
** Alaska Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plans ** Hatchery Management Plans ** Animal Damage Control Plans ** Law Enforcement Strategy Plans ** and other such plans
Of importance to refuge management are the Refuge Master Plans and Refuge Management Plans. The purpose and content of the two plans are described in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Manual:
The master plan documents the objective-setting process and describes the refuge in terms of outputs to be produced (benefits to be provided) at full plan
potential. As such, the master plan forms the basis for resource management decisions (management planning) and for budgeting requests for additional funding needed to accomplish objectives.
Management planning, in turn, is based on the objectives and strategies set forth in the refuge master plan. As an extension of master planning, management planning is the process by which specific management programs and activities leading to the achievement of refuge
objectives are identified. The management plan describes in detail that part, or parts of the master
plan that can be reasonably implemented without
significant increases in station funding.
A master plan is not required for all refuges. In cases where
"refuge programs and activities are stable and guided by sound
objectives, requirements for master planning may be waived at the
When master planning is
discretion of the Regional Director", not performed, management planning is the only formal planning activity carried out. Management planning focuses on specific refuge activities.
In this examination of Fish and Wildlife Service planning, the master planning process will be studied. This level of planning is comparable with the land use planning efforts of other federal land management agencies.
REFUGE MASTER PLANNING PROCESS
The refuge master planning process is described in the refuge manual,^ referred to above, and the National Wildlife Refuge
System Planning Workbook. Refuge master plans provide long-range guidance for refuge management. Six objectives are established for master planning:
(1) to ensure that national policy direction is incorporated in the management of individual refuges.
(2) to determine the capability of individual refuges to further Service goals, objectives and long-range plans, and to provide a means of evaluating accomplishments.
(3) to provide a systematic process for making and documenting refuge decisions.
(4) to establish broad management strategies to guide refuge management programs and activities.
(5) to provide continuity in the management of individual refuges and the Refuge System as a whole.
(6) to provide a basis for budgeting requests to implement management programs leading to the achievement of refuge objectives.
The Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has final authority over master planning. Regional Directors coordinate, determine priorities, supervise, and approve master planning activities. Regional office staff prepare or assist in preparing master plans. Refuge Managers implement and sometimes prepare master plans.
A public involvement plan is written for each master planning effort. This plan describes how the public will be kept informed, and how the public will comment on the preparation of the master plan. Public participation is to be continuous throughout the planning process. The Fish and Wildlife Service has eight objectives for public involvement:
1. Identify key publics affected
2. Identify public issues and needs
3. Identify public priorities and values
4. Inform the public of project news and events
5. Motivate publics to participate
6. Involve the public in predicting project's socio-economic impacts
7. Promote direct public interaction
8. Resolve conflicts, issues
Important points of public participation are in identifying issues, reviewing preliminary alternatives, and reviewing the final plan.
Steps in Planning Process
Nine steps make up the master planning process for refuges.
Several tasks are carried out during each step.
1. Preplanning Tasks are assigned, schedules developed, backgound information collected, and planning issues identified. The public involvement plan is prepared.
2. Refuge Output List Uses (such as recreation) and outputs (such as wildlife) to be considered during planning are decided. Important public issues are identified
3. Locational Criteria Areas within the refuge necessary for producing outputs are identified, any need for resouce maps is determined.
4. Resource Mapping Maps are prepared delineating the resources occurring on specific areas.
5. Suitability Mapping Resource maps are analyzed and areas delineated for the suitability of specific uses and outputs.
6. Preliminary Alternatives A set of alternatives is developed. Each alternative includes outputs (with objective levels), impacts, and consequences. Comments are received from the public on the alternatives.
7. Final Objective Set A final set of refuge objectives are established.
8. Final Alternatives The final alternatives are described, including a preferred alternative. An analysis is made of how demands for outputs and uses are achieved.
9. Master Plan Report The final master plan report is prepared and made available for public review and comment.
Each plan is approved by the Regional Director. Plans are
reviewed at least every two years to keep them current. Any revisions must be documented and are subject to Regional Director approval.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICIES
Most of the general resource management policies for refuges
have been already stated in this chapter. Fish and wildlife
resources receive the highest priority consideration in planning.
Other resource uses such as recreation, timber harvesting, and
livestock grazing are permitted so long as they do not adversely
affect wildlife resources. The Service Management Plan defines a
strategy reflecting these policies:
The Service will maintain and manage a system of refuge lands so that these lands make the maximum contributions to achieving fish and wildlife population and public use objectives. Emphasis will be placed on managing refuges in a manner which exemplifies the state of the art in all phases of fish and wildlife resource management and energy conservation. With public use (e.g., hunting, outdoor classrooms, interpretation) these national showcases can in^ire and enhance the conservation ethic in this country.
CASE STUDY: MINNESOTA VALLEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Of the four case studies examined in this report, this is the only case study for a land use plan outside of Colorado. Completed master plans were unavailable for any national wildlife refuge in Colorado. As a substitute, the master plan for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge was studied.
The refuge is located in the floodplain of the Minnesota River on the southwest side of metropolitan Minneapolis St. Paul. This area serves as an important waterfowl habitat. A total of 9,315 acres are included in the refuge.
Congress created the refuge with passage of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Act (Public Law 94-466) in 1976. Under the Act, the preparation of a comprehensive plan was required for the refuge. Being closed to a large metropolitan area, the refuge provides unique recreational and educational opportunities. Congress required that the refuge be managed for educational and recreational purposes in additional to the wildlife purposes associated with most national refuges; the development of interpretive and recreational facilities were to be key elements of the master plan.
Two documents were used in this case study. They included the
final environmental impact statement and the master plan 13
report for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Nine steps were employed in planning for the refuge:
1. Establish project goals
2. Collect data on the existing environment
3. Define the types of activities to be included on the refuge
4. Define criteria or needs for each selected activity
5. Apply criteria to the existing environment to select suitable sites for each activity
6. Identify environmental problems that exist and resolve conflicts
7. Determine how much of each activity to plan for on the refuge
8. Develop environmentally compatible alternatives and list the choice of sites available
9. Select final land use plan
Some similarity is apparent between these steps and the ones described in the refuge manual (see above). However, several of the steps have been rearranged and redefined.
Public Participation Activities
A total of 175 meeting were conducted during the planning process:
- January 1980 meetings focused on identifying issues for inclusion in the plan.
- From January 1980 through December 1980, meetings were held with local, state, and federal government representatives.
- December 1980 meetings centered on the alternatives being proposed.
- In September 1981, the draft environmental impact statement was presented for a 45 day comment period.
Four alternatives were proposed. Each alternative was formulated within five constraints:
A) The legislative guidance provided by Congress when it enacted the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Act, Public Law 94-466
B) Information provided by citizens and local units of
government throughout the planning process
C) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national policies that apply to all refuges (i.e., National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, etc.)
D) The need to ensure that all the alternatives are designed within the limitations and capabilities of the Minnesosta river valley's environment
E) Recognition of the state mand^ed Minnesota Valley State Trail development of the refuge.
All of the alternatives attempt to balance management actions for wildlife actions and public use opportunities.
** Alternative A minimum amount of public use development ** Passive wildlife management would be emphasized. Recreational development would consist of a wildlife
interpretation/environmental education center and the Minnesota Valley State Trail.
** Alternative B substantial increase in wildlife-oriented public use **
Numerous secondary trails and other recreation opportunities would be added along with the Minnesota trail and interpretation/education center described in Alternative A. Intensive wildlife management would take place including the management of non-wetland for habitat diversity and the development of several water control structures to enhance the wetlands.
** Alternative C preferred alternative **
This alternative has the highest intensity of wildlife-oriented recreation and wildlife management activities. All of the recreational developments of Alternative B are included plus an additional wildlife interpretation facility, more trails, and additional trail access points. All of the wildlife management activities of Alternative B would be included and a portion of an agricultural field would be converted to organic food production for wildlife.
** Alternative D no action **
No developments except those essential to resource protection would be carried out. Most of the proposed developments of the other alternatives would not be developed except for the Minnesota Valley State Trail.
Refuge Master Plan
Alternative C, the preferred alternative, was developed into the refuge master plan. In the plan, two principal issues were addressed: wildlife and public use. Wildlife management
practices aim at restoring habitat to optimize wildlife populations and diversity. Examples of such practices include restoration of wetlands, use of fire, and increasing feeding areas for birds. Specific objective levels were set for some species. For example, target output levels were set for target species (see Table 5). Wildlife census counts, a computer habitat analysis,
Table 5. EXAMPLE OF OBJECTIVE LEVELS FOR WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT: MINNESOTA VALLEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Wildlife Production Current Long-Range
Dabbling Ducks 1650-1750 young/year 3750-4000 young/year
Tree Nesting Ducks 550-600 young/year 2800-3000 young/year
Raptors 50-75 young/year 100-130 young/year
White-Tailed Deer 250 young/year 285 young/year
Muskrats 9000-10,000 young/year 11,700-12,700 young/year
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Master plan/refuge technical report: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Twin Cities, MN: Region 3, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, p. 2-9.
and a discussion of habitat management were used to substantiate the objective levels.
Objectives were also specified for public use. Issues addressed varied from providing visitor access to informing visitors of the ecological significance of the Minnesota valley. Objectives and strategies to carry out the objectives were
presented in the following format: PUBLIC USE PLANNING OBJECTIVES
2. To heighten users
awareness, appreciation and sense of stewardship of the natural and historical composition of the Minnesota valley.
PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
PROPOSED TO FULFILL OBJECTIVES
Provide environmental education programs
Design trails, trail facilities and information materials that interpret wildlife, natural systems and cultural features. Provide places and opportunities for research and scientific study.
Establish a wildlife interpretation and education center .
Provide a hunter educ^gion program and facility.
Ten objectives and accompanying strategies were presented. Output levels were set for the amount of trails, education/interpretive facilities, and other needed recreational developments. Proposed public use developments and activities were described.
Long Range Management Strategies provide guidelines to achieving the above objectives. For wildlife management, guidelines included instructions such as avoiding artificial
structures, stress natural methods of wildlife population control, and limiting wildlife losses from disease. Public use management emphasizes the theme, "In Harmony with River: Wildlife
Conservation for a Human Environment",^ and four subthemes: 1. valley wildlife history, 2. habitat preservation, 3. research and management, and 4. alternative futures. These themes are to be carried out through public service programs like educational assistance, interpretation, wildlife recreation, and information outreach. A unique feature of the plan was the analysis of audiences to be served by public use activities. For each audience a category of service and representative medium were outlined:
CATEGORY OF SERVICE TYPICAL AUDIENCE REPRESENTATIVE MEDIUM
- Educational assistance
- Wildlife recreation
- Information outreach
- Special population assistance
Each category market
Birdwatcher Cross-country skier
Senior citizen it's services to a s
Class activity packet
Self-guiding leaflet Trailhead kiosk
ific audience throug a
The plan divides the refuge into several units. For each unit, a unit master plan was formulated. Master plans were developed for units in the refuge and in the adjacent state-owned recreation area.
Unit master plans contain descriptions of:
- land use and physical character of the unit;
- special elements and features (cultural sites, marshes, geology, vegetation, and other items of interest);
- wildlife analysis;
- recreation analysis and suitability of lands;
- theme for unit;
- unit objective;
- wildlife facilities and management;
- and public facilities.
The plan ends with descriptions of specific plans to be carried out when the plan is implemented. Costs were estimated for the projects. All of the projects received a priority ranking showing the relative importance of the projects.
116 USCA 668dd(a)(1).
Bean, Michael J. 1983. The evolution of national wildlife law. New York: Praeger Publishers, p. 126. Bean quotes the act at 16 USCA dd(d)(1)(Supp. v.)
350 CFR 25.11(b).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1983. Program management system manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. PMS Memorandums 31.1, 32.1, 33.1 and 34.1.
3U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1983. U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service refuge manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 4 RM 1.6.
6Ibid., 4 RM 3.9.
7Ibid., 4 RM.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1980. National Wildlife Refuge system planning workbook. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1983. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manual, 4 RM 1.2.
"^U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1980, NEPA/PI supp. p. 12.
'"'''U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Service management plan. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 27.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Final environmental impact statement: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Twin Cities, MN: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Master plan/refuge technical report: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.- Twin Cities: MN: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Final environmental impact statement: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, p. 2-2.
15Ibid., p. 1-1.
^U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Master plan/refuge technical report: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, p. 3-3.
17Ibid., p. 4-17.
PLANNING IN THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE
The multiple use concept forms the basis for planning in the
U.S. Forest Service. The concept has slowly evolved during this
century (see Appendix A for a chronology of the U.S. Forest
Service). Gifford Pinchot, Forest Service Director from 1898 to
1910, believed in forest management under the principle of "the
greatest good for the greatest number (of people)".^ In 1933, the
Forest Service officially introduced the concept of multiple use
in the National Plan for American Forestry, known as the Copeland
Report. With the passage of the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act in 1960, multiple use became the mandated resource management policy for the U.S. Forest Service. Equal consideration is to be given to the management of outdoor recreation, range timber, water, and wildlife and fish. In 1964, the Bureau of Land Management adopted multiple use as official policy with the passage of the Classification and Multiple-Use Act.
Applying multiple use management has been a difficult task for the Forest Service. Passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964 added new considerations. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 required the preparation of environmental impact statements for many Forest Service actions. Public involvement in Forest Service decision-making was increased with the passage of these acts. The Service had to balance the public demands for wilderness and environmental protection against demands for traditional forest
uses like timber harvesting and livestock grazing. In the mid-1970's, two legislative acts and a court decision created the present Forest Service planning process and influenced the Service's interpretation of multiple use.
1. The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of
1974 (RPA) required long-range planning and an analysis of present
and future demands for national forest products.
2. In 1975, the Monongahela decision deemed the Forest Service
had violated its "Organic Act" (see Appendix A) on the Monongahela
National Forest, in West Virginia, by cutting trees which were not
dead, matured, or had attained sufficient size; by cutting trees
which were not marked for harvest; and leaving cut timber on the
site. The ramifications of the decision extended beyond the issue
of clearcutting and into the realm of public values:
They failed to recognize that land management decisions were frequently matters of value or preference rather that technique and that being a forester does not necessarily qualify one to decide^what are appropriate goals for public land management.
The Forest Service was forced to bring its view of multiple use in line with the public's demands.
3. As a result of the Monongahela decision, Congress amended the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act with the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) in 1976. The forest
industry wanted the clearcutting restrictions of the 1897 "Organic Act" repealed and environmentalist used clearcutting to open a debate on all forest management practices; the resulting National Forest Management Act was a compromise, yet, it became the new organic act for the U.S. Forest Service.^
Along with controversies such as wilderness designations and pesticide spraying, these two pieces of legislations and the court decision added new dimensions to the concept of multiple use. Presently, multiple use is employed in the formulation of land use plans. Values and benefits of different resource uses and combinations are compared and evaluated with linear programming techniques such as the FOREPLAN computer program. Choosing an optimal combinations of resource management practices which satisfy the public's desires has become a focus of planning in the Forest Service.
PLANNING REQUIREMENTS UNDER RPA AND NFMA
The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act and the National Forest Management Act provisions were combined by Congress. Together, these acts provide direction for the management of the national forests. A requirement of the acts is the preparation of plans:
...the Secretary of Agriculture shall develop, maintain, and, as appropriate, revise land and resource management plans for units of the National Forest System, coordinated with the land and resource management
planning processes of S^ate and local governments and other Federal agencies.
In preparing plans, an interdisciplinary approach is to be employed, and the public is to have the opportunity to participate in the development, review, and revision. All plans are to be in accordance with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (see Appendix C), including the coordination of outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, wildlife and fish, and wilderness uses. In addition, plans are to determine forest management systems, harvest levels, and procedures based on multiple use principles, land availibility and resource suitability.
Congress set the year 2000 as the date for getting national forest managed on an "environmentally sound basis". A system for estimating the long term costs and benefits or resource management activities is to be implemented. The RPA/NFMA provisions go into great detail on restricting resource management activities, especially timber activities to insure the protection of the environment. These provisions on resource management are far more detailed than the requirements in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act for the BLM.
Detailed requirements for planning, based on RPA and NFMA, are
found in the Code of Federal Regulations, including planning levels, coordination and consistency, public participation, task assignments, planning process, and resource management guidance.
According to the code, plans have the following purpose:
Plans guide all natural resource management activities and establish management standard and guideline for the National Forest System. They determine resource management practices, levels of resource production and management, and the availability and suitability of lands for resource management.
Three levels of planning activities occur in the U.S. Forest Service: national, regional, and forest. At the forest level, planning is comparable to the land use plans of the other land management agencies.
1. National Level The Chief of the Forest Service is responsible for preparing a RPA Assessment^ and a RPA Program.^ The RPA Assessment is an analysis of present and future demands for uses and products from the national forests along with costs and returns to the Forest Service. The RPA Program considers supply costs and the relative values of market and nonmarket outputs in presenting alternatives and selecting national goals and qualified objectives for resource outputs and other benefits.
2. Regional Level Each Regional Forester is responsible for
developing a Regional Guide. The guide sets regional standards and guidelines for carrying out the RPA program.
3. Forest Level Every Forest Supervisor is responsible for
preparing a forest plan for their administrative units (national forests and national grasslands) of the National Forest System. A forest plan may be developed for a single national forest or several national forests under a single Forest Supervisor. The rest of this chapter will concern planning at the forest level.
The goals for public participation in the planning process are:
(1) Broaden the information base upon which land and resource management decisions are made;
(2) Ensure that the Forest Service understands the needs, concerns, and values of the public;
(3) Inform the public of Forest Service land and resource planning activities; and
(4) Provide the public, with an understanding of Forest Service programs and proposed actions.
Public participation activities are to occur "early and often"
during the planning process. Suggested activities include:
written comments, meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops, and
Coordination and Consistency
All forest planning efforts are to be coordinated with the planning activities of other federal agencies, and local, state and Indian tribal governments. These planning activities of other agencies and governments are reviewed and noted in the
environmental impact statement for the plan. The Forest Supervisor is to seek input of the agencies and governments during the planning process.
The Regional Forester establishes regional policy and approves forest plans. Preparation and implementation of forest plans are the responsibilities of the Forest Supervisor. An interdisciplinary team having knowledge of the physical, biological, enconomic and social sciences, and the environmental design arts does the actual preparation of the plan.
Steps in Planning Process
Ten steps make up the Forest Service's planning process. These steps apply to the forest planning level only. Requirements for the preparation of an environmental impact statement, as mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act, are achieved simultaneously.
1. Identification of Purpose and Need Public issues, management concerns, and resource use and development opportunities are identified by the interdisciplinary team. Of the items identified, those to be addressed during the planning process are determined by the Forest Supervisor.
2. Planning Criteria Criteria are used to guide information collection, management situation analysis, and the design, formulation and evaluation of alternatives.
3. Inventory Data and Information Collection
data needed for decision-making are collected by the interdisciplinary team.
4-. Analysis of the Management Situation The ability of the resources to meet societys demands is determined. This forms a basis for alternative formulation. "Benchmark analysis" is employed to find:
(i) The minimum level of management level of management which would be needed to maintain and protect the unit as part of the National Forest System together with associated costs and benefits;
(ii) The maximum physical and biological production potentials of significant individual goods and services together with associated costs and benefits;
(iii) Monetary benchmarks which estimate the maximum present net value of those resources hj^ing an established market value or an assigned value.
Additional analysis is made of the current level of goods and
services produced by the forest along with future demand
projections for these goods and services.
5. Formulation of Alternatives Alternatives are formulated by the interdisciplinary team. The alternatives must satisfy several requirements:
- be distributed between minimum and maximum resource potentials;
- be formulated to allow an evaluation of benefits, costs, and environmental trade-offs;
- offer different ways to respond to the issues identified in step
- be reasonable, but can require a change in a law or policy to
- one alternative will carry out the RPA Program (the national level plan);
- one alternative will show the current output of goods and services.
6. Estimated Effects of Alternatives Estimates and comparisons of the physical, biological, economic, and social effects of implementing each alternative are examined in detail.
7. Evaluation of Alternatives An evaluation of the aggregate effects of the alternatives is made by the interdisciplinary team. The evaluation includes a comparison of the present net value, socio-economic impacts, outputs, and protection and enhancement of the environment.
8. Preferred Alternative Recommendation A preferred alternative
is selected by the Forest Supervisor, based on the
interdisciplinary team's evaluation, and is recommended to the Regional Forester. The preferred alternative is displayed as the proposed plan in the draft environmental impact statement.
9. Plan Approval The proposed plan and final environmental statement are reviewed and approved or rejected by the Regional Forester.
10. Monitoring and Evaluation After implementation, the plan is evaluated periodically to determine how well objectives are being achieved and how closely management standards and guidelines are being applied.
Amendment and Revision
A Forest Supervisor can amend a forest plan. If the change is significant, the complete planning process is followed. For
insignificant changes, appropriate public notification and
conformance to the National Environmental Policy Act are required.
Forest plans are revised every 10 to 15 years, or when policies, conditions or demands change significantly. Revisions do not become effective until the whole planning process has been completed.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICIES
The Code of Federal Regulations outlines forest planning guidelines for resource management. These guidelines provide comprehensive requirements for specific resources.
The suitability of timber resource lands is to be considered during the planning process. An area can be deemed unsuitable for
timber activities because: 1. the land is not forest land; 2. no technology is available to permit timber production; 3. the land cannot be restocked with trees; 4. the land has been withdrawn from timber production by the Forest Service or acts of Congress. Vegetation management practices are to be defined in the forest plan, along with standards, guidelines and the reason for their choice. A timber sale schedule for each alternative is to be included in the plan with the allowable sale quantity.
Recommendations of roadless areas for potential wilderness designation within and adjacent to the forest on federal lands will be considered during plan revision. However, areas not
designated for wilderness of further planning will be managed for other uses until a forest plan revision takes place. Wilderness management practices such as limiting visitor use and control of wildfire, insects, and disease for designated wilderness and
primitive areas are included in forest plans. Areas having unique biologic, aquatic, or geologic characteristics are identified
during the planning process for establishment of Research Natural Areas. Forest planning is to provide for a diversity of plant and animal communities and tree species while conforming to the
multiple-use objectives of the forest.
Fish and Wildlife
Fish and wildlife habitat management is aimed at maintaining viable populations of existing native and desired non-native species. All the alternatives are to consider habitat and population trends. Critical habitat for threatened and endangered species will be identified and protective measure prescribed.
The ability of the forest to produce wildlife habitat and forage for grazing animals will be determined during forest planning. Prescriptions for managing and restoring rangelands will be proposed in the alternatives.
Forest planning is to identify the suitability of land for recreation, recreation preferences of users, and opportunities for recreation. All alternatives are to consider recreation facility establishment, regulation of use, and present and future demands for recreation. Also, management of the visual resource and off-road vehicles is to be considered in forest plans.
Several concerns are recognized during forest planning: active mines, outstanding or reserved mineral rights, probable occurrence of minerals, potential for future mineral development, access, and effects of other resource management practices on
CASE STUDY: LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE GRAND MESA, UNCOMPAHGRE AND GUNNISON NATIONAL FORESTS
A total of 2,953,186 acres of land in western Colorado are in the Grand Mesa (346,141 acres), Uncompahgre (944,241 acres), and Gunnison National Forests (1,662,804 acres). The three forests are divided into ten ranger districts for administrative purposes. Portions of ten counties are included in the forests. Major cities in the area are Delta, Grand Junction, Gunnison, and Montrose. Vegetation varies from pinyon-juniper and sagebrush in the lower mountains to coniferous forests and alpine vegetation in the higher mountains. Three major rivers flow through the region: the Gunnison, the Uncompahgre, and the San Miguel.
Two documents were used for the case study of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests. They were the final environmental impact statement^ and the land and resource management plan.^
As required by the regulations, ten steps were used to prepare the forest plan:
Identification of Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities.
Development of Planning Criteria.
Inventory Data and Information Collection.
Analysis of the Management Situation.
Formulation of Alternatives.
Estimated Effects of Alternatives.
Evaluation of Alternatives and Identification of Preferred Alternative.
Selection of the Preferred Alternative (or Proposed Alternative).
Implementation of the Forest Plan. ^g
Monitoring and Evaluation of the Forest Plan.
Issues and management concerns were consolidated into planning
questions. For example:
PLANNING QUESTION 1:
How much and what type of recreation should the Grand Mesa, U^ompahgre, National Forests provide?
opportunities and Gunnison
Seventeen planning questions were presented on:
* recreation opportunities roadless, non-wilderness recreation
* wilderness management fish and wildlife habitat
* proposed wilderness areas
* livestock forage
* municipal watersheds
* mineral development
* utility corridors
* cultural resources
* visual resources
* big game forage
* management of forest products
* demand for water
* transportation system in the forest
* boundary changes
* private lands
Twelve steps were used to formulate alternatives; the first five steps of the required planning process were expanded to these 12 steps:
1. Identification of issues;
2. Formulation of planning questions;
3. Development of multiple use management prescriptions;
4. Data collection;
5. Determine locations for applying management prescriptions;
6. Estimation of potential production levels through benchmark analysis;
7. Estimation of supply and demand levels for various resources;
8. Development of a range of alternatives;
9. Estimation of goods and services produced by each alternative;
10. Review and checking of land management allocations, output schedules, effects, and alleviation of management conflicts;
11. Mapping and reanalysis of land management allocations;
12. Definition of a resonable rage of cost-effective alternatives. A very quantitative approach was used to formulate alternatives. Much emphasis was placed on determining costs and benefits of outputs and the cost-effectiveness of alternatives. In addition, the alternatives had to meet several criteria based on the regulations:
- all alternatives can be achieved;
- a "no action" alternative is to be included;
- all alternatives will reduce the backlog of treatments needed to restore renewable resources;
- every public issue and management concern is addressed by at least one alternative;
- each alternative maximizes cost-efficiency while meeting the
objectives of the alternative;
- all alternatives are to display:
1. conditions and uses after long-term management,
2. goods and services produced,
3. standards and guidelines for managing resources,
4. management goals (purpose);
- mitigation measures for adverse environmental effects as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Nine alternatives were described in the final environmental impact statement. Differences between some of the alternatives are slight.
** Alternative 1 Proposed Action **
Emphasis is placed on market outputs benefitting the local and regional economics.
** Alternative 2 Current Program, No Action **
Present programs are continued with some changes to comply with the National Forest Management Act and regional policy.
** Alternative 3 1980 RPA Program (based on national level plan)
Emphasis is on providing the forests' share of outputs to meet
local, regional, and national demand for goods and services.
** Alternative 4 Non-Market Opportunities **
Special attention is given to trail management, wilderness, and habitat improvement.
** Alternative 5 Market Opportunities **
Similar purpose as Alternative 1.
** Alternative 6 Non-Market Opportunities **
Similar purpose as Alternative 4.
** Alternative 7 Market Opportunities **
Similar purpose as Alternatives 1 and 5.
** Alternative 8 Water Yield **
Efforts are aimed at increasing water yield through vegetation treatment.
** Alternative 9 Reduced Budget **
Emphasis is placed on market outputs with a 25 percent reduced budget based on fiscal year 1982.
Table 6 shows a comparison sample of output levels for the alternatives. Market outputs like water, grazing, and timber have