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BLM-Alaska releases eastern interior environmental impact statement

Posted: March 2, 2012 - 1:08am

ANCHORAGE — The Bureau of Land Management in Alaska announced this week the release of the Eastern Interior Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment.

When finalized, the plan will provide future direction for approximately 6.7 million acres of BLM-administered public land, including the White Mountains National Recreation Area, Steese National Conservation Area and Fortymile area, three wild and scenic rivers, and lands in the upper Black River and greater Fairbanks area currently not included in a land use plan.

“The Eastern Interior plan outlines the present and future use of some of the most diverse and unique public lands in Alaska.” said Bud Cribley, BLM-Alaska State Director. “Within the Eastern Interior are areas and resources that are important to our economy, to subsistence, to recreation, and for conservation.”

A 150-day public comment period for the Draft RMP/EIS began on Feb. 24. The public is invited to provide comments about the draft plan and its alternatives.

“Public involvement and participation is critical to the success of this plan and to our ability to make decisions regarding the management of the land and resources within the Eastern Interior” Cribley said. “We hope that people will take this opportunity to add their input and take an active role in decisions that will affect the management of their public lands.”

Comments must be received by July 23 to be considered. There are three ways the public can submit written comments:

• In person at public meetings in communities within the planning area. The BLM will announce the meeting dates, times and specific locations through news releases and on the BLM website at www.blm.gov/ak,

• By mail to the BLM Eastern Interior Field Office, Attn: Eastern Interior Draft RMP/EIS, 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, AK, 99709, and

• Online by accessing the BLM’s ePlanning System, at www.blm.gov/ak.

For information about the Eastern Interior planning process, visit www.blm.gov/ak or contact the BLM at 907-474-2340 or 800-437-7021 (within Alaska).

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