Federal Land Management Planning in Arizona
How can you influence Federal Land Management?
Ensure that you have a say in decisions being considered for federal lands by asking to be added to the Federal Agency’s ‘interested party’ distribution list, attending public meetings, and providing written comments. The Forest Service and BLM planning processes include a public input component. This webpage is designed as a resource for you to find out information about Forest Service and BLM planning efforts statewide. Contact information and webpage information are provided so that you can be directly engaged with each office and planning effort. Updated information about upcoming public meetings and documents released for public comment will be posted on this page as the information becomes available.
What is Federal Travel Management?
Faced with increasing motor vehicle use and growing numbers of off-road vehicle enthusiasts, the U.S. Forest Service in Washington D.C. issued (in 2005) new federal regulations called the Travel Management Rule to provide for recreational access while protecting forest resources. These new regulations required each national forest to develop a Travel Management Plan to identify and designate those roads, trails, and areas that are open to motor vehicle use. The Bureau of Land Management is also similarly revising Resource Management Plans and Travel Management Plans for lands under its jurisdiction.
Federal Land Management Planning Status – Monthly Updates
Current Opportunities for Public Participation
BLM to host two additional public meetings (Feb. 11 and Feb. 21) regarding recreational target shooting management at Sonoran Desert National Monument. Read more for times and locations.
The Coronado National Forest is seeking public input on restructuring the Coronado National Forest Developed Recreation Program; public meetings will be held Jan. 31-Feb.25.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages off-highway vehicle enthusiasts who utilize Bureau of Land Management lands to participate in a series of workshops organized by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council. Jan. 23-28, 2017 meetings aim to shape future off-highway vehicle recreation on BLM land.
The Bureau of Land Management will conduct three public information meetings Jan. 19-21, 2017, regarding recreational target shooting management alternatives for the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
Tonto National Forest meeting (1/12/17, 6-7 p.m.) with Town of Superior mayor, town council and interested member of the public regarding development of the Congressionally mandated Apache Leap Special Management Area
Sonoran Desert National Monument–BLM seeks public input on target shooting management. The release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment kicks off a 90-day public comment period.
Fish and Wildlife Service. On December 14, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule revising the regulations for permits for incidental take of eagles and take of eagle nests
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – Planning 2.0. BLM is amending its regulations that establish the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is amending regulations pertaining to the National Forest System Land Management Planning
Coronado National Forest: Public Comment Period for Proposed Changes to the Motorized Travel System – Nogales Ranger District
Navajo Generating Station-Kayenta Mine Complex Project – Public Comments Draft EIS. Document to be published in the Federal Register on 11/21/2016 and available online, and on FDsys.gov.
The Tonto National Forest has created the tontoplan.org website for a more interactive, collaborative effort to revise the Land and Resource Management Plan
Past Opportunities – Information
How do travel management rules affect outdoor recreationists?
The new Travel Management Plans and accompanying Travel Management Rules in the national forests affect hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists, as they establish open and closed roads and can place certain restrictions on public access, dispersed camping, and motorized retrieval of big game.
The restrictions require motor vehicles to stay on designated roads, trails and areas as shown on a Motor Vehicle Map. For forests that have implemented their Travel Management Rules, these free Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available at Forest Service offices or electronically on smartphone and mobile devices. Contact information for the different Forest Service offices is below.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department have expressed concerns including inconsistencies across the different forests that cause confusion among outdoor recreationists, excessive restriction on the public’s ability to have reasonable access for recreation (including motorized retrieval of legally downed big game), and the potential impacts the new rules could have on the Department’s ability to meet wildlife management objectives.
Does the Arizona Game and Fish Commission have a position on Federal Travel Management Rules?
Below is the Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s official position on federal Travel Management Rules:
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is responsible for management of all wildlife on public lands. Wildlife is held in trust for the public and access should not be denied or restricted without cause.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission recognizes and promotes multiple use on public lands managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Every citizen should have access to their multiple use public lands unless there are reasons to deny access founded in sound science and affirmative analysis, and not a presumption of harm.
It is the policy of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to place a high priority on conserving existing access and modes of access for hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting, wildlife watching, OHV use, dispersed camping and other responsible forms of outdoor recreation; and to place a high priority on improving access upon such lands in areas of the State where access is currently difficult or nonexistent.
It is unacceptable for a federal multiple use land management agency to establish regulations that the public cannot understand; that the federal land manager cannot effectively enforce; or that the land manager imposed upon state and local enforcement authorities an unreasonable and unenforceable mandate that denies reasonable and sufficient access to citizens. The Department will actively advocate for access issues and seek to maintain the Commission’s legal standing to seek remedies for decisions that injure the Department’s ability to meet the Commission’s strategic objectives for wildlife management or management of recreational activities under the Commission’s jurisdiction.
USFS Land Use and Travel Management Planning Rules and Background
- View the 2005 Planning Rule (within the Federal Register)
- 1982 Planning Rule
- National Forest Management Act – 1976
- Travel Management
- Apache Sitgreaves National Forest
- Coronado National Forests
- Tonto National Forests
- Coconino National Forests
- Prescott National Forests
- Kaibab National Forests
Bureau of Land Management Planning
Arizona State Office
One North Central Avenue, Suite 800
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4427
Phone: (602) 417-9200
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Arizona State Office http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html
One North Central Avenue, Suite 800
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4427
Phone: (602) 417-9200
- Arizona Strip Field Office
- Hassayampa Field Office
- Kingman Field Office
- Lake Havasu Field Office
- Lower Sonoran Field Office
- Safford Field Office
- Tucson Field Office
- Yuma Field Office
- National Conservation Lands
- Wild Horses and Burros