RAPID/BulkTransmission/Land Use/Federal

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Bulk Transmission Land Use in Federal

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Federal Land Use Process

Land use plans are used by federal agencies to manage public lands. They form the basis for every action and approved use of those lands. Different agencies will refer to land use plans by different names, but all land use plans serve the same purpose: to dictate what actions can and cannot be taken on the managed unit of land. Nonconforming uses require a land use plan be amended or revised before a right-of-way or special use permit can be authorized.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers roughly 258 million acres of public lands and 700 million acres of mineral estates in the United States. BLM’s land use planning authority is found in Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and many other public laws. FLPMA requires the BLM to develop and maintain land use plans called Resource Management Plans (RMPs) that cover individual planning units. Most RMPs contain specific management practices concerning areas where transmission line placement is not permitted. These areas are generally identified as exclusion areas.

The BLM’s RMPs form the basis of every action and approved use on BLM-managed public lands. The BLM prepares RMPs for areas of public lands, called planning areas, which tend to have similar resource characteristics. Planning emphasizes a collaborative environment in which local, state, and tribal governments, the public, user groups, and industries work with the BLM to identify appropriate multiple uses of the public lands. Plans are periodically revised as changing conditions and resource demands require.

United States Forest Service

About 192 million acres of lands are managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) in accordance with the requirements of the National Forest Management Act of 1976. The land use plans, called Land Management Plans (LMPs), are prepared and implemented for each National Forest. The USFS LMPs identify areas administratively open for leasing and whether those areas should be leased.

Proposed uses on BLM or USFS land must be consistent with the land use plan, or a right-of-way application will not be approved.

Policies & Regulations

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