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  • Writer's pictureLee Hart

Valentine's Day is big day for public comment on BLM recreation lands EIS and management plan revision

Draft EIS on status of 28 million acres of public lands. From now through Feb. 14, the Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to consider lifting the withdrawals (aka "removing protections") on 28 million acres in Alaska stretching from Haines to Point Hope.  These lands have been protected for half a century and support a wide range of recreation access and opportunities, including hiking, camping, skiing, mushing, mountaineering, motorized access, fishing, hunting, and more.

Recreation on BLM lands in Alaska is big business:

  • Recreation on BLM lands in Alaska generated $53.6 million in FY 2021.

  • The outdoor industry contributes more than $2.6 billion to the state’s economyand employs upwards of 21,000 people annually.

Individuals and outdoor businesses interesting in learning more and weighing in can click here.  Reminder: deadline for public comment is Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Castner Glacier. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input to develop a recreation plan for managing the Castner Glacier area to better serve some 12,000 annual visitors and the growing demand for recreation opportunities there. The approximately 4,695-acre Castner Glacier area provides year-round outdoor recreation and glacier viewing opportunities in a natural setting. The area is 48 miles from Delta Junction and 104 miles from the BLM’s Glennallen Field Office and includes little infrastructure development or basic services. This scoping period that kicks off Feb. 14, provides the public the opportunity to submit ideas, comments, and concerns for the BLM to consider when developing this management plan and environmental assessment. In a press release, the BLM encourages the public to consider the following questions when commenting:  

  • What types of recreation activities and opportunities are suitable for Castner Glacier? 

  • To what extent should use permits be modified, enhanced, and/or expanded? 

  • What limitations and restrictions, if any, are needed? 

The scoping period for Castner Glacier project runs from Feb. 13 to March 14. A virtual public meeting is scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m. Pre-register to attend the virtual meeting via the BLM National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Register project webpage. The public may also review all meeting materials and submit comment on the same project webpage by clicking on the green “participate now” link.

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