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BLM Seeks Comments on American Prairie Reserve Bison EA/FONSI - MT
On September 24, 2019, the American Prairie Reserve (APR) submitted a proposal to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requesting the BLM modify certain terms and conditions of BLM-administered grazing permits held by the APR in Montana. The proposal focuses on seven allotments in Phillips County, Montana.
BLM has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the American Prairie Reserve's Bison Change of Use proposal, accompanied by a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Given the significance of the change in use of these permits, PLC will be submitting comments in support of local permittees.
The public comment period has been extended, and individuals can submit comments electronically through September 28, 2021.
USFWS Seeks Input on Bald & Golden Eagle Take Permit Process
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has opened a 45-day public comment period on how to improve the permitting process for incidental take of bald and golden eagles. The USFWS is required to manage a take permitting process that is consistent with their goals of recovery and sustained populations, but ranchers know the permitting process is due for some significant reconsideration.
The permitting process was last revised in 2016, and is still an often-discussed challenge as ranchers try to protect their calves and lambs during sensitive periods. The 45-day public comment period will elapse on October 29, 2021.
The USFWS is seeking feedback on a few specific things:
- Specific protocols, processes, requirements, or other aspects of the current permitting process that hinder permit application, processing, or implementation.
- Costs and time investments for permits, including any additional guidance, protocols, analyses, tools, or other efficiencies that the Service develop that would reduce the time and/or cost associated with applying for, implementing, and conducting monitoring associated with long-term permits for incidental take of eagles under existing regulations.
- Targeted revisions to existing regulations consistent with the overall permitting framework and PEIS that would reduce the time and/or cost associated with applying for and processing long-term permits.
- Potential new regulatory approaches to authorizing incidental take under the Eagle Act, particularly for projects that can be shown in advance to have minimal impacts on eagles, that would reduce the time and/or cost associated with applying for and operating under long-term permits for incidental take of eagles.
Additionally, the Service is seeking data:
- To estimate the current industry costs on pre-application/pre-construction surveys for eagles, monitoring requirements of the permit itself, including paying for required third party monitors, and compensatory mitigation.
- How costs will change if additional efficiencies are implemented.
- Regarding the number and type of small businesses affected, the scale and nature of economic effects in the current permitting process, and how costs would change for small businesses if additional efficiencies are implemented.
Comments will be accepted online only – not by email or fax.
Should you need assistance submitting comments, please contact Kaitlynn Glover (email@example.com).