BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – The Bureau of Land Management issued a Record of Decision for the Four Rivers Field Office Resource Management Plan Friday.
The plan provides guidelines and objectives for renewable energy development, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, livestock management and other uses across approximately 783,000 acres of public lands and more than 1.17 million acres of Federal mineral estate in southwest Idaho.
The decision also designates the new 120,000-acre Bennett Hills Backcountry Conservation Area (BCA), the first BCA in Idaho, to promote high quality, wildlife-dependent recreation activities while supporting the BLM’s multiple-use and sustained yield mission. The BLM estimates this plan could generate more than 700 jobs annually across the recreation, agriculture, and energy industries.
“We are pleased to announce the Record of Decision for the Four Rivers Resource Management Plan,” BLM Boise District Manager Tanya Thrift said. “This plan will balance the tremendous demand to use public lands with the conservation of these lands and resources into the future. We appreciate the involvement of Tribal Nations, Federal, State and local government partners, stakeholders, and the public in crafting the final plan.”
The BLM updated the plan to separate management of oil and gas from geothermal resources and prioritize BLM resources in areas with high potential for oil and gas. Under this plan, areas with low and no potential are now closed for oil and gas leasing to reduce speculative nominations and protect sensitive resources in these areas. High and moderate oil and gas potential areas remain open to leasing. Geothermal leasing opportunities will be unaffected from the previous plan.
This decision replaces the 1988 Cascade Resource Management Plan, the 1983 Kuna Management Framework Plan and the portion of the 1987 Jarbidge Resource Management Plan encompassing BLM-managed public lands within the jurisdiction of the Four Rivers Field Office. The decision and plan are available at the BLM National NEPA Register.