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BLM and DOE Coordination through the Uranium Leasing Program . Presented by Mitchell Leverette, Bureau of Land Management Washington, DC. Agencies Acres * % fed land BLM (DOI) 261 41% Forest Service (DOA ) 191 30%

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Blm and doe coordination through the uranium leasing program

BLM and DOE Coordination through the Uranium Leasing Program

Presented by

Mitchell Leverette,

Bureau of Land Management

Washington, DC

Who manages the federal lands

Agencies Acres*% fed land

BLM (DOI) 261 41%

Forest Service (DOA) 191 30%

Fish & Wildlife Service (DOI) 93 15%

National Park Service (DOI) 84 13%

Dept. of Defense/Corp of Eng _122%

Totals: 641 100%

*Acres in millions

Who Manages The Federal Lands?

Bureau of land management
Bureau of Land Management

  • Created in 1946 from merger of the Taylor Grazing Service (1934) and the General Land Office (1812)

  • Manages 261million acres of public lands (1/8 of U.S. landmass) and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate. Most BLM land is in the West (12 states)

  • Earns $ 4 billion in revenues from Energy and Minerals royalties

  • 10,000 employees nationwide

  • $ 1 Billion Budget

History of uranium leasing program
History of Uranium Leasing Program

The Uranium Leasing Program (ULP) began in the 1940s (after BLM was created).

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) authorized to withdraw lands from public use to reserve of uranium and vanadium ores.

In the 1970s, the emphasis for the ULP switched from national defense to preserving the domestic uranium industry and infrastructure in support of commercial nuclear power.

Land withdrawals

Land Withdrawals

Bureau of Land Management

Blm and doe coordination through the uranium leasing program

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 CONSTITUTION states :

“The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting territory or other properties belonging to the United States…”

Definitions and laws
Definitions and Laws

  • Segregation

  • Public Land Laws

  • United States Mining Laws

  • Mineral Leasing Laws

  • Geothermal Leasing Laws

  • 1947 Mineral Materials





Early in Nation’s history, Executive Branch was making permanent withdrawals.



Military Reservations

National Parks

Bird Reserves

Federal land policy management act flpma 1976
Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA)(1976)

Landmark legislation that changed the operations of BLM by providing a multiple-use framework for managing America’s public lands by focusing on the needs of present and futuregenerations.

BLM is required to consider the long term needs of present and future generations when making important decisions in the management of renewable and nonrenewableresources, including recreation, timber, minerals, watershed, fish, wildlife, rangeland, etc.

Defined BLM’s mission as one of multiple-use, a new concept for the time, but which today stands as our agency’s great strength.

Provided BLM with the tools it needed to cooperatively and creatively manage the public lands, and in the process, dispel the notion that a variety of uses and resources cannot co-exist.

Federal land policy management act flpma 19761
Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) (1976)


FLPMA provides detailed procedures for withdrawing land depending on the size of the area to be withdrawn and whether the withdrawal is being made on an emergency basis.

Withdrawals under the FLPMA are temporary (20 year maximum).

Congressional action is necessary to make withdrawals permanent.



  • Sec 704(a) ­ Repealed Most Authorities

  • Section 204 ­ Consolidates Authority

  • 20 year limit

  • Congressional Acts

Blm doi authorities
BLM/DOI Authorities

  • 603 D.M. 1 - Department of Interior Policy

  • 43 C.F.R. 2300 – BLM Withdrawal Regulations

  • Interagency Memorandums of Understanding

Purpose of withdrawals
Purpose of Withdrawals

  • Management tool encumbering land title

  • Segregates lands from some or all public land, mining, or mineral leasing laws.

  • Transfers land Administration from one Agency to another.

Decision analysis process for withdrawals
Decision Analysis Process for Withdrawals

  • Classify the Proposed Action

  • Review for Plan Consistency

  • Determine Cost

  • Identify Staff

  • Develop Project Timeline

Agency roles and responsibilities where blm issued withdrawals in support of ulp
Agency Roles and Responsibilities where BLM Issued Withdrawals in support of ULP

  • DOE is the managing federal agency for the ULP and is responsible for administering the program, including the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental requirements.

  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as the federal surface-management agency, is responsible for managing all non-DOE lease-related activities (oil and gas, grazing, recreation, etc.) that occur on these public lands.

Grand junction fo activity
Grand Junction FO Activity Withdrawals in support of ULP

• 1.2 million surface acres

• 1.6 million subsurface acres – This includes split-estate (178,857 acres) and U.S. Forest Service (378,222 acres) minerals in addition to the subsurface acres.

• 27 recreation sites (3 picnic areas, 2 camping areas, 3 river access sites)

• 2 Recreation Management Areas; North Fruita Desert and Bang’s Canyon

• 4 Wilderness Study Areas (98,347 acres)

• 2 Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways: Unaweep-Tabeguache and Grand Mesa

• 1 National Scenic Byway: Dinosaur Diamond

• 575,000 acres of woodlands

• 9 endangered, threatened, and candidate species (7 listed, 2 candidates)

• 290 miles of perennial streams and rivers

• 1,198,262 acres available for oil and gas leasing

• 1 million acres of big game habitat

• 1,184,781 million acres grazed by livestock

• 1 wild horse management area Mesa, Garfield, Montrose and Delta Counties

Questions Withdrawals in support of ULP

  • Institutional Controls (acknowledging, compatibility)

  • Inconsistency in surface management of withdrawn lands

  • UMTRCA withdrawal vsFLPMA withdrawals

  • Can BLM process an administrative withdrawal on behalf of DOE

  • Adequate communications and sharing of scientific and environmental information

Future plans
Future Plans Withdrawals in support of ULP

  • DOE and BLM will discuss these issue on a National level

  • Encourage development of MOUs between DOE and BLM where management responsibilities are shared on same ground

  • BLM should use established MOUs as models for new MOUs (i.e., BLM CO MOU, NRC MOU)