The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Imperial Sand Dunes Proposed Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The RAMP also includes proposed amendments to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan. The RAMP provides guidance for the management of approximately 215,000 acres of BLM-administered public lands in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) and surrounding public lands in southeastern Imperial County, Calif.
The notice of availability of the Proposed RAMP and FEIS will be also be published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in theFederal Register on September 14, 2012, which initiates a protest period of 30 days ending Oct. 14, 2012. Following a Governor’s Consistency Review, and resolution of any protests, the BLM will issue a Record of Decision on the RAMP. The RAMP and associated CDCA Plan amendment addresses the recreation area’s high level of visitation and its potential impact on recreation, biological resources, wilderness, areas of critical environmental concern (ACECs), cultural resources, renewable energy, and public health and safety. The proposed plan includes measures to protect critical habitat for the threatened Peirson’s Milkvetch and provide recreation opportunities for the thousands of visitors to the ISDRA.
The BLM released the Draft RAMP and Draft EIS in March 2010, and held three public-comment meetings in April 2010 in California and Arizona, receiving more than 4,000 comments. The Proposed RAMP includes eight alternatives, which were developed to address public, agency, and Native American tribal comments, and are analyzed in the Final EIS.