The WEMO planning area is one of three major planning areas within the 12-million acre, 1976 congressionally-designated, California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA). The CDCA Plan is based on land-use management by geographic zones, i.e. the types of uses that are appropriate in light of existing resource values. Since 1976, the listing of federal and state endangered species within the CDCA, and the passage of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act (CDPA), has affected the land management of millions of acres of public lands in the CDCA.
In 2006, the BLM approved a comprehensive amendment to the West Mojave area of the CDCA Plan. In a 2006 Western Mojave Record of Decision (WEMO ROD) the BLM amended the CDCA Plan and modified its motorized vehicle management decisions, including off-highway vehicle (OHV) route designation, on more than 3 million acres of public land within the CDCA. The 2006 WEMO ROD approved the designation of 5,098 miles of motorized vehicle routes without specifically changing the language of the 1980 CDCA plan.
Preliminary planning criteria include the following:
1. The plan amendment will comply with FLPMA, NEPA, and all other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
2. For program-specific guidance for decisions at the land use planning level, the process will follow the BLM's policies in the Land Use Planning Handbook, H-1601-1 and Manual Section 1626, Travel and Transportation Management.
3. Public participation and collaboration will be an integral part of the planning process.
4. The BLM will strive to make decisions in the plan compatible with the existing plans and policies of adjacent local, State, and Federal agencies and local American Indian tribes, as long as the decisions are consistent with the purposes, policies, and programs of Federal law and regulations applicable to public lands.
5. The plan amendment will incorporate, where applicable and appropriate, management decisions brought forward from existing planning documents.
6. The BLM will work collaboratively with cooperating agencies and all other interested groups, agencies, and individuals.
7. GIS and metadata information will meet Federal Geographic Data Committee standards, as required by Executive Order 12906. All other applicable BLM data standards will also be followed.
8. The planning process will provide for ongoing consultation with American Indian tribes and strategies for protecting recognized traditional uses, e.g., gathering of traditionally used plant materials.
9. The plan amendment will focus on developing language for the WEMO area that conforms to the goals of the Motorized Vehicle Access Element of the CDCA Plan as described in the 1982 Plan Amendment 3.
The BLM will utilize and coordinate the NEPA commenting process to
satisfy the public involvement process for Section 106 of the National
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)), as provided for in
36 CFR 800.2(d)(3).
Tribal consultations will be conducted in
accordance with policy, and tribal concerns including impacts on Indian
trust assets, if any, will be given due consideration. Federal, State,
and local agencies, along with other stakeholders that may be
interested or affected by the BLM's decision on this proposed plan
amendment or implementation decisions, are invited to participate in
the scoping process, and the whole of the public involvement process.
Tribal consultations will be conducted in accordance with policy, and tribal concerns including impacts on Indian trust assets, if any, will be given due consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with other stakeholders that may be interested or affected by the BLM's decision on this proposed plan amendment or implementation decisions, are invited to participate in the scoping process, and the whole of the public involvement process.