BLM proposes amendment to Buffalo Field Office Management plan 

May 16, 2024

BUFFALO, Wyo. – The Bureau of Land Management has issued a final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) and proposed amendment to its Buffalo Field Office land use plan. Release of the final SEIS and proposed amendment opens a 30-day public protest period.

The BLM developed the SEIS and plan amendment in response to a 2022 order from the United States District Court for the District of Montana. The BLM’s proposed alternative, Alternative A, would amend the 2015 Buffalo Field Office resource management plan and make BLM-managed coal resources in the planning areas unavailable for future leasing. Federal coal production is anticipated to continue through 2041 under existing leases.

As required by the court’s order, the supplemental analysis evaluates alternatives for federal coal leasing in the Buffalo Field Office and includes updated information and analysis regarding the health impacts, both climate and non-climate, of developing fossil fuels in the area. The 12 active surface coal mines within the Buffalo Field Office produced approximately 220 million short tons of federal coal in 2022, down from roughly 400 million tons in 2008.

Both U.S. total coal production and Powder River Basin coal production peaked in 2008 and have since declined steeply, according to the Energy Information Administration. Written protests must be received by June 17, 2024. Please visit the BLM Filing a Plan Protest page for instructions. To review the proposed resource management plan amendment and associated analysis, visit the BLM National NEPA Register. For more information, contact project manager Tom Bills at 307-684 1133.

Source: Bureau of Land Management