Description: Challenge to vegetation management plan on BLM-administered lands in southern Utah.
In re Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/16/2019 Order Download BLM's decision set aside and remanded. Board of Land Appeals Set Aside BLM Vegetation Management Plan in Southern Utah but Rejected Challengers’ Climate Change Arguments. The Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) rejected claims that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to take a hard look at greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts of a vegetation management project on 54,018 acres northeast of Kanab, Utah. But IBLA set aside approval of the project because it found both that BLM failed to consider the project’s cumulative effects on migratory birds and that BLM approved the use of non-native seed in ways that were inconsistent with the applicable land use plan. Regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, BLM concluded that greenhouse gas emission factors were not sufficiently refined for quantifying emissions at the project level without site-specific measurements and data, which meant BLM could neither quantify nor assess specific climate change impacts due to project emissions that were below EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting threshold of 25,000 tons per year. IBLA said it was satisfied with BLM’s explanation for why a detailed analysis or quantification of emissions and climate change impacts would not be feasible or useful. IBLA also said the quantification of emissions for a project in Oregon did not necessarily mean BLM could quantify similar emissions from this project.