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Cooperating Agency & Coordination: Key Tools for Managing Public Lands

Posted Date: 
June 19, 2012
Cynthia Moses-Nedd, Department of the Interior Liason

Special to NACo's "County News"

Strong intergovernmental partnerships yield positive outcomes.Building bridges across the local, state, tribal and federal government divide benefits all.

Any successful partnership or collaboration must have as its basis an engaging, mutually respectful relationship, particularly when it comes to working across local, state and federal government boundaries. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has led the way in establishing a culture of cooperation, collaboration and partnership in its land use planning process and in its day-to-day interaction with its county, city, state and tribal partners

Land-managing agencies are required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to work in concert with theirintergovernmental partners to balance environmental concerns with the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. The goal is one that reaches beyond the here and now, and across the span of time — “to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.”

Engaging elected officials as cooperating agencies in the land use planning process as provided for by NEPA and guided by the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations, provides a key tool to facilitate the work between governmental entities. The Federal Land Management Policy Act (FLPMA) guides the BLM’s coordination and consistency requirements so that, where possible, non-BLM plans are taken into consideration as BLM develops its resource management plans and environmental impact statements.

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Cynthia Moses-Nedd |