US Bureau of Land Management Mitigation Policy

In September of 2008, the US Bureau of Land Management issued an instructional memorandum broadening the scope of offsite mitigation in conjunction with BLM oil, gas, geothermal, and energy rights-of-way. The agency overseas 700 million acres of public land, and requires mitigation 'to an acceptable level' that lasts as long as the impact. While BLM still has a preference to mitigate on-site through avoidance, minimization, remediation, or reduction of impacts over time, off-site mitigation may be allowed on a case-by-case basis (often for larger developments like oil and gas fields, roads, pipeline, etc.) The Nature Conservancy is working to apply its 'Development by Design' framework at several project sites to support effective implementation of BLM's offsite mitigation policy. The framework was first applied to guide disbursement of mitigation funds in the Jonah Natural Gas Field in Wyoming in 2006 and follow-on pilots in the US West are planning to incorporate the framework earlier 2.

Program Statistics

Date Established: 2008 Status: Active Program Type: One-Off Offset
About the program:
Annual size of program (area): (acre) Year of Data:
Cumulative size of program (area): (acre) Years of Data: -
Annual payments of program (US$): 24,500,000 Year of Data: 2006
Cumulative payments of program (US$): 24,500,000 Years of Data: 2006 -
Notes on program size or payments:

The program size /cumulative program payments is at minimum $24.5 million. This is a published figure from a pilot project (Jonah Natural Gas Field, WY) in which the BLM authorized development with the stipulation that the permittee had to set aside an off-site mitigation fund of $24.5 million. Joseph M Kiesecker, Holly Copeland, Amy Pocewicz, and Bruce McKenney, “Development by design: blending landscape-level planning with the mitigation hierarchy,” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (August 20, 2009).

Species or habitat types (if applicable):
Bank regulator information: U.S. Bureau of Land Management Last Updated: October 1, 2010