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Site Content Last Revised March2015
WHAT IS THE NEED?
The majority (66.5%) of Utah is public land managed by federal agencies. The Resource Management Plans (RMPs) developed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service (LRMPs) are the basis for nearly all natural resource management policy and decision-making activities that affect federal lands. Because the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) mandates that these RMPs are to be consistent with state and local plans "to the maximum extent...consistent with federal law...," it is essential that counties develop their own resource management plans to reflect local perspectives and desires for the natural resource, landscape, or use in question.
To help counties develop effective local resource management plans, the State of Utah has developed a County Resource Management Plan Toolkit, which is available to all Utah counties via the Internet.
HOW WILL THIS HELP?
The County Resource Management Plan Toolkit is designed around the same structure that is used in federal resource management plans. By using this same structure it will be easier to compare county RMPs with federal RMPs, and it will increase the usefulness and impact of county plans in federal planning processes.
This structure centers around three important planning elements: Descriptions of the Existing Condition; Descriptions of the Desired Future Condition, and; Methods for monitoring progress in moving from the existing condition to the desired future condition.
This structure can be applied to numerous management issues and concerns, but it becomes particularly useful when counties apply it to specific landscapes, specific resources, and specific uses on public lands, such as a specific watershed, a specific resource occurrence, or a specific recreation area.
For each specific landscape, resource, or issue, the Toolkit will help counties describe the existing condition with appropriate data, assist the county in describing it's vision for a desired future condition based on scientific analysis and the supporting legal framework, and will provide examples of how to monitor progress towards achieving the county's desired future condition.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Effective resource management plans are created using a reasonable, logical, data-driven public process. A successful plan is one that is Coordinated, Credible, and Clear. The resources provided in this tool support this three-C’s approach.
The instructions section provides guidance on how a local government can follow the three-C’s approach, follow a logical planning process, and develop a usable document structure.
The resources section provides guidance on some of the more common resources (e.g. forests, ranching, tourism, etc.) important to Utah communities, what to consider when examining existing and desired conditions, and resources to help gather the needed data.
In the template section, you’ll be able to download a simple document structure with basic guidance on each section.
In the example section, you’ll find a link to the latest draft of Kane County’s resource management plan, other published county resource management plans, as well as an example plan from a fictional county to help you gain a better idea of what the finished product should generally look like.
If you have any questions about this tool, roll over the question mark in the upper-right corner to find the Rural Planning Group's contact information.
WHO CAN HELP?
In assembling this Toolkit, the Rural Planning Group (RPG) is coordinating the efforts of the various state agencies associated with planning for and managing of natural resources. Each agency has provided technical assistance in the form of:
• Sources and contacts – particularly those within the agencies
• Websites with relevant information
• Access to selected databases and information sources
RPG will continue to provide assistance in the form of:
• Coordination of local, state or regional expertise
• Coordination between associations or institutions
• Examples of other locales that have successfully addressed the issue