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Home News October 4, 2014
BLM, CA SHPO, and ACHP Finalize Travel Plan PA
Signatories celebrate after signing this ground-breaking PA. Front row: Julianne Polanco, Wayne Donaldson, Jim Kenna. Back row: Ashley Blythe, Jim Shearer, Brendon Greenaway
A programmatic agreement (PA) for the West Mojave Plan Environmental Impact Statement and the West Mojave Route Network Project was executed on September 30, 2015, in Sacramento, California. The PA was the result of intense consultations led by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to efficiently address the off-highway vehicle route network in a travel plan that will govern 15,000 miles of routes in the West Mojave Desert. The objectives of the BLM's West Mojave Plan Amendment (WEMO) are to create a sustainable travel and transportation system that provides access to public lands for a range of uses which compliment specific management goals, including protecting historic properties.
This PA lays the groundwork for future BLM consideration of effects of the agency's travel planning decisions on historic properties and will be a model for future discussions. It balances the need to identify and protect historic properties with the expectation that travel will be authorized on many routes that have already been used for decades without official designation as travel routes. The consultations brought together a large and diverse group of 64 consulting parties, including the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO); Indian tribes; other local, state, and federal government entities; off-highway vehicle clubs; historic trails and rock art associations; and landowners. It allowed an important dialog between these parties to occur, which facilitated a better understanding among the groups and should improve protection of the area's cultural resources in the future. Read the PA.
The WEMO PA was executed by Julianne Polanco, the recently appointed California SHPO; Milford Wayne Donaldson, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and former California SHPO; and James G. Kenna, BLM California State Director, signing just two days before his retirement. The Section 106 consultations were led by BLM's Ashley Blythe, with assistance from Jim Shearer and Tony Overly. The California SHPO's consultation efforts were led by Brendon Greenaway, and the ACHP's by Nancy Brown, liaison to the BLM.