The BLM Little Snake Field Office route evaluation and travel management plan (TMP) is creating a new model for controversial transportation plans. Logan Simpson conducted evaluation, NEPA, and travel management planning tasks, including an EA, for 800 miles of roads, highways, and trails in the Hiawatha, Sand Wash, and Bears Ears travel planning areas in northwestern Colorado. The goal of the TMP is to create a travel network that is logical and sustainable, and also meets the increasingly diverse transportation, access, and recreational needs of the public. The EA analyzes the proposed plan and the alternatives that were considered during the planning process. Resources in the planning area include wildlife, cultural resources, grazing, energy and minerals, rights-of-way, paleontological resources, and recreation. We used Logan Simpson’s Travel Resource Analysis Model (TRAM) evaluation tool, which builds on the fundamental requirements set in the resource management plan to identify the benefits and risks associated with each route. TRAM allows NEPA data and guidance to be viewed in real time and creates an automatic administrative record of project details.
We also used unconventional public involvement activities to engage stakeholders and cooperating agencies early in the planning process. We conducted public open houses inviting the public to engage early in the review of inventoried routes, evaluation criteria for route evaluation, identification of scoping issues, and review of proposed alternatives. We also used an online commenting tool allowing the public to comment on individual routes in addition to general comments on the travel system.
Logan Simpson is following the streamlining guidelines contained in the Secretary of the Interior’s Executive Order 3355 as we develop the EA.