As part of ongoing efforts to combat the spread of invasive and noxious weeds that threaten the health and productivity of millions of acres of public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PEIS) that examines the use of three new herbicides that are safer for the environment and human health than those previously used. A notice for the Final PEIS for vegetation treatments using aminopyralid, fluroxypyr, and rimsulfuron on BLM lands in 17 western states, which was published today in the Federal Register, opens a 30-day review period on the document.
"One of the BLM's highest priorities is to promote ecosystem health and one of the greatest obstacles to achieving this goal is the rapid expansion of weeds across public lands," said Mike Pool, acting Deputy Director of the BLM. "The new vegetation treatments will give our public land managers a better set of tools to address wildfire protection, habitation restoration, and other resource issues more effectively."
The Final PEIS assesses three alternative approaches to the use of aminopyralid (known by the trade name Milestone), fluroxypyr (Vista), and rimsulfuron (Matrix), as well as a "No Action" alternative that considers the continued use of 18 previously approved herbicides. The Final PEIS details the expected impacts and benefits from the BLM’s use of herbicides, and provides analysis to determine which herbicides should be approved for use. The Final PEIS addresses public comments on the draft PEIS by providing comment responses and changes to the analysis or supporting documentation, where appropriate.
The Final PEIS addresses a wide range of issues, including the effect of the herbicides on the health of humans, vegetation, fish and wildlife, livestock, and wild horses and burros. It also looks at water quality and Native American use of resources, and evaluates the cumulative impact of use of the new and other herbicides by the BLM and other landowners in the West.
The Notice of Availability of Final Vegetation Treatments Using Aminopyralid, Fluroxypyr, and Rimsulfuron on Bureau of Land Management Lands in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is accessible at http://blm.gov/3vkd.
The Final PEIS, published in today’s Federal Register will be available for public review through May 7, 2016. A Record of Decision will be issued following the 30-day review period.
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