As a result of the federal government shutdown, essentially all services provided by the Bureau of Land Management will be suspended, with the exception of law enforcement and emergency response functions, according to a statement by the agency.
Approximately 4,000 recreation facilities, including visitor centers, campgrounds, boat ramps and other recreation sites will be closed.
The BLM manages 245 million acres – more than any of the nation’s major natural resource agencies, with the smallest budget, the fewest employees, and the lowest cost, the statement says.
While the BLM will maintain the minimum staffing levels required to ensure continued safe management of the nation’s energy resources, issuing new oil and gas leases and permits will cease. Limited work will continue to ensure safe operations for the Alaska Pipeline and inspection and enforcement activities for more than 63,000 onshore oil and gas wells on federal lands.
The BLM will furlough 10,200 of its approximate 10,800 employees during the funding lapse. After the initial shutdown procedures are completed, the BLM will maintain 600 excepted employees with an additional 550 employees on call.
Suspended activities and services will include:
• Non-emergency Abandoned Mine Land and hazardous-materials mitigation
• Processing of oil and gas and drilling permits
• Processing of lease sales, permits and other non-emergency authorizations of onshore oil and gas, coal and other minerals
• Permits and approvals for renewable energy and other rights of way issuances
• Endangered Species Act and cultural clearances
• Range management restoration
• Wild horse and burro adoptions
• Sand and gravel permits
• Timber sales
• Work on resource management plans, including those driven by court deadlines
Suspended activities will resume once Congressional approves a budget for Fiscal Year 2014.
Because the BLM website will not be maintained for the duration of the shutdown, the BLM will be re-directing to Interior’s site, where additional information will be available at www.DOI.gov/shutdown as well as at OPM.gov.