North Slope Management Plan
The scoping period for the North Slope Management Plan (NSMP) ended, July 31st 2015. While the formal comment period for the scoping phase has been concluded the public is encouraged to continue to provide general comments. During the scoping phase public meetings were held in Barrow, Anchorage, Anaktuvuk Pass, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut, Wiseman/Coldfoot and Fairbanks. A summary of what we heard from those communities can be found under the Planning Updates link above. The planning team will now work towards preparing and evaluating land use alternatives for the NSMP. Check this website regularly for updates on the planning process.
The North Slope of Alaska is rich with resources that many Alaskans depend on, yet a comprehensive land use plan has never been developed for the area. With so many resources to manage, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has decided to take a holistic approach to sorting out competing uses by developing a land use plan for the area. This plan will also address the North Slope Borough's pending municipal entitlement selections. Planning is a way of sorting through the possibilities for using state land, determining those uses with the greatest benefits for all Alaskans, and involving the public in the process. The planning process provides a link between the citizens and the agencies charged with managing their land. All resources and uses are considered and evaluated in the process.
The North Slope Management Plan (NSMP) will cover approximately 12 million acres of State lands (uplands, shorelands, tide and submerged lands) north of Atigun Pass, encompassing the area between the eastern boundary of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPRA) and the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The plan boundary also includes offshore areas out to the 3-mile nautical limit. Major drainages within the NSMP boundary include the Colville, Kuparuk, Sagavanirktok and Canning rivers.
A robust public involvement process will be employed to seek input from the public, regional and local Alaska Native corporations, the North Slope Borough, industry representatives, and other stakeholders. The plan will increase permitting efficiency and predictability for the public, DNR, and the oil and gas industry and facilitate municipal entitlement conveyance decisions to the North Slope Borough.
Below is an outline of the major steps that will be taken to develop the NSMP. The approximate timing for each step will periodically be updated, but please note that the recommended time frame may change, depending on circumstances that may arise.
STEP 1 - Identify Issues - Spring/Summer 2015
Hold public meetings to identify issues and concerns in the planning area.
STEP 2 - Gather Information - Throughout
Collect information about natural resources, present and past land use, land ownership, and the local economy. A great deal of this is done in the beginning, but it occurs throughout the planning process.
STEP 3 - Prepare and Evaluate Land Use Alternative
Describe possible choices for managing state land based on public interests, local resources, and state policies. Describe the effects of each choice on goals for the management of an area.
STEP 4 - Prepare Draft Plan - Current Stage - Through Spring 2017
Create a draft plan that reflects resource values and public and agency goals. The agencies review the first draft and settle any land use conflicts that remain, or propose the best alternatives for public review.
STEP 5 - Public Review of Draft Plan - Summer/Early Fall 2017.
Hold public meetings to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the draft plan and to identify parts that need to be changed.
STEP 6 - Prepare Final Plan
Review agency and public comments and revise the plan. Prepare the plan for publication.
STEP 7 - Approve Plan
The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources approves and signs the plan.
STEP 8 - Implement Plan
The plan guides management decisions for state lands in the planning area.
Department of Natural Resources
550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1050
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3579
Phone: (907) 269-8592
Fax: (907) 269-8915