BLM Enacts Plan for Federal Lands in Calista Region
Revised Plan Addresses Calista Corp. Concerns
Storyknife, January/February 2020 edition
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently decided to enact a new management plan for 3.58 million acres of federal land in the eastern half of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region.
“Calista supports BLM’s decision to enact the plan because it strikes a fair balance between environmental protection and economic opportunity.”Tisha Kuhns, Calista Corporation Vice President of Land and Natural Resources
The Bering Sea-Western Interior Regional Management Plan (BSWI) covers a massive area—13 million acres of BLM-managed lands in the Doyon, Calista and Bering Strait regions that aren’t in refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Calista had serious concerns about how an earlier version of this management plan would impact our Shareholders and Tribes, even though the BLM held 57 meetings with Tribes and other stakeholders while developing the plan. The plan had not been updated since 1981 and Calista along with Tribes were invited to provide input during the revision process.
In September 2019, Calista sent letters to Tribes and Village Corporations in the Region, encouraging them to exercise their right to consult with BLM.
Calista was concerned that the draft version of this plan would have limited access to traditional activities in our Region and would have blocked attempts to create socio-economic infrastructure in our villages.
Over the past year, BLM put a significant amount of effort into revising the draft BSWI plan to address our concerns as well as those raised by other stakeholders in our Region.