Extension follows request from North Slope Tribal leaders
WASHINGTON — Following discussions with Tribal leaders, Alaska Native Corporations, local leaders, and organizations in Alaska, Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis announced today that the Bureau of Land Management will extend the public comment period for the proposed National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) Rule by an additional 20 days. The BLM previously extended the comment period by 10 days; today’s announcement means that communities will have had 90 days to provide feedback on the proposed rule by the December 7, 2023 deadline. Nation-to-nation consultation is not limited by the public comment period and can continue at any time.
Originally announced in March 2023 and published for public comment in early September, the proposed rule would establish a new framework for balancing development with the protection of Special Areas – lands that harbor significant subsistence, recreational, fish and wildlife, historical and scenic values – and the management of surface resources throughout the NPR-A. This framework, which has not been updated substantially since the early 1980s, would improve the BLM’s ability to respond to changing conditions in the Arctic while providing transparency in conservation and development decisions. The proposed regulations would also enhance protections for subsistence uses and resources throughout the NPR-A, particularly within the Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok River Uplands and other Special Areas.
The BLM has held virtual and public meetings in Alaska and its North Slope, as well as government-to-government consultation, to hear feedback on the proposal. Visit the NPR-A Rule website for presentation slides from the BLM’s virtual public meetings and additional resources including a map of impacted areas, fact sheet, and frequently asked questions.
To learn more about this proposed rule or to provide comments, please visit the Management and Protection of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska proposed rule on https://www.regulations.gov/document/BLM-2023-0006-0001.