Arm Yourself with the Facts

Ask the Forest Service ¬†for copies of the agency’s planning and leasing regulations; the regulations establish the rules both they and you will need to follow. Also ask for copies of all relevant environmental and planning documents for the lands you are concerned about, including:

If the lease offering overlaps a Wilderness Study Area, the draft or final wilderness EIS for the area may also contain valuable information. Read these documents carefully. They are almost certain to contain information that will help you get started as well as help you determine whether changes in management are necessary. Then, pay a visit to the District or main office and carefully inspect the file for the lease offering or APD. All files are public information with the exception of personnel files. You have the right to review them. If you can, it is probably worth going through the files twice: once at the beginning of your involvement and again later when you are more knowledgeable and able to recognize the real significance of the documents that are there. Ask for copies of the documents that look useful or important.

More on Being an Effective Advocate:

Get to Know the BLM and FS

Make Use of FOIA

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Get to Know the Areas You Want to Protect

Be Persistent

Don't Burn Your Bridges

Don't Be Intimidated

Build Public Support