Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
Quick Links

Initiate Early Tribal and Interagency Outreach

Procedures for Issuing Solar Energy ROW Grants Applicant-initiated action BLM-initiated action Major milestone BLM Issues ROW Grant BLM Evaluates Application Terms and Conditions for Grants Developer Submits Application Due diligence Assignments Issue notice to proceed Rent and applicable fees Performance and reclamation bond Finalize cost recovery Finalize plan of development Conduct NEPA evaluation Reject or prioritize application Variance concurrence (if applicable) Competitive bidding (if applicable) Initiate early tribal and interagency outreach Determine applicant technical/financial capabilities Preliminary meetings Initiate cost recovery Plan of development Application filing fee
Click on the steps in the diagram to learn more

The purpose of early tribal and interagency outreach during processing of applications in areas outside of designated leasing areas is to:

  • Discuss potential environmental issues or concerns and additional studies,
  • Communicate expected timelines for the proposed project,
  • Identify contacts or issues to facilitate coordination of potential environmental and siting issues and concerns, and
  • Determine applicable requirements under resource management plans (RMPs), and best management practices (BMPs).

Government-to-government consultation with tribal staff provides opportunities for tribes to identify traditional cultural properties and sacred sites with applications in variance areas. On the basis of information and discussions arising from outreach meetings, the BLM determines whether there is a need for new ethnographic research to provide sufficient information to adequately consider the effects of solar energy development on issues and resources of concern to tribes. BLM field office cultural staff, in consultation with their Deputy Preservation Officer, recommend to responsible BLM line officers whether to collect additional ethnographic data for a given solar application. Should new ethnographic research, studies, or interviews be recommended, the BLM cultural staff, in consultation with tribal officials, will provide guidance to BLM line officers about the appropriate scope of that work, provisions for safeguarding data confidentiality, and programs of mitigation.

Early outreach to State and local (county and/or municipal) governments is important to determine compatibility with officially adopted plans and policies (e.g., comprehensive land use plans, open space plans, conservation plans) and permit requirements (e.g., special use permits).