BLM’s Planning Rule for Public Lands Will Give Locals More of a Voice, Not Less

Public Lands
Public Lands
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- Sportsmen, Western landowners, and other public-lands stakeholders are expressing clear support for the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed land-use planning rule, dubbed “Planning 2.0,” as House lawmakers convene an oversight hearing today to discuss county commissioner concerns about this revision to the planning process.

“We appreciate the careful and thoughtful approach BLM used in revising its planning regulations,” says Ed Shepard, president of the Public Lands Foundation, which represents a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in public land management. “This rulemaking makes clear that the BLM, the public, and others have matured in their approach to planning, based on results achieved on the ground. It will be critical to garnering valuable public input.”

The effort to update how the agency creates Resource Management Plans (RMPs), which are the basis for every action and approved use of BLM-managed lands, represents the first substantial revision to the land-use planning process since 1983.

“Many Western landowners depend on BLM-managed public lands to make a living,” says Lesli Allison, executive director of the Western Landowners Alliance. “We believe that the BLM Planning 2.0 proposals are a positive step forward, because they would create more transparency and opportunity for public involvement when decisions are made about the management of our public lands. Enabling earlier and more meaningful participation by stakeholders in assessing resource values and management needs should result in higher quality information, better plans, and better outcomes.”

The proposed rule would also see that the BLM is planning at the landscape level to account for resources that span jurisdictional boundaries, like a mule deer herd that might migrate beyond the borders of a local BLM field office.

“The agency should be able to take into account the landscape conditions, not just what they see inside the drawn lines on a map,” says Joel Webster, director of Western lands for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

According to the oversight hearing memo, some county commissioners are concerned that landscape-level planning will move decision-making out of their communities, reducing their influence over the process. Yet, some commissioners have questioned the agency’s recent move to create additional opportunities for the public to comment, saying that it undermines their special cooperator status.

“If county and federal lawmakers are truly interested in creating better management of our public lands and increased community involvement on land-use decisions, they should be giving Planning 2.0 a big thumbs-up at this hearing,” says Webster. “The proposed revisions would increase public engagement and satisfaction with the use of our public lands, while also giving local, state, and tribal governments more chances to participate in BLM land management decisions.”

The comment period for the proposed BLM planning rule closes on May 25, and the final rule is expected to be published later this year. Many public-lands stakeholder groups are encouraging their members to comment in support of the overarching principles of the proposed rule.

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Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing. Ensuring access to quality fish and wildlife habitat safeguards the $646-billion contribution that sportsmen and women make to the American economy.

About Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership:

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing. Ensuring sportsmen’s access to quality fish and wildlife habitat safeguards the $646-billion contribution that sportsmen make to the American economy.

For more information on the TRCP, please visit our website at www.TRCP.org.

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Grey Beard
Grey Beard
5 years ago

ALL of our “Public Lands” need to have a Very robust mix of Federal, State, County, and Local governmental authorities AS WELL as Nongovernmental LOCAL groups input into the use of the lands in their State. It’s become obvious the Feds are totally incompetent to “manage” those lands. I include the BLM, Fish and Wildlife, Forest Service, and everyone of those Federal “alphabet” agencies.

Colonialgirl
Colonialgirl
5 years ago

Forgot to mention that FEDERAL ownership of lands IS prohibited in the Constitution except for the area of Washington, DC and what is required for Federal buildings and military posts . Now I know and understand that many Federal parks are desirable and need to be protected, BUT when the FEDS claim ownership of the majority of a state
such as Nevada, Oregon, Washington and others then they are CLEARLY and ABSOLUTELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Colonialgirl
Colonialgirl
5 years ago

Sounds like an excuse for the BLM to violate the rights of citizens ANY TIME they decide to do so. Look at what happened to Bundy, look at the lands the Federal Government has ILLEGALLY grabbed through EO’s . The problem is that the BLM, EPA and other federal agencies have been taken over by environmental Nazis and PETA morons that have and will rule more species to be protected and MORE lands to be OFF LIMITS to hunting. Every agency NOT named in the CONSTITUTION NOR authorized by Congress NEEDS and MUST be shut down and disbanded not to… Read more »