BLM proposes greater sustainability of public lands it manages / Public News Service

The US Bureau of Land Management has proposed a rule that would bring more conservation to the lands it manages.

The agency’s proposal would ensure that BLM lands are managed for uses such as recreation and resource extraction as well as conservation under its multi-use mission.

This is especially important as the impacts of climate change loom large, said Vera Smith, senior federal lands policy analyst at Defenders of Wildlife.

“What this rule does,” Smith said, “is it says, ‘We’re going to make sure that we’re checking that sustainability part of the equation. We’re going to make sure that management the way we are is going to be environmentally sustainable and provide future resources for this country. “

The Western Energy Alliance is among the opponents of the change — saying it goes too far outside the 1976 federal Land Policy and Management Act, which defined multiple uses that should be prioritized on public lands.

The public can comment on the rule through June 20.

Smith said the rule would balance the scales to protect land.

“We’ve focused a lot on the extraction of things over the last half century or century, multiple uses,” Smith said, “and now we have to make sure, hey, are we doing this in a sustainable way?” way?”

Smith also noted that BLM lands are home to many threatened and endangered species.

“We have a responsibility to keep the lands in good, healthy condition,” Smith said, “and I hope this is a good, measured, balanced way to do that.”

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