Protect BLM Lands: Public Planning Process Under Threat

New congressional action looks to take the public out of public lands management. S.J. Res 15 and H.J. Res. 44 would repeal a crucial regulation that increases citizen participation in the management of BLM lands.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 06, 2017

UPDATE: This went to the President's desk and was signed, repealing BLM Planning 2.0. 

Planning 2.0 opened a whole new level of public participation, creating a more transparent process that would have given lots of opportunities for the people who love public lands to shape how those lands are managed.

Check out this piece from our partners at Outdoor Alliance for a break down on the unfortunate ramifications of repealing Planning 2.0 and a discussion on the need to keep fighting - now more than ever - for our public lands. You can also use the tool below to write your Senators and let them know how you feel about  rolling back the public process and the role of outdoor recreation on our public lands.

SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR SENATORS


Right now, Congress is working to throw out a crucial regulation that modernizes how the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts planning on our public lands. This bill threatens outdoor recreation on 245 million acres of our public lands, including iconic places like Oregon’s Sandy Ridge Trail System, Moab’s Porcupine Rim Trail, Westwater Canyon, and countless others.

In December, the BLM finalized its Planning 2.0 initiative — and that regulation is now under attack. Planning 2.0 opened a whole new level of public participation, creating a more transparent process that gives lots of opportunities for the people who love public lands to shape how those lands are managed.

Land planning is important because it governs what uses are allowed and where they are allowed on our public lands. Planning is also the headwaters for new protective designations like Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

BLM Planning 2.0 modernizes the process of developing Resource Management Plans for BLM lands in an analogous way to the improvements made in Forest Planning under the 2012 Planning Rule. In particular, Planning 2.0 directs planners to engage in a much broader data collection from the public and other users. This means that land management agencies can better understand where people go on our public lands, why they go there, and the experiences that are a part of what makes these places so special.

It also does a much better job of recognizing the importance of recreation - including for local economies - and greatly improves the agency’s ability to handle data.

 

From The Mountaineers’ perspective, these changes are of vital importance – as an organization of 12,000 members out on public lands every day, we value the ability to give input on how the places we love are managed.

Right now, Congress is considering throwing out this rule in its entirety using a rarely-used law called the Congressional Review Act. The Congressional Review Act lets Congress overturn the decisions made by federal agencies within 60 days. Congress is currently using this law to roll back important environmental safeguards.

The vote to roll back BLM’s thoughtful and recreation-friendly new planning process could be on the floor of both the House and the Senate as early as tomorrow, Tuesday Feb 7. The bill numbers are S.J. Res. 15 and H.J. Res. 44. Please use the green button to reach out to your Senators and Congressperson and tell them to protect modern land management planning on public lands.

(We know this all sounds wonky, but this is SUPER important).

Thanks to our partners at Outdoor Alliance for getting the word out on this!