For more than 40 years the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has often gotten it wrong, prioritizing resource extraction over other public land uses to the detriment of wildlife, healthy ecosystems, cultural preservation, and climate resiliency. Under the Biden administration, the agency is making an urgently needed course correction by updating its own rules and priorities with an eye toward restoring conservation to its rightful place under the “multiple use” framework Congress directed it to follow.
The BLM is accepting public comments on its proposed “Public Lands Rule” through July 5th (extended deadline). Your voice can make a difference in this process.
Tell the BLM you support the proposed rule, and personalize your comments by explaining why you care about the future of Utah’s redrock wilderness and other Western public lands. Please also consider telling the agency to strengthen the rule by:
- Prioritizing the inventory of intact natural landscapes (including lands with wilderness characteristics) at both the land use planning and project development stages and ensuring that any proposed development will not degrade such landscapes.
- Prioritizing the identification and designation of all eligible areas as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern and managing these areas appropriately.
- Requiring the BLM to consult with Tribes to ensure that it fully advances opportunities for incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge, respect for Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights, and protection of Tribal cultural sites.
- Protecting old and mature forests (in Utah that’s often piñon pine and juniper forests but might also include ponderosa, white bark, and bristlecone pine) from logging, vegetation removal projects, wildfire, and the effects of climate change, informed by the best available science and Indigenous knowledge.
This rulemaking process is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure a better future for America’s wild places. Let’s show overwhelming support for elevating conservation and bringing long-overdue balance to how our public lands are managed!