April 2023 Edition | Volume 77, Issue 4
Published since 1946
Department of the Interior Releases Draft Public Lands Rule
On March 30, the Department of the Interior (DOI) released a proposal to “guide the balanced management of America’s public lands for the benefit of current and future generations.” If finalized, the Public Lands Rule would direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to identify and prioritize public lands in need of habitat restoration and authorize a conservation leasing tool to facilitate restoration with community partners. In addition, the Department says the proposed rule would ensure that the BLM is aligned with other agencies like the U.S. Forest Service in assessing the health of public lands to ensure land management decisions are informed by the best available science and on-the-ground monitoring. The BLM would also prioritize the identification, evaluation, and designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern through land use planning.
“Our public lands provide so many benefits – clean water, wildlife habitat, food, energy and lifetime memories, to name just a few– and it’s our job to ensure the same for future generations,” said Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “As pressure on our public lands continues to grow, the proposed Public Lands Rule provides a path for the BLM to better focus on the health of the landscape, ensuring that our decisions leave our public lands as good or better off than we found them. We look forward to feedback from the public on how this proposal will help us best uphold the BLM’s important mission.”<
The proposed rule was added to the Federal Register on April 3 initiating a 75 day review period that will close on June 20.