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  • Writer's pictureBruce Smith

Rebalancing Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management, which manages more public land (245 million acres) than any other federal agency, may be on the cusp of living up to its multiple use mandate. The BLM was established in 1946, but it took until 1976 for Congress to pass the agency's Federal Land Policy and Management Act which establishes the agency's multiple-use and sustained yield mandate to serve present and future generations.

I went to work for the BLM a year later, in 1977. The standing joke at the agency was that BLM was an acronym for Bureau of Livestock and Mining. The BLM's deference to public land grazing and extractive mining and energy production overshadowed other values of the land.

But new rule-making by the Biden administration proposes to provide long overdue consideration of resource conservation, cultural values, recreation, climate-related impacts, and restoration of degraded habitats. This Conservation and Landscape Health rule is published in the Federal Register for public review. The BLM is accepting written comments until June 20, 2023. This one is important.


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