The Bureau of Land Management extended the public comment period on its new land use rule through July fifth.
The bureau wants more feedback on its proposal to elevate conservation on federal lands. The announcement is getting significant pushback from the Public Lands Council, conservatives, energy companies, and ranchers in the Mountain West. Under the proposal, conservation would get equal footing to other land uses like oil and gas drilling, mining, grazing, and timber harvesting. Environmental groups would be allowed to lease federally owned parcels for preservation and habitat restoration. Opponents say changes to the rules for 246 million acres of land would undermine the industries that rely on those lands.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon says, “Simply put, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It pits productive uses of public lands against conservation – a gross mischaracterization of the concept.” The House and Senate already have bills to halt the rule.