A proposed rule allowing the Bureau of Land Management to offer conservation-only leases was written without consulting people like farmers and ranchers who depend on the land.
In a letter to BLM director Tracy Stone-Manning, about 60 livestock groups say cattle and sheep producers have partnered with BLM in managing 245 million acres of federal land in the West for generations. However, BLM didn’t engage them in developing the proposed rule and gave no warning ahead of time that it was developing a rule. “Individually, each of the components of the proposal would have required detailed discussion,” the letter says.
“Together, the components demand BLM do the necessary work of engaging stakeholders to avoid conflict and develop lasting outcomes.” BLM’s five public information sessions have done little to compensate for the agency’s lack of advanced discussions. Instead of engaging stakeholders where they operate, BLM is holding briefings in urban areas.