Take Action: Urge your representative to oppose an attack on public input!
Americans are fortunate to own millions of acres of incredible public lands, many of which are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We all have a say in how these lands are managed through the ability to participate in a public process to develop land use plans. Last year, the BLM established a new rule named "Planning 2.0" which provided additional opportunities for the public to provide input on how your lands are managed. But, a resolution in Congress threatens this important step forward for the agency.
Ask your member of Congress to vote NO on H. J. Res. 44!
Planning 2.0 would provide three additional opportunities for stakeholders to learn about the planning process and comment on management issues at early stages in the development of land use plans. This means that states and counties, scientists, ranchers, hunters and anglers, miners, hikers, boaters, the energy industry and all the other varied users of the public lands will know more about the what a plan will cover and express their hopes and concerns about the plan.
Planning 2.0 also includes steps to ensure that important fish and wildlife habitats, such as migration corridors and intact habitats, are identified early in the planning process so these important areas can be managed and conserved as the agency makes decisions about development, recreation and other public land uses.
Your voice is a valuable part of the process that determines the future of our public lands. Send your message to Congress today!
Please consider personalizing the letter below before sending on to your representatives. Following up with a call will ensure your voice is heard. The talking points below can be used in drafting your letter and in conversations with key decision makers:
The BLM's new planning rule creates a more dynamic and durable planning process that is more responsive to change, making it more efficient to keep plans current. This saves the BLM time and saves taxpayers money.
The rule is threatened by congressional disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. If Congress passes a resolution of disapproval under the CRA, a prohibition on new rules that are "substantially the same" is automatic. That prohibition DOES NOT have to be written into the resolution itself. This point is critical as many opponents seem to think they can invoke the CRA and then let incoming DOI Secretary Zinke fix the rule. If the resolution passes, Zinke will not have that option.
Planning 2.0 makes the planning process more collaborative and transparent by strengthening opportunities for other Federal agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes, and the public to be involved in the development of RMPs earlier and more frequently.
The final rule retains the special role of state, local and tribal cooperating agencies, as specifically required by the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act. In fact, significant changes were made to the final planning rule in response to requests from cooperating agencies.
The rule offers new opportunities to involve the public earlier in the revision process, enabling the BLM to have the best available information at the start of the planning process. This added input up front allows BLM to be more efficient in finalizing the plan.
Planning 2.0 permits a landscape-level approach to planning, which enables the BLM to carry out planning at a scale that makes sense and allows consideration of the full context of resource values, including environmental, economic, and social values.
The new rule allows BLM to better respond to management challenges in a changing world by incorporating the best available science, geospatial data and technology.
Hunters and anglers support Planning 2.0 because the rule takes steps to ensure that important habitats, such as migration corridors and other intact habitats, are indentified early in the planning process so these important areas can be managed and conservered as the agency makes decisions about other public land uses.
BLM plans that have already begun using the 2.0 rule have received positive comments about the revised process from a diversity of voices including: outfitters, horse-packers, grazing lessees, environmental organizations, wildlife groups, hunters, anglers, snowmobilers, off-highway vehicle users, and mining claimants. These stakeholders noted the benefits of working out their problems up front and having BLM listen and respond to their ideas during the pre-scoping stage.