Skip to main content

CAL4WHEEL Opposes BLM Proposed Rule on Conservation & Landscape Health

| Rose Winn, Cal4Wheel Natural Resources Consultant | Access Issues

Cal4Wheel submitted comments to oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s Proposed Rule: Conservation and Landscape Health. The Proposed Rule would negatively impact Cal4Wheel members and all members of the general public who enjoy outdoor recreation on BLM managed lands, by significantly minimizing access to public land. This Rule creates the opportunity for the BLM to sell public land through conservation leases to private parties; those private parties would then be granted the authority to decide who may access the land within the borders of their lease, and what activities may be permitted on the leased land. If approved, this lease structure shifts ownership of public lands away from the citizens of the US, and places it in the hands of private parties. The Rule also wholly eradicates the multiple-use mandate by which the BLM is required to manage public lands.

The Proposed Rule is problematic in other ways – it introduces “conservation” as a designated use of public land, increases regulatory complexity of land management policies through Landscape Health protocol, and seeks to expand designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC’s). The BLM manages over 245 million acres of public land in the USA. In California, over 15 million acres of public land are managed by the BLM, comprising over 15% of the total land mass in this state. California’s public lands are a primary source for the public to enjoy outdoor recreation. The Proposed Rule will result in increased user conflicts and potential resource damage by removing sufficient access to public lands for all forms of recreation, including OHV.

After reviewing the Proposed Rule, Cal4Wheel shared opposition based on: 

  • Violation of Congressional direction and intent
  • Violation of BLM operational guidelines
  • Federal regulatory overreach
  • Creation of an opportunity for the BLM to generate revenue
  • Expansion of the 30x30 agenda
  • Lack of a definition for “conservation”
  • The Proposed Rule is unnecessary
  • Discrimination of individuals with disabilities, and impoverished communities
  • Increased risk of economic and national security threats

Review the full comment letter via this link: C4WDA BLM Conservation Landscape Health Proposed Rule Comment .pdf

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.