Bureau of Land Management

Surprise! Major Land Conservation Bill Poised to Pass Congress

Republican-Led Senate Prepared to Preserve Public Lands–and Political Careers?

Over the past decade, we’ve become resigned to the sad fact of congressional gridlock: a hopelessly partisan and paralyzed Congress, seemingly unable to pass major legislation on the environmental protection, natural resource conservation or, indeed, any number of other policy fronts. So it has to come as a  shock to most observers that this week …

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Public Lands Watch: Final Changes to Sage Grouse Protections

BLM announces final version of revisions to protections for sage grouse on Western federal public lands

This blog post was drafted by Jamie T. Martinez. On March 15, the Trump administration finalized its plan to loosen protections on federal lands for the habitat of the greater sage-grouse, a near-threatened species that lives in sagebrush country across the western United States. The final plan amends the resource plans adopted in 2015 to …

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Guest Blogger Justin Pidot: Interior Proposes New FOIA Rule that Inhibits Government Transparency

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the …

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Public Lands Watch: Sage Grouse Plan Revisions

BLM and Forest Service produce draft environmental impact statements for plan revisions

I wrote in the fall about the Trump Administration’s efforts to weaken protections for sage grouse on federal public lands.  The next step in that process is currently ongoing – draft environmental impact statements (EIS) for revisions to land management plans for BLM and Forest Service lands.  Those EISs are required by the National Environmental …

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200 Days and Counting: Public Lands

The potential impact of a Trump Administration on our federal public lands.

The federal government owns almost one-third of the land in the United States, primarily concentrated in the Western states. In addition, the federal government is the primary manager of the oceans off the coast of the United States (with the exception of oceans within three miles of the coastline, which are primarily under state authority). …

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Guest Blogger Justin Pidot: Two Years after Gold King Disaster, Trump Would Slash Funding for Abandoned Mines Cleanup

Congress Should Ensure that Money Is Available to Address Pollution on Public Lands

In recent legal battles, the State of Utah has rarely sided with the environment.  It is a significant moment, therefore, when Utah files a lawsuit aimed to force polluters to pay for contamination they have caused, as it did last week when it sued mine owners and contractors for the EPA related to the Gold …

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Public Lands Watch: Proposed repeal of BLM fracking rule

BLM Proposes to Rescind 2015 Rule on Hydraulic Fracturing

On July 25, 2017 the Bureau of Land Management published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would rescind the Obama Administration’s 2015 Rule titled “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.” This proposal has been anticipated since the Interior Department announced in March earlier this year that the Department intended …

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Public Lands Watch: BLM Methane Rule

BLM delays compliance date for certain provisions of the rule

As we reported earlier, the Obama Administration promulgated a regulation restricting the emissions of methane from oil and gas operations on federal public lands.  Efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn that regulation failed last month.  Now the Interior Department is delaying compliance with certain provisions of the rule indefinitely, citing pending litigation …

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Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 36

A proposal to revoke an Obama Administration rule on methane flaring on public lands

Additional Update:  It is being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 36. Update:  The resolution passed the House on the morning of Saturday, Feb 4.  It will next go to the Senate. House Joint Resolution 36 (now being considered as part of House Resolution 74) “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives …

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Public Lands Watch: HR 5 and Land-Use Planning

Bill passed by house would increase burden on agency for land-use planning

HR 5 The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) Passed House 1/11 Received in the Senate 1/12 Referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs This post was co-authored by law student Emma Hamilton. On January 11th, the House passed HR 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which includes a provision mandating new …

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