Land Use Planning Rule

The rule updates how the Bureau of Land Management plans to use and conserve both natural and cultural resources on federal public lands that belong to all Americans.

H.J. Res. 44 is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

OVERVIEW

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently made long overdue changes to its public land planning process to increase public engagement, efficiency and responsiveness to the pressing challenges land managers face today in managing 247 million acres of public land. These challenges include wildfires, invasive species and increased demand for domestic energy. The updates to the planning process are commonly known as “Planning 2.0.”

Planning 2.0 improves the process for updating Resource Management Plans – essentially a blueprint for managing areas of public land over 15-20 years. For example, in these plans, the BLM decides where the best places for development are and where to conserve for wildlife habitat, cultural resource protection, or recreation.

Updated planning guidance increases public participation. The BLM will save taxpayer dollars, shorten planning time and avoid disputes later in the process by investing time upfront collaborating with locals and stakeholders on prospective management strategies. Public voices will help develop plans with multiple opportunities for involvement, including new comment periods and electronic methods for faster, easier protest submissions — improving the likelihood that the plans meet Americans’ diverse set of conservation and resource needs.

Updated planning guidance preserves priority status for local government in planning. The new rule carefully preserves a priority role for local government and other cooperators in BLM planning processes as directed by Congress, ensuring that final plans consider local and regional perspectives and priorities and giving the American people the ability to participate in the planning process at all stages.

Updated planning guidance improves science-based decision making. High quality data will be a foundation for BLM planning and management. Planning 2.0 will incorporate the best available science, geospatial data and technology to evaluate landscapes at the regional level. Improving data collection will help minimize land use conflicts by identifying cultural and archaeological resources early in the planning process. The changes will enable faster response to today’s environmental, economic and social realities with new evaluation markers and agency flexibility to plan across traditional administrative boundaries, keeping our lands great places to hike, hunt and fish.

This rule does not regulate the public or industry. Unlike many regulations, the BLM planning rule does not set new standards or requirements on any business or the public. Instead, it outlines how the agency will listen to and act on the concerns of states and local governments, industry and other businesses, other interest groups and the general public.

IMPACTS

If Congress overturns the rule, land use planning for our shared public lands will continue under an out-of-date process that has not been changed substantially since 1983. The public will lose opportunities to participate in how our public lands — paid for by all Americans — should be managed. Public land management will continue to be more contentious, inefficient and costly if the rule is undone. Modern science and solutions to modern problems could continue to go unaddressed in the management of public lands.

Finally, if the rule is struck down under the CRA, the BLM will be prohibited from issuing a similar rule in the future. This could prevent the BLM from moving beyond outdated management systems to adequately address issues like energy development, grazing, wildlife, mining, conservation, recreation or any of the many multiple uses that occur on our public lands.

OPPONENTS

Opponents of the rule include politicians who prefer piecemeal management of public lands — where special interests and cronyism can more easily trump public input, science-based management and good governance.

TABLE: Political Spending by Opponents of BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule

Industry/Group Lobbying (2015) Political Spending (2016) % Political Spending to Republicans
Farm bureaus  $6,668,459 $694,955 87%
Livestock industry $2,932,009 $9,591,810 80%
Mining industry $21,822,082 $16,886,773 94%

 

TAKE ACTION

Please Oppose Efforts to Overturn the Bureau of Land Management Planning Rule!
This petition is hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

CONTACTS

Phil Hanceford, The Wilderness Society, phil_hanceford@tws.org, (303) 225-4636

Ken Rait, The Pew Charitable Trusts, krait@pewtrusts.org, (503) 460-9453

Bobby McEnaney, Natural Resources Defense Council, bmcenaney@nrdc.org, (202) 289-2429

Haley McKey, Defenders of Wildlife, hmckey@defenders.og, (202) 772-0247

Virgil McDill, National Trust for Historic Preservation, VMcDill@savingplaces.org, (202) 294-9187

NEWS AND RESOURCES

Vote for BLM Rules Is a Vote for the Environment
The Portland Press Herald: March 18, 2017

Congress Should Stop Trying to Diminish Public Lands
The Hill: March 16, 2017

How Congress Is Rolling Back Public Input on Public Lands
Men’s Journal: March 15, 2017

Public Land Debate, Without the Public: GOP Congress Votes to Shut Out Citizens from Discussion of Federal Land Use
Salon: March 9, 2017

Congress Kills BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule
Natural Resources Defense Council: March 7, 2017

Letter of Opposition to H.J. Res. 44
National Parks Conservation Association: March 6, 2017

BLM Planning Rule Gives Locals a Voice
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: March 5, 2017

Oppose the Radical Repeal of the Bureau of Land Management’s Sensible “Planning 2.0” Rule
League of Conservation Voters: March 3, 2017

Sign-On Letter of Opposition to H.J. Res. 44
Environmental Community: March 3, 2017

Congress Should Approve BLM’s ‘Planning 2.0’ Initiative
The Hill: March 2, 2017

Aligning Values
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: March 1, 2017

Athens Residents Could Lose Say in How Public Land Like Wayne National Forest Is Used
The Post Athens: March 1, 2017

Give BLM’s Planning 2.0 a Chance to Work
The Coloradoan: February 27, 2017

Republicans Take Aim at Public Lands
The Progressive: February 23, 2017

Daines, Don’t Ax BLM’s Planning 2.0
The Missoulian: February 23, 201

Letter of Opposition to H.J. Res. 44
Pew Charitable Trusts: February 13, 2017

House votes to kill BLM “Planning 2.0” rule aimed at giving residents of Colorado and the West greater control over public land
The Denver Post: February 7, 2017

BLM Planning 2.0 Fact Sheet
Center for American Progress: February 2, 2017

Planning 2.0 Fact Sheet
The Wilderness Society: February 1, 2017

New BLM 2.0 Planning Process Allows Public More Say in Local Land Use Decisions
The Wilderness Society: May 11, 2016