Sportsmen welcome nomination of BLM chief

Hunters, anglers say it's vital to implement leasing reforms as well as updated federal fracking rule, renewable energy guidelines

11-08-2013 // Judith Kohler

Hunter

A national sportsmen’s coalition welcomes the nomination of Neil Kornze to head the Bureau of Land Management as an opportunity to continue efforts to fully implement oil and gas leasing reforms on public lands.

Kornze, BLM’s principal deputy director, has demonstrated leadership in planning for renewable energy and a commitment to consider energy development’s impacts on fish, wildlife and water as well as hunting and fishing, the coalition Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development said Thursday. 

Coalition leaders added that hunters and anglers will continue to push for follow-through on promised leasing reforms; updated federal hydraulic fracturing rules with full chemical disclosure; reform of the use of categorical exclusions to prevent the circumventing of environmental regulations; and regulations that that develop a competitive permitting process for renewable energy development on public lands.

"The SFRED coalition has supported the Interior Department’s development of plans to be smart from the beginning about renewable energy production on our public lands. Neil Kornze has played an important role in that,” said Brad Powell, senior policy director for Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project. “If Kornze is confirmed as the next BLM director, we will work with him to advance that program and carry out necessary improvements in oil and gas leasing."

The coalition is led by the National Wildlife Federation, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited.

"In a recent speech, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell made a strong case for the economic and social significance of our nation’s public lands. Hunters and anglers couldn’t agree more. We applaud attention to the need to ensure balance and responsible energy development of the land. We will continue to urge Jewell and the new BLM director to make good on promises on leasing reforms and other policies to achieve that balance," said Ed Arnett, director of TRCP’s Center for Responsible Energy Development. 

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