Finalized Public Lands Rule Restores Balance, Elevates Conservation

DENVER — The Bureau of Land Management’s Public Lands Rule restores balance to the stewardship of public lands by putting conservation on par with other uses. The agency manages more than 245 million acres of public lands for many purposes, including fish and wildlife habitat, cultural resources, recreational opportunities, and energy needs. Over the years, however, these public lands have been degraded by drought, development, wildfire, and invasive species. 

“The finalized public lands rule will provide the Bureau of Land Management with new tools to restore and conserve degraded lands, while supporting robust local economies. The rule will help the agency identify intact landscapes that wildlife depend on for survival, which will ensure that they thrive for decades to come,” said David Willms, associate vice president for public lands at the National Wildlife Federation. “The benefits from this rule are numerous: enhanced connectivity for migrating big game, reduced risk of megafires, control of invasive species, increased forage for wildlife and livestock, improved watershed health, and a landscape that is more resilient in the face of drought and a changing climate.” 

“The Public Lands Rule was long overdue. This is a step forward to a more sustainable land stewardship. For far too long, the agency has put a premium on resource extraction while wildlife, fragile watersheds, recreation, and the protection of cultural resources have taken second place,”
said Camilla Simon, executive director of Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO). “This new rule will help mitigate climate-related impacts, restore fragmented habitat, expand opportunities to connect with nature, and increase the collaboration with and involvement of Tribes and local communities in the decision-making process.” 


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