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Crapo, Risch, Hoeven, Daines Press BLM to Withdraw Public Lands Rule

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators  Mike Crapo, Jim Risch (both R-Idaho), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) and Steve Daines (R-Montana) wrote the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) urging it to withdraw its proposed Public Lands Rule.  The senators stressed the negative impact the proposal would have on western states, including Idaho, North Dakota, and Montana, as the rule would undermine the multiple use requirements established by Congress and lock away taxpayer-owned lands from activities that are essential to local economies, including grazing, energy development and tourism.

This follows Senators Crapo and Risch, along with U.S. Congressmen Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher (all R-Idaho), urging BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning to hold in-person public meetings in Idaho regarding the proposed rule.

“The proposal creates a framework for “conservation leases” without authorization from Congress.  The proposal specifically notes that ‘BLM shall not authorize any other uses of the leased land’ that it determines are ‘inconsistent’ with this new framework, thereby interrupting the successful balance of other responsible uses from hunting and grazing, to energy development and recreation,”  the senators wrote.

“This new leasing regime opens the door for a new, noncompetitive process designed to lock away parcels of land, with no limits to size, for a period of 10 or more years.  It’s clear that anti-grazing and anti-development organizations would abuse this tool to attempt to halt ranching and block access to our nation’s abundant energy reserves located on public lands. 

“BLM’s proposed Public Lands Rule is an effort to empower special interests that have long opposed BLM’s statutory mandate by prioritizing non-development over the principles of multiple use and sustained yield.  Taking large parcels of land out of BLM’s well-established multiple use mandate would cause significant harm to many western states and negatively impact the livelihoods of ranchers, energy producers, and many others that depend on access to federal lands.  As such, the proposal should be withdrawn immediately.”

In addition to Crapo, Risch, Hoeven, and Daines the letter is signed by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Senators Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Roger Marshall (R-Kansas).