WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Dan Newhouse’s (R-WA) amendment to prohibit funds from being used to finalize the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed “Landscape and Conservation Health” rule was adopted in the Interior and Environment Appropriations. The BLM’s rule undermines FLPMA’s multiple-use mandate for BLM lands and would hinder access to public lands for energy and critical mineral development, grazing, forest management, and recreation. With more than 90% of BLM’s 245 million acres located in the West, the rule would have an outsized effect on the residents of Central Washington. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Newhouse's remarks during the hearing can be found here
and seen below:
“I rise today to offer an amendment prohibiting funds from being used to finalize the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed ‘Landscape and Conservation Health’ rule, the latest example of this Administration’s regulatory overreach.
“Earlier this year, the BLM proposed a rule to elevate conservation under the multiple-use mandate. The multiple-use mandate, as established by Congress, allows federal lands to be used for resource development, grazing, timber harvesting, and recreation.
“Not only is this proposed rule illegal, it would also have drastic effects on energy prices, food costs, and recreational opportunities.
“As Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, I believe in the multiple-use mandate to produce sustainable yield—not lock up our lands from accessing the bountiful resources and beautiful views our public lands offer.
“In the midst of record-high energy prices and food costs, this Administration wants to exacerbate the problem by proposing a regulation that would reduce resource development—including renewable energy—and ranching on public lands.
“The BLM is confusing conservation for preservation by sidestepping Congress. They do not have the authority for this proposed rule and I urge all of my colleagues to support my amendment. I yield back.”
Read the full text of the amendment here
In April, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed a rule titled “Landscape and Conversation Health” which elevates conservation under the multiple-use mandate to be equal to resource development, grazing, timber harvesting, and recreation on public lands. This is contrary to Congressional intent under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 which statutorily set multiple-use sustainable yield on BLM land. The public comment period closed on July 5 after a 15-day extension. The finalization of this rule would allow conservation easements to reduce resource development, grazing, timber harvesting, and recreation on public lands in a backdoor way to implement the Biden Administration’s 30x30 initiative.
Public Lands Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Mining Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Western Energy Alliance, Independent Petroleum Association of America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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