Conservation Lands Foundation Applauds Biden Administration's Decision to Level Playing Field for the Public's Access to Lands Under Bureau of Land Management

Conservation Lands Foundation
|April 18, 2024

The finalization of the Public Lands Rule marks a long-overdue balancing for the agency and places conservation on equal footing with resource extraction

Washington, D.C. -  Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency responsible for overseeing the management and public enjoyment of 245 million acres of lands and waters across the United States, announced its finalization of the Public Lands Rule. This new blueprint marks a significant balancing of how the agency is to assess management priorities by putting conservation on equal footing with extractive uses like oil and gas drilling and mining.

“This Public Lands Rule is a necessary ‘operating system’ update for the largest federal land manager and reflects the reality that protecting the health of our natural resources is a valuable and essential management strategy,” said Jocelyn Torres, Conservation Lands Foundation’s co-interim executive director and chief conservation officer.

“The Public Lands Rule allows the BLM to better address the growing pressures and impacts on Western communities from climate-related impacts, like wildfires and drought, and increased public demand for recreation and access to nature,” said Torres. “The rule enables the BLM to better use its tools to manage public lands and waterways that are vital ‘connective tissue’ across the western United States and provide critical corridors for wildlife between big wilderness areas and national parks and smaller private, state and county lands. These are also places that support local economies, generating 4.3 million outdoor recreation jobs in the country.”  

“We thank President Biden, Secretary Haaland and the Bureau of Land Management for recognizing the profound importance of public lands in the U.S. and their role in providing clean air and water, essential habitat for wildlife and plants, cultural continuity for Indigenous communities and abundant recreational opportunities,” said Torres.

For almost a century, the agency has largely focused on resource extraction and other multiple uses. The Public Lands Rule received overwhelming public support. During the agency’s 90-day comment period for the draft rule, various stakeholders from recreationists and Tribal communities to ranchers, energy developers, and hunters and anglers weighed in on the proposed policy and 92% of public comments submitted to the agency were in support of the Public Lands Rule.

The Public Lands Rule will accelerate the pace of conservation for roughly 53 million acres of public lands currently in active planning and shape how more than 240 million acres of public lands are managed for decades to come. The Conservation Lands Foundation encourages the public to take immediate action by thanking the Biden administration and urging the Bureau of Land Management to act quickly to implement the Rule.

The public can learn more by visiting and take action here.


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About Conservation Lands Foundation
We’re the only nonprofit leading a national movement of community-based advocates who care for America’s NATIONAL CONSERVATION LANDS of natural, historical, cultural and recreational significance.
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    Conservation Lands Foundation published this page in Latest News 2024-04-18 11:32:36 -0600
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