The Myth of Multiple Use

The original WHB Act refers to the term in the definitions:

(c) “range” means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands;

It’s not the multiple use you know today.  The term was defined in the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960.

(a) “Multiple use” means: The management of all the various renewable surface resources of the national forests so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; that some land will be used for less than all of the resources; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources, each with the other, without impairment of the productivity of the land, with consideration being given to the relative values of the various resources, and not necessarily the combination of uses that will give the greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output.

The MUSY Act is now 16 USC 528-531.  The definitions are in 16 USC 531.  The terms ‘livestock’ and ‘grazing’ do not appear in any of the sections.

The multiple use you know today was defined in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 43 USC 35, five years after the WHB Act was signed into law.

The definition, which may have been lifted from MUSY, is in §1702 of Subchapter 1.

(c) The term “multiple use” means the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; the use of some land for less than all of the resources; a combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and nonrenewable resources, including, but not limited to, recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and historical values; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with consideration being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.

Wild horses and burros fall into the ‘historical values’ category.  They are not wildlife.

Unlike MUSY, FLPMA went on to define the principal uses of public lands managed by the BLM, putting livestock grazing at the top of the list.

(l) The term “principal or major uses” includes, and is limited to, domestic livestock grazing, fish and wildlife development and utilization, mineral exploration and production, rights-of-way, outdoor recreation, and timber production

Further, public involvement was associated with affected citizens.

(d) The term “public involvement” means the opportunity for participation by affected citizens in rulemaking, decisionmaking, and planning with respect to the public lands, including public meetings or hearings held at locations near the affected lands, or advisory mechanisms, or such other procedures as may be necessary to provide public comment in a particular instance.

That term wasn’t defined.

RELATED: Origin of AMLs?

Tale of Two Interests-1

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