Only Congress can do that, but it won’t stop them from trying.
A new regulation, announced in a March 30 news release, would designate conservation as a use, on par with other uses of the public lands under FLPMA’s multiple-use and sustained-yield framework, but did not indicate what those other uses were.
The proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on April 3, establishes conservation leases to promote protection and restoration of public lands, while providing opportunities for public involvement.
It would also amend the ACEC regulations to ensure that the BLM gives priority to the designation and protection Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
Comments will be accepted through June 20. For more information, including a section-by-section discussion of the proposed rule, go to the Federal Register’s published document page.
The principal uses of public lands include, and are limited to, domestic livestock grazing, fish and wildlife development and utilization, mineral exploration and production, rights-of-way, outdoor recreation, and timber production, according to §1702(l) of FLPMA.
Conservation leases would be issued for a maximum of ten years, and a permittee would be any person that has a valid permit, right-of-way grant, lease, or other land use authorization from the BLM.
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