BLM hints that rule changes on land management policy could be in the works

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2023 - 5:48pm

The Bureau of Land Management oversees about 245 million acres for a variety of uses.

Critics say the agency typically favors industry and agriculture, but the agency recently signaled it may shift in a new direction.

Last week, the Biden administration announced the creation of a new national monument in southeast Nevada.

Policy analysts say that officials indicated during the announcement that the BLM may soon seek public comment on rule changes that would improve its ability to manage public lands.

The changes could emphasize recreation and ecosystem health, said Ken Rait of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

"The agency manages traditional homelands for tribal communities, it manages important wildlife habitat, important watersheds for downstream communities, and all of these are multiple use values for which the agency should be able to manage," Rait said.

He says that managing lands for recreation could have positive impacts on climate change.