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Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.

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Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

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Sportsmen Stand Up to Defend BLM 2.0

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Monday, February 13, 2017   

DENVER -- A coalition of sportsmen and conservation groups is standing up for the Bureau of Land Management's new land-use planning policies after the U.S. House invoked a rarely used rule to roll back the initiative. The Senate is expected to vote on eliminating the rules next week.

Suzanne O’Neill, executive director at the Colorado Wildlife Federation, said the rules ensure public input from the get-go on the multiple uses of public lands and benefit oil, gas, timber and outdoor recreation industries alike.

"This is good for everybody,” O’Neill said, "because under the rule, everyone can participate in identifying potential conflicts - or real conflicts - and then roll up our sleeves and try to figure out what are the options for resolving them."

If the Senate follows the House's lead and overturns what has been called BLM 2.0, the Congressional Review Act prohibits the bureau from issuing similar rules in the future. O'Neill said that would undermine years of work by industry, outdoor enthusiasts and conservation groups to improve the bureau's operations.

With the nation's attention fixed on a flurry of actions taken by the White House, O'Neill said it's important to keep an eye on what's happening in Congress and in state legislatures.

"People who care about keeping our public lands public need to pay attention,” she said, "because otherwise these sorts of bills will continue."

Last week's move by the House to eliminate BLM 2.0 came on the heels of a rule change that could pave the way for states to take control of publicly owned lands, and a measure - introduced by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz - that would remove law enforcement authority from both the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.


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