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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; Healthcare decision planning important for CT residents; Debt dilemma poll: Hoosiers wrestle with college costs.

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Civil Rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

BLM Proposes Greater Sustainability of Public Lands It Manages

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Monday, April 10, 2023   

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has proposed a rule that would bring more conservation to the lands it manages.

The agency's proposal would ensure that BLM lands are managed for conservation under its multiple-use mission, alongside uses such as recreation and resource extraction.

Vera Smith, senior federal lands policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife, said this is especially important as the impacts from climate change become greater.

"What this rule does," said Smith, "is it says, 'We're going to make sure that we're checking in on that sustainability part of the equation. We're going to make sure that the way we're managing will be sustainable ecologically and to provide resources into the future for this country.'"

The Western Energy Alliance is among the opponents of this change - saying it goes too far beyond the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which laid out the multiple uses that should be prioritized on public lands.

The public can comment on the rule through June 20.

Smith said this rule would rebalance the scales for protection of the land.

"We've been focusing a lot for the last half century or century on the extraction side of things, the multiple uses," said Smith, "and now we've got to make sure, hey, are we doing this in a sustainable way?"

Smith also noted that BLM lands are home to many threatened and endangered species.

"We do have a responsibility to make sure that we can keep the lands in good, healthy condition," said Smith, "and I'm hoping that this is a good, measured, balanced way to go about doing that."



Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

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