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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; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people 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.

Bills in Congress seek to nix conservation in BLM Public Lands Rule

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Monday, October 9, 2023   

Bills in Congress would throw out comments for a proposed rule that would prioritize conservation and restoration on U.S. Bureau of Land Management public lands.

House Resolution 3977 and Senate Bill 1435 would call for the BLM to stop gathering and discard public input on its draft Public Lands Rule, tossing out more than 216,000 public comments.

Jamie Dawson with the Oregon chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said these BLM lands are valuable for many different reasons.

"This conservation rule will just help ensure that the agency does take the steps necessary to protect fish and wildlife habitat, protect migration corridors, clean water," said Dawson, "all of these other values that are really important."

The proposed rule elevates conservation and restoration in the BLM's multiple-use mandate for public lands.

It's received pushback from the oil and gas industry, which says it violates BLM's mandate to prioritize the nation's need for domestic minerals, including oil and gas.

Dawson said Oregon is lucky to have as much public land as it does.

"You don't need to have a friend with a ranch or a private pond who will let you come onto their property," said Dawson. "Having access to BLM lands makes hunting and angling a lot more accessible for a lot more people. So it's important that we make sure they're in good condition."

A vote is expected this month on the two bills tossing out the draft BLM Public Lands Rule.




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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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