February 8, 2017
A bill proposed by U.S. Representative Liz Cheney passed the House yesterday that would scrap a set of new BLM rules that allow for increased public input in land management processes. The proposal will now come before the U.S. Senate.
The new rules, called “Planning 2.0,” were developed over the course of several years and were largely opposed by ranchers and developers. According to news reports, the executive director of the Wyoming Grazing Board said of Planning 2.0: “Those directly affected [ranchers and developers] need to have a seat at the table, not be lumped in with the public. There should be delineation between the interested public and stakeholders.”
Nineteen sportsmen’s groups signed onto a letter to the House Natural Resources Committee opposing Cheney’s bill, including Wyoming-base Muley Fanatic Foundation and a number of groups with chapters in the state. Many of these groups representing hunters and anglers looked forward to Planning 2.0 allowing their constituencies a voice in planning decisions.
Cheney, who many have noted lives primarily in Virginia and is distanced from Western issues like public lands, also favors transferring federal public lands in Wyoming to the state. She recently voted in favor of a Congressional rule change that would allow the federal government to dispose of public lands without considering their monetary value.
Planning 2.0 is the first comprehensive update to BLM processes in more than 30 years. Cheney’s bill would not only scrap these new rules, but also forbid anything like them from being developed again. The new rules updated the BLM’s planning procedures to take into account things like migration corridors, which are increasingly understood as crucial for the health of Wyoming deer, antelope, and elk populations.
Contact Wyoming Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso to ask them to vote against Cheney’s bill that would block public input from BLM land management processes.
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