BLM Invites Public to Identify Access Projects

In March of 2019, BHA and public land owners everywhere celebrated the passage of S.47, a legislative package of more than 100 bills called the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act. Today, the Bureau of Land Management is taking a major step forward in its implementation of the Dingell Act by addressing landlocked public lands across the West. We applaud U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt for prioritizing this important issue and encouraging public engagement in the process. The agency is inviting the public to nominate hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation lands under BLM’s jurisdiction that encompass at least 640 contiguous acres and lack legal public access or have access that is significantly restricted.

These land recommendations will help inform the BLM when it reports options to Congress that create public land access by acquiring easements, right-of-way agreements, land acquisitions from willing owners or other means of permanent egress.

Financial resources for BLM’s long-term efforts will rely on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was permanently authorized under the Dingell Act. However, permanent funding for LWCF has yet to be finalized and remains a priority for BHA and public land advocates as we identify opportunities to direct dedicated access funding from the program for projects like these.

If you have familiarity with any inaccessible public lands that fit BLM’s criteria, please contribute to the nominations process by clicking the BLM link below. Then, if you haven’t done so already, ask your representative to support full funding for the LWCF so that our agencies have the resources they need to undertake these meaningful access projects.

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