The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — our nation's largest land management agency, tasked with overseeing 245 million acres across the country — manages public lands for a multitude of uses.
But how does conservation stack up to other uses like oil and gas, mining, and grazing?
Currently, conservation isn't an equal priority, which is unfortunate for hunters and anglers like me who rely on quality fish and wildlife habitat and large tracts of undeveloped public lands.
However, the BLM is currently holding a comment period for an innovative strategy on how it manages our public lands. A proposed Public Lands Rule would provide more recognition and emphasis on conservation and the value of land protections through the lens of outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and negating the growing impacts of wildfire, drought, and development.
Simply put, the rule change would elevate the role of conservation and make it on par with other land uses such as grazing, energy development and resource extraction, without reducing the role of these activities which have long been the priorities for BLM managed lands.