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David Sparks Ph.d Public Lands
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: March 08, 2017

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A few weekends ago there was a huge rally in Boise at the Statehouse demanding that public lands be held as, just that… public. Jeff Ruprecht of Twin Falls Idaho stood on the steps of the capital and said, "I love my public lands. They are mine, my kids are hunters I'm a hiker and my wife is a birdwatcher.” Well apparently, Idahoans aren't the only people interested in what is going on with their public lands. I got a press release from the Oregon Farm Bureau saying The Senate is taking the final congressional step to kill the Obama administration's overhaul of the way the Bureau of Land Management makes land-use decisions.

The BLM, during the final days of the Obama Administration, finalized a new rule specific to land use planning on BLM managed public lands. The rule, dubbed Planning 2.0, has incorporated numerous Obama-era presidential and secretarial orders along with internal agency guidance and policy documents. The rule demonstrated a clear overreach by the BLM, in spite of the agency's claim that the "primary goal of the proposed rulemaking process is to improve the agency's ability to respond to environmental, economic and social changes in a timely manner."

The House voted 234-186 in February to approve a resolution that would eliminate the BLM Planning 2.0 rule, which ranchers and other critics say would dilute the influence of local and regional officials on BLM decisions.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on advancing the measure. If the Senate OKs the measure, the rule would be eliminated once President Trump signs the resolution using the Congressional Review Act.

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