Coordination

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Coordination Requested on BLM’s Proposed Planning Rules

by | Apr 13, 2016 | 30x30, Conservation Easements, Coordination | 0 comments

April 12, 2016, six Counties and three Conservation Districts representing seven Western states (the Coordinating Local Governments) issued a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director, Neil Kornze.  The letter request that he coordinate the agencies proposed planning rules with the local governments as required by Section 202 (c) 9 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).

The BLM issued notice it intended to change its existing planning rules on February 25th of this year (81 Fed. Reg. 9674).  The proposed rules have been in development for some time; however, no effort was made by the BLM to coordinate with local governments during this process.  The changes are sweeping and would significantly reduce the role of State and local governments in public land use inventory and planning and management activities contrary to the statutory provisions of FLPMA.

The letter sent to the BLM Director states:

“Because Section 202(c)(9) requires coordination with local governments with respect to the BLM’s “land use inventory, planning, and management activities” concerning the public lands, and further requires the BLM to provide for “meaningful public involvement” of local government officials in “the development of land use programs, land use regulations, and land use decisions for public lands,” the Coordinating Local Governments request coordination on the Proposed Rules.  Obviously, the development and adoption of these rules constitute a planning and management activity, which activity is subject to coordination.  In addition, “meaningful involvement” in the development of land use programs and land use regulations under Section 202(c)(9) requires more than on-line listening sessions and the ability to submit comments.”

The Coordinating Local Governments are Kane County, Utah; Garfield County, Colorado; Chaves County, New Mexico; Big Horn County, Wyoming; Custer County, Idaho; Modoc County, California; Winkelman Natural Resource Conservation District, Arizona; Hereford Natural Resource Conservation District, Arizona; and, Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District, New Mexico.

In addition to sending the letter, the coalition of Coordinating Local Governments has also been developing a set of comments to be submitted challenging the proposed rule changes.  Local governments that wish to be added to the list of participants submitting these comments should contact American Stewards of Liberty (phone 512-591-7854 or email asl@americanstewards.us).  The original comment deadline was April 25, 2016, however, after numerous requests, the BLM has extended the period to May 24, 2016.

Briefing Paper on BLM’s Proposed Rule.

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