Environmental Extremists Head Bureau of Land Management with Mission to Severely Limit Access to Public Lands

In April 2023, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a proposed rule change in the Federal Register with the deliberately deceiving title, “Strengthening the Stewardship of America’s Public Lands.” If implemented, this rule would undermine the intended multiple use mandate for lands managed by the BLM, significantly limiting recreational opportunities and severely curtailing the productive uses of lands that are central to many rural economies. This federal overreach would further jeopardize America’s energy and food security, which current administration policies have greatly undermined. Public comments on the proposed rule were accepted through June 20, 2023; final action is expected in December.

True to the Biden administration’s environmental policy, this rule is sugar-coated poison designed to help promote the intertwined globalist and environmental extremist agendas. A mere seven days after he was sworn in, Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14008, titled Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The EO was spoon-fed to the administration by the United Nations (UN) and domestic environmental extremist groups, and resulted in the 30X30 plan, deceivingly labeled as “America The Beautiful” by those crusading for it. The BLM’s proposed rule is a 30X30 fantasy, arbitrarily aiming to “conserve” 30 percent of total United States lands and waters by 2030.

The U.S. Geological Survey shows that currently, approximately 12 percent of U.S. land is already in conservation status, roughly equivalent to the combined landmass of California and New York. In order to achieve the 30X30 goal, another 440 million acres would have to be commandeered in the name of conservation, requiring the addition of land twice the size of Texas for the land bank. In total, the lands off limits to “we the people” would comprise an area nearly five times the size of Montana. It is impossible for that to happen without acquiring and eliminating production on millions of acres of privately-owned lands, in addition to the sharp limitation of use of federally managed lands, commonly known as public lands. Essentially, the government of the people, by the people and for the people would confiscate lots of the peoples’ land.

Proposed Rule Would Make “Non-Use” a “Use”

Created in 1946, BLM’s mission is “to sustain health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment for present and future generations.” BLM currently manages 245 million acres across 12 western states.

BLM’s proposed rule would “prioritize conservation and ecosystem resiliency” by making non-use of federally managed lands a “use,” pitting mandated, traditional, productive uses such as grazing, mining, logging, and gas and oil leases directly against the interests of radical environmental extremists, including those in the agency. The initiative is conveniently disguised with the deceptive feel-good “conservation” label. BLM would be empowered to issue “conservation leases,” which would allow environmental extremists to remove lands from public use for periods of up to 10 years.

Currently, permit and leaseholders must file for official non-use if, for some reason, they cannot utilize the resources they are allotted. For example, if a rancher sold livestock and had none to turn out on grazing allotments, he or she would file for non-use. Repeated non-use may result in the permit or lease being offered to other users in order to keep this public land productive.

The Federal Register entry for the proposed new regulation reads:

“The proposed rule would apply land health standards to all BLM-managed public lands and uses, clarify that conservation is a ‘‘use’’ within FLPMA’s multiple-use framework, and revise existing regulations to better meet FLPMA’s requirement that the BLM prioritize designating and protecting Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs)”

“One of the principal tools the BLM has available to manage public lands for that type of conservation use is the designation of ACECs. ACECs are areas where special management attention is needed to protect important historic, cultural, and scenic values, fish, or wildlife resources, or other natural systems or processes, or to protect human life and safety from natural hazards.”

Essentially, unelected BLM bureaucrats would have the power to deny any and all access to lands they manage for perceived “environmental concern,” in addition to supposed “danger” to human life. The criteria for ACECs are deliberately vague and broad, thereby creating enormous opportunities for rampant abuse of ACEC designation.

Law Requires “Sustained Yield” From BLM Managed Lands

Existing laws specifically cover the use of federally managed lands, namely, the Multiple Use Yield Sustained Act (MUYSA) of 1960 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976.

FLPMA mandates “sustained yield” from BLM managed lands, which has been officially defined as “achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple uses.”

Former BLM director Neil Kornze wrote:

“FLPMA defines our mission as one of multiple use and sustained yield. This means thoughtful development in the right places to drive economic opportunities for local communities. It also means protecting natural, cultural, and historical resources that are simply too special to develop. And above all, it means working with a changing nation to make decisions that are balanced and forward-looking. Our responsibilities are wide-ranging. In addition to supporting the nation’s need for energy, minerals, timber, and grazing lands, we offer world-class recreational opportunities to millions of Americans who are passionate about hunting, fishing, hiking, paddling, and skiing.”

FLPMA already encompasses a broad spectrum of conservation purposes, so it is crystal clear the recently proposed rule is simply a carefully devised land-grabbing tool designed to advance the aforementioned radical environmental, anti-livestock, anti-meat, anti-hunting and fishing, and anti-public-access agendas.

Grazing Federally Managed Lands Remains Vital to Food Security

While BLM manages an inventory of public lands, grazing rights are owned by ranchers through what is known as “split estate.” Grazing rights are taxable and transferable assets attached to the base properties of western ranches.

For various reasons, numbers of livestock grazed on federally managed lands have declined by more than 70 percent since the 1970s. However, thanks to careful genetic selection in livestock and dedicated resource management, American ranchers are producing more beef with fewer cattle and less resources. Approximately 40 percent of the nation’s beef cattle spend time on federally managed lands, as do 50 percent of the nation’s sheep herds. Department of the Interior (DOI) accounting indicates the grazing of federally administered lands contributes more than $1.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the global need for food will increase by more than 100 percent. Grazing federally managed lands is a sustainable way to utilize a uniquely renewable resource, converting raw materials that cannot be consumed by humans into nutritious, complex protein, natural food products.

It is reprehensible for unelected bureaucrats to consider actively eliminating grazing that reduces food from our supply chain. Yet, when the leadership of the BLM and its overseeing agency, the Department of the Interior, are managed by ideological zealots for the wrong reasons, situations such as the current one involving the removal of large tracts of public land from public use are unsurprising, albeit disappointing and wrong.

DOI & BLM Headed by “Justice” Warrior and Confirmed Eco Terrorist

Deb Haaland is currently the head of the Department of the Interior (DOI), and Tracy Stone-Manning is at the helm of the BLM.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland

Before assuming her role leading the DOI, Haaland was a Democratic Representative for New Mexico. She sponsored the bill that would eventually become the 30X30 plan. A Native American, Haaland has been an outspoken crusader for racial and environmental “justice.” Her work has included establishing the Missing & Murdered Unit (MMU) within the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to work on hundreds of unsolved cases, and to change the names of various landmarks that were perceived to be derogatory toward Native Americans.

However, the truth is Haaland’s environmental policies do more harm than good to Native American populations. According to Move For Hunger, Native Americans are far more likely to experience food insecurity than other ethnic groups, and data from the 2018 Census showed that the national poverty rate for Native Americans was the highest of any racial group, at 25.4 percent. By comparison, Black or African American poverty rate was 20.8 percent, and for Hispanics the national poverty rate was 17.6 percent. The White population had an 8.1 percent national poverty rate during the same period.

In a hearing, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso stated that Haaland is “jeopardizing energy security and national security” by undermining energy goals, including Joe Biden’s.

Haaland’s environmental extremist energy policies have already adversely impacted America by limiting land use for the sake of “conservation.” Haaland is blocking leases for oil and gas extraction and, ironically, for mining the minerals necessary for so-called green energy initiatives.

Barrasso stated that due to Biden’s green energy mission, the demand for copper is expected to rise 300 percent by 2040, nickel by 1,900 percent, and cobalt by 2,100 percent. In early 2023, Haaland withdrew over 225,000 acres in Minnesota from development for mining those rare earth minerals.

BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning

Stone-Manning is a well-known opponent of resource utilization on federally managed lands, and she is a confirmed eco-terrorist, having been involved in a tree-spiking plot in the 1990s. Tree-spiking is the hammering a metal or ceramic rod into a tree trunk in order to prevent the tree from being logged. If a logger unwittingly cuts into that tree and hits the spike with a saw, he or she could be seriously injured or killed.

Stone-Manning’s anti-human beliefs have been well-documented. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. In her thesis, she wrote: “The origin of our abuses is us. If there were fewer of us, we would have less impact… we must consume less, and more importantly, we must breed fewer consuming humans.” Stone-Manning also produced a number of ads to accompany her thesis, one of which referred to children as “environmental hazards.”

Stone-Manning’s husband, Richard Manning, also authored a book titled “Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization.” He advocates for the end of the large-scale modern agriculture that feeds our nation and the world. He wrote: “If the human endeavor takes as its primary reason for being the feeding of however many people issue from senseless acts of reproduction, then the human endeavor is pointless.”

Stone-Manning’s nomination was opposed by even Bob Abbey, who led the BLM under President Barack Obama. Abbey stated that her past actions “should disqualify her” from being considered for the position. Nevertheless, Stone-Manning was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and installed as the head of the BLM.

Recreational and Productive Land Use Already Targeted

Although final action on Strengthening the Stewardship of America’s Public Lands isn’t expected until December, several areas are already being targeted for “protection” through limiting or elimination of recreational and productive land use. The BLM claims that access won’t be restricted, but the agency’s own statements and documents demonstrate otherwise.

One area targeted is the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in Utah, which is utilized for recreation and grazing. The BLM website states: “The draft resource management plan (RMP) and environmental impact statement (EIS) includes consideration for proposed areas of critical environmental concern and recreational target shooting closures.”

Near Rock Springs, Wyoming, the preferred BLM plan would devastate the area’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism, grazing, mining, and gas and oil production. The area in question is 3.6 million acres, with 1.8 million acres designated off-limits to public access due to ACEC status.

According to Cowboy State Daily, a Wyoming news outlet:

“Several BLM representatives attended the meeting to answer questions. A couple of them told Cowboy State Daily the preferred alternative that would cut jobs, reduce grazing, reduce both liquid and solid mineral extraction and limit recreation access over a broad swath of Sweetwater, Lincoln, Fremont, Sublette and Uinta counties reflects the priorities of the Biden administration.”

A Free and Fed America™ Requires Continued Productive Land Use

The importance of utilizing the resources from federally managed lands to benefit America and Americans cannot be overstated. The productive use of our public lands was mandated for a very good reason — to help keep America free and fed. The proposed plan is yet another attack in the ongoing war on our nation’s food and energy security, and an affront to we the people whose public lands are being restricted by an out-of-control bureaucratic state.


Read more about Biden’s 30X30 plan HERE

Read an open letter to Biden about 30X30 HERE

Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development plan HERE

Read more about losing access to public lands HERE

Read more about ranching in the west HERE

Read more regarding the importance of grazing on Grand Staircase -Escalante Monument HERE

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