President Trump took the final step in nullifying the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) updated planning rule (2.0) when he signed H.J.Res.44 on March 27, 2017. This planning rule was finalized in the closing days of the Obama Administration and caused quite a stir among many western states. So much so that six western states filed suit against the rule because they felt it would “severely impair their ability to work with BLM on future planning and management issues.”
2.0 was criticized as a Washington top down planning rule that would diminish the role of state and local governments in the land management process. Passage of H.J Res.44 by both the House and the Senate reflected this concern.
Secretary Zinke was present for the signing ceremony as were several state governors. For BLM it is now back to square one. No one knows exactly what the agency will do next in terms of rewriting a planning rule especially since they are still waiting for a new Director to be named. Meantime, Mike Nedd, a BLM career employee, has been named as Acting Director.
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Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) was formed to ensure that Americans are not arbitrarily denied the right to responsibly experience and enjoy the public lands that belong to the citizens of the United States. The members of ARRA, which include horseback riders, personal watercraft users, off-highway vehicle and snowmobile riders, and vacationing families, have joined together to provide input on decisions regarding land use designation, recreation opportunities, and preservation. Its members seek responsible consideration of competing activities, which are based on sound environmental principles.
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