BLM, Forest Service officials pan public land, monument bills

By Scott Streater | 03/21/2024 06:22 AM EDT

A House hearing also dove into “natural asset companies.”

Nada Culver.

Nada Culver, Bureau of Land Management principal deputy director, on Wednesday. House Natural Resources Committee/YouTube

Two senior Biden administration officials pushed back Wednesday against a suite of Republican-led bills that would restrict the president’s authority to designate national monuments and the federal government’s ability to manage public lands for conservation.

Nada Wolff Culver, the Bureau of Land Management’s principal deputy director, and Chris French, the Forest Service’s deputy chief, both testified at a House hearing that their agencies oppose H.R. 5499, sponsored by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), which would amend the Antiquities Act of 1906 to require congressional approval of presidential monument designations.

Wolff Culver also testified that BLM is opposed to two bills that would block proposed BLM land-use plan updates in Wyoming and Colorado.


Miller-Meeks argued during the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands hearing that the Antiquities Act has not been updated in more than a century and that presidents from both political parties have abused the intent of the law, which she noted “requires that all designations be confined to the smallest areas compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”