Republicans, Democrats clash over new BLM lands rule

By Scott Streater | 04/22/2024 04:32 PM EDT

Democrats heaped praise on the conservation and landscape health rule on a call Monday. Republicans scorned it at a field hearing in Utah.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah).

“This rule, which the BLM finalized just four days ago, undermines the agency’s statutory, multiple-use mandate and limits access to Utah’s public lands for energy and mineral development, grazing, forest management and recreation,” Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) said during Monday’s Federal Lands Subcommittee hearing, held in Hurricane, Utah. House Natural Resources Committee/YouTube

Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on federal land management, a fact highlighted by dueling events Monday.

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), on a conference call Monday celebrating the Bureau of Land Management’s finalization last week of a conservation and landscape health rule that elevates conservation as a management priority, praised the rule and vowed to fight for it against strong Republican opposition.

She called it a “historic step in protecting our public lands, our cultural sites, wildlife corridors, and ensuring that everyone has access to these lands.”


She added: “And it brings a modern and a 21st century world view of the Federal Land Policy Management Act, which for many decades has been managed with the idea that lands are there for extraction and for use without protection.”