Utah, Wyoming sue BLM to block public lands rule ‘abomination’

By Scott Streater | 06/20/2024 01:32 PM EDT

The states accused the bureau of violating the National Environmental Policy Act.

A Bureau of Land Management sign denotes public lands in Oregon.

The states of Utah and Wyoming filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management's recent public lands rule. Bureau of Land Management Washington and Oregon/Flickr

The Bureau of Land Management’s sweeping new public lands rule is headed to federal court.

The states of Utah and Wyoming late Tuesday filed a joint federal lawsuit claiming that the Interior Department and BLM violated a bedrock environmental law by failing to conduct an in-depth study of the proposal, such as an environmental impact statement, before finalizing it.

BLM declined to comment on the lawsuit, which appears to be the first legal challenge to the conservation and landscape health rule that took effect last week.


But the bureau explained in a document it filed last week on regulations.gov that the rule is exempt from such requirements because it is “of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature,” and that only “future change in management or authorization of on-the-ground activities” that result from the rule itself are subject to analysis.