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Wyoming, Utah sue BLM over new rule

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Via the Wyoming News Exchange

CASPER (WNE) — Wyoming and Utah are challenging the Bureau of Land Management over “public lands'' rules.

The case filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah challenges new BLM rules announced on April 18 that give conservation the same weight as mining when considering the use of land.

The BLM manages roughly 10% of all land in the United States and approximately 30% of its minerals. In Wyoming, the BLM manages 18.4 million acres of the state’s 62 million acres.

The BLM rule will help improve the health and resilience of public lands in the face of a changing climate; conserve important wildlife habitat and intact landscapes; facilitate responsible development and better recognize unique cultural and natural resources on public lands, according to a press release from the BLM in April.

The new rule recognizes conservation as an essential component of public lands management and puts conservation on equal footing with mining and other uses of land, according to the BLM.

“Ever since this abomination of a rule raised its ugly head, demonstrating the Biden Administration’s disregard for the law, I have fought it tooth and nail,” Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said after the lawsuit was filed. “This legal challenge ensures that this Administration is called out for sidestepping the bedrock federal statutes which guide public land management by attempting to eliminate multiple use through a corrupted definition of conservation, and for doing so with impunity. I look forward to our day in court and putting the BLM back on the right path.”

The suit alleges that the BLM did not “carefully consider possible environmental consequences before moving forward,” as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

This story was published on June 21, 2024.

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