The Senate passed major legislation to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Resource Management Planning rule, which is commonly called “Planning 2.0.” Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican in the United States Senate, served as a sponsor of the disapproval resolution and applauded the Senate’s overturning of the rule.
“I am proud that the Congress has pushed back against this top-down, Obama-era regulation. BLM’s Planning 2.0 makes sweeping changes to how the federal government manages our public lands and shifts decision-making authority away from states and local communities to bureaucrats in Washington, DC. The federal government needs to pursue policies that empower local communities and adhere to the multiple-use mandate – which serves as the bedrock of our public land management policies.”
Roughly 99 percent of BLM-controlled lands are in 12 western states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming—all of which stand to lose if the Planning 2.0 rule remains in its current form.
Along with the sweeping changes made to the planning process, the rule drastically limits opportunities for formal public engagement and weakens the value and impact of Governors’ Consistency Reviews. The long-term result will be a longer process that creates more confusion and greater uncertainty. State, local, and tribal governments, as well as interested and affected stakeholders, will be deprived of opportunities to engage in the process and influence land management decisions on the public lands they rely on.
The bill’s lead sponsors, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, have received letters supporting the rule’s nullification from a wide range of organizations, including: the Alaska Farm Bureau, Inc., Alaska Municipal League, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Arizona Association of Counties, Arizona County Supervisors Association, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Association of Oregon Counties, California Farm Bureau Federation, Colorado Farm Bureau, Eureka County, Nevada, Fortymile Mining District, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Nevada Association of Conservation Districts, Nevada Association of Counties, Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, New Mexico Farm And Livestock Bureau, Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, Oregon Farm Bureau, Public Lands Council, Rural County Representatives of California, Utah Association of Conservation Districts, Utah Association of Counties, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Washington Farm Bureau, Western Interstate Region of NACo, Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, Wyoming County Commissioners Association, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, and the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.
All Senate Republicans who represent western states joined Murkowski as co-sponsors of the BLM Planning 2.0 disapproval resolution. The Senate’s co-sponsors are: Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.