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H. J. Res. 44 would eliminate BLM's Planning 2.0 land use regulation
Ask your Senators to vote NO
The House passed HJ Res. 44 this week. The Senate was expected to vote on it the week of Feb. 13th. but that didn't happen. Predicting Congressional action is akin to buying a lottery ticket - you might win :-)
However, you can still send a message to Sens. Bennet and Gardner.
Planning 2.0 increases opportunities for the public to give serious input early in the planning process, has provisions for better protection of wildlife habitat and other natural resources and allows a landscape-scale approach to future management of our BLM lands.
Now you can take the next step: Urge our Senators to vote NO on HJ Resolution 44.
In Colorado alone BLM oversees 8.3 million acres of public lands and 27 million acres of mineral estate. The Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) manages 668,000 surface acres of public land along the Front Range and 6.8 million sub-surface acres.
We all have a say in how these lands are managed because we can participate in public workshops and comment periods like those organized last year by the RGFO for the current Easter Colorado Resource Management Planning.
BLM established the Planning 2.0 rule to, among other things, provide additional opportunities for public input on how your lands are managed. But this resolution in Congress would undo this important step forward for the agency and the public by eliminating that rule.
Contact your Senators now and ask them to vote NO on H. J. Res. 44
Make it count
A phone call or a personal letter hand-delivered to the Senator's local office is most effective, short of actully speaking with the Senator himself. A personal email is OK, but form emails have less effect. Note that mail to DC is often delayed due to security screening.
Wild Connections hand-delivered our letter to Sen. Gardner's and Sen. Bennet's Denver offices on Feb. 9th. Their staff took time to listen to our concenrs. You can quote from Wild Connection's letter - it will reinforce both your and our position on Planning 2.0. Do mention our name, please.
1125 17th Street, Suite 525 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: (303) 391-5777
503 N. Main Street, Suite 426 Pueblo, CO 81003 Phone: (719) 543-1324 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 930 Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Phone:(719) 632-6706 400 Rood Avenue, Federal Bldg., Suite 220 Grand Junction, CO 81501 Phone: (970) 245-9553 801 8th Street, Suite 140A Greeley, CO 80631 Phone: (970) 352-5546 2001 S. Shields Street, Building H Fort Collins, CO 80526 Phone: (970) 484-3502 529 North Albany Street, Suite 1220 Yuma, CO 80759 Phone: (970) 848-3095 329 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite I Durango, CO 81303 Phone: (970) 415-7416 354 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-5941
1127 Sherman St., Suite 150 Denver, CO 80203 Phone: 303-455-7600
409 North Tejon St., Suite 107 Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Phone: 719-328-1100
129 West B Street Pueblo, CO 81003 Phone: 719-542-7550 609 Main Street, Suite 110 Alamosa, CO 81101 Phone: 719-587-0096
1200 South College Ave., Suite 211 Fort Collins, CO 80524 Phone: 970-224-2200
225 North 5th Street, Suite 511 Grand Junction, CO 81501 Phone: 970-241-6631
261 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: 202-224-5852
You can also reach your members of Congress quickly through their web sites or go to GovTrack to link to any of them.
Planning 2.0 has established procedures for preparing, revising, or amending land use plans, and provides new opportunities for stakeholders to participate in the early stages of developing plans. This means that states and counties, scientists, ranchers, hunters and anglers, miners, hikers, boaters, the energy industry, and other users of public lands can know more about what a plan would do and express their hopes and concerns about it. If this rule is recinded, it would mean that BLM would have to rely on the outdated planning rule of 1983.
Here are some key provisions:
The BLM’s new planning rule creates a more dynamic and durable planning process that is more responsive to change, making it more efficient to keep plans current. This saves the BLM time and saves taxpayers money.
Planning 2.0 makes the planning process more collaborative and transparent by strengthening opportunities for other Federal agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes, and the public to be involved in the development of RMPs earlier and more frequently. The final rule retains the special role of state, local and tribal cooperating agencies, as specifically required by the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act. In fact, significant changes were made to the final planning rule in response to requests from cooperating agencies.
The rule offers new opportunities to involve the public earlier in the revision process, enabling the BLM to have the best available information at the start of the planning process. This added input up front allows BLM to be more efficient in finalizing the plan.
Planning 2.0 permits a landscape-level approach to planning, which enables the BLM to carry out planning at a scale that makes sense and allows consideration of the full context of resource values, including environmental, economic, and social values.
The new rule allows BLM to better respond to management challenges in a changing world by incorporating the best available science, geospatial data and technology.
Hunters and anglers support Planning 2.0 because the rule takes steps to ensure that important habitats, such as migration corridors and other intact habitats, are identified
Wld Connections and our members have participated in aspects of Planning 2.0 that BLM has been testing. Six envisioning meetings around the region and the upcoming "Preliminary Draft Alternatives" are examples. BLM accepted Wild Connections' detailed roadless area inventories, and as a result increased BLM's wilderness inventory from the 2013 figure of 77,765 acres to 190,722 acres. In contrast to opponents of Planning 2.0, Wild Connections' experience has been one of increased participation and exchange of concerns between the agency and the public.
No we didn't want to sell Sand Gulch! Photo Wild Connections
Your voice was heard! Rep. Chaffectz withdrew House Bill 621 that would have put 3.3 million acres of Federal land up for sale
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced this legislation, but then withdrew it after a huge public outcry. Citizens do have power!
You might want to check Wilderness Workshop’s Capital Watch to keep up to date on this and other similar issues.
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