June 16, 2023 https://boebert.house.gov
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert fought for ranchers and farmers and other Americans that utilize our public lands during a hearing on H.R. 3397, legislation cosponsored by Congresswoman Boebert to halt a new Biden regulation aiming to lock up our public lands from multiple use.
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert stated, “Biden’s bureaucrats at the Bureau of Land Management are proposing a rule that would lock up our public lands from multiple uses like grazing, mining, recreation, and energy production. This rule will harm western communities by halting fire risk-reduction activities, stripping grazing rights away from farmers and ranchers, and further waging war on American energy. I cosponsored H.R. 3397 to protect multiple use on public lands, and I held Biden’s Bureau of Land Management bureaucrat accountable for this attempted government takeover of our public lands during today’s hearing.”
“In the West, we know locking up lands with preservationist designations does not automatically guarantee healthy landscapes. In fact, the opposite is often the case,” said Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse. “Farmers and ranchers are the best stewards of the land, not bureaucrats in Washington who seek to hamper our land managers’ ability to conserve the land they rely on for their livelihoods. The BLM has time and again shown their aim is to drastically reduce, or even eliminate, grazing on public lands, and this proposed rule is the latest iteration of this effort. I am proud to introduce legislation to rescind it.”
“The BLM’s proposed rule would undermine the livelihoods of Utah’s farmers, ranchers, recreation businesses, and more,” said Congressman John Curtis. “In a state that has so much natural beauty to share, this rule attempts to lock up those precious lands that should be open and accessible to the public.”
“The Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule ignores Congressional input as well as those of sportsmen and Tribes, whose access to certain federal lands could be restricted if the rule goes into effect,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “BLM, under the Interior Department, should be prioritizing proper management of high-risk fire areas and leasing on federal lands so we can secure American energy independence. This rule only undermines these goals.”
Biden’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed a new regulatory mandate titled, “Conservation and Landscape Health.” This flawed rule contradicts congressional intent behind the Federal Land Management and Policy Act (FLPMA) by classifying conservation as a use for the purpose of fulfilling the congressional mandate that public lands have multiple uses including mineral exploration and production, livestock grazing, rights-of-way, fish and wildlife development, recreation, and timber. The FLPMA never mentions “conservation” as an active multiple use on federal land and Congress never passed a new law to authorize this rule. The Biden administration also made up a definition of “ecological resilience” for this regulation, a term that is never mentioned in FLPMA.
The Biden administration is attempting to unilaterally rewrite the law through regulation and using this definition change to covertly implement its radical 30×30 initiative that aims to lock up 30% of all land and water in the United States by 2030. Congresswoman Boebert is a strong champion of multiple use on public lands, and she introduced the 30×30 Termination Act to prohibit the Biden administration from enacting policies that prevent Americans from utilizing their public lands. Thousands of rural communities depend on access to BLM lands for recreation, grazing, timber production, and energy production. BLM estimated in fiscal year 2021, that BLM programs support more than $200 billion in economic output and approximately 783,000 jobs.
Despite 50% of Rep. Boebert’s district being federal land and more than 90% of the BLM’s 245 million acres being located in Western rural communities, the Biden administration held in-person meetings to brief the public on this rule in Denver, Albuquerque, and Reno hours away from where most rural stakeholders that will be harmed by the rule live so they could better allow urban environmentalist groups to attend as well as facilitate an echo chamber and a false narrative that this unauthorized rule is somehow beneficial for the American people and federal lands.
During the hearing, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon both testified that this rule will prevent active forest management and lead to more catastrophic wildfires. Governor Noem called this whole rule a conspiracy theory and pointed out how numerous land management decisions will no longer be posted in the federal register for public comment and overly restrictive land management policies will be implemented overnight. The BLM also failed to coordinate with States and local governments when writing this rule. Clearly, public input is being silenced and transparency is being reduced with this new regulation.
BLM is seeking to implement this landgrab through so-called 10-year “conservation leases” to address “restoration of degraded landscapes.” BLM has been intentionally vague about what uses will be compatible with “conservation” in order to lock up federal lands and prevent other multiple-uses it with which it philosophically disagrees. The executive summary for this new mandate falsely claims, “Ensuring resilient ecosystems has become imperative, as public lands are increasingly degraded and fragmented due to adverse impacts from climate change and a significant increase in authorized use.” According to a report by the Congressional Review Service published in 2017, grazing on BLM managed lands has decreased by 52.2% since 1954 under BLM management.
Congresswoman Boebert questioned Biden’s Bureau of Land Management Deputy Principal Director Nada Culver in a hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources. During her time, the Congresswoman discussed how just this week she heard from constituent who is a farmer and rancher in Mesa County how this unconstitutional rule could prevent her livestock from grazing on BLM land where they currently graze, and where she has an active permit.
Ranchers and farmers across the West still don’t have a clear answer as to what the impact of this rule will be on their current grazing leases or what happens when they are up for renewal.