According to a SEMA report, the House Natural Resources Committee has passed legislation that would direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to withdraw the agency’s proposed “Conservation and Landscape Health” rule (H.R. 3397).
The bill was introduced as H.R. 3397 in response to the agency’s proposed rule that could potentially lock-up public lands and reduce recreation. The bill also prevents the BLM from issuing a substantially similar rule in the future.
SEMA says it opposes BLM’s current proposed rule, which would allow the agency to lease lands under new and vaguely defined terms, incorporate new standards when evaluating traditional multiple-use decisions, expedite designations of new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) and apply land health standards to all public lands.
BLM’s proposed rule undermines the Federal Land Policy and Management Act’s multiple-use requirement for BLM lands as it would hinder access to public lands for recreation, forest management, energy and critical mineral development, and grazing.
H.R. 3397 has 19 co-sponsors, and Senator John Barrasso (WY) is leading an identical bill in the Senate with the support of 12 additional co-sponsors. Representative John Curtis (UT) offered an amendment that passed during the committee voting session to rename the legislation the “Western Economic Security Today (WEST) Act of 2023” and dictates that the BLM director shall not issue a similar rule once it is withdrawn.
For more information about the legislation, visit SEMA.org.