Lummis, Newhouse Blast BLM Land Use Rule that will Harm the West 

April 18, 2024

Washington, D.C.— Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and House Western Caucus Chair Dan Newhouse (R-WA) issued the following statements slamming the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Conservation and Landscape Health final rule, which erodes multiple use requirements on federal lands that are essential to local communities throughout the west. By making conservation an official use of federal lands, activities like grazing, energy development and tourism, which Wyoming’s economy relies on, could be banned to appease radical climate extremists.  

“The people of Wyoming and throughout the west have once again been put on the backburner by this administration to score political points with climate change activists,” said Lummis. “The BLM’s new public lands rule is an egregious violation of its multiple-use mandate that immediately threatens public access and use of almost half of Wyoming’s land, delivering a nearly fatal blow to Wyoming’s ranching, energy and tourism industry. This policy will have devastating consequences for the state of Wyoming and the entire west, and I will support any effort to overturn this egregious overreach.”

“Once again, President Biden and Secretary Haaland are confusing ‘conservation’ for ‘preservation’ with this illegal final rule that violates the multiple-use mandate established by FLPMA,” said Newhouse. “Let’s be clear, this is just another way to lock up America’s abundant natural resources, end grazing on federal lands, and limit public access to our public lands for the sake of climate alarmism. This is a direct assault on the Western way of life and the Congressional Western Caucus will support any and all efforts to overturn this blatant overreach from the Biden administration.”

In 2023, Senator Lummis joined Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and 8 of her colleagues in introducing legislation to block this rule and protect federal lands.

The new BLM rule upends this nearly 60-year public land policy by amending the definition of “conservation” to exclude multiple use. It also establishes obstructive “conservation leases” to take otherwise productive lands completely out of production for a decade or longer.