Boise, ID – On June 20th, Attorney General Labrador led eight states and authored a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) opposing its proposed “Conservation and Landscape Health” rule.
The new rule proposed by the Bureau of Land Management allegedly enhances provisions for the agency to “protect intact landscapes, restore degraded habitat, and make wise management decisions based on science and data.” The new rule would allow the agency to lease land for “conservation use.”
The proposed rule attempts to create agency authority where none exists. Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, Congress did not grant executive branch agencies the power to define new uses under the statute.
The letter sent to the Bureau of Land Management makes clear that the BLM not only lacks the authority under the Federal Land Policy Management Act, but that the proposed rule violates existing case law and would cause detrimental harm to the State of Idaho.
“The proposed rule is an effort by the Biden administration to privatize conservation further. Public land leases drafted under the guise of ‘conservation’ would gobble up large swaths of land, transforming them into private playgrounds for the ultra-rich. Two-thirds of Idaho’s land is Federal; allowing the Federal government to privatize this land would greatly impact our state,” Attorney General Labrador said.
The State of Idaho, along with Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, South Carolina, and South Dakota, demand an immediate withdrawal of this rule.
The State of Alaska sent a separate letter opposing this rule. Idaho is also a party to this letter.
The Idaho letter can be found here.
The Alaska letter can be found here.