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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

BLM Proposes Greater Sustainability of Public Lands It Manages

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Monday, April 10, 2023   

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has proposed a rule that would bring more conservation to the lands it manages.

The agency's proposal would ensure that BLM lands are managed for conservation under its multiple-use mission, alongside uses such as recreation and resource extraction.

Vera Smith, senior federal lands policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife, said this is especially important as the impacts from climate change become greater.

"What this rule does," said Smith, "is it says, 'We're going to make sure that we're checking in on that sustainability part of the equation. We're going to make sure that the way we're managing will be sustainable ecologically and to provide resources into the future for this country.'"

The Western Energy Alliance is among the opponents of this change - saying it goes too far beyond the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which laid out the multiple uses that should be prioritized on public lands.

The public can comment on the rule through June 20.

Smith said this rule would rebalance the scales for protection of the land.

"We've been focusing a lot for the last half century or century on the extraction side of things, the multiple uses," said Smith, "and now we've got to make sure, hey, are we doing this in a sustainable way?"

Smith also noted that BLM lands are home to many threatened and endangered species.

"We do have a responsibility to make sure that we can keep the lands in good, healthy condition," said Smith, "and I'm hoping that this is a good, measured, balanced way to go about doing that."



Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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