On March 7, the U.S. Senate, following the House’s lead, voted along party lines to rescind an important decree that gave the public — and sportsmen like myself — the chance to have more say in the management of more than 245 million acres of BLM public lands.
This unfortunate vote came only months after the BLM finalized “Planning 2.0,” which increased public involvement and transparency in the BLM’s planning processes. The new guidelines were supported by sportsmen because they provided better opportunities to identify important wildlife habitat, migration corridors, and intact landscapes, and gave all public land users a bigger voice in the process.
The state of Washington is fortunate to have Senators Murray and Cantwell, with strong pro-public land voting records, standing up for sportsmen. Sadly, their votes were not enough. Now, since Congress has made our public lands political, the rules for managing BLM lands have reverted back to antiquated and less-inclusive guidelines circa 1983.
I want to thank Senators Murray and Cantwell for voting against rescinding BLM Planning 2.0. They can always be counted on to support public lands and Washington’s sportsmen and women.