Priority Campaign 2023

Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Rule

Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Rule

The Conservation Alliance harnesses the power of businesses and outdoor communities to protect North America’s cherished wild places and outdoor spaces. Through the collective strength of our membership – companies from banks to breweries and outdoor gear – we champion solutions that balance the best interests of the land and water, wildlife, and people. Since 1989, we’ve helped protect 81 million acres and 3,580 river miles, remove or halt 37 dams, purchase 21 climbing areas, and designate five marine reserves.

In 2023 and 2024, we are investing additional advocacy resources in six priority campaigns. Each campaign is focussed on natural resource conservation, adapting to a changing climate, recognizing the rights of Indigenous communities, and protecting habitat in places that are also valued for human-powered recreation. We announce our Advocacy Priority Campaigns once a year. In collaboration with our grantees, we work to identify land and water conservation opportunities that are urgent, vital, and need national attention.

Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Rule

What’s at stake?

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 245 million acres of public lands, more than any other land management agency. These public lands are home to world-class outdoor recreation opportunities, invaluable cultural resources, critical habitat, and are crucial to our nation’s opportunity to combat climate change. Despite their incredible value, the majority of these treasured lands have been left unprotected and open to damaging, extractive activities like oil and gas drilling. Currently, only a small portion – 15% – of BLM lands have permanent protections from development and other detrimental uses. The proposed BLM Public Lands Rule is an opportunity to ensure that the agency prioritizes a management framework that promotes conservation amongst its other core uses. The proposed rule would encourage more consistent use of tools like Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) and conservation leases to secure more durable protections of our nation’s most cherished lands. Ultimately, the rule will elevate conservation and compatible uses like human-powered recreation in its management decisions. The future of the proposed rule is uncertain and our collective business voice is needed to guarantee that the rule is finalized so we can address the ongoing increasing pressures on our public lands.

What’s the solution?

We must ensure that the BLM Public Lands Rule is as strong as possible and survives ongoing threats from a handful of industries who are working to undermine it. In the coming months, we will amplify the voice of business to ensure that the BLM prioritizes our community’s values, including increased access to sustainable recreation activities, maintaining excellent user experiences across our public lands, growing the outdoor industry, strengthening recreation-based economies, and ensuring responsible energy development across the western United States. By leveraging our voices at the federal level and by elevating specific beloved landscapes, we can ensure that the Biden administration and congress act to protect millions of acres of public lands.

In July, 2023, The Conservation Alliance submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Biden Administration, and members of Congress signed by over 100 companies that clearly demonstrates business support for the agency’s draft Public Lands Rule. From the outdoor industry to brewers, bankers, sportsmen, and renewable energy companies, the businesses represent a wide range of industries that all rely on the outdoors for their bottom line.

Who is The Conservation Alliance’s partner?

The Conservation Alliance and our members are working with and funding a number of organizations nationwide to update the BLM Rule. Those organizations include Center for American Progress, Pew Charitable Trust, Theodore Rosevelt Conservation Project, The Wilderness Society, and TCA Grantee, Conservation Lands Foundation.