Our Petition to Restore Multiple-Use Management

On September 5, CRS petitioned Secretary of the Interior Zinke to temporarily withdraw approximately 117,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming from oil and gas leasing.  Over the past year-and-a-half, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has unsuccessfully tried to sell oil and gas leases on all of these lands.  It is now time to take a step back and reexamine whether other uses of these lands, such as hunting and fishing, safeguarding drinking water, and recreation, should take precedence. “Responsible stewardship and multiple use are conservative principles that have guided America’s public land management for more than a century. The Trump administration has turned this tried and true approach on its head, threatening the public access, resource quality, and diverse revenue stream that western communities depend on,” said CRS president David Jenkins. The parcels included in our petition include critical habitat for big game and other wildlife, migration corridors, trout streams, popular outdoor recreation areas, important drinking water sources, and significant historic sites. Many of these parcels were leased over objections by state and local agencies that understand the true values of these lands. For this administration’s leasing program,  quantity is trumping quality. There is no correlation between number of acres offered and number of acres actually leased. Since this administration came to office, the BLM has offered more than 12.7 million acres for oil and gas leasing, yet only 1.3 million acres have sold. With this no-holds-barred pursuit of its so-called “energy dominance” agenda, the Trump administration has made oil and gas drilling its preferred use of America’s public lands, and in doing...