BLM SEEKS HELP TO INCREASE PUBLIC LAND ACCESS – In a press release last Friday (January 24, 2020), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asked for help from the public. This is an effort to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (The Dingell Act). The BLM seeks public input to help nominate BLM-managed lands authorized for hunting, fishing, and other recreation; but, “to which there is no legal public access or where access is significantly restricted.”
William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Programs and Policy, commented:
“Our priority is to increase access to public lands wherever possible, and to increase public opportunities for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation across the more than 245 million acres of lands we manage. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act will help us expand and improve these efforts, and we welcome information from the public that will help us pinpoint barriers to access.”
Is There Actually a Problem with BLM Public Land Access
In 2018, onX partnered with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) to address landlocked public lands. Their report, Landlocked Public Lands, impressively details access issues to millions of acres of public land. Approximately 15.87 million acres of public land is not accessible.
The Public’s Input
Recommendations from the public will aid the BLM in creating a report to Congress that provides options for reasonably providing access to such lands, such as by acquiring an easement, right-of-way or fee title from a willing owner.
People using, or attempting to use, the land knows the problem(s) best. Your experience and knowledge of these areas is key to helping the BLM create and ensure public access for hunting, fishing, and recreation.
“All lands nominated for inclusion on the BLM’s priority must be managed by the BLM, encompass at least 640 contiguous acres and have significantly restricted or have no public access.”
The Dingell Act
President Trump signed the Dingell Act into law in March of 2019. The published law is difficult to digest. BLM provided an overview, with state-specific information. Outside Online also published an easy-to-read summary.
Have you experienced issues accessing public land?