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WA Wild Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Conservation Focus by Bureau of Land Management

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 in BLM Wild Lands, Conservation News

The San Juan Islander published a story celebrating some of the remarkable BLM lands in Washington State – not least of which is the recently designated San Juan Islands National Monument. October marked the 40th anniversary of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 which established a new direction for federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The article quoted Washington Wild’s Executive Director Tom Uniack about their efforts to advocate for additional protections as part of an upcoming resource management plan for BLM lands in eastern Washington. 

The BLM’s multiple use management mandate has largely focused on development activities including grazing, mining, oil and gas drilling and energy development.  In the past two decades, however, the agency started developing a stronger conservation legacy.

“As the West continues to grow and demand more areas to hike, hunt and fish, the BLM is poised to provide those experiences in new and engaging ways,” said Neil Kornze, BLM Director while celebrating the 15th anniversary of the National Conservation Lands System. “Conservation and recreation will play an increasingly important role in this great agency’s future.”

Photo Courtesy of BLM

Photo Courtesy of BLM

This summer will offer a chance for individuals to support balancing existing development on BLM lands by adding meaningful protections to rivers, sage brush, wild landscapes and recreation areas through the eastern Washington’s Resource Management Plan (RMP) revision, which will set management guidelines for BLM lands for the next 15-20 years. WA Wild is working to mobilize Washington residents to lend their voice in support of meaningful protections in the RMP, adding to the BLM’s conservation legacy in Washington State.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages more than 400,000 acres of land in Washington State, including conservation gems like the Juniper Dunes Wilderness, San Juan Islands National Monument and the Chopaka Mountain Wilderness Study Area. However, only 3% of all BLM lands statewide are protected as part of the agency’s National Conservation Lands System.

Read the article.