ARRA Obtains Remainder of Leaked DOI Document Detailing BLM Agenda that Leaves Little Room for Motorized Recreation
ARRA alerted you to a leaked Department of Interior memo earlier this year that outlined that the Administration is considering restricting access to public lands by declaring as many as 17 areas in 11 western states as National Monuments. The leaked pages were part of a bigger “Treasured Landscapes” document. Since the leak, the House Natural Resources Committee passed a Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res. 1406) directing DOI to turn over the full document. The full House has yet to act on the inquiry; however, ARRA has obtained a copy of the full document, which can be found here . . . http://www.arra-access.com/site/DocServer/Treasured_Landscapes.pdf?docID=281
In addition to the pages we knew about addressing National Monuments there is an attachment that highlights wilderness bills that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) believes “may be appropriate for Wilderness or National Conservation Area designation,” including potential designations in NM, NV, OR, CO, CA and UT. Particularly troubling is the inclusion of the Hidden Gems proposal in CO, which has yet to be formally introduced and has faced significant opposition from motorized and other organizations in Colorado.
The document also lays out BLM’s intention to “…transition from the current land management system, which is based on jurisdictional boundaries, to a modern landscape-level management system…” Part of this transition includes supporting Congressional efforts to designate Wilderness, National Conservation areas and other special designations, and the designation of new National Monuments, which are outlined in the attachments. The document also makes it clear that BLM intends to use its own “land-use planning process to manage for conservation values” in areas where legislative or Monument protection is unlikely.
All of this is likely to have a negative impact on motorized recreation on BLM lands. All OHV use is forever banned in wilderness areas, and will almost certainly be banned in areas that receive other special designations. Further, the document lays out a clear desire to elevate managing for conservation over BLM’s mandate to manage for multiple uses. While conservation is certainly important, there is no reason that lands managed for all forms of recreation, including motorized, cannot be conserved.
ARRA has also alerted you about the Administration’s “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO),” and has notified many of you about AGO listening sessions in your area. DOI Secretary Ken Salazar has made it clear that he envisions implementing the Treasured Landscapes agenda laid out in the leaked documents as part of the AGO recommendations.
This makes it especially important for all OHV users to get involved and participate in any local AGO listening sessions and/or submit comments on the America’s Great Outdoors website here: America's Great Outdoors IdeaJam