Murkowski: Proposed BLM Rule Would Significantly Disadvantage Alaskans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sent a letter to Neil Kornze, Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), calling on the agency to drop its proposed Resource Management Planning (RMP) rule. In her letter sent Tuesday, Murkowski raises substantive and procedural concerns about the rule, which could weaken Alaska’s voice in land management decisions made by the federal government.

“[The proposed rule] abdicates responsibility of the agency to keep apprised of local land management programs,” Murkowski stated in the letter. “On balance, as currently proposed, the rule is likely to significantly disadvantage Alaskans.”

The BLM manages 247.3 million acres of land and administers about 700 million acres of federal subsurface mineral estate throughout the western United States including over 70 million acres of land in Alaska.

“Many Alaskans agree that the land use management process needs improvement. However, the proposed rule fails adequately to address necessary prospective positive changes,” Murkowski stated.  

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, concluded the letter by calling on BLM to work with Alaska and other states to revise the rule to ensure the interests and rights of those affected by it are properly protected.

Full text of the letter is attached and available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website.