Sen. Murkowski, Rep. Cheney Introduce Disapproval Resolutions for BLM Planning 2.0 Rule

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., today introduced disapproval resolutions in their respective chambers to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Resource Management Planning rule, which is commonly called “Planning 2.0”, under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

“The Obama administration’s Planning 2.0 rule makes sweeping changes to how BLM develops resource management plans, shifts decision-making authority away from the impacted states to Washington, DC, and disregards BLM’s multiple-use mission. If left intact, it will harm grazing, timber, energy and mineral development, and recreation on our public lands,” Murkowski said. “Effective multiple-use management requires local, site-specific considerations, not landscape-level analyses. By rescinding this rule, we can return power and decision-making authority to those who actually live near BLM lands in western states.”

“Planning 2.0 represents a federal power grab that ignores expert knowledge and undermines the ability of state and local governments to effectively manage resources and land use inside their own districts. Planning 2.0 dilutes the authority of governors, state regulators, local governments and the public to engage in collaborative land use management planning across huge swaths of the American West.  I look forward to continue working hand-in-hand with Senator Murkowski, as well as other leaders in Congress and the Executive Branch, as we repeal ineffective, unconstitutional and out-of-control federal regulations that stand in the way of meaningful economic growth and job creation for Wyoming,” Cheney said.

Roughly 99 percent of BLM’s lands are in 12 western states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming – all of which stand to lose if the Planning 2.0 rule remains in its current form.

Along with the sweeping changes made to the planning process, the rule drastically limits opportunities for formal public engagement and weakens the value and impact of Governors’ Consistency Reviews. The long-term result will be a longer process that creates more confusion and greater uncertainty. State, local, and tribal governments, as well as interested and affected stakeholders, will be deprived of opportunities to engage in the process and influence land management decisions on the public lands they rely on.

Murkowski and Cheney have received letters supporting the rule’s nullification from a wide range of organizations, including: the Alaska Farm Bureau, Inc., Alaska Municipal League, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Arizona Association of Counties, Arizona County Supervisors Association, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Association of Oregon Counties, California Farm Bureau Federation, Colorado Farm Bureau, Eureka County, Nevada,  Fortymile Mining District, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Nevada Association of Conservation Districts, Nevada Association of Counties, Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, New Mexico Farm And Livestock Bureau, Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, Oregon Farm Bureau, Public Lands Council, Rural County Representatives of California, Utah Association of Conservation Districts, Utah Association of Counties, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Washington Farm Bureau, Western Interstate Region of NACo, Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, Wyoming County Commissioners Association, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, and the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.

All Senate Republicans who represent western states joined Murkowski as a cosponsor of the BLM Planning 2.0 disapproval resolution. The Senate’s cosponsors are: Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. 

Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In the 114th Congress, the committee’s Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee held a hearing on the BLM Planning 2.0 rule, and Murkowski delivered an opening statement expressing her opposition. In May 2016, she also sent a letter to then-BLM Director Neil Kornze outlining her concerns with the rule and calling for it to be rescinded.