House passes resolution disapproving of BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule

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On February 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 44, a resolution disapproving of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Planning 2.0 rule, by a vote of 234 to 186. Throughout the rulemaking process, NACo has expressed concern that the BLM's Planning 2.0 rule, as written, could dilute county input into land management decisions and hinder local government consultation and collaboration with BLM. The resolution, which is a win for counties, begins the process of rolling-back Planning 2.0 under procedures outlined in the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The CRA allows Congress and the new president to abolish any federal regulation finalized on, or after June 13, 2016 by a simple majority vote in both chambers. It also prohibits federal agencies from reissuing the same regulation, or one of similar nature, in the future. Therefore, H.J. Res. 44 provides another opportunity for BLM, counties and public lands stakeholders to work together to improve BLM planning regulations and ensure robust coordination with local governments. 

BLM's Planning 2.0 rule was published on December 13, 2016 and went into effect on January 11, 2017. Planning 2.0 establishes the processes under which the BLM will develop its Resource Management Plans (RMPs). RMPs set parameters to define approved uses and actions across the BLM's over 245 million acres of surface land and over 700 million acres of subsurface minerals currently under BLM management.

NACo and over 60 other groups that represent a broad cross-section of public lands stakeholders  support legislation disapproving of the Planning 2.0 rule. On January 26, NACo joined with 23 state associations of counties, national, regional and state level organizations representing public lands stakeholders in sending a letter urging disapproval of the Planning 2.0 Rule

NACo has been engaged throughout the Planning 2.0 process to ensure local government involvement is at the forefront of BLM resource management planning and that local governments were given the time necessary to analyze the implications of the substantive regulatory changes presented in the Planning 2.0 rule. After securing an extension of the initial comment period, NACo submitted comments to BLM on the proposed rule on May 19, 2016. NACo has also hosted numerous webinars and forums with BLM staff and county officials to provide other opportunities for the county voice to be heard and we will continue to work with counties and the BLM to ensure local government engagement is at the forefront of BLM resource management planning.

Following passage in the House, H.J. Res. 44 is now pending further consideration in the U.S. Senate.

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